Annie’s Cafe & Bar in Denver, Colorado is open for business.

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Annie’s restaurant fits it’s new building like a well turned hand in a classic glove. For years, Annie’s collected kid’s lunch-boxes, antique toys
(like little girl’s bake ovens, ironing boards and irons,) 50s metal-slogan-signs, vintage Hollywood movie posters etc. All this was displayed on the walls of the former building which evoked more of a strip-mall-like ambience. The memorabilia was somewhat cheapened by the stark lighting and cafeteria vibe. The new restaurant is warm and cozy with it’s well patinaed dark woods, providing a perfect showcase for the mementos.

The new digs comprise several rooms, including the inner sanctum-like bar area which has a number of dark, wood-slat booths & tables, and of course, a small bar. The front dining area faces Colfax Avenue. The Colfax scene can be seen through the large picture windows. This perfect-for-breakfast room is spacious and bright.

Annie’s menu seems to be pretty much the same with the inclusion of adult beverage items – the Peanut Butter jars are still on the table [read the previous post.]

Check the website from time to time, it’s not totally “up” yet; the menus weren’t on-line at the time of this writing. The “T-Bird” breakfast (two eggs, hash browns, meat choice & pancakes) is on the menu as well as all the other breakfast favorites, and there is the jar of peanut butter on every table.
Annie’s Cafe & Bar has nightly specials such as: an Enchilada Plate, Chicken Pot Pie, Lasagna, Fried Chicken, and Grilled Fish served with soup or salad ($7.95 – $9.95.)

Diner, dinner entrees, soups, salads, sandwiches, fries, malts, shakes, cokes, booze and more are available.

The new location is 3100 East Colfax Avenue and St. Paul Street, Denver, Colorado 80206.
Annie’s Cafe & Bar’s Website

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Annie’s Cafe in Denver, Colorado opens to the public on Tuesday, June 17th

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Annie’s Cafe owners share good news with employees that the restaurant is moving to the Goodfriends location on East Colfax Avenue. Annie’s Cafe and Bar will open at the site June 17″ read more…

Annie’s new location will be at 3100 East Colfax Avenue and St. Paul Street, Denver, Colorado 80206
“The 29-year-old Goodfriends restaurant on East Colfax Avenue closes Saturday. The site becomes the next home of Annie’s Cafe, moving in June from East 8th Avenue and Colorado Boulevardread more…

Annie’s Cafe and Bar will be a major player on East Colfax with their “Big City” breakfast expertise (Annie’s kept a jar of peanut butter on every table, providing a path to immediate gratification – hopefully this tradition will continue.) Adding a bar will put them “over the top.” This is going to be one of the most popular joints in Denver for breakfast, lunch, dinner and… With Pete’s Kitchen just-down-the-road-a-piece, Colfax Avenue will definitely continue to be the place to do a “Big City” breakfast.

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Colorado casino revenue down 10.7 percent.

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By The Associated Press – “DENVER — Revenue at Colorado casinos fell 10.7 percent during the beginning of 2008, the worst drop in the industry’s history. The industry and gamblers are blaming the state’s new smoking ban as well as high gas prices. Others blame the overall soft economy.”
Stephanie Steinberg, who pushed for the smoking ban to be expanded to casinos, thinks the recession is more to blame. She said casino revenue in Las Vegas, where smoking is allowed, has also dropped.” read more of this A.P. article at The Denver Post.com

Link to the LasVegasBuffetClub’s Colorado Casinos’ Pages

Thai Basil – Asian Fusion Restaurant in Denver, Colorado

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Thai basil is a cultivar group of basil. It has a more assertive taste than many other sweet basils. The herb has small leaves, purple stems and a subtle licorice or mint flavor” read more from Wikipedia

Thai Basil ( 5 locations in the Denver/Colorado Springs area) is a fresh “now” restaurant offering Thai-Asian-Fusion cuisine.

