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Transcript of interview with Randy Garcia by Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, November 27, 2018






Randy Garcia is the founder and CEO of the investment management-consulting firm, The Investment Counsel Company. Born in Los Angeles on Feb. 21, 1954, Garcia’s family moved to Las Vegas in 1957. The son of a World War II vet and a homemaker, Garcia’s ancestral roots come from Mexico, Italy, and Spain. He grew up in Las Vegas during segregation and expansion. He remembers a time when much of city included dirt lots and casinos that no longer stand. A champion in serving under privileged youth and communities across southern Nevada, Garcia lives by the philosophy, “give until it hurts.” Garcia uses his success as a wealth manager to promote, foster, and cultivate positive change for the Latinx community in Las Vegas. His story and dedication to his community is a pinnacle of hope and benevolence for current and future generations. Garcia became the first in his family to attend and graduate college. He graduated from UNLV in 1977 with honors, where he majored in business administratio

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Garcia, Randy Interview, 2018 November 27. OH-03518. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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AN INTERVIEW WITH RANDY GARCIA An Oral History Conducted by Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2018 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Nathalie Martinez, Rodrigo Vazquez Editors and Project Assistants: Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Monserrath Hernández, Elsa Lopez, Nathalie Martinez, Marcela Rodriquez-Campo, Rodrigo Vazquez iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Randy Garcia is the founder and CEO of the investment management-consulting firm, The Investment Counsel Company. Born in Los Angeles on Feb. 21, 1954, Garcia’s family moved to Las Vegas in 1957. The son of a World War II vet and a homemaker, Garcia’s ancestral roots come from Mexico, Italy, and Spain. He grew up in Las Vegas during segregation and expansion. He remembers a time when much of city included dirt lots and casinos that no longer stand. A champion in serving under privileged youth and communities across southern Nevada, Garcia lives by the philosophy, “give until it hurts.” Garcia uses his success as a wealth manager to promote, foster, and cultivate positive change for the Latinx community in Las Vegas. His story and dedication to his community is a pinnacle of hope and benevolence for current and future generations. Garcia became the first in his family to attend and graduate college. He graduated from UNLV in 1977 with honors, where he majored in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. After a brief time in law school, he left school in pursuit of a career in wealth management with some of the nation’s top brokerages. In 1987, Garcia opened his own independent firm, which consistently ranks among the top financial advisors in the U.S. v During his free time, Garcia focuses on his philanthropic work. He currently serves on the board of the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Council for a Better Nevada, Las Vegas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Nellis Support Team, and the Clack Country School District Superintendent’s Budget Task Force. His philanthropic contributions include the Latin Chamber of Commerce’s Career Day, Latin Chamber of Commerce’s scholarship fund, and Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. He formally served on the 2016 Presidential Debate Steering Committee, as Chairman of the Nevada State Taxicab Authority, and on the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission. For his contributions to the Latinx community, Garcia has received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy from Latin Chamber of Commerce and the Golden Hand Award by the Cultural Diversity Foundation. Other honors include the 2016 Alumnus of the Year Award from UNLV Lee Business School, the Heart of Hope Award from Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, The Latin Chamber of Commerce 2007 Hispanic of the Year, and the 2009 Nevada State College President’s Award. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Randy Garcia On November 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………..iv Randy shares memories from his childhood growing up in Las Vegas in the 1950s and 60s. Mentions Ted Wiens Firestone auto shop, Union Pacific, and his father working for the Nevada Test Site. Talks about why his family moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, his dad [Salvador J. Garcia] serving in WWII, his family’s origins, and attending private schools [Saint Anne’s Catholic School and Bishop Gorman High School]...…………………………...