[Transcript of interview with Donald C. Brinkerhoff by Stefani Evans, September 30, 2016]. Brinkerhoff, Donald Carl. Interview, 2016 September 30. OH-02851. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
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i AN INTERVIEW WITH DONALD CARL BRINKERHOFF An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans 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 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 Las Vegas tourists who stop to admire the Mirage volcano, the Bellagio conservatory, the Wynn Las Vegas mountain, the Encore gardens, and the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign’s surroundings on the Las Vegas Strip likely do not realize that in each case they have sampled a unique landscape environment conceived by Don Brinkerhoff of Lifescapes International, Newport Beach, California. It is for producing work of this caliber that in 2016 the American Gaming Association selected Brinkerhoff to be the first designer inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame. In this interview, the Los Angeles native and son of a working-class father and an artist/schoolteacher mother, explains how he spent his youth in an owner-built house in the modest suburb of El Monte, where he tended the family truck garden. Despite earning his degree in ornamental horticulture at California Polytechnic (Cal Poly), Don felt unschooled in the arts because the small school did not teach them. To fill that educational gap, Don took his wife and four children to Europe for two years, where he affiliated with the American Academy in Rome and worked for TAC (The Architects' Collaborative) in Greece among other adventures. The family spent another six months in Hawaii, where the children attended school and Don worked with a local landscape architect. The family’s unusual work, school, and travel experience more v than completed Don’s arts education and shaped his world view and that of his daughter Julie in countless ways that came to silently benefit the Las Vegas built environment. Upon returning to California in 1968, Brinkerhoff opened his Orange County office, and Lifescapes International became the “go-to” firm to create water features for condominium projects. This work led to his first hotel-casino project at a Sun City golf course condominium project in South Africa, which in turn led to a telephone call from architect Joel Bergman inviting him to become one of three candidate landscape architects to work with Steve Wynn on what would become The Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Here, Brinkerhoff speaks to his design philosophy as ninety percent problem-solving and ten percent inspiration even as he describes organizing the signature tree for The Mirage, building the Mirage volcano, taking the idea for Bellagio’s conservatory from the DuPont family’s Longwood Gardens, of creating faux banyans in the Mirage atrium, of creating the model for the Las Vegas Strip median, and of building the mountain on Las Vegas Boulevard in front of Wynn Las Vegas to conceal the Cloud at the Fashion Show Mall. While the fortunes of Lifescapes International continue to grow and succeed worldwide, both Don and Julie credit Steve Wynn and their Las Vegas work: “Las Vegas has totally changed our lives.” vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Donald Carl Brinkerhoff September 30, 2016 in Newport Beach, California Conducted by Stefani Evans Preface…………………………………………………………………………..………………..iv Sets scene for his youth in working-class suburb of El Monte, where his parents became homeowners by self-building and raised truck crops. Recalls marrying within the same religious community. Talks about first job with Monrovia Nursery Company at sixteen followed by work at a local nursery; college at California Polytechnic at San Dimas, where he took landscape design; his first door-to-door sales job; his bout with polio; his Conscientious Objector status during the Korean War due to his Christadelphian faith; and graduating from Cal Poly and wondering how he could make a living in landscaping ………………………………………..………..……. 1-13 Remembers that as junior partner in firm of Armstrong Sharpe and Brinkerhoff he met with Rocketdyne division of North American Aviation, which inspired him to open his own firm with North American Aviation as his first client; but after losing a job in Newhall, he and Barbara decided to take their family to Europe where he could continue his education.……....……. 13-18 Describes family preparations including buying a Volkswagen Bug with a roof rack for six people and their travels through Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Germany, and Greece; recalls two years of various family adventures, introducing himself to the American Academy at Gianicolo in Rome, and working at TAC (The Architects' Collaborative) in Greece. Talks about how the family traveled to Tokyo over six weeks via varied routes and living in Hawaii for six months. Describes family adventures in Egypt and Japan before they went to Hawaii and talks more about Hawaii before the family returned to Southern California in 1968 and he opened his office in Orange County………..