Next Stop: Vegas, and a Wedding As Charles Phoenix and Steve Proffitt hit the road for their journey from Los Angeles toward the unearthing of a time capsule in Tulsa, Okla., they hit a slight snag — and stop at the wedding of a friend in Las Vegas.
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Next Stop: Vegas, and a Wedding

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Next Stop: Vegas, and a Wedding

Next Stop: Vegas, and a Wedding

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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While we're on the topic of Vegas weddings, it's time to check in with our road trippers, mid-century maestro Charles Phoenix and DAY TO DAY senior producer Steve Proffitt.

They're spending the week driving from L.A. to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where this weekend a 1957 Plymouth Belvadere will be unearthed from a vault where it was buried 50 years ago as a time capsule.

But back to Vegas. The first stop on the trip they are calling Destination Time Capsule. Charles and Steve hit the road appropriately enough in a vintage car belonging to Charles. He calls it Bonnie. It -she - is a '61 mint green Pontiac Bonneville. Here's Steve.

(Soundbite of music)

STEVE PROFFITT: Before we could even get out of town, Bonnie's air conditioner went on the fritz and she started overheating. We managed to get her to Charles's mechanic in Hollywood.

Mr. STEVE CARTHEW(ph) (Mechanic): First one hose broke, then the compressor broke, then the other hose broke, okay?

PROFFITT: Mechanic Steve Carthew had worked and worked diligently on Bonnie to prepare for this trip. But...

Mr. CARTHEW: Sometimes old cars break your heart.

PROFFITT: Yes. Still, Charles was stoic about it all.

Mr. CHARLES PHOENIX (Car Lover): I've had enough old cars to know. This is sometimes what happens. Sad thing is that I don't have another old car that we can just hop in and go.

PROFFITT: But he does have a fairly new Dodge Magnum with air bags and an FM radio.

Mr. PHOENIX: At least now we have a reliable automobile instead of those pesky old cars. Okay, Las Vegas, here we come again.

PROFFITT: Vegas is our first stop because Charles is performing there, performing a wedding. He went online to be ordained.

We're at the Las Vegas Neon Museum, also known as the Boneyard. Hundreds of old neon signs, some dating back to the 1930s, are collected here. It's an unusual bit of Vegas history.

Mr. PHOENIX: The neon graveyard is all about faded red and yellow paint, there's a little turquoise, there's some blue, some white. I see the Aladdin's Lamp, the Silver Slipper. What do we have? We have all kinds of different neon - everything here. This is where old Las Vegas neon goes to die.

(Soundbite of crowd)

PROFFITT: But today it's full of life. Under a blazing sun, friends and family gather for a wedding, a marriage of two friends of Charles.

Mr. CHARLES: Bruce is the world's leading collector of smiley face memorabilia; and Suzanne(ph) is a vivacious architect here in Las Vegas. And together they have a fun-filled festive life. And so no place could be more fitting for them to be married than in the Las Vegas Neon Graveyard.

Friends and family of the bride and groom, welcome and thank you for being here on this important day in this very important place with these very important people. We are gathered to celebrate the very special love between Bruce and Suzanne by joining them in marriage. All of us need and desire to love and to be loved...

PROFFITT: Of course, as is fitting for a Las Vegas wedding, the music is supplied by an Elvis impersonator.

(Soundbite of song, "Are You Lonesome Tonight")

Unidentified Man (Elvis Impersonator): (Singing) Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again? Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

Mr. CHARLES: It is now my pleasure to - uh, uh - oh, pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride.

(Soundbite of applause, cheers)

Mr. PROFFITT: Charles, you were fantastic. That was a great wedding. You performed magnificently. At the Las Vegas Neon Museum, also known as the Boneyard, I'm Steve Proffitt.

Mr. PHOENIX: I'm Charles Phoenix for "Destination Time Capsule."

(Soundbite of music)

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