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master net maker, ninety-nine-year-old
Vol. 7, No. 4
August/September 2004


The Grand Illusion 

by Lee Siegel
photos by 
Dana Edmunds

It's dummies galore
in the prop room of
Vegas' Planet Mirth

Las Vegas is a magic show. Itís a flamboyant illusion shimmering in the barrens of the Mojave Desert, a fanciful city conjured up for pleasure (not to mention profit), a glittered mirage, as the name of one hotel and casino readily concedes. That itís all make-believe allows you to believe unbelievable things in Vegas, at least for a while. I was willing to bet ten bucks that the ball spinning in the roulette wheel might magically come to rest in the twenty-two spot, because my birthday falls on the twenty-second of July. It didnít. But that didnít shake the amusement of temporarily suspending reason and logic. Thereís gratification in fantasy: Thatís the pleasure of Vegas and thatís the pleasure of magic.