……………..………………………………………………………………. 18-32 Talks about naming Lifescapes International, about becoming the go-to firm for condominium and country club water features, about doing his first hotel-casino project (with a suspension bridge) in Sun City South Africa, and about getting a call from a friend in Hawaii telling him he would soon get a call from the Golden Nugget Company. Recalls initial conversations with Joel Bergman and Brad Friedmutter and winning The Mirage project on the basis of a model; speaks of organizing the signature tree, building the volcano, and Wynn’s financing and selling of the property and building Wynn Las Vegas and Encore………………………………....….…. 32-42 Describes how he came to design the median for the Las Vegas Strip from the Welcome to Las Vegas sign north to Sahara Avenue. Recalls with fondness the iconic Treasure Island sign created vii by artist Charlie White that has since been replaced with a Walgreens drugstore; he compares the showman who knows what sells to the capitalist who is risk-averse; talks about design as ninety percent problem-solving and ten percent inspiration. Shares how inspiration for Bellagio came from Italy’s Lake Como district, about saving hundreds of Dunes golf course trees, about conceiving a “dancing waters” Bellagio fountain and a conservatory reminiscent of Longwood Gardens, of creating a faux banyan canopy in the Mirage atrium, and of building a mountain at Wynn Las Vegas to conceal the Cloud at the Fashion Show Mall ....…………………….….43-61 Speaks to importance of giving other people credit—something Steve Wynn consistently does—specifically naming Patrick Woodroffe, lighting designer. Daughter Julie joins the interview and they recall Julie’s pain over having to “fire” her mother from the business; they discuss extending friendship to Wynn when his daughter was kidnapped and recall how the kidnappers were caught. They describe Don’s mother’s paintings and chronicle the artistic streak that runs through most members of the living generations of the Brinkerhoff family…………………………….….62-74 Julie talks about the richness of the European experience and its profound influence on her teenaged self, her subsequent life, and her lifelong relationships. Don and Julie chat about donating company records to UNLV Special Collections, about Don’s favorite project as his next one, and about the importance of respecting client ownership and of factually representing one’s contribution to a project………………………………………………………………...…….75-85 viii ix 1 Good afternoon. It is September 30th, 2016. This is Stefani Evans in the office with Don Brinkerhoff. Mr. Brinkerhoff, would you please pronounce and spell your first and last names, please? Yes. My full name is Donald, D-O-N-A-L-D, Carl, C-A-R-L, Brinkerhoff, B-R-I-N-K-E-R-H-O-F-F. Thank you. And why don't you begin by telling us a little bit about your childhood; where you were born, siblings? I was born in Los Angeles in 1930 on December tenth. My parents lived in Huntington Park, which is where my uncle lived, too, off Figueroa Street, which has very steep hills on either side. My dad and mother in 1935 bought a piece of property in El Monte, and my dad and his brothers essentially built the house. So it was sort of a schlepped house; it was not an architectural wonder by any means. But my parents purchased the property because it was one of the few in that area that had large trees. We had large eucalyptus trees in the front, and it had been a walnut grove at one time. So they had a few remaining walnut trees, which are wonderful shade trees. My dad basically grew up on a farm and decided that was not the life for him. So he moved to Los Angeles and, one thing and another, he got a job ultimately repairing refrigerators since he was a mechanic. He was an unsophisticated guy, but a really lovely man. My mother had one year at college at UCLA and she had to drop that when they married. She was eighteen and my dad was twenty-four, thereabouts. They remained married for the balance of their lives. They were married sixty-something years, I guess. My mother had an artistic streak and she painted. You notice in the other room, there are the big panels that she did 2 for me. It was going to be put vertical—we had a tall wall in a previous office—but she couldn't figure out how to match them together. So they're actually horizontal. But they're all flowers. She didn't like housework. She wanted to paint and so forth. She painted both oils and watercolor. The panels we have inside, which are like six by four—there are three of them—are all watercolors. I'm sorry I didn't really express my appreciation to her as fully as I should have, because I now appreciate them a great deal, and I see them every day. My mother liked flowers. So when they bought this almost-an-acre in El Monte, she took the front third of the property with all the eucalyptus trees and she had flower gardens and things like that. My dad, in the Depression, grew vegetables and things to help feed us. So he had the back two-thirds of the property developed to what is commonly called truck crops—corn, carrots, beans, potatoes, and berries and things like that. Part of my upbringing was taking care