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Transcript of interview with Steven Liguori by Claytee White, January 20, 2010


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Steven Ligouri is an artist who is a born and raised Nevadan whose artistic creations can be enjoyed at such places as the Hoover Dam, where his famous High Scaler sits comfortably [above left photo]. The stories of this statue and others are included within this interview. Steve began mastering his trade as a youngster making jewelry with assistance of his father, Bruno Ligouri who owned a turquoise shop in Boulder City. Since his birth in 1962, Steve has lived in several locations: a family farm in North Las Vegas, John S. Park neighborhood, in Boulder City, and eventually back to John S. Park. Returning to the John S. Park neighborhood after a 22-year absence gives him the chance to reflect on the changes that have occurred. Steve fondly calls the neighborhood "home" and firmly believes it can reach its potential.

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[Transcript of interview with Steven Liguori by Claytee White, January 20, 2010]. Liguori, Steven Interview, 2010 January 20. OH-01117. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Steven Ligouri An Oral History Conducted by Claytee White Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas © Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries 2010 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries, Director: Claytee D. White Project Creators: Patrick Jackson and Dr. Deborah Boehm Transcriber and Editor: Laurie Boetcher Editor and Production Manager: Barbara Tabach Interviewers: Suzanne Becker, Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White ii Recorded interviews, transcripts, bound copies and a website comprising the Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood Oral History Project have been made possible through a grant from the City of Las Vegas Centennial Committee. Special Collections in Lied Library, home of the Oral History Research Center, provided a wide variety of administrative services, support and archival expertise. We are so grateful. This project was the brainchild of Deborah Boehm, Ph.D. and Patrick Jackson who taught at UNLV and resided in the John S. Park Neighborhood. As they walked their community, they realized it was a special place that intersected themes of gender, class, race/ethnicity, religion, sexuality and gentrification. Patrick and Deborah learned that John S. Park had been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and that original homeowners, local politicians, members of the gay community, Latino immigrants, artists and gallery owners and an enclave of UNLV staff all lived in the neighborhood. Therefore, they decided that the history of this special place had to be preserved, joined with the Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries and wrote a grant that was funded by the Centennial Committee. The transcripts received minimal editing that included the elimination of fragments, false starts and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the narrative. These interviews have been catalogued and can be found as non-circulating documents in Special Collections at UNLV's Lied Library. Deborah A. Boehm, Ph.D. Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar 2009-2010 Assistant Professor, Anthropology & Women's Studies Patrick Jackson, Professor John S. Park Oral History Project Manager Claytee D. White, Director Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries iii Interview with Steven Liguori January 20, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White Table of Contents Introduction: born Las Vegas, NV (1962); parents had a farm in North Las Vegas, then bought a home on Bonita Avenue. Father Bruno Liguori was "a very colorful man: came to Nevada to mine gold, owned several businesses, helped to establish Channel 8 television on Black Mountain. 1 Gold mining and processing. Production and sale of turquoise. Cutting and carving turquoise and doing silversmithing as a business. Collaboration with Native American artists. 2 First move to John S. Park Neighborhood (ca. 1972). Set up lapidary shop in home. Learned silversmithing and jewelry-making from father Bruno Liguori. 4 Sculpture series of Floover Dam workers: importance of history as a foundation for future generations. Subject of first statue: Hoover Dam worker Joe Kine. How the statue was sculpted and cast. Dedication and gift of statue to Joe Kine. 5 Making jewelry for varied clientele: entertainers, actors, boxers, royal family of England. Father Bruno Liguori died 1997. Closed store in Boulder City, NV and began to work as a full-time artist. 