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Luella Knuckles interview, February 28, 1980: transcript







On February 28, 1980, Paul Gentle interviewed Luella Knuckles (b. 1910 in Impolla, Texas) about life as an African-American in Las Vegas, Nevada. Knuckles talks to Gentle about the conditions that African-Americans lived in and the discrimination they faced when first arriving to the city. Knuckles, in particular, spends a portion of the interview discussing the segregated layout of Las Vegas and the jobs and opportunities that were available for the black community in a segregated town. Moreover, she provides anecdotes about her deceased husband’s employment, their experience buying and repairing a property by themselves, and the changes in attitudes as the city desegregated. The conversation later focuses on the Church’s place in the African-American community, education and participation in church activities, and Knuckle’s personal love for books and Bible study.

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Knuckles, Luella, 1980 February 28. OH-01040. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


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UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 1 An Interview with Luella Knuckles An Oral History Conducted by Paul Gentle Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 2 © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2020 UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 3 The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment including many conducted by UNLV History Professor Ralph Roske and his students. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 4 Abstract On February 28, 1980, Paul Gentle interviewed Luella Knuckles (b. 1910 in Impolla, Texas) about life as an African-American in Las Vegas, Nevada. Knuckles talks to Gentle about the conditions that African-Americans lived in and the discrimination they faced when first arriving to the city. Knuckles, in particular, spends a portion of the interview discussing the segregated layout of Las Vegas and the jobs and opportunities that were available for the black community in a segregated town. Moreover, she provides anecdotes about her deceased husband’s employment, their experience buying and repairing a property by themselves, and the changes in attitudes as the city desegregated. The conversation later focuses on the Church’s place in the African-American community, education and participation in church activities, and Knuckle’s personal love for books and Bible study. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 5 Go ahead. When I first came to Las Vegas, the man I married, “Bill” William Knuckles, was living on Second Street. Second Street was where most of the Negroes lived at that time. They were living in little shotgun houses rolled up like popcorn. And after I was here a while, they moved out gradually to what was called the Westside of Las Vegas. But it was a deplorable condition when I first came here. The streets were muddy, there were no lights on the Westside and few places to live. Most of the people, white and black, did not have places to live at that time. You could get a bed any night by putting a blanket on the ground around the casinos Downtown. At that time we had, I know, two or three casinos down on Fremont Street. The Golden Nugget, the Horseshoe and a few more that I can’t recall just now. But on the Westside again, the blacks began to build little shacks. Some were little houses that were made out of cardboard boxes, or anything that they could find to make a home. And, from then on, they gradually began building and buying little homes as best they could. The first building, or some of the first buildings, that was built on the Westside for the blacks was the center for the group youth on D Street. And then the next accomplishment that they made was the—. Is it a hotel around this time? The next was a hotel they built on D and Jackson. At that time, after the building began, they built clothes and had eating places and a nice environment for blacks to go. But when I first came here, they did not allow the Negroes to go out on the Strip. The entertainers who came here, the black entertainers, they could go out and entertain on the Strip, but they had to come back and stay on the Westside. They would not let them stay in the buildings. They wouldn’t let them stay in the hotels? UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 6 No, they could not stay in the hotels. They had to come back along the Westside. The first time Sammy Davis came to Las Vegas, several years ago, he had a show over at the center on D Street. Mm-hmm. And, let’s see—. Can you remember when that was? It was either in ’56 or ’58. Somewhere like that, I don’t know. I just don’t remember the time. But he can verify what I’m saying to you about his show and his being in Las Vegas. So, in other words, he had to like go down to the hotel and do a show and come over here— And come back over here to live. Oh, to live. Did he do a show for the blacks over here too? Yes, he did a show at the center. And, let’s see, what else? Las Vegas wasn’t very large when I came out here. When you got to where the post office is today, that was almost the end of the city coming to the Westside. All of those buildings has been built and everything since then. Which street is the post office on? It’s on—. Third