2004 LASD Roundup Article
The distant lightning strikes around Sitgreaves Pass northeast of Bullhead City provided a dramatic welcome to those retirees arriving Sunday for the opening day of the 2004 LASD Roundup. This year’s Roundup was held at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort and Casino next to the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nevada, April 4-7. By Wednesday evening some 718 retirees, their loved ones and a smattering of soon-to-be retired members had visited the four day retirement celebration. If there was a common trait characterizing retirees, it had to be the broad smiles on everyone’s faces. Hey! We’re all still here! Isn’t that sweet!
For the uninitiated, the Roundup is now in it’s 5th year. Each year is better than the last in terms of attendance, activities, accommodations and the good-natured camaraderie that mark the event. It’s an open invitation for all retires to gather once yearly in this desert resort town and do nothing more than have a good time. The only thing “formal” about the Roundup is the Wednesday evening banquet and that’s somewhat overstating the nature of that affair. If you call seating space for 618 people, a panoramic view of the Colorado River, a sumptuous buffet and an abundance of spirits, formal, then so be it. If you noted the first rate menu, the casual attire, the table hopping and the company of the most patient, tolerant and charming women to be found anywhere, you might call it informal.
This year’s affair was organized and hosted by Moon and Robyn Mullen, retirees who masquerade as teenagers. Moon, of course, is the founder and owner-operator of Moon’s List, a free subscription e-mail service which, more than any other single factor, has managed to tie together a huge and diverse group of retirees. It’s an electronic idea where information of interest to retirees is exchanged, periodic heads-up alerts are to be found and where some 1800+ retirees stay plugged into the LASD loop to one extent or another. The List makes the Roundup happen.
The banquet is the high point of the festivities. Others might argue that the golf tournaments are best. Many of the ladies can make a strong case for shopping.
And, of course, there are more than a few games of chance scattered about the Riverside and other similar establishments throughout metropolitan Laughlin. The retirees even had their very own Slots Tournament. Ike Sabean and Jacque Franco did an outstanding job coordinating the event and besides great prizes for the winners, the Slots competition raised $1800 for the Riverside Children’s Fund. Most would agree, however, that the hospitality room presented the best opportunity to engage in the most popular pastime—visiting with old friends.
The hospitality room was the central meeting point for each day’s activities. Complimentary refreshments were always on hand and, miraculously and well before the sun set over the yardarm, a no-host bar would swing into action. There were commemorative T-Shirts and other kinds of memorabilia available for purchase. There were door prize drawings and the winning numbers were posted daily.
ALADS, POPA and the Sheriff’s Relief Association helped to sponsor the Roundup and representatives were on hand with loads of goodies for the taking. Then, there were the Red Hats. All 91 of ‘em. They were everywhere. Always laughing and having a good time, dressed in purple with outrageous red hats perched atop. Talk about an active group of fun loving ladies!
The evening of the banquet saw a line of party goers lined up an hour and a half before the doors opened. Folks were really intent on getting a good seat and just expanding the amount of time they had to mix it up and visit with other retirees. Once inside the Starview Room, there was still plenty of time to do that before the buffet line opened. It took a bit to get all 618 of us through the buffet line. One had to navigate past tables loaded with Roast Prime Rib of Beef, Breast of Chicken Rosemary, Vegetarian Lasagna and side dishes galore. But, simply standing in that line turned out to be an event in itself. People spotted new faces, grasped hands, exchanged embraces, even friendly insults; sometimes all three. An exquisite dessert table provided another excuse to it all over again.
Moon started the after-dinner remarks off with a welcome and acknowledged all those who had traveled so far to be there. It looks like Key West was the place farthest trekked from. Moon reminded us that the last time we met, the Iraq War had just begun. He noted that a year later, events were again heating up and American men and women in the military, LASD folks among them, were at increased risk. Moon also recognized the large number of veterans among us.
Frank Parks was specifically recognized for his role as a WWII B-24 bombardier.
And, it goes without saying that were a number of other veterans in the room who
not only served with honor and distinction in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf and Iraq Wars and many other unrevealed covert combat actions. Many are highly decorated heroes, some of whom were also wounded in action.
Pat Mihovil, on behalf of Sheriff Baca, awarded pins to Mary Anthony, Betty June Bailey, Joan Holms and Marv Love, in recognition of their spouses who have left us since we last met.
There were at least six octogenarians in the room—Merv Neis, Bob Ray, Fred Savage, Frank Parks, Tony Daleo and Dick Robles. There were undoubtedly others, but they managed to elude discovery.
Besides the door prizes awarded for the daily drawing, Moon announced numerous cash awards for those who bought the blue 50/50 raffle tickets. The raffle provided substantial seed money for next year’s event and made a number of “investors” very happy. Many thanks to Ollie and Carolyn Taylor who work so hard behind the scene and for arranging for all the door prizes
Denny Flick had the task of dealing with the world of double eagles, double bogeys and dunks. Prizes went out to a number of golfers. All that experience writing SH-R-49’s probably helped in keeping the scorecards straight!. The tournaments are a source of great pleasure for those devoted to the sport and Denny is to be congratulated for his hard work in getting that part of the Roundup organized, up and running.
Special recognition needs to be given to Joel Barez, Director of Marketing at the Riverside and a honorably retied Clark County Sheriff’s sergeant. He helped with many of the details in our being at the Riverside. If plans go right, he may have a surprise for next year’s Roundup. Mark your calendars now for April 3-6, 2005.
Charlie and Linda Engelbart seemed to be everywhere. They stood in repeatedly when help was needed on the registration desk. Charlie was the man on the spot and if Moon couldn’t fix it, Charlie could. Great work guys! Also a big thanks to Bobbi Pease and Sue Hendricks who helped Robyn sort out the many door prizes.
Duane Preimsberger served as MC. He fielded a “call” from Sheriff Baca and answered complaints about fish lines in the slots, doggie bags seen in close proximity to the buffet and the cumshaw artists molesting the maid’s supply carts. In a more serious vein, he offered a tribute to all honorably retired Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff’s. He focused on the badge, a Badge of Honor. He reminded all of us of the dedication, commitment and sacrifice that each and every retired deputy has made. Now, others have taken our places and continue to make the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the world. As Duane said,” we can all be proud. “