Vegas Showboy?

She paused between dance numbers and said, "I would like a man from the audience to join me onstage for this number." She picked me!

Granted, this is a story from another time. It was 1979, the first real trip to Las Vegas. My wife of eight months and I flew up on Hughes Airwest from Phoenix. Me being a budding high roller, we stayed at Caesars Palace, in a suite partially paid for by the house.

I had been there a few times with my father-in-law, who was a true gambler. His trick was to give me his number from the junket flight, and I got credit for spending wads of cash on the tables.

We got tickets for a 10 p.m. show with Flip Wilson. Front-row table, dinner and drinks, living large. The warm-up act for Wilson was Joey Heatherton, a famous dancer from the '60s. As she paraded around and danced, I was in awe of her real-life beauty, long gams, and abundant freckles.

She paused between dance numbers and said, "I would like a man from the audience to join me onstage for this number." She picked me! The crowd was large, and I felt insecure about my ability to dance with this legend. Plus, once I got close, her beauty and stage presence were radiating power and seduction toward me.

The Arthur Murray lessons paid off, and I managed to get through the dance number without embarrassment to my new wife and the public.

Feeling good, we hit the craps table later, and I won $990. The night was golden, but the main act stunk—Flip was not funny, but I did not even care.

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