Street? Third. (Unintelligible). Okay, what about your family life here? Can you tell us a little bit about that? (Unintelligible). Yes. I didn’t have much of a family. (Unintelligible). What about the churches then? UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 7 Well, when I came here New Jerusalem was there. And that’s on D Street? That’s, yes, on D Street. And the Methodist Church was up here, on I believe Jefferson and something. At that time Reverend Bennet was there. And since then he has lead the church on. Oh, you talking about (unintelligible). I know of Methodists. Zion Methodists. Zionists, yes. Yes, Zion Methodists. They used to be right here. And, oh I saw Reverend Simmons when I came here. He was the pastor of Saint James Baptist Church. About when did a lot of the changes start taking place? Like when could blacks go in to see these shows and when could, you know—? Well, when the Moulin Rouge was built. I think that was about fifty something, I don’t know but anyways, when it was the year it was built. It was put up as an international thing and everybody could go, all races could go. What is that? Is that a hotel? Yes, it’s a big hotel for the (unintelligible) in the Moulin Rouge Hotel. Have you heard about it? No, I don’t think so. Anyway, it was put up and that is the cause of Negroes going out onto the Strip today. Because it was crowded most of the time with everybody. And it was about to close up. Well it’s not out there, it was out there. Yes, yes. So rather than to close that, they closed this. Right, ’cause everybody was coming over here instead of to—yes. Right. And since then, the Moulin Rouge hasn’t done anything because the Negroes in Las Vegas, when they closed that, they marched out on the Strip and went in those places. And, you UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 8 know, what do they call it? Some kind of march they have. A demonstration? Demonstrated until they opened up things for the Negroes here. And then when they opened up so the Negroes could go out on the Strip, the Negroes go anywhere they please and want to now as long as your money lasts. Right (laughs). But this Moulin Rouge hasn’t done anything (unintelligible) since, they tried to overlook and have a little something there. Is it closed down now? No, (unintelligible) talks of having it open (unintelligible). What street is it on? Because I don’t know. You don’t? Let’s see. Moulin Rouge is on—what street is it that you come on into Nevada? From town, under the underpass. What street is that? The (unintelligible) street. Bonanza? Mm-hmm. Bonanza. The street, yes. Straight down Bonanza. And you go see it and look at it. It’s a nice building and it’s got everything. And it used to be in the (unintelligible). Mm-hmm. It was something, because it had the most beautiful black gals you’d ever seen. On the stage. And they had those black fellas all walking around with all their big guns and things, you know, horses and things. It was a place with something to do and that place was crowded. Do you know if, like, blacks owned it, rented? No, they first said that Joe Louis owned it or something. Or held a part and was put up, but I don’t know who owned or how (unintelligible). It flourished there for a while, until that UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 9 happened. Then they claim it went broke, but that place couldn’t go broke when it was crowded day and night. So it just, all that change took place back in, what, the sixties? Yes, just about the sixties I would say. So that is why things are like they are now. And since then, Las Vegas has just been blooming, you know, because we would rather (unintelligible) as I say and spend our money (unintelligible). Do you recall like what type of jobs blacks had during that time? Well most of their jobs were somewhere in kitchens and, you know, work like that. Whatever they could do, like painting, yardwork or whatever they could get to do. And then after some time, they had (unintelligible). But most of the people that came to Las Vegas, what brought the people here was that dam. You know, out there? Oh, Hoover Dam. Hoover Dam. Right, right. And Henderson Plant, that Henderson out there. It’s a sewage plant, I think. Well anyways, they came here to work and the people were here by the thousands to work with nowhere to live. Oh, I see. I see. And that’s what caused the conditions. Do you know if a lot of blacks actually worked on the dam? I guess they did. I don’t know of them personally. No? UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 10 But I’m sure they did because they were working, a lot of them. Just like, that was able, you know, to do that kind of work. Just like (unintelligible). So you would say that’s what you think brought most of the people here? Yes, it was. Was the dam? The dam and the (unintelligible). And at that time, they could all rake up money in Las Vegas. Mm-hmm. Because the people had the money and didn’t have any place to spend. Oh, yes. Yes. And for that reason, they had better money. (Unintelligible) when I first married him (unintelligible) come out here, he was making money everywhere and he was running like a little beaver. He worked night and day. He worked for Pat Clark for fifteen years before I came (unintelligible). What kind of business was he? I don’t know, dealer. Like selling cars? Selling and working and doing everything. (Unintelligible) Whatever they do that he worked for that job. Oh, that’s the car dealer, right? Mm-hmm. Yes. And after years, after that (unintelligible). Pat Clark, who when I came here, Pat Clark’s where Bill was working was on Second Street. Didn’t I tell you that the Negroes all live down there? UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 11 Oh, yes. Yes. Where the Fremont sits now was where Pat Clark’s Pontiac business used to be. Right, right. On the corner of Fremont and Second. Mm-hmm. And, of course, after Bill died after years, they moved out (unintelligible) and Fremont stands where that was. But (unintelligible) Bill’s, his little house was around three buildings on Second Street from where he (unintelligible). As I told you, all of them houses were rolled up on Second Street during that (unintelligible) had to go to town at night and park those huge cars because they didn’t have a parking lot or a parking place in town. And he could go down (unintelligible) and bring in seventy eighty dollars a month, silver dollars for, you know—. Parking cars. Parking cars for people. A dollar a car. He’d bring and he’d say here’s some money you can have for (unintelligible) want to and besides that he was getting his salary (unintelligible) Pat Clark. Right. Then he picked up all the rakes. You know (unintelligible) little record car things and he’d get out from here like a fire horse when they called, you know. And the telephone would ring he’d just (unintelligible) up and (unintelligible) the horn would be blowing, I could hear it a long ways (unintelligible). Then whatever it was, he took pictures. All the pictures you see in the newspapers (unintelligible). Billy used to take them when I first came out here. Oh, yes? To put it in the papers and he made money that way. See what I mean? Mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 12 And he was just making money all the time (unintelligible) just working like a little beaver. When I came here, as I said, they were staying (unintelligible). How did, the way it was then, how did it compare like to the South? Was it the conditions similar or was the South better or—? Oh, a lot in the South was better than what it was here in Las Vegas—. Really? Or about the same. Because they were so prestige they didn’t want the Negroes to go in and eat (unintelligible) and all that kind of stuff. (Unintelligible). Why do you think like—? How did all the blacks get over here on the Westside? I mean, just this particular area. Because I notice like, I guess this is where most of the blacks live. How come they didn’t go to another area like north of here or—? It was because the white people was, you know, they didn’t want them across on the side, living where they lived. As I said, it was so prestige they couldn’t even buy if they had the money. Because, you know—. So not too many whites live over here? No whites, no. There was mostly Negroes along this side, in this section like you see. Right, right. Mm-hmm. Now these late years they’ve built these new additions and new houses and new places all around and everybody lives in ’em. Mexicans and Indians and Negroes and white folks and everything. But they didn’t do it then, in the sixties. It just wasn’t done. (Unintelligible) the segregated places west that I had ever seen (unintelligible) because I had been living in Muskogee. And Muskogee is all American town, they don’t hardly know you’re black in Muskogee. You know? UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 13 Yes. It’s nice. Because the doctors, white and black, they were all together. Business and things was all together. Kids all played together, go to school together and the people lived together. My mother lived like here, and it was a white family, now color family, this right here. And the next building was right there. And across the street it was white folks, you know, and the kids and things. They just lived like that and didn’t think nothing about it. And go any place you want, do anything you want to. So when I come out here I say, “Lord, I just can’t live in this place.” And Bill says (unintelligible). Mm. Well, could you tell a little bit more about the churches, as far as—? You know, you said there was only like two or three then. Well, let me ask you this. How do you feel like the church has a place, as far as you know, in the community and in the city? How do you feel like the church—what place the church has? What place the church has? Yes. I mean, you know, do you feel like the churches here are really strong? I’ve heard like down south and back east, you know, people go to church and they’re really faithful. But I’ve heard like in California, because I lived there, they say that there the churches aren’t really as strong, not as many people go. I was wondering, like here, is it pretty much the same way? Do you feel like the churches are really strong here, are they—? Well, yes they are stronger than they were when I came because there’s more of them. All the churches, has you know, developed. But the churches are pretty strong here now. Very much needed, too, in Las Vegas. (Unintelligible) churches now? (Unintelligible) There’s one, two, three, four, five. I think there’s about, I would say six or seven UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 14 churches when I first came here. But I don’t know how many churches there is here now. It’s a lot I would say. (Unintelligible). Mm. Have you lived here in this particular house ever since you’ve been here? Mm-hmm. Really? Mm-hmm. Just this one. When I came here, as I said, the Negroes didn’t have any place to live. We were passing here one Sunday evening, just riding here, just riding around to look, and there was a sign on this house for sale. Some people had lived here, and they left and went to someplace. Anyways, they moved away and had this place for sale. Mm-hmm. And the house was—well, you know, needed work. It was run down (unintelligible), there was sand in here. But at that time, here was in the country in Las Vegas. I was out in the country, I wasn’t in the town. In the city, yes. The city. I said, “Bill, who owns that place?” He said, “I don’t know.” I said, “Well, maybe we could do something. Maybe we could buy it or do something.” And he said, “Well.” I said, “You should try to find out.” He said, yes. So when he found out who it belonged to, then (unintelligible). And Bill said, “Well, I could (unintelligible).” The owners, were they black or were they white? White. And they had had horses and cows and all that kind of stuff all out in here (unintelligible). So this was like—. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 15 And they had—. This was, you said, it was like country. It was like farms and—. Yes, it was kind of like—it was just a country from Las Vegas then. What they called Las Vegas town. Yes, right. And they had, what was this (unintelligible). (Unintelligible). (Unintelligible) something around that. Anyway, things was out in the yard. Butane. Oh, butane gas. Yes. That was what they were using, butane gas. What, to heat the house? To heat everything. The house, (unintelligible) what you use. And those things were out in the yard, there used to be another house there. (Unintelligible) that was in the back, back there. And when I come and look, I said, “Well, I can’t deal with that kind of stuff,” I said, “no.” He said, “(unintelligible) I’m having some electric put in.” And do you know that’s why I have electric everything in my house (unintelligible). And I had it before they even had any gas lines or anything (unintelligible). Well, as I said, I had (unintelligible) and I tried to put it to good use somewhere. So Will said, “I have (unintelligible).” He said, “Well, if you were to put down the first down payment (unintelligible). How much did it cost? (Unintelligible) I think it was twenty-seven thousand. Twenty-seven thousand? Mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 16 What year was that? In ’56, ’55. Anyhow, I put the first down payment on this place and that year that he did (unintelligible). It was like he was trying to get everything fixed, you know, so I would be comfortable. Yes. And he painted and papered. And put in a bath like that, back there in the back, in the back of the house they had shower, little shower (unintelligible). Little shower, yes. No bathtub, just (unintelligible) and pigs had been going in, it was so dirty. Bill took all of that out that same year when we first, you know, first year we were married. Took that out and put my little bathroom back there. He papered and painted. He worked night and day after we decided that we would try to remodel the place and keep it. Yes. And before he died, I was—. (Tape one ends). I had two homes in Oklahoma and after my husband died, I figured if I could just get rid of what I had in Oklahoma (unintelligible) I could soon get it cleared up. You had those at the same time you were living here? You still had ’em? I had ’em when I came here and married Bill in Oklahoma. Oh, okay. See they were in Oklahoma and once I left there—. You still owned them though? Mm-hmm. In Oklahoma. And when I married and he died, my brother came to live with me for UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 17 one, you know, when he came to live from Kansas City he said he came to live until he died with me. And he lived with me for twelve years before he passed away. After that, I sold those homes in Oklahoma to clear up this, what was here. And before all of this buzz came to Las Vegas, I had my home cleared and everything. Was the property here more expensive than in Oklahoma or was it more expensive here? Well I don’t know, it might have been just about the same or something. About the same, yes. So that’s why I’m in Las Vegas. The Lord brought me here and he has kept me. Okay, let’s get back to, you know, all the big hotels that are here now. When did they start being built? Well, when I first came out here, what they call the Strip, it was the Thunderbird—let’s see (unintelligible). Anyway, it was just about two or three casinos out there and they looked like little buns. Wasn’t any upstairs, you know, to any of them. And all of them has been added to them and since then and many more after. The Flamingo I think was another one of ’em that was out there. And what they called the Silver Slipper. And at that time, it was quite a distance from Downtown to what they called out on the Strip. But now so many buildings has been built, you can’t miss the in-between, you know. Mm. How did most people get around? By car? Yes. Was there any buses or anything like that then? No. No buses? Uh-uh. Just cars. That was our transportation, just cars. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 18 Okay. The hotels, you know, more of like the big ones, like Caesars Palace and all of these. They were built like around the sixties? Yes, they were all built in the sixties I would say. When they did start, it was just like popcorn. Just looked like it—. All of a sudden. Mm-hmm. Sprung up like popcorn. Has the people changed? Well, you know, the black community. Has the attitude or the ways of people changed since then? Do you notice a change in the people at all? Yes, there’s quite a change in the people now to what it was years ago. What kind of changes? Everywhere, I guess. They’re more friendly and everything. And they could work together better certainly. That’s about (unintelligible). (Unintelligible). That’s a mouthful of (unintelligible) (laughs). This part is good (unintelligible). You’ll be so gummed up you’ll want food and water. Let me ask you this. Did you go to any schools here? No. You had already finished school, right? Mm-hmm. I finished school in Texas. I graduated from (unintelligible) High School. Of course, I had to. I attended Bishop College in Marshall, Texas. You did attend Bishop College? Mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 19 Really? Mm-hmm. I had thought about going because—I thought about going there one time. Bishop? Yes. Bishop was a wonderful school. Mm. I’ve heard a lot about it in the last two years, you know. They said it’s been a lot of scandals going on. Things like that. Well nothing’s like it used to be, you know. Yes, that’s true. That’s true. Nothing like it used to be. Long years ago, you didn’t hear all of this stuff you’re hearing now. There’s a lot of (unintelligible). Yes, yes. I can’t live for it. I just live for (unintelligible). And some other things I can take because I’m, you know, (unintelligible). Since you’ve lived here, were you like in any other organizations? You know, outside of the church or—? (Unintelligible). Yes. Did you belong like to any clubs or any things like that? Yes, Eastern Star and (unintelligible). I am now the Vice Supreme Grand Matron of (unintelligible). Do you know him well? Los Angeles, Doctor T.J. Jones. I don’t know him personally, but I’ve seen his picture in the paper several times. Well he is a Grand Master. (Unintelligible). Different places, some from Los Angeles, some UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 20 from San Francisco and some from Sacramento. And some from different places, you know. Mm. That’s where we’d go. And those two burbs are from Saint James Sunday School. I was a superintendent at the Saint James Sunday School. Really? For about twenty years. I’d say I did a great service over there. When I came here, Junior Walker, you know him? Yes. Junior was just about ten years old. Yes. And I guess I’m the first one that started Junior off in (unintelligible). Really? He’ll tell you. He was coming to Sunday school and he was just a little boy. We didn’t have anybody to play for the Sunday school. Right. Sunday school is kind of down like it is now. (Laughs) Like it is now. Do you know what I mean? Yes, yes. And, as I said, I don’t know I was just full of vitality and (unintelligible) then. And one Sunday, I said, “Junior.” He said, “(Unintelligible) Knuckles.” I said, “I want you to play in the summer school.” “I can’t play, I can’t play but two little songs,” that’s what he said to me. Mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 21 I said, “Well you play the two little songs and (unintelligible).” And I have all kinds of song books, I used to learn to acquire everything, you know, growing up. I had all kinds of song books and Junior started playing these two little songs every Sunday and then I would teach him songs out of books we were saying on Sunday morning. And finally, I had a little choir there (unintelligible) for Sunday school, in the Sunday school. Right, right. (Unintelligible). And they would come and sing. Then the grownups would come because a lot of them come and bring their children and, you know, want to see the kids performing like that. And that made an addition to the Sunday school. Mm-hmm. I learned a lot of them how to write names and how to do a lot of things, you know, that they didn’t know when I came here. For a while, we had the fullest Sunday school in town. Yes? For a while. How old is Saint James? It was here when I came here. Really? Mm-hmm. I noticed the sign out there, ’cause I guess they reorganized—. Mm-hmm. I guess so, but anyhow, Saint James was here when I came here. And they had just moved in to that building where they are now. It was a building that they had moved there and put on that lot at that time. And it was just a front door and a back door to the thing. Mm. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 22 Bill had a sister that was living with him when I came out here to marry him. We went over that church one night and (unintelligible) Sunday school lesson. And when we went in and sat down, he said, “Miss Knuckles, you take over.” I said, “Oh Lord (unintelligible).” And so he (unintelligible). So when he comes back in, he said “We’re going to have a talk sister Knuckles.” I said, “(unintelligible) and I’m not here to just criticize. I want you all to see me like that. I’m here to help if I can.” (Unintelligible). I said, “You know, when you start school you first have to learn your ABCs and then go up. You can’t go up and then expect to do big things and don’t know this back here.” Right. I said, “I hate to tell you but you’re studying the wrong books. Because I was raised hard (unintelligible) and classes and things like that. We will go get