[Transcript of interview with Paul Huffey and Michael Mack by Claytee White, February 2, 2010]. Huffey, Paul & Mack, Michael Interview, 2010 February 2. OH-00903. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
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An Interview with Paul Huffey (& Michael Mack) An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas © Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries 2010 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries, Director: Claytee D. White Project Creators: Patrick Jackson and Dr. Deborah Boehm Transcriber and Editor: Laurie Boetcher Editor and Production Manager: Barbara Tabach Interviewers: Suzanne Becker, Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White ii Recorded interviews, transcripts, bound copies and a website comprising the Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood Oral History Project have been made possible through a grant from the City of Las Vegas Centennial Committee. Special Collections in Lied Library, home of the Oral History Research Center, provided a wide variety of administrative services, support and archival expertise. We are so grateful. This project was the brainchild of Deborah Boehm, Ph.D. and Patrick Jackson who taught at UNLV and resided in the John S. Park Neighborhood. As they walked their community, they realized it was a special place that intersected themes of gender, class, race/ethnicity, religion, sexuality and gentrification. Patrick and Deborah learned that John S. Park had been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and that original homeowners, local politicians, members of the gay community, Latino immigrants, artists and gallery owners and an enclave of UNLV staff all lived in the neighborhood. Therefore, they decided that the history of this special place had to be preserved, joined with the Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries and wrote a grant that was funded by the Centennial Committee. The transcripts received minimal editing that included the elimination of fragments, false starts and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the narrative. These interviews have been catalogued and can be found as non-circulating documents in Special Collections at UNLV's Lied Library. Deborah A. Boehm, Ph.D. Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar 2009-2010 Assistant Professor, Anthropology & Women's Studies Patrick Jackson, Professor John S. Park Oral History Project Manager Claytee D. White, Director Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries iii Interview with Paul Huffey and Michael Mack February 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White Table of Contents Introduction: early life: born in Las Vegas, NV (1938). Mother was an R.N., retired when Paul was born. Father Bob Huffey was a master carpenter. Parents moved to Las Vegas in 1930. Father worked on Boulder Dam project (1930-35), then for State Highway Department. Built Normandie Court, first motel in Las Vegas (1937). 1 Attended Las Vegas Grammar School (ca. 1943-46). Parents sold the Normandie Court and built an apartment house on Fourth Street. Purchased property on Park Paseo and built family home (1947). 3 Stories: Bob Huffey's work at Boulder Dam, hierarchy of citizens in early Las Vegas, building of Boulder City, Henderson, and Boulder Highway, Four Mile 4 Memories of friends and teachers in John S. Park Neighborhood. 6 Move to home on Bracken Avenue. Paul and Michael talk about their first cars. 10 High-school stories. After-school job at Ronzone's clothing store. Cars, dating, and social events. Memories of Harry Mack. 12 Memories of father Bob Huffey and friend Bill Waldman. 15 Social-cultural activity in the John S. Park Neighborhood: Boy Scouts, church-based activities, service, fraternal, and community organizations. 16 Women's roles in family life. Influence of the LDS church in the community. 17 Participation in annual Helldorado. 19 Businesses and wedding chapels in the John S. Park Neighborhood area. 21 John S. Park Neighborhood as a political community. 21 African-Americans in school. 23 Building the Chemistry Club float for the Las Vegas High School homecoming parade. 24 Life after high school: Paul joined U.S. Army Reserve (1956) and served six months at Fort Ord, CA. Attended UNR (1957-61). Taught history at Basic High School in Henderson, NV for nine years. 25 Why so many people from John S. Park Neighborhood became so successful: southeast Las Vegas was middle-upper middle class; many educated professionals lived in the area and encouraged their children to study and to attend college. Upper class lived on the west side of Las Vegas. Development of Westside as an African- American enclave. Segregation of Strip hotels due to Mafia influence. 