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Transcript of interview with Thelma Coblentz by Judith Chavez, February 17, 1980






On February 17, 1980, Judith Chavez interviewed Thelma Coblentz (born 1911 in New Jersey) about her experiences in Southern Nevada. Coblentz first talks about her move to Lovelock, Nevada, where her husband provided medical care as one of the first physicians in the small town. She later talks about her move to Las Vegas and some of the services she helped to provide at Nellis Air Force Base. Coblentz later describes Downtown Las Vegas, specifically the development of the casinos and shopping businesses. She later talks about the rainstorms and dust storms that the city would experience before recalling some of the entertainers who would perform on the Las Vegas Strip. The interview concludes with a discussion on the first physicians in Las Vegas and the increasing population of the city.

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Coblentz, Thelma Interview, 1980 February 17. OH-00400. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz i An Interview with Thelma Coblentz An Oral History Conducted by Judith Chavez Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz ii © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2018 UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz iii The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment including many conducted by UNLV History Professor Ralph Roske and his students. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz iv Abstract On February 17, 1980, Judith Chavez interviewed Thelma Coblentz (born 1911 in New Jersey) about her experiences in Southern Nevada. Coblentz first talks about her move to Lovelock, Nevada, where her husband provided medical care as one of the first physicians in the small town. She later talks about her move to Las Vegas and some of the services she helped to provide at Nellis Air Force Base. Coblentz later describes Downtown Las Vegas, specifically the development of the casinos and shopping businesses. She later talks about the rainstorms and dust storms that the city would experience before recalling some of the entertainers who would perform on the Las Vegas Strip. The interview concludes with a discussion on the first physicians in Las Vegas and the increasing population of the city. UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 1 This is a taped interview. The narrator is Mrs. Thelma Coblentz; the interviewer is Judy Chavez. Let’s begin with when you moved to the State of Nevada. We arrived in Nevada in 1936. We settled quite by accident in a little town called Lovelock, Nevada, which is about 150 miles east of Reno. It was primarily an agricultural community, and there was also considerable gold and silver mining in the hills. The population at that time was approximately 1,500 people in Pershing County, and my husband is a physician. And he arrived there to perform an emergency appendectomy, and under very crude conditions, the physician who had lived in that town for years prior to our arrival had passed away just shortly before this time. And there was nothing that you would call, really, a hospital. The operation was performed sort of on a kitchen table with an exposed electric light and gnats hitting the hot bulb and dropping—and those were the days before antibiotics and penicillin, so you really had to know your business to pull a patient through. His assistant fainted during the operation, but fortunately the man survived this ordeal. And when people learn that there was an M.D. in town, and word passed very quickly, they all came out of the hills and off of the ranches and came to see my husband, and because of that—and the times were very depressed, it was during the Depression—we decided that we perhaps might do well by just staying there. And so, we settled into the local hotel, so-called. In those days, they had no sidewalks. They still had wooden sidewalks, believe it or not. The roads were—there were no sidewalks, it was all very crude, dusty and rocky. And in those days, of course, he had to be available for cave-ins at the mine. They’d call him and somebody would drive out to the mines, and sometimes the men were dead when he arrived there; sometimes he had to administer first aid until they were able to lift timbers and remove the patient. He always traveled with a compass in his car because he had the misfortune to lose his way sometimes and really wandered for hours on the desert and couldn’t UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 2 find anything that he recognized so that he could get back on the road. And sometimes we had to send a search party out after him. So, after that, he really did travel with a compass in his car. The town of Lovelock was founded by a dear friend of ours who lived there when we lived there. His name was Lavant Lovelock. His granddaughter, who was called Ruth Ruddle, owned a very large, extensive ranch there. And she was the typical hardnosed but very gentle Western women. I don’t suppose you see many of that breed anymore. She had a great many acres under cultivation. Alfalfa was the chief crop in the area, as I understand it. And also, a considerable number of sheep, and for the sheep, they used to bring in a lot of the Basques from the Basque country in Europe, because that’s the sort of work that they did. And the Pyrenees were able to stay out in isolated areas for months