some books and start out right. I think you’ll do good buying more (unintelligible). We each have lessons (unintelligible).” And I worked with them for a long time and then after years they got to where (unintelligible) (unintelligible) (unintelligible) (unintelligible). And I hate to see the Sunday school drag, I really do. It’s part of me (unintelligible). That’s pretty much the way I grew up in church, my wife grew up in church. As I said, my father’s a preacher (unintelligible). Mm-hmm. You know, we used to be active in the church. Not just singing and Sunday school—. Singing is not all of it. Right, right. And that’s one thing I noticed about Saint James—. UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 23 Yes, yes. Get carried away with that singing. The singing, I mean that’s all everybody participates. All these young people, that’s all they do. (Unintelligible) and you can’t get one to say he’ll teach or try to do nothing. Right, no. I’m supposed to be assistant superintendent in Sunday school now. Now? Yes, now. But I guess I’ve gotten kind of discouraged cause I go on Sunday and there’s nobody to teach. Well—. I’m supposed to teach the men class. They never have, that’s something else. I’ve tried for years to have a men class over there. Mm-hmm. And maybe they would come, men (unintelligible) for a month and after that they hang off. I said, “Listen, you need a class for men in this Sunday school.” Yes. You know, this has only been for like about a month. It’s only been Deecan Van Buren and myself and—. When they put Deecan Van Buren there, it was just (unintelligible) because he didn’t know even how to start, do you know what I mean, being the superintendent. So then they, you know, made other things. I just don’t like this (unintelligible). Right, right. I don’t. It just gets all over me. Just doing it to say that we have it. I’ve noticed that too. Mm-hmm. (Laughs) I go there but I don’t go to Sunday school now like I used to because I don’t UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 24 feel like hopping over there a lot of times. (Unintelligible) but if you can get the children, you’ll get the parents. Right, right. If you get those kids (unintelligible). I’ll tell you what to do. That little baby singing that got up for the past, see if you can’t get that kind of (unintelligible) in the Sunday school. Ask the pastor to let them sing for Sunday school and see if it won’t bring some of them in. Yes, yes. Because they got to bring the kids and that’ll bring more people in and that (unintelligible). But what they need is teachers (unintelligible). That’s right (laughs). You (unintelligible). It’s just one of those things, you just have to keep plugging and doing the best you can. Can you say that this is just this particular church that is like that or is it kind of like that with other churches? I don’t know because I don’t visit the other churches too much now anymore. And I don’t know just what they’re doing. Mm. But some of the churches I know I did from doing other things. Now there’s Reverend Thompson. Have you ever been to his church (unintelligible)? Right. Yes, yes. Reverend Thompson, I’ve been knowing him for quite a while. I knew him before he started preaching. What’s his name again, Victor? Victor. I knew him before he started preaching. He used to go up here to this church. I think he UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 25 was ordained up there at that church when Reverend (unintelligible). And he used to come here and have Bible study after he was called to preach. We would have Bible study, just us. You know, he said, “I just wanted to come have Bible study with you, sister Knuckles.” I said, “Well come on.” So, say, we would do that on Tuesday nights. He would come every Tuesday night and we have our Bible class and get in hour or two and run a reference and do different things, you know, in the Bible. And we did that until one night his wife came here and she liked to knock my door down. Boom, boom, boom. I thought it was the police (laughs). She said, “Is my husband here?” I said, “Yes, ma’am. Come in, we’re having Bible study. Come in.” She come on in. I said, “Why don’t you sit down and take a part of this” “No, I’m ready to go. I’m ready to go (unintelligible).” She had curious ideas, I don’t know what was wrong with her. Yes (laughs). (Laughs) I said, “Well, all right.” So after that, he came here once after. I said, “Look, if your wife is going (unintelligible) about you coming here to my house, just don’t come back.” He said, “Oh, I ain’t going to be bothered about that.” (Laughs) Every time I see him now he just laughs, you know. He’s a good teacher, too. And he studies. You got to study to stay ahead of the people. Whatever you do, whatever it is—I don’t care what it is—you’ve got to study so that you can be just a little bit ahead of them. Know just a little bit more than they know, because you can’t teach what you don’t know. What was Saint James like before Reverend (unintelligible)? Well, they were kind of scattered in a way. They’d had three, four preachers. And they didn’t keep any of them after Reverend Simmons died, and when Reverend Simmons lived it was together. Pretty good, you know. But after he died, it just scattered and (unintelligible). His wife was, Miss Simmons (unintelligible). Well, I’ll say this, every woman is not cut out to be a UNLV University Libraries Luella Knuckles 26 preacher’s