Collections of old things long dead


NAME: Aegasteroceras affsagittarium   AGE: Jurassic
FORMATION: Frodingham ironstone
FOUND: England

How do you know when you career is over; well it is a pretty good sign when you are ready for you own museum.  A museum can provide the trappings of old and fading entertainers  to get one last chance to earn a little cash and satisfy the cravings of a performer for the attention and the fans for their hero – that is if someone is willing to put up some cash to create a museum for them.  Las Vegas is the perfect place for such shrines. Not long ago I wrote about the end of the Liberace museum and the end of his career alive and dead.  Liberace’s career is over so long ago that even his museum’s career is over – a hundred people gathered this week in the Las Vegas street outside the museum to protest its closing.

Within a day, a new fossilizing entertainer stepped up to take over Liberace’s slot with his own museum; Wayne Newton wants to build a museum and theater near his “ranch” and conduct tours of the ranch as part of a new era in Wayne Newton’s Danke Schön world.  One has to give him credit though, he no longer thinks he can draw crowds of thousands, so he is only planning an intimate 600-seat theater; it will allow Newton and his loyal fans to reach out and touch each other, as long as they both survive.  Newton’s  career spans some 50 years, and while it was not always centered in Las Vegas, the town is now a major part of his persona and at one time he was said to be part of persona of Las Vegas and thus he became Mr. Las Vegas.  So it is no surprise that he is trying to hold on to a last little bit of fame and attention in the town where he has been so successful.  And now he is getting ready to join the legends that went before him; The king is dead long live the king – Liberace, Elvis and Newton are marching on, but the parade is nearing the end – who do you suppose might be next to join them?

In other museum news, the Mob Museum has lost its state funding – it seems in times of economic downturn there is no money for celebrating the guys with guns and cash that once ruled the Strip.  The museum, which is expected to cost about $42 million to construct, is being funded through a variety of sources: local, state and federal grants, matching grants and the city’s redevelopment agency.  The state funding was not a big component, but my guess is lots of people will have better things to do with their money in these times.

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September 2010
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