27 Connection between John S. Park Neighborhood and the hotel industry: some residents worked in the hotels, but not as owners or high management. The railroad, construction of Hoover Dam, gaming, World War II, tourism, and the NTS as strong influences on the growth of Las Vegas. Japanese in Las Vegas. 28 Why so many people out of John S. Park Neighborhood did so well: mothers at home; teachers as disciplinarians. 30 iv Changes in the John S. Park Neighborhood through high school years. 32 What they disliked about John S. Park Neighborhood: nothing. No changes in the neighborhood while growing up. Very little crime. Advent of Howard Hughes and corporatization changed Las Vegas. Discovering girls. Recollections of "a very magical time in history, in a magical town." 33 What the John S. Park Neighborhood means to Paul Huffey: growing up in middle-class, white-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant Americana, as portrayed in 1950s television. To Michael Mack: growing up Jewish, there was no anti-Semitism in Las Vegas. Memories of neighborhood as it was and comments on current deterioration. 39 Recollections of other neighbors who lived in the John S. Park community 41 Boyhood stories: pranks played on neighbors in the John S. Park community; fireworks. 43 Important life juncture: acquisition of motor scooters at age fourteen gave them mobility. 45 Memories of childhood friends who might be interviewed. 48 Concluding remarks. 51 V Preface Whenever Paul Huffey drives through John S. Park Neighborhood he visualizes his youth and the times he spent with his childhood friend Michael Mack, who joined in this interview. Together they reminisced about their teen years in the 1950s and living in John S. Park Neighborhood. Paul's first home was Normandie Court, the first authentic motel in Las Vegas. In 1947, Paul's father purchased a lot on Paseo Park and built a home for his wife and only child. He describes life in that home as idyllic: no war or unemployment issues, a time when the Strip was "meaningless" unless you had a parent working there. An era when mothers, at least in his neighborhood, were stay-at-home moms and children freely roamed on their bicycles. Of their teen years, Paul and Michael recall their hi-jinks, discovering beer, and admiring pretty girls. In 1956, he graduated from Las Vegas High School, enlisted in the U. S. Army Reserve and enrolled in University of Nevada Reno. He taught history at Basic High School in Henderson for nine years. vi ORAL HISTORY RESEARCH CENTER AT UNLV Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood We, (he above named, give^o/UieA-ai History Research Center of UNLV, die recorded lntervicw(s) initiated on . cL, (ZC' 0 as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational ptfrppfics as shall be determined, and transfer to die University of Nevada Has Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude die right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the lecordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. There will be no compensation for Library Special Collections 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-7010 (702) 895-2222 ORAL HISTORY RESEARCH CENTER AT UNLV Voices of the Historic John S. Park Neighborhood u Use Agreement Name of Narrator: . / 1/[ ^ Name ol Interviewer: ttm'€ We, the above named, give to/ihe/)ral I listory Research Center of I INLY, ihe recorded intcrvicw(s) initiated on lM^D'0 as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational pi/rpofces as shall be determined, and transfer to the ("niversity of Nevada I -is \ egas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gilt does not preclude the right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the u ( 01 dings and i elated materials lor scholarly pursuits. I here will he no compensation for any interviews. 2-3--/D Signature o rlSai Tutor Dale Library Special Collections 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 457010. Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-7010 (702) 895-2222 Interview with Paul Huffey and Michael Mack February 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White This is Claytee White. I'm in the home of Paul Huffey, and I'm with Mr. Huffey and with Michael Mack as well. So how are the two of you today? Michael: Great. Terrific. Wonderful. Good to see you again. Well, nice to see you again, too. This is great. Paul: I don't recall our first meeting. Where was our first meeting? At Mary Hausch's house. So, you want to start at the beginning? OK. Now you have already interviewed Michael once but I'm having Michael here as my backup to my memory which is fading just rapidly. Well, would you start by telling me a little about your early life, before we get to John S. Park? Oh, my early life. Well, bom here in Las Vegas, 1938. A little wide spot in the road, about eight thousand people. And I was bom in the only hospital in town, at Las Vegas Hospital. My mother [Julene] was an R.N. who actually had to practice there, and then when I came along she retired from nursing. And my father [Bob Huffey] was a carpenter. My parents moved to Las Vegas in 1930, because it was the only bright spot in the nation as far as jobs, and my father went to work immediately on the Hoover Dam project, which we called Boulder Dam in those days. 2 Tell me what he did. He was a carpenter. He was a master carpenter. He could build you anything. He worked there until he mouthed off once too often to the wrong boss and got fired in '35. Then he worked for the State Highway Department. My mother had a sister, my Aunt Florence (Michael knew Florence) who lived in Southern California, Beverly Hills, and my mother would take the train, the Union Pacific, down to Los Angeles at least twice a year, sometimes three times a year, to visit her sister Florence. And this one time in '36-'37, she came back and she said to my father, Bob, I saw something new they're doing down in California. They're doing this on boulevards, on major boulevards. They're building these apartment-type units— they're either one-bedroom or studios—and they rent them out overnight, and they call them motels. And you could park your car right next to them in these little garages they have at these motels. So the next week, my father put his camera in his Packard and he drove to L.A. and he went through about five or six rolls of film, driving all around L.A., taking photographs of the different motels he saw. He came back to Las Vegas and he bought a piece of property in the 700-block of Las Vegas Boulevard South, which we called Fifth Street then, and he built Las Vegas's first real motel. Now prior to that, there were cabins. People had gone in and built individual cabins that they rented out. But Dad's was a regular motel in that it was two-story and all the units were linked together, with a garage in between. What was the name of it? The Normandie Court, 708 Las Vegas Boulevard South. 3 Then the next year I was born, in '38, so birth through age five: at age five I was enrolled in kindergarten at the nearest school, which was the Las Vegas Grammar School. And it was not only the biggest school; it was [one of] probably three, maybe four schools in the whole valley at that time. So that was kindergarten, first, second, and third grade. In the meantime, my folks sold the motel and my father built some apartments directly behind on Fourth Street. He built a house with a giant garage next to it, and then he built about a six-plex apartment, and so we had a seven-car garage next to our house and people would park their cars in that garage. That was second and third grade. At the end of third grade, my folks bought a piece of property on Park Paseo, which was on the other side of the world for me. It was a long bicycle ride between South Fourth and Park Paseo. My father bought two lots there and he built the biggest house in the whole area. Oh, it was jumbo. How big was it? It was a full basement and two floors, so it was three levels. He never finished out the top level. It was framed in but it was [unfinished]. So we lived—my mother and my father and myself (I was an only child)—on that first ground-level [of the house]. About the second or third day I moved in there, I met this young fellow by the name of Michael Mack. Mike, you were on South Tenth [Street] then, weren't you? Michael: Yeah, Well, what year was that? Paul: OK, this would've been 1947. Michael: Yeah, I was still on Tenth Street. Did your father ever tell you any stories about Boulder Dam? 4 Paul: Oh, yeah, sure. Tell me some of those stories. Well, again my memory is so bad. It was a jumbo, giant project. It was a consortium of six different construction companies and it was called the Six Companies, among them Henry Kaiser and Morrison Knudsen and a number of other giant construction firms. My father built lumber-wood frames that they would pour the concrete in. So he was up and down on the elevators and the guide ropes, the car that goes over the canyon and