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Audio clip from interview with Al Levy by Cheryl Caples, February 23, 1979

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Download jhp000704.mp3 (audio/mpeg; 3.39 MB)






Part of an interview with Al Levy on February 23, 1979. In this clip, Levy discusses his childhood, living in Las Vegas, and his experience at Las Vegas High School.

Digital ID



Al Levy oral history interview, 1979 February 23; 1981 March 08. OH-01108. [Audio recording]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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The informant is Al Levy. The date is February the 23rd, 1979, at eleven a.m. The place is 400 Stewart Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada. The collector is Cheryl Capers, 2166 Bartawood Drive), Las Vegas, Nevada. The project is Local History, an Oral Interview with a Pioneer Nevadan. Mr. Levy, how long have you been in Las Vegas? I've lived here since 1943. Where was your family originally from? My family came here from Los Angeles. Was there any specific reason? Yes. My dad came here to be a general manager of a grocery store. Was it successful? The store was very successful. It was on 15th and Fremont, called Clark Market at the time. Then it eventually became Foodland and it just burned down last year, I saw. At that time what was the population of Las Vegas? I have been told that the population in 1943 was approximately seven thousand people in the county and it was quite a different community at that time. At that time what were some of Las Vegas's bigger resources other than gambling? Well, of course, you have to remember I was just a tot at that time. But Nellis Air Force Base was a very big item if I remember correctly. It was during World War II. And Basic Magnesium was very important at that time. Tourism was probably even third on the list. What schools did you attend while you were here? I attended Las Vegas Grammar School, which is, of course, where the federal building and the county courthouse annex is, and Las Vegas High School. Do you have any fond memories of Las Vegas High? Oh, sure we did. We used to have a lot of fun. Of course, at that time there was only one high school in the valley, in this area. We used to have big fights with the Henderson High School and the Boulder City High School on the football field, as well as in other sporting events, just the rivalry of the two schools. We used to have a place here, which is right down the street from the City Hall, called the Wildcat Lair. As you remember, Las Vegas is called the Wildcats, their theme. They had a teenage club here called the Wildcat Lair. I'll never forget you used to be able to go there for a quarter. They'd have a live band and you'd be able to dance and they'd always have some entertainer, like Vic Damone or somebody would come from the Strip between shows and entertain the kids. I'll never forget those days. It was a lot of fun. Was there anything in your schooling that helped you become a commissioner? Were you involved in that type of a thing back then? Well, in high school I was very active within the school. I wasn't any student body president or anything of that nature, but I was very active in the school activities. I know I never missed a sporting event. I think you can count them on my hand of all the basketball or football games I ever missed, even though I played football. I never missed a game. The town rallied around the school. We used to have big crowds for our football games and basketball games. The whole town, that was the activity, like the UNLV basketball team is today. Did you attend the university here or did you go out of state or did you go to college? I went to college. There was no university here, young lady. Oh. No, I went to college. I went to University of Southern California. That was probably not only the closest school, but it was the school in Los Angeles that I enjoyed going to and I graduated from there with a degree in business.