Thoughts: From Chocolate to John Gotti

Some visitors to the Pioneer Saloon a week ago arrived on two wheels. The rest of us came on four.
Photo by Diane Taylor

One of my best friends, it seems, is the gal who does my hair every week. We exchange news (with candid commentary) and she shows me pictures. Her most recent photo was of her son and infant granddaughter–both smiling. A great photo. She asks about my gentleman friend whose hair she has cut three times. Jack is doing great, I told her Thursday–almost as if he’s been given a reprieve. He is still a little weak in the knees, but otherwise, his energy is coming back and he’s planning so many things, this dame is getting tired!

But I do have some spare time. I look at Facebook most days and though I am not a cook, I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes. Many sound great and I copy them for some future experimentation. If I cooked every day and lived to 150, I’d never use up all the recipes I’ve clipped. I also have a large box of food from NeutriSystem and that’s the food I should be honoring.

However, one recipe particularly intrigued me because I’m a chocolate lover. It was called a “Cocoa Depression Cake” and was simple–it just involved putting all the ingredients in a bowl–mixing thoroughly and baking. I made the cake last week. I made an icing I invented (sort of) from melted candy pieces. The result was a VERY chocolate cake. Even small pieces were deadly sweet…but delicious. Two mornings after baking the cake, I stepped on the scale–two pounds heavier than two days earlier. Oops. I vowed that my next cooking experience would be steamed broccoli.

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a pleasure wherever one looks.
Photo by Diane Taylor

I had gotten a gift-day small electric steamer from the Tuscany Casino and found it worked very well. Keeping my vow, I purchased several big stalks of broccoli and was determined to steam them. My gentleman friend who had enjoyed broccoli in the past said he wasn’t interested. I would get fiber and nutrients from broccoli and I knew I could use both. So I had one very large serving (a serving that should have fed two hungry people) of steamed broccoli. With the steam tenderness and a bit of butter–delicious.

However, the next night I had a too-much-gas-in-the-stomach ache, first one in ages. I couldn’t sleep but had the strength to get to my computer. Could the broccoli have been the culprit? Apparently yes, said a number of sites. Several Tums and time…and I felt better. I didn’t need the internet to tell me to eat smaller portions of broccoli. I studied Home Economics & Journalism in college. You’d think I would have learned about broccoli by now. But no.

Ready for some good news? My gentleman friend is still feeling quite good. A month earlier, he was so ill I never would have imagined us going out and having fun again. But we have gone out and enjoyed some not-too-costly local activities. A week ago Saturday, we joined friends Tom and Dorothy and went to a movie (“Book Club: The Next Chapter”). The movie was fine. The old girls who starred in the movie looked good. Then on Sunday Jack drove us 26 miles to Goodsprings, NV for a hamburger at the Pioneer Saloon. All went well. Monday, we took a drive to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area to look around. Then Tuesday night we went to the Tuscany Piazza Room and listened to Michael Grimm, a talent even without a band, just his guitar.

The Mob Museum court room served as a theater for Geoff Schumacher’s interview of John Gleeson, right.
Photo by Diane Taylor

And finally, on Wednesday night, we went to the Mob Museumo be part of a sellout crowd to hear a program featuring John Gleeson, lead prosecutor in the 1992 case that put John Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family, in jail for life. (Gotti died in 2002.) Geoff Schumacher, the museum’s Vice President of Exhibits and Programs, interviewed Gleeson on stage, obviously having done a good deal of research on his subject. Gleeson, an attorney, was a wonderful speaker recounting his personal history, his first case against Gotti which ended up in an acquittal and his next case that resulted in conviction. He credited the FBI and his prosecutorial team for being the folks that helped him finally convict “Teflon Don”.

I knew of John Gotti, but I did not know the details Gleeson presented. An hour’s conversation. Fascinating. Gleeson explained why life and research to verify memory issues took him 30 years to write a book about his Gotti experiences. The book is called The Gotti Wars; Taking Down America’s Most Notorious Mobster. It was available after the program at the museum and the line to purchase was long. Make a note folks: Get on the Mob Museum mailing list and don’t miss their programs. What a night.

And come Saturday, our plan was to participate in a very local poker tournament and then visit the Stirling Club and see a program by magician Mac King. On the go–while we can.


One response on “Thoughts: From Chocolate to John Gotti

  1. Wow! So glad your gentleman friend and you have been getting out more now that he’s doing better. Your wealth of interests expresses itself in such rich and varied activities! Thank you for sharing. Makes some of us not quite as active a bit envious!

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