From the Publisher December 2017
Max & Joanne Friedland
As days and months separate us from the tragic events of October 1, we search for answers. We scour news headlines for any indication that investigators are closer to a fuller understanding of the evil that, that evening brought. The fact that a gambler with a grudge could grab his guns and rain down misery on folks whose only mistake was being at the wrong place at the wrong time has ignited the debate on gun control in this corner of the Mojave Desert. It is not an easy debate to have, western frontier city slickers see gun ownership as a badge of honor and right of citizenship.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Las Vegans came together. Following the template created by 9:11, a sense of civic pride and love for our fellow man catalyzed a wellspring of generosity. An amazed national and international press corps reported nightly that Sin City actually had a heart, who knew!
All hands on deck, no ideological litmus tests required, people worked together to provide comfort. I happen to know the politics of many of my friends, seeing them in photographs working together; handing out food and provisions to the needy always makes me smile. A lot of these individuals under any other circumstance would not talk to each other, let alone be in the same zip code. There are many aftershocks to a disaster; some are felt months after the initial shock. One such aftershock is the gradual return to the status quo ante, well-worn political differences coming back into fashion, no more purple, what a shame.
Another aftershock, this time coming as an answer to local hospitality and entertainment’s heavenly pleas, is the news that McCarran International Airport experienced record-breaking visitor traffic last month. The show must go on, and it has, BIG time! An industry representative in the know, informs me that the week after the massacre was one of the busiest for the eating establishments and watering holes at Mandalay Bay.
In our piece, New Year New Fear, pages 32-35 we interview the authorities and discover a city that learns from tragedy. The final autopsy is not complete, but plans are in motion, and we will have the safest New Year’s Eve shindig humanly possible, at least so they say. Anyone who is crazy enough to use Las Vegas Boulevard will surely notice the installation of new safety bollards.
My family has always loved the drama of the fireworks on Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. Over the years we have trekked across the valley to find the best viewing site. Last year we split our time from NYE on the Sony to NYE in the cul de sac. Neighbors hauled out their folding chairs and to the delight of all concerned Bloomfield Court had its very own mini NYE fireworks display. In Big Bang Theory, pages 52-56, Brian Sodoma explores the behind the scenes of mega fireworks displays. He interviews the guys at Grucci Fireworks responsible for Vegas’ big bangs and talks to other technical and design experts.
Responding to the many inquiries and requests, we are reviving an earlier story concept and in the process created a DAVID tradition. Get ready for more cocktails for Hanukkah, I cannot say that I have personally tested them all, but I vow to do so before the holidays.
Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas (Yes Donald!) and whatever you say for Kwanza, as always it is our profound privilege and pleasure to see you as always in the racks.
Max D. Friedland