The fascinating life of David Dahan began in Casablanca, Morocco where he was born to Mathilde and Isaac Dahan in 1957. After a hasty departure in 1970 the family came to America and to Las Vegas. Isaac became an administrator for Yellow Cab and Mathilde was a server at the Stardust Hotel/Casino. David evokes a tale of growing up a teenager in a strange culture and then heading out on a solo adventure to learn about the world. By 1977, he fell in love and married an engaging Israeli nurse named Yaffa (1954-2007). Her legacy is the Yaffa Dahan Nursing Education Fund established to assist outstanding PhD nursing students in their dissertation research. Leadership and the energy to always say yes are among David?s many characteristics. He has served on numerous local boards, such as: Nevada Restaurant Association, North Vista Hospital, Touro University, Las Ventanas, Henderson Chamber of Commerce, and the Nevada Law Foundation. He has been the recipient of many awards and acknowledgments for his tireless efforts throughout Las Vegas. Among those is being named the 2005 Person of Influence by In Business Las Vegas. From 1997 ? 1999, he served as President of the Jewish Federation during which time he led a trip to Russia. He is past chair of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs) Committee. In 2007, David was honored as Mensch of the Year at Congregation Ner Tamid. In this interview he recalls his family?s escape from Morocco, learning to adjust to life in Las Vegas and his early jobs in the restaurant business. With his roots firmly planted in Las Vegas, David has built strong relationships within the Jewish and general Las Vegas communities. David is the Chief Executive Officer of Orgill/Singer Insurance. His life experiences have fueled passions for his faith, cooking, photography, poetry and his daughters, Shana and Michelle.
David Dahan oral history interview, 2016 May 26. OH-02704. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada. http://n2t.net/ark:/62930/d1c827g7b
Standardized Rights Statement
AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID DAHAN An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ?Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV ? University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Amanda Hammar iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. 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 University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea 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 with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE The fascinating life of David Dahan began in Casablanca, Morocco where he was born to Mathilde and Isaac Dahan in 1957. After a hasty departure in 1970 the family came to America and to Las Vegas. Isaac became an administrator for Yellow Cab and Mathilde was a server at the Stardust Hotel/Casino. David evokes a tale of growing up a teenager in a strange culture and then heading out on a solo adventure to learn about the world. By 1977, he fell in love and married an engaging Israeli nurse named Yaffa (1954-2007). Her legacy is the Yaffa Dahan Nursing Education Fund established to assist outstanding PhD nursing students in their dissertation research. Leadership and the energy to always say yes are among David?s many characteristics. He has served on numerous local boards, such as: Nevada Restaurant Association, North Vista Hospital, Touro University, Las Ventanas, Henderson Chamber of Commerce, and the Nevada Law Foundation. He has been the recipient of many awards and acknowledgments for his tireless efforts throughout Las Vegas. Among those is being named the 2005 Person of Influence by In Business Las Vegas. From 1997 ? 1999, he served as President of the Jewish Federation during which time he led a trip to Russia. He is past chair of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs) Committee. In 2007, David was honored as Mensch of the Year at Congregation Ner Tamid. In this interview he recalls his family?s escape from Morocco, learning to adjust to life in Las Vegas and his early jobs in the restaurant business. With his roots firmly planted in Las Vegas, David has built strong relationships within the Jewish and general Las Vegas communities. David is the Chief Executive Officer of Orgill/Singer Insurance. His life experiences have fueled passions for his faith, cooking, photography, poetry and his daughters, Shana and Michelle. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with David Dahan May 26, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface??????????????????????????????????..iv Begins with his ancestral story; about living in Casablanca, Morocco; being French; family escaping from Casablanca in 1967; talks about his siblings; living in Paris; coming to the United States and Las Vegas in 1970 at the age of 15; his culture shock???????????..1-5 Talks about starting school in Las Vegas and learning to speak English; try to eliminate his accent and feeling like an outcast. Recalls race riots; graduating from night school because he worked during the day; job at the MGM during high school; working as a cook; hanging out with celebrities; tales of traveling alone to Canada for the 1976 Olympics????.....................5-12 Explains how travel was a learning experience; 1967 trip to Israel and meeting his future wife, Yaffa; talks about Jewish community; Herb Tobman?s generosity to his family; joining Temple Beth Sholom; convincing his wife to come to Las Vegas from Israel. Thoughts behind starting Yaffa Dahan Nursing