In a perfect balance of Yin & Yang ( 陰陽, ) Thai Basil balances the old and new. California-modern design mixes with old-burl table tops, old-country cabinets, an Asian bed-frame (used as a dining island) here or there and maybe modern fibreglas art on the wall. I probably just “fused” the decor of the two locations I’ve visited: The Thai Basil Hang Out Grill (3301 W 38th Ave.) and the Washington Park location (540 East Alameda Ave.) The East Alameda location has the bed-frame and fibreglas; the TB Hang Out Grill incorporates the burl wood tables.

I acquired a serious appreciation for Pad Thai in Southern California and Thai Basil serves a beautiful Pad Thai.

Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese menu items include: starters, salads, soups, meats, seafoods, vegetables, noodles, rice, deserts and more. Thai Curries, Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowl, Szechuan Asian Eggplant, Crispy Duck and Fried Rice are just a few facets of the fusion. Some of my other favorites – besides Pad Thai ($7.95) are: Coconut Soup, Satay Chicken, Thai Spring Roll and Kung Pao Chicken.

Thai Basil has a full Bar with a good selection of Asian and domestic beers. At the time of this post, The Thai Basil Hang Out Grill location is serving: (HANG ON TO YOUR HAT) $.25 cent domestic beers and $.50 cent imported beers. You have to order food & there is a limit. Call for more information…

Check the Thai Basil Website for menu by location; locations / addresses and other information..

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The Bombay Clay Oven Indian Restaurant in Denver, Colorado

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THE BOMBAY CLAY OVEN Indian Restaurant/Bar
165 Steele St.
Denver, Colorado 80206
303-377-4454

The Bombay Clay Oven’s Official Website

The Bombay Clay Oven in Denver’s hoity-toity, Cherry Creek North is an excellent, affordable, Indian restaurant with a nice little bar, outdoor patio, comfortable center-tables and several “Traditional Divan Seating Booths.”  Go for a booth, if you can get one – the “Divan” booths are cozy and comfortable with wall tapestries, and cushions & pillows to sit on, sans shoes. These booths are like little dining caves, so to speak.
Reservations are accepted.

Click on the Bombay Clay Oven website for the complete menu, photos & additional information.

On the Menu:

APPETIZERS
BREAD, Soup, Salad and Sides
CHEF’S SPECIALTIES
CLAY OVEN GRILLED ENTREES
BOMBAY SAUCY ENTREES (CURRIES) and RICE ENTREES (Biryanis)
VEGETARIAN ENTREES
RICE
BREADS
DESERTS
LAMB, CHICKEN, BEEF, SHRIMP, SALMON
KABOBS, CURRIES & MORE….

The Bombay Clay Oven has a full bar with an excellent wine list; wines start at $5.00.

This free-standing building (see photo on website) is a perfect match for the restaurant.
“There are some parking spots behind and along the south side of the restaurant, which are accessed through the alley in between St. Paul Street and Steele Street.”

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John Wayne & Buddy Holly “That’l Be the Day.”

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The other day, I rented a classic Western movie: (John Ford’s)THE SEARCHERS, which incidently is rated number 2 or 3 on my list of classic Westerns. (The reason it’s rated 2 or 3 is because my top two are either tied for first place, or they’re rated 1 & 2, I can’t decide.)

The following video is the original Trailer for THE SEARCHERS:

I had been thinking about this movie for a while, as I usually do for a part of each year; probably have since 1956. One time, while watching John Wayne utter the phrase “That’l Be The Day” about a half-dozen times, I thought to myself: “UMMMM! 1956! – That’l Be The Day!” “I’ll bet Buddy Holly was watching that movie back in Lubback, Texas in 1956 and that phrase got stuck in his head, so he picked up his Fender [guitar] and wrote the song (That’l Be The Day.)

Well I finally found an internet article that mentions this idea: “That’l Be the Day.” The title and lyrical phrase, lifted from a line that John Wayne was always quoting in the John Ford movie The Searchers. Click the link and scroll down…Here is another link that mentions it; and another!

Other articles state that the British group: THE SEARCHERS (Needles and Pins & Love Potion Number 9, just to name two of their mega-hit songs.) took their name from the movie. This information is from The Searchers’ [band] website…

The COASTERS 1957 R&R hit: SEARCHIN’, by Leiber and Stoller on Atco Records – I’m betting – is also somewhere in the mix. I can’t confirm this hypothetical yet. If I can, I’ll post it here.