on end, and never lacking companionship or any of the facilities of civilization. But Ruth would drive out in a truck—she was that kind of a gal—load up the truck with supplies and drive out over these awful bumpy roads and drop off their supplies, and that was it. I don’t know how often she’d go out, perhaps once every two weeks or whatever. And we were very friendly with her, and she also had some shacks that were built along the railroad tracks, which was part of her property. And those shacks, she’d rent out to prostitutes. And prostitution was legal in Pershing County at that time. In fact my husband used to do all the medical examinations on the girls, and Ruth would go down of an evening, ‘cause there wasn’t very much to do in Lovelock by way of entertainment, and she would have a beer with the girls and they’d talk and so on and so forth. And it was all a very democratic society. It was also a large Indian colony in Lovelock at that time. And my husband was appointed. To give them medical care when they needed it. And it was the first time in our experience, and he was certainly shocked, when he had to deliver one of the Indian women. You know, the used to squat on the floor—they wouldn’t think—on the dirt floor. They wouldn’t get into a bed, they would UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 3 not accept any of the modern facilities or hygiene or any of that sort of thing. And he’d deliver these Indian babies on the floor; he had to squat down on the floor with them and deliver those babies. But they remained very healthy and nothing happened. And that was a completely new experience. We rented, eventually, a little house, and we were both, of course, easterners, and I had never seen a coal stove before, but that was the only stove that was available in the house, and so I learned to cook on a coal stove. And I must say, it had a lot of advantages to it, ‘cause you could push things back to the back of the stove, and they kept warm. And there was nothing quite so nice as building up a nice big fire and using that little metal handle to pick up those lids, drop more wood in or whatever, and of course, that was how we got our hot water, too. In the wintertime, it was great, but in the summertime, it was awful. The kitchen and the whole house got so hot, you used to have to go out of the house until the thing cooled off a little bit and we’d get our hot water. And gee, what else can I tell you that we—? Let’s see, you told me earlier that the home that you built was the first—? Yes, we built a home finally when I was expecting my first baby. And we built a house, a lovely house, and it was the first house that was built in the area in twenty-five years, and nobody in town could believe that we were really building a house. They thought that we were building something for commercial use or stores or an office or something or other. But it turned out to be a lovely house. And we built a stone wall around the house, and not terribly high—it must have been around three feet and sort of decorative, and a lot of his patients who were miners brought down from the hills this beautiful quartz. It looked like marble with streaks of copper and gold and silver, and then it really was extraordinary, but, you know, in that particular area, it was commonplace, but no one had ever used it for a stone wall before, a fence around the entire house, and it was really beautiful—just beautiful pieces of marble, it looked like marble to me. UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 4 They said it was quartz, and I guess it’s related to the marble family. And we lived there for five years—I can’t think of anything else that we touched on that might be of interest. And the CC[C] [Civilian Conservation Corps] camp, was it? Oh, yes, it was interesting, too. You know, there was no milk available in town except raw milk. I guess it came from the local farms, and it was just put into bottles or cartons, I can’t remember now—I guess bottle, they didn’t have cartons in those days. But there was a CC camp in Lovelock, and of course, the government would not permit the boys to use raw milk. And so, every night, on the train out of Reno would come the shipment of milk for the CC camp, and because we became acquainted with the doctor of the CC camp, we were able to get pasteurized milk for our children that came in on the train with the milk for the CC camp. And so we were able to have that, but nobody in town used pasteurized milk. Everybody used raw milk and raw milk products. I guess they were perfectly all right. Oh, another interesting thing—sometimes, doctor would be paid not with money from some people, but they’d bring a couple of chickens or a duck, and of course, they always had all the feathers and everything on it, and that was my first experience cleaning a chicken and a duck and that sort of thing. It was really kind of fun, I mean, we were, as I say, easterners, and we had never lived quite like this, but it was a marvelous experience. And I did have to go into Reno when my children were born because we really didn’t have the facilities. Eventually, my husband did buy a large old house, and it was converted into a sort-of hospital where at least he could work and confine a patient or two that needed hospitalization, and that was the beginning of what is now the Pershing County Hospital, and I think they have since, of course constructed a building for that. And we left