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The Classic Sunbuggy Ride

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Why do they come to Las Vegas? To gamble away their retirement? To drink in the streets and engage in behavior that would get them thrown in the slammer back home? When within a few short miles from the strip, lies the mighty desert. Filled with mysteries that have baffled generations.

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Mysteries like the Anasazi, an ancient prehistoric people who left behind these petroglyphs which can be viewed at the Valley of Fire. Wildlife like the ancient desert tortoise, known to live for hundreds of years, to the big horned sheep. And of course, the silent dunes.

Places you can’t get to by car, but you can with off road vehicles, like those offered by Sunbuggy, an off road adventure tour company located at the Las Vegas Speedway.

sbr5I took a Sunbuggy into the interior of the Nevada desert. It was a ride with guide meaning someone else was driving while I observed and looked at the scenery. It was a mini-Baja Chase which means the people behind us were trying to keep up. As we twisted and turned in the dunes to give our friends the chase of their lives, it was amazing how they were able to keep up.

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We drove through small canyons, dried river beds, sand dunes, and eventually found ourselves far from the highway where there was nothing between us but the dunes, the mountains, and far off in the distance, the skyline of Las Vegas. It was a tough but exhilarating ride. A true adrenaline rush.

cropped-4thofjulyvegas1.jpgIt can be fun on the strip, but there comes a time when you must heed the call to venture beyond the highway to see what else is out there. And there are many mysteries to explore. Explore them on a sunbuggy.

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The Cover Up that Scandalized Jacksonville!

Bob Gray was the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, and the founder of Trinity Christian Academy, both located in Jacksonville, Florida. He was also a pedophile who preyed on the children of his congregation.

Gray was arrested on multiple charges of child molestation and died just before his trial was to begin.

Tim Gilmore, a professor at Florida State University, has documented the history and lore of North Florida. He turns his eye to an unforgettable story that some still wish would be forgotten.

Dwayne Walker, a former graduate of Trinity Christian Academy, reviews Gilmore’s book, and also offers some personal insight based on his experiences at the scandalized Christian high school.

Read my full review of Devil in the Baptist Church:

https://thelastfundamentalist.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/devil-in-the-baptist-church-bob-grays-unholy-trinity-by-tim-gilmore-a-review/

Buy Devil in the Baptist Church:

https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Baptist-Church-Unholy-Trinity/dp/1511681837/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476326296&sr=8-1&keywords=devil+in+the+baptist+church+bob+gray%27s+unholy+trinity

Vampires and Burlesque Dancers! Or: How did you spend the dawn of the 21st Century?

If I were on my deathbed and my final dreams centered around how I spent the dawn of the 21st Century, the images would be made up of burlesque dancers and vampires. The two videos I have just posted are proof of this.

Eternal Vampiricus.

Vampiricus was an experience that occured at NAGA, a club near the docks in Long Beach, California. It was produced by Blade Rhino.

George Metivier was a photographer who spent quite a few evenings at Vampiricus capturing the happenings and, on occasion, some of the attendants became his models. Eternal Vampiricus is a slideshow featuring  the scrapbook George kept from that era of the late 90s. The music is from Babylonian Tiles.

Metivier has since passed away. There was not one obituary in the Long Beach Press Telegram. The only notice was this mention in the Panama Canal Society newsletter:

George Metivier of Long Beach, Calif., recently passed away. He graduated from BHS in 1951. He owned his own photography business which allowed him to use his art training. He authored several books and exhibited his works widely. He was a member of the Panama Canal Society.

Outside of hereticsofhollywood.com, none of the links in this slideshow are currently working.

Exotic World, 2002.


A renewed appreciation for the scandalous dancing from the early 20’s and 30’s was born again at the dawn of the 21st Century. Exotic World, a museum dedicated to burlesque, was founded by Jenni Lee in San Pedro, CA. She later moved it to Helendale, California. Dixie Evans, a burlesque dancer known for Marilyn Monroe shtick, took over the operation. Dixie Evans passed away and the ranch was closed.

This video was taped in 2002 and features Dirty Martini, Kitty Diggins, Kitten Deville, Dixie Evans, and many, many more notables can be seen in the audience, as well as on stage!

The Burlesque Hall of Fame, the successor to Exotic World, opened in Las Vegas at Fremont East. The gallery is opened but it will be closed in September. The full museum will be relocated to the Arts District in 2017.

Their webpage is Burlesque Hall of Fame

 

Use E-books to promote your business or capture Family History!

