Shaman Ron Wheelock

Shaman Ron Wheelock

Shaman Ron Wheelock
Photos by Nikki Artale

Victoria and John Alexander hosted a cocktail party in the honor of Shaman Ron Wheelock from Iquitos, Peru at their home on Friday February 18th. Victoria, a long time advocate of the plant medicine Ayahuasca invited Shaman Ron to meet her friends in Las Vegas. I was very excited to meet him and talk about his work with the medicine plant and its healing powers through the plant spirits. In August 2009 Victoria and I went to Feather Crown, a rain forest in Ecuador to visit Shaman Don Luis and participated in several ceremonies.

Victoria Alexander & Shaman Ron Wheelock

Shaman Ron Wheelock had a dream of being a healer and went to the Amazon in Peru in November 1996. He studied with Shaman Augustin Rivas Vasqez and learned the healing powers of the plants. He has studied over 26 plants, including the Ayahusaca Plant and went on plant diets from 3 days to 30 days. Ceremonies are held a couple of times a week in his home in Peru and Ron prepares the Ayahuasca with the jungle vine Banisteriopsis caapi and Chacruna leaves that are cooked for two days. It is known as the vine of the soul and the rope of death.
A Shaman is responsible for the physical and spiritual health of people. He crosses from the natural world into the spiritual world as he sings Icaros to call the spirits of the plants to do healing work.

Kitty Courtney Brown, a Shamanic apprentice, co-organized the trip for Ron Wheelock and worked with Victoria on the event.

Kitty & Sean Brown

Christopher Moore is a documentary filmmaker who is filming Cock Fighting and training by Ron Wheelock. Chris has just finished filming “DumpsterWars: Reno’s Trash Politics”and will be shown in a few festivals before going online in June.
(Burning Man Stuff)

Ron Wheelock & Christopher Moore

Rounding out the guest list was Charles V. Tramont M.D. who incorporates Hypnotherapy and Past Life Regression techniques in his medical practice.

                                         Nancy Tramont, Jim Driscoll & Dr. Charles Tramont

John Alexander & Victoria opened up their beautiful home for everyone to meet Ron. John is a Scientist, Author and Military Advisor. His new book UFO’s Myths, Conspiracies & Realities can be purchased on Amazon. UFO’s are real and many find it hard to believe and John’s book reviews major events in UFO history on the facts and myths.

John making his famous Thai Chicken Soup…..delicious.

John Alexander

Victoria's room which is my favorite room to be in.

Check out this fabulous web site by my daughter Debbie Artale.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models

Genevieve Morton, Kenza Fourat & Cintia Dicker
Photos by Nikki Artale
What magazine has over three million subscribers and is read by over twenty three million people every week, and has them waiting at their mail boxes to read the most wanted issue of the year? If you said the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, then you are correct. It is one of the most read magazines in the world and has made many models famous and instant celebrities. Past models have been Heidi Klum, Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks, Cindy Crawford and Christie Brinkley.
This year’s cover model is Irina Shayk who landed the cover this year after appearing in every issue since 2007. Irina is beautiful and stunning as are all the swimsuit models this year.

The SI models are making appearances in Las Vegas Nevada and on February 17, 2011 I went to their autograph signing at Rao’s Jefferson Park indoor patio in Caesars Palace. Long lines of fans were waiting to meet them and have them sign their magazine.

The cast members of Human Nature were there to serenade the models with a rendition of my girl and then presented them with red roses. Smokey Robinson presents Australia’s Human Nature and the show is a hit at The Imperial Palace. The show has been receiving rave reviews for their Motown Sound. The headliners are Phil Burton, Tobey Allen, Andrew Tierney & Michael Tierney.

Genevieve, Kenza and Cintia took time to visit the Neil Leifer Gallery and instantly drew a crowd. The Gallery is on the casino level of the Augustus Tower at Caesars Palace. Take notice of Muhammad Ali’s boxing poster in the window. Over 170 photographs of Neil Leifer have been on SI covers and Neil has won many awards for his outstanding photos.