Foundation; his wife?s nursing career; her work with Gary Adams and her open heart surgery; partner Mt. Charleston Hotel to make it a post rehab center; owned a floral shop briefly..???????????????????????????????.??12-20 Talks about how his father came to work at Yellow Cab for Milton Schwartz; getting involved with the Jewish Federation in 1992; Rabbi Shea Harlig and Chabad; shares his family?s involvement in religion; raising children in Las Vegas; talks about his photography. Tells about starting in the insurance business in 1988; his leadership in Jewish Federation; working with Touro University?????????????????????????????.......?..20-32 Explains graduating from FBI school; working with Nellis Air Force base; being the recipient of Ner Tamid?s 2007 Mensch of the Year award; being on the board for the Henderson chamber of commerce; visiting South Africa and adopting a school; going to Russia as the president of the Jewish Federation; visiting the Zulu tribe and practicing Judaism there. Mentions his daughters Shana and Michelle. vi This is Barbara Tabach and I'm sitting with David Dahan. Today is May 26th, 2016. We're in David's office on West Sahara. So David, like I say, just kind of jump in here with the ancestral story. Where does your Jewish story begin? Well, my Jewish story begins in Casablanca, in Morocco. It was a very rich Jewish heritage in Casablanca. There was an amazing amount of Jewish people at the time with rich culture, great food, great music and all that. We actually left Casablanca where my father worked as the chief of the port for Casablanca. We're French. He was a French citizen. But we left Casablanca, actually, in the middle of the night. I remember that story because at the time of the Six Day War in '67, I'll never forget the President of Egypt, Nasser, had announced that he had won the war and they're killing all the Jews, and they're pushing all the Jews into the ocean. All the Arabs in Casablanca turned on all the Jews at the time. My father had a fairly important job. So he found out that they were threatening to kill him. He basically came home that evening and he got in his car. We got in with him. We didn't pack anything. We just got in the car and we just left. We left to go back to Paris. Basically left all of our belongings, clothing, house, whatever we had, left it all and just left in the middle of the night. He had to basically bribe his way out of Casablanca. We went through the port of Gibraltar between Morocco and Spain. It was a treacherous evening trying to get through all the checkpoints and everything that they had. To just kind of run away. So that was my beginning of my Jewish history although Casablanca was an extremely amazing place for Jews at the time. The king of Morocco was extremely friendly to the Jews. But at that time with the unrest and all this from the Six Day War, some of the radical Arabs at the time started attacking Jews. So we had no choice. That's when we left. Most of the Jews 2 actually left after that time. I was just going to ask, were there other people that left with you? Oh, yes. Not with us, no. We were just in our car. But everybody left, not such an organized way either. Everybody left on their own accord, based on what they could do to get out, their time frame and whatever they could do. Most of the Jews at that time left. There might be a few remaining now. I've never been back since. I probably would never go back. I don't have good memories of that. But, I imagine at that time most people left at some point or shortly thereafter. Did you have siblings? Yes, I have a sister. So it was just the four of us. We just drove all the way from Casablanca back to Paris. So had you lived in Paris previously? Well, we were French citizens. Yes, we had been back and forth, but we just left for good in '67. But my father had an amazing occupation in Casablanca. Morocco was really French Morocco, which was really influenced by the French. A lot of French people lived in Morocco. Of course, then you had more of the Arab side of Morocco. But at the time when we left, we just were no longer welcome, I guess. So you say there were a lot of Jews there. There were a lot of Jews. There were a lot of Jewish people that lived in Casablanca at the time. I imagine most of them left, at least that's my understanding. What was life like then in Paris when you got back there? Paris was...Of course, Paris is Paris. It's a beautiful city. A lot of Moroccans live in Paris. A lot of Jewish Moroccans went to Paris from Casablanca. It also had probably one of the 3 largest Jewish populations in Europe in Paris. When we went back...All my family was in Paris. So all my father's brothers and sisters lived in Paris. We went back and, of course, we did what we had to do to get a place to live and went back with the family. Ancestors were all from Morocco or Paris originally? We have a large family. They live all over the world. I have family in Israel that always lived in Israel. I have family in Paris, Casablanca. I also have family right now in Montreal. We're kind of scattered everywhere, in Spain. United States, we actually had my mother had some of her family lived in Vegas, which is the main reason why we came to Vegas from Paris. But my father also had family in San Francisco. So we're everywhere, large family. Do you know what the decision making process was like to come to the United States and specifically to Vegas? Oh, it was very, very simple. I remember this because that's what was talked about. My father's dream was to come to America. I mean