there many years ago. We were there for five years. Another doctor came in who took over the practice in our house and is still there with Dr. Prestee. I guess that’s about it—can’t think of anything else. UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 5 You mentioned earlier about the sheriff. Yes, there were characters there, of course, really of the Old West—there was a fella by the name of Chapman. And my husband could really tell you the stories—I can’t even remember them—who, you know, walked around with the holster and the gun on his hip, and there were some really tough characters around there in those days. But he managed to keep everybody in line, and I don’t know whether the population’s changed very much over the years. There have been some people—I can’t think of their name right offhand—that did come, that we knew as youngsters that lived there. There was a dentist in the town, a Dr. Ballinger—was French. There was a little newspaper that was published in Lovelock—a man by the name of Gardener who had been there for many, many years—a little weekly sheet that came out with all the local gossip. And I guess I can’t think of anything else unless you can, Judy? No, I can’t. Of course, they were very surprised. Everybody sort of stood in awe of us because we were not westerners, and we did things a little differently, we had a nice car, and we tried to conform very much with the community. And they were very suspicious of us at first, but by the time we left, there was a lot of heartbreak in the town when we told them the sad news that we were leaving after five years. They really became very attached to us, and we were really very sad to leave that little town. What year did you move to Las Vegas then? We came to Las Vegas in 1941; as a matter of fact, just exactly, we left Lovelock November the 7th, which was exactly a month before Pearl Harbor, and a month later, Pearl Harbor happened. And we came to Las Vegas shortly thereafter the beginning of that year in 1941. And what was Las Vegas like when you moved here? UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 6 Las Vegas was—at that time, when they issued the first sugar rationing books, there were 8,000 people here—it made the headlines. Everything was centered Downtown on Fremont Street. We did our marketing down there, furniture store was down there, our drugstores, Scagg’s was down there, Safeway was down there—a lot of the names that you know now came in just about that time—the Levys came in, they had a market Downtown called the Market Basket, I think it was. The Shomans came in at that time. Mike Gordons were here—they were old timers here, they had been here for many years before. We had a lovely group of Jewish people here who, we were organized into a little group that would go out to the base, to the camp, out here for Sabbath services, which were held in the chapel for the Jewish boys—in fact I still have the little prayer book, the GI prayer book that was distributed to the soldiers and to the civilians that came out there. We’d go out Friday night, and we would order out of Los Angeles delicatessen and sour pickles, kosher pickles, and things like that that we knew that the boys would really miss. And we’d go out there, a caravan of us, every Friday night with food, and then after services, of course, we’d set up all the food and the boys would really have a great time. And of course, there’d be a chaplain out there that would participate in all the activities. This was out of the CC camp? No, this was out at the regular Army base during the war when the boys were out here in training. I guess it was Nellis at that time, too. The boys would be shipped in here for training, and then we assumed that responsibility as a community project, part of the Jewish community, to go out there and always some—there was a group every Friday night that attended services. Many of the boys were invited to our homes for weekend dinner or whatever, you know. But we did go out, we made arrangements in Los Angeles to have the food sent in, I guess on the train in those days—I can’t remember. What would happen, people would be coming through town, UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 7 which was interesting in those days. Husbands, for example, would be stationed in California. The wife and the children would get into a beat up car, try to get out to the coast to rejoin their husbands, they’d get to Las Vegas where the temperatures were so intense—and they really didn’t know—a tire would blow out. They’d have no money. So, we had our little group—I think it was called the Ladies Hebrew Society or something like that—and we always had funds available to help these people, either to buy them a tire or give them enough money to get on to wherever they were going, because it was a lot of movement in those days. People—families broken up with husbands or sons or whatever being shipped all over the country. And so, that was the closeness of the community in those days because we were a small group, and it didn’t take much to get people together, you know? Word would go out, and everybody’d be there to participate. And so, that was a nice part of Las Vegas in those days. And we bought what was then the second house built in the Huntridge tract. The people who bought the first house were the Louis Macks—he was a brother by the late Nate Mack, and those are the people that are connected with Valley Bank. And