When my now Latin King brother (much more about him to come) was about 18, Dad, myself and my bro would visit and “donate” our small share of cash to the sparkly new casinos which were beginning to sprout up along Atlantic City’s boardwalk.
Atlantic City used to be a wholesome family destination where kids could meet and greet Mr. Peanut, munch on popcorn, see creamy delicious chocolate fudge being made (and get a free sample), play games for prizes — like winning a “concussion” goldfish by throwing a ping-pong ball in their little glass home (so it could die of a brain hemorrhage just after you named it)– and even watch full-grown horses jump off a sky-high ladder into a small pool of blue water way down below. As a kid, I was totally mesmerized by this feat– not today though. Today, I’d be the one breaking in with a flashlight and a crowbar in the dead of night to free those poor animals. Horses that probably had to be shot the next day due to a broken leg after this sh!tty trick. I won’t get started on the sh!ttiness of it all, instead I’ll let my mind settle in, and be happy with my memories of the Steel Pier, the performing horses, and the delicious Italian meals of various pastas, veal and chicken parmesan dinners with my parents at Patrina’s – an authentic dining spot for guineas, old and young. And, as my Aunt Patti would say “they cooked up some good f*ckin’ sauce!” (this previous post explains a bit more about Aunt Patti http://madnessmomandme.com/2009/12/aunt-pattis-hair-nest-the-twitty-birds).
(Italian Lesson: gambling house = casinò, casa da gioco)
Back to the beginning of my story: One of my favorite memories was when my dad, my bro and I were at one of Trump’s casinos and we saw “The Donald” himself walking right in front of us and, without missing a beat, my brother ran straight up to him and yelled out “YO, TRUMP! YOU OWE MY DAD MONEY!” Donald turned around and asked “Oh yeah? And why is that may I ask?” My brother said “because my dad lost money up in here, Trump” . A pretty friendly Donald with his multi-colored cinnabon swirl of a hair-do just smiled and kept on walking with his cronies. I was cracking up, dad was shaking his head, most likely hoping secretly that Trump may just decide to pull out a Benjamin or two and say, “here you go, man“. Well, no such luck, but it makes for a cute little story.
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