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Buck Blaine, Las Vegas Trapshooter

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Ted K., Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Ted K.

    Ted K. Member

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    Does anyone recall a trapshooter from Vegas (now long gone) named Buck Blaine?

    Ted K.
     
  2. jbbor

    jbbor Active Member

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    A very fine gentleman. Jimmy Borum
     
  3. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've shot with Buck Blaine many times in the early 70s. Nice guy, dressed impeccably everytime I saw him at the club or at the casino he ran. A pretty fair shot too!

    HAP
     
  4. Snookassassin

    Snookassassin Member

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    I remember Buck Blaine. I always thought that he had the perfect name for a western trap shooter. Nice guy too.

    Snookassassin, Clif Adams
     
  5. Phil Kiner

    Phil Kiner Well-Known Member

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    Buck used to spend a lot of time in Jackson Hole and would frequently make local shoots.

    I remember he always had his top button buttoned and always wore a $20 gold piece bolo tie.

    AND yes he was a good guy always the consummate gentleman
     
  6. Neal Crausbay

    Neal Crausbay Member

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    He invited me to his home in Vegas after a 300 target singles shootoff in 1973. The only house I have ever been in that had at least 2 inch deep WHITE carpet throughout. And no, was not asked to remove my shoes when entering although I did ask.

    This was when either the Sahara or Mint casino ran the gun club and there was probably a 100 people still at the club watching this shootoff between myself and Larry Mitchell (club mgr. at Salt Lake). When the casino found out there were so many trapshooters still at the club and the reason why, they instructed the Vegas club to declare us co-champions and have another $20 gold coin buckle made up and let those watching get back to their casino. There were a lot of heavy gamblers among the shooters in those days and was mostly the reason the casino owned the gun club.
     
  7. Hauser

    Hauser Member

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    First name was Gilbert as I recall.


    Jerry Hauser
     
  8. whiz-bang

    whiz-bang Active Member

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    Back in the 60s or early 70s he owned or was president of the Golden Nugget.
     
  9. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I remember Buck, He would shoot at International GC in Los Angeles always had a beautiful show girl with him. He was a nice guy who had some great stories to tell.In between events he would play gin rummy with his traveling companion.Lucky dog..
     
  10. scarecrow

    scarecrow TS Member

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    I met Buck thru his nephew Bob Melton former Secretay of the ATA. Buck owned the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. Buck would fly in and shoot at Albuquerque or Alamogordo, New Mexico. He shot a Ljutic automatic the years I shot with him back in the seventies. There is a picture of him in the Alamogordo club house. He played tennis every day when he was at home in Las Vegas and loved to play Gin Rummy also. We were just talking about him at a shoot in Alamogordo not long agao. Dr.'s Arvas and Hewett knew him much better than I did. After his wife passed he was always accompanied by a beautiful young lady. The times I was around him, he was always a gentlemen and very good shot. J.R. Long
     
  11. trim tab

    trim tab Active Member

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    Buck was around Vegas for many years and well respected in the gaming business. Back in the Mint, Sahara days there were many players and a friend who worked in the cage (cashier window) at one of the downtown casinos was instructed that if a trap shooter comes in asking for credit "give them whatever they want". Many were players, but different ball game today. The reason you do not see major hotels in Vegas involved in sponsoring shoots is that they want you in the casinos, not someplace else all day. They call it retention!
     
  12. Ted K.

    Ted K. Member

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    Wow! I'm surprised so many people remember him; he died quite a while ago.

    Here's "the rest of the story", as they say . ..

    I met Buck Blaine in 1946, when my mother took my brother and me to Las Vegas to visit her old girl friend, "Evvy" Blaine. Aunt Evvy, as I knew her (I was 5 at the time) was married to "Uncle Buck" and lived on a horse ranch on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

    One thing led to another, and in 1947 we moved to Vegas and my father became a partner in the Golden Nugget with Uncle Buck, Guy MacAfee, Cliff Jones and several other well-known Las Vegas figures. The following Christmas, Uncle Buck and Aunt Evvy gave me a Christmas present in the form of one of my cowboy boots, bronzed, which is pictured below:


    [​IMG]


    Since the photo isn't great, let me restate the inscription on the boot, which reads as follows:

    "Teddy, with Love

    Aunt Evvy and Uncle Buck

    December 1948"

    (I guess I should mention that now that I am over 70, very few people call me "Teddy" any more.)