of those things, which I hated. Pulling weeds is not exactly my first choice. We had berries. My dad grew up on a farm and knew exactly how to do everything. He had posts with wires strung between and I'd have to take the berries and wrap them around the wires, loganberries and boysenberries. They all have stickers. We had some fruit trees, like peaches and plums, a little bit. It was really a great environment, not that the kids appreciated it, but in retrospect. I've heard someone say about their youth, "We were poor and didn't know it and happy we didn’t." And that really sums up my youth. My mother was one step out of the Victorian attitude; she referred to me and my pals as the Relicking Rover Boys. Nobody talks like that. I still remember my friends of that age, Billy Rooski and Leroy Epps and Clarence Ward. So we started in local grammar school in kindergarten and went up to, I don't know, the fourth grade. Then we transferred downtown to the Columbia Grammar School and stayed there and then graduated and 3 went to El Monte High School. So these boys and I were friends there for the entire session. So I had a reasonably happy childhood with the normal frustrations that kids have. We played games. We played games they no longer play. We played marbles and bottle caps. We'd throw down a bottle cap and you try to touch the other guy's, and so you get to keep it. We played hide-and-seek. There was only radio. We'd throw things over the house. "Olly olly oxen free." We'd toss a ball or something over the house. I grew up in the era of radio. So we'd listen to the radio programs, , , , ; all these things. We would go to somebody's house. My parents belonged to a church and went to church in Los Angeles, and we drove down because they grew up with these people. We'd go over to people's houses afterwards and the kids would go in the back bedroom and listen to the radio programs. It was really an innocent world by comparison today. We went to movies occasionally. I don't remember that we ever got to the movie at the beginning because they would run a loop, continuous. One time I was left because I was backing up, walking back, watching the movie and my dad got annoyed with me and he drove off. He came back and got me, of course, but I was panicked. They never got to the beginning of the movie. I always thought it was amazing that people went to the movies and got there on time. We just got there whenever. So we stayed to where it played around again. My parents had friends, neighbors—because everybody had about the same size property and everybody was in the same financial situation—and there was a drawing together of community spirit. Like we played badminton. We put up the net and we'd play badminton quite frequently during the summertime. They'd have parties where the people bring stuff. What do they call it? 4 Potluck? Yes, potluck parties. My dad grew animals, too; we had rabbits and chickens and a few ducks, I guess, and a goose, which was an irritating animal, and we had goats. One of my jobs, when I got a little bit older, was to milk the goats, which I did. My wife, Barbara—there's a picture of Barbara—my wife, Barbara, we all grew up together, but her family was in Long Beach. So we didn't see them every Sunday because they belonged to a different ecclesia of the church. Their beliefs were different a little bit. My father and Barbara's mother were engaged to be married at one time. He grew up and, in this particular instance, they had a farm; his dad had a farm in Culver City. And she would come out there on the streetcar and then visit. And he would, to get a rise out of her, try to run over the cats with the buggy. Of course, she hated that. Eventually, Barbara's father, who came over from England at age twelve, was much more sophisticated. He listened to operettas and things like that, which my dad didn't have a clue about. So she married Walter instead of my father, which my father...To convince him that it was over, she threw his engagement ring in the San Diego Bay. It's still there? I'm sure it is. But they remained friends all of their lives and were very pleased when Barbara and I got together. I started at sixteen; my mother said I need a job to earn money. So she took me up to Monrovia and there was a large wholesale nursery called the Monrovia Nursery Company. They're still around, but they're not in Monrovia anymore. So I had a job working in this wholesale nursery, digging out of the soil mound, filling up gallon cans full of planter mix and sitting them on a roller. Then we'd come down and stamp the shape of a two-and-a-quarter-inch 5 pot in it. And they'd put it in and they'd load it on little motorized vehicles and they would take it out and place it out. My job was watering them, before. Now they have sprinkler systems. At that time we were just watering them one by one. That was an education because I was raised in a very conservative society, and I was put on a canning crew with a bunch of bums and homeless people, and they would get yelled at to make them work in bad language I had never heard before. It was real educational. Then when the summer was over, I worked in a local nursery canning plants and