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Best of Star Brooks

Gaming Guru

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One Nation, Indivisible

21 September 2001

I, like most people I know, am still reeling with shock and horror in the aftermath of the morning of Tuesday, September 11th... the images burned into my mind, like the minds of all Americans, as we witnessed the day, and the moment, that our lives would forever be changed.

The nation has held its breath, waiting to see what will unfold. The financial markets were paralyzed for days, and just now is it really setting in that this really did happen, to our home, to our fellow citizens... in what was to have been just another day at the office, working in our protected individual freedom and comfort zones. How rudely those bubbles would be forever burst, how closely connected we would be in spirit in just the matter of a few moments in time -- these were thoughts that just didn't occur to us.

Not only the airline industry is reeling, but also the travel and tourism industry... our nation's largest combined industry, was sent skidding... with the future so uncertain, and people virtually afraid to take to the air again after four planes were hijacked in one single morning... what will we do?

This morning, CNN announced that hotels and casinos in Las Vegas had laid off hundreds of workers and that business had gone down 33%. Traveling through my own local casinos, at 4 AM, I would have to say that I have seen livelier times, even in the wake of the Gulf War, even in the wake of the nearby San Francisco earthquake, I think that was 1989.... Only the weekend will tell, will people seek solace in the mountains, in the casinos? Last weekend, it was busy, but the mood was muted, as people congregated in the sports lounges and the bars... with televisions focused, and people focused, gambling became sort of an idle past time.... something one automatically sort of escaped with... even with their eyes riveted to the television screens, gambling was still "something to do"... something to try to distract ourselves with in our efforts to pad the horrors of the new reality before us.

It has left me feeling helpless... a gnat in the universe... feeling insignificant, wanting to express my sorrows, my condolences, and my grief to all of humanity. In my effort to share that, I have volunteered space on the TahoeGamingGuide.com in an attempt to "do something" to a local group, "Tahoe Businesses Who Care"... And I have offered my services with the digital camera, to make an online community-wide sympathy card... There is a fund-raising event being held on September 25th at the Horizon Casino and I want to take proceeds from the photographs, and donate them to charity. I don't have anything left to give... but it seemed like it was something positive I could contribute. I also have put up a new message board, and while it is "Tahoe's Voice of America..." everyone is welcome to contribute. I also will post pictures of those missing, and killed, along with messages and memories... no charge if people want to e-mail me their photos and messages. I can be reached at: star@tahoegamingguide.com .

God Bless America. It is the home of the brave.