My Top Two Westerns? In alphabetical order: HIGH NOON , starring: Gary Cooper, Lloyd Bridges, Grace Kelly, Katy Jurado and Ian MacDonald, released 7 July 1952 and SHANE, starring: Allan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon De Wilde, Jack Palance and Ben Johnson, released September 24, 1953

A bit of irony exsists in the juxtaposition of two of the movies which are mentioned in this post: John Wayne had big problems with the politics of High Noon; he felt that there was a strong, leftist, message in the film. Some refer to the movie as an “anti-McCarthyism western.”
“Although he complained that High Noon (1952) was “un-American”, when he collected Gary Cooper’s Oscar on his behalf, he also complained that he wasn’t offered the part himself.”

Here are just a few reasons why these films are rated so highly in my book:

The following clip includes the final gunfight in SHANE:
Alan Ladd’s character SHANE “calls out” hired gunfighter Jack Wilson (Jack Palance) in the saloon, after a long, emotion-building-ride into town. With one of cinema’s most memorable, provocative lines, Shane responds to Wilson’s query: “What have you heard Shane (about me)?”
“I’ve heard that you’re a low-down Yankee liar.”

This is a clip from HIGH NOON. It is the slow-paced, methodic, (opening) Title Sequence: The Miller Gang assembles to ride into town to meet the High Noon Train carrying “Boss *Frank Miller” (Ian MacDonald,) just released from prison and seeking revenge from the sheriff (Gary Cooper) who put him there. Underscoring the entire clip and most of the movie is the brilliant, haunting song, “High Noon,” sung by Tex Ritter (the late John Ritter’s father.) The music is by Dimitri Tiomkin and the lyrics are by Ned Washington.

NATALIE WOOD’S younger sister, LANA WOOD played the young Debbie Edwards in THE SEARCHERS. The searchers were searching – all the while – for Debbie Edwards
The Cinematographer for HIGH NOON was Floyd Crosby, who was the father of Rock and Roll’r David Crosby.
From the movie SHANE: “YOU SPEAKING TO ME” says SHANE to provacateur Chris Calloway (Ben Johnson) before the gunfight in the saloon (see video clip.)
YOU TALKING TO ME” says Robert De Niro, talking to the mirror,
in the movie TAXI DRIVER ( 1976.) Here’s a bit of conjecture: The line originated from 1) The Twilight Zone 2) Shane 3) De Niro…

*[The Ian MacDonald character, Frank Miller scared the heck out of me the first time I saw the movie – still does! Three faces in cinema that have that effect on me are: Ian Macdonald’s, Frank Miller High Noon, Jack Palance’s , Jack Wilson Shane and Vincent Price’s, Prof. Henry Jarrod in 1953’s THE HOUSE OF WAX – all three are pure evil, like Frankenstein, Dracula and The Wolf Man.]

Click this link to access a site that may or may not have Buddy Holly Home Recordings from November-December, 1956 [at] 1926, 19th Street, Lubbock, Texas: Buddy Holly: vocal, guitar; Jerry Allison: drums and vocals; (Poss.) Don Guess: bass.

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The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Nevada

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Las Vegas is known for the unusual and offbeat. Places like the Liberace Museum, the Neon Museum, the Clown Factory, The Elvis Museum, the Barry Manilow Store, the Pinball Hall of Fame… Wait a second. The Pinball Hall of Fame? What exactly is that? Or more importantly, why is there a Pinball Hall of Fame?” read more from The Pinball Hall of Fame’s website

Pinball Hall of Fame___Inside the Pinball Hall of Fame___
[Photo is from the PHoF’s website.]

The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, A.K.A. The Pinball Museum is located “in a strip-mall on the North West corner of Tropicana and Pecos, at 3330 E. Tropicana – about 30 blocks (3 miles) from the ‘strip’ straight down [east] Tropicana.”