there should have been a movie about him coming to America. That's all he ever talked about. He remembered the Americans from the days of GIs and World War II. He spoke fluent English. He worked for IBM as an accountant. He's worked for American companies. He always just wanted to come to America; that was his life's dream. My mother's dream was to be with her sister and her sister actually lived in Las Vegas. She would come and visit us. I'll never forget she would bring us American goods. So we always treasured the box of cereal, a jar of peanut butter, all the toys, all the little gadgets. She would always tell us how wonderful it was to live in Vegas, money grew on trees, and the weather is unbelievable. There was always that appeal. Of course, between sisters, she wanted her to be together. So her coming to visit us was always to bring us to the United States. 4 What was her sister's name? Annette, Annette Kingery. She was actually very well established here. Her husband worked at the Test Site. So he worked for the government. She, on the other hand, worked as like a hostess at the Stardust Hotel, the Aku Aku. It was major dining and all that. They were very established in Las Vegas and had been here for many, many years. So when they came to visit, they would always tell us of all the stories about Vegas. They couldn't resist the box of Corn Flakes and the jar of peanut butter. I mean we treasured that stuff. That was good stuff. I've heard a lot of reasons to come here. I'm going to tell you that is a good one?.We had Nutella. Now, I had peanut butter. Peanut butter was quite a find. That's quite a secret. And Corn Flakes, we didn't eat that kind of...A morning in France, you don't eat cereal. That's just not what we ate. We would eat a croissant or eat something like that. But nobody had Corn Flakes. It was very special. Yes, I guess. And so you said that you came in 1970. Seventy, yes. It was February 18th, 1970. And you were? I was very young. I was fifteen years old. You were fifteen. Had you had a bar mitzvah? Yes, I did my bar mitzvah in Paris right before I left because, of course, we didn't think there would be any Jewish people in Las Vegas. We didn't know. So it was like do your bar mitzvah; get these things out of the way. So I did; I did a bar mitzvah in Paris and then came here and here we are. Do you remember your first interaction with the city, your impressions of it? I have so many good memories, fond memories. 5 Well, tell me about those. Coming here, first of all, it's such a culture shock coming from Paris. I'll never forget flying over and my mother and I were surprisingly shocked. We looked down from the plane and we see a little blue lake and one boulevard. I mean we came from Paris. It was huge. We came to Las Vegas. We had never seen a desert. I wasn't used to the desert. I wasn't used to houses with?I'll never forget this?there were houses with rocks on the roof. They didn't have shingles. It was an odd combination of things. The lifestyle was different. The cars were huge because we're used to European cars. I'll never forget the first restaurant we went; it was the El Cortez. We had a steak dinner there. We're sitting with my aunt and everybody, and they brought these steaks. The first steak we thought it was for the whole table. It turned out to be that each person got this huge sixteen ounce Porterhouse. That was the beginning of the largeness of Vegas and the amount of food, the amount of generosity, and the amount of just happiness with everybody. I love Las Vegas. I have good memories of Las Vegas. But growing up here certainly is an experience, even nationally this is an experience. There's nothing like Vegas even in the United States. So everything was surprisingly either fun or shocking because of the interaction, the casinos, and really the lack of people. There was only two hundred thousand people when I came here. So there wasn't much to do. We didn't really have a lot of places to go to. Everything you have to be twenty one to go in the casinos. So you arrived in February, you said. Yes. So that's mid school year. Interestingly enough, I went to school. I went to Garside. We did not speak English. I was supposed to be in seventh grade. They put me in eighth and I spent the rest of the year in 6 eighth grade and I passed and I never spoke English. So that was another interesting thing. Every morning the school had decided to have me sit down with some of the volunteers that would sit with me and I would just read out loud without really knowing what I was reading, but I would just read for hours trying to learn English as best as I could. However, my sister and I were firmly advanced with math, geography, history, music. We just didn't speak English. So it was sort of like go sit in the class and just figure it out. So we did. Well, obviously, you learned English. I learned English. My father made sure also that I took phonetics. He didn't want me to have an accent. So I'm trying, although I know I still have an accent. But he wanted us to really assimilate in the best way possible with not only the way we speak, but our beliefs and our...to become American; that's what it was about. Now, he spoke English already? He spoke English, yes. I mean with some degree of an accent, but he spoke English. He wrote very well and spoke English. My mother did not. My sister and I struggled in school at the beginning. Everybody was extremely friendly and pleasant to us in junior high at Garside. They were extremely generous with their time. They would be wondering who