The Las Vegas valley is a mighty fine place to live.
For reasons you can imagine. You're never at a loss for things to do, that’s for sure. Scare-you-witless roller coast rides a thousand feet in the sky. Best entertainers on earth playing the Strip and the Smith center.
Gambling. Shows. Shopping. Spas.
Festive week-ends like no place else. I mean come Super Bowl, if you ain’t at the game for ten big ones a seat, you want to be in the gaming lounges of any Vegas casino… and its free. Like New Year’s eve and 4th of July and Thanksgiving and Memorial day and Labor day. Every long week end is a Las Vegas holiday.
And restaurants? You got a choice of a couple of thousand every night of the week. Some of the best in the world.
Live sports?… well last year they had the most thrilling game of the college basketball season Kentucky vs North Carolina in our new hockey stadium… which will be the venue for our first professional home town hockey game this year. Football? The NFL Raiders are coming to town to play in a state of the art stadium within walking distance of over 60 thousand Strip hotel rooms.
Cheap housing. There is no real estate market in the world with the community amenities like you got here in the Vegas valley… and no real estate market that offers the same great value as what you’ll find here. Many real estate condos and houses steals out there.
The Grand Canyon is right over there south of Hoover Dam and Lake Meade. To the west is Death valley and then Hollywood. To the north, deep in the rugged Nevada interior, are your wild horses, gold prospecting and old abandoned ghost towns by the dozens. To the east and up Utah way are fantastic natural wonders.
And we got your first rate, seriously good police force. Mess with them, they’ll shoot you dead. I promise. And they’ll be no demonstrations. This is anti-Ferguson country here. Street crime hurts the tourist business and sort of goes against the local culture. Casino bosses don’t want anyone to mess with their customers, you know what I mean, and the Mayor answer their calls.
Good to hot weather all the time. 23 hospitals in the valley. 45 golf courses.
Sky diving, rock climbing, helicoptering out to some private canyon for a picnic lunch, the Bellagio fountains, people watching, the whiz-bang new city center in the heart of the Strip, people and dog parks in every nick and cranny of the valley.
AND, AND – listen to me here – AND there is F.I.O.R.E.
So what you got up there, 30 good reasons to live here in Vegas land? Which y’all can probably understand… except maybe that F.I.O.R.E.
Allow me to explain.
First here’s what it has to say about itself:
"“WHAT WE ARE…. AND WHAT WE ARE NOT.
F.I.O.R.E. is a NON CLUB CLUB which holds NON MEETINGS for NON MEMBERS for no other reason than to gather a bunch of friends once a month for a good time and to have something to eat in a semi quasi disorganized chaotic atmosphere with no pressure of any kind with the sole purpose of doing just that.
The word FIORE in Italian means FLOWER …. So what? We couldn’t care less…We use the word FIORE as an acronym for: Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events.
To be a member of this suspicious organization you must have an extremely good attitude and very low expectations.
Every member becomes President the moment he joins.
We have No purpose, No rules and No regulations.
We have No Board of Directors, No advisors, No nothing.
We are Not a charity. We are Not a political organization.
We do not discuss politics, religion, nor sex…openly at our non-events.
We do not have any blood letting ceremonies, or such.
We have No agenda other than that which we, as a non group group, decide upon at any given time.
It is a real fun and totally irreverent Non Club Club which caters solely and exclusively to Italians and Non Italians. This rule is strictly enforced. Call us racists if you want to, we don’t care. We are adamant and intransigent about this rule. You MUST BE Italian or NON Italian, period. That is that, like it or not. No exceptions. Capisce?
More importantly, if you are an uptight individual or just anal retentive, the NON CLUB CLUB F.I.O.R.E. is definitely not for you. Go somewhere else. There is a lot of good serious clubs in our city for you to join.
We do not have an open membership. It is not open to the public. ….even though the Tribune runs an ad for the FIORE…It is just a teaser to the general public…To join us you must be invited by a member in good standing…or be somewhat connected… It is required that all new applicants have, at least, the signature of 2 sponsors (or know the pass word and tokens) who are already “made presidents” of this non organized leaderless group.
Condition Si ne qua non.
To join this highly exclusive, very selective and dubious organization the fees are as follows:
An initial fee is $ 1.00 and automatically makes you a president, a First Lady (if you are married to a president) and Unattached Ladies (title being discussed). No one escapes this fee.
There is an annual due of $ 25.00 Presidents, $ 10.00 for First Ladies and $15.00 for Unattached ladies.
Widows of former Presidents are always our guests….even the I.D. badge is on us.