watering, pretty much the same thing. By the time I was graduating from high school, my mother said, "Well, there's a school out here that teaches the nursery business." Cal Poly, which at that time was in San Dimas, and they had four hundred students. Now they're in Pomona and they have twenty thousand. "Why don't you go there?" I said, "Oh, okay." So I went out to Cal Poly [California Polytechnic] at San Dimas and I was a pretty naive kid. I was seventeen in 1948 when I graduated from high school and my birthday is in December. It was an all-male school at the time. We had no co-eds. At least half of the guys were ex-GIs on the G.I. Bill [of Rights, also called Servicemen's Readjustment Act (1944)], and they were older and a lot more sophisticated than I was, to say the least. They'd sneak girls into the dorm at night. I mean, I slept through it. But they didn't really toe the line as far as the professors were concerned; if the professor said something stupid, they said so. But that was a good education for me. I didn't like the nursery business. So I took the landscape design class and there were only six students in the class. The guy that taught the class was a fellow named Howard Bolts. He was a very important person in my early life because between my freshman and sophomore year, I needed to get a job and I didn't want to mess with the nursery business. So I just answered an ad 6 in the newspaper for a door-to-door salesman. So I went up to Hollywood to get this job selling magazines. We traveled with about a dozen guys in two station wagons. We started out in Hollywood, [California,] moved to San Francisco, [California,] then we went to Reno, [Nevada,] Denver, [Colorado,] Kansas City, [Missouri,] St. Louis, [Missouri,] and ended up in Chicago[, Illinois]. I was a very naive kid, so I didn't get in trouble or anything. But I had pretty much had it. It was getting time school was going to start. The crew manager was an ex-Marine, Bob Wurtsheimer, big guy. I'd get out of line; I was supposed to be selling magazines, and I'd get discouraged and be standing on a street corner early, and he'd give me a real ration of shit about that. Anyway, in Chicago we had sales meetings that would last a long time in the evenings after we came back. So this kid from Texas and I, we decided to go down to Lake Michigan swimming at nine o'clock at night. I'm walking back and I'm saying, "Listen, Red"—I'm sorry I don't remember his last name—"I'm going home." He said, "Can I go with you?" I said, "I only have twenty bucks, Red." I said, "You got any money?" "No." I said, "Well, I've got enough to get us a bus to St. Louis and I'll wire my dad for more money." So he sent me fifty dollars because my dad was not well off at all. Anyway, so we snuck down the back stairs of the hotel with our stuff and went out and got on one of the elevated "L" streetcars and went as far as it could go. I don't know where it went. Got off and there was a bus there and we went as far as it could go. We're in the middle of the night somewhere out in the boondocks. I said, "I don't think we're going to hitch a ride in the middle of the night out here." So there was a cemetery that we crawled over the fence and we 7 tried to sleep between the graves. The mosquitos ate us up. So we couldn't tolerate that for very long. Climbed back over the fence, back on the bus, back on the streetcar or the elevated, and ended up staying in a hotel across the street from the one we left, really a cheap hotel. We were scroungers. The next day we went down to get the bus and we were at the park along Michigan Avenue and who should drive up but Bob Wurtsheimer with this lady. He didn't see us. We dove under the bushes because we knew we'd get extremely criticized by him. Being an ex-Marine, he was a lot bigger than us, anyway. So I wired Western Union, my father to send us money in care of St. Louis because we were going to— So you still had to get to St. Louis. We had enough money to get from Chicago to St. Louis. Do you know what Whitecaps are? No. Well, they're little hamburgers about three inches in diameter. We figured we had to take our food supply with us, and so we had bags of these things. Well, let me tell you, they weren't too good warm and when they got cold they were greasy. They were just wretched. But they were food. But they were food. So we took off from Chicago towards Texas—actually towards St. Louis, where I got the fifty dollars. There is a film, , and they're singing in the bus. We actually did that. We actually did that. What did you sing? I don't know. Whatever. With the whole bus. People were singing. Everybody was singing together? 