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Transcript of interview with Norma Friedman by Barbara Tabach, November 19, 2015 and April 06, 2016




2015-11-19 to 2016-04-06


It was a scorching Fourth of July, when Norma (n?e Adler) and Leon Friedman rolled into their new home of Las Vegas in 1973. Nevertheless, they were content with leaving Gary, Indiana behind, and starting fresh with the family?s new ownership of Walker Furniture. Norma recalls her first stop in checking out Las Vegas was to visit the synagogue ? Temple Beth Sholom being the only option. Her oldest son would soon become a bar mitzvah. Feeling good about that, she and her sister-in-law who was also relocating to Las Vegas for the furniture business, searched for new homes. Norma settled into the community through volunteer work as well as through employment outside the family business. She worked in the real estate briefly and in a jewelry store at the Dunes. A natural organizer, she immersed herself in religious and civic organizations including the Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service Agency, and volunteering at Selma Bartlett Elementary School in Henderson. Norma shares stories of her Jewish heritage and upbringing in Pittsburgh, the decision to move to Las Vegas, making fast friendships during her life in Las Vegas and the joy she has in traveling the world with Leon, who passed in 2004. In 2017, Norma was honored by the Jewish Family Service Agency.

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Norma Friedman oral history interview, 2015 November 19, 2016 April 06. OH-02522. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH NORMA FRIEDMAN An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ?Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV ? University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Amanda Hammar iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes 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. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE It was a scorching Fourth of July, when Norma (n?e Adler) and Leon Friedman rolled into their new home of Las Vegas in 1973. Nevertheless, they were content with leaving Gary, Indiana behind, and starting fresh with the family?s new ownership of Walker Furniture. Norma recalls her first stop in checking out Las Vegas was to visit the synagogue ? Temple Beth Sholom being the only option. Her oldest son would soon become a bar mitzvah. Feeling good about that, she and her sister-in-law who was also relocating to Las Vegas for the furniture business, searched for new homes. Norma settled into the community through volunteer work as well as through employment outside the family business. She worked in the real estate briefly and in a jewelry store at the Dunes. A natural organizer, she immersed herself in religious and civic organizations including the Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service Agency, and volunteering at Selma Bartlett Elementary School in Henderson. Norma shares stories of her Jewish heritage and upbringing in Pittsburgh, the decision to move to Las Vegas, making fast friendships during her life in Las Vegas and the joy she has in traveling the world with Leon, who passed in 2004. In 2017, Norma was honored by the Jewish Family Service Agency.v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Norma Friedman November 19, 2015 & April 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface??????????????????????????????????..iv Session 1 Explains what she knows about her family heritage; her maiden name is Adler; her mother?s maiden name was Forgash and she was a teenaged Polish immigrant. The family American roots are based in West Virginia, then Pittsburgh. Talks about growing up Jewish in Pittsburgh area; story of how she met her husband Leon Friedman; his proposal to marry in 1957; move to Gary, Indiana near Leon?s sister Deanne Alterwitz ?..?????????????????.1 ? 6 Talks about living in Gary, birth of son (Brad) and daughter (Jodi); working for an engineering company; Leon worked for McKesson and Robbins pharmaceutical company and how he then came to work with his brother-in-law Oscar Alterwitz in the furniture business; describes how Gary became a progressively bad place to live and they considered other cities to do business, including the on-and-off purchase of Walker Furniture in Las Vegas?????.????.7 ? 9 Describes coming to Las Vegas with Deanne for four days to buy houses; first stop was to Temple Beth Sholom; met Leo Wilner; difficult, but successful, search for a house; arrive July 4, 1973; stories of settling; son?s bar mitzvah; children attended K.O. Knudson Junior High and Valley High School.????????????????????????..?????.10 ? 14 Provides more history about Walker Furniture business they bought. More about raising children here; her volunteerism in Women?s Division of Jewish Federation; differences between Las Vegas and ?Back East?; growth of the city?s impact on synagogues and choosing a place to belong?????????????????????????????????15 ? 18 Talks about Jewish identity. Shares story of her father?s immigration to America from Russia at the age of 15; trip to Brazil and connecting with distant relatives, including a sister to her father; how they connected with additional relatives??????????????????19 ? 