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Interview with Henry Eloy Peluaga, April 22, 2005


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Narrator affiliation: Miner, Walking Boss, Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (REECo)

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Peluaga, Henry Eloy. Interview, 2005 April 22. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Henry ( Hank) Peluaga April 22, 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Mary Palevsky © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Henry ( Hank) Peluaga April 22, 2005 Conducted by Mary Palevsky Table of Contents Introduction: birth in Eureka, NV ( 1927), family background, raised in Winnemucca, NV, becomes a miner, goes to work for Kennecott Copper in Ely, NV ( ca. 1948) and various mining projects in northern NV 1 Owns and runs a bar with wife Lola in Lovelock, NV, then returns to mining 4 Moves to Las Vegas, NV to work at NTS ( 1957) 6 Talks about miners and mining on the NTS: laborers, miners, equipment 7 Remembers observation of atmospheric tests 8 Discusses mining at the NTS, including containment and reentry 9 Details work on Cannikin ( 1971): mining and drilling, working conditions, labor disputes, living conditions 13 Talks about health, and workers’ compensation programs for injuries at the NTS 29 Experiences working as a walker at the NTS 30 Work on railroad track and shafts for MX ( ca. 1978- 83) 32 Attends blasting school on the NTS, works on road for Yucca Mountain Project, becomes partner in silver mine at Sandy Valley, NV 35 Recalls work atmosphere on the NTS: interaction between work crews and supervisors 40 Work of bull gangs at the NTS 46 Retires from the NTS ( 1991), talks again about health problems and attempts to secure compensation 47 Conclusion: last day on the Cannikin project and return to Las Vegas, NV 49 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Henry ( Hank) Peluaga April 22, 2005 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Mary Palevsky Interview was recorded on audio and video. [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Mary Palevsky: Mr. Peluaga, thank you for speaking with us today. I thought we would start by having you say your full name, where you were born, when you were born, and a little bit about your family background here in Nevada, and then your early life and how you came to be working at the [ Nevada] test site. Hank Peluaga: Well, my name is Henry Peluaga. I was born in Eureka, Nevada. My grandmother and mother both were native Nevadans. And my grandmother was on the tribal list, so that made me a quarter Indian. And my father was a Basque sheepherder. He come from Spain on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees mountains, and on the other side is the French. So he was herding sheep all over, and then he come in to Eureka [ Nevada], and that’s where he met my mother and married her. And then he bought the Lincoln Hotel there, but during the Depression he went busted. Now, what year were you born? Nineteen twenty- seven. 1927! So that makes you— tell me how old you are. Seventy- six. And what were your parents’ names? My mother’s name was Helen. She come from a family of eight. And I don’t know what my dad’s family was. I never did meet— just, you know— What was his name? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Joe. Joe. And you said “ Indian.” You were saying before that your grandmother was on the Shoshone list, is that right, you were saying? Yeah, tribal records. Tribal records. Do you know what her name was? Well, at that time they kept changing their name. If they worked for somebody named Anderson, they had their name Anderson. Really! If you worked for— and her name was Bessie, and I think the last name she had before she got— when she was a young girl and was working for these different people around the valley there, and then she’d take their name, and then when she went somewhere else— she was raised in some creek there, I can’t think of the name of it now [ Maggie Creek]. But it’s in the Antelope Valley [ Nevada]. And my grandfather had a ranch over there; my mother’s father. And his name was William Blair. And he had a brother come through and they had cattle and they were going to drive them to California somewhere and sell them; I don’t know, something happened, cattle got rustled or something, and so he come back. And then he caught pneumonia and he was a- horseback coming from Eureka to the ranch, and he fell off the horse and then froze to death. And the snow was so deep, they couldn’t get him to the cemetery, so they buried him there at the ranch. And then the same thing happened when my grandma died. Snow was so damn deep, they couldn’t get her up to the cemetery, so they had to wait. And my dad was a miner— no, he was a sheepherder first, and then he went to mining in Ely, Nevada. He started working there in the mines. So did you all move to Ely or—? