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Transcript of interview with Elaine Cali McNamara by Claytee White and Stefani Evans, October 5, 2016






This ability to greet each day with a challenge has laid the foundation for a long history of success for Elaine McNamara as she has navigated through local beauty pageants, an illustrious real estate career, serving on the Las Vegas-Clark County Library board during their decade of expansion to authorship. Her story of resilience starts when she became ill at approximately seven or eight with erythema nodosum that impeded her ability to walk for five months when she started collecting pictures of movie stars. Her favorite movies were any of Roy Rogers, Abbott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Her family moved to Las Vegas, where she attended Las Vegas High School as well as UNLV majoring in elementary education and minoring in language arts. While she attended high school, she studied modeling in the evenings to help overcome her shyness and to become more outgoing. Becoming more involved with local and state beauty pageants, she met the likes of Phyllis Diller, Natalie Wood,

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McNamara, Elaine Cali Interview, 2016 October 5. OH-02857. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH ELAINE CALI MCNAMARA An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2016 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editor: Stefani Evans and Vishe Y. Redmond Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the university for the support given that allowed an idea and the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE “If I can sell clothes, I can sell real estate. You must believe in yourself whether you’re on stage in front of hundreds of people or working one-on-one with a client. The old story is that if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else is going to either.” This ability to greet each day with a challenge has laid the foundation for a long history of success for Elaine McNamara as she has navigated through local beauty pageants, an illustrious real estate career, serving on the Las Vegas-Clark County Library board during their decade of expansion to authorship. Her story of resilience starts when she became ill at approximately seven or eight with erythema nodosum that impeded her ability to walk for five months when she started collecting pictures of movie stars. Her favorite movies were any of Roy Rogers, Abbott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Her family moved to Las Vegas, where she attended Las Vegas High School as well as UNLV majoring in elementary education and minoring in language arts. While she attended high school, she studied modeling in the evenings to help overcome her shyness and to become more outgoing. Becoming more involved with local and state beauty pageants, she met the likes of Phyllis Diller, Natalie Wood, and Bobby Darin and did fashion shows all over the Strip, expanded her career to teach as a modelling instructor, and sometime later, owned and operated her own modelling school while living in New Mexico. After more than 20 years, it was time to make a change, and she did by becoming a realtor at a time when the city was changing from the ‘charming’ conservative town she grew up in to a metropolis. As past president of the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Nevada chapter, she was awarded CRS of the year in 2000. She served as Greater Las Vegas Association v of Realtors Vice President from 2002-2003 as well as Director on the Professional Standards Committee for two and a half terms. She volunteered her time to many committees at GLVAR included Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman of Chapter with a heart—donating her time and money to Operation School Bell, which was a program that provided new clothing to the needy children of the Clark County School District. Her commitment to family is also represented through the sponsoring of children’s teams, as PTA mother for four years, and den mother for the Cub Scouts while her sons were in school. She served as Chariman/Trustee of the Las Vegas-Clark County Board from 1981-1991 during the decade of expansion, the Library Council of the State of Nevada, and on the Citizen Priority Advisory Committee for the City of Las Vegas. The next adventure she embarked on was the writing of her book, In the Midst of Cowboys, Crooners, and Gangsters: Recollections of the Las Vegas Glamour Era. Guided and inspired to write her story by the need for her family to see her as more than ‘Mom,’ she shared the early side of Las Vegas that most visitors don’t get a chance to see outside the reputation of ‘Sin City’ and celebrities behaving badly. vi vii TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Elaine Cali McNamara October 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee D. White and Stefani Evans Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………..iv Detroit beginnings; girls TBall; erythema nodosum; Grosse Pointe Woods to Las Vegas; 1044 Bonita Avenue; Twin Lakes (Lorenzi Park); Las Vegas High School; Mr. Thiriot, Josette Lang Modelling School; Queen of the Horseshoe; switching careers………………………...