10 Creation of Veterans Memorial Monument of Southern Nevada (1990): reflections on honoring the ultimate sacrifice. Liguori family and their service in American wars. 11 Description of High-Sealer monument on Hoover Dam (dedicated 2000). 12 Current sculpture of Labrador retriever Nig and his history as a mascot of the Hoover Dam workers. 13 Public art in Boulder City, NV: creation of Center for the Arts and first public sculpture park in Southern Nevada. Artist John Stockman and his contribution to the arts. Sculptures of Hoover Dam workers Rip and Alabam'. What this public artwork says to people of Boulder City. 14 Description of first home in John S. Park Neighborhood: inexpensive three-bedroom home with garage. Bruno Liguori and his work. Moved to an apartment (1978), worked at Desert Inn Hotel and Casino, worked on houses, then opened Bruno's Turquoise with father in Boulder City. 16 Moved back to John S. Park Neighborhood (ca. 2000). Married and had a family. Purchased the Santino home. Creation of Mary Dutton Park and Circle Park and sculptures installed there. 18 Feelings about the closing of Circle Park. 21 Political activism in the John S. Park Neighborhood: opinion on proposed Stratosphere rollercoaster. Need for non-gaming activities for families, such as those provided at Circus Circus when it opened in the late 1960s. 22 iv frrrn aSpeCt ° ^e John S" Park Neighborhood: a mostly Mormon community (ca. 1972), many professionals and wealthy people, more "neighborhood-y." Today, fewer wealthy people, more yuppies, less social interaction. Would like the neighborhood association to be more active 24 Changing the John S. Park Neighborhood to the Huntridge Neighborhood^ 25 Becoming a historically designated neighborhood and what that means to the John S. Park community: some residents are changing the historical look of their homes. 26 Increasing power in the John S. Park Neighborhood as a result of battles over the Stratosphere rollercoaster and proposed high-rises. Has not been politically active recently. Comments on politicians forwarding their own agendas rather than working for the people who elected them. 27 Potential for development on Fremont Street East 28 Connection of John S. Park Neighborhood to First Friday and what that means to the artists. Artists who live in the community. Reflections on art and what it should mean to people. Public art and its connection to neighborhood and community. Thoughts on arts development along Fremont Street East and need for security in order to attract business. Participation of local artists in First Friday 29 What artists do for a community when they move in: bring a different type of life to the neighborhood. Some neighborhoods do not care for artists 33 John S. Park Neighborhood has changed "tremendously" since the early 1970s. What he likes about living in the community: centrally located, grew up in neighborhood, loves his house, has many friends there. Memories of growing up in the community: "down-home people," everybody knew each other. What the neighborhood could do now: block parties, meetings to talk about community issues: security, crime, public awareness. 34 What the John S. Park Neighborhood means now: home. Believes community can reach its potential. Needs more communication. 36 Conclusion: people in the John S. Park Neighborhood: diverse, some not as wealthy as they were, some who are still wealthy, professionals, young families, different ethnic, racial, and religious groups. Community activities tend to segregate people of different groups. Need to work on bringing neighborhood back together. 37 Preface Steven Ligouri is an artist who is a born and raised Nevadan whose artistic creations can be enjoyed at such places as the Hoover Dam, where his famous High Scaler sits comfortably [above left photo]. The stories of this statue and others are included within this interview. Steve began mastering his trade as a youngster making jewelry with assistance of his father, Bruno Ligouri who owned a turquoise shop in Boulder City. Since his birth in 1962, Steve has lived in several locations: a family farm in North Las Vegas, John S. Park neighborhood, in Boulder City, and eventually back to John S. Park. Returning to the John S. Park neighborhood after a 22-year absence gives him the chance to reflect on the changes that have occurred. Steve fondly calls the neighborhood "home" and firmly believes it can reach its potential. vi J ORAL HISTORY RESEARCH CENTER AT UNLV Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood Name of Narrator: Use Agreement Ll (?) tl r 7) Name of Interviewer: ( ^Z /f Y~7 -//• Wc, the above named, give to the* )ral/Hislory Research Center of UNLV, the recorded video interview initiated on —j l'Jl/. L ^/. /ls