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 Yeah. And then from there, we went to Lovelock. From Lovelock, we went to Mill City. And then I was raised in Winnemucca from then on. And I started mining then. I’d go to work for these little leasers, you know. But at the mines, you had to be a mucker for five years before you could go mining; I thought, you know, I thought, hell, I was more of a miner than I was a [ 00: 05: 00] mucker, and I’d just go mining. So when I went to Ely, there was four of us went into Ely. And Bill Flangas was the mine foreman. And he asked, What do you guys want? And we told him, we says, We want to go to work. We’re miners. And he said, Well, go down and tell them and they’ll send you to work. So we went down and told them and they said, Bill Flangas can’t hire you. It’s got to be George Jennings. So we went back up there and Bill said, Well, what are you doing back here? And we told him we had to see Jennings, too. And he said, Oh, OK. So after we talked to Jennings, then we went to work. So this is when Flangas is managing— what was the company at that point in Ely? Kennecott Copper. It was Kennecott. And about how old were you at this point? I was twenty- two, I think. No, I got married— just a minute. I was probably twenty- one. And we went up there and start mining, and then from there— but I worked for a lot of little places like tungsten and a cinnabar mine and silver mine, tungsten mine over in Twenty Mile Hill— and then me and Don drilled the last round down in there. You got a hanging wall, you know, and then it was kind of a quartz, but right behind that quartz you usually hit your tungsten. But the guy I was working for, they said, No, we’re leaving. So we pulled all the equipment out of there, and then we’re going to, what the heck, McDermott, Nevada. That’s a UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 mercury mine. And he says, If you want to come up there, you can go to work for us for sinking that shaft. So I said, All right, and I went up there, me and Don Buskirk. But it was snowing so bad that he couldn’t get over to where the mine was, and we had to cross their airport to get over there; and they had some kind of litigation up where we couldn’t cross on their airport and all this and that, so I told that I guy, I said, Hell, I’m going home. And we lived in Lovelock then. Me and my wife had a bar there. You had a bar there? Yes. And then after she had that bar for about a year, then I got one across the street from her. That Jerry’s Nugget down here, he owned the Pershing Hotel there that was hooked onto the bar that I had. And the wife was across the street, the Longhorn. And we finally broke it up and lost all our money. So then— Let me just get your wife’s name before you go on. Lola. Lola. Go ahead. So then I went up and started driving truck for this iron mine, and turned a truck over and broke my back. And from there, I went— where’d I go from then? Oh, and then I went from [ 00: 09: 00] San Manuel, Arizona and worked in the copper down there, copper mines. And when I come back to Nevada, Lola was in Reno; [ I] stopped and seen her there and told her, Well, I’m going to go back, because there was no work around here. And when I go into Tonopah, my old car broke down. So I had a tow truck go out and get it, and this Bill Beckel, he was an attorney, I think, and there’s one guy on one side of the street and another guy over here on this side of the street and they were hollering back and forth. And he said, Well, how come you weren’t at work yesterday? And he said, something happened, he couldn’t make it. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 And so I listened to the conversation and then I asked the one guy, I said, What do you do? [ 00: 10: 00] He said, I’m a miner. And I said, Well, that’s what I am. He said, You are? And I said, Yeah, and I’m looking for work. He said, Well, go see Bill Beckel and he’ll send you to Las Vegas to the Mercury mine. But first, in Ely, this lady that owned a bar told me, she said, Flangas has got a job down somewhere around Las Vegas there, and them guys are making big money. We was working seven days a week and everything. And a lot of them were from Ely. Went back up there and she said, Boy, they come in here with them big checks. But I thought what she meant that he was working at a mercury mine. So when Bill Beckel, he told me, he said, Well, we’re not hiring no out- of- state men, said, We’re just hiring men from Nevada. And I said, Well, that’s where I’m from. I was born and raised here. And he says, Where was you raised? And I said, Winnemucca, Nevada. And he said, Did you know the Minaberry boys? And I said, Yeah. He said, What are they doing now? I said, Well, one of them’s going to college in Reno, and I think the other one’s already an attorney, and the other one’s working helping his father out there with the sheep at the ranch. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 He said, Oh, yeah, OK. You go on down to here in Las Vegas and get in the union, and then you can go on out. So that was the test to prove that you were from here. Yes. So then when I got here, I went out and passed everything and they told me to go to— there was two tunnels up there [ at the NTS]. It was B Tunnel and E Tunnel. And Flangas was running B Tunnel, and I’m not sure who was running E Tunnel. But anyway, this other guy I worked with, , I was his partner, and he says, Where you going? I said, I’m going up to B Tunnel. He said, Oh, boy, that’s where I’m at. And I said, Well, who’s up there? And he says, Bill Flangas is the big cheese. And, well, I didn’t get along with him that last [ time] when I left Ely, and I thought, well, I better not go up there because he’ll run me off. So I went to E Tunnel. And I got off the bus and I was standing out there in the track and [ Frank] Solaegui come out and he says, What’s your name? I said, Hank Peluaga. He said, Oh, yeah. He looked at my paper. He says, Come here, and took me out, down to the end of the track there and pointed up and said, Here’s where you’re supposed to go, is up there. And I said, No. If I don’t go here, I go home. And he says, Go on in there and go to work. So that’s when I started mining [ at the NTS]. But they had a lot of laborers out there that were trying to be miners and hell, one of them got killed. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 What year was this? Nineteen fifty- seven. Fifty- seven. So that’s the first time you met Frank Solaegui, then, was— Well, I knew his brother. I worked for his brother down in Fallon. And all I knew was him by name, but I never did know him till I come here. Sure. Now, that’s a Basque name, too, isn’t it, Solaegui? He’s a French Basque, I think. Because I got a cousin, his name’s Otaegui and he’s French. So Solaegui, Otaegui, I figured— So you must’ve eventually run into Bill Flangas, though. Oh, yeah. Then I caught hell. He says, How come you never come up there? I told him, I said, I figured maybe you’d run me off. And he just laughed. But we’re good friends, all of us, you know. Explain to me a little bit, you were saying the guys they had out there weren’t real miners. What would you see that would make you know? I’m trying to understand the mining business a little better. [ 00: 15: 00] Well, they were laborers, and they were in there trying to make miners out of them. And when that one got killed there, I can’t remember now, anyway they were all back at the— they had a water can there where they all got water. I think a slab come in, come down from the back, you know, and busted the timber all to hell and killed one and broke his leg or something. Well, then all of them run out. Most of them were colored guys, and they all run out. They said, Hell, we’re not going back in there. They told the mining people and they said, Well, we’ll have to get some miners in, so that’s when they called Caliente and got what miners UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 they can get out of there, called Ely and got what miners they [ could] get there, and then— well, as they went along. But a lot of them laborers stayed there as miners. Hell, I broke them in. Oh, OK. Yeah. And then all of the guys that were superintendents, project managers, and stuff, I broke every one of them in. Back in those days, what did the mining consist of? What kind of equipment did you guys have, and what would be the process of working in a tunnel like that? Well, we had a jumbo, and it was a four- man jumbo, two on the bottom, two on top. And we’d drill and blast with that. And then they come out with this other machine, an auguring machine. So they didn’t know how it was going to work, so they just mounted one. Where the two jumbos were on top, they just mounted one and put it up there. And Jimmy Stinnett was on it. And he’d out drill us. He drilled the whole thing out while we was still drilling on the bottom. And so they thought, well, we’ll get two more auguring machines and put them on the bottom. Well then, when they got them, hell, we started going like wildfire. And they had three shots, then, on top, you know while we was there getting this hole ready for— Oh, they had some atmospheric shots. Yeah. Well, you saw those, then. Oh, yeah. What was that like? Well, they give us, you know them welding glasses you put inside your welding helmet? They gave us them and we had to turn our back to the shot and then hold them up and they’d still light up. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 So that leads me to the next question. So this is a different kind of mining because you’re not looking for minerals. No, you’re driving— like the users come in and one of them would want to go out ten foot more for ten feet and then come in, just for— I don’t know what for, some kind of instrument stuff. And everything was different. You know you weren’t looking for no silver or gold or nothing like that. You were just doing mining. And a lot of them didn’t like that. Why? They just wanted to be looking for something. So the different users, the labs, would come in and they’d say, well, dig this way or— Yeah. They’d give you a blueprint and you had to go by that blueprint. OK. Now, when you said you broke a lot of the guys in, so what’s your position, then? What are your—? I was just a miner. You’re just