……..1-10 Sayles Real Estate School; becoming a strategic realtor; Durable Homes, Jack Matthews and Co.; Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GVLAR); Rancho Plazas; Panarama Market; Junior Mesquite Club; taking the floor; Las Vegas-Clark County Library Board; Landscape Architecture Board for the State of Nevada; Las Vegas Press (Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)……………………………………………………………………………11-18 Appendix 1: Modelling Photos……………………………………………………………….20-24 Appendix 2: Real Estate…………………………………...…………………………………25-27 Appendix 3: Las Vegas- Clark County Library Board……………………………………….28-35 1 S: Today is October 5, 2016 and Stefani Evans and Claytee White are visiting with Elaine McNamara. Ms. McNamara, would you please pronounce and spell your first and last name. It is Elaine Caroline Cali McNamara. S: Could you spell those please? Elaine, E-L-A-I-N-E. Caroline, C-A-R-O-L-I-N-E. Cali, my maiden name, C-A-L-I. McNamara, M-C-N-A-M-A-R-A. C: When this book is finished we will bind two copies, one for the library and one for you. Do you want your full name of the cover on the book? Yes. Why don't we start by you telling us something about your early life, where you were born, when you came to Las Vegas, why your parents came here, etc.? I was born in Detroit, Michigan, and as a little girl I loved being outdoors playing with the kids. I played with all the boys' teams because I could hit a baseball just as well as they could. When I was a little girl—it is also mentioned in my book—that my dad would hold me up to the tree branch and taught me how to chin myself. At the time I thought it was a fun game but actually it saved my life later in life. I'll go into that situation. I took my sons skiing at Mount Charleston and I was teaching my youngest son how to ski. He skied about an hour with me telling him how he had to sit down in the snow to stop so he wouldn't hurt himself. Finally I said, "Why don't you and your brother go up to the lodge and I'll get you some hot chocolate and lunch. I am going to go up the T-bar so I'll get a chance to ski." I got on the T-bar but there wasn't anyone on it with me. I was on one side and the T-bar slipped out from under me and I went up the hill hanging on with my arms to the first stop on the ski lift. All the people were amazed that I was able to do this. I credited this to my dad. Even my granddaughter thinks it is a fantastic story. I told her, "This is a true story." When I went back to the lodge my youngest son said, "Mom what were you trying to do?" I was trying to survive because it was at least two stories underneath the T bar. Getting back to my days in Michigan when I was a young girl. I always loved being outdoors. I jumped rope, played hop scotch, tag—all the things that kids don't enjoy doing so much now-a-days. I enjoyed doing all that. I used to play tag. All the kids in the neighborhood would get together and play outdoors most of the day. My mom was interested in teaching us how to crochet and do embroidery. My grandmother, my mom's mom, was a genius at sewing. She made our coats. I remember when I was about four or five years old. She didn't use a pattern, she just measured us. I remember standing there and 2 being measured. She made us each a velvet coat with matching hats for Christmas. I had a burgundy one and my sister had a royal blue color. I said to her, "Grandma, I need a muff too." So she made us each a muff to match. I guess I saw it in the movies. My grandmother was very talented. All this crocheting that you see my mom learned from her and they were phenomenal in what they did. She taught us all the lessons of housekeeping, being polite, and that kind of thing. I could only handle that only for so long. I wanted to be outdoors playing with the kids. Shortly thereafter, we moved from the house we were living in to a house on Santa Barbara [Street]. It was located on the corner, next to an alley with a big field beyond the bushes. When I was about eight years old I got sick and I couldn't walk. The doctors didn't know what condition I had. They thought perhaps I got some bug in the field because we played all around there. That seemed to be the answer. My mom and dad decided to move back to our house where I was mostly raised as a little girl, on Seyburn. So we moved back there. The doctors didn't know what created my illness. I was getting a penicillin shot every day so now I am allergic to penicillin. That is always something on my health records. After several months in our home on Seyburn, my sister and I had twin beds with the four posters, the old-fashion style. I just didn't want to stay in bed and that is when my mom got me all the movie magazines and there was a place where you could write and ask for a picture of a movie star. In fact, I have one postcard that she saved for me. It was three cents. I still have it and I put it in my album. I would write these cards out every day and I would read the magazines all about the movie stars. The pictures kept coming in. My mom got me one of those old-fashion scrap books where they had the ties on the side. It was black. You never glued anything down; my mom always had those little corners to hold the pictures. When I got older I said, "Mom, I don't know what to do with this." I was like 14-15 and in Las Vegas. She even moved it to Las Vegas. She put it in a box and eventually gave it back to me. So years later, 2001, I put this album together. It has not only pictures I saved. My dad had a small interest in a nightclub called Club Royal in Michigan when I was growing up. He had a lot of entertainers that autographed pictures