then drops down. Every day, two trips: one trip down and a trip back up. This is where he met everybody that he ever knew in Las Vegas, because they all worked at the dam. There were three classes of citizens in Las Vegas at the time. There was the upper crust: there were about fourteen or fifteen men in the upper crust. Then there was the middle class: that was about six, seven thousand men. And then there was the unemployed poor bums around the railroad track, and that was about a thousand. Most of that giant [Boulder Dam] crew lived in Las Vegas or Boulder City. They built Henderson at the beginning of World War II. They built the little city of Boulder City, and it was quite exclusive. This was the dam. But most of the men lived in Las Vegas, and they would truck back and forth. They build the Boulder Highway. The Boulder Highway when it was built from Las Vegas to Boulder City was at that time the longest divided four-lane superhighway in the Western Hemisphere, and there was generally a lot of traffic every day, cars and buses back and forth to the dam. As I said, my father mouthed off once too often and got fired, and then he worked for the State Highway Department. Do you remember a place called Four Mile? Sure! Sure. Four Mile was a house of ill-repute. Did people actually live there as well? Yes. It was a slum. Michael: It was an area, actually. It was like a subdivision, and it had some homes around there, a little mobile [home] park thing, and then of course the business that was there that it was known for. Paul: Yeah. Everybody knew it. The sheriff was part-owner of the house [of ill-repute], Michael: Yeah. Well, we didn't find that out in the very beginning but I guess a lot of the people knew, but I didn't know that at the time. Otherwise I wouldn't have paid any attention to the cops. [Laughing] Well, from what I remember, you didn't pay a whole lot of attention anyway. Well, you know, they didn't pay that much attention to me. Paul: Four Mile was a slummy area. It was the house of ill-repute and shacks, and about two hundred Cottonwood trees. Michael: Yeah, there was a lot of trees around there. And you got to admit, Paul, we all drove around there. Paul: Oh sure we did. Michael: We were always driving down there just to check it out. Paul: We'd cruise around there, looking. Michael: We even had some friends who went in there. Paul: Yeah, yeah, the older guys. Michael: I know for sure, Paul and I were never lucky enough to get in there. Paul: But we always thought we saw somebody behind a curtain. We never knew for sure. We thought we saw some harlot behind a curtain, and our imaginations ran wild. [Laughter] Then, as I say, when we moved into the John S. Park attendance area in 1947, when my dad completed the house at 818 Park Paseo, I met Michael Mack and met the other kids in the neighborhood. Who were some of the other kids in the neighborhood? Oh, across the street was Gary Holler and Dan Porter. Both of them were a year younger than me. A short distance down the street were the Goths and the Visigoths [laughing], the three Waldman brothers, Phil, Bill, and Herb. Phil was Michael's age, Bill was a year younger and my age, and Herb was a year younger than myself. They were the neighborhood characters, they sure were, all of them. And then moving on down, Richard Sutton, who turned in to be the neighborhood intellectual, and now he's Doctor Richard Sutton. He's dead now. He was killed in a car accident a few years back. He was a cardiovascular surgeon. Then on down the street, John Gibson. I went to John Gibson's retirement party about two weeks ago. John's an engineer. And Tyler Compton lived in the area. Dewey Jones. Those are the boys I remember. We didn't care about the girls. The only girl we cared about was Richard Sutton's older sister, Sherry. 7 Why was that? Why? Sherry was well-endowed, so every adolescent boy, as soon as the hormones started to kick in, they started to pay attention to Sherry. OK. Michael: She was older. Paul: She was older. She was older. That's right. For sure. Let's see, at John S. Park [Elementary School]: I'm trying to recall my teachers' names. The fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. [Mary Louise] Carmody, she took me under her wing. My fifth-grade teacher [was] Mrs. Chandler, and she had a brother who was a priest. She was a nice lady, a grand lady. She picked up on my interest in the social studies, geography and history, and she really encouraged me along those lines, reading and different school projects. As far as my elementary school teachers, she was by far the most