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Transcript of interview with Michael S. Mack by Claytee White, May 21, 2009

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2009-05-21
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During this interview, Michael Mack visualizes his childhood memories of the later 1930s, when Las Vegas was a small, but steadily growing, desert town. As he says, "The desert was our backyard." The Strip hotels like the last Frontier and the Flamingo pop into the stories, but it was basically an innocent time. He attended John S. Park Elementary when classrooms were temporary buildings from the local Air Force base and the neighborhood was filled with children. He still maintains close friendships from that time. And he also recalls friends from the Westside neighborhood. Michael talks of scouting, riding horses, and watching Helldorado parades.

Michael Mack's first recollection of Las Vegas is as a two-year-old living in a duplex on Bonneville Ave. Though the family moved several times, they remained in or near the John S. Park neighborhood. Michael's father was a Polish immigrant who arrived in Boulder City, where he opened a shoe store, in 1932. The building of the Hoover Dam brought opportunities and his father Louis expanded into the salvage business. In time Louis moved the family to Las Vegas, opened a retail clothing store, which eventually sold uniforms, and set up the first local bail bondman office. During this interview, Michael visualizes his childhood memories of the later 1930s, when Las Vegas was a small, but steadily growing, desert town. As he says, "The desert was our backyard." The Strip hotels like the last Frontier and the Flamingo pop into the stories, but it was basically an innocent time. He attended John S. Park Elementary when classrooms were temporary buildings from the local Air Force base and the neighborhood was filled with children. He still maintains close friendships from that time. And he also recalls friends from the Westside neighborhood. Michael talks of scouting, riding horses, and watching Helldorado parades. Though the Macks were a Jewish family, Michael's mother always brought the Christmas tree to school. It was a period when people memorized each other's 3-digit phone numbers, went to movies for 14 cents, and there was a ranch for people to stay while getting divorced. Halloween Trick-or-treaters in the John S. Park neighborhood might get a tasty cupcake or a shiny dime. Michael has a plethora of stories about innocent mischief and the unique experiences of a boy growing up in Las Vegas.

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Michael Mack oral history interview, 2009 May 21. OH-01176. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1668cm5v

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An Interview with Michael Mack 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 11 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 Michael Mack May 21, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White Table of Contents Growing up in Las Vegas: earliest recollections of Nate, Jenny, and Jerry Mack, Carolyn Trelease, homes in which he lived as a child, neighbors he remembers, parents buy a home in Huntridge (1942) and then later a home in John S. Park Neighborhood. 1 Family background: father Louis Mack born in Poland, family immigrates to Detroit, MI, moves to California, meets and marries Lucille Mack, relocates to Las Vegas, NV (1932), opens shoe store with brothers in Boulder City, NV. Mother Lucille Mack was a lifelong housewife and community volunteer. 3 Louis Mack operated many retail businesses in Las Vegas. Memories of father as first bail bondsman in Las Vegas. 4 Mack brothers' salvage business in Boulder City. Relationship with Uncle Harry Mack. 5 Talks about mother Lucille Mack and her artistic ability. Childhood memories of Tenth Street house: recollection of the Waldman family on Park Paseo, fathers working and mothers raising kids, lower crime rate among kids. 6 School days: kindergarten at Fifth Street School, childhood activities, memories of John S. Park Elementary School. 8 Louis Mack opens Boulder Liquor Store on Fremont Street. More childhood memories: relationships with kids in the neighborhood, memories of Las Vegas High School. 10 Memories of neighbors. 12 The war years: events at Las Vegas Army Air Field, Helldorado, school activities, the World Series, snow in Las Vegas. 13 Childhood stories: Lucille Mack and the 1949 Ford, selling fireworks to the neighborhood kids, making homemade guns and shooting out in the desert, making gunpowder and rockets, neighborhood pranks, sports interests. 16 African-Americans and discrimination in Las Vegas: the Westside, Las Vegas High School, busing and the sixth-grade centers. 24 Recollection of his year at military school in Los Angeles, CA. 27 Childhood stories: knowing kids in the neighborhood, class reunions, high school crushes, the early Las Vegas phone system, visits to Louis Mack's Boulder Liquor Store, the Huntridge Theatre and manager Mrs. Hatfield, catching a sign on fire, horseback riding, desert hikes and swimming in the springs. 28 Memories of the Flamingo Hotel: his uncle Nate Mack's involvement in bootlegging back East and as a silent partner in the Flamingo (1948), working at the Flamingo pool (1948-49) and some of the personalities he met there, swimming and going to dinner shows with friends, watching showroom rehearsals. 