Scene from the ceiling of Royal River Casino, Flandreau, South Dakota


Okay.  I’ve done something I’ve said I would never do

I’ve gotten onto a bus with a bunch of older people and gone on a trip to a casino.

Maybe it was curiosity, or maybe my need to get up out of my chair and move.  But actually it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.  For the price of $50 I could ride about four hours through Nebraska and then South Dakota, enjoying the views of the lush green fields of soybeans and corn on slightly rolling hills. Then, arriving at a large casino about 3:00 p.m. I would be given a very nice hotel room, all my meals, $25 to gamble with and an extra amount because it’s my birthday month. And it was all as described.

Some years back many Indian reservations throughout the Midwest built casinos, very nice ones, and it was a treat for people who didn’t have the time or the money to go to Las Vegas.  Early ones gave generous wins to spread the word, and I was fortunate to have some of those wins and to save that money for future ventures.

I know that gambling can be a problem for some people. It has not been a problem for me, because I am still using money from those early wins and also because I play conservatively and for my entertainment, not for an addiction.  Twice I won $1000 on a carousel  that was just lots of fun and I got lucky.   In those days, maybe two or three times a year, I drove a little over an hour to a casino on the edge of Iowa to spend an afternoon of pure abandon, forgetting everything, enjoying the jing-jang-jing of coins falling and flashing lights and people hastening to my machine to pay me in cash.  Really.

It has all changed. No more jangling of coins.  No coins are used and no coins given. One inserts a bill and when he leaves a machine whatever he has left is rolled out of the machine on a strip of paper which he can either put into another machine or turn in to the cashier for cash. Most of the machines play a quirky little tune (constantly!. . the kind that goes home with you and won’t shut up)  But the afternoon serves a purpose for me.  There is no way I can worry while in this atmosphere, no way I can intellectualize. I go home with my mind a clean slate, ready to start the next day with new enthusiasm.

This week’s trip was an experiment to appease my decision not to drive out of town anymore. It’s not that I don’t want to admit that I’m old, but that I intend to enjoy myself and to contribute to society by staying active however I can.  Actually, I think I was the oldest one on the bus. But what the heck. I had a good time and I broke even.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanie Sellars
    Aug 17, 2016 @ 16:32:50

    sounds like fun Doris, good for you


  2. John of the GMA
    Aug 17, 2016 @ 17:59:38

    I – cheap SOB that I am – should try that some day.


  3. Kathy
    Aug 21, 2016 @ 09:42:18

    Sounds like a very interesting day!


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