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Interview with Donald David James, July 12, 2006


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Narrator affiliation: Environmental Protection Specialist, Public Health Service, Environmental Protection Agency

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James, Donald David. Interview, 2006 July 12. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Donald James July 12, 2006 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Leisl Carr © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Donald James July 12, 2006 Conducted by Leisl Carr Table of Contents Introduction: birth Erie, CO ( 1933), life on farm, work at RFP ( ca. 1956- 61) and USPHS ( Nevada, 1961) as radiation monitor. 1 Involvement at Three Mile Island ( 1979). 4 Evolution of radiation monitoring, from the U. S. Army to the EPA. 5 Life in Mercury, NV. 6 Description of work as offsite radiation monitor. 8 Work on Palanquin ( 1965). 14 Health effects on Downwinders and on animals during atmospheric testing. 16 Work with Nevada ranching families during atmospheric testing. 18 Talks about details of gathering samples offsite and processing data in labs. 22 Requirements for security clearance. 25 Discusses work on long- term hydrologic program ( begun 1972) and other offsite projects. 27 Talks about animal kills for testing at the NTS. 29 Recalls work on Kiwi reactor tests, and participation in Johnnie Boy ( 1962). 30 Relationship with Nevada ranching families. 32 Memories of farm life in Colorado. 37 Transition of work from Mercury to UNLV, and interaction with townspeople offsite. 35 Talks about job and enjoyment of work, and reasons for retirement. 37 Describes the production of devices at Rocky Flats, and final closure of the plant. 39 Remembers move to new USPHS ( later EPA) facility at UNLV ( 1960s), and connection between EPA and UNLV. 40 Recounts stories about Ken Giles: encounters with mountain lions, collaring deer for testing. 42 Details work with Noble gas units at Three Mile Island ( 1979). 46 Talks about sampling work on fires at Bandelier, NM and Hanford, WA. 50 Recalls experiences during cleanup work on Enewetak ( 1972). 51 Chasing radioactive clouds with Dick Kramkowski ( including a Lakers’ basketball game and a trip to Mexico) ( 1962). 54 Difficulties of taking readings and logging information in the field. 58 Involvement with Baneberry ( 1970). 61 Conclusion: radiation exposure as part of the job. 62 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Donald James July 12, 2006 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Leisl Carr [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Don James: I’m Don James. I was born in Erie, Colorado, March 10th of 1933. I was raised on a farm up till I was twenty- six years old or twenty- seven, and then I came out here to Nevada to go to work for the United States Public Health Service [ USPHS]. I worked with my dad and my brother on the farm there outside of Erie, two miles north of Erie, Colorado. After my brother got out of the Army in 1954, we tried farming but there was quite a drought, so we both— he went back to school at Colorado Aggies, which Colorado State University now, and he graduated from there. I went to work out at Rocky Flats Plant [ RFP, Golden, CO] between Boulder and Denver. It was a weapons facility that made triggering devices for nuclear weapons. I was a radiation monitor there, and I worked there for almost five years till January of 1961. Then I came out here to Nevada and worked with the United States Public Health Service as a radiation monitor offsite at the Nevada Test Site [ NTS], where they did nuclear reactors in the early sixties and also atmospheric and underground nuclear testing. We were offsite monitors. We were stationed at Mercury, Nevada. We worked there for about three years, and then we were transferred to Las Vegas at the university, where we had our offices. We worked out of the university every time they had an underground nuclear shot and atmospheric shots. They had four atmospheric shots in 1962, I believe, or ’ 63, and I forgot the names. I believe that one of them was called Little Feller I. And Small Boy and Johnnie Boy and Little Feller I and II, I believe. I’d have to look in my book and find out about that. Leisl Carr: No problem. We’ll help you verify all of that stuff. You don’t have to worry about that. We’ll make sure we get it right. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 And I’ve been here ever since. Wonderful. Now, you say Army, is that correct? My brother was in the Army. Your brother was in the Army. Did you do any service in World War II or did you just miss that cutoff? No, I missed that. That’s probably good. And your brother served as how? In what capacity? He was in the Army from 1951 to 1953, and he served his time— he served a year in Europe. And then you guys made plans to farm up in Colorado? Right. My dad had a 300- acre irrigated farm and also had 1,200 acres of dry land where we grew a summer fall of wheat. We grew half of it in wheat and then the next year we’d grow another 500 acres and then summer, and the other we’d left where the soil could— what do you call it? Fallow? You left it fallow? Right. So it could aerate and then— Right, and then