as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes a/shall he determined, and transfer to die University of Nevada las Vegas, legal title ana all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude die right of die interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use die recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. I here will be no compensation for any ink ' / nig ijtnt Library Special Collections 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-7010 (702) 895-2222 Interview with Steven Liguori January 20, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White This is Claytee White, and I'm from UNLV [University of Nevada, Las Vegas], and I'm with Steve today in his home here in John S. Park [Neighborhood], It is January 20, 2010. Steve, tell me a little about your early life, where you grew up and what that was like. I was born at Sunrise Hospital here [in Las Vegas, Nevada] in 1962.1 grew up here. My parents had a farm off of Nellis Boulevard, and then they bought a house on Bonita [Avenue]. I forget what year that was. I lived there until I was like nine years old. My father [Bruno Liguori] came out here to do mining. He had a kiddy-ride business, so he had all these kiddy rides for the markets. Then he also had a window-washing business. And he came out here to be a miner. Tell me what kind of mining. Gold mining. He wanted to be a gold miner. He had mines and stuff. He put up the first TV station on Black Mountain with the gentleman who owned Channel 8. He carried everything up there and did all that stuff. That was brutal. He would tell me stories about that. What kind of stories did he tell? Oh, how he had to carry the water and the cement up there, and how hot it was, and digging in the rock, [about] the gentleman that owned the television station back then. He 2 owned it until he passed away, I guess. He owned Channel 8 for years. He was the original owner.—Just, you know, how rough it was. So do you remember any of the businesses that he had? He had New York Seltzer [a soda business]. He had pure syrup, so everything was like natural syrups, so if it was cherry, it was real cherry; if it was grape, it was real grape. He had a business out here with that and then would go to the homes and deliver it, so it was pretty cool. And then he had a window-washing business also. He had a Key-Rite [Security] business. He was an inventor also. He did all kinds of inventions. He made toys [and] furniture. He did all kinds of stuff. We'd go mining every weekend, and then he would take and bring guns and teach us how to drive and, you know, we'd get to blast. He actually found a helmet and a chest-piece from the Spaniards up on [Mount] Potosi when he was mining up there, which was really pretty cool. He was a very colorful man. Did he find gold? Oh yeah. Oh yeah. So how was gold processed? If he found gold, what did he do with it? What we would do is we would take the ore that we found, and we would do like assays of it. So we had a special scale that we had to have a solid cement table, let's call it, so it wouldn't move, and you could take a piece of paper, weigh it, get it all balanced out, and then take a pencil and just slightly touch the piece of paper, and it would have a weight. That's how sensitive the scale was.—Right now a friend of mine in Arizona has that scale; I want to get it back from him.—It had a glass case and you lower the front glass after you did it and then you released everything and it would tear it out and you could weigh it. Pretty interesting. We would take samples, crush them down, do assessment 3 work on it, and then after we would go through and fire a little cupel with lead around ore, let's call it, [and] it'll leave a little dot of gold. We'd measure all the dirt and everything else and from our measurements we'd get how many ounces per ton it was, which was kind of interesting, you know. It was pretty neat, really neat. And then a byproduct of the gold was turquoise; so we would get turquoise from the mines. He knew a lot of the miners and one of the miners asked him, Well hey, why don't you go sell some of our turquoise? We'll sell it. So my dad's like, Really. So we started selling turquoise, which was pretty interesting, because a lot of artists would use it. When my mother and dad got divorced in 1971, we lived off of Charleston [Boulevard] in a really small one-bedroom apartment. He was the first man in Nevada to win the custody of his children, which was unheard of. His attorney back then was Lou [Louis] Weiner, and Lou Weiner was a very prominent attorney here and a good friend of my father's. My father knew so many people. He had a lot of friends. We moved into this little tiny nothing, and I wanted to cut turquoise, so a friend