Do you have a story to tell? Wonderful scrapbooks and useful catalogues and marketing tools can be had by using ebooks.

Hello, my name is Dwayne Walker and I have helped authors and companies edit, format, and produce textbooks, memoirs, novels, and oral history compilations in both traditional paperback form and in e-books that can be read on your Kindle or tablet.

Your ebook can be sent to customers, clients and friends where they can not only read what your business is about, but can also experience the history of your company or family. Links to your company’s shopping carts, webpages, or, if this is a family history to videos and facebook pages.

You can reach me at 702-937-5804. Or send me a message at walkertown.com Thank you very much.

Battle of Las Vegas (or, 4th of July, 2015)

A panoramic view of fireworks exploding over Las Vegas. The fact that some fireworks resemble the firepower seen in videotape of the attacks on Baghdad, plus the idea that I couldn’t tell the legitimate fireworks from the amateur variety made me a bit edgy this 4th of July. The bombs (fireworks are a type of bomb) blew up directly over me both while I was shooting and while driving home. I felt like I was trying to escape the bombing of Saigon!

IMG_0448My cat was in the stalking position when I arrived at my condo. He calmed down after I had been there for an hour. Well, in spite of the tenseness, got some decent video out of it. Some of the fireworks remind me of paintings and attempts by movie makers to portray the rapture. Except, instead of the souls going to heaven, they explode mid-point and rain down over Vegas. The tense drive home and the nervousness of my cat made me appreciate the wisdom of the No Fireworks ordinance in Long Beach, CA (the city I just moved from).

IMG_0494Happy 4th of July!

Civilized Discourse: An Interview With Steve Allen


steveallen1Steve Allen consented to be interviewed by me, a public access producer newly arrived from Florida.  I received a letter from his secretary. Even she seemed surprised.  She wrote, ‘apparently Mr. Allen has agreed to be interviewed’.  The day of the interview, the camera at the public access station took a fall.  Fortunately, the director of the program had a Hi-8 camera. We took the studio lights, microphones, and her camera to Allen’s office in Burbank (called ‘Meadowlane’).

He was my second celebrity interview.

Hyapatia Lee, an adult film actress, was my first. I interviewed her about being abused and bad advice she received from a Southern Baptist minister.  (He suggested, “Let’s pray for your forgiveness.”)

Meeting of Minds, Steve Allen’s PBS program, had actors portraying great historical figures. They discussed their role in history but also commented on the activities of those not of their era. Watching Meeting of Minds was also an exercise in critical thinking!

Steve Allen endorsed censorship.  This was anathema to me.  One of the questions I asked him concerned his views on censorship.  It wasn’t a surprising question.  My introductory letter to Steve Allen mentioned that censorship would be one of my questions.

dwI’m not an advocate of censorship, but, one thing I’ll say for that afternoon interview, Steve Allen acknowledged my questions. He addressed the reasoning behind the questions.  So few people in real life, celebrated or not, will even take the time to mention you made a good argument even if they disagreed with your conclusions. Hate crimes. Political leaders embracing anti-intellectual values. Abortion.  None of these questions were off limits in our interview.

I ran into Steve Allen on three different occasions a few years after our interview.

He didn’t seem to recognize me, nor did I feel the need to say, “Remember when I interviewed you for about 45 minutes in your office?”

He did consent to an interview with another public access producer at my studio.  I operated the camera.  Still no recognition.

A friend had given me a bag of chocolate kisses. The producer, without even asking, let Steve Allen walk away with my bag.

“Where did my chocolate kisses go?”

“Steve Allen took them.”

The producer denied she gave my kisses to Steve Allen, but I will always have my doubts. 

At least now, I can finally let the dark secret out: Steve Allen stole my kisses!

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These days people are more opinionated than informed. It’s tempting to invoke nostalgia and long for the days of Steve Allen, when people in the media actually engaged in civilized discourse. The reality is we can resolve ourselves to informed opinions as opposed to simply being opinionated.  We can pledge to let the scientific method into our lives with the same dedication as a religious devotee.

We can resolve to judge on the evidence and resist the will of the mob. To not be afraid to change our minds if evidence shows we are on the wrong track. To question all things and not be offended when someone questions us. And learn not to be offended by humor.  As Mark Twain and others have pointed out, if you have an unpopular idea, better make them laugh or else they might kill you.

We can let others complete their sentences! The possibilities are endless! 

Let us commit ourselves to reason and to a civilized discourse.

Steve Allen wrote ‘This Could Be The Start of Something Big’, sung here by Pia Zadora: