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John D. Gieck interview, January 8, 1975: transcript






On January 8, 1975, collector James M. Greene interviewed John D. Gieck (born January 1st, 1902 in Belle, Missouri) at his home in Boulder City, Nevada. In this interview Mr. Gieck discusses his various career changes throughout his life, including the building of Hoover Dam (Boulder Dam). He also discusses living in Boulder City from its beginnings as a town.

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Gieck, John D. Interview, 1975 January 8. OH-00680. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 1 An Interview with John D. Gieck An Oral History Conducted by James M. Greene UNLV University Libraries Oral History Collection Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 2 © UNLV University Libraries Oral History Collection University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2019 UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 3 The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 4 Abstract On January 8, 1975, collector James M. Greene interviewed John D. Gieck (born January 1st, 1902 in Belle, Missouri) at his home in Boulder City, Nevada. In this interview Mr. Gieck discusses his various career changes throughout his life, including the building of Hoover Dam (Boulder Dam). He also discusses living in Boulder City from its beginnings as a town. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 5 Mister John D. Gieck of 550 Wyoming Avenue in Boulder City, Nevada on Janary 8th, 1975 at 7 p.m. Mister Gieck had a long and distinguished career with the Bureau of Reclamation and prior to that, various jobs at the—with contractors and constructing the dam. Mister Gieck came to Boulder City in 1931 and has been here since that time. These tapes of Mister Gieck’s experience will be placed in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Library in the Special Collections section of Nevada History. They will be for the use of Mister Gieck, and his relatives, and his heirs, and students—serious students in history in perpetuity, available in the library only. These tapes are also the major portion of the research for the required, for the interviewer’s the Master’s Degree in History. The basic thesis project. Mister Gieck, you mentioned that you were born in Missouri and migrated to Oklahoma primarily because of the early death of your parents. And from that time on, you did—you completed seventh grade in elementary school in Cushing, Oklahoma and worked on ranches in Douglas, Wyoming area. And then back again during—right after World War I to Casper, Wyoming. What was your work in Casper, Mister Gieck? It was a riveting crew in (unintelligible). Riveting crew on oil tanks and the refineries there? Well, I worked for a contractor, (unintelligible). Yes? (Unintelligible) Oh, I remember them from Chicago days. I see. And I didn’t work an oil contractor, I worked for a contractor who was building the tanks (unintelligible). Uh-huh. Now this oil came down from Teapot Dome area— UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 6 Yes. Which was up at Salt Creek, Wyoming. Is that correct? That’s correct. Was that a very vast, extensive field? Oh yes. It was a big field, and it production was heavy. Production was heavy? Oh yes. (Unintelligible) trying to make it twenty thousand a day. Twenty thousand a day? And did—how did it get down to Casper? I— Pipeline? Then did it rail from there out as finished product? Yes. It did. I see. And after your Casper experience, you went west didn’t you? To the coast? Yes. Long Beach. Into Long Beach. And what was your work down there? (Unintelligible) ’Course that field down there was a heavier producer at that time. Oh yes. There was a—it was starting, it didn’t (unintelligible). Yes. (Unintelligible) at that time, (unintelligible) Santa Fe Springs. Uh-huh. Huntington Beach. They’re still pumping it heavy, aren’t they? Yes. I worked down there—I went to work for Electrified and Steel. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 7 Oh yes. Filled the tanks down there. I see. And I worked for them till (unintelligible) Bay Area up there. In the Bay Area, Martinez, huh? (Unintelligible) I see. (Unintelligible) again. But this time you certainly were a specialist? (Unintelligible) (Laughs) (Unintelligible) You knew when it was done right. Yes. And I kept that up (unintelligible). Quit riveting though and started welding. Yes? And that welding, (unintelligible) I didn’t like that. So I— Yes? I got on working as a (unintelligible). And was that in the signal here, Long Beach area? Yes. I went to work (unintelligible) I see. (Unintelligible) Uh-huh. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 8 (Unintelligible) Uh-huh. (Unintelligible) in Huntington Beach and then I went to work (unintelligible) in Culver City— Culver City? Well, a small field over there in Culver City (unintelligible). (Laughs) Well I’d commute back and forth— Yes. Right across the country back in them days (unintelligible) (Laughs) Like it is now. I should say. Well it was just a lot of country (unintelligible) Yes. (Unintelligible) Yes. Cattle was dairy land there at the time? What? They had a community named Dairy Land down there that was pretty heavy agriculturally. (Unintelligible) Yes. It was in the same—I think a little bit north of probably Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 9 But they had a lot of dairy cows in there. I remember that they had that (unintelligible) at that time. Yes. And they took those dairy cows and paid so much a head on ’em. It wasn’t very much after— Slaughtered ‘em I imagine, huh? They just took a big (unintelligible) and dumped traces, and tried to drive the cattle in the traces, and then they shot ’em down— Uh-huh. It’s meant to get (unintelligible) anybody could get ’em down, they couldn’t run. (Unintelligible) Right. Didn’t that come from over the border? In Mexico? Yes. I see. I thought it did. They’d come home with (unintelligible) Uh-huh. (Unintelligible) I see. And it didn’t matter what (unintelligible) had bulls, they might have paid five thousand dollars for it they got so much a head. Oh. They couldn’t afford to have future generations of cattle born with that disease of course. No, and if they pay that much for one (unintelligible) every farmer down had a five thousand dollar bull. (Laughs) UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 10 (Laughs) Now what attracted you to Boulder City in 1931? Well, I was working down there, you got a job at all, we’d be lucky if we get three dollars a day, and there were no jobs at all. Well this is Depression, Mister Gieck. (Unintelligible). And that was deep depression. There was no work. And then I heard about Boulder Dam up here and I thought well, I’d go up there and give it a try. Surely. I got to Boulder Dam, I had a—I had a ’29 Ford. Uh-huh. Model T? Oh, it was A in those days, right? It was A, ’29 model. Uh-huh. And I had it, and I think eighty dollars on me. (Laughs) Eighty dollars. And I had that and oh, about eighty dollars for meal tickets that I left down there. About a hundred thirty dollars a room. Yes. And (unintelligible) to get a job. For—just for the sake of our own, perhaps, amusement now and the contrast of the cost of automobiles in that day versus today. What did you pay for your Model A in 1929, ’30? I bought it new and (unintelligible) sport model coupe. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 11 Sport Model Coupe. It was 930 dollars. 930 dollars. That was the cash sale price. Goodness sakes. If you still had it today, you could buy a Cadillac with it. Yes, you could. (Laughs) (Laughs) I don’t know if I’d traded her either, that was a damn good car. (Laughs) I think the A was, to my opinion, the best Ford ever put out. I do too. Certainly was. Got pretty good mileage (unintelligible) go on for sixteen hours a day. Sixty miles isn’t very fast but— It got you there. It was dependable. Yes. Well how did you—how would a man, say, coming up here just (unintelligible) now say, from anywhere, even from Long Beach, who would you have to apply for a job with on the dam? Did they have an employment office here? Not at that time. They didn’t have it at that time. We just brought (unintelligible) jobs from the foreman. Now would you go to the worksite? Till I found a job. On the job. And hit the foreman up for— UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 12 I followed that foreman around, (unintelligible) and I followed him around. Yes? And he sent me down to the dam three times. And every time I’d get down there, it was so hot. Oh, yes. And they would have guys passed out from the heat. Then I’d get scared and come back. And a guy (unintelligible) Yes? And he was always up one side of the mountain up there. (Unintelligible) and I went back to try and get up there to find him, so I’d come back. (Unintelligible) Yes? And I finally got (unintelligible) and I thought of him when I was about (unintelligible) carpenter boss. Carpenter boss? Mm-hmm. I see. So he finally gave me a job. He told me to go out there and we’d work (unintelligible) (Unintelligible) (Unintelligible) Ah. (Unintelligible) One day I went to work with (unintelligible). He put me to work. He told me now what we have a schedule here. And he said if we keep up with the schedule, you’ve got a job tomorrow. If you don’t, you don’t. What were you doing at that time? Building forms or? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 13 No. I was building houses. Not—right here in Boulder City then? (Unintelligible) Okay, I got the impression you were probably down at the bottom of the dam. No. I (unintelligible). It’s too hot there, you know. It was too hot there and too hard work. (Laughs) (Unintelligible) he told me what the schedule was and so he said four dollars a day. Oh boy. And fifty cents an hour. (Unintelligible) and then he paid five dollars a day, then some of ’em five sixty. I see. (Unintelligible) but anyway, (unintelligible) (Laughs) So the first two weeks I got fifty cents an hour. What month of the year was this in 1931? June. In June. Well it was getting hot up in Boulder, up on top. Yes. It was hot up here and it was hot during the summer. But see there was no vegetation, nothin else back then. Uh-huh. And it was just all hot sand up here and they wouldn’t (unintelligible) UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 14 Now, who was your employer? Six Companies? Six Companies Incorporated. Uh-huh. Now did they build all one type house or did they build one room, two room, three bedroom or? Yes. You named all three right there. I did? (Unintelligible) got a three room. Yes? Then they had a two room, then they had one they called the dingbat. And what was the dingbat? It was just one room. One room? Yes. Now did they have toilet facilities in those? Yes. Oh yes. Uh-huh. (Unintelligible) Now when I first came here, the first day of work (unintelligible) they didn’t have no water in Boulder City, no running water (unintelligible). No running water? Until November of ’31. Now that was trucked up from the river? No. It was hauled out in railroad cars from Vegas. Oh, I see. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 15 The railroad water was no good anyway (unintelligible) Oh yes. (Unintelligible) on the dam, they drank it. They did? They drank it. They took it out of the river, and put it up on the side of the hill there (unintelligible) tanks. (Unintelligible) (Unintelligible) Uh-huh. And then while up here, they dried out there. And put it in (unintelligible). Ten gallons (unintelligible) twenty gallons cream cans. Cream cans, huh? Yes. I guess (unintelligible) Yes? It’s kind of one of those jobs. And the men working, they would take them and pour them in their water bags. Yes, in the bags? And they’d hang ’em up. Yes? And they’d cool off a little bit. Right. But they’d still have so much silica. Yes? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 16 In that water in there. We drank that stuff and best case, it’d go right through. Yes. I think it had gone and killed a lot of the men now (unintelligible) overcome with the heat. But it wasn’t really? What I think it was (unintelligible) pores on the skin. Oh, I see. And then one doctor told me, Doctor Woodbury, I think (unintelligible) Doctor Claire Woodbury, huh? I think he’s still in Vegas. Yes, he is. And he told me that some of those men that they brought in there, their fever went as high as a hundred and twelve before they died. And that was only cause of one reason, their pores were clogged up. They couldn’t perspire? Just like that. (Unintelligible) burnt over a certain part of his body. Uh-huh. Couldn’t sweat? No. No ventilation. Yes. That’s right. And the fever would go up that high. And that’s what was happening (unintelligible) Drinking their own water? Drinking their water. So I came back up there and I gave the water (unintelligible) a good one. They’d pass it out here and that’s all the cold water we had too. Well, didn’t those men get fed by Anderson and Company? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 17 Yes. But that didn’t take a canteen of water with you? We’d take a canteen but you had no ice. All you had was your water bag. Yes. But it was good water. It was good water up here in Boulder. Yes. But then you got down to the dam, all they had were what they drained out of the river and (unintelligible) It’s a wonder to me why these dam workers didn’t take water down to the dam site, John, because they’re becoming ill and dying. Well, I don’t think they realized it. Did Dr. Woodbury have his medical installation down in the bottom of the dam or up in Boulder? He was in Vegas. He was in Vegas, huh? Yes. But he made periodic trips out here? No, they took his own—they’d take ’em to the Vegas hospital. Well what medical attendants did you have here? We had to go to the hospital. (Unintelligible) I see. But some of them, the men themselves— Yes? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 18 With family, would skip this thing. They’d take him into the (unintelligible) I see. ‘Cause they—when they got so bad, it would (unintelligible) Well they certainly would die at that temperature. Yes, they would. Now on your work schedule, John, you said you had so many houses a day or so many houses to build in a certain amount of time. Do you recall at what rate that was? Well, I remember the dingbats—they had the—a lot of (unintelligible) was cut up. The (unintelligible) Pre-cut you mean? Pre-cut, yes. Yes. And you got two men, no lumber, just two carpenters. Yes. They had twelve hours a house. (Unintelligible) Why that’s almost one a day, John. One in a day and a half. Yes. Right. You had to lay the foundation, put the flooring on, frame it, and put the siding on, and put the roof on and (unintelligible) Wow. That didn’t include the screens or the finished work of door and windows, or the sheet rock inside. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 19 Do you remember how many dingbats you built? And how many one room and two room? Say, for instance, you started on a dingbat and went to a two room or a one room and a three room? Well, they built the three rooms first. I see. And then they built the two rooms. Uh-huh. Then they built the dingbats. Now, I don’t know that—I can’t remember the number, but there were hundreds of them. There were hundreds of them. But did you stay on the—say, if you were assigned to the dingbat crew, you’d stay there? Well, no, when you got through the dingbats, the others—the others were all finished. I see. They built the three room first, they got through them, then they went right on to the two rooms. I see. And then all them were built up, then they built the dam. What crew did you get on? I worked on ’em all. So you started with the three rooms, two rooms, and dingbats. Yes. Where did they start? Say, now as we think of Boulder City today in modern times. Did they start at Arizona Street? Did they start at Wyoming Street and work down to Fifth or? They started up around about B. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 20 Started on B Street and what? And Wyoming. B and Wyoming? Between Big B and way down to New Mexico. Okay. Then they come this way. And straight down New Mexico? Between Wyoming and New Mexico. Yes. Right. Coming out this way, B, D, E, F, and then the Californian. Uh-huh. The three rooms (unintelligible) come out about F Street. F Street. Then they built a bunch of the two rooms on out oh, I guess even as far as I Street. Uh-huh. And then they had, down below New Mexico, they built the dingbats. I see. Back in there. I see. And then how far down did they go? For today’s street? Seventh? Eighth? Ninth? Adams? That one block. Just about one block of those? (Unintelligible) UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 21 Well, all the Six Companies homes must have been built in a relatively short period of time. Yes. When we started in June in ’31, we finished up the last ones, I helped finished up the last ones, and I moved on at the dam, and the last one in March in ’32. Thirty-two? So about a year? Yes. About nine months. About nine months you had the—Six Companies had all their homes built? All the homes and dormitories. They had about seven dormitories built. They had I think two hundred and eighty rooms each one of those. Did you ever work in any of those, John? Yes. I was (unintelligible) working up on the scaffolding (unintelligible) Yes. (Unintelligible) Knocked the scaffold out, huh? You were hurt on the job? Yes. Tore a (unintelligible) Uh-huh. I see. How many dormitories did they build? Seven (unintelligible) I see. I think there’s two hundred and eighty in each dormitory. Well then, there were really no tents being used at that time, were there? Well, there was a lot of tents down at the river (unintelligible) Lakeview? It used to be McKeeversville. McKeeversville? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 22 There were a lot of tents over there. There were a lot of tents out in Railroad Pass. And what was that called out there? Texas City was it or? I don’t know what that was. (Unintelligible) or something like that? It was Tent City, I guess it was called out at the river. Uh-huh. And out in McKeeversville, well that McKeeversville, now that was original government camp. McKeeversville, which is now Lakeview was the original government camp? That’s where the government (unintelligible) too. (Unintelligible) I see. Yes. All the men who were used to living in the field. (Unintelligible) When did the Six Companies actually come in, John? Well, (unintelligible) February, early March. This is all of ’31, huh? Yes. I know the (unintelligible) (Laughs) (Laughs) When you were here in June, they were here. Yes. They were here. It was pretty heavy. And let’s see, was the casino—Railroad Pass Casino there when you came? They were building it when I got there. I see. And was it supposed to be a casino? Yes. That was the sole purpose of that building? I mean it was never used for anything else? Uh-huh. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 23 It was (unintelligible) Is that right? (Unintelligible) Yes. I remember. That’s been a lot of holes they’ve pushed in there to get this one well. In 1974, some thirty-three years later. Well, I guess it’s good water. Now was the gate towards the city or was that—? I was gonna tell you, you asked me what I knew about it way back getting a job. Yes, please. You had to (unintelligible), you just had to go out and (unintelligible) the only jobs that were coming. Then, in (unintelligible) Nineteen? Yes, 1931. Thirty-one. They had a strike. A strike? They had a strike. And what it was, I think it was a company strike. So, because my boss told me, he said “(unintelligible) a damn month in ten thousand we built them houses”. I quit and I moved back down to Long Beach. And so they told everybody “out”, took everybody out, took everybody off (unintelligible) I see. (Unintelligible) be back on the fifteenth. Well, I went down to Long Beach for a few days, come back on the fifteenth— UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 24 Uh-huh? (Unintelligible) Uh-huh? And I told him who I was, and I had my name out there where I could (unintelligible) ’cause I needed work. I see. I had to drive out here and wait for (unintelligible). I’d come back and went to work. So I think it was a company—company strike in order to get the people out. See, what they were doing, I had to keep all my belongings in the back of that Ford. Yes? And back up and took it right with me, ‘cause they’d take anything they’d get a hold of. Uh-huh. (Unintelligible) they’d go over to the mess halls. One time, two of ‘em nearly got a hold of a crate of cantaloupes— (Laughs) And took (unintelligible) Where was the mess hall located, John, today? I mean, where would it be? Well the original one is out there, oh, I guess it was out there, right around where the Safeway is now. Safeway? Was that where Morgan Sweeney started out there? Yes. And then where was the other one? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 25 Well it was on up there in town. (Unintelligible) not too far from where the National Park Service. National Park Service? Yes. I see. Then did he move in from Safeway, or did they just have another manager out there? They had—they didn’t go out, just, he wasn’t the manager. Oh no? He was just a checker. He was a checker? He was a checker. (Unintelligible) give it away when you come out. Yes. I understand. He was in there. He had a badge. Uh-huh. A badge? Yes, and there was a number on it. And he’d check out (unintelligible) Is that where he got the nickname of Poorman Sweeney? (Laughs) I think it might have been. (Laughs) He laughs about that. He was a—it was a job. Oh, sure. But he’d been, well to start with, they didn’t really check you too close. I wouldn’t—when I first got here, I didn’t have any money. I think I had about three dollars when I got to Vegas and I still (unintelligible) Yes? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 26 I had to get some more. (Laughs) Was there gambling in that time, huh? (Laughs) Yes. Where did you gamble? At Boulder Club. Boulder Club? That’s why I left with three dollars. (Laughs) I came out here. Well they added (unintelligible) Yes? They had a big board there, see. And it had a lot of badges on that board. Uh-huh. I know that the badge on that board, that never (unintelligible). They wouldn’t make ‘em show their badge. And that (unintelligible) then come back out. And I’d call a number out. I just spotted a number you know, that came from the mine, and call that number like (unintelligible) Yes? And the next meal, I go out, and (unintelligible) (Laughs) And I would call out so many numbers all the time. Gotta eat. Was it good food? Oh boy. You couldn’t beat that food. Was it enough? Yes. It was (unintelligible). You couldn’t have ever (unintelligible) went out. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 27 I see. You never ran out of anything. How long was it before, John, before you stopped working in Boulder City and they put you down in the dam proper? So you finished the houses— In the 1st of April in ’32. First of April in ’32. And we finished on the housing soon after that. And then what were you doing down there? You started another project, right? Carpenter. Carpenter. Building what? Forms. Forms for the concrete? I see. (Unintelligible) inside the tunnels. So that’ll protect you from the heat, wouldn’t it? Yes. Well, it did protect from the heat, but not the gas. In town, we had that much gas (unintelligible) What kind of gas did they have? Well, carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide? (Unintelligible) Oh. And they— It’s carbon monoxide, yes, from the tracks. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 28 Yes. And the tractors in there (unintelligible) Didn’t they have any fans to blow it out? No (unintelligible) Well, for goodness sake. I went to work down there—one night I went to work down there, it was seven in the evening, and I couldn’t. And I (unintelligible) Uh-huh? (Unintelligible) Oh, sure. (Unintelligible) The air was just filled with it—carbon monoxide? It was rough. But you couldn’t build outside in the sunlight? No, you couldn’t. (Unintelligible) That was the lining of towns. Yes? (Unintelligible) Well that was so—was that so you could divert the river? That’s right. Divert the water (unintelligible) Uh-huh? Two on each side. Yes? And they shot ‘em up, blast ‘em out, (unintelligible) at least three foot of concrete. (Unintelligible) sometimes it might be fifteen to twenty foot. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 29 Oh, yes. Sure. It had to be at least three foot. And that’s what it was at that time. Tell us all it had to be (unintelligible) foot at least in diameter. John, how did you pour over on top of those forms? On the outside of, you know, see your forms became the inside of the tunnel, right? (Unintelligible) The forms you built— Yes. Were the inside of the tunnel. Yes. That’s right. Well, how did they pour cement on the outside of your forms? Well, just— Shoot through a hose or? What they did, they poured the inside first. Yes? And the first twenty-five percent (unintelligible) Of the circle, yes? Then you went out, and you left two sidewalks. Uh-huh? They left about twenty five percent of the top. And that was bare, nothing but a form then? (Unintelligible) Then how did you cover that form with concrete? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 30 Well, that form would go ahead. They would pour it with—coming in (unintelligible) Under pressure of some kind? No, the sidewalls (unintelligible) they would pour, throw buckets at it. The trucks would begin (unintelligible) I see. Buckets. Then they have a hoist—it would pull them up. Uh-huh. (Unintelligible) then the sidewalk (unintelligible) they called it. Yes. It would fill up and it would pour up from the top and drop down in there. Well there—well how much space was there between your farm and the rock? Why, at least three foot. At least three feet. Yes. I’m not gonna say sometimes (unintelligible) Right. (Unintelligible) Well, how would they dump this thing in there then? Concrete out of them buckets. So what I’m trying to get at is, between your form, and the three feet of concrete, how far is between there and the rock? The roof rock that you tunnel you blasted out? Well, (unintelligible) they pour that with the next (unintelligible) comes through. It’s called the arch jumbler. Did they have it on a trolley or something? Or track or rail? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 31 The last jumble was called the arch jumble. It was pumped in. The arch jumble was pumped in? Yes. The concrete was pumped in. That’s just what I was trying to understand, yes. But the bottom and the side walls—it would dump with a bucket. Right. (Unintelligible) this arch up there, it would pump in there. I’ve always wondered how you got that top arch, three feet of concrete in there? It tracked loaded in. Right. But the rock and the grout were simply, they didn’t work at all. (Unintelligible) Is that right? Got too much rock pockets. Yes? And then they started pumping it. The concrete pump—every time that thing pumped, it was one foot of concrete pumped. Well, they could control it that way. Yes. Then it ran down to your sides and finally you made your final last arch up there? It was kept run back in there and they had to (unintelligible) to come back in and drop it off all along the side (unintelligible) and it got filled up and packed first (unintelligible) Yes? And then the last of (unintelligible) that was it. They just seed it right off. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 32 (Tape one ends) (Tape two inaudible until 14:40) That’s an accomplishment for a parent. I think— (Unintelligible) You should be— (Unintelligible) after you get out of college (unintelligible) I see. (Unintelligible) Oh, I see. Yes. (Unintelligible) When he was (unintelligible) and that was the first job he had. And he’s still with them. (Unintelligible) Uh-huh? And that’s the only job he’s ever had, except for the jobs here in town (unintelligible) Well— But he had his (unintelligible) He had practically. (Laughs) He had. Because I would have dropped out. The deal was if you didn’t want to go, I wasn’t gonna make you. Uh-huh. (Unintelligible) Yes? (Unintelligible) in the summertime. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 33 Probably making pretty good money, too. Yes. He wasn’t then. He was working kind of a (unintelligible) Oh, I see. ‘Cause there’s not really a (unintelligible) (Laughs) And, but he wanted to finish school. So he asked and said (unintelligible) as soon as the rest of all the boys all went back to school. But you (unintelligible) Yes. And when I went back to school, they told him “This job of yours is terminated now”. (Unintelligible) (Laughs) And, so he worked there. That was his first semester (Unintelligible) (Laughs) I went down to (unintelligible) go back to school, so we’re good. Glad to hear. (Laughs) So he quit and went back to school. No more arguments there. So when he got married, right, he had no (unintelligible) down there. He got (unintelligible). This one particular guy, he comes (unintelligible) leave like that. Yes? And he says, “You live in this house, no?” I go (unintelligible). Uh-huh? He says “Did you hear about me?” “Nothing bad”. UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 34 (Laughs) (Unintelligible) It was my job to put him back in school. And they wanted him to finish school. (Laughs) It was my job to put him back and I didn’t. You worked him good. (Unintelligible) Uh-huh? (Unintelligible) so that was his job. Uh-huh. Can we go back to your job—your next job after the pipe crew and the dam? The carpenter to the pipe crew? Yes. And worked your way on up, John? Well— You know, the jobs you had, one after the other? The jobs—starting with (unintelligible) it seemed like the (unintelligible) putting in the needles and all that. I just (unintelligible) Putting needles in? Needle valves. Needle valves. I see. And (unintelligible) Oh, yes. (Unintelligible) then I was a carpenter. Right about that time, they did change the classification— UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 35 Yes? And the carpenter got about two hours a day less than mechanics. Yes? And so I came up to the office and (unintelligible) Right. Henderson out there during the war. And after that, (unintelligible) they gave me a change of rate shift. I got my two dollars in the day. Are you a mechanic then? That classification? (Unintelligible) classifications is mechanic. And then you became a mechanic? You learned to be a mechanic? Well, I was (unintelligible) Yes? There wasn’t a whole lot of carpenter work. And when there wasn’t carpenter work, I thought, let me work with the mechanics and (unintelligible) Did you ever do mechanical work exclusively, John? Yes. (Unintelligible) Power plant? Okay. And your days of carpentry stopped about when? Well, it really stopped around about, I’d say, oh, about ’40. Nineteen forty? I worked—I still had a carpentry rating for a while after that. Yes? But I did more mechanic work than did carpentry. Did you have to try and change unions? UNLV University Libraries John D. Gieck 36 No. I paid the carpenters union, got all the way through, until oh, I don’t remember when that changed. No, I don’t. Maybe around ’55. Uh-huh? I got mad at the carpenters union. (Laughs) And when they told me leave, I come out here and join the machinists union. You know, (unintelligible) you don’t have to belong here. And it would be a union job. And the guy did have cards. Well how was that, John? Well it (unintelligible) Well then why did you carry the card was my question? Well, I (unintelligible) necessary