More then a few years ago, my mother was staying here on an extended visit. She was here for about 8 months. I tried to make sure she wasn't bored and had a good time. We would go to the parks in the summer and she would be my model. Amid the spring blossoms on the trees and the bridges over the streams in Gerald Park here, I would use my camera to capture the image of her wearing her knee length flora shorts and bright summery
solid colored shirts.
We would go shopping, eat at her favorite restaurants and go to the casino. I would buy her 20.00 of nickels and she could sit at the slots all afternoon loving every minute she was there.
Dinner followed then the trip home. She was always ready to get up and go when she knew we were going to the casinos.
On one trip we went to New Orleans for the day and on the way home we stopped in Baton Rouge to do the tourist trip. We went to the navy ship that is docked there and can be boarded and toured and from there to the Riverboat Casino. These riverboats were required to cruise the Mississippi every so many I"ve forgotten hours to keep the gambling legal.
Mom dug her heels in and said she didn't want to go out on the river. I convinced her to get on the boat; lied and told her it wouldn't move, found her a nickel slot machine and loaded her up with nickel rolls. She never knew when the riverboat left the dock and started cruising. I went up on deck for the cruise; I could see the shore, both sides, so I was able to contain my fear of water for a while.
When I got back inside Mom was still sitting at her slot machine. I took a seat beside her and told her when the waitress came around with an offer of free drinks, to order a drink and I would drink it. This worked great. I would order a drink and she would order one and I got both of em. The nickel slots are notorious for all the little old retired folk that play them. I noticed on each side of me and on the other side of Mom, all the slots were being played by ladies my mom's age. Ah, a brilliant idea is born. I told all the little ladies to either side of me and mom to order a mixed drink and I would take possession of it. Since none of them drank they were happy to do this. After an hour of consuming all these drink orders I was ready to let mom stay there for hours and hours. I was having the most pleasant of all afternoons.
After a while, one little lady sitting next to me asked about the drink, a Kahlua and creme. I convinced her that they were yummy so she decided to give the next round a try. Not only did she drink that round but decided she would order and keep her drink each time. After a few more rounds, my newly found friend was saturated and not a tee totaler any longer. Soon all the other little ladies were trying the drink. There went all those free rounds for me.
Eventually my new friend's daughter showed up to take her away . My friend could barely stand up and wobble away. I could hear her daughter chiding her and asking just what had gotten into her. I was hoping she didn't explain to her daughter how she had discovered the yummy drinks she could order free of charge.
When someone mentions the Riverboat Casinos, this is the first thing that pops into my mind and a big smile ensues. Happy gambling!