Your first lunch as a member could cost you $51.00 (depending on which month of the year you join – it could also be less) , and all subsequent luncheons only $25.00 if you eat or $29.95 if you don’t.
If, however, you are 80 years old, or older, you are exempt from the annual fee. You are only required to pay the $1.00 to join and expected to pay for your own lunch and that of your guests. (No one will stop you, if you are a classy guy and, insist on contributing towards the annual dues. Far be it from us to stop you from such pleasurable satisfaction).
We require you RSVP, ASAP, when you are attending any of our luncheons and/or events so we can inform the venue of the number of meals to prepare for said event. (Should you have trouble understanding the concept of RSVP we will gladly explain it to you)
REASONS FOR DISMISSAL:
Ungentlemanly behavior OR eating pizza with a knife and fork, will cause you to be immediately expelled from our midst. (We like the word MIDST. We also like the word WHILST but we seldom have a chance to use it in one of our Edicts or regular announcements.)
Please, read this letter carefully and familiarize yourself with its contents. (There may be a test)
If you feel you do not agree with any part of this letter, there is a very strong possibility that you would not feel comfortable and would not want be among us – The F.I.O.R.E. is nothing but a group of friends who get along – chances are, we would also prefer you would not be among us either. Life is too short to dance with ugly people. Plain and simple…and a little harsh.
We felt this explanation is necessary. We plan ahead trying to avoid any future testicular detonation on all parties concerned.
The Non Board Board of Non Directors Directors
That’s what F.I.O.R.E. has to say about itself.
Here’s what I say:
The membership is bed rock Las Vegans. The foundation of the industry here. It is made up of some casino people, some politicians, some doctors, some old entertainers, some stage hands, some writers, some old talent agents, some old card players, some judges, many, many lovely ladies and a CIA spook or two…
Who gratefully come monthly to see what Nelson Sardelli has in store. He is the F.I.O.R.E. alpha dog. And we are so lucky he gives himself up to our use like he does.
He sings, he dances, he tells jokes, he knows everyone that plays Vegas. He has enormous presence… plus give him a microphone and you give him life. You give him what God put him on this good earth to do, and that is to entertain.
Born in Brazil of Italian extraction, he has been a mainstay in US entertainment for most of his adult life. He played the main rooms in big Atlantic City and Vegas casinos. He’s been in multiple movies, the Letterman show, TV programs. You name it, he's been there and still knows people there. All kind of celebrities drop in at club meetings and to the man, or woman, they say... "Love you, Nelson."
Every luncheon he’s our non club MC. Every luncheon is special in its own way. Each one a unique Nelson Sardelli entertainment masterpiece. He gets good speakers who know their way around a podium, Who are both entertaining and educational. Every single one. You don't come into Nelson Sardelli's house as a speaker but that you don't know how to entertain.
Plus the singers - often those playing in Vegas lounges – just show up and if Nelson is amind, he'll give them the mike.
Though he might be best known now for being a very funny human. Part of his shtick in giving away donated prizes and non-prizes, which he will tell you, if you win, you have to take home. We’re talking nudes on velvet painting sometimes. And 8 track cassettes, some of ‘um. Though sometimes he has real treasures.
The small band that plays every meeting is top shelf, so good they can go un-noticed, but noticed, they are masters at their craft and reasons by themselves to show up.
'The venue is the Italian American club (http://www.iacvegas.com). President is Angelo Cassaro and its run by Ben Spano and Jimmy Girard, both F.I.O.R.E. non-Presidents. It is an old Las Vegas establishment that - when it is not hosting F.I.O.R.E. - serves up great Italian meals with first class lounge acts. It's real Rat Pack "Old Las Vegas." A comment on its internet web page says a lot about the joint: “People typically spend 1.5-3.5 hours here.” They do sell wine there you understand.
For some of us, the club is one of the reasons for living here. It is a Vegas original... wouldn't work anywhere else.
That uniqueness was best expressed by Marty Allen as we were leaving last Thursday after the June meeting. He was coming out by himself as we were helping Brenda into our car. He threw some wide cracks at our group and I asked him…
“Marty, you need a ride?”
And this is what he said, “Naw, I gotta guy.”
And sure enough about that time an older big guy drove up and helped Marty get in the passenger side of his car.
That’s real old Vegas right there. Mafioso. Behind the curtains talk with the stage hands
That’s F.I.O.R.E. “Naw, I gotta guy.”
You say it a couple of times and you’ll see what I mean.
F.I.O.R.E. meeting May 2017
F.I.O.R.E meeting June 2017
Nelson and his lovely wife Lorraine
Pls note in the last frame above, that the next F.I.O.R.E. meeting is 5:30 pm 8 July 2017.