in those days, I think, they had a dry goods store here, if I’m not mistaken, and it goes back a good many years. We were very friendly with them; they were lovely people: Nate and Jenny Mack—they’re the parents of Jerry Mack, Jerome Mack, of Valley Bank. And, gee, I got off on a tangent—I can’t remember what I started to tell you. (Laughs) You were talking about the Huntridge, and the second home that was built in the area. Yes, and so we bought the second house in Huntridge, and in those days, where the Union Plaza Hotel stands now, there was a lovely lawn, and people would sleep out there because it was nice and cool—wonderful big old cotton trees shaded the place. And people, before we arrived here, told me that half the town used to go out there and sleep at night, because there was very little UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 8 vegetation here, there were very few lawns, and of course there was no refrigeration when we arrived. The best that you could get would be a swamp cooler, which was fine. It worked very well. The weather was much drier, and we didn’t have the vegetation and moisture, and it was very adequate. And, gosh— You mentioned earlier about the Downtown area, the El Cortez and? Yes, my husband opened an office, it was 750 Fremont Street. The El Cortez was just built then, and it was just lovely. It was just absolutely beautiful. Where the telephone company now is Downtown—of course, that was Sears before the telephone company moved in there, and prior to that time, when we arrived, there was nothing. That was just bare land. As I saw, we used to do our marketing Downtown, and there were, of course, the casinos there, and the old timers would be hanging around at the bars, but everybody was very friendly and you had nothing to be afraid of. We’d go Downtown with our children—never were concerned for their welfare or their safety or anything like that. And it was really sort of a—of course, we didn’t have the things—we were always complaining, there wasn’t a Five and Ten. There wasn’t—you had to import rye bread from Los Angeles if you wanted that sort of thing. There wasn’t anything here, really, to make life a fun thing. Of course, the war years were traumatic, and people really worked hard at doing what they could do best. And as I say, the CC camp, when we arrived in town, was down in the lower part of Fremont Street just before you get to where Montgomery Ward is now, and that was the outskirts of town, ‘cause they always but the CC camp on the outskirts of town. And of course, when we arrived, the only hotel in town was the El Rancho. There was nothing else on that Strip; it was absolutely nothing but desert all the way. That was located where? UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 9 The El Rancho was at the corner of Sahara and the Strip. There’s nothing there now; it burned down. I think Summa owns it now, but that was the most marvelous place, and it was a family place where you go, and the children—it was marvelous. And then there were rumors in town that they were going to build another hotel, and the Last Frontier was built, and everybody said, “They must be out of their minds; who’s gonna come out here to the desert and go to another hotel?” But they built the Last Frontier, and it was lovely, and it was very successful, and then of course the rest speaks for itself. But when we arrived, that was the only hotel on the Strip, was the El Rancho. And what we used to do in the summertime—nobody had swimming pools in those days—the hotels did, and we were very welcome to go out there with our children during the summer months and use the facilities and use the pool. And we never felt we were intruding, and we were always made very welcome, which was nice, ‘cause in those days, it wasn’t a corporate affair, it was all individually-owned and everybody knew everybody. Another place where we could go for recreation in those long, hot summers was at Twin Lakes. That was there, what’s now Lorenzi Park, I guess, but there was a big pool out there and little picnic grounds and ducks out on the lake, and it was a wonderful spot to go to with the children. And that was about the extent of the recreation here, really. There was not much else to do. My children attended—when we lived in Huntridge, they built the John S. Park School at that time. They brought down some buildings from somewhere—I don’t know just where now—and that was the beginning of the John S. Park School—no air conditioning in those days. As Suzanne would come home from sitting on the varnished seats, they started kindergarten there where all the varnish on her whole bottom of her panties because it would be so hot that the perspiration would just lift that varnish off of the seats. It was really something, but they used to walk with the Waldmans, who were neighbors of ours, to the Huntridge School just down the street from it. And Doris Hancock, who UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 10 was a figure in those town for many, many years—I can’t tell you how many generations of children she taught kindergarten, and my children were fortunate enough to be in that number. Of course, in those days, my husband did a lot of obstetrics, and I think he delivered half the young people in this town—constantly meeting people, “Oh, your husband delivered me.” (Laughs) “Really?” One is Forbus now who’s, I think he’s with Mercy Ambulance and I think he’s on the