Things went bouncing along in Quicksville. In 1909, Las Vegas' county changed from Lincoln to Clark in a really silly legal and political watchamacallit that I don't want to bore you with. Let's just remember that it was also the seat of Clark County and leave it at that, which makes the city all the more important. And then some more good news
came down the pipe. The railroad was going to put some machine shops on the West side of town, which was gonna bring about 300 more folks in, not to mention more money and jobs.

Great news, huh? Yeah, and then Dame Fortune did her usual thing and shit all over it.

It came to be 1910 and the area got a real nasty flood. Boom. Suddenly there's a hundred miles of track that was destroyed. There was this one train that took out of here on December 31st, and it didn't get to Utah until May! Yeah, talk about your slow connection.

Bottom line was, the town suffered. People who worked for the railroad just up and left 'cause there was nothing left to do. The town went from 1500 to around 800 in just one year. That wasn't a good time for anyone. They put up a schoolhouse, but it wasn't going to be ready until 1911, and in the meantime a fire came along and burned the new
schoolhouse down. Crazy stuff.

And you wanna talk about crazy stuff, especially considering what's down there now? In 1910 they passed this law saying it was illegal to gamble. They wouldn't even let you flip a coin to see how much you had to pay for the drink! "Stilled forever is the click of the roulette wheel," they said. Of course, forever lasted about three weeks until
someone set up some under-the-table games of chance. You had to know the password to get into them, of course, and everyone knew what was going on, just that no one really cared, eh?

1911 comes along and things got a little better. In June we had our first mayor, just after the town got incorporated. Then the railroad was back in operation and the machine shops went up and got going. The farming was pretty good too, as long as you remembered to dig a well. Heck, for a little while the city's pride and joy was that they had the
largest apricot tree in the world! My aunt had this thing about stewed apricots and made me eat 'em by the bucket. I still hate 'em.

Yeah, yeah, I know it's not like I'm going to get any here. Any more house specials coming, Jimmy?

Ah, thank you.

Now, the next bit of local history's a little weird. You see, World War one came..., they called it The Great War at the time because no one had ever seen any shit like that before. After World War II they changed the name because they'd gotten used to the idea, and Jesus help us all if that ain't the scariest thought! Down the hatch...

Ah... Anyway, what was I yammering about? Oh yeah, the big fuzzy spot.

No, don't look around, it ain't here. It's up here... between the ears in every Wraith who was around back then. Most Wraiths remember the war starting and they remember the war continuing, and they remember when the Fourth Great Maelstrom started up, but after 1917... maybe... their memory takes a real ring-a-ding-ding until 1929. It's almost like someone came along and scooped all that stuff out when they weren't looking. You ask them for overall stuff, sure they can spit out the dates, but exact stuff? Forget it.

Yeah, really weird. I mean, a situation like this your memory is all you really have, and the idea that it could just go bye bye on you's a damn scary one. A lot of the old timers don't like to talk about World War One, or the Roaring 20's, or the Stock Market Crash. It's there, but at the same time it's a blank.

Now, in the Skinlands, things did move along. And in that time we got a real Godsend, both in town and just up the ways. I'm sure you saw a tour guide for one of 'em while you were in town.

Yep! Hoover Dam. There were rumors of its possible construction there clear back to 1920. Congress passed the act in 1928 and Hoover got around to signing it in 1930. It started going up in 1931, finally got done in 1935 during the Great Depression. They had more than 5000 people slaving away on that damn thing for the whole four years,
and you oughta bet there's some of us up there, still attached to that damn thing. Roosevelt himself came to dedicate the whole shebang when it was finished. I think he took a spin down Freemont Street afterwards. Wonder if he stopped in for some cards? I'd heard he was a pretty cool character.

Oh, that? Yeah, see, that's the other godsend. In 1931 some Rancher-turned-Legislator named Tobin ran through a legalized gambling bill, which put an end to the illegal games... well, most of 'em. There's still a bit of weird money to be made here and there if you know where to look. But for the most part, the underground games went above
ground and the state would skim so much off the top "for schools," he said, but it really goes right in the pot along with the other needs.

A lot of states justify their lotteries and gas-store jackpots by saying it goes to the schools, but it's usually pennies on the dollar. Here, on the other hand, just less than half of the state's overall fund comes from gambling, and then they take it all and shove a little more than thirty percent into the schools. Not bad at all, unless you have to go there.
Me, I got my ass and knuckles busted back in Chi-town just for looking Italian and here the kids can practically diddle in the hallways. Geez, and this was a Roman Catholic High School and they were smacking me around 'cause of my last name? What did they think the Pope was, Spanish?

Yeah, yeah, I'm bitter, General Jim. Got any more of the Juice?

Thank you. Okay, so you got the impression from your school days - when you weren't blowing your biology teacher for extra credit, that is - that The Great Depression was a bad time. And it most certainly was. The Silent Legion made a real killing back then if you take my drift. But not here... nope! Las Vegas was hit too, but people had jobs. There was the dam, there was the railroad, and there was always a place for card sharks to sucker what little money the schleps had out of their pockets at the craps tables. Land of opportunity, right here.

And where there's opportunity, there's crime.

You've heard all the stories about how the Mob "built" Las Vegas, right? Bugsy and the Flamingo and all that. Of course, listening to me mash my gums all this time you's think that's horseshit - the railroad built Las Vegas, you'd say. And you'd be right, but you'd also be missing the picture. See, the trade routers and the Mormons may have
put Las Vegas on a map, and the railroad may have put the foundation down for it, but the modern city... the Las Vegas everyone thinks of..., "America's Playground?" That's all due to the East Coast families and the Chi-town boys. God bless 'em, every one.

Downa hatch.