8 Yes. You'd be singing in Spanish now because that's basically who rides the buses. But anyway, so we got down to Abilene, Texas, and we had ten cents left and we ran out of money. So we had to get out and hitchhike to Red's uncle's cotton farm. If you've seen that [film], where it's dead flat and you can see forever—there was no airplane in this case—but we were standing on a corner much like that with this dirt road that disappears in the cotton field for as far as you could see, to infinity. We're waiting. We're going to walk up this road to Red's uncle's farm. Meanwhile, this old beat-up pickup truck comes bouncing around and it was his uncle. He was surprised as anything to see Red. Oh, he wasn't expecting you. Oh, no. No. Oh, no. And so he put us in the car and took us back to the house. Red's trying to explain how he needs twenty bucks to pay me off so I could keep going. Well, he might as well have been talking Dutch because the guy didn't want to part with twenty bucks. Anyway, he eventually did, because he got Red's brother to guarantee the replacement. Loraine, Texas, the exciting thing to do in Loraine, Texas, is go down and watch the baking slicing machine. That actually sounds pretty cool. Well, it was. What do we know? So we'd sit on the front porch of this guy's farmhouse and you'd hear the train in the distance, . It was a steam train at the time. A guy would say, "Boy, she's really pulling tonight." And somebody would say, "Yep." We were there for a couple of days. Red kept trying to say, "I owe this guy twenty dollars." Finally, he got in touch with his brother somewhere in Texas and he guaranteed the uncle twenty bucks. So they took me down to the crossroads of Loraine, Texas, which is a really—I mean, it's very, very small place. I started hitchhiking. I got rides with truck drivers and so forth. I hitchhiked the rest of the way across 9 Texas. Texas, the truck drivers say, yes, he picked up this girl and had sex with her every hundred miles; that was the way she worked her way across country. Oh, dear. So anyway, they go so far and then we'd hitchhike again. I left Red, of course, back at his uncle's farm. He didn't go with me. I went on my own. I got all the way across to El Paso[, Texas]. The next thing was Las Cruces, New Mexico, I think. I was hitchhiking and I got a ride with a pickup truck and the guy was an alcoholic and was drunk and we'd go across the road. I'd say, "There's a car coming." And he'd go over this way and the telephone poles go by my ear. But I couldn't say anything. I didn't want to be let out in the middle of the night in the desert. So I took my chances. We got to Las Cruces, New Mexico, and I said, "That's it for me." I went down and bought a ticket and took the bus home on Route 66; that's what you traveled on. Route 66 does not go where the freeways go now. It went through the mountains, curving when you got to California. Anyway, so I washed up on the shores of—not literally—got back to El Monte, got a cab from the little—we had electric—the Red Cars ran everywhere. [Ed. Note: Red Cars refer to Henry E. Huntington’s Pacific Electric Railway system (1901–1961).] Oh, yes. So there was a station in El Monte and they had a taxi and I got a taxi, a few dollars, to take me out to my parents' home. I'm walking up like out of the blue and so forth. I was glad to see them and I'm sure they were glad to see me. How long did that— All summer. That was all summer. All summer, yes. I learned from that that teenage children are pretty adaptable. Now I utilized 10 that in my further travels with my own children. So I said, "Well, I haven't got any money to go to school, but I'm going to borrow my mother's 1936 Chevy and drive out to the campus just for nostalgic purposes." It's funny. What happens in life is so unpredictable. I'm walking. They had these arches, Spanish style corridors; I'm walking down one. I happen to pass the door to the administration office, which is just an office, not a big deal. Just as I got next to it, Howard Bolts stepped out. Your professor. Yes. And he said, "Are you getting ready to start school, Don?" I said, "No, Mr. Bolts, I haven't got any money. I've got this job lined up as a runner for a stock brokerage company on Spring Street in Los Angeles and I start Monday." This was like on a Friday. I said, "Maybe I could do that and come back." He says, "It's very hard to do that once you get out." He says, "I'll tell you what. I'll get you a job with a landscape maintenance crew working on this college until school opens and then I'll get you a job washing dishes so you can get fed. So you can stay in school." School was much less expensive then than it is now. Also, he arranged for me to get a $1,000 scholarship from Sears & Roebuck. I went out for the football team because I played football in high school. We had practices and so forth. The dorm was here and the football field was here; it was real close. I got sore and I figured it was muscles. What I actually had was polio. What year was this? Nineteen forty-eight, '49; somewhere in there; it was five years before they came out with the vaccine. So I went home and unfortunately I infected my four-year-old brother and his leg is still paralyzed. But nobody knew. Eventually I ended up in the L.A. [Los Angeles] County Hospital, 11 in quarantine. I was so stiff from lying flat on my back on the bed. And this young woman therapist said—I'm saying, "Well, when can I go home?"