influential on me. Sixth grade, Mrs. McKay, who we later ran into at Las Vegas High School. She was the librarian at Las Vegas High. Seventh grade, Mrs. Strand. And then the infamous Mrs. Schultz. We could tell you Mrs. Schultz stories all afternoon. Michael: I told her some. Paul: Mrs. Schultz was probably about six foot three or four, weighed about a hundred and four pounds, and drove the most immaculate, beautiful Model-A Ford coupe. And one of the favorite tricks was we would pound a potato up her exhaust pipe. She'd come out after school and all the guys would be in the bushes, waiting around, waiting around. She'd get in the car and start it up and it'd go boop, boop, boop, boop, hoop, boop, boop, BANG! [Laughter] Oh, it scared her to death, and we just roared. [Laughing] Not a lot to do, huh? 8 [Laughing] I remember that somebody, I don't know who picked up on this, and really at the time I had no idea what it meant, but we called her a frustrated old maid. We didn't know what a frustrated old maid was. But her patience was about that long, and one of her favorite things, if somebody, some kid or some boy would act up (always the boys), if one would act up, she would start pounding her fist on her desk and then she would bury her face in her hands and say, That boy! That boy! What am I going to do with that boy? [Laughter] And she's pounding the desk with her face in her hands. Michael: She had a cot in the back, in the cloakroom, and she would go back and lay down on that cot, and she knew where everybody was. If you got out of your desk she'd say, you know, like, Shipley, sit down. [Laughter] Paul: Cloakrooms. Now this is something. Every classroom had a cloakroom. You put your cloak in there. I never had a cloak. [Laughter] I had a sweater. Schools don't have cloakrooms anymore. Michael: But she would go down in the middle of class, she'd go give an assignment out and then go in there and lay [down] and go, Oh, I've got such a headache. How was that permitted? Oh, well, first of all, the principal was very strict. She was really strict, but everybody liked her. I mean even if you got paddled by her, you still liked her. I mean it was like, because she was just very fair, and you knew the thing she was doing was right. And I guess they put up with Mrs. Schultz. She'd been around town, I guess, a while. We don't know her real history. I never did know it. But she was quite the talk, and no one wanted [her]. When I was going there, I was a year older than him. At some point, we had two classrooms of each class. In the beginning we only had one classroom, and then I think it 9 was fifth grade, they divided us into two classes, so there were two eighth-grade teachers, two seventh-grade, two sixth, [and so on], and nobody wanted Schultz. We were kind of hoping, the year before, like when you were in seventh grade, you just wouldn't get Schultz, you know. I ended up with her. [Laughing] Paul: Oh my God, that woman was skinny. Oh lord. Michael: She had a mean streak, and you rarely ever saw her laugh. Paul: I don't remember her laughing. Well, you did enough to try to make her laugh, though, didn't you? Michael: I think she was a good instructor overall. Paul: Wait a minute, there was another teacher somewhere in here. Miss [Faustine] Leach. Michael: Right, and she was another seventh-grade teacher. She was the only seventh-grade teacher. Paul: That's right, that's right, Leach and Strand. I had one semester with Leach, the other semester with Strand. Michael: I had Strand for the whole year. Paul: Miss Leach was a nice woman. She was very kind, a very happy woman. Michael: Billy Waldman and I mowed her lawn with that monster mower of his, that rotary mower that he rebuilt, that he hopped up. I think I told you this. His dad [Herb Waldman Sr.] had the Hudson dealership. Of the three boys, Billy was the one boy that was mechanically inclined, and he spent a lot of time at the car dealership with the mechanics. He learned their language, he learned how to fix things, he was good, and he helped build his car, a little hot rod car. 10 Bau'- fact5 Bill's greatest single Christmas present, when he was about nine or ten years of age, his father gave him a crescent wrench. That was the beginning. So how long did you actually live in John S. Park? OK, four, five, six, seven, eight. Five years in the John S. Park attendance area, and five years at John S. Park [Elementary School] and then, at the end of my eighth grade, we moved again. Did you leave John S. Park or did you move [to another house there]? Well, OK, yes, he [my father] built a house on South