35 iv Recollections of the El Rancho Vegas: learning to swim in the pool, radio station KENO and the Kelch family. Memories of homes up on Mount Charleston. 40 Religious life in the John S. Park community: kids going to each other's churches, participation in LDS-sponsored Boy Scouts. 41 Childhood stories: Halloween, walking to high school, World War II and practice blackout, mixing magnesium with gunpowder to "spark it up," outdoor activities with Carl and Paul Huffey, pranks with fireworks, boys sleeping out at night, shooting grapes at the Huffey house. 43 Memories of the neighborhood: houses and yards, kids, the Huffey and Sutton families. 48 World War II years: blackout, food rationing and neighbors trading ration stamps. 49 Businesses in the John S. Park area. Restaurants downtown. 50 Lack of racial discrimination in Las Vegas businesses. 51 Memories of Louis Mack's Esquire Bar downtown, the Rancho Grande Creamery, Anderson Dairy, playing in the park, Cliffs Fifth Street Market. 52 Story about Paul Huffey and smoking. 53 Memories of schoolteachers and school pranks. 55 Local businesses: grocery stores, theatres. 56 Memories of swimming at the local ranches, Lorenzi Park, the Biltmore Hotel, the Flamingo. Story about Paul Huffey and the girl diver at the Flamingo. 58 Memories of cooling the house and going to Mount Charleston in the Las Vegas summer. 63 Childhood games and making toys. 64 College years at USC. 65 Summer jobs in Las Vegas: malt liquor story. 67 Driver's license story. 72 Memories of families and kids who lived in the John S. Park Neighborhood. 74 Looking at Las Vegas High School yearbooks, high school reunion memorabilia, and picture of John S. Park Elementary School graduating class (1951). 78 Recollections of Los Angeles neighborhood near USC in the 1950s: living in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, getting to know the neighbors, going to USC football games. 80 Concluding remarks. 85 V Preface Michael Mack first recollection of Las Vegas is as a two-year-old living in a duplex on Bonneville Ave. Though the family moved several times, they remained in or near the John S. Park neighborhood. Michael's father was a Polish immigrant who arrived in Boulder City, where he opened a shoe store, in 1932. The building of the Hoover dam brought opportunities and his father Louis expanded into the salvage business. In time Louis moved the family to Las Vegas, opened a retail clothing store, which eventually sold uniforms, and set up the first local bail bondman office. During this interview, Michael visualizes his childhood memories of the later 1930s, when Las Vegas was a small, but steadily growing, desert town. As he says, "The desert was our backyard." The Strip hotels like the last Frontier and the Flamingo pop into the stories, but it was basically an innocent time. He attended John S. Park Elementary when classrooms were temporary buildings from the local Air Force base and the neighborhood was filled with children. He still maintains close friendships from that time. And he also recalls friends from the Westside neighborhood. Michael talks of scouting, riding horses, and watching Helldorado parades. Though the Macks were a Jewish family, Michael's mother always brought the Christmas tree to school. It was a period when people memorized each other's 3-digit phone numbers, went to movies for 14 cents, and there was a ranch for people to stay while getting divorced. Halloween Trick-or-treaters in the John S. Park neighborhood might get a tasty cupcake or a shiny dime. Michael has a plethora of stories about innocent mischief and the unique experiences of a boy growing up in Las Vegas. vi Interview with Michael Mack May 21, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White This is Claytee White. It is May 21st, 2009, and we are here in the Reading Room in Special Collections, and I am with Michael Mack. So, tell me about growing up in Las Vegas. Yeah, well, my earliest recollections are when I was about two years old because my parents [Louis and Lucille Mack] split a duplex with my uncle and my aunt and their son. His name was Nate Mack. Her name was Jenny Mack. The son was Jerry Mack. And it was on Bonneville [Avenue], one house away from Main Street. And at that time I even remember some of my babysitters, even though I was only two years old. Go ahead. And as a matter of fact, Carolyn Trelease, I can't remember what her maiden name was, but Carolyn was married to Art Trelease who was the city manager of Las Vegas in later years, and she remembers babysitting me and I to this day see her every now and then: when I go to get a haircut she's getting her hair done the same time and the same place by somebody else. [Laughing] So which year are we talking about? This would've been 1939, 1940. OK. And she is still here? Yeah. How's her memory? Oh, great. She's fabulous. Oh, wow! Oh, yeah, she's a great gal. And I bump into her. I've been bumping into her for years. And actually, Las Vegas High School has this reunion that they do. Bill Morris started it many years ago and they still have it, and these days it's over at Sam's Town [Hotel and Casino], and many people from the years going back, I guess from the time the school opened, till about, I think they invite people in through the Sixties, to attend, who have graduated at Las Vegas High School through the Sixties, maybe Seventies, and you go to these and you see a