to him as "Jimmy," for James. I also saved those old photos in my album even though I don't know who they are. One day I said to my sister, "I think I am going to get up today." She discounted my statement and went out to play. My sister and I had four-poster twin beds, the old-fashioned style. I practiced walking around the bed. I had an attitude that no matter what the doctors said, I was going to walk again. The kitchen was nearby. I slowly walked into the kitchen and sat on the first chair I could get to. My mom was busy doing breakfast dishes. She said, "How did you get here?” I remember her exact words. I said, "I walked." "Show me," she said. So I stood up and walked slowly along the wall telling my mom, "I want to go outside and play." I got dressed and started running and playing. My mom was worried and standing on the porch yelling, "Don't run too much!" 3 I enjoyed going everywhere with my dad. I think sometimes he would sneak out on me because he knew I would want to go with him. I remember going to the Italian deli and the gas station and taking walks. He even took me to the night club during the day. It was dark inside and all the chairs were on top of the tables. One day I said to him, "Daddy, I want to come here when there is a show." He surprised me on my fifth birthday. He invited all my relatives and family friends to a birthday show. He brought in special people to entertain. My aunt and godmother, Aunt Bessie, was sitting next to me when they rolled out a huge cake. She said, "Elaine, you have to stand up." I stood up and everybody sang "Happy Birthday" to me and the entertainment started. Did you ever find out why you got sick? Not at the time. But in 2007, I had the same symptoms. My ankles swelled up and I had blotches on my legs like I did when I was a little girl. Thank goodness I had a good doctor who recognized it as erythema nodosum. He said, "Most of the time kids get this." I said, "Could I have gotten it twice in my life?" He said, "It is possible." So I think that is what I had as a child. It was the same symptoms? Yes. Once you have an experience like that you become very health conscious. I had blood tests almost every week, and I had to take steroids for a week because my doctor said that is the only thing that is going to clear it up. After that I immediately started acupuncture, therapeutic messages, and reflexology in addition to going to my medical doctor. I never ended up in the hospital. I was healed through all these natural methods. The doctor had no idea what causes it. Do people just get over it eventually? Yes, after all the treatments. I was going to one of my doctors almost every day of the week--my medical doctor, my acupuncturist, and so on. I wanted to get well as quickly as possible. When I was a little girl the doctors had no idea about my illness. That is why back then it took me months to heal. This time it happened in May of 2007. By July of 2007 I was ice skating in Sun Valley. I wasn't about to be sitting around for months when I realized it was the same thing. Acupuncture wasn't known where we lived in my early years. I had never heard the word. Tell us how your parents ended up coming here from Michigan? Before we moved here we lived in Grosse Pointe Woods, moving here in June, 1953. We actually came out West, across the United States, in 1951 and 1952. We had relatives in California. My father came from a large family. There were nine children; two girls died early in life. My dad and his brother were always talking about going out West. My Uncle Sam did move out West and we visited him and other aunts, uncles, and cousins in California. After we visited California my dad stopped in Las Vegas to visit some friends here, and he liked it so much better that he decided that this is where he wanted to move our family. He said that the skies were so clear here and the mountains were so clear that you could almost see a fly on the mountain. I 4 remember him saying that. My mom and dad made preparations to move here the next year, but they didn't tell us 100 percent that that was going to happen. We all sat down for dinner together every night unless we had a school function going on. One night in March 1953 my dad announced that we were going to move in about three months, in June. I didn't want to move. My favorite, older cousin Carrie, whom I babysat for her little girl, and she wanted me to stay with her because she lived close to the school where I was going. My dad objected to my staying in Michigan and we left as soon as school was out in June. How old were you? I was 16. Where did you live when you first got here? We lived at 1044 Bonita Avenue, Las Vegas, which is in Huntridge and now a historic district. S: What did you think about this place? When I first got here I was so tired from the trip because we were on the road and my dad stopped everywhere. He wasn't one of those dads who took a trip and you just zoomed across the country. We stopped at a petrified forest, the Grand Canyon, and other places of interest along the way. We would say, "Oh, we saw a sign there Daddy. Can we go there?" He would say, "Sure." We finally got here and I was just tired for the first couple of days. My dad's friend Andy Richards lived around the corner on 10th street. He had a daughter named Judy. Judy invited my sister and me to Twin Lakes, the fun place for teenagers, which is now Lorenzi Park. Twin Lakes had a swimming