—she says, "When you can touch your nose between your knees on the bed." Well, I kept raising my head that far. So what they did, the [physical therapists], they wrapped you in steaming hot [woolen] Army blankets they put in an autoclave and they allowed it to cool and it relaxed your muscles. So she put her hand behind my head. I mean, I could raise it off the bed that far. And she pushed it forward, stretching the back muscles and the trapezius muscles of mine. In two weeks I could touch my nose on the bed. You have a certain time that polio is not infectious so I could go home safely. Then I went on to school and I couldn't play football anymore because I was out of practice. I had terrible headaches. It's a neurological disease and [it gave me] really awful headaches. But I started the classes. I had a lot of help. We had a student store and Mr. Ashenbrunner, who has passed away—all these guys have passed away—he was a teacher and he also managed the student store. I bought a T-square for a dollar and fifteen cents. I had all kinds of breaks. So school started and we had entomology, which is bugs and various things. We learned about identifying trees and shrubs and flowers and all that. So my education was learning about bugs and bushes. Eventually I graduated, but I had to go to San Luis Obispo because they [San Dimas] didn't have all the courses. They only had four hundred students. They didn't have all the courses necessary to graduate. So I had to go up and spend one quarter up there. By this time I had gotten married. I was married when I was a junior. At that time when you wanted sex you got married. Barbara was the senior class president. When she went back to the fiftieth class reunion, they said, "Remember you got married and then you slept together?" 12 Anyway, so Barbara was working in L.A. at an insurance office. So I would take the streetcar into L.A. and vice versa. But she lived in Long Beach. So I'd go down and get her and she'd come back to L.A. or El Monte and she'd stay for the weekend and then I'd drive her home in my mother's '36 Chevy and then she'd go to work. We did that quite a long time. Then eventually... I don't remember asking her to marry me, but I must have, because we got married. Of course, my parents were delighted because it stayed in the church and family. What church is this? It's called Christadelphian, which means "Brethren in Christ," or something like that. They were Conscientious Objectors. So when it came to the Korean War, I had to register for the draft, but I was a Conscientious Objector. And there was a time when there was McCarthyism and in order to get paid by the state, you had to sign a loyalty oath. Well, the church I belonged to, they prohibited that. So I wouldn't sign the loyalty oath. The dean of students was an ex-Marine and was a very sensitive guy and he arranged for me to get paid for the work I had done because I couldn't sign the loyalty oath. That was good of him. It was. It was. Henry House was his name, was this fine gentleman. Anyway, so I kept going to school. Then my kids started arriving. My son was born nine months and two weeks after we got married. And Julie was born a year later, almost exactly, a day apart. So suddenly I had two kids. By this time I had a job working for a local retail nursery at a dollar an hour. Wow. Yes. Well, a dollar then bought more than it does now, but it's still very small. So I had to go up to San Luis Obispo for the last quarter and we couldn't find housing up there that was 13 respectable. I mean, you couldn't live in it. They had some old trailers out on campus, but all the good ones were for long gone, for married housing. We stayed in married housing at the San Dimas campus, which was quite okay. But I couldn't move up to San Luis Obispo with Barbara. So I moved up there and lived in a dorm, like in bunk beds and that sort of stuff. Then I got a job mowing lawns and doing gardening work with a local doctor and his wife, Dr. and Mrs. Abraham. I think Mrs. Abraham had plans for me that I didn't realize. Oh, dear. Well, nothing happens. She didn't attack me or anything. So I graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis and then I figured, So being in agricultural school, I had other options. So I got a job working for a company that chlorinated wash water in packing sheds and my job was to install these chlorinators, hooking up electricity and things like that. I'm surprised I didn't burn something down. Also, Barbara was living... My parents had a back unit at their place in El Monte. So she was there with the kids and I was gone for a week or two and would come back, which was an unsatisfactory solution, but you do what you have to do. I could see that that was a problem. Howard Bolts said, "Armstrong Nurseries in North Hollywood, their landscaper quit and they're probably looking for somebody. Why don't you go talk to them?" So I did. I got hired out there. I went out to Armstrong Nurseries, which was on the corner of, at that time, Coldwater Canyon and Magnolia [Boulevard]. It's not there anymore. We moved out to Van Nuys, but the paydays were not sequential. They were off queue. Their payday was different from the one I had been used to getting. Then the Armstrong Nurseries in Ontario—this happened in between—I was still working for Armstrong Nurseries, but they wanted to see if they could do what the Stark 14 Brothers in Ohio did, which was have door-to-door salesmen selling pl