This is one of the most wonderful photos from the Federal Heath collection. It shows two very important people in the Las Vegas sign design world: Betty Willis and Brian “Buzz” Leming.
Back in April 2002, the United States Postal Service released a set of commemorative stamps called “Greetings from America.” The retro design of this stamp resembles the large letter postcards that were popular with tourists and Nevada’s stamp contained the works of two famous Las Vegas signs: Willis’ Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign and Buzz’s Hacienda Horse and Rider. This picture is from the ceremony held for the stamp’s release here in downtown Las Vegas.
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is still where it has always been, on South Las Vegas Blvd. The Hacienda Horse and Rider was the first sign to enter the Neon Museum’s collection. It was restored and has been on display in the middle of Las Vegas Blvd. and Fremont since 1996. These two pieces are currently on opposite ends of Las Vegas Blvd, almost like bookends that hold the stories of casinos in the Las Vegas Valley. This photo was put on display earlier this month as part of an exhibit honoring Betty Willis at the Lost City Museum in Overton, NV.