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SLC to LV Via Zion National Park #50YearsAgoToday #CaliforniaTrip

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

On Monday, June 7, 1941, we left the home of friends in Salt Lake City and drove to Las Vegas, via Zion National Park.

I remember the tunnel with the windows - that's Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel that was opened in 1930.

My brother and I stayed in the Orbit Inn Motel room in Las Vegas with a sitter that night, after tiring ourselves out in the swimming pool.

My parents had an adult night out that I can re-create from Mother's notes and a flyer.

They enjoyed dinner and a show at the Fiesta Room at the Hotel Fremont. When it opened in 1956, the Hotel Fremont was the tallest building in Nevada. It still exists, now called Fremont Hotel and Casino. It's part of the Fremont Street Experience, a pedestrian mall in downtown Las Vegas.

The show was George Gobel and Fran Jeffries. Mother described it as "Great!!"

SLC to LV via Zion National Park #50YearsAgoToday #CaliforniaTrip

George Gobel worked in St. Louis as a very young man. He had his own half-hour comedy series on television from 1954-1960. Because of YouTube, he may be best remembered for this bit on the Johnny Carson show in 1969 when he managed to upstage both Dean Martin and Bob Hope with a series of jokes that are both of the time and still funny:

Fran Jeffries was a singer and dancer. She mostly performed in night club shows and on TV variety shows. She appeared in a handful of movies in the 1960s, including the original The Pink Panther. This number ends with Peter Sellers awkwardly dancing alongside her:

Except for a few coins in a slot machine that I'll tell you about tomorrow, I would have sworn that no one in the Weese family gambled during our time in Las Vegas. But, according to my mother's expense report, $3.45 went to gambling that night. For context, their dinner and show cost $16.45.

SLC to LV via Zion National Park #50YearsAgoToday #CaliforniaTrip

About Joy Weese Moll

a librarian writing about books

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