Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 | 5:01 p.m.
I was so saddened to hear about the passing of Frank Fertitta Jr. I remember when he took over Station Casinos. He never once turned me down for any request we made relating to anyone in the program.
He was always with us, and he never wanted anything for himself. He just wanted to be helpful. He was one of the greatest people in Las Vegas
When we had Richie Adams, we knew he’d go back to New York and become a different person, because of the environment. Here in town, Richie always was a super guy.
Boosters loved Richie and he loved fans, especially kids. After games, he’d take them for ice cream. We wanted Richie to stay here in the summer, instead of going back to New York.
Twice, Frank got Richie good jobs. Ultimately, he would go back to New York and get into all kinds of problems.
But Frank was such a great person. There wasn’t one time when I asked him for anything and he didn’t absolutely come through. It was just so sad to hear about him passing.
He worked his way up to become the top man there. He and his wife did so much for UNLV. I got to know him and their group of friends really well.
Their son, Frank, played football with Danny in high school. Frank Jr. was a tackle when Danny was the quarterback, and they won a state championship.
They’d go to all the games and we’d see each other at tailgate parties. He was so involved. I didn’t even know he was sick. Danny told me he knew but that he kept it from me.
I have trouble getting around, but I’ll try to make it to his viewing. I would like everyone to know that he was such a great, great man.
I came back to Las Vegas on Sunday and am staying with my daughter Jodi, who is taking care of me.
My granddaughter Danielle (Diamant) drove me back here. She leaves for Northwestern on the 12th, and she’s so excited. We all are excited for her. It’s a great university and a great city, but it’s a little far away.
I am happy to be back in Las Vegas. Jodi needed to return because her kids started school. My home is a mile away, so I get to go there to eat a meal or two a day.
I’m exercising every day with her, and Thursday I start physical therapy with Dr. Keith Kleven on South Jones. He’s one of the best in the country, so I am very fortunate.
I did get to Del Mar Race Track twice during my stay in San Diego. The first time, they flashed my name on the big board, with a big Welcome Back, in the infield. That was nice.
On the last day we won big on the last race, so I came out ahead for the day. I can’t remember the name of the horse, but I’ve always loved Del Mar.
I am also looking forward to college football starting weekend after next. I’m big on Ohio State and Michigan State, and I love USC football.
I am planning to go to the Ole Miss-Arkansas game this year in Oxford, Miss. And I’m going to try like heck to get to the Michigan State-Notre Dame game in Ann Arbor, Mich.
I’m also hoping to get to the USC-Notre Dame game in South Bend. I think Notre Dame will surprise a lot of people this season. I don’t get around very well, so I’ll need a wheelchair. But I don’t want that to stop me from doing what I enjoy.
As far as my rehabilitation, my right arm is in a sling. That makes it uncomfortable, because I can’t write or eat with that hand. But I’m getting by. I’m really fortunate to have my kids looking after me.
I’m still getting a lot of calls from people. Lloyd Daniels calls every week. Gary Graham and Lonnie Wright want to come by. Tim Grgurich rings two or three times a week.
I just want people to know I think I’m getting better. It’s a long process. I just have to keep doing it. I am grateful that so many people have been so nice to me.
I’ve heard from Lon Kruger, and I’m glad that his son, Kevin, is going to be playing in Naples, Italy. I think he’s a really good player, and I’ll keep tabs on how he’s doing.
So thanks again to everybody for your prayers, nice thoughts, cards and calls, and I’ll continue to keep in touch with all of you.
Submit any questions or topics you’d like me to discuss, and I’ll get to them in my next few columns.