school board—came by here one day to ask if he could put a sign up on our front lawn, said, “You know, your husband delivered me.” (Laughs) But there are a lot of people in those towns, and of course, in those days, we didn’t have the Charleston underpass. The railroad ran across that, and inevitably, when you were running over to the old Memorial Hospital, here would come the train and park right there on the crossing, and there wasn’t a thing you could do. Because eventually, that underpass was built, but it was just like it is over there at Oakey, you know, that train would start doing maneuvers at all hours in those days. The train was a vital part of the transportation in this area, so the trains ran frequently, and the freight trains would run frequently. So, that was interesting. Let’s stop here so we can change the side of the tape. [Audio cuts out] Let’s talk a little bit about what Las Vegas was like during the war years and Nellis and— All right, are we on now? Mm-hmm. Well, during the war years, Las Vegas was a very important center, I think, because Nellis was used as a training area for fliers, and boys were shipper here from all over the country, of course, UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 11 and I suspect even from abroad, we as a community used to—had our organizations, and we would go out to Nellis to attend services— (Unintelligible) Yes, yes— I think we went over that a little bit before. Right, and at that time, we also—in Henderson, there was Basic Magnesium, which, I think, did a lot of government work and provided a lot of material, and I don’t know exactly what it was that they did out there. I think chlorine was manufactured—aluminum, I think—I’m not really sure about that. And a lot of the people came into the area because there was a lot of employment here during those years. Of course, I suppose every community had a shortage of health because the men were in the service. About that time, too, our Downtown area began to change. Many of the little shopping areas where we used to do our marketing and buy our little goodies began to move out of the Fremont area because property became more valuable, and changes began to take place down there and many of the stores disappeared and went into the outlying districts. We built a house at 830 East Charleston about that time. We vacated our Huntridge house—I think those Huntridge houses, if I’m not mistaken, when we bought our house, I think they sold for about $3,5000—from $3,500 perhaps to $5,500 if you wanted a real posh one. So that gives you an idea of how that property has changed in value. I think when we built our house on Charleston, which was a lovely house with a tile roof—it’s located across from where Frontier Fidelity is now on Charleston—I think that host cost us at that time about $8,000 to build. And George Franklin, who was an attorney here, his father built that house for us. He was a building contractor. What else can I tell you—oh, yes, the hotels, too, during the war of course, we had our rationing books for meat and for gas and for dairy products and all that sort of thing. And it UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 12 was about that time that the Frontier initiated their dinner buffets. So, it’s not anything as recent—it goes way back to the war days. But I think there was a lot of top brass that came through Vegas at that time because Nellis was a very important base. And somehow or other, we were always amazed at the amount of food that was available at the hotels. Their buffets—they always had roast beef, and there was always a lot of food. There was no shortage of food at the hotels. And of course, about that time, when we arrived, it was just the El Rancho, and then of course they built, one followed the other. The Downtown area changed a lot, too; where the Central Telephone building is now across from the El Cortez, Sears built their first store here in Las Vegas, and of course Penney’s is kitty corner from that—it’s still there, the Downtown store—but that was the Penney’s store there until Penney’s built their other place out at the Boulevard Mall. But that was the Penney’s store Downtown. And Sears, of course, that was a big deal when they built the Sears stores, and of course Sears moved out to the mall as well, and then Central Telephone took over that. That building stood vacant for a long time; that end of town was just not very active. Is there anything else that we—? How long ago did they build the Boulevard Mall? Oh, gosh, I can’t remember now how many years ago. And of course, all that area, you know—and there was nothing, incidentally, which is interesting—I understand that people own the property where the university stands now, and a lot of property out there, and it was just not doing anything out that way. And so, these people—and I don’t know their name—donated that property where the university stands with that in mind that once that property was designated as a university that it would kind of stimulate the interest in real estate in that area, and by golly, it did. I remember when they started to build Sunrise Hospital, and it was the longest time coming because I don’t know, they ran out of funds or ran into problems with water or caliche or UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 13 whatever it was. But nobody ever thought that that hospital would really ever be built. For, it seems like, a couple of years, it just