In the 90s a collector moved 1000 pinball machines from Michigan to Las Vegas. Most of that collection is in storage, waiting for restoration; some 190 (current number) machines are in use at the PHoF, and can be played on site for $0.25 or $0.50. Classic Gottlieb, Bally and Williams machines, as well as other manufactures’ machines are in play:
Total Pinball machines: 141
Total Arcade machines: 48
Total EM machines: 65
Total SS machines: 124
Total Gottlieb machines: 50
Total Bally machines: 38
Total Williams machines: 35
Total Other makes: 67
Total PHoF Machines (all types): 190

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a registered 501c3 non-profit. It relies on visitors stopping by to play these games, restored pinball machine sales, and ‘This Old Pinball’ repair dvd videos (available for sale at the museum). The PHoF has also helped out with fundraising for the local Salvation Army, accepting donations to benefit them. There is a candy vending stand, where the entire 25 cents of each quarter goes directly to the Salvation Army. And after the PHoF covers its monthly expenses for rent, electricity, insurance, endowment savings, the remainder of the money goes to the Salvation Army.”

” [The] ‘cheap side’ approach gives the Pinball Hall of Fame its disarming, thrift-store feeling. The royal-blue carpet? It’s scrap from a Convention Center weekend show. The change machines? Grabed [sic] from the Golden Nugget’s trash dock before the garbage men came. But it’s not about cutting corners – it’s about maintaining an almost obsessive focus on the pinball games themselves. Forget about public relations, marketing, uniforms, or even a sign outside. ‘If the games play, the people will come, quarters at the ready. There’s stuff here that hasn’t been seen since my mom was a kid. And it’s all up here, and it’s playable.'” [Excerpts are from the PHoF’s website.]

Admission is free, play the games for $0.25 & $0.50

The PHoF’s website has photos, directions, maps, game lists and more general information…

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Larry Levine – Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” recording engineer dies at 80.

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LOS ANGELESLarry Levine, the recording engineer who helped Phil Spector re-invent rock ‘n’ roll music with his “Wall of Sound” technique and won a Grammy for his work with Herb Alpert, died on his 80th birthday, his family said Tuesday read more from: LINDA DEUTSCH , AP Special Correspondent

Listen to: Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” from 1966 – Phil Spector & Larry Levine’s Wall of Sound.

Mother Goose Had Flown The Coop By Mothers Day

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About a week ago I stopped at a big box electronic store in Denver to check out an electronic device. After I did my electric thing and walked out to the parking lot I got that particular sinking feeling one gets when one sees an animal in distress. There was a goose (at first I thought it was a duck – I wasn’t that close) squatting on the blacktop parking lot surface – in the middle of the parking lot! I watched it for a few minutes; it wasn’t getting up. I know enough to know that a creature like that doesn’t lay down on a blacktop parking lot surface for an extended period unless there’s a darn good reason.

I was running late. I had to leave, so I left and drove to my destination, making a mental note to call someone, and hoping that the bird could and would soon fly away. When I arrived at my destination, I told my hosts that I needed to use their phone book, and call someone about the stranded fowl. I called the local animal shelter, however, since it was a Sunday evening I was getting only electric voices on the answering machine. I finally called the non-emergency police number and was transfered to animal control. I then told the dispatcher of the honker’s possible troubles and asked the woman for advice since I didn’t know exactly what to do. She said she’d pass the information on to the animal control people and they would take care of it.

Later in the evening we decided we would check on our feathered friend before heading home. We gathered a box and a couple of beach towels to “handle” the quacker if we had to pick it up and drive it to a shelter or animal hospital.
As we approached the parking lot, we saw it’s long-necked silhouette and we all sunk a bit as we realized that a healthy bird would have flown away by now. It must be injured! Whoa, it was now standing up. There was some relief; standing is an improvement over being completely down, so maybe the creature will survive after all. We were feeling better but still concerned; we wern’t really sure about what to do. This duck or goose whatever it was was walking around a Circuit City parking lot at 9:00 on a Sunday night.

