Not Your Everyday News

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Las Vegas

No, not going to Vegas, and haven't been recently. But some friends of
mine recently got back from there, a very nice older couple I will call the
Stones here. They went for 6 days, and did the usual thing that folks who
don't gamble alot do in Vegas - go to shows, take a drive to Hoover Dam,
and a day trip to the Grand Canyon. (ok, they did the token gambling bit,
just to say they did, and naturally lost!) They saw Celene Dion live, of
which I must admit I am a bit envious! They also saw the Cirque du
Soleil show that is there, which they said, not surprisingly, was just
wonderful. And of course, they saw showgirls who, shortly after their
number began, took off their tops and revealed it all, well, most of it
anyway! They liked Hoover Dam and really were thrilled by the Grand
Canyon (where Mrs. Stone bought some turquoise and silver Indian
jewelry!) I keep kicking myself for not doing the Grand Canyon thing
when I went to Vegas; I went to Hoover Dam and Lake Meade, drove a
bit into California (Barstow, a sort of dead town in the middle of the
desert), and had an interesting day trip to St. George, Utah. It was a
cute little town, with a Mormon Church on every corner (sort of like
here in the south, with a Baptist church everywhere you turn!). Well,
we stayed for lunch there, found a nice looking restaurant, and it was
at that point that I decided to be mischievous. See, for folks who don't
know me, I am Greek Orthodox. Orthodox and Catholics were one
and the same til the Great Schism of 1054, when a bunch of priests had
a fight over some of the traditions and interpretations and the church
split into 2. Well anyway, I decided to ask our waitress where the
nearest Orthodox Church was (mind you, I had seen NOTHING but
Mormon in our drive around St. George!). The poor girl got a very
confused look on her face, and sort of panicked, claiming she had no
idea. She asked a co-worker, who seemed equally befuddled, but who
at least tried to suggest that maybe Cedar City had one (the closest big
city around). I just thanked her; I had no intention of going to Cedar
City. But I was curious after I got back home to Virginia, did Cedar
City really have an Orthodox Church? NOT! There was one Catholic,
one Episcopal, one Baptist, lots of Mormons, no Orthodox. Salt Lake
City has more than one Orthodox church, three to be exact, but that
is probably the exception in Utah. Yes, I know what you are thinking,
I should have just driven a little further and gone to the Grand Canyon
rather than torturing poor Mormon souls - maybe next time!


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