stood there, sort of a shell, and didn’t go anyplace. And then all of a sudden, everything took off out there on Maryland Parkway. And, of course, that property, those people who donated that property of the university knew what they were doing because, then, of course, a lot of the activity began to take place out there. And then, eventually, of course, the Boulevard Mall came into being, and I don’t have to tell you what’s happened all the way out to Tropicana and beyond. Mm-hmm. But when we were living here, there was absolutely nothing. I can remember driving out with my husband where the Flamingo stands now—a woman had purchased the old CC camp buildings—this was after the war and there was no longer a need for the CC camps—and she had them brought down, these old buildings, onto the rear of the Flamingo property, and then ran out of money. And so she—she was a patient of my husband’s—and she came to him and said, “I would like to take you in as a partner.” Of course, you can hear these stories by the armful. “I need money to construct, do these buildings up.” And so drove out there on a Sunday, and I tell you, our impression was, “My goodness, we’re halfway to Los Angeles,” when you drove out as far as where the Flamingo now stands. We got out of the car and walked around on that awful dirt and rock, and here were these sorry-looking dilapidated shacks, and of course we turned down the proposition, need I tell you, like everybody else did in—not everybody, but we did. And eventually, I suppose, I think she was forced to sell that property. She owned that property but ran out of money. And for many years after the Flamingo was built, those very buildings were used for help and for storage and for other things—they were there for many, many years, those very same buildings. But really, in those days, when you drove from the heart of Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 14 and it was just a two-lane highway, as far as the Flamingo, you really felt that you were at the end of the world. It seemed that far out, it’s hard to believe. And the airport wasn’t— The airport—now, I flew for the very first time when our youngest son was ill when he was just three months old. And I flew with him to Los Angeles—I will never forget that; that was my first flight, and he’s now thirty-three, so that was a long time ago. And I don’t even remember what the airport looked like—I can’t even remember. But it was a frightening experience, but I did fly with him to Los Angeles at that time. But it did seem ridiculous for anybody to live—it’s just as you drive, now, to Los Angeles, and you say, way out in the desert, a little house or a little shack, and you say to yourself, “How in the world can people live in such isolation?” And that’s how we thought about a distance as far out as where the Flamingo stands today, if you can believe that. And the, of course, the road to Los Angeles was a horrendous experience. It was two-lane all the way, and if you got behind a truck, you might just as well forget it. You just stayed behind the truck, because you could pass, but it was—and there were these awful dips in the road. It was just really a horrendous experience, but we used to travel it—it’d take us hours and hours, and no air conditioning in the cars in those days, in the early days. Later on, of course, it was more civilized, and there was air conditioning, but it was really a trip to go to Los Angeles. The trains were very good in those days, and we used to take the train when we went many times, but a lot of people travelled by car and made it, but it was really an experience. I think that old highway is still there; there’s a development at the foot of it somewhere—I don’t know where it turns off, but it does, and it’s still there. But it was the best they had to offer. And let’s see, is there anything else— What were the roads like around here? UNLV University Libraries Thelma Coblentz 15 They were— Were they paved? The main streets were paved, as I recall; of course, as you got out a little bit from town, they were not—the side streets. But the majority of the streets were in fair condition. Fremont Street was always quite nice. I don’t remember every having any problems in town with a car. And even the road to Los Angeles was paved, but it was just two-lane, and it was a lot of traffic in those days—trucking, you know, things came in by truck, and if you got behind one of those trucks, that was it. You just dragged around, and it was very frightening to pass because there were a lot of curves and a lot of ups and downs, sort of a (unintelligible)—can’t imagine why they built them that way, perhaps for drainage, I guess. I don’t really know, but it was really an experience to drive to Los Angeles in those days. Can you remember very many floods since you’ve been here? Yes, we did have a lot, in fact, many more cloud bursts in the summer than we do have now; I can’t account for it, but it would just absolutely pour. They were brief—different than what we have now. Now, they last for, you know, a couple of days. But in those days, the sky would get dark in this 110-degree heat, and all of a sudden, there’d be this terrible cloud burst and water, and everybody’d run for the pans to put under your swamp cooler, ‘cause the water would come down, and it was really a quagmire, and it was bad. But we didn’t seem to have as mu—we had a lot of dust storms in those days when we first came to Las V