a miner, but you’re teaching these other guys what to do. Everybody thinks there’s nothing to that mining, but you’ve got to be awful careful, you know, keep barred down so slabs can’t get you on the ribs. And then they would go in there and they’d put up— first we was timbering, put in seals and rings of steel, and a lot of guys didn’t want to put them in. They’d just drive out old bald- headed tunnels till somebody got hurt, or [ 00: 20: 00] damn near got hurt, and then they’d stop and timber it all up. So then they come out with that wire mesh, and we’d put the wire mesh up and rock- bolt it, and then gunite it after that. Right. Explain to me what that is. Is that a kind of cement or something? It’s like that stuff they put in swimming pools. I think we shot it on there an inch deep. OK. And that holds the top and the sides— UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Yeah. What it does, it don’t let it air slack. Air slack? Yeah, when it gets air slack is when it starts opening up. I see. We drove a lot of them that way, and we did that same thing in the deep holes down there, and we’d wire- mesh them and rock- bolt them. But first they had rock bolts, you had to mix it by— they had little deals about three foot long, half- shell thing. You had to mix this cement and put in there, and then shove in the hole the loading stick, and then shove your bolt into it. But a lot of that— and we shot some of them holes, when the bombs went off. We’d go back in there and there’d be a lot of them bolts down on the ground, but there would very seldom be a rock bolt that you put in with a deal on the end, what do they call them? But them cement ones would come out. Oh, I see. So the other kind would stay in, even after the explosion? Mm hmm [ yes]. You would go in after a shot also? After they would shoot a bomb, you guys would go back in? Yes. OK. What would that be like? Well, they give you two pair of gloves, and then they expect you to wire in rounds. You have to drill, shoot, and then on the primers they got two wires, and you had to wire one, then wire this one, then go around till you completed the deal, and then tie a hot wire to each one. And it was hell trying to tie them deals. And finally this guy come in there and he showed us that you take two of them, fold them over like that, and just give them a twist. And what we was trying to do was turn them on. And you had coveralls. Some shots, you had two pair of coveralls. And then UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 the holes would get so damn hot when you was drilling, you had to go in there with water to try to cool them down before you loaded dynamite in them. Oh. So you’re going back in by dynamiting to get back in. Yes. Are you one of the guys who got material or equipment out of there? Would you be recovering that kind of stuff? No. What we do is just, like we’ll get to ground zero, then we’d back out and then let the users go in there, and they knew what to get and everything. But one time, they said just drive a drift out there and you go into the hole. Well, I was in that hole, and we had a bulkhead up here, just plywood, and the first guy in there was a miner, the second guy was a shifter, and then me. And we were going down, had all that air shit on, and the miner was way ahead of us. Or no— well, he was ahead, but anyway, we was staggered one like that one and then me. And when I looked up and seen that bulkhead gone, I hollered at them guys, told them to stop and come on back. And the radiation, like I had 200 and Coors [ Acorcinio Trujillo] had 300 and the miner had 400. But that’s just [ 00: 25: 00] the way we were in that drift. So when we come back out of there, and then Flangas got— I think it was Bill, says, What the hell you go that far in there for? And I said, Well, if I hadn’t have noticed that bulkhead was gone, we’d have went further. But I noticed it because we had a turnout into there, and all that wood was gone, and I told them, I said, It’s time to stop. And they never did reenter that, so I don’t know. Do you remember about what year that was, or what that test was? It’s OK if you don’t. It had to be ’ 68, I guess. OK. And when you say “ Coors,” that’s Coors Trujillo is that—? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 Coors was this miner. They called him Coors, I guess, because he drank Coors all the time. But his name was— John Campbell will know. Yeah, John, he knows. He’s got a list of everything. Yeah. Because he’s got a list of the names and all the nicknames. Yes. So you had a nickname, didn’t you? Pollywog. That’s what I thought. Yes . But anyway, while I was out there, I had some horses out here, five head, and I was working graveyard and I’d come in and stop and feed them, and then I’d come on home. My wife had a beauty shop on here then. And they come out and said, Where’s Hank? We’ve got to get him right away. This is real important. And she said, Well, I don’t know. He stops and feeds the horses and then I don’t know where the hell he goes. And they said, Well, we’ve got to have him. You’ve got to have him