of mine had a lapidary shop set up, and I would go over to his house. We were part of the Gem Club. I would go over there and do silversmithing and stuff like that. But I wanted to carve and cut turquoise, so my dad bought me a little Model T and I'd cut cabochons and then he'd sell them, and I would do silversmithing and he'd sell it. And then we would go to different artists. We went to a lot of Native Americans and we sold them turquoise, and you get to watch what they do. And then I started collaborating with different artists and, you know, we'd make different things up. A lot of Zunis would do inlay work and I really liked that and we'd 4 make pieces. As my dad was selling stones to different people, I would play, which was really pretty fun. And then we moved here, across the street [at] 829 Park Paseo [in the John S. Park Neighborhood], The washroom in the back was my little carving studio. I had a vacuum cleaner hose through the wall. There was like a shed outside the building, so I had the vacuum cleaner in there, had a little toggle switch inside, and had my grinder, and in the garage I had my lapidary equipment. The house that I live in now was [owned by] Mr. [Joseph] Santino. I think Joe had a casino here. He was a big man, really big, big man, maybe six-foot-four or six-foot-five, maybe taller, big fingers. My ring finger is like a seven-and-a-half; his was probably thirteen. One of his hobbies was collecting petrified wood, and cutting it and slabbing it and making bookends [and] tabletops. So I would come across the street over here and watch what he did; he'd come across the street over there and watch what I would do. It was pretty interesting. How did you learn to do all of that? My father would show me how to do it [making jewelry]. He had all the tools and stuff like that. When I was a kid, in order to do silversmithing, I had to leam how to solder with a blowtorch. And I don't mean a blowtorch that blows out. It's like you take an alcohol lamp, you take a piece of charcoal, you cut your silver and put everything together and you have it all set up, and then you put it on top of the charcoal block, and you take this piece of brass tubing with a wooden mouthpiece on the end (I still have it, as a matter of fact) and you blow the alcohol lamp's fire to the charcoal and heat it up, and then you have all your solder already set on it (it's cut in like little pieces), and then you just solder it. My father said, If you can solder with this, then I'll let you use my torch. So I would solder pieces with that and after a bit of time he let me use his torch. I could use his torch now, so it would take a lot less time. You learn not to melt the metal, too, because it's real expensive. Back then I think it was like three dollars and some-odd cents an ounce for silver. When I was goldsmithing, gold was seventy dollars an ounce. So did you ever take any classes anyplace or actually go to school for any of this? No. No, my father taught me. So when you say your father got custody of the children, how many children? My brother and I. Where is your brother now? In California. Tell me more about the artwork. A few minutes ago, when I came in, you put your dog away, and now I see there's a dog here that you are sculpting. Tell me about this dog. This dog [Nig] was the mascot of the workers of the Hoover Dam. I'm doing a whole series of workers of the dam. He was part of it, and part of the history. Our history here is so young. I knew a lot of the people that worked on the dam. We have a very young history, so if you can preserve the history we have now, while it's fresh, maybe it'll be some type of foundation for our children. I have three daughters. I have an eight-year-old daughter and I finished this one piece and she actually has been helping me do pieces, which is really nice. My other daughters do the same thing. But this piece here, it's kind of really sad because the dog was a mascot. There were a lot of workers that were killed [during the construction of Hoover Dam], Unofficial, 707; officially, there's ninety-eight, but unofficial it was a lot more than that. They didn t count the people that didn't work directly with the Bureau of Reclamation [BOR], so if you worked for another company, like if you worked for a subcontractor or like International Trucks, and you were doing something and you got killed by an explosion or something like that, you weren't counted as a death at the dam. A few minutes ago you said that this was part of your series. What do you mean? Explain that, your series. In 1995 a gentleman asked me if I could do a sculpture of a worker. He wanted to do it to honor all the people who constructed the dam, because the only thing that's at the dam right now is a