Papa Vegas

  • Location of meeting: Moscow Russia
  • Home: Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • Description: A very big man with glasses and short, thinning hair. He has a loud voice that carries, similar to that of a sporting announcer and is most likely in his early 50s.
  • Characteristics: Very talkative, yet a friendlyand warm personality. Can easily draw people around and become the center of attention.

My Encounter

One December evening, I came back to the hostel after a long day at work. It had been a standard day so far, nothing out of the ordinary. That was until I opened the door and walked in the hostel's common room. There he sat in the center of the room, a larger man roughly in his 50s with a big booming voice. He was quite unlike the standard quiet and reserved Russian guest as he quickly introduced himself and did not hesitate to make his presence known by grabbing everyone's attention through story, just like a seasoned entertainer. It was no surprise to find out that not only was this man an American, but that he was also from Las Vegas.

Over the next week, Papa Vegas (as he came to be known) saw to is that no one ever sat in silence. If he was in the room, within seconds, you would be drawn into conversation, often without even realizing it, as he had this uncanny ability to charm and relate to people. Even when it came to me and I previously mentioned living in Providence RI, he happened to recall the entire city, as if by photographic memory, and drew me into a discussion about the neighborhood Fox Point. It felt like talking to an old friend from long ago, which, I guess, is the skill of a true entertainer.

The Legend

Once upon a time in the not so distant past, the fabled Nevada city, known to the world as Las Vegas, was about to collapse into itself. The various mob families, Nevada politicians, and Federal Gaming Commission that had held the city together for so many years was starting to become undone. There was no longer any bond of trust, tensions were at an all time high, and organized crime related hits were up 70% from years past. Something needed to be done to bring all the sides back together, and something needed to be done fast.

It was at this time, one of the mob family patriarchs got an idea. Word had been traveling around the city about this new entertainer in town. He was said to have a big booming voice, highly relatable personality, and was able to incorporate a little bit of everything (i.e. magic, acrobatics, animal tricks, music, dance) into his performances. Maybe this guy could be the solution to bring everyone together again. The mob patriarch decided to take the chance, and, staking his entire reputation on the line, made the suggestion they all go to a performance. To his surprise, they all agreed.

The day of the show, the mob patriarch was in a nervous frenzy. What if the show wasn't any good? What if no one liked it and everything got worse? Vegas as a whole would be doomed! Then the show began... and within seconds, all of his fears were put to rest. The entertainer gave the performance of a lifetime, and had such a open and friendly personality, none of the feuding groups could be mad at each other any longer. After the show they reconciled their differences and the city was saved.

As for the entertainer, he soon dropped his given name and adopted a new and more fitting stage name: Pappa Vegas. He now travels the world, easing tensions in the most heavily conflicted areas with his personality and entertainment.