Then the dark clouds parted and the moon shone through when someone in our party spoke with a CC employee who knew the whole scoop. Turns out that the “goose” was a gander and his “lady” was nesting with her eggs or hatchlings by some bushes on a “curbed planter island” (raised area with soil and greenery) “smack-dab” in the middle of the parking lot. Turns out they must have been hatchlings, read on…
He said that the male was walking around (fifty feet from the female) as a decoy to distract people from focusing in on Mom & the little ones. We found the female on the “planter island” which, incidently, was surrounded by a three quarters of a dozen bright orange parking cones. The employee said that the birds were Federally protected though we never found out who placed the parking cones, nor did we see the goslings – maybe they were under mom’s wing when we saw her on the planter.

Talk about a nice ending, we were all – to say the very least – elated…We went out into the night to celebrate.

I returned yesterday – Mothers Day – to shoot some video clips. Alas, the geese and the parking cones were gone; only a few tufts of down remain in the bushes. *An employee told me that the goslings & parents flew the coop. Major kudos to the people of Circuit City.

From photos, I’m guessing that these puppies were Canadian Geese

*They must have been squatting for, at least, a couple of months. My understanding is that goslings can’t fly untill they’re about eight weeks old.

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WEEEEEEELL DAWGGIES – Jethro’s Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino

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“It’s been a long time since we heard a peep from Jethro, and I’d been wondering what he’s been up to. That’s Max Baer Jr, the actor who played Jethro Bodine on the Beverly Hillbillies. For 20 years now he’s been trying to build a Beverly Hillbillies casino somewhere in Northern Nevada. First he tried Lake Tahoe, but found out the zoning laws up there pretty much don’t allow you to build anything. Then he tried Park Lane Mall in Reno, but that deal fell apart for reasons that nobody wants to admit. Then he bought the old Wal*Mart building in Carson City, but that plan got derailed when JC Penney and the owners of the Southgate shopping mall flat out told him that he was not allowed to build a casino on the property. Several years and several court battles later, the old Wal*Mart still sits empty.” more from Scott Schrantz (AroundCarson.com)

If this post seems a bit disjointed, it’s because it is…The Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino project is not easy to pin down; every source seems to have different sets of facts, for example:
Thu, Nov 19, 1998 (9:21 a.m.)
“Commissioners on Wednesday approved master plan and zoning changes and a special use permit for the $130 million project proposed by Max Baer Jr. , who played the dimwitted Jethro Bodine on the hit TV show that aired from 1962-1971″ read more from: The Las Vegas Sun…
August 16, 1999
DENVER, CO“Beverly Hillbillies Gaming Entertainment, LLC, which announced in June an agreement to develop and finance themed hotel/casinos and other products designed around the characters, settings, events and theme of the 1960’s and 70’s television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, has started the process for developing a $100 Million casino and hotel in Black Hawk, Colorado’s busiest limited stakes gambling town” more from: A Staff Writer for The Timeshare Beat / The Denver Post, August 19, 1999
August 16, 2003
The Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino, a $54 million casino complex, would replace the vacant Wal-Mart building on the south end of Carson City if Max Baer Jr. has his way” read more from: Susie Vasquez, NevadaAppeal.com – August 16, 2003…
May 4, 2007
“MINDEN – Max Baer Jr., entrepreneur, film producer and actor who once played Jethro in the 1960s sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies,” is bringing his plans to build Jethro Bodine’s Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino to north Douglas County – this time, without the flaming oil derrick that was part of a 2003 Carson City proposal” read more from: Susie Vasquez – NevadaAppeal.com
June 4, 2007
“Max Baer, Jr. was best known for his role as the loveable dope, Jethro Bodine, on “The Beverly Hillbillies” television sitcom. Baer is now bringing the Beverly Hillbillies into the 21st century, with plans to open the Beverly Hillbillies Casino and Mansion in Douglas County, Nevada. Baer has announced the acquisition of the first plot of land for the Beverly Hillbillies Casino development, with plans for additional land purchases after proper zoning has been acquired” read more from: Jerry Garner (Associated Content) June 4, 2007…
December 22, 2007
“Casino proponents back 143-foot high derrick” read more from: Susie Vasquez – NevadaAppeal.com
January 6, 2008
“County rejects Beverly Hillbillies casino derrick” read more from: Susie Vasquez January 6, 2008 – scroll down to mid-page…
From April, 2008
Jethro’s Casino has won approval from the Douglas County Board of Commissioners for a zoning map amendment & gaming district overlay!”
The previous quote is from Jethro Bodine’s (Max Baer Jr.) MySpace page…