23 Shares how the Alterwitzes and Friedmans shared family gatherings and traditions. Talks about her two children; she was briefly a licensed real estate agent for a while, affiliated with Al Levy vi Associates; sells houses to Shirley and Sid Chaplin; stories of working seven years for jeweler Mordechai Yerushalmi, Dunes location, tourist clientele?????????????.23 ? 30 Discusses 1990s: entertainment, Caf? Nicole, Green Valley, Club Sports, Barley?s and moving to home in the Fountains (Henderson). Friends Dee and Hal Ober; encouraged her to be on Jewish Federation Board; Leon?s health; Dr. Venger; Leon passed away in 2004. Mentions her and Leon?s work with Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Services, Women?s Division; they led a mission to Israel that was a joint venture between Federation and Congregation Ner Tamid with Bob and Aydie Unger, Rabbi Sanford Akselrad, Deanne Alterwitz her grandson ???31 ? 37 Session 2 Begins with more details about immediate involvement with Temple Beth Sholom upon moving to Las Vegas in 1973. Talks about being USY [United Synagogue Youth] volunteer; good way to meet others such as Mike and Bea Katz, Florence and George Pollock, Bernice and Ivan Eisenberg. How she came to be on board of Women?s Division; Vice-President of Outreach. Recalls names of others involved: Hyla Worth, Sandy Mallin; her long board membership with JFSA; fundraising activities; how JFSA serves the community. Her gratitude to Priscilla Schwartz for her philanthropy. Who can receive help from JFSA; partnering with organizations like Catholic Charities, Three Square (for food pantry); Barbara Raben?s leadership??.38 ? 43 Tells about annual honoring of community members through JFSA; Marcy and Jack Simon; King David, Allen Brewster, Jay Poster; finding people to serve on the board; awarding needy people though JFSA. More about mission to Israel in 2000; four children including her grandson became bar mitvahs that trip. Mentions Leon being on Better Business Bureau board; travel together a result of his advertising position at Walker Furniture??????????..44 ? 48 Shares some of the world trips that they took with Channel 8 (KLAS TV). Talks about other community organizations they were involved in; Selma Bartlett School volunteer; what it was like to raise Jewish children here. Lists Jewish leaders she recalls: the Obers, Greenspuns, and other closing remarks about valley growth???????????????????49 ? 55 Photo Appendix????????????????????????????? 56 ? 60 vii 1 [SESSION 1 This is Barbara Tabach. Today is November 19th, 2015. I'm sitting with Norma Friedman in her beautiful home. Norma, thank you so much for inviting me in. I would like you to spell your last name for us so we have that correct. F-R-I-E-D-M-A-N. Great. I was just sharing with you that I like to start with a little bit of family genealogy. If you will indulge me, tell me what you do know and how far back in your history can you go. And your maiden name was? Adler. What do you know about the Adlers? Not a lot. That's a big gap in my history. I know more about my mother's family. And their name was? Well, the maiden name was Forgash. My mother and her sister came to the United States at ages fifteen and sixteen from Poland and lived with an uncle and worked in a corset factory, saved their money and sent it back for their siblings, and one by one their siblings came to the United States. Were they Holocaust survivors? No, this was before the Holocaust. My mother was born in 1898. Now, she had two sisters that remained in Poland who were killed during the Holocaust. The two sisters were married; one of them had two children. So that was I guess the younger part of her family. Her mother, from what I understand, was at home when the Nazis came to the door; I think she died of a heart attack. Her father had a bakery shop. But that's about the information I know. My mother's 2 family then eventually all settled for a time in Weirton, West Virginia. How did they end up in West Virginia? I believe my mother's older sister, the one that was a year older, I think she got married first and went there. My mother I believe met my father in Delaware possibly and got married. Anyhow, the family was very close, the sisters. I think originally in the family it might have been eleven children. I think two children died at very young ages. That's not counting the sisters that died in the Holocaust. As I say, they brought one by one over and lived in Weirton, West Virginia, where I was born. It was a close family, all the cousins. We were the only family that moved away, an hour away to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So generally on Sundays the family would come into Pittsburgh and we would all get together. So basically your youth was spent in Pittsburgh? Yes. What was it like to grow up in Pittsburgh? Was there a Jewish community? How would you describe your youth? There was a Jewish community, not as much when I was in grade school, but by the time...I don't know what year it was that we moved to Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh and that was a very Jewish community. On the Jewish holidays nobody attended school. The gentiles did not go to school. So that was a very nice thing. When I originally moved to Pittsburgh, we lived in Oakland. Of course that was after the war and there were projects in Pittsburgh, white projects and black projects. My father had a grocery store. There were difficult times. There was rationing at that time. I know in particular one day they were held up at gunpoint. This was probably people that lived in the projects came and reached over the counter for