today. No fooling around. So they finally got a hold of me and they said, You’d better get down there and see what they want. I went down and, well, what they wanted me [ for] was to go to Alaska on that shot there, Cannikin shot. See, Solaegui was the one that went up there first. And he looked it all over and he told them, No, I don’t want no part of this. So he come on back. And about two weeks later they got him again. They says, You’ve got to come up there. Well, they had UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 the same problem that we had out here at first. They couldn’t get any miners, and they were getting guys out of that labor hall that were just men working, and then they couldn’t turn on a drill. They could drill if you turned it on for them. And it went on like that. Well then, Frank went out there first and he looked it all over and he said, All right, but I’ve got to have my key men to help. So they said, Well, we can’t do that. And he said, Well, goodbye. So then they said, Well, wait a minute here. You go ahead and call them and see if they can come out. But there was four of us at Mercury. There was Wally Beaman , he’s passed away, Harry Giesler, he passed away, Solaegui, and myself. OK. I’m going to pause for one second before we go on. I want to hear your Alaska story, but I’m going to pause the machine. OK. [ 00: 29: 08] [ Pause for conversation] [ 00: 29: 44] [ Resume interview] OK, so Alaska was— what year was that, do you remember? Seventy- one. So you go up, and that’s for Cannikin? Yes. You go up to Alaska. Now, had they been there a while? [ 00: 30: 00] Yes, [ Peter] Kiewit [ Sons, Inc.] had that job. But what happened was, those guys’ would go down and drill, and they’d shoot that rock because they couldn’t load all their holes and they’d just, whatever ones they could load; they’d just fill them full of dynamite, and when it UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 went off, it’d just pulverize the ground into sand. And it’d go down in the pumps, and then when they— but there, you had to pump twenty- four hours. You couldn’t shut them off. And it’d eat all them [ 00: 30: 30] pillars out, so the whole shaft’d start filling up full of water and it’d come all the way up. So they’d have to, I’m not really sure, but I think then they had to go and tear the head frame back down, lay everything over, and bring the drill rig back in and pump all that water out. And then they’d set up their head frame again and go down and start mining. And they’d do the same thing again. What holes they could load, they’d load the hell out of them and break that rock so fine that it ate the pumps up again. And they said [ they had] so much muck, from blasting and missing the bucket and falling onto the bottom. We have a plate of the hole, and then down underneath it is the pumps. And you have a little door about fourteen by fourteen inches, and you got to take the bolts off it and raise it up and go down in there and get the pump. Oh, I see. But that had about five foot of muck on it, and nobody’d muck it out. Well, what you had to do is go down and muck it into a little bucket, and then a guy’d pull it up and dump it in the bucket, and when it got full, then they’d send it out. And it was so damn hot down that hole, you could only last about thirty minutes, and then you had to take five. And they had a Gatorade. We used to drink that Gatorade. They had a pile of muck there in front of the cage and we kept telling the miners, muck it up, muck it up, and they wouldn’t do it. So Solaegui says one morning to me and Wally Beaman, he says, Come on. We’re going down and muck that out. So we went down there, started mucking, and we mucked a bucket and up it went. Then they had this Gatorade in a five- gallon water can with crushed ice, and it’d just be ice cold. And Wally said to me, Hank, you want a Gatorade? And I said, Yeah, I’ll have one. So he threw me one and I downed it, and then I asked Frank. And he looked at us like what the hell do you think UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 I am? And he didn’t have one. So Wally and I drank ours, and when the cage come back down, we started baling that muck into it. And Solaegui looked at us and he said, Does that Gatorade do that? We said, I don’t know. It gives you another life. And so he said, I’ll have one. So he had one and then, hell, he went to mucking. But if it wasn’t for that Gatorade, I don’t think we’d have ever got anything done. You know, it’s interesting you mention that Gatorade, because I was talking— you tell me if you remember this, if this is true. I was talking to an Air Force guy a couple of weeks ago who was up there for Cannikin, and he said that they ran out of Gatorade and some miners refused to work without it. Do you remember that? Yes, what happened was we were getting the lime, the green Gatorade. And they’d run out of it, but they had the orange, and they sent the orange up there. But criminey, from drinking that green all the time, they didn’t want that damn orange stuff, and so we just had to wait till we got green. So, that’s