Winged Figure of the Republic. It's an archangel but they don't call it an archangel. It s actually a man with wings sitting down with his hands up in the air. They call them Winged Figures of the Republic. When I talked to Oskar [J.W.] Hansen's assistant, she said they were cherubim. (Oskar Hansen is the sculptor who did the Winged Figures of the Republic on Hoover Dam.) In 1995 I did a bronze statue of a worker named Joe [Joseph] Kine. They called him a '31er. On July 15, 1931 he moved to Boulder City [Nevada] and found a job as a high scaler. I think it paid like fifty cents more a day, so he only made five [dollars and] fifty [cents] a day or something. He worked [as a high scaler] at Glen Canyon Dam also. He lived in Boulder City the whole time, raised his family there, a daughter and two sons. He retired from the Hoover Dam at the very end. After the dam was completed, he stayed there. He was part of the city. [In] the parades they had in town during the Fourth of July, he was on a bosun's chair on the Hoover Dam float. So it was kind of cool, you know. His daughter married Mr. Rants who has Rants Plumbing. So they're a big part of Boulder City. So in 1995 Bert Hansen who is a blind vendor in Nevada with the [Nevada State Business Enterprise Program, or BEP], wanted to do something to honor the workers of the dam. I thought he [Joe Kine] had died because he wasn't in the parade anymore, and [Bert] said, No, he's alive. I want to give it [the statue] to him. We had our store there at that time. We had our store there in Boulder City for fifteen or sixteen years: Bruno Liguori's Turquoise Trading Post, Inc. on 1306 Nevada Highway. When you do things with the community and for the community, you feel a part of the community. So I said to him, Hey, you pay me for all my materials, and I will do the sculpture and we 11 both give it to him. I think the whole thing was like we were on a mission from God because my foundry wasn't big enough to cast something that big. I can cast something this big [indicating size] but it was twenty-two inches tall. This was August 28 and we had to have it done by [the dedication ceremony scheduled for] September the 16th. So I called a friend of mine up because none of the foundries around here would let me use their foundry. Mine was too small to cast it because it was too big. The biggest piece I could cast at the time was like twelve inches. This was twenty-two inches in height, so it was huge. It gets exponentially more difficult the bigger you go. So I went up to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to a friend of mine, [sculptor] Bill Epp. Bill Epp did the Canadian Mounted Police officer, Winnie the Pooh with Frank Corbin, the London Zoo and Canada, tied the two together; he did a commission for the Pope. He [did] like forty bronze monuments in Saskatoon, Canada alone. Great sculptor. One of the founders of Desert Sculptors [Association] here in Las Vegas now. I was the president of Desert Sculptors for two terms, so that's how I knew him. So a friend of mine, [artist] John Stockman, who is a really good friend of Bill Epp's, wanted to go with me and Bill's like, Don't fly. Get in your car right now, get up here right now. That way you can leave when you're done. You'll meet all my friends and all my family. So we go off. I go back to see Bert and say, Hey, I've got a place to do it in, and then he tells me this guy is alive, you know. That's when I say I'll do it, you know. So I go to his [Joe Kine's] house before I leave to interview him. He showed me how to tie the knot for the bosun's chair, for the cut rope to tie it on to it, what he was doing, how the jackhammer was made. So we left. We get up there. We left at ten o'clock at night on a Thursday (which was August 28 ,1 think) and we arrived there at ten o'clock in the morning on Saturday, due to a case of beer. So my friend [John Stockman] is driving while I'm carving the jackhammer in the front seat [of the car] and doing the sculpture, right? And so we're taking turns, he sleeps, I sleep, he sleeps, I sleep, and we're sculpting the piece because we only have so many days to do it in. So we get up to Saskatoon. The first day, Bill Epp takes us around and shows us his forty monuments, you know, which was mind-blowing. The second day, I had the sculpture done, and we're making the mold on it, and he has all his family there, you know, because he told me I was going to meet all his friends and family. And at that point, my friend John (he won this award from the Las Vegas Art Museum and I won an award from the Las Vegas Art Museum) was like, Oh, you're a real sculptor now. [Laughter] And I was like, Yeah, sure. I'm in his realm, right? I'm like, Yeah, right. [Bill] goes, Watch what happens with this piece. This piece is going to be a healing piece. This piece is going to be such a huge piece. You have no idea. The next day, he dies. His son actually poured the piece, which I couldn't believe. 