the cartons of cigarettes. My mother was told to open the cash 3 register and she said, "If you want it open, you open it yourself." I think he hit her with a can, which left a scar on her. I don't know where she got the guts for it. But anyhow, those were the times back, I would say, in the forties. We eventually moved from Oakland to Squirrel Hill, which I say was very much a Jewish community. Did your dad stay in the grocery business? Well, he did, but not in Oakland. I think he bought a grocery store on the east side of the city. My father was allergic to many things in the grocery store, I think particularly cutting meat. So he eventually went ahead and bought some properties, which he had a handyman help him make into separate apartments and rented them out. But my father died at a very young age; he died at age fifty-nine from his third heart attack. Oh, my. So how did you meet your husband? His name is Leon, right? Leon Friedman. It's a peculiar story. When I was in high school, I always dated the ones that were a lot older than I was. When I graduated from high school, a friend and I went to Florida for vacation. I had an aunt living there who kept her eye on us. I met a number of young men. I came back home and one of the fellows lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and came to see me. I was totally uninterested with people from out of town. Well, shortly thereafter I got a phone call from a girl who I graduated high school with that I wasn't even friendly with particularly who said to me, "Norma, my cousin and his friend are driving through Pittsburgh on their way to Atlantic City and New York and they'll be here for a weekend going to a wedding. Would you go out with my cousin's friend?" And I said, "How old is he?" He was two years older than me and he was from out of town. And I said, "You know what? I don't really care to do that. He's too young. He's from out of town. Try and find 4 somebody else. But if you can't, call me." She called me. They came through and I went out with them for two days in a row. I thought he was very nice and thought that was the end of it. A week or ten days later I got a phone call saying, "I'm coming back through Pittsburgh. I will stop if you will see me." Which I did. We went out again for a weekend and we wrote a few letters back and forth and then sort of stopped. Then this girl that had called me said, "I'm going to"?he was from Calumet City, Illinois. She said, "I'm going to see my cousin. Is there anything you want me to say to Leon?" And I said, "No, not really." But it reminded me that we hadn't kept up on our correspondence. So I sent him a letter and, peculiarly, he sent me a letter; our letters crossed. It was coming towards?well, let's see?it was September, I guess, when I met him. Anyhow, it was coming toward the holidays, near Christmas, and my friends were going back to Florida for a trip and I couldn't afford it. So I had another friend whose brother lived in Chicago. I said, "Would you like to go for a weekend or a few days in Chicago? Leon will fix you up with somebody and I'll get to see him." We did that and we stayed with her brother, who was in medical school. I did not realize there was over an hour and a half difference between Calumet City, Illinois, and Chicago. So he was driving back and forth to see me. At any rate, he asked me to come back and go out with him New Year's Eve. And I said, "I can't; I have a date." Anyhow, he called me afterwards and said, "How about I come into Pittsburgh in January?" Which he did. He drove in through the snow with a friend. We went out and, shockingly to me, he asked me to marry him. Wow. 5 I didn't know him very long at all. I was totally floored because my oldest sister had been divorced and in those days people did not get divorced. When she did, I had always said if I meet someone I would know them for at least two years and know everything about their family. Well, Leon took me by surprise. It was September of 1956. He took you by surprise. Absolutely. I mean I looked at him and he said, "Answer me." I said, "Let me think." I mean I was totally taken by surprise. I really cared for him, but it was a very short time?anyhow, I said, "Yes." My mother was downstairs with his friend saying, "Tell me about Leon. Is he a nice boy?" I found this out later and I thought, what's she asking him for? She knows him even less than she knows Leon. Anyhow, I didn't tell my mother when they took off. I was so shaken that I called a few girlfriends to come over and then sat down in the living room with my mother and said, "Mom, Leon asked me to marry him and I said yes." I mean really, you think back. At twenty-one years old, no sense. At that point we started flying back and forth. One week I would fly into Chicago; one week he would fly into Pittsburgh. That was January when he came and my mother wanted to meet his family. So we flew into Chicago. They lived in Calumet City. He still lived at home with his parents. We flew in, in March of 1957. My mother met his family. Leon had his uncle have a jeweler at his house with a number of rings to see what I would like to choose. At that time I chose it and we set a date for our wedding for June 9, 1957. He was confident, wasn't he? He told me that after he met me that when he went back home, he told his mother, "I met the girl 6 I'm going to marry." How sweet. Isn't it sweet? Now, what was he doing at the time? He had graduated from college. He was working for