pool, horses, and boat rides. They had little row boats on the lakes and adjoining that public area were little motel rooms that a lot of people would stay in, not that I knew anybody that stayed there. That first day I had such a good time swimming all day, and I spent the summer at Twin Lakes making new friends. They had music piped in and had a small cafe that served hot dogs and hamburgers as part of the main menu. By that time I was driving, so my dad would let me use his car to go to Twin Lakes. By the end of summer I didn't want to ever go back to Michigan again. I loved my new city. My dad taught me how to row the boat. Boy, I was ready to do it. I had blisters on my hands from rowing and I wouldn't stop. I was always a doer. I didn't just go on the boat; I had to do something. Did you know that those cottages were for divorcees? I heard that later on that there were a lot of cottages for people that wanted to stay here for the six weeks. I didn't know all the details of that at the time but I did hear that later on. Your sister, is she older or younger? 5 She is younger. That is Ellen. I have another sister, Carole, and you will see her in a couple of the pictures there. My sister Carole died in 2005. And then there is my brother, and he lives here in Las Vegas. My sister Ellen lives in Reno now with her husband. And age differences? We are about two years apart. I was one of the few new people that started at Las Vegas High School. There were only two other people besides my sister and me. We were the newbies in the school. Who was in your graduating class at Las Vegas High? Well, one of them is Rollie Gibbs. Rollie Gibbs is the one that does all the cowboy stuff. Duane Foremaster, he was on the football team. Dick Pribble, he was in a plane crash, and it affected his legs. I remember him being at one early reunion and then after that I heard he had died. There were some major people. My favorite teacher was, and he is in my book, Joseph Thiriot. I mentioned him in my book. I loved Joseph Thiroit. I had a class with him in theatre arts. I also had classes in typing and shorthand with Mrs. Carruth. She asked me one day if I would like to work on Saturday. I said, "Sure." I was always interested in making extra money. I don't know what Mr. Thiriot paid me, but I would go there every Saturday and type up the paperwork he wanted me to do. At that time I could type about 120 words per minute so I could do things pretty fast for him. We became real close friends so that he actually wrote me cards and I saw him on his 100th birthday. The only person I've ever known that lived to be 100 years old and it is mentioned in my book as well. That is Joseph Thiriot. He wrote me letters every year. A very philosophical gentleman, but very, very nice. He was fun in class. I took the drama, theater arts class with Mr. Thiriot. When you are a kid in school you think they are a lot older. We had this stage about as high as an average table and he would just jump on that stage instead of taking the stairs and I thought boy, that guy is pretty good. He was probably in his 50s, but when you are 16 you think boy, he's old. He was my favorite teacher. All the other teachers were nice but I enjoyed his class the best. We did some productions. I never played a major part because most of the kids that had been in his class for years they were chosen for that, but I never had any negative feelings about it. I just knew that I wasn't there as long as many other students, so it was understandable that he gave me a small part. It made me happy. While I was in school I found an ad in the paper that caught my eye: it was for Josette Lang Modeling School. I showed it to my mom and dad and asked if I could take the classes. I wanted to learn how to take care of my hair, how to walk, and do makeup, and improve myself. My dad was opposed to modeling school. I went to my mother, who was more understanding, and she helped change my dad's mind. He agreed, but said that if I went, my sister would attend also. So we went. After taking several classes we were asked to do small fashion shows for free, for practice. 6 Before I knew it, I was in contests. I was a representative for the Downtown Lions in the Community Fair. They invited me to a luncheon at the El Cortez Hotel. When I arrived at the hotel, I had my school books with me. I stood in the doorway looking at the room with all men; no women in the whole place. I didn't know it was a men's club. Mr. Howard Cannon, who was later our U.S. Senator, rescued me and invited me to sit as his table. After that first meeting, I was always invited to sit with Mr. Cannon at all future meetings. He became a lifelong friend. He would call my mother saying, "Elaine needs to get into this contest." Before I knew it, I was in various contests. He would forward all the paper work. That is how I entered the Miss Wool contest. I was also in the Helldorado Parade for two years. Tell us about that. That was really an exciting time. I went to Joe W. Brown's Horseshoe Club with my school books. At that time it was called Joe W. Brown's Horseshoe and not Binion's Horseshoe. I walked in the door and said, "I'm here to see Harry Dorsett." I had no idea who he was, it was just a name I was given. Out walked this man, and he had a big cigar and reminded me of a gangster. I saw all the security guards so I thought to myself, "Well, I guess I'll be safe here." He took me into his office. His