9 Frank Corbin's son came to the funeral, which was really unusual, so I got to ask him about the Pooh bear. I mean Winnie the Pooh. Come on. He's the guy who took the Pooh bear from Canada over to London, and in London, that's where he got Pooh, Winnie the Pooh, because this guy (I forgot the writer for the thing), he takes his son—I don t know whether his son's name was Christopher or not, but he takes his son to the zoo. And here his son was so overly overwhelmed by this bear, and loved this bear so much, and they re sitting and having some type of ice cream or something like that by the pond, and he sees this duck, and came up with, what would the bear do if the duck landed on his nose? Pooh! [Laughter] This is what Frank Corbin said, telling me the story. Winnie the Pooh. And I was like, oh man, that's so cool. So that's how the Winnie the Pooh name came [about]. So, I met all [Bill s] friends. They had the funeral at the place. Betty, his wife, told me I could stay there and do the sculpture—but I couldn't live in the house, you know, because he had all the family come up—and the son poured the bronze. Pretty amazing. In the slurry room, there was this little statue that was slurried. We couldn't tell what it was, so we burned it out and poured it. Bill was Mennonite, and Bill's father put a church up in Saskatoon, or paid for a church. I think he was a preacher or something. But Bill was never religious, as far as I knew, ever, you know. So, after we cast this piece and broke it out of the slurry, it's a manger with a sheep looking around the corner, the back comer of the manger, looking into the manger, and in the manger in the very center is a cross. Kind of weird, huh? So maybe he knew he was going to pass away. 10 So we put the bronze together. His son poured it for me, we welded it together, chased it off. The guy who was supposed to make the base wouldn't make the base because he was so overwhelmed by his friend's death. And this whole time, all these people from Prairie Sculptors [Association] are coming through the facility saying, Oh, you better leave. She's kicking us out. You have to take all your stuff out. I mean the pressure was unbelievable. They had like seven hundred people that were part of Prairie Sculptors. It's like, OK, you have to get your stuff out. He had a fifty-acre ranch, and on his fifty-acre ranch he would have all his pupils and friends, you know, do their artwork. It helped them too. A very giving man. So I get back down here. The first dedication we had [was] at the Elks Club and gave it to him [Joe Kine], which was really cool because we made it on time. I'm an Elk for twenty-some-odd years now, so I had it at my club and they had a presentation. And he's looking at it, and he's looking at the back of it because there's like the rock, and he's looking at the back of it when we unveiled it, and then he peeks around the side and he goes, That's me! That's me! And I'm like, oh, cool, it was worth every single moment, you know? Then they had a dedication on the dam, at the new visitors' center, and he was saying, See right over there? That's where this photograph was taken. The sculpture was taken from a photograph. And this one lady from Germany goes, Oh, that would be really nice, to have a monument put up there. I'm like, Yeah, right, that would be cool. So, my father dies in '97.1 don't want to have the store open anymore. I just want to be an artist. I made jewelry for [pianist and entertainer] Liberace, I made jewelry for [singer] Glen Campbell, [actress] Pam Dawber, [singer] Gladys Knight, [actress] Melanie 11 Griffith, [boxer Mike] Tyson, [boxer Evander] Holyfield, [singers] Waylon [Jennings], Willie [Nelson], and the boys. I mean I've made jewelry for all kinds of people, [model] Cindy Crawford, just tons of different artists, you know. They would come into the store and I would make jewelry for them. The royal family of England. I had a really good clientele. And I just didn't want to do jewelry anymore. I wanted to be an artist. People won't rob you for bronze or stone, you know, but gold and diamonds. But did you consider the jewelry as well? No. You did not, even though you made individual pieces? Yeah, art to me was something that somebody won't take and put in the safe, you know? And big enough where somebody can appreciate it. So public art. Yeah. In 1990 I won [the right to create] the Veterans Memorial Monument for Southern Nevada. It was something to honor the past, present, and future. So I was watching the [John F.] Kennedy funeral [which took place in 1963], Because how do you honor the ultimate sacrifice? And you know, it happened to be on TV that night, so I'm watching it and I'm thinking morbid thoughts. I had a casket I drew out with a flag over the top and stars around it and there's the eternal flame and everything. And I'm watching this series and all of a sudden you see little John-John Kennedy [John F. Kennedy, Jr.] saluting. Pure honor. Because I don't care if it's the President of the United States or if it's a lieutenant or a private or whatever it is, they're still just as important as anybody else. So, I see this saluting. 