McKesson and Robbins selling pharmaceuticals. He had gone to college at the University of Illinois, but the last year he went to Roosevelt in Chicago and he graduated from there. He did that because the year between high school and college he took a job for the railroad and somebody had thrown a match into a barrel of gasoline and it exploded; he was burned, his arms and his ears. He went to the University of Illinois (and) would come home for treatments at Michael Reese Hospital. I believe his cousin was a doctor who was a plastic surgeon. Anyhow, he had a lot of skin grafts on both arms. So I think for that last year it was just easier for him to finish up at Roosevelt University. So the two of you got married in '57. In 1957. Where did you live? We moved to Gary, Indiana, which is a forty-minute ride or so from Calumet City, Illinois where he lived, and we did that because his sister, Deanne, lived in Gary. That's Deanne Alterwitz. Right. They thought there was a nicer Jewish community in Gary than Calumet City. Calumet City was a small town with kind of a bad reputation. They had strip shows there. As a matter of fact, the funny thing is when people heard I was marrying a guy from Calumet City, which I had never heard, but that the reputation of Calumet City wasn't really great. So we moved to Gary, Indiana, the third steel mill town I lived in, never having anything to do with steel mills?7 Weirton, West Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Gary, Indiana. Gray skies all along the way. So you can imagine why I'm so joyful about living in Las Vegas. The sun shines. It makes a difference for sure, to get away from those gray skies. It's kind of insane when you think about it, never having anything to do with the steel mills that I should go from one city to another. So tell me about Gary, Indiana. Did you have children right away? I got married in June of 1957. My daughter was born in April of 1959 and my son was born in March of 1961. Yes. Were you working? What was your life like in Gary, Indiana? Tell me about that. Well, after I got married I got a job working for an engineering company as a secretary and worked there up until my seventh month of pregnancy. They offered, after my daughter was born, to put in a bed if I will come back. Like a bassinet or a baby bed? More like a playpen where she could have been right there. So I did go back to them one day a week for a while, but decided that that wasn't really what I wanted to do. So, no, I didn't work after that. So what was Leon doing? When he gave up working for McKesson and Robbins, he and another man opened a small department store called Treasure Island. It was in Midtown. They opened it I don't know how many months before the big strike of steel mills. So it did not survive for many years. They were there for a few years and just couldn't make it. So after that I think he got a job with Albee Homes, which at that time was like prepackaged housing. They assembled all the materials for a house and you sold that. He did that for a while. Then my brother-in-law, Oscar Alterwitz, had 8 a furniture store and asked Leon to come and work there, which he did. Things got progressively bad living in Gary because it wasn't a good place to?I mean we lived not far off the beach, Lake Michigan, but the city became progressively bad. The mayor ended up in jail, et cetera. So a lot of people started to move to Merrillville, Indiana or Munster, Indiana, which might have been thirty, forty minutes away, and my brother-in-law wanted to move the store there. I was not at all captivated by the area, as you've heard, and I said to Leon, "Please, there are other places in this world where the sun shines. I don't want to do that. I will go to work. I will do anything. I don't want to move there." I think, he convinced Oscar to look further. The jobbers, the salesmen who sold furniture to Oscar's store were put on the alert to find out around the country who had a business for sale. They looked at something in Hollywood, Florida, which didn't pan out. They looked at a number of things. There was even a point in Tucson, Arizona, there was an empty post office building, which would have meant if you went in there you had to start a business from scratch. We went to Tucson to see. We saw it was a very nice Jewish community. Then the business came up here in Las Vegas, Walker Furniture, which is a small business. Oscar checked it out. George Walker said he would sell the store. We got very excited. The time came where Oscar, the attorney and the CPA came out to sign for the business. While they were here in Las Vegas, one evening Leon called me. It was at night. He was closing up the store. He had locked it up and was walking along with a salesman to his car, nine o'clock at night, and saw a car whiz by him where they were walking to their parked cars. He said to the salesman, "Get in your car." He saw the man had something over his face. Leon only got the door open and the deposits went flying in the car. The man got out of the car and with a 9 gun said, "Give me the envelopes." Leon handed them over to him. I guess the guy did not see some that fell on the floor. The next thing was he's calling me from the police station saying, "I was just held up at gunpoint, but thank God Oscar's out there and we're getting out of here." Then he called Deanne , who said, "Oscar just called. George Walker decided he wouldn't sell." It was a very ugly time. Because now you really want to