interesting because he was remembering something about the miners and the Gatorade. Yeah, well, there wasn’t that much difference in it, that I could see, because Gatorade is Gatorade, you know. But they refused to work because it was orange. So I don’t know. [ 00: 35: 00] But we had two guys up there that were on my shift. What they did was we’d work three weeks of one shift and then three weeks another shift and three weeks another shift. So the shift we was working with all got to go home for a week and then they’d come back. Well, then, we changed, the walkers, shaft miners, shaft superintendents they called them, we changed with UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 the men. But these two guys, one was a colored guy and one was a pilot in the German Air Force, and they were down there drilling. And I had to go up top for something, and we rode that cage on a muck signal, because if you rode it with a man signal, hell, you’d freeze to death in the shaft, because it was so hot in the bottom and then cold on top, and soon as you got on top, you went right into the dry room. There was enough heat in there to knock you down. And so I went up for something and I come back and they were over there like on the rib, talking. And the machine was running, but it hung steel and the machine was going around like that but the steel wasn’t turning. And I looked and the one hose was that big around from being stretched. And I jumped down there and turned that air off, and that water. I said, What’s the matter with you guys? If that machine’s running, you stay there with it. If you’re going to go drink something, shut it off. And the one told me to go to hell. The hell with you, he says. And I said, Well, get on the cage. You’re getting the hell out of here. And so then his partner give me some crap, so I said, You get on there with him. And then I got on it and away we went to the top. So I told Solaegui, I said, When I got down there, these guys were over there. We didn’t care they were drinking, but they didn’t shut the machine off, and if that hose would’ve broke, somebody’d have got killed, because that hose, with all that pressure, and that water. So Frank told them to get on the airplane and go on back to here, you know. So they got on the airplane and went back to the union hall. So when they went in there the guy [ the business agent] said, What happened? And the one guy said, Well, just because I was a colored guy, and the other one said, And then because I was a pilot in the German Army, we got fired. So Frank called for some more miners and he’s UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 telling him, No, you’re not getting no more miners till you take these two guys back. Now, they’re sent all the way back here? No, that’s Alaska. Back to the Alaska union hall. Right. Yes. And Frank says, No, he said, I’ll tell you what to do. You go get the business agent from the carpenters, business agent from the operators, and the business agent from the miners, yourself, and electricians, he says, and get on an airplane and come on out here. He says, We got to show you what the hell’s going on. So here they come. And Frank called me and he says, Come on, you’re going to take them guys down and show them what we got. So I had to suit them up with rubber, for the water falling down that shaft all the time. So we suit them all up with rubber and I put two of them in the top and rung it up, and then I got in the bottom with these other two. And this cage we had, it’d hold eight people, four on top and four on the bottom. And we started down the hole and they hollered, No, no, stop, stop, stop! We don’t want to go no further. I said, Well, once this thing’s going, there ain’t no way I can stop it. But all you had to do was reach out and whap that bell cord and he’d stop it that quick [ snapping fingers]. But I just told them, I said, There ain’t no way I can stop this till we get on the bottom. So away we went to the bottom, and none of [ 00: 40: 00] them would get out, and they was all looking around in there, and you couldn’t see for steam, just until you was down there a while and then you could make out stuff. So they said, Well, get us out of here. Get us out of here. So we took them back to the top. And the business agent for the miners says to me, he said, If you know any miners, anywhere, you get a hold of them and have them come to my union hall and I will send them out here. He UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 18 said, I didn’t know you had that kind of a deal down there. And so that’s the way we got— then I knew some miners and I called them and out they come. Come to his hall and he sent them out to us. How far down did you take those guys? How deep was that? Six thousand. Well, it was sixty- one hundred foot to where the pumps were, but we had a bulkhead in there at six thousand, yeah. I’m going to show you something. OK. [ 00: 41: 10] [ Pause here for Mr. Peluaga to retrieve an item.] [ 00: 41: 25] Oh, great. This is what they give me when I got back to Las Vegas here. And a steak dinner