    I knew about Uncle Buck's involvement with trapshooting, but I didn't really take it up seriously until after I retired in 2006 (long after he died), so I never actually shot with him.

    Almost all of the details mentioned by other posters above are correct. Aunt Evvy died in the '60's I believe, and Buck never remarried, although he did wind up with a fairly permanent relationship with a woman with the very improbable name of . . . "Doe". I am not kidding.

    A few other details, which the people who knew him may find interesting.

    Buck came West in the 1930's, and worked on the construction of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. He gave up that work when one of his co-workers stepped off the bridge into open space a moment after Buck had turned his back.

    Apparently heights still attracted Buck, and he then took a job working on Hoover Dam as as a "high-scaler". This job involved being lowered from the rim of the canyon with ropes to search out loose boulders and other detritus that could fall on the people who were to work in the (dry) riverbed below. When an offending piece was found, it was dynamited or levered to dislodge it. (This was called "grooming" the canyon walls.) According to my mother, Buck occasionally took a snooze while suspended, since no one could actually see what he was doing.

    I'm not sure how Buck went from working on the dam to being a partner in the Nugget, other than the fact that he preceded my father there.

    Some other trivia - Buck's home phone number in the early years of Vegas, when phone numbers had only three digits, was "711". The land which made up Buck's ranch on Charleston Boulevard (the one I visited in 1946) is now in the center of town and is occupied by a hospital.

    One last story . . . when I was about 10 years old, my father asked Buck to find a horse for me, which Buck did. When my father announced that I was getting a quarter horse, I was quite disappointed. I felt that if I were to get a horse, I should get a complete horse, not just a fraction of one. I was very surprised to find that my horse had four legs - I expected only one.

    Long ago and far away . . . .

    Ted K.
     
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  13. grunt

    grunt TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Thats neat.. all the best too you. Dave
     
  14. Ted K.

    Ted K. Member

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    Note to Phil Kiner -

    $20 gold pieces were quite popular as jewelry or apparel during that era. I inherited from my father an 18k money clip with a $20 gold piece on it which clearly came from Vegas. The money clip is engraved with my father's initials and a surrounding line pattern very similar to the motif you see on highly tooled western saddles.

    Here's a picture:


    [​IMG]


    Ted K.
     
  15. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

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    Great gentleman, and an interesting guy.

    He told me in Jackson Hole one year that he "built and ran" the Golden Nugget, and slept every night in the early days of the casino with a loaded 45 auto under his pillow, and the night's take from the casino under his bed, until the bank opened at 10:00 a.m.

    "Did you ever have to use it" I asked.

    "Those days are gone" is all he would say, but his eyes were for a few minutes far far away.
     
  16. Ted K.

    Ted K. Member

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    Oh, wow, I forgot about the pistol.

    Maybe Buck said those days were gone, but he kept a loaded pistol within reach of his bed for as long as I knew him. Sometime in the 1980's he told my wife and me that it was for burglars. I told her later that it was pretty clear to me that he was hoping one would show up.

    Ted K.
     
  17. Scott Johnson

    Scott Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Keep going this rascal Buck Blaine sounds pretty interesting, anymore? Scott
     
  18. RodRitter

    RodRitter Member

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    Buck was a gentleman who enjoyed life. Met him at Edwards Rod & Gun when he came to a local shoot. He sure made the calcuta interesting. He flew into Rosamond on a private A/C with a couple of his friend, and came out to the shoot. Edwards didn't have gates at that point in time (late 60s - 68/69).
    Rod Ritter
     
  19. mx8dave

    mx8dave Member

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    What a super neat post ,,we need more like this ,,,,MX8Dave
     
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  20. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Ted K., how about posting a couple pictures of Buck is his shooting duds? If you have any that is. Well dressed for the occasion is a VAST understatement! One of the best dressed good trapshooters I ever shot with!!

    If some of these guys could see Buck n Doe all blinged out their eyes would pop out! Buck liked wearing western string bolo ties, usually with some kind of gold coin or nugget attached as well as dandy belt buckles won at some big shoot.

    We used to have breakfast at the Golden Nugget after a night out on the town. Cost for breakfast was a whopping .49 cents!! (A great meal too) I took a group of friends out for dinner and a night of celebrating after I won a handful of cash in caps. We began with 15 people and ate, danced all night and wound up at Bucks place for breakfast about 3am! I spent more money that night than I've won since at any one time!! Oh for the good times again!! Next day, some couldn't even show up to shoot???? :)

    HAP
     
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