……………1 – 4 Talks about his childhood family life, his first car, and his Latino experience in Las Vegas in the 50s and 60s. Mentions the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, New Frontier Hotel and Casino, Hacienda Resort Hotel and Casino, Circus Circus Hotel and Resort, the movie theater El Portal, Fremont Street Casino District, Helldorado Days, and Fantasy Park………………………..5 – 8 Randy talks about segregation in Las Vegas. Mentions his father looking for work at the Sahara Hotel and Casino [now the SLS Hotel and Casino] and facing discrimination because of his race. Mentions the Las Vegas mob, working at Safeway Grocery, his family working in the casino industry, attending UNLV [Business Administration and Accounting], Clayton Bywaters [former UNLV assistant football coach], UNLV campus……………………………………………8 – 12 Randy remembers his time at UNLV, mentions former professors Lorene Seidman and Felicia Campbell. Randy applies to University of San Diego School of Law and University of Santa Clara School of Law. Talks about attending the University of Santa Clara and dropping out. Randy talks about Merrill Lynch, applying to every national investment firm in Las Vegas, taking the CPA exam.…………………………………........................................................13 – 16 Randy shares stories about visiting his paternal grandmother in California and describes his mother’s [Eleanor Garcia] personality. Talks about his first job in a stock brokerage, his offers from other firms such as Morgan Stanley, travelling to New York City to find a firm that aligned with his beliefs and would open up a branch in Las Vegas, opening his own firm [The Investment Counsel Company] in 1987 with the help of his clients, October ’87 stock market crash [Black Monday], the company’s first location [across the Palms Hotel and Casino]..14 – 20 Continues talking about Randy’s firm and how he runs it. Randy shares that his firm has never had a lawsuit filed against it and he has never laid off an employee [even during the Great Recession], and stories of his clients. Randy lists out and explains his role on the committees of which he is a board member of and his philanthropic work in: the UNLV Foundation Board of vii Trustees, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Council for a Better Nevada, Boy Scouts of America [Nevada Area Council], Nellis Support Team, Latin Chamber of Commerce Career Day, Latin Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada..................................................................................................................................21 – 25 Randy talks about his children [Andrew and Ali] and their lives, choosing to stay in Las Vegas to raise a family, his wife [Staci] and how they met at TGI Fridays on East Flamingo, and the night life of the 70s. Mentions disco music and Jubilation Nightclub/The Shark Club [owned by Paul Anka], Gilley’s [Texas night club], Pegasus [Bar and Grill at Alexis Park Resort], Port Tack [formerly known as the Starboard Tack] and the Tillerman Restaurant……………………25 – 27 Randy shares his views on Las Vegas’ future and his hope for the UNLV School of Medicine. Shares how he helped one of his clients with her organ donation and final remarks on the Latinx Voices Project………………………………………………………………………………28 – 29 1 Today's date is November 27th, 2018. My name is Laurents Banuelos-Benitez and I am joined by... Barbara Tabach. We are at the offices of the Investment Counsel Company and we are interviewing... Randy Garcia. Randy, can you go ahead and spell your name for me? Sure. R-A-N-D-Y, G-A-R-C-I-A. Thank you. I'd like to start at the beginning. Where were you born? Laurents, I was born in Los Angeles. What part of Los Angeles were you born in? North Hollywood. What was that neighborhood like? What was your childhood growing up in North Los Angeles? I came to Las Vegas in 1957, Laurents, so I came here at the age of three. What my childhood was like...For probably the first ten years our backyard abutted Las Vegas Boulevard and it was a big desert at that time because the Strip hadn't been built out yet. Instead of having a grass park to play in, we played in a vacant dirt lot, where neighborhood kids would dig holes and tunnels. We would actually go over to Ted Wiens Firestone and take their tires that were in the back that they were going to incinerate or throw away and we'd make forts out of them. We climbed up those billboard signs. We'd take lumber up there and build forts, kind of like Robinson Crusoe. What neighborhood were you growing up in? This was Las Vegas Boulevard and Oakey. What brought your parents from Los Angeles to Las Vegas? 2 Health. I had double pneumonia before the age of three. The doctor told my parents, "If you don't figure out a climate that works"—for me— "You won't see his next birthday." They tried moving around the L.A. area and I still had the same asthmatic problems. They went to Arizona. Dad couldn't get a job. They drove here. The first night we slept, on the grass of the Union Pacific, right there at the old train station. My dad got a job working at the test site and then soon after in the casino industry as a casino dealer, but he always made time for my brother and me. He was the kind of dad who played sports with us and the other kids in the neighborhood. What did your dad do at the test site? He was an unskilled laborer, so whatever he could do. What casino did he deal at, do you remember? He worked in every single casino more than once. He not only worked in the casino, he worked two full-time jobs seven days a week all of his life and during Christmas he'd actually take on a third part-time job just so he could make the holiday special for his family, that's what I remember. He just worked, worked, worked nonstop. He'd come home and sleep for two or three hours. My mom would have his clothes pressed and his lunch or dinner made. He'd jump in the car and go to work and he'd come back and sleep for two or three hours. She'd wake him up. That was his life, that's the way he worked. Was that second job working in a casino as well or was he doing other tasks? He did other tasks. I should have said that back in Los Angeles, when he came back from the war, he started working in the grocery industry in produce. He always loved working in produce, so that would be a second job for him. You said he came back from the war. Are you referring to World War II? World War II. 3 What service? He was a paratrooper, but he was seriously hurt in training. What about your mother? She was born in Los Angeles, also. She did not really work for the most part. She was a homemaker, took care of us, and took care of our father. I should have asked this in the beginning. How do you identify yourself, as a Chicano; Latino; Hispanic? My mom told me when I was young when asked that question to say I was an American. Do you know her reasoning behind that? Oh, she was proud. She was part Italian, part Spanish. My father was Mexican. His father had changed his surname when they grew up in Kansas when he was a little boy so his father could get a job on the railroad because, I guess, of the discrimination at that time against Mexicans. Your ancestral roots are Mexican? Yes, and Italian and Spanish. What was schooling like in Las Vegas? Since my father worked really hard and long, he was able to put us in private school. I went to Saint Anne's for five years and then I went away to a Catholic military academy, a very nice prestigious military academy in California for three years. I came back to Bishop Gorman High School for four years. What was Gorman like during that time? For me it was the best of times and the worst of times. I was very involved from the beginning. I was president of the band. I was an accomplished musician at a very young age. I even played professionally starting my last year in high school. I was the captain of the bowling team and a 4 member of the inner council. Gorman was good for a lot of things, but it had its problems and its issues, such as bullying that still exists today. What was the community in the school like? What was it demographically made up of? Demographically, call it a hundred kids in our class, graduated '72, I would say probably a dozen of them were African American, 20 percent were Latino whether they were Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, et cetera, and all the rest were Anglo. What kind of bullying did you witness or experience there? Oh, firsthand I was called out to a fight by the captain of the wrestling team, who was not a freshman like me, the very first day. He was a football player and captain of the wrestling team. The coach of the football called us into his office the next morning, because he heard about the fight, he asked one question. The only thing he wanted to know was who got the better of it. That's all he asked. I looked at the captain of the wrestling team and he didn't say anything, because he didn’t win the fight. But bullying still persisted even for me, but I always stuck up for myself. Bullies go for the low-hanging fruit, which isn't me, but it persisted even in weeks after that and years after that. It never stopped, not just for me, but for others too. That's the environment. It still happens to this day and I know that firsthand because of my children’s experiences. You're on guard for that. I have to be. It's just the way it is. It's life, but my dad raised me well. He grew up in East L.A. and some of the family were amateur boxers, some were professional boxers so fighting wasn't anything I was afraid of, just something I had to live with. What were your favorite subjects studying? Always math. Even when I was a little kid, four, five years I’d play the dot-to-dot books with the 5 numbers, I could go for hours and hours and never stop. What was your home life like? What kind of foods did you grow up eating? Mom loved to cook Mexican food and did a wonderful job. We always looked forward to our enchiladas, red chili and beans, green chili and beans. The whole neighborhood would come over when she would cook. She would make it at varied temperatures of hot so everybody could enjoy. I remember my dad and brother would sit there with a washcloth—and my brother—with a washcloth with ice in it and they'd take a bite of food, then they'd stuck the washcloth with the ice in their mouth, and take another bite. I remember my best friend, Mary Lou, coming over and she goes, "I've got to try some of that." She was a judge's daughter. She took a bite and ran home screaming, just screaming in pain. We still joke about it to this day. What were holidays like, particularly Christmas? Even though my father was a casino worker, we lived in a neighborhood where there were attorneys, judges, doctors, et cetera. That's the lifestyle he wanted to provide for his family. At Christmas time he went way, way, way overboard. He bought me my first car at age fifteen. I couldn't even get a learner's permit until fifteen and a half. When I was fifteen and a half and I got my learner's, I couldn't tell you, six, seven, eight people or more from Gorman, my classmates were all there when I came back from taking that test. They wanted their ride because it was the fastest car in Gorman. What car was it? It was a 1970 Challenger RT with a big motor that my dad let me put big racing slicks on it, and fix it up with racing motor parts and everything. It was a very fast car. You were hot stuff, weren't you, in a car like that? I was popular in school with everybody. 6 That's great. And I was friends to everybody. Did your siblings also attend Bishop Gorman? Yes. What was it like for them? Did they have a different experience than you did? Yes. My brother who is three years behind me, he didn't get bullied, not that I'm aware of. Then my sister, she was very quiet in school at Gorman. She had a few friends and that was all. It's like many schools. I'm sure there's different experiences for different kids. What was the Latino population like in the city? When we came in the fifties and early sixties? You knew the other Hispanic or Latino kids. Everybody knew each other because the town was under a hundred thousand. We were the only Garcia in the phone book, my father used to brag about that back then, the first Garcia in town, I guess, at least in the phone book. That is eclectic. That's what he used to tell me. I can't tell you if it's true, Barbara, but that's what he used to tell me. We can check that. We have the phone books. I know you can. Were there certain areas where the Latino population would stay or would they spread out? Even though Las Vegas was very small then, they would spread out. I knew where many of the casino people worked. Anything south of Sahara, there really wasn't much there; it was a lot of land. Most everybody lived, that I knew anyway, somewhere just east of Las Vegas Boulevard 7 between Sahara and Charleston, John S. Park Elementary and then J.C. Fremont was where we spent our summers in the gymnasium there, inside, outside. What were those neighborhoods like? They were nice. By our standards, they were nice. Today you drive be there...My son gets scared. Do you have any early favorite memories of Las Vegas growing up? All favorite memories. Could you tell us about them? Sure. What I like to talk about is when we were very small, my mother would get her hair done at the Tropicana Hotel and usually on a Sunday. She would take some of the neighborhood kids and us there and we would go play hide-and-go-seek in the hotel where all the rooms were because it was all kind of a dislocated hotel at that time, just piecemealed together. We'd run all around different floors playing hide-and-go-seek. Then the old Frontier had two trains behind there. It was kind of like the Old West. The Hacienda had go-karts and horse riding. Behind the old Frontier, where Circus Circus is now, was an outdoor drive-in. Did you ever go to that drive-in? All the time. Do you remember any particular movies that you watched there? Yes, I remember seeing Son of Flubber and the Nutty Professor with Jeremy Lewis. I also remember seeing other movies downtown at El Portal and Fremont, like Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia. Did you participate in the Easter egg hunts that they had on the Strip ever? 8 No, but what I do remember are the Helldorado Days on Fremont Street. I really thought they were locking you up when they put you in those little jails. I didn't know they were fundraisers. I was too small to understand how it worked. I said, "I don't want to get locked up." Did you participate in the parade? No. Other fond memories are Fantasy Park, which is now where the Governor's office is down on North Las Vegas Boulevard. That park was much, much, much bigger then. We'd just kind of roll down the hill. They may still have it, but it had an old train and an old jet that you could jump on and play in. We used to have a lot of fun doing that. Twin Lakes was another one. That's one that's fun to look at if you go through history in the fifties and the sixties. There was a pool that actually had little rock pellets on the bottom with slides and diving boards. That was the public pool. There were two public pools in town at the time. You could even rent rowboats. There was also a lake next to the swimming pool that was a lot of fun, so that was a big treat for us. It was a really nice park. Do you remember segregation? Oh, yes, you better believe it. That's something that our students don't know about really about Las Vegas history. Could you describe that a little bit, what you remember? Sure. There was still segregated living around where the Moulin Rouge used to be. When I went to high school, we still had riots and there were fights and you had to stay on your toes. It wasn't always like that, but there were times. Once in a while in school, when you walked to class, you had to be careful sometimes because fights would erupt all of a sudden. I remember they had to cancel a basketball game or two back then. I also remember my dad went to the Sahara Hotel looking for work. That's when the big 9 minority movement started where minorities were getting more visible and working together as a group. He went to the table for minorities to get work at this job fair. I remember them telling him, "You're not the right color." In other words, he wasn't black, so they were not going to help him, and so he couldn’t get a job and claim he's a minority. How did your father handle that? He just went looking for another job. He was always looking for a job. In those days, they could fire you on a whim. They'd fire a whole shift on Christmas Eve. That's just the way it was. Casinos could do it without any explanation and they would, most of the hotels, if