lot of people from the old days, classmates. But then I remember the next place we lived was on Fourth Street in duplex at Fourth and Clark [Avenue], and I remember, behind the duplex there was another little, small building that the postmaster lived in, back there, and our next-door neighbors at that time were the Mendelssohn family, Bill and Goldie, and he owned kind of a used furniture store, he had all kinds of antiques and stuff in his store, on Main Street. It was called Las Vegas Mercantile. And then we moved from there, over to my uncle's house on Eighth Street, South Eighth, about four doors from Las Vegas High School, and we lived there for about a year until I guess about 1942, sometime in 1942, when Huntridge [neighborhood] was built, and at that time, my mom and dad bought a home in Huntridge. They actually bought the second house from the corner of Tenth [Street] and Charleston [Boulevard]. The address was 1106 South Tenth Street. And I remember they paid $4,100.00 for the house. I mean my dad told me that in later years. But they actually expanded the house, added on a room to it, and we lived there eight years. And my mom and dad were planning on building their own home, and economic times were not great, and so they sold the house, and then we rented one in Huntridge, 3 another house in Huntridge, on Sweeney [Avenue], 1324 Sweeney, and we lived there one year, and then we moved, rented a house on Park Paseo, 823 Park Paseo, which also is in the same John S. Park [Elementary] School district. And we lived there five years, and then they finally finished their home, and they moved into that, which was on Beverly [Way] and Canosa [Street], on the southwest corner of Beverly and Canosa. Where is Beverly and [Canosa]? Between Oakey [Boulevard] and Saint Louis [Avenue], So is that John S. Park as well? Actually it was still in the John S. Park area, at the time that I was going [to John S. Park Elementary School] in those early days, but then there was I think another grade school? no, that might not have been. I think that's still in the John S. Park district. Yeah, it sounds like it. Tell me your parents' names. My dad's name was Louis, and everybody called him Louie, or Lou. And my mother's name was Lucille. And my dad was born in Poland, less than a hundred miles from the Russian border, in a small town, and his two brothers came to the United States prior to him and located in Detroit [Michigan], and my father, they met him at Ellis Island [New York] when he came over to the United States, and this was just before the First World War, and then they moved to California. The three brothers left the Michigan area and moved to California, Southern California, and that's where my father met my mother. And my dad came to Boulder City, actually Las Vegas, in 1932. Did it have something to do with the [Boulder, later Hoover] dam? 4 Had to do with the dam. He and his brothers opened a store. They had a shoe store in Boulder City, because they were always like in the retail business, and that would be Nate Mack, Harry Mack, were his two brothers, and my dad Lou. My mom was a housewife, her whole life. That was it. She never ever had a job. She did a lot of volunteering, especially during World War II. I remember directly, of course everybody did volunteer in those days, if they didn't have a job. But then she was a member of various different organizations, charity organizations and such. My dad had many retail businesses over the years, different businesses. He was the first bail bondsman in Las Vegas. He had a business called The Toggery on Fremont Street which is between First Street and Main, just next to the alley that used to be there, between Main and First, and it was a very large men's store, men's furnishings. He had everything from cowboy boots to tuxedos, and men's accessories like cufflinks and all that kind of stuff That I remember very directly, I mean very easily because I have that picture in my mind. He outfitted the police. I mean that's where they got their uniforms. They used to come in and tell him that they needed a bail bondsman. And so a judge approached him and said, We'd sure appreciate it if you could maybe do this for us. So he had owned some property around town and so he was able to write these what they call property bonds, which guaranteed, you know, the money for the bail. And so he was the first bail bondsman. And I remember going to the jail with him, in later years. Sometimes he'd get phone calls at four in the morning or maybe at midnight, get up, he'd go to the jail. And it'd wake me up, so I'd ask if I could go with him and if it wasn't like during school, I would go over there, and the police always, you 5 know, fooled around with me, sometimes locked me up in a cell or something like that to let me know what it was like. So that's why I've never been in jail for all my life. [Laughing] I learned my lesson really early. [Laughing] Let me go back just for a minute. Your father came here early enough to have a business in Boulder City. What kind of stories did he tell you about Boulder City and what that was like living there at that time? Well, actually it was a really nice little community: a lot of government workers, and people who worked on the dam. My dad and his brothers, they knew the director of Los Angeles Water and Power who actually built the dam, who were the people instrumental in building the dam, they knew him personally. And