While I was at Caesars I noticed a restaurant with hundreds of gold fish and an eye catching painting. Video 40 Video 39

Gold & Silver Pawn

Gold & Silver Pawn

There is a new tourist attraction Gold & Silver Pawn Shop at 713 S Las Vegas Blvd that is owned and operated by Richard Harrison and his son Rick. The pawn shop has been featured on the History Channel, Travel Channel and ABC TV. It is open 24 hours a day and is prepared to pay from $1 to $1 million for antique and authentic pieces of any kind. They are considered to be expert appraisers and can spot a fake with their eyes closed. When in doubt they will call in experts to determine the value and authenticity of the pieces. The Pawn Shop is usually jam packed with people from all over the world.

Richard Harrison opened the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in 1988 with a $10,000 investment that has now become a multi million dollar business. His son Rick learned a lot about the business when he started working there at nine years old. His son Corey also works there with his childhood friend Chumlee.

I can remember sitting in a Diner on Route 46 in Elmwood Park NJ and putting money into the juke box to hear my favorite songs.

One arm bandit slot machine that only required Five Cents.

Dr. Pepper and Coca Cola machines were the favorites in their day.

Old rifles and guns were stored in several display cases.
I went to the Pawn Shop with a friend of mine Neil Linder who brought in a parasol that has been in his family for over 100 years. Neil was offered $300 for the parasol but chose instead to donate it to the Seattle Museum.
It is estimated that 6 million people watch the show each week when Richard, Rick & Corey hash out the value and the money amount they are willing to pay for the treasures. I was impressed with the beautiful pieces of diamond and gold jewelry. It is worth the trip to go and browse in the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, after all Mayor Oscar Goodman did give them the key to the city.
McKee Ranch & The Secret Garden

Photos by Nikki Artale

McKee Ranch
McKee Ranch is only a stones throw away from the Las Vegas strip but the ranch brings you back to the days of the old west. Max McKee and his wife Christi bought the 2.5 acre ranch in 1999 and it took over 2 years to finalize the plans and build the barns, buildings and arena. There are 50 different animals there which include 20 horses, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, pot belly pigs, llamas and a donkey.     

McKee Ranch, a private park, is free and open to the public every day during daylight hours. The children love to feed the animals crackers and carrots and play in the playgrounds. School groups are encouraged to bring the children to play and pony rides and hayrides are available. The ranch has recently joined up with KISMIF (Keep it simple, make it fun) an organization for challenged children and adults. They take them camping, fishing, skiing and have many other activities for them.

Mary with her horse Tilly
There are a lot of restored wagons on the property and some are used for the hayrides that Max takes out on the streets and gives the neighbor’s rides. Did you know that horses have the right of way on the streets in Nevada?

Max has a 1907 restored chuck wagon that in the old days would travel 10 miles a day which was the average travel time.
Max McKee
Max has a special Sheep Herders Wagon he calls his Cowboy Condo that has a bed and a cooking stove inside.

Cowboy Condo
Special events are held during the year to raise money to help support the keep of the animals that are dropped off at the ranch. In October there is a pumpkin patch event and then Christmas time there are tree sales. McKee Ranch also has special events for private birthday parties.

This brings us to the next story of a beautiful and gentle Clydesdale horse called Sir Richard who goes to the Secret Garden and brings all the beautiful brides to the garden alter.

Sir Richard & Max McKee
The Secret Garden
Sitting on 10 beautiful acres is a private country club that specializes in weddings. It is called the Secret Garden because not too many people know about it. Christi McKee’s family has owned it since 1962. The gardens and patios are decorated with lights and flowers and it has a fantasy atmosphere. The Millers provide everything for a perfect wedding that lasts for five hours.

 Breanna Cooper Mock
Max and Christi McKee prepare Sir Richard for the brides ride.

Max McKee & Christi McKee

Father of the bride Garrett Cooper places the veil over Breanna’s head.

Garrett Cooper & Breanna
Here comes the bride.

The flower girl was the picture of an angel in her wonderment of the ceremony. Brianna shared a story earlier with me that she was once a flower girl years ago at her sister Stacey wedding here in The Secret Garden. When the time came for her marriage she came back to The Secret Garden. I guess chances are that this little flower girl may do the same thing in 20 years.

Officially now Mr. & Mrs. Michael Mock.
I was very impressed with The Secret Garden and the excellent care and preparation that the Miller family did on the wedding.