not all of them. You had no job security, no accountability. Casinos could fire as they pleased. He's ninety-three. He turned ninety-three a few days ago and he still has all of his casino aprons. He still has playing cards in boxes from the various hotels. That has to be a really nice collection. That's got to be fun. It's interesting, the books that have been written about the history of Las Vegas including the mob. I can tell you firsthand those books are not exactly all accurate. My family was working at those hotels so they knew exactly what happened firsthand. How might he have written those chapters, do you think? I would not want to go there because those are very sensitive issues even to this day. My mother even asked my dad, "Why don't you tell some of the real stories?" It's just not a good idea. Other family moved to Las Vegas? Yes, many, many of our family came after us, aunts and uncles, and cousins. Did they all continue to work in the casino industry? Every one of them did, yes. Growing up I would go visit my grandmother in L.A., and some of my aunts and uncle and cousins were living in the house with her. Who knows how many? There 10 was a lot of people living in that house. That's just the way it was. In Las Vegas, we had people living together in our house or next door to us that were all family. It was always a big family around us. What were your plans after high school when you graduated from Bishop Gorman? My mother always told me I was going to college. She said, “When you get out of school, you're going to get a job." I didn't get a job the first week and she kept pestering me to get a job. And I go, "Mom, I got a job." I go, "I'm going to drive a taxi." I'm joking with her, but she doesn't know I'm lying. She goes, "I'll give you one more week." I wasn't going to drive a taxi, but I was trying to find a job still. You said that to tease her. Yes. I ended up working in a Safeway grocery store. I worked in a grocery store during high school and the first year of high school. Those are always good jobs. They're good jobs. I worked all the different departments from produce to dairy to cashiering. I learned a lot. Did you attend UNLV? Yes, five years. I graduated with honors. I had scholarships for at least three of the years, full ride. What did you study when you came to UNLV? What I ended up graduating with was a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting, but I tried a few other majors prior to that. What caused me to continue and pursue accounting was I had a teacher, Dr. Hamilton, in intermediate accounting. There's three semesters to that class. He took a personal interest not only in me, but in others in the class. It 11 was a small class. It was that support and confidence that he gave me that caused me to stay with accounting. I think I got straight A's for three years there. I didn't start out that way my first year, but eventually I figured things out a little bit. Were you the first in your family to go to college? Yes, and the first to graduate. What was that experience like for you, at least that first year of college? Can you tell me about it? I didn't really know anybody at UNLV, so whatever people went from Gorman— I might have known two or three people, but that was about it. I just signed up for classes. I didn't know what I was doing. My parents weren't able to provide me any guidance. They didn't graduate from high school. I didn't have any help whatsoever. I didn't have any assistance from the school or anybody else. I didn't know what I was doing. I just signed up for the classes that the school told me to sign up for. How did you even apply? Did you get help from your counselors in high school to apply for college? No. I didn't even know that we had counselors then. I had no guidance whatsoever. That's been pretty much all my life just figuring it out on my own. When did it finally click for you at UNLV? Accounting. Can you tell me about the university? What was it like at the time? I have all good memories there. I had friends I studied with. We all studied hard and we all tried to get the best grades we could. I worked during the summers while I was at UNLV as many as a hundred and twenty hours a week during the summers and sometimes eighty hours during the 12 school year. I'd get up, go to a job in construction at five in the morning, then go to school, and come back after school and go finish construction. That's just kind of the way it was. You were working construction while going to school? Sometimes, yes. I was actually UNLV's first math and business tutor, which included finance, accounting, and management. I was approached by Clayton Bywaters who was an assistant football coach. He asked me if I'd like to tutor his football players. I got paid between fifteen and twenty dollars an hour. My question was, "Can I put a few of the kids in the class at the same time and make two to three times that?" He goes, "I haven't thought of it, but I don't see why not." I kind of transitioned from working construction to getting paid more. I had a lot of students. I was tutoring as much as I could. Then it caught on and then all of a sudden there were a hundred other tutors or so there. What was the university like itself physically? How many buildings were there? What I remember was there was only a handful of buildings. There was a student union that still exists today, but in a different format, of