The Neon Boneyard

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  • Published 20120904
  • ISBN: 9781921922596
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE ROAD TO the Neon Boneyard is littered with evidence that even the glitz and wealth of Las Vegas is not immune to the economic downturn so evident in other American cities. Our cab driver, Bryan, is from Denver. A sardonic white man in his sixties, he looks like he hasn’t slept for a month. He came to Las Vegas looking for a job after the company he worked for in Colorado closed its doors. He is typical of the taxi drivers we encounter on this trip, all older men, often with dramatic histories, still working despite their age. We were ferried to the airport in New Orleans by an ailing but affable eighty-three-year-old former police officer who had served his country in Korea. I asked why he was driving a cab, and not retired on his police and Navy pensions. His grimace spoke volumes.

Bryan wearily points out places that might interest the kind of anti-tourist who is willing to pay $25 to be driven to a dusty lot on the edge of the desert to see a bunch of old signs. He has not visited the Neon Boneyard, but he knows of it. We pass a pawn shop with a huge queue outside, stretching around the block.

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