get out. We wanted to get out before and that experience was really... Oh, that's life threatening. That's frightening. Yes, yes. So what happened next? This is great. You like this story? It's great history. So again, the search. We had pretty much of come to the thought of getting that building in Tucson. Leon and I had gone there. We saw what it was. It would have been a difficult thing to do to start a business from scratch. Leon said to Oscar, when they were about to sign the lease or whatever, "Why don't you call George back and see if he might have changed his mind?" So Oscar called him. And I don't know what happened in those three months, whether George wasn't well or were there business things. I think he might not have been feeling well. He said, "I will sell it." And he says, "If I don't, I will pay for all of the attorneys and..." Anyhow, so they came back and they signed the purchase agreement. I don't know what month that was in. At any rate, after that Deanne and I came out to Las Vegas for four days to look for two houses. Because until this point you had never visited Las Vegas? 10 Leon and I had been there once when our children were very young when we had made a trip to California and came back. As a tourist. As a tourist, yes. But we had not? Scoped it out as a place to live. No, no. At that time Walker Furniture was like a no?it's the middle of the city now, but it was a very small store, like almost farmland. So you and Deanne come to look for houses. We came for four days. We had a real estate agent showing us around. The first stop we made was to Temple Beth Sholom. Leo Wilner was the director of Temple Beth Sholom. My son was twelve. He had one more year to be bar mitzvahed. So I knew that the synagogue was a place I had to be able to go take him, pick him up, the whole business. So we said to Leo, "Where do the Jews live?" He said, "They live everywhere." So the Realtor? took us to the east side of town where Beth Sholom was and also to the west side, which from Beth Sholom if I had settled on the west side, what I figured out was twenty minutes to take him to Beth Sholom, twenty minutes for me to go home, twenty minutes to go pick him up and twenty minutes to come back home. So that seemed like an awful lot of time to be putting in whether it was three or four days a week dragging him back and forth to the synagogue. So I said, "No, I've got to live on the east side of town." In the meantime, Deanne found a house. The Realtor? never found something for me because this being a twenty-four-hour town you could walk into a house and so many of the people worked at night and you'd walk into the house and the houses were disgusting that I looked at, clothes, everything. I would talk to Leon every night and I would say, "I haven't 11 found anything. I'm going to have to come back another time." He said to me, "Don't come back without a house." We looked in the newspaper. There was an ad in the paper that said, "House for sale in Francisco Park, call for an appointment." I called and nobody ever answered. So when we got rid of the Realtor, we were driving around the Francisco Park area. Deanne was driving; I wasn't. We saw a house with a for-sale by owner sign. It said, "Call for an appointment." I said to Deanne, "Stop here. I'm going to go knock on the door. If they want to show me the house, fine; and if not, fine." I knocked on the door. This was the day before we were leaving. It was our fourth day. I said, "Would you like to show me the house?" Maybe it was our third day. I said, "I'm leaving. It's up to you." She showed me the house. The house was four years old, clean, immaculate, two-story house, perfect. I said, "Do you want to sell it to me?" We had to go the next day to the title company. He was stationed at Nellis and they were being transferred. So before my plane took off the next day, the morning I went to the title company, signed for the house, and we came back to Gary. Leon never saw the house. So where is Francisco Park? That is between Sahara Avenue and Desert Inn off Pecos-McLeod. Pecos never went through; it went from Sahara to Desert Inn; it didn't go through Desert Inn. It did not continue going south. Valley High School was a couple of blocks away and K.O. Knudson Elementary School was right off Sahara. That's where all the auto dealerships are on Sahara. So you got a house. Got the house. Now you're bringing your two children. What are they thinking at that time? 12 Oh, my son was furious. He had one year to go for his bar mitzvah and he wanted it where all his friends were and he was really upset. That's tough, isn't it? It's a hard thing to do as a parent. You understand what a child is feeling at the same time. Oh, it is. He really was quite upset about it. At any rate, in addition to the furniture store, Oscar owned some warehouses?two or three; I don't even remember how many?where on weekends it would be open to the public and I worked there, too, on the weekends. They had to be put out of business, also. Everything had to be closed up. It was a project. You're talking about closing up all the loose ends in Gary, Indiana. Right. In order to be able to move to Las Vegas. So it was decided that Leon and I were going to come first. The business wasn't going to belong to us yet, but Leon was going to work there to see all the workings. That's why we came first. We arrived here on July 4, 1973. Our furniture had not arrived yet. That's the first that my family saw the