Sunday, July 3, 2022

HISTORIC BLACK VEGAS | A Historical Mystery

June 19, 2022 by  
Filed under Highlights

Claytee D. White

A Historical Mystery

BY CLAYTEE D. WHITE

I just returned from the ceremony at the Historic Westside Legacy Park. Twenty additional nominees were inducted into the park to honor their contributions to the progress of the Black community. Since my pieces are always on the serious side, I decided to relate a relatively humorous story and have you guess the person that this happened to. The answer lies among the twenty new honorees.

In the early 1970s Black dealers were hired in some of the Strip hotels. Jim Crow policies had prevented Blacks from securing those lucrative jobs, in great numbers, prior to this time period.

After a few years of employment, one of those dealers mentioned that he was looking for a home to purchase. This inquiry got back to one of the MOB bosses who had a house for sale. The mob boss approached the dealer and told him about his home just across Highland Street from the Westside and told this dealer that he would carry the papers so a bank loan would not be necessary. Soon, they struck a deal and the dealer and his family moved into a beautiful home in a wonderful neighborhood of mid-century modern homes.

Monthly payments were made in person in an office located in a nondescript building not that far from the Las Vegas Strip. These more than reasonable payments were made on time for about five years and suddenly the office appeared vacant. After many visits to the building to make the payment, no one was ever found in the office. The door was locked no matter the time of day or the day of the week the dealer tried to make the mortgage payment. Finally, the dealer went to an attorney, followed all legal procedures in cases like this, and owned the home outright after five years of payments rather than the thirty years that most of us sign up for. The lien holder was never located. This was definitely a deal that the dealer wisely did not refuse.

I thought about this story a few weeks ago when two bodies were found in Lake Mead and then again today when I saw this honoree at Legacy Park. Do you know this dealer?

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