Wild West and Sewing Kits


Caliente, Nevada

Yesterday I met Jim Whitney, a former sales executive with one of Nevada’s largest liquor distributors.

In his mid-eighties, Mr. Whitney is sharp, entertaining and delightful. I came to interview him for the Early Las Vegas Oral History project at UNLV and spent two hours in his kitchen learning about what banks had the best safes and which “lodges” in rural Nevada had private landing strips.

Here’s one of the stories he told me:

“Some of our clients were brothels. Once a whiskey labels had these promotional sewing kits, so I ordered a whole bunch for the girls,” he said.

“Just as I was getting ready to travel up to visit my clients in Caliente, a button came off my jacket. I didn’t think anything about it. But then one of the girls up there saw it and offered to sew it back on. I should have known better but said OK.

When I came back from the trip, my wife wanted to know who had sewn the button back on.

I said, “Some broad in a whorehouse.”

That’s how my wife learnt we had brothels as our clients. To her credit, she was good with it for my entire 35-year career.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s