Paul's Non-Fiction Books


Paul W Papa

One Man’s Passion To Uncover the True Story Behind an Iconic American Photograph

On July 12, 1945 a golden palomino was caught in the Red Desert of Wyoming by Frank “Wild Horse” Robbins, who had built a business rounding up the wild mustangs that roamed the region, using airplanes to spot the elusive creatures. Later that same day, a photographer out of Rawlins, Wyoming, named Verne Wood, snapped a photo of that same horse that he would go on to enter in the Denver Post’s annual photo contest. The photo was the grand prize winner—and it also captured the imagination of people all over the world. Prints found their way to the Wyoming State Capital, the United States Senate chambers, the House of Commons in London, and the Canadian Parliament in Toronto. The likeness of the famous horse could be found in the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, the Double Shot Bar in Rock River, the Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow, the Desert Bar in Wamsutter, and the Saddle Grill Café in Rawlins, where the restaurant built a Palomino Room in homage to the horse. On top of that, nearly every postcard sales rack from Omaha, Nebraska, to Reno, Nevada, offered postcards with the horse’s famous image in the late 1940s.

The horse, which would become known as Desert Dust, became the most famous horse in Wyoming. His image was reproduced on leather purses, wallets, and belts by inmates of the Wyoming State Penitentiary and other craftsmen. Desert Dust was the inspiration for poems, prose, oil paintings, and songs, and a Hollywood short that was nominated for an Academy Award. Frank Robbins and Verne Wood would eventually find themselves on opposite sides of many different controversies: the plight of wild horses, using an airplane to capture wild horses, and of course, the ownership of the photo itself, which led to a feud between the two men on the order of the Hatfields and McCoys. Desert Dust would eventually be murdered in his own pasture—a mystery that is unsolved to this day.


Famous Phantoms, Creepy Casinos, And Gambling Ghosts

Paul W Papa

Why won’t Bugsy Siegel leave the grounds of the Flamingo hotel?

What deal did Redd Foxx make with the new residents of his beloved home to stop the hauntings?

Has Elvis really left the building?

Famous phantoms, strange occurrences, unique places, and the ghoulish faces of Sin City.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, including ghosts, unexplained phenomena, and other spooky happenings. The strip is much more than bright lights, gambling, wild shows, and quick marriage ceremonies. Haunted Las Vegas reveals the true mysteries of Sin City and brings the old legends to life in a chilling way.

The Flamingo: Listed as one of the ten most haunted sites in America by the Wall Street Journal, the Flamingo Hotel is home to the ghost of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. A known gangster, Bugsy is often called the man who invented Las Vegas. Even though he was killed in Hollywood, his ghost reportedly lives at the Flamingo.

The Demon Swing: In the dead of the night, many people reportedly see smoke or mist surrounding Fox Ridge Park, home of the boy ghost on the demon swing. It is unknown how his ghost ended up in the park, but beware of this unfriendly boy—he is known to push people off the swings.


A Guide to the City’s Timeless Shops, Restaurants, Casinos, and More

Paul W Papa

Want to sit in the same booth as Frank, Sammy, and Deano?

Or stay in an original room in the first hotel in Las Vegas?

How about experiencing a nuclear blast?

Maybe you'd prefer to get married in the same chapel as Elvis and Ann Margret?

Or maybe a quick drive-in wedding and then a visit to a notoriouis mob hangout?

Discovering Vintage Las Vegas takes you back in time to all of the timeless classic spots this city has to offer. They’re all still around—but they won’t be around forever.