Jethro Bodine’s Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino is to be located (this time) in Douglas County, Nevada (The name of the city, as far as I can determine is: Minden, Nevada)
Carson Valley, Nevada – Chamber Of Commerce Official Website

Well, if and when (I Believe!) Jethro Bodine’s Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino becomes a reality, here’s a list of some of the really cool facets of Jethro’s dream that will be in that reality – plans [click on Jethro’s website] are already drawn up:
“40,000 square foot gaming area with 800 slots and 16 tables, a showroom, cinema complex and a five story 240 room hotel. An arcade and “Granny’s White Lightnin’ Bar” [more below] are just a few of the attractions in almost 300,000 square feet.”
Granny’s Shot Gun Weddin’ Chapel [more below,] Jethro’s All-You-Ken-Et Buffet, the Cement Pond, Granny’s White Lightnin’ Bar complete with rain & lightning, Elly May’s Buns (Bakery), gourmet meals from Drysdales’ Fancy Eatin’ Fo Da Richins, Granny’s Vittles & Hog Jowls Coffee Shop and a Flameless Oil Derrick.” How cool is that! This project sounds perfectly sound, to me and Jethro… ehmmm… Wait, there’s more: “The bathrooms will have elegant bleached-wood outhouse doors with brass beer bottle door handles.” “Don’t worry . . . your bottom won’t get splinters!!!” “The old cabin from back in the hills will become Granny’s Shotgun Weddin’ Chapel and will be placed in an area where the players and other people can watch and enjoy real weddings take place. The weddings will be presided over by “granny” who will be a real Justice of the Peace and will perform weddings for people that want to get married, people that are already married and people who want to get hitched just for the fun of it in a mock “shotgun weddin’”. The event will be taped from eight video cameras from which a wedding movie will be edited together. Take the video back home to your friends and family for a “one-of-a-kind” experience giving them incomparable laughter & entertainment.” “The Beverly Hillbillies Limousine comes complete with its own “still”, backfires, snorts & whistles. The limousine is available to take you and your guests to and from the airport as well as other casino or sites of interest in the area. “Hot Dawg! You never can tell, that might be Jethro drivin’ that limo!!!” This information is from and can be accessed at www.jethroscasino.com…
No doubt Charlene Darling (Maggie Peterson) from down the road a-piece on The Andy Griffith show will be singing in the Hog Holler Lounge

The Boomtown Hotel and Casino had (sort of) a similar theme “Country-Kitsch” when it opened in Las Vegas around 1994. Boomtown was “instantly” a success and a very comfortable casino, in which to spend a lot of time. It was such a nice escape from the way-over-the-top-Las-Vegas/New-York-style casinos, such as Las Vegas is building now. Middle America was very much at home at Boomtown. When the John Wayne look-a-like Casino greeter shook your hand, you knew you were in the right place…
For American’s who made the decision to be FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS, places like Boomtown provided a place to go and feel comfortable, and at home…
The hotel/casino was reincarnated after it lost it’s shine, and is thriving as The Silverton Hotel and Casino
This was pop-culture at it’s very best.

Well, I don’t know if this is the last word, I can’t get “Susie Vasquez” to respond to e-mail. If I get any updates, I’ll post them here…
Y’all take care now…

This is another article I found on May 8,2008, from AC
“Jethro Bodine could never decide what career he wanted to pursue. The character wanted to be a movie “die-rector”, a fry cook, a brain surgeon, and a “double naught” spy. Max Baer, Jr isn’t quite as odd as his character, or maybe he is. Baer is trying, for the third time, to open a casino based on the television show that made Baer a star. The Beverly Hillbillies Hotel and Casino is slated for construction in Douglas County, just south of Carson City” read more from Jesse Shannon – AC…

Jethro’s Beverly Hillbillies Mansion and Casino – Official Website…
Max Baer Jr.’s – Jethro’s Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino’s MySpace pages…
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