they later opened up a salvage business there in Boulder City, to receive salvage from the dam, which they would transport to Southern California. And I think the first building that was used as an airport hangar or airport building after the war, after the Second World War, was at that time then turned over or somehow or other Boulder City acquired the building, and they used it for their airport, but at that time it was a building where they had dumped their salvage. They had a yard there and so forth. Then of course they moved from there into Las Vegas. In fact I think my uncle had a house in Las Vegas and a place also in Boulder City. Did all three of the brothers work in the shoe store and the salvage business? Yeah, pretty much. Yes. My dad's youngest brother, the brother that was older than him by just a year, was a bachelor, Harry, into his sixties, and he took me everywhere. He took me on lots of trips and things. I was like his companion, and we went everywhere. We had more fun. A lot of people thought he was my father. He used to pick me up on 6 Sunday mornings and take me to the Apache Hotel downtown for breakfast, or over to the Last Frontier [Hotel and Casino], going to the Canary Room?that was like the small cafe there in the hotel, not the main dining room?and we'd have breakfast. The waitresses all knew me. It was amazing. It was kind of interesting. OK. So about what time frame was that? That would've been in the Forties, all through the Forties, and into maybe the early Fifties. But I was still traveling with him in 1954, the summer, we drove cross-country to New York. Were you old enough to help him drive? Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. And it was really, you know, the type of thing you really remember. But my mom was a homebody. She was great. She knew everybody in town, all the gals in town, and the stores, that had anything to do with home crafts: sewing, cooking, all that kind of stuff. She loved doing projects. She loved beading things: she had full beaded dresses that weighed like thirty pounds. I mean they were heavy. She made purses and things like that for people and gave them as gifts. Whenever she took a gift to anybody it was wrapped. Her wrappings were really sensational. So your mother was very artistic. Oh, yeah, she was very artistic. As a child when I was growing up like on Tenth Street are my best memories. For example, when we moved into that house on Tenth Street, the Vegas Verdes area, which is the area that is directly west of Huntridge, that goes all the way to Las Vegas Boulevard which was at that time known as Fifth Street, was a subdivision area called Vegas Verdes, and there were many houses over there already before Huntridge got built, 7 and there were particularly houses that backed up to ours where people were living in them, and they were on Park Paseo. And so the neighbors behind me had three boys. They were the Waldman family, and they had three sons, the oldest one being Philip, he was my age, Billy the middle one, a year younger, and Herb one year younger than that. And their father's name was Herb Waldman and the mother's name was Katherine, and her friends called her Kit and Mom called her Kit. And she was a stay-at-home mom, but she also taught piano. Because, in those days, I can't remember any of the mothers working or having jobs. The fathers worked and the mothers were all at home raising kids. I think that says a lot, maybe for the way we were raised, and why we had such low crime rates in those days. I mean the crimes that kids got into were silly things that usually the police, if I ever got involved with them, I mean they were not mean. They were pretty good to the kids. We did have a juvenile home and a juvenile judge, and occasionally some kids got so bad they had to appear in front of the judge, but, generally speaking in my neighborhood we didn't have those problems. Did you take piano lessons? No. No. Did a lot of the kids in the neighborhood [take piano lessons]? No. As a matter of fact not even her children were taught piano, as funny as that may seem. All three of the boys, none of them took piano lessons. Now, did you have a sibling? No, not until I was thirteen when my mother had a surprise. A little surprise came along in the way of Charlie, my brother. 8 But, getting back, kind of to follow the progression of where I was living, well, when we moved into the house on Tenth Street, my dad at that time was in the clothing business at The Toggery. And I remember I met the three boys who lived behind me. I was five years old. John S. Park School wasn't there at the time, and so I had to attend kindergarten at Fifth Street School. Phil came over to my house, because they were right behind me, and my mom walked us across Charleston and over to the school. And then, the Waldmans' grandmother, Kit Waldman's mother, happened to live two doors from the grammar school, on Fifth Street. And so we went to kindergarten which was the furthest north building on the campus of the grammar school at that time. And it was, you know, just maybe a 150-feet or 200-feet walk from there to the grandmother's house. Her name was Kitty Wiener. And Kitty was such a great gal. She used to always have cookies and milk for us after school or something. And then we would either wait for a ride home, or we'd walk home. I mean, you know, the parents supervised us to start, but then Phil and I had no problem walking from Tenth