Sunday, February 01, 2015

"Legend of the June Lake Slot Machines"

(GPS: N 37° 47.955 W 119° 03.815)

For Americans, today is one of the most holy days of the year. The day families gather to eat, drink, watch commercials, watch two teams play football, and most importantly watch half-time entertainment. Yes, it is that most religious holiday: the Superbowl! May it bless us!

I'm not going to say too much other than I used to attend Los Angeles Rams games as a kid since my father had been a season ticket holder for decades. I loved watching football. I'll probably tune in a few times today to see how the teams are doing, but I just despise how the modern Superbowl is shown. All the stuff that doesn't matter becomes important. It really bothers me when I hear people say they will watch the Superbowl only for the commercials. What the? Seriously?

(Edit Feb. 2, 2015: I watched some of the second half. As soon as I saw the Seahawks go into shotgun formation, on 2nd down at the one yard line, on the final crucial play I said, "What the? What are they doing?!They should not do this! This is not good!" I didn't care about who won to be honest, but it made me sick to see how that went down for Seattle. It really was a no brainer.)  

Enough of that. Lets talk about an oddity I discovered a few years back. I was out driving around the June Lake Loop and found this odd monument. Apparently, it had just been put up a month or so before I saw something odd off the side of the road. It was a slot machine! So, in this last October I went back to get these two pictures.
"During the 1930′s in central Mono County, demand for gaming entertainment skyrocketed with the influx of hundreds of employees working on the Mono Basin Project. To accommodate the workers, many local bars and cafes installed slot machines. Although illegal, there use in Mono County thrived for many years. Unfortunately, upon completion of the aqueduct in 1941 and transfer of all workers, demand for this activity diminished. Within a few years most slot machines were voluntarily removed. It was rumored that the last slot machines were hastily dumped into June Lake in the middle of the night by local merchants in response to an imminent raid by the State Revenue Agents, however, the legend of the slot machines did not end there. Over the years, numerous attempts to locate them by special cold water dive teams failed. Although no one has inserted a coin into one and pulled the handle, many people still gamble on hitting the jackpot and finding those 'one armed bandits' at the bottom of June Lake, forever lost? Time will tell."
A little tidbit that I had not known about the area. I have doubts that there are any slot machines at the bottom of June Lake.