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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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Mr. Clean

14 September 2001

When I first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1985, I met a most memorable character... affectionately and rightfully named "Mr. Clean." Bob Hoskins, was at that time a security guard at Barney's Casino. He had appeared in many T.V. commercials as "Mr. Clean" and one only had to look at him to know that he was indeed the real Mr. Clean... even if Proctor and Gamble wouldn't acknowledge it. When Barney's vanished from the casino corridor and was replaced with Bill's Casino (a Harrah's property) people could still find Mr. Clean on the casino floor. He was, indeed, a local icon... loved by everyone, and he had a very big heart. It was sad to hear that he had passed away of sudden heart failure at the end of August, he will be forever missed in the Tahoe community.

Tuesday was a historic day when the tragedy of all tragedies struck, with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon. My heartfelt prayers and condolences go to everyone that is suffering through the horrific scenario that unfurled. Should this country go to an all-out war over this, I, like everyone else I know, will volunteer to do anything I can, be it loading munitions, or whatever. It has brought out a new spirit of patriotism as this country bonds in the continuing face of sorrow.

It looks like the Tahoe Gaming Guide, and the rest of my web sites will be laid to rest after this week is over. While I had been hell-bent on getting the needed funding to continue, and the outlook on Monday was pretty terrific, with all the casinos starting to at least negotiate, and a promised loan coming through that would have "saved" my home. With the Tuesday's tragedies, it all halted. Left with no choice but to "shut her down" and stymied by the indefinite delays, it just doesn't seem possible. I've been playing a game of beat the bank... and this time... unless some very near and dear friends can pull off the miracle of the millennium, I will be forced to do what I have fought so hard not to do.

In case that happens, I want to thank all the wonderful people that have visited, offered encouragement, uplifted my spirits, and held my hand along the way. It has been 587 of the most wonderful days I could have had. I also have to thank my parents... now in their 80s... for everything they have sacrificed trying to help me realize my dreams. I couldn't have gotten this far without them, in fact, I could have never even started such a venture. My sincerest and deepest apologies go to them for not being able to fly what now appears to be a concrete kite... had I not had full faith in what still is and was a good idea, I would have never jeopardized their golden years and their well-earned retirement. The guilt of not making it will nag me forever... but somehow, somewhere, I still have faith that I can make it up to them.