and Charleston to Bridger [Avenue] and Las Vegas Boulevard. Pretty interesting. I think back about it. And along the way we'd go through alleys and through people's yards and, you know, just kids walking along counting, you know, the cracks in the sidewalks. And we always got home safe. It wasn't a problem. Then, the following year, the following fall after our kindergarten year, John S. Park School opened, and what they opened with were buildings from Boulder City that were hauled in from the dam construction, and also from Nellis Air Force Base, which at that time was called Las Vegas Army Air Field. They had some temporary buildings. So the school consisted of temporary buildings. We attended first grade there. So first through fifth grades were in temporary buildings, and by the time we went into sixth grade, we went in the fall, when sixth grade started, we were in the old buildings, and we carried our desks over to the new buildings and got into our new rooms for our sixth grade classes for the new John S. Park School that was built at that time. And even at that time, they didn't have enough money to actually build a field for us. We had an area where he had recesses, kind of a graveled area. We didn't have like a place to play football or baseball. And so the parents all chipped in and there was desert right next to it, and so the kids all appeared there over like a weekend, and cleared all the brush from the area, and had a place where the kids could play in the dirt and have a nice little field. Later they did put a backstop in for softball and so forth but, in the beginning we didn't have that. Ruby Thomas was our principal at that school, and she was great. I got paddled on many occasions. What she used was a slat. The wood desks had these slats where you put your books underneath, and she had a slat about three inches wide by about a quarter-inch thick, and it was about maybe sixteen, eighteen inches long, and she was pretty good at wielding that thing. I don't know anyone who ever got more than one swat, you know. But you never told your mom or your dad. [Laughing] What did you do to get those kind of swats, back then? Talking in class. Chewing gum. No, I don't know. [Laughing] Those were bad things. I only think I really was there maybe two or three times. I mean I didn't like going there. And she also called your mom. Now whether your mother told your dad, that was another story. So my mom never told my dad. [Laughing] So what would've happened if your dad had been told? 1 0 I don't want to think about it. [Laughter] Now, did you ever work as you got older? Did you work in the businesses with your father? No. No, actually not, because his businesses were so different from what I wanted to do. My first real job was at fourteen. What happened was, when we moved to Park Paseo, it changed our dynamics quite a bit from Tenth Street. One of the things that is really interesting about living, back when I remember living on Tenth Street, there were so many children in the neighborhood. I remember them all. I mean, I could tell you pretty much all my classes, most of the kids in my classes, I can tell you all of the teachers I had, their names, because they were just things that were indelible, you know. I mean, from Mrs. [Doris] Hancock to Mrs. Shuttlebar to Mrs. Strand to Mrs. Elifson. Fourth grade I spent at a military school in Los Angeles because my dad at that time owned a place on Fremont Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets called the Boulder Liquor Store. Not only was it a bar but it was also packaged liquor. So my mom had to go to work. That was only year she ever worked. He had a lot of business and he just couldn't make it by hiring help and you have to have someone there at all times in that business. So she would take like a shift and then he would take a shift managing it, and then they had a couple of people that worked there. So, my grandmother who lived in Los Angeles, my mother's mother, was going to come to Las Vegas to help out taking care of me, but we didn't groove at all. She was too strict. She wouldn't let me play. See, typically here's what would happen. I never had a key to the house because we never locked our doors. So the way it worked after school, you'd come home from school. If you had homework, you did it. But we didn't have homework in the early 1 1 grades, so, after school, you would just take off your school clothes, put on your play clothes, which, during the winter were one thing but in the summer it was just a pair of shorts, and you were out the door. And really your mom and dad didn't care what you did as long as you got home before dark or whatever time you were going to have dinner. So I knew every kid. In those days, you knew a lot of the kids in the school, because you had kids in your classes that had older or younger brothers and sisters, and so if you went to their house, you'd know them, and then you went to that little neighborhood of Huntridge. I got a bike at nine, so when I was nine years old, not only did I know almost everybody in Huntridge, or had been in their houses or even slept over at their houses and they had slept over at mine, depending on your friends, you know, I never had any problems with any of the kids. I mean, I didn't see lots of fights and things, or gangs. You had cliques, kids who were friends, but it wasn't like, get away, you can't do what we're doing, because lots of times they'd need you to play in the games that they were playing and so forth, and it was a lot of fun. But when I was nine and I got a bike, similar to a lot of my friends, from that point on until we were like thirteen, when we gave up our bikes pretty much and walked, you know, it was not so cool to ride your bike to high school, and so we rode all over the town. And when my mom and dad, let's say like on Saturday or Sunday, if we went to visit someone at their house or went over there for dinner or whatever, for lunch or a party, you'd meet kids in that neighborhood. So, by the time you went to the high school, we had like five grammar schools, maybe six, I think it was five, feeding into the high school, you knew a great percentage of the population of the high school. It was quite amazing. 