Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gone with the Winds

The credit card statements are in, the pile of laundry is done, and the Geezer is on a diet. It’s time to assess results of our recent foray to the Lake Michigan shore to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Most of the balance sheet entries are on the plus side.

We brought back six bottles of what promise to be some really great wines. Beautiful wife Sandy made the selections after sampling (I was driving) lots of fine products of Michigan’s oldest winery and some more at a nearby competitor.

We returned with memories of great dining, from an elegant filet mignon dinner across the border in an Indiana supper club to the best offerings of two local hot spots in the quaint little city of New Buffalo.

We now can admire a few new doodads purchased in several shops in New Buffalo and points north of there along the lakeshore. The usual summer tourist crowds had returned home, so shopping was a fun, leisurely experience.

Sandy finished up four nights of our attempts to lose the family fortune at the Four Winds Casino by coming home a $100 winner.

The Four Winds is a luxurious hotel-casino owned by the Pokagon Tribe of Potawatomi Indians. It is a huge establishment carved out of the woods on tribal lands situated about 75 miles east of Chicago. Among other features designed to take financial revenge on anyone who may have wronged the Indians in the past are 3,000 slot machines. If a smaller casino opened last month by the tribe at another location is included, there is nearly one slot per Indian. The tribe has 4,300 members.

I do not at all begrudge the Pokagons or other tribes the riches they are accumulating by taking advantage of a unique legal position in the U.S. and exploiting a widespread human weakness. Anyone with just a dash of common sense knows if you hang around a casino long enough you’ll come home broke, not with extra cash as Sandy did. She quit when she was ahead. Most don’t ever get ahead, much less pocket any winnings.

Well aware of the likely outcome of visiting Four Winds, I packed an old shirt with my other stuff.

Don’t be surprised if you happen to pass through tribal lands near Lake Michigan and see a Pokagon wearing a faded green T-shirt proclaiming: Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl Champions, 1997. The tribe won it fair and square.


schmidleysscribblins, said...

My Aunt Marge and her neighbors fought the establishment of a waterfront casino in Sheboygan. In the end, the many retired teachers who lived in Aunt Marge's building, sitting on prime waterfront in Sheboygan, won the cassino fight but lost the battle to hang onto their building.

An investor from Chidago turned out all the renters who had lived in the building since their teaching days (40 years or so) and "renovated" the building into luxury condos for the wealthy young city folk from Chicago. Somethings gotta give don't you think? Dianne

Big John said...

"POKAgons" ... Good name for a tribe of casino owners. :-)