house. We went and bought some lawn chairs to sleep on in the living room. All of our worldly possessions of bank statements and stuff were in a cigar box. We drove one car and had one car delivered. So we arrive Fourth of July and, of course, it's very, very hot. The air conditioner in the house went out. We called, I guess, Nevada Power and a man came out and fixed it. We didn't understand why he was kind of waiting around and never did understand. We didn't realize that this was a tip city. Regardless that it's a business, I don't know if you have noticed, but anything you have done people expect to be tipped for, any deliveries you have. We learned that later. So he waited around for a tip. Well, we realized later in conversations with people. "Fourth of July, you didn't give him a tip?" 13 Well, no. So that was our introduction. Our furniture was delivered. Leon went to work every day. I got our kids?well, that was July. So I took Brad over to Beth Sholom where he met Cantor Kohn. We had belonged to a Reform synagogue in Gary and, of course, Beth Sholom being the only synagogue in town was Conservative and had an Orthodox part to it. Cantor Kohn felt that Brad probably wouldn't be able to do that well because he came from a Reform synagogue. Well, he had learned more at the Reform synagogue than the Conservative synagogue taught their children. So anyhow, that was the beginning involvement with Beth Sholom. The very week that we moved here, Rabbi Schnairson and his wife and family also moved here. So we came to Beth Sholom and we were all new, the rabbi and us. I don't know who the rabbi had been prior to Rabbi Schnairson; I think Rabbi Gold. So who were some of the first families you met there? Oh, well, sitting right next to us?it was interesting?Sharon Sigesmund Pierce with her husband, Ray Sigesmund, and her parents. I mean all of these old-timers. Natalie and Artie Berger, her sister who passed away, Libby Spector and her family. We watched all of these who are the young adults and adults today, we watched them grow up. They were all young like my children were. Bernice and Ivan Eisenberg, Florence and George Polock. I'm still very dear friends with Florence. George just passed away a year ago. All of the old-timers were there. That's okay. I put you on the spot on the names. So for Brad, did he make friends right away? Well, he made friends. He started K.O. Knudson School. That went up to ninth grade. He was in seventh grade and Jodi was in ninth grade. Then when he was bar mitzvahed, I had a bar mitzvah party for him at the Sahara Hotel, a luncheon that maybe forty or fifty people were 14 there. It was friends of ours from out of town that came and whatever. He didn't have the friendships here, of course, like he did back in Indiana where he grew up. But it was nice that some of our friends came. Did they do bar mitzvahs the same here as they did ?back East? at that time? That's one of the comparison and contrasts that I've noticed over the years has changed. When we first moved to the West it was a little less of a big party atmosphere. Here you mean? Yes. In Gary when Jodi was bat mitzvahed, she was bat mitzvahed Friday night. Daryl Alterwitz, my nephew, was bar mitzvahed Saturday morning. The same weekend? Yes, because her birthday is April and his birthday is June. So what we did, we had in the evening a party for the children. The only adults we invited were our very dear friends who we said were the chaperons. We did not do the kind of extravaganzas that Las Vegas does now. Las Vegas does extravagant. They do now. Now. But I didn't notice at first that they did. I don't know because we got over that and Brad, of course, was not extravagant. We were happy for anybody that came in because we hadn't been here that long. So I have a hard time describing to you because he was the one and it was shortly after we came. Well, I'm curious. Did your children remain in Las Vegas? They are still here, thank God, and even my granddaughter. The only one that has moved away 15 is my grandson who now has a child. I have a great-grandson. I so wish that he was here, but he's very happy where he is because that great-grandson is not quite a year and a half. So I'm one of the lucky ones, Barbara; that my family did stay here. My children went to ASU and my granddaughter went to UNLV. So they really did plant their roots here in spite of that upheaval. Well, yes. Yes, they both went from K.O. Knudson, they went to Valley High School and graduated from Valley High School. So the business, talk about the transition as you remember it from the Walker ownership to your husband and brother-in-law. Were there any hiccups or anything or did it go smoothly? Did you have a grand opening? What do you remember about it? I didn't work in the business; Deanne did. Well, no, she didn't. She actually didn't at that time. But over the years there kept being additions to the building, probably four or five times now. So I don't know if you have been into the store. It's a fairly large store. Very large, yes. Eventually that street, Martin Luther King, became furniture row over the past fifteen years, twenty years. One of the reasons for the success of Walker Furniture, I believe, is because we were a stocking store. We had the merchandise. We weren't so much a special order store. People moved out here and needed furniture immediately. So that was, I think, one of the reasons for the success and a tremendous amount of advertising. Oh, yes, th