Being Dutch, I only know this neon cowboy (with the waving arm) from movies we watched on tv. Staying on the Strip and with the Neon Museum closed (boohoo) this month, I took the bus to the Old City Centre.
O yeah, Golden Nuggit, here I come!
Then my heart broke.
I got out of the bus and just couldn't believe my eyes. America, what have you done?!?
Fremont Street... 15 September 2012... I nearly cried when I saw this...
Pilars blocking the famous cowboy?? (and the neon cowgirl) then the Golden Nugget...where are the typical shaped corners of the building???
photo: Judy Green - Fremont St. '70/'80s
Fremont St. opposite direction 2012Ok, the 4 Queens looks like the old Golden Nugget now, but nothing else is still there... what a deception...they call this the Fremont Experience... OMG!! In Europe we like to treasure old sites, and this should be considered as one...why don't Americans treasure their cultural heritage??
In 1951 the Pioneer Club did away with its cactus and covered-wagon neon signs and replaced them with thiswell-known and long-lived, Las Vegas icon-landmark. In its early days the cowboy's glowing cigarette would emit a puff of smoke, the arm would swing and a loudspeaker would boom out the famous words: "Howdy Podner".
Yes, I was right, the arm moved! Now the only moving part is the mouth and eye (neon, no sound)...let's have a look at the old days:
This is the kind of photo I wanted to take...
Photos and text: In Old Las Vegas.com
The Golden Nuggit had a lot of different shapes...but this is the one in my head...this is the one that stayed, even though I never been to Vegas before...gone baby, gone.