we are. We were like aliens, just landed from France into this little junior high school. We were the only French people, I think, around. Now that I look back it was fun; at the time it was kind of traumatic. Well, of course. My mother sent me to school?in school in Europe you dress in a suit. It's very formal. So the first couple of days she sent me to school in a little bow tie and a suit. Oh, my god, I was the target. On the third day?I'll never forget this?on the third day I exchanged my suit with 7 my cousin for some jeans and a T shirt so I could try to blend in because we were totally just outcasts. Your cousins were? That lived here. ?that lived here, were they the same age group? Yes, we were all in the same age group. So we went to school together. On the third day, we figured out that I cannot go to school in a suit. It must have helped to have them around. Yes, it did; it helped. But I remember these were tough times in February in Vegas in junior high. There were a lot of race riots when we came here. It was difficult. I mean all these things were strange to us. I wasn't used to that. What do you remember about the race riots? Well, I remember going to Garside [Elementary School] and I sort of was kind of a neutral guy. I mean I didn't even speak English; I was just a French guy. But I remember there were a lot of race riots at that time. And for whatever reason?and I don't know that I fully understood what was going on?but I know that we were sort of vacillating between both sides. Everybody accepted us. I mean I don't remember anybody rejecting us for any reason. Everyone was very hospitable. But the riots were going on at the time in the school system and it went on for a little bit. I don't remember exactly how long, but it went on for a little bit and then it just kind of dissipated. Well, there were significant changes. Yes, 1970 was a difficult time here in February, yes. People oftentimes don't understand how that was happening in Las Vegas. 8 No, nobody. Vegas is rarely understood. That makes us more interesting for sure. I think it makes us extremely interesting. So from Garside you went...? Then from Garside I went to?graduated immediately, which I'm still stunned by that because I never spoke? Obviously you're a bright person. Well, I don't know how bright I am, but I felt pretty dumb at the time. From Garside we went to Cashman and that's where I spent my ninth grade because we moved and you have to go to a different school. Then from Cashman, in ninth grade then we went to Clark High School. I just followed the process of going to school. Actually, I graduated from night school. Night school? Yes, from Las Vegas High School. On my last year I went to Las Vegas High School because I had to work. Oh, tell me about that. Well, I had to work. We didn't have a lot of money. But I did have to work and help out. I'll never forget this. I got a job at the MGM. At the time it was MGM; now it's Bally's. But I used to work in the kitchen. I was sixteen years old. I would start the day with a mop?from one end of the MGM to the other; that was my eight hours. That's what I did for extra work. That's amazing. Then I got into cooking and I started my first job right after that, after high school. Actually, I worked at Bob's Big Boy as a fry cook. I was very young. I did really good with that. I remember from there I went to Marie Callender's. So it was moving up. For me that was 9 huge. Marie Callender's was a major step up. Then from there I went to the Stardust Hotel and became a sauce cook and I did that for about six, seven years while I went to college and everything. Interesting. So I love to cook. I did a lot of cooking. It was really amazing because at that time I was very fortunate. As a sauce cook, which is kind of like in the upper cooks at the hotel, we would have parties with Siegfried and Roy. So they would invite some of us to come out and cook. I also got to cook at the home of Morton Galane. He was the attorney for the Stardust at the time. Lola Falana would come out and some of the big stars and we would cook during those years. So I spent a lot of time cooking. Wow. That's a unique experience. It was a unique experience. I also wanted to learn how to cook because when I was younger; I traveled and I thought by learning how to cook I could always find a job wherever I went because I traveled especially in 1976. I had a little orange Vega right after I finished high school. I went from Las Vegas all the way up the coast to Canada and went all the way across Canada to Montreal for the Olympics?I had family in Montreal?and then drove all the way back from Detroit. That was an experience. I camped the whole time; I didn't stay in a hotel. I wanted to see what this whole country was about, both the United States and Canada. At that time it was so funny because, I was reading the Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. So it would be like traveling without a map. You would just look forward and just go wherever you felt like going. That's what I did. Were you by yourself? Yes, I was by myself. I got to meet so many people. I got to see this whole country. It was the 10 most amazing time in my life. It was about three months. Were you family worried about you? Oh, extremely, yes. Did they encourage this? No, they didn't encourage. They didn't want me to do this. I just had to. I had to go see the country. I was very independent. I couldn't sit still. I wanted to see this whole country and I did. That the most fascinating thing I think I've ever done. I'd love