we planted over every other year. Wonderful. But that didn’t work out. No, it got very dry and we didn’t have any water, and then both my brother— he went back to college and then I went to work at Rocky Flats. Then the time when the water came in, I believe it was in 1955 or ’ 56, sometime in there, when the big Thompson project came through. and my dad got lots of water, got 300 acre feet of water, but we’d already got jobs. I came out here and my brother got a job with the government, with the Bureau of Land Management [ BLM], and we UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 made government our jobs from then on. Later my dad sold the farm and the dry land and he moved to town, to Longmont, Colorado. What an interesting change in your life, to have just missed that project, just a little too late. [ 00: 05: 00] Well, actually, working with the Public Health Service and then the United States EPA [ U. S. Environmental Protection Agency], both my brother and I were very fortunate. He was in the Bureau of Land Management and he worked with ranchers and so forth like that, and I did too. I worked with all the ranchers out here in Nevada, the Fallinis and the Sharps and the Cliffords and the Manzonis and the Uhaldes. The Uhaldes were from Spain; well, actually it’s a little country out north of Spain between France and— it’s Basque people. Very nice people. We worked with a lot of them. They run sheep out there in central Nevada. So it was just like working on the farm because you met all the ordinary farm and ranching people. Well, that’s really interesting. So you’re coming from a ranching- farming area and you’re going into a ranching- farming area. That’s right. I never thought about it that way. Did you do the same thing at Rocky Flats? Most of there was inside of buildings. I never did really care for it. It was the same type of job, as radiation monitor, but it was different. It was where you actually built the nuclear devices. In the wintertime you’d go there, it’d be dark, and when you left it’d be dark, and you worked underground. Most of the buildings were underground. I didn’t particularly care for it, I was an outside person. But it was very good experience. I learned a lot about radiation monitoring. Did you have any experience before that? I’m really unfamiliar with that. No, when I went to work at Rocky Flats they put me in a training program. You passed a test and then went into a monitoring training program which lasted three years. You took tests every three UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 months and as long as you passed them you moved along. Then after three years you passed your final test in radiation monitoring and got your certificate. After I got my certificate, about six months later I got this job out here. I found out about it and applied for it and I was accepted and so I went to work for the government, for forty- three years exactly, from January the 9th to January the 9th of 2004. No kidding. Forty- three years on the nose. Forty- three years. I hope you got an award for that. I hope they gave you something for that. That’s a good chunk. Oh, yeah. I received two gold medals in my forty years. One was for the Three Mile Island [ TMI]. We were there. There were seventeen of us there twenty- four hours after the Three Mile Island episode. And in fact, TWA [ Trans World Airlines], the EPA contracted them and we sent, I think it was, twelve tons of equipment to Three Mile Island, monitoring equipment, within twenty- four hours. We had it all set up in less than thirty- six hours. Once we got there, we worked all night and all day to set up all the equipment, seventeen of us. Wow. This was in 1979, is that correct? Yes, 1979. I believe it was in March of 1979. I don’t know much about that incident except that it changed people’s views of nuclear energy. We had all the noble gas units set up right away. Wow. One of the things I need to understand, and this is why you’re so important to this project, is you have forty- three years of experience; you have this whole spectrum that you’ve covered. What I would like to ask you to do is sort of give me an overview of how it moved from the sixties, when you worked with the Public Health Service, into the EPA, and then the different shifting things that the EPA did. Does that make sense? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 Well, most of it was more or less the same. The United States Public Health Service, most of the people came here— when the testing started, I believe it was here in [ 00: 10: 00] 1952, the Army was in charge of all the onsite and offsite radiation monitoring. They’d have people that was in the Army assigned to different towns for six months to a year. They were actually living in the community like Ely and Tonopah and Alamo, Nevada and Caliente, and they’d live there. Well, in 1957, it was transferred over to the United States Public Health Service, and they took over from the Army all the offsite radiation monitoring. And Reynolds Electric[ al and Engineering Company, REECo] monitoring did the monitoring on the test site, and the Public Health Service people did the offsite monitoring. But everybody was stationed, lived at Mercury. You did, too. Yes, I lived there also, for three years, till we moved