Well anyway, we had started to grow apart and my father could sense this. He thought throwing us into a car and a hotel for a week would help of find even ground. The plan was to drive 13 hours over the course of two days and end up in Reno. We had reservations on the second day for the next five days. Upon the seventh day we were to head back. Well that had been the plan.
We left early in the morning around 6 am and drove most of the day stopping only for gas and my mother's before mentioned bladder. We ended up in Reno by 7pm that evening. My mother had a way of pushing you to drive on when the destination was an in fact a casino.
We stopped at the Reno Hilton and tried to check in. There turned out to be a national bowling tournament in town and every room was reserved. Our room wasn't ready and wouldn't be ready until 2 pm the next day. We called around and there were no rooms in the whole of Reno.
Taken from where we stayed the night.
We would dine in a five star hotel eating prime rib and sleep in a car. A Lincoln town car was made for driving and not camping. I can still remember the seatbelt poking me in the back and the smoke from my mother’s cigarettes. She smoked a lot that night. I guess she was nervous about what she was going to tell my father.
As I was starting to feel like a homeless person the sun peaked over the hills. She asked, "Do you want to go have breakfast with me at Calneva, an older casino closer to downtown. I jumped up in my seat and started the car.
A few hours later we called my dad and told him that we got to Reno early and stayed in the Lincoln inn. It took a few seconds before he asked, “Where is the Lincoln inn.” He knew Reno very well and didn't recall that motel.
I can still see my mother on that payphone telling him, "right now it is parked in the parking lot."
From three feet away I could hear the laughter on the other end of that call. When he stopped he told us, "It serves you right for not following the plan.”
We checked in, lying down in our beds, claiming to rest for a while before starting our vacation. A few minute later my mother asked, "Do you want to go downstairs to the casino?” Not sure why I said yes but I did and we headed for the casino.
I remember taking a class about how to play blackjack and mom headed off to the slots. When I was finished I headed to the blackjack tables to try what I learned in the casino sponsored class. I started with thirty dollars and soon double it. When I start to loss I move on to another table. Soon I had a hundred dollars and was paying two hands of cards at a time. I won more and loss track on my winnings. About the time I placed thirty dollars on each hand my mom came behind me and announced, "James honey, I lost my purse and do you know how much money your betting, that’s a lot of money." just as I lost the money, all 60 dollars of it.
After losing my nerve to do it again and my mom losing her purse I jumped up from the stool and headed off to look for my mothers purse. Lucky she had left it where it crossed paths with security guard. My winnings came to about 400 dollars and have never been that lucky at cards since, but will never forget the story of my trip with my mom and the Lincoln inn.
I miss her, too.
The last post was about my father mostly. There are many stories of my dad and just as many about my mother. Not just the stories involving her bladder and passing truckers. People remember her for the way she was right before she passed from this earth. She used to be a very out going person much like my own wife. She would drag my dad out camping, visits to friends, over night stays to family, or just picnics in the park.
Over time I will share as many stories about her as I can remember.
I call this one the Lincoln inn.
When I was 21, I was in college and was at that point in my life where I still went home on the weekend with laundry and came home for the summers. One day my dad asked if I would take my mother to Reno, Nevada. She hadn't been in a while and he didn't want to go. I think it had something to do with over the years. Look at me saying that as if it was a decades. It was three years, from the time I left for college and my third year.