office was longer than my whole house. He offered me a soft drink and asked me what I was studying in school. He asked me a lot of questions like a father would. I liked him right away. He was a very gentle man. He was totally a kind gentleman. He said, "We are looking at some girls to be the queen on our float this year." I said, "I would like that very much." Before I left his office he made one remark: "Elaine, don't cut your hair." My hair was pretty long and I wondered why he made that comment. He wouldn't tell me the theme of the float, but I figured he had a good reason. He said, "Call me Monday in the afternoon when you get out of school and I will have an answer for you." It was a Friday and all weekend that was all I was thinking about. Monday came and I got out of school and I called his office and he said, "Elaine, you have been selected." I said, "Do you mean I am going to be the queen on the float?" He said, "Yes, you are." But he wouldn't tell me anything about it because that was a very secretive thing among the hotels. They didn't want to divulge the themes of their floats. The beauty parade with the queens on the various floats was on Sunday. Did each hotel have a queen? Each one had a queen and each one had a theme. Afterwards I did find out that I was going to be "Eve in the Garden of Eden" and I sat on a big apple. Well, it wasn't really an apple. I had to have a ladder to even get high enough to sit on the apple. The picture shows how high it is. Mr. Dorsett gave me the names of the stores to purchase what I needed as queen of the Horseshoe float—a swimsuit, banner, flowers—and to charge it all to him." "Oh, okay." Nobody had ever done that for me before. So I went to all the stores he had recommended to me. 7 Do you remember what some of these stores were? There was a little flower shop on Las Vegas Boulevard near Gass Street where he wanted me to get my banner. I bought my swimsuit at H.B. Burnett and it was a gold lame. The day of the parade, there was a lot of excitement. All the people lined the streets, with me waving to the crowds. It seemed to go by so fast. The parade went down Fremont Street. It started at the Union Pacific Railroad at the top of Main Street and then went down toward Eighth Street or Ninth Street. My dad, if I remember correctly, dropped me off. There was a limousine waiting for me after the parade. A gentleman came up and said, "Mr. Dorsett sent me to take you back to the hotel. He is going to treat you to lunch and you can watch the rest of the parade." This was a big surprise to me. Were you paid for being queen? No, you never got paid for that. It was just an honor. I have to go back one step. I should have told you this part, because I had my mind made up that I was going to be a queen on a float or I was not going to be anything at all. Before I went to the Horseshoe I auditioned at the Golden Nugget. There were about three or four girls there. The lady that was interviewing us wanted to see what our legs looked like. She said, "We are going to choose the queen, but we want a couple of other girls to be on the float." I said, "No, thank you. I am going to be a queen on a float." I made up my mind that that wasn't what I wanted to do. You were on the Horseshoe float? Yes, for two years. The second year Harry Dorset called and asked me to be on the float again as Alice in Wonderland coming out of the Million Dollars Arch. Harry Dorsett would ask me to visit his office. He would say, "Elaine, you have to come and visit me in my office." He would just sit and ask me about my family and what I was doing at school. He was the nicest man. He was like my stepfather. My mom and dad never met him. I told my dad, "Harry Dorsett is a lot like you. He is just so nice to me whenever I go there." Mr. Dorsett once said, "You know, if I had a daughter I would want her to be like you.” We would have little talks. He died very young. He died in '59, shortly after my years on the floats. That really devastated me because we became such good friends and I missed him a lot. He was like a father to me. Did you get to participate in any of the Helldorado events other than the float? You went back to Dorsett's office, but did you see what else was going on? 8 They used to have the Helldorado events going on for days before the Beauty Parade. It was a weeklong event with the whiskerino contest, the cowboy contest, children's parade and rodeo. You were supposed to be dressed in cowboy attire, and if you weren't dressed appropriately they would put you in a fake jail, right on Fremont Street. One time I was there on Fremont Street by the Golden Nugget and met Gordon MacRae, star of many musicals. He wasn't too tall because I'm 5'9" and he was maybe just an inch shorter than me. Over the years as a model, I would meet many entertainers. What were some of the other places that you modeled? I started modeling for H. B. Burnett Dress Shop in 1968-1969. Where was Burnett's store? The owner, Leonard Burnett, had several H. B. Burnett stores. I first started working for him at the Riviera Hotel. He had stores at the Stardust, the Dunes, and the Frontier. He also had a shop at the Beverly Hills Hilton, but I never worked there. After Josette Lang Modeling School, I went to Bernie Lenz Modeling School and Agency, where we did fashion shows every week on Fridays and Saturdays at the El Cortez Hotel in the small showroom. The people would have lunch and