to do it again someday. You could write a whole book just about that. I could write...I mean I have met just the most amazing people in this country. I am so fortunate to have done that at a young age. Again, they were different times. Maybe now there's danger. When you're young, danger is not in your vocabulary. You're just excited. That's a huge difference. That's a huge difference. But traveling was really a way for me to get educated and to connect to the country. Did you pick up hitchhikers? That's another phenomena. I did. Actually I had one bad experience. I also had some great experiences. But I've got to tell you traveling through California, staying at the different campgrounds, you get to meet the most wonderful people on the planet. Everybody is offering you food. Everybody is welcoming, hospitable. I never had any incidents. I traveled throughout all of California, Oregon, Washington, and went through Idaho, Coeur d'Alene into British Columbia. Then when you get to Canada, from province to province they welcome you with flowers, outdoors. It's like welcome to our province. It's amazing to watch. I went through the whole Trans Canadian Highway up to Montreal and got to see all of Canada, which is an amazing place and then went 11 back to Toronto and then Detroit; that was the scariest place on earth. But Detroit?I'll never forget this?it was a night. I went from Toronto, which is probably the cleanest city on Earth, to Detroit. I mean it was horrible. But in the evening I was driving through Detroit. I'm stopped at a light in my little orange Vega and the light turns green. Some guy hits me and he's cursing. I wasn't used to?the whole trip I never had that experience. So I just kept driving all the way through Nebraska, Chicago and just never stopped. I just got out of Detroit. That was the worst place I think I encountered. But everywhere else I've had some amazing experiences. One hitchhiker experience which was actually negative was in Canada where I picked up somebody. I picked up a lot of people along the way. But I picked up this one guy and he didn't seem all that normal. He was just kind of fidgety. All the sudden he reached in his boot to his pants and he pulls out what looked like a knife or something. He was kind of threatening. He was just kind of loud. All I remember is from the highway it was like a gas station. I just pulled in and got out and then he got out and left. We exchanged words and whatever. But that was the only two bad experiences out of three months. Everything else was just out of this world. So what was a typical day? You would drive a certain amount of miles? Well, again, the direction was not as important as how I felt. I would drive and get to know the state. So, for example, I was in Colorado. So I went to Denver, got to see some of the museums. I went through the highest point in Colorado; it's like fifteen thousand miles; it's like the big highway there. But throughout every state there's beautiful sites, beautiful sceneries, and I'm into the outdoors. So I enjoyed that. Occasionally, I would ask for directions to maybe the nearest campsite where I could sleep. National parks, I've seen almost every one of them. Just driving, just wherever looks good. Every state is spectacular. 12 So in that you don't have Google; you don't have a cell phone to look this information up. What did you do? Let me tell you what you do. You're using your own senses, what you're inspired by, what you see in front of you, and what you feel. When you have Google, you're listening to somebody else's advice. Where should I go to camp? Why should I listen to somebody else? When you're experiencing the road and experiencing the state...I mean, I understand north, south, east and west. I mean, I understand the direction I'm going. I just don't have to go in a particular way to the end of that state. But I understand I've got to go east or I've got to go west. I understood that part. There are some aspects of looking at a map. I mean I have to know which state I'm going to. But it wasn't an organized point to point. But something interesting about that trip, which until today I'm connected to, which is I have an RV. So my plan is to recreate that trip one day, but really to be able to park my RV in these places where I was and just fly back and forth and keep moving it along the way. It was the most amazing trip. So it is not traditional and it's not Googled. It's not organized. But I had the time. So what about your background made you want to do this? We've traveled a lot. I left France, which I regard as my country, and place I was born, Casablanca. I wasn't attached to a country. So when I came to the United States...I don't know. I guess maybe now I can look back and say I didn't feel like I belonged. I didn't understand. I'm just that kind of person; I had to get to know it. I don't know how else you can get to know the country but by going to visit. How do you know what Colorado is or what do you know about Nebraska unless you go there? You don't. I wanted to. 13 It sounds as if you know or discovered more of America than the average person even today may know. Yes. I think in maybe some ways maybe I did, but I think in some ways most people travel also. But I understand this country. I feel I know where I'm at. I'm connected to it. I love this country. I'm an American citizen. I renounced my citizenship. But I wanted to be connected and I am. I understand where I'm at and I am where I want to be. That's very cool. But that experience was that part of me that's always