This week in the City of Sin a sea of overgrown children descended on Las Vegas Boulevard with very expensive toys and a swagger that would have made John Wayne proud.
When I saw Gene Roddenberry, the founder of the Star Trek phenomena, speak at SFA university in the early 1980s It was a powerful experience.
He talked about the power of television, of social theater _ of image and perception to shape the opinions of the nation and its people. Its was a truly moving speech although I had to hold my breath through half of it because of the wreath of bluish smoke that was rising from several nearby seats and when it was over I had to stifle the urge to spend my last three dollars on donuts and brownies.
Yes I was a Trekie way before it was remotely cool and no I didn’t have Spock ears or wear uniforms to Sci Fi conventions…..Okay I had a Spock haircut for a few months but it was the freakin’ 70s okay…)
Photo from the Protoform website listed below
Speaking of Star Trek I saw Mr. Spock in Vegas this week. He had a spiky mullet and was a little overweight but he had pointy ears and a beam me up Scotty T-shirt on as he worked on his very expensive model car. The International Indoor Championship brought their expensive mini race cars and unique sense of competition to the City of Sin.
Paint ball combatants of all types also brought their unique form of the Cowboys and Indians game we all played as kids to the city. Many wore uniforms not dissimilar to those worn by NASCAR drivers, jumsuits covered with logos, others stuck with more conventional camouflage and leather jumpsuits.
Several were seen at whooping and screaming in triumph shocking the early morning, hung over casino crowd after winning a jackpot of several dollars….It was a penny machine…
Where else but Vegas can you see convention of model car racers with receding hair lines mullets and gray streaks in their beard down the street from gun-toting camo wearing desperado who have to get dropped off by their Moms because their aren’t old enough to drive.
Such is life in the City of Sin
Til next time
Rock on Sinners
In keeping with the practice of polishing up my skills in traditional feature writing the next few paragraphs are going to be a short explanation of one City of Sin event. Some names have been left off because of privacy concerns and because I still have to work for a living in a casino town. A short feature like this would have been called a brite or something else I can’t remember.
Bryan Carbone poses for cameras at his work table where he prepares his mini race car for rounds at the International Indoor Championships in Las Vegas last weekend. _ Photo Royal
Racing fans get small and fast in the City of Sin
By Royal Hopper
Bryan Carbone spent some of the last week-end bent over a table performing emergency surgery of a sort on his pint-sized racing car as hundreds of competitors nearby feverishly worked on their miniature speed machines.
Carbone and dozens of other Indoor International Championship racing fans from Canada the US, Germany, Finland and across the world packed the convention center of a Las Vegas hotel racing their foot long hotrods around an indoor track.
Spectators cheered as round after round of mini race cars sped around the makeshift track and sometimes gasped as the dwarvish mean machines crashed into side rails or each other at dizzying speeds.
“They can get up to 40 miles per hour on the indoor tracks,” Carbone said adding that on straighter, longer outdoor tracks greater speeds are possible. Speeds of 60 mph and higher have been recorded for the mini Indy cars. Rumors have it that speeds of up to 80 mph have been reached on the less regulated European tracks he said.
This is not a cheap hobby. Prices for the little race cars run from around $500 for basic car capable of racing at the local level to around $1,400 for those capable of competing at higher levels of miniature racing.
As the cars race around the track there are monitors who stand around righting those mini race cars that flip over or rescuing those that cannot race on. The men and women who race the tiny titans are serious about their hobby, their cars and their racing skills.
“Damn it,” said an unlnown racer as his mini race car lay on the table and he tried to fit new tires on it in time for the next race.
Some of the results from the races held in the City of Sin as posted on the Protoform web site
IIC – Touring Car Modified
Ronald Volker (GER)
Keven Hebert (CAN)
Juho Levanen (FIN)
Hayato Matsuzaki (JPN)
Paul Lemieux (USA)
Mike Dumas (USA)
Mike Haynes (USA)
Rick Hohwart (USA)
Andrew Hardman (USA)