Nelson understood what real justice looked like

January 17, 2017 3:00 AM


I once spent a year in Reno where I opened up a race and sportsbook for my best friend/mentor Warren Nelson RIP. Those 11 months lapped 1980-81 and created many memories and lessons learned. 

Warren, a Marine in WWII, grew up in the gambling/boxing town of Missoula, Montana. He was part Owner of the Club Cal-Neva in Reno, brought keno to Nevada and is a charter inductee in the Nevada Gambling Hall of Fame. 

Most telling though is the day a man grabbed $50,000 from the Cal-Neva casino cage and ran out the door. He was eventually run down and the 50K was recovered. Warren refused to press charges saying “what was he (the man) supposed to do.”

The cashier was at fault as much as the opportunistic “thief.” She left a neat $50,000 bundle right in front of the man while preoccupied and not paying attention. Thief or not she made him one.

Another time in the racebook a player collapsed to the floor where he died. Reno didn’t have many serious horse bettors like in Las Vegas. 

This poor guy was a $2 bettor but that didn’t stop the low life who immediately grabbed his tickets while the guy’s friends were tending to him on the floor. 

His stash of tickets had but one winner and guess what, the 15-watt bulb who stole it tried to cash it for a $7 bonanza. This time the law was called in, unlike the $50K episode.

What’s the lesson here? The moral if there is one to the more serious among us could be that there’s still justice – real, honest, make sense justice. 

To those among us who are scuffling, overcoming bad beats and looking for a fresh BR the lesson might be if you’re running with a $50,000 football then run like Gale Sayers.

Take care, Scotty