course. To the east of the Student Union—we used to call it the Humanities Building back then. The building with the columns. Beam Hall? It's on the Maryland Parkway side. I think you mean FDH. I can't remember its actual name. It's the taller building. It's the taller building with the president's office in it. Yes, the president's office is in there. That was humanities there and where the business school was the business classes; that was political science around there. What was the student population like at UNLV? 13 I don't know, but it wasn't very big. Any particular favorite memory from UNLV that you would like to share with us? I enjoyed a lot of my classes; my accounting classes, my business law with Dr. Seidman. My favorite story is when I was graduating and I applied to law school, I was not a good writer, but I knew that I had to write a good letter for a scholarship and I knew that I needed somebody to look over and critique my letter. I said to myself, "Well, who is the highest authority in terms of English at the school?" I thought, oh, it's got to be Dr. Campbell. I said, "I'll go ask Dr. Campbell. She doesn't know me, but I'm going to go ask her for help." I took my paper up there. She got it and she read it in her office. She crumbled it into a wad. She threw it in the trashcan. I said, "So, Dr. Campbell, what do you think?" So she said, "It's the biggest piece of shit"—her words, not mine—"that I've read in a long time. But don't feel offended. They're going to get thousands of other letters just like yours." So I said, "What do you mean?" She says, "They're all going to sound the same. So I encourage you to go back and write from the heart. What you said was that if you're fortunate enough to receive a scholarship that once you get out of law school, you're going to give back to the community. That's your intent. That's your promise." She said, "That isn't what's going to happen. First of all, you probably won't graduate. Second of all, if you do graduate, you're going to work so hard and so many hours and the pay isn't going to be very good, so you won't have the time nor the money to give back in time or money. And if you are successful, which you may or may not be, you're going to be a lot older and by that time you just may have forgotten the promise you made many, many years younger." So I said, "Thank you." I wrote my letter and I sent it off. I only applied to about three or 14 four law schools. I got accepted to two, the University of San Diego School of Law and University of Santa Clara, both Catholic schools, coincidentally. I get these two offers and go, what do I do? Our family, had never really traveled. I'd been to Los Angeles and San Diego, but that's it. So I said, "I've been to San Diego, so I'll tell them no. Santa Clara? I'll see what's out that way." So I tell them yes. I can't remember exactly how it happened. But Santa Clara offered me a scholarship for the full three years. They only had one or two scholarships that they gave out that year; that was it, out of two hundred plus students and three to five thousand applicants. How did you decide law school? My mother told me I needed to be a lawyer or a doctor. When I took biology I knew right away that was not for me. I said, "I can't even pronounce those big words let alone memorize them." I still remember the concepts, but it just wasn't for me in terms of the educational component, memorizing too many unfamiliar words. I don't think that way. I think in relative terms, so a word that I can't relate to, I have nothing to compare it against. You go off to law school and what is that experience like? I went one year and I didn't really think I would enjoy working in law. I enjoyed learning law. The reason I decided not to continue is because the first semester I got better than average grades, but they weren't straight A's. Actually, at University of Santa Clara, which is one or two years older than Stanford, nobody in that law school in history has ever graduated with a straight-A average. I wasn't top five percent of the class and that was my intent, so I knew I wasn't going to be a top student. I didn't enjoy the learning process because the first semester I couldn't read all of the assigned because you had to read a hundred and some odd pages per class every week. I can't read at that pace—that's too much for me—and retain it. 15 I resorted to CliffsNotes the second semester. I could pass the test, but I wasn't learning. I refused to continue to go to school. I'm stubborn that way. If I can’t learn, I’m not going to go do it. If that what it takes to get me through law school, I'm just not going to do it. I'll go do something else that I'm better at. That summer I applied in the investment industry as a stockbroker to I think it was five, maybe six national firms in Las Vegas. Actually, I should go back. That summer I was hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains, my knee gave out, and I was stuck. It was a fifteen-mile hike and I couldn't get back. A couple came up behind me and didn't want to leave me there, so we just started talking for hours. He told me that he had just got done traveling the world. I said, "Well, how do you get to do something like that?" And he goes, "Well, I work hard so I can play hard." I go, "I've watched my father work hard and I know how to work hard. I may not work that smart, but I know how to work hard.