Saturday, December 14, 2013

Reno, Nevada - July 1963

We've visited Reno, Nevada once before here on GDB… I recommend clicking on the link for a some   background info, if you happen to be unfamiliar with "The Biggest Little City in the World". 

I  love this particularly sunny and colorful photo of Virginia Street, with signs for so many famous gambling establishments such as the Primadonna, the Horseshoe Club, Harrah's, Harold's Club, the Silver Dollar, and the Lucky Nugget. Love those vintage autos too.

This archway with a neon sign welcomed visitors (who hopefully had fat wallets when the came, and fatter wallets when they left). The sign has been updated over the years, but is still there today. The Colony casino's sign (featuring none other than Davy Crockett - was he there before Disney made him a star?) had a display of early-American firearms, which seems appropriate for this western town.

This is not Reno, but it is from the same lot; not too far from Reno was beautiful Lake Tahoe. The clubs and casinos found there lacked the glitz, glamor, and sheer size of Vegas' casinos… but hey, you could still see shows featuring stars like Jack Benny and Louis Prima!

Babushka alert!


Nanook said...

Oh, Man-! We just love Nevada's gambling cities-! Louis Prima, Jack Benny and even the King sisters.

Keep 'em comin'.

Thanks, Major.

Tom said...

July 1963 was an excellent month/year combo. Great pictures of a bygone era - love the cars.

K. Martinez said...

That last image stirs up a lot of memories. I remember several vacations in the 1960s where my parents took us kids to South Lake Tahoe and they would go to Stateline to gamble in the evening. What it lacked in glitz and glamor it made up for with the surrounding natural beauty of the Tahoe area. Nice set today. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a change from the way things are today. I get to Tahoe yearly and know exactly how Harrah's is now. There is something charming that we've lost over the years.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think I am more attracted to the glitz, since I am not into gambling. These are the last of my Reno pix, but I do have one neat Carson City photo from the 50's, and many more Vegas shots too.

Tom, I assume 7/63 was when you were born?!

K. Martinez, I've only been to Tahoe once, and we drove over to see the casinos… it had a kind of "small town" feel compared to huge Vegas. Wonder how it looks at night?

Anonymous, that seems to be the common theme, I always like the vintage views more than the current versions. Seems like cities lose a lot of their "soul" as the years go on.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

That's a Jack Benny groupie or what they used to call Benny's Babushka Babes. Hot stuff.

Cool vintage pictures. Thanks

Melissa said...

Oh, yeah, the BBB's Tahoe road trips were legendary.

"Marry in Vegas, divorce in Reno" is the new "Marry in haste, repent at leisure."

Snow White Archive said...

Benny and Babushkas. Them were the days.

JG said...

We visited Reno several times in this era, always as a stop on the way to or from somewhere else. Mom and Dad were not gamblers, (or drinkers or smokers either), good solid "church folks".

My Dad had a rebellious streak, though, and he enjoyed a good meal. On one of the trips, we had dinner at Harold's club. I recall it exactly as shown in the photo above. We ate in the second floor dining room, very elegant. The staff was very cautious to limit my view as we went up the stair past the glitzy casino.

I can't recall the dinner at all, but do remember that Dad wore his gray suit and tie and Mom had a nice dress. I had a bright red wool blazer and tie, which fit my son when he was four, so that's about how old I was.

I remember the reaction of the "church ladies" to news about Dad taking his family to a CASINO for dinner. Simply scandalous! My Dad? Did not give a rip what the church ladies thought. I really miss him.

Major, thank you for such a flood of good memories.


Dave said...

If I remember correctly that parking lot for Harrah's is actually in California.

Chuck said...

I remember a trip to Tahoe and Harrah's in '76, and, while the area had built up considerably by then, I don't recall it being Vegas crazy.

My folks and grandfolks went to the casino to see Engelbert Humperdinck in concert, while my sister and I were deposited in Harrah's "child care facilities" across the hall from each other. She was young enough (4) to go to a place where they played games and sang songs and had a good time making new friends. I, at 7, was apparently too old for that and was consigned to a series of dimly-lit rooms filled with gigantic teens and pre-teens with a lunch counter, perhaps a TV or two, I think a small patio, and about 200 coin-operated arcade games, the most graphically advanced of which was "Tank."

While I can look back on that shining collection of pre-computerized gaming glory with some nostalgia, I also remember feeling terribly bored and lonely while my money slowly, inexorably dwindled down to nothing as I forlornly waited for my name to be called over the PA system that I was ready to be picked up. Thinking about it now, it's sort of a child's version of the underside of life in a casino slot machine hall, and probably explains a lot of why I don't like visiting casinos today.