each model represented a particular store, because the stores liked how their clothes fit on them. I modeled for Lillian's Smart Wear. Lillian's shop was on Third Street. Once she got to know me I didn't have to go in for a fitting. She would just put the clothes on a rack and she would have them delivered to the El Cortez. I would model the clothes and then the guy from the store would take them all back. I think I mentioned that in my book as well. I think the lunch was $1.50. I did so many shows I can't remember them all. In 1967, right after my son John was born, Mr. Paul Sperling, who had a dress shop at the Flamingo Hotel, called me. I had done a couple of shows for him before. I said, "Mr. Sperling, I just had a baby and I am a little heavier than I was before." He said, "Well, come in and let me look at you." I went to his shop and he said, "Just wear the next size." My weight dropped off from walking every day. I modeled there four or five days a week. I didn't work for him very long, but it was during this modeling job that I met Bobby Darin. He was appearing in the Flamingo showroom. It was a thrill for me, because I enjoyed his singing. Did Sperling work for one casino? 9 No, Sperling was in the Flamingo hotel but it was a separate store called Sperling's Dress Shop. It was shortly after that I applied at H.B. Burnett for a fashion modeling job. Did you have an agent? Bernie Lenz was our agent. She was our agent for different shows. I did the ski show. In fact I got my son John to do the ski show when he was about ten years old. He had to be excused from school for a week. He enjoyed that and the fact that he made some money. What was the high-end dress shop downtown? I would say Fanny's probably. Or Ronzone's Department Store or Chick Hecht's. My mom loved Chick Hecht and enjoyed shopping there. My mom would buy clothes for herself and her daughters. Fanny's was very high end. I have a picture somewhere of me and a couple of other gals with Maury Soss, who was the owner of Fanny's Dress Shop. I did some fashion shows for him. There were so many, Christensen's Jewelers, El Portal Movie Theater, and El Portal Luggage. On the corner of Third and Fremont was Melody Lane. Everybody went there after the football games. It was a little restaurant type coffee shop. Garehimes Music was just down the street from Melody Lane. In fact, when I was working for Mr. Thiriot on Saturdays, I bought a ukulele from Garehimes. Whatever money I made from Mr. Thiriot I would go pay Garehimes ten dollars a week on layaway until I paid it off. It cost approximately $120. It is worth probably a couple of thousand dollars now because it is a Martin. I still have it. How long did you do modeling? Up until I went into real estate. How did the transition happen? Even though I was working for H. B. Burnett's Dress Shop, Leonard Burnett allowed me to do designer fashion shows, like Estevez. I was selected by Estevez to do his entire swimsuit collection. It wasn't just swimsuits; it was also hooded capes and flowing skirts. We had to walk down the glass stairs at the Tropicana Hotel. We had to practice because you would start at the top and everything had to be to the beat of the music. If you couldn't walk to the beat you were not selected. In fact, one of my best girlfriends, Yvonne, was an excellent model and very Print ad 1968 10 popular but had no rhythm. We would practice at my house. I would put on music and ask her to walk to the beat. She wasn't selected. She was a fabulous model, but she couldn't walk to the music, so she couldn't work for him. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I don't look at things like that. It is a special time for a fleeting moment in life. You don't make a big deal of it. One Easter we were doing a clothing collection, I don't remember the name of the collection. The designer asked me to wear the major part of the collection, but when it came to the swimsuit, there was hardly anything to it. I said, "I can't do that collection. I can't do that swimsuit. You better give it to one of the other girls." She said, "No, go pick a swimsuit that you feel comfortable with. I will give one of the other girls the swimsuit that you don't want to wear." I modeled the whole collection and the swimsuit of my choice in that particular instance. I thought to myself that my dad would be proud of me not to wear that swimsuit. Sometimes you are chosen and sometimes you are not. That is what life is. It gives you a good perspective on life because you can't always be a winner. I think that is a problem with a lot of kids today, they think they have to get an award. I never heard of such a thing growing up. I won various events when I was a young girl because I could play ball extremely well and I would go into a contest if I knew I had a good chance to win. You were either first-, second-, or third-place winner. Everybody didn't get an award. I look down on that now. I continued modeling for Leonard Burnett and the last place I was working for him was at the Stardust Hotel. While I was at the Stardust Al Sachs and Herb Tobman were head of the hotel. They were very nice men. [Frank] "Lefty" Rosenthal had his show there. At the Riviera it was Ed Torres. When Leonard sold his store at the Stardust to Freddie Glusman, Glusman changed the store name to Freddie's. So I started modeling for Freddie until I decided to go into real estate, which was right around 1983. There wa