exploring. So I fulfilled that. The reason I would want to do it again is because I just don't have those kinds of experiences anymore. I don't have time. I have three days. Life starts happening and you can't get away. I don't have three months. And I wanted to meet people. I wanted to know people. At the time I remember I used to write a lot. I wanted to know about United States, but I always wanted to meet someone to be with for the rest of my life and I always felt that I wanted to go to Israel to meet someone, and I did in 1967. I'm going back before I even left. In 1967, we went from France to Israel right after the Six Day War. My grandfather, who lived in Israel, sent us a ticket on the Theodor Herzl; it was a cruise ship, probably one of the only Israeli cruise ships I think at the time. I went there with my mother and my sister and we went to Israel. We were one of the first to visit the Kotel because they just opened the wall for the Jews and we were able to go there and visit and that's where I met my future wife. So sometimes I think everything's connected. I believe in that. It's just that you have to be in sync with your destiny. So everything has a purpose. I think that I've been very fortunate at times that I'm able to capture that and make the best of it. 14 That's very interesting. So how did you connect back in Vegas? How did your family connect with the community here? We were welcomed. I remember Mr. Tobman; Herb Tobman owned the Stardust Hotel. At some point he owned the hotel, but he also had a furniture store. So he gave us all of our furniture; that's an example of generosity of Jewish people coming. We didn't have a lot of money. We never really had a lot of money. So coming to America we were immigrants and we needed help. So people were helping us. That was very, very appreciated, certainly. I got to know the Jewish community at that time. But they assimilated. It's not easy in Vegas, but they did it. My mother didn't speak very good English. My father was fairly well versed. But they're working. They were just earning a living. Did you join a synagogue? Yes. Well, there was only one. There was Temple Beth Sholom. That was the synagogue on Oakey. That's where everybody went and that's where we went with them. So that's what we did at that time. We brought our own aspect of our culture to our friends and met lots of good people and they assimilated. When you say you brought aspects of your own culture, what were some examples of that? Well, certainly food and the hospitality of the Jews from Morocco and France. I mean that's well documented and well versed. Lots of food and lots of parties; that's what we do, host everybody as if it's the next wedding; that's what we do. Whenever we got together at the Shabbat or had friends over, my mother would cook these huge dinners, lots of music, lots of fun, lots of happiness. That's what sustained us, I would say, and meeting a lot of people. Just enjoyed life. Nothing spectacular or anything, but it was very real and very genuine. 15 So how did you convince your future wife?at what point?to come to Vegas? Well, that was a tough one. She was very well established in Israel. She was a nurse. Very well educated. She's from a family of ten and they were well established in Israel. I remember when we decided that we were going to get married, announcing that was a traumatic event. I wanted to take their daughter to America and Vegas. Nobody knows where Vegas is, like New York, so it was an interesting time. But we were so much in love that we didn't care. We just decided we're going to be together no matter what. I wasn't even American at the time, actually; I was still a French citizen. So when we got engaged?we did get engaged in Israel?I actually left and left her there because I had to come back. I mean I was still going to school. I had a job. I was on vacation when I got engaged. So I had to come back, again, without a lot of money. I had to come back to work. But I also had to prepare all the documentation. I didn't really have money to get an attorney. So we had to figure out a lot ourselves. So I did that. When I had all my documentation ready and figured out what I was going to do?it took about six months?then I went back to Israel and then we got married. What kind of documentation did you have to do at that time? Well, I had a green card and I was going to go get married overseas. I had to be able to bring my wife with me, so there is quite a bit of documentation. At that time when you are an immigrant and you came to United States, you have to be sponsored. You cannot file for welfare and food stamps and all the freebies. There was no freebies. In other words, she basically had to attest that we're going to take care of her. So somebody with a green card could sponsor somebody else to come over? It wasn't easy. If I was an American citizen, it would have been much easier. But 16 technically you can't really get married and bring somebody, get married overseas. So I had to get everything authorized and I had to go through the embassy and immigration. It took me six months. Again, I didn't have an attorney. I did everything at the UNLV library, actually, where you are. Everything I had to read about and learn. Believe me, it was determination. It should be if anybody wants to get married, they have to pass this kind of initiation. If you can't make that kind of an investment, maybe you shouldn't get married. Because I was married for thirty happy years. But, no, I had to do all that. That took a lot of work. What kind of employmen