12 The day before that, a friend of mine, Lee McDonald, who is a photographer here in Las Vegas and a Nevadan, was telling me about these sculptures up in Central Nevada: three mounds of dirt where they took a tractor and they bulldozed the dirt away from the middle. So you have three mounds of dirt with the dirt missing through the three mounds in one spot. So you have mass and absence of mass. Pretty cool concept, right? So I m like, oh, well, my great-grandfather came out here with [Giuseppe] Garibaldi to fight for [Abraham] Lincoln [in the Civil War], and Lincoln gave him a gold medal. And he loved America so much, he moved back here [to America] with his family. You know, you have people from all different walks of life that really have a common bond, and the common bond was the flag: America. That's a symbol I think everybody can relate to. And then, in the flag I put the silhouette of a soldier—it could be a man or a woman—saluting. So you have honor, and you have what they're honoring. And you have the absence of the person. So you can put yourself in there, you could put your father in there, I put my great-grandfather in there, I could put my dad, anybody, you know. My dad was 4-F. He couldn't fight, but he hauled burlap, and he did a lot of work for the military, but I mean he did it on his end. My dad had thirteen brothers and two sisters, and most of them all went to the war [World War II], Some of them were shot; some of them were injured. Most of them came back alive, I think. But you know, they all took part in America. Describe this piece of art for the tape. OK, this is called the High Scaler monument. It's on the Hoover Dam. It's twenty-two feet tall. 13 So this is the second monntnent. Yon described the firs, one; this is the second one. Yeah. This is a sculpture of Joe Kine. He was a high scaler. And i, was ,o honor all workers of the Hoover Dam. It's Joe Kine rappelling off of the canyon on hemp rope, and he's on a bosun's chair with an Ingersoll Rand jackhammer between his legs. He's got a water bag on the side of the rock. He's got his gloves coming out of his pocket [and] a crescent wrench in his back pocket with the initials J.K. They gave out five thousand wrenches to every man that worked there. In order to know your own, they signed with initials, and I put his initials on there (which was weird). And at the dedication, his grandson goes, How did you know my grandfather signed his name like that? I had the wrench, and he signed it exactly like that. How did you know that? I was like, Yay! Yay! So if you ever go down to Hoover Dam, you can take a look at that. But this is a part of the whole series because I've been doing different workers that worked down there, and the dog is a mascot and I think it's more than apropos. I had a private patron that is purchasing it, which is really nice. And I happen to have a black Lab [Labrador retriever], which is really perfect, you know, because it's kind of weird. The one thing that you're concerned about is the dog's name. So tell me what the dog's name is. Well, the dog's name is Nig, but at the time and everything else, it was the time, you know, and the dog was a mascot. He actually went and picked up his sack lunch, jumped on a truck, got a ride down to the dam. You got to remember, there was five thousand men that worked on the dam, so he was basically everybody's dog, the dog that they couldn't have because they were displaced, they came out for work, they couldn't afford an animal, and he was the mascot for all these men down there. He was killed. He was 14 sleeping underneath a truck and the truck rolled over him, didn't know he was underneath there, so it was kind of really a sad death. And they don', count that death either, which they should. He was really a par, of it. [The statue] will be placed in Boulder City as par, of my series of Hoover Dam workers. So right now Boulder City has a lot of art displayed on the street, different kinds, different types. Have you had anything to do with any of that art? Yeah, John Stockman and I founded the Center for the Arts in Boulder City and we put [in] the first sculpt