Seventh Street, about a block north of Oakey [Boulevard], corner of Seventh and Bracken [Avenue], and that was the beginning of my freshman year of high school, ninth grade, Las Vegas High. Did your father actually finish the house on Park Paseo? No, no, he never finished the second level. He never finished it. It was all framed in. All it needed was sheetrock on the walls to finish it, but he never finished it. There wasn't a need to finish it. Is that house still there? Sure it is! My father's construction philosophy was, If a two-by-four is good, then a two-by- six is better. And he built everything hell for stout. He was a master carpenter. He really was. He could build anything! So tell me about the next house, the one on Bracken. Oh, it was a nice little house. It was actually two bedrooms, my bedroom and my folks' bedroom, and we had a den, which my father eventually took over as his bedroom, after I went off to college, and just a nice little living room, the dining room, and a little kitchen, 11 and he had his garage and a big shop in the back of the garage, two-car garage. It was a nice little house. Why did he decide to downsize? Well, my mother said, Please, cleaning this house is making an old woman out of me in a hurry, and it was so silly, you know, three people in a four-thousand-square-foot house. Enormous. The little house on Seventh Street was about fifteen hundred square feet, a third of the size [of the Park Paseo house]. This was my high school house, and the one I remember most often because it was when I got my first car. My car and Michael's car were the same year. They were almost identical. What were they? Fifty-three Chevys. Michael: His was blue; mine was mustard. His was a hardtop; mine was a two-door sedan. His had a stick shift; mine had an automatic. Thank goodness mine had an automatic because I never had any transmission problems or clutch problems. Paul: I think I bummed out my transmission two or three times. [Laughing] Michael: I can believe it. Paul: Our high-school days, oh my lord. We could've written Catcher in the Rye. So give me one of those stories. Oh no, you don't want to hear those! Michael: Oh, you can tell her any of the stories. You should, because I told her a whole bunch of stories, and you might even be telling her some of the stories I told her, too. 12 Paul. I probably will because our lives were so closely entwined. Mike and I lived across the street from each other on Park Paseo. Mike, you moved into the Park Paseo house in '47-'48. Michael: I moved into the Park Paseo house in probably '51. Paul: OK. And so he's across the street and I'm at 818 and you're about 823. So we were across-the-street neighbors. Where did your folks live when we were in high school? Michael: Let me just think. We moved in in '42, and then one year on Sweeney [Avenue], and then moved over to Park Paseo, yeah. So they were there through almost my whole college life. Well, two years. So they were there for about seven years in that house. Paul: OK, good. So now we're on South Seventh Street, which in blocks it was probably about six blocks away, eight blocks by car. Our friendship was very close in high school. Michael was a year ahead of me in school. Notwithstanding, we were good buddies, especially after he turned sixteen and I soon followed. Our junior and senior years of high school were the greatest, when we had cars and fake IDs [laughter] and places where we'd stash our beer. So did you work in high school? I had an after-school job, yeah. One job I had for a long time, I worked at Ronzone's department store. Oh, tell me about Ronzone's. Tell me about the clothes. I was a stock boy. Well, it was a clothing store, men and women's clothing. It was the biggest one in town, owned by the Ronzone family, Mom Ronzone (Bertha) and then her 13 son Dick and his wife. All the Ronzones were big people. They were big. You'd get three Ronzones in a room and you'd have about seven hundred pounds of people in there. Dick was a great fellow. He really was a great fellow. He put up with my nonsense. I didn't do a hell of a lot. Logged a lot of time hiding behind the shirt racks in the warehouse, catching up on a nap. It was a nice store, nice people. It was the only locally-owned clothing store, men and women's clothing. There were ladies' clothing stores, men's clothing stores, but it was the only [store that sold both men's and women's clothing]. They had Sears [department store] and [J.C.] Penney's [department store], Michael: They [Ronzone's] had shoes for men and women, too, and then they had the colognes and all the accessory