1 2 But as the years went by, in high school, we noticed a lot of people coming, new kids coming into Las Vegas, that we didn't know. As a matter of fact, when I went to my tenth-year high school reunion, which was our first one after high school, my back-door neighbor was there. His name was Harry Brandeis. And I said, Harry, you didn't go to Las Vegas High School. How come you're here? He says, Yes, I did. I said, You graduated in 1955? And he said, Yeah, he says, that's when my parents moved to Las Vegas. I didn't know anybody in the high school when I went to the high school. He came to that reunion because he did know some people there, but in later years, he still lives here in Las Vegas, he's met lots and lots of people, and he's been to all the reunions, you know, and we've had one every five years ever since that tenth one, so Harry got to know a lot of people. But, that was just kind of the way Vegas was. There were a lot of people that started coming into Las Vegas, and by the time we graduated high school I'd say probably 20 percent of the entire school was people who had just come in through that four-year period, because Las Vegas was growing so much. But anyway, getting back to Tenth Street, that was very interesting because our next-door neighbor was the sheriff, Don Buray. And that was really very cool because he loved kids, and he and his wife didn't have any. Her name was Ruth, and everybody in the neighborhood loved her. Very sweet gal. 1 3 There are so many stories to be told, like down Yucca Street, across from me, Kelly Clark lived there and his wife [mother? See below.] Nina Clark had a shop on Fremont Street which was ladies' clothing, upscale, very fashionable ladies' clothing. Which shop was it? It was called Nina Clark. And she was either divorced or separated, whatever, but she raised Kelly. And what was interesting is that kind of catty-corner across the street was another Clark family, unrelated, and there was a gal by the name of Connie Clark who I think was a year younger than me, who lived on Yucca. And it went on to where I could give you a whole list of names of people who lived on these streets. And some people, you know, some of the families would come to Las Vegas, move in your neighborhood, and then leave, because, for some reason or other, they'd sell their business, and they would go back to where they came from, Californians especially. Some were gamblers, and found out they couldn't live in Vegas. And others, you know, just stayed. The war years were really interesting. World War II. Very interesting. Why was that? Well, my parents, we used to go to Nellis Air Force Base, or to Las Vegas Army Air Field a lot. The people in Las Vegas would always be out there doing something for the servicemen out there. All the holidays, like Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, you know, any holiday, July 4th, everything, they'd all go out there and have these parties out there for them and things, and they'd take the kids. And I enjoyed it. And of course there was the [American] Red Cross downtown and they did a lot of things. 1 4 The other thing that we loved in those days was Helldorado. All the kids looked forward to May, because we had the parades. The parades were three days. We had the Children's Parade, and it was usually on Friday, and then on Saturday they had the Western Parade, and then on Sunday they had the Beauty Parade, with the floats and everything. And, you know, if you're in your school and your class, all the kids would put playing cards, you know, fastened with clothespins to the spokes on their bicycles and so you could get that click-click-click, you know. It was pretty fun. They'd use crepe paper and make streamers and decorate their bikes up, you know, through the spokes with all that stuff. And then there were a lot of activities based around the school. For example, we were a Jewish family, and my mom was always in charge of the Christmas tree. I mean it was like, it came from year to year, you know, like, you had the class mothers. (In military school we had housemothers, when I was at [military school] that one year.) But we actually had the mothers that would volunteer. There was a PTA [Parent Teacher Association] but you had the mothers who wanted to do things in the classes, you know, for the classrooms, and so my mom, basically, she always bought the Christmas tree for our classrooms, and then the kids decorated them. So the kids would bring all the decorations from home, and we had Christmas trees. The other thing I remember in those early years was the World Series. It was a big thing, the World Series. When the new buildings w