Casino man Steve Wynn nearly brought down the house Monday at St. Viator Catholic Church during the funeral for his friend and mentor, Jackie Gaughan.
As the undisputed king of downtown casinos, Gaughan often helped Wynn early in his career. Although Wynn’s oratory brought laughter and a perhaps few tears, it was his simple description of Gaughan that perhaps most distilled the Omaha native’s character.
“This guy Jackie Gaughan had friends at every end of the spectrum,” Wynn said.
He did, indeed.
Among the many faces in the crowd at the service were pallbearers Jack Binion, Kenny Epstein, Joe Woody, Frank Toti, Bill Boyle, Mike Nolan, Tony Gurovsky, Steve Delmont, and Tito Tiberti.
Wynn, Tiberti, Lawrence Epstein and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reminisced about their friend, but I would bet a paycheck everyone in attendance had their own special story about the affable Gaughan.
Former Sen. Richard Bryan, longtime Culinary union leader D. Taylor, former casino man Bernie Sindler (who worked for Gaughan decades ago) were also in attendance.
Sindler might have been the last guy to deal a poker hand to Gaughan, who had recently begun playing down at a local seniors center.
METRO-TV 3: Call it a coincidence, perhaps, but skeptics have to be wondering why Metro officers have made multiple stops of KSNV-TV, Channel 3, personnel near the television station on Foremaster Lane.
The stops come in the wake of the station’s bruising series of reports about abuses of the department’s helicopter policy.
CHASING AMY: You have to hustle overtime to keep up with the latest development in actress/snowboarder Amy Purdy’s amazing life. Not only did she recently score a bronze medal in snowboarding in Sochi in the Paralympic Games, but now she is tearing up the floor on “Dancing With the Stars.”
The Cimarron-Memorial High grad and Las Vegas native is an inspiration and should make the whole community proud.
COOKIE MONSTERS: Downtown is well-known as a good place to find a cocktail just about anywhere, but today the Downtown Grand is playing host to a private event that is sure to bring out the milk drinker in anyone. It is a Girl Scout Cookie Bake-Off with chefs from Triple George Grill, The Commissary and Stewart + Ogden. Girl Scouts from Troop No. 41 are set to serve as quality control. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the local Girl Scout Council.
Although the event is private, the restaurants plan to temporarily add the treats to their menus.
GOOD COP: Former Chicago Crime Commission chief investigator Wayne Johnson knows almost as much about the history of the mob in Las Vegas as he does about the Outfit in his own town. With a career that includes 25 years with the Chicago Police Department, Johnson now teaches college.
In his spare time, he has written a heavy review of the history of organized crime in Chicago called “A History of Violence.”
And, of course, no history of Chicago violence would be complete without numerous links to Las Vegas. The usual suspects from the last violent gasps of the mobbed-up old Stardust are mentioned in some detail.
ON THE BOULEVARD: Comprehensive Cancer Centers was mentioned on “The Today Show” recently for its embrace of Abby’s Purple Bag Project and the efforts of a 5-year-old girl to create and deliver care packages to Southern Nevada cancer patients.
BOULEVARD II: The $18 million Robert T. Eglet Advocacy Center, christened Wednesday at 400 S. Seventh St., is being called the largest privately funded building to open downtown in the past decade. The property was first developed by Las Vegas founding father Charles “Pop” Squires.
BOULEVARD III: The Rape Crisis Center, which now offers counselors who speak Spanish, is always seeking volunteers. Information: 385-2153. … High Country News (hcn.org) featured the cancer cluster mystery at Fallon in a recent issue.
Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 702-383-0295. Follow him on Twitter @jlnevadasmith.