stuff, you know. Paul: They had quality merchandise, too. Michael: It was like a department store. No dishes. It didn't have the dishes thing, you know, things like that. Paul: It was all clothing. And it was quality. Did most boys have cars in high school? Well, yes, they did. Yes, most of the boys did, because cars were so, you know, [cool]. At that point, Las Vegas was so small. Where did you go with your cars? Where did you take your dates? To the nearest hiding place. [Laughter] Michael: Actually, there was a lot of things to do. There were the drive-ins. We actually had two drive-ins, so it was pretty cool. We had Mount Charleston, which was a great getaway. Some of the kids' parents owned little cabins up there. They were really little cabins, but they were fun to go to. And then also we had Fremont Street to cmise, 14 which was fun. And Boulder City. There were Boulder City girls. And even go out to the dam sometimes and drink beer, you know, up on the spillway parking lots or something like that. And there was Lake Mead, you know. I mean that was pretty much it. And then the big adventures were the out-of-town football and basketball games that we could go to, you know, we could drive to. Southern California. Oh, you bet. See, basically, if you have a football team and a basketball team, and you have Basic High School [in Henderson] and Boulder City [High School] and Vegas, that's it. That was like all during our growing-up years, those were the rivals, so you had to go to Reno [Nevada] to get the other one, and then we had White Pine [County], Ely [Nevada], and then outside of that, soon we outgrew that. When our school got so big, we couldn't even play Boulder City and White Pine any longer, so we'd go to Southern California and Arizona to pick up high schools. Did you drive to those games? We would, sure, you bet. Oh yeah, yeah, you bet. Paul: Mike had two great uncles; they were fabulous. His Uncle Harry [Mack] was a bachelor who didn't have any children, and he virtually adopted Michael and his brother Charlie [Mack], He was very kind and generous to us. He sure was. Michael: Boy, was he. Yeah. I went to a lot of places where people thought he was my dad, you know. Paul: They were very close with Uncle Harry. Michael: Well, my dad [Louis Mack] was always working and Harry seemed to have a lot of time off. 15 You told me a lot about the social things in John S. Park for young men. Tell me about your parents. What did they do for social, cultural type things? Paul. Well, my parents were considerably older. They were old enough to be my grandparents. When I was bom in 1938, my mother was forty-three and my father was lifty-two. I was an only child. So, by the time I got into seventh and eighth grade, my father was sixty years of age. My father was an outdoorsman, lived all of his early youth in the outdoors in Montana, and so he was a great fisherman. He loved to fish. He probably took Michael and I on about fourteen dozen fishing trips when we were boys, up to the little streams and creeks in Nye County and Lincoln County and White Pine County. We'd make about three or four or five trips each summer. Fishing trips, camping out, fishing, camping, camping, fishing. My father loved that. That's the greatest memory I have of my father. [Also] him in his shop pounding on something. He always had a cigar stuck in his mouth at all times. Pounding something in his shop. Michael: He could gather a crowd of kids in there watching him do stuff. He was really good. He could make anything. And he could fix anything. I mean he was really good. He just made stuff out of like copper and different metals. He always had a project or two or three. Paul: Going at all times, that's right. The kids would be hanging around there and every time he couldn't find a tool he'd say, Damn thieving Waldman brothers have been in here again. [Laughing] Michael: I know. They never took anything. Paul: The only reason he did that is because Bill Waldman was hanging around all the time. 16 Michael: Yeah, because he was a mechanical kid and he loved it. Paul. Bill s a nuclear engineer now. Well, yes, he's an engineer but he retired from his actual vocation. His last position of thirty years was as a fire bomber, flying four-engine planes that would fly over forest fires and drop the fire retardant. That's what Bill did for thirty years. Oh, he's a fabulous character. Bill Waldman. He lives in New Mexico. Tell me about the mothers in the neighborhood. Did the women get together and form any clubs or do anything like that? Well, my mother was a den mother in Cub Scouts for a