Burns and Lego

Back in the ’80’s, I was Program Director/ Operations at KORK/KYRK radio in Las Vegas. Wagering is the life blood in Nevada and Horse Racing is at the top. Millions pass through casinos and big stars are in evidence. Toward the end of his life, George Burns was a huge draw also. I believe he was appearing on the strip at either Ballys or Tropicana, but he was drawing SRO audiences. It was during “Race Time” when George was appearing and part of his contract required his ‘appearance’ at the noon buffet function of the hotel. My GM, John Lego, was always in attendance at big events. He was known as “Captain ShowBiz” and he loved it!  On this day, John was standing at the entrance of the buffet when he noticed the tiny star and his big cigar strolling down the hall. As he neared Lego, who stood well over six feet,  he gestured with his stogie and asked, “Hey, big guy, you goin’ in this place?” John nodded and George asked, “Well, my contract requires me to make an appearance, would you be kind enough to accompany me?” Of course, “CaptainShowBiz” was thrilled to do so and arm in arm, Burns and Lego walked into the room and proceeded to stroll just around the center buffet table and exit out the door. The star had made his appearance, donchaknow. George Burns then turned to John and said, “Thanks, Fella, have a cigar”, turned and began his slow shuffle back the way he had come. That cigar was never lit and it probably remains in a shot glass on the Lego mantel today. Both men are long gone, but this story remains as one of my favorites of all my years in Vegas. I hold it in the same special place as my bowling game with Ray Conniff at the A&M bowling center many years ago. You know, it’s funny what memories come rushing back in quiet time when you need a warm fuzzie. And, that’s what I get from MY box of chocolates.  AMEN

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