2005 LASD Roundup Article
The 2005 LASD Roundup has gone into the history books and, believe it or not, planning is already underway for the 2006 event. Next year’s Roundup will be held April 2nd through April 5th, 2006 and again at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. This now traditional gathering of retirees has become quite an annual affair. This year 750 people were in attendance over the four-day Roundup.
While a few folks flew into town via the Laughlin-Bullhead International Airport, most arrived by car and collected a bonus while passing through the Mojave Desert via Interstate 40. For a change there was something else besides the Lionel-like procession of Union-Pacific freight trains moving across the landscape. This year’s heavy rains had turned a usually placid desert floor into lush patterns of green and gold. The surrounding fields and hills were alive with poppies, lupine, cream cups, owl’s clover and coreopsis. One eye was on the countryside and one eye searched for marauding CHP.
Retirees began arriving and registering on Sunday, April 3rd. This year, the spacious Riverview Room was used as the daily “briefing room” where retirees gathered to enjoy each other’s company. This large private space is literally on top of the Colorado River. The kind folks at the Riverside provided complimentary coffee, tea, water and pastries. A no host bar was also available. The big event however, was Wednesday night’s banquet. That was also held in the Riverview Room. More than 600 retirees and spouses were able to make it to the banquet.
There are about seventy-two hours of completely free time between the opening of the registration desk on Sunday and the banquet on Wednesday. Laughlin, besides being home to large, first class resort hotels and casinos, is pretty much of a lay back community. Casual attire is the rule of the day. Activities abound. When they weren’t meeting and greeting old friends or collecting daily door prizes, retirees were having a great time in the casino, out sightseeing and shopping, or involved in one of the many events held in tandem with the Roundup. This year, military artist Scott Mills was in the hospitality room showing his remarkable limited edition locker room print, which could be customized and adapted to reflect individual LASD careers and assignments.
Firestone, and West Hollywood Station alumni held luncheons. Kudos to Irene Balenger (WHD) and Harry Penny and Brad Mills (FPK) for their hard work. Temple Station retirees held an afternoon get-together. Thanks to Sue Maxwell for the fine work there.
The Slots Tournament was Tuesday morning’s big event. What an awesome dissonance of flashing lights, bells and gongs as contestants pushed and pulled on slots, struggling to outdo one another in the rush to be the top gun. This year’s winner was Wes McBride. He won $770.00 in the Tournament. The great spin-off here is that the Tournament also raised $2,190 for the Riverside Children’s Fund. Way to go slot players!
The fun loving Red Hat Gang, led by — get this– her “Fluffiness” Ellen Spiller, moved unobtrusively about the Riverside in their red hats and purple dresses. They put on a breakfast and hat-decorating contest. The next day they had a luncheon and fashion show. These ladies got game and most of ‘em don’t even golf!
In the world of duckhooks, divots and double bogeys, it goes without saying that where deputies gather, golf will follow. Laughlin was no exception. Once again Denny Flick organized this year’s Roundup Golf Tournament. Held at Desert Lakes Golf Course, he also managed to order up perfect weather. There were serious amounts of monetary recognition awarded to players at Wednesday evening’s banquet.
HR-218, the so-called national LEO CCW law has been passed by congress and is now being implemented in law enforcement agencies throughout the country. LASD has its own program in place to qualify retirees seeking lawful interstate CCW authorization. Lo and behold, LASD Range Staff came to Laughlin to qualify retirees! 158 retirees completed the HR 218 Qualification Course. That happened because Sheriff Baca lent his full support to the undertaking. Thanks Sheriff and thank you Sgt. Dave Nell and Deputy Ed Corrette. The word is that these two maintained their composure and performed flawlessly in spite of the abundance of green ammo and a few uncooperative rounds that needed the assistance of a hammer and screwdriver to clear the barrel.
Okay. Okay. You active duty folks reading this might snicker and shake your heads now, but pretty soon you’ll be in a similar situation. Besides, retirees understand there are other things as well as firearms that won’t fire. And, if the Governor has his way with our collective retirement plan, we may all find ourselves even more limited in our Golden Years.
The Roundup ended with a banquet Wednesday night. More than 650 people were on hand for the affair. The social hour started at 4:00 and things only got better from there. It was a first rate buffet and no one left hungry. The 50/50 Raffle prizes awarded were generous and numerous. Thanks to all the contributors who hustled and gave of their time and resources to make it happen. Some of the more standout awards went to Pat and Dianna Corrington and Marvin and Mary Love. They shared the prize for the Annual Storm Murcott “I-Traveled-The-Farthest Award” at 2700.99 Miles and 2700 miles respectively.
LASD retirees are especially indebted to Joel Barez and his fellow Directors at the Riverside Hotel & Casino, Joel, in another life, was a Clark County Sheriff’s sergeant in the days before that office combined with the city and became Las Vegas Metro PD. He helped to make the Roundup the successful and enjoyable experience we all found it to be.
The Roundup is beyond the experimental stage. It has become the annual focal point of what most of call ”Moon’s List”, a catchall phrase for a vision started by retired Sgt. Moon Mullen. Moon had an idea about starting an e-mailing list. For the first time, a very large and disjointed group of people who shared a distinct background were able to quickly and easily communicate among themselves. They were able to tie into facets of LASD’s information flow, stay informed, share common concerns and, most importantly, become a loosely organized collection of folks whose main purpose is to stay in touch. Thank you Moon & Robyn. Thank you Ollie & Carolyn.
LASD is a large organization. Gathering so many retired members, spouses and close friends in one room is a history-spanning event. It is at once an assembly of personalities and memories. The recollections of this very special group are vivid, poignant, sometimes violent, frequently astonishing and just flat-out unique. And yet, for a few days, there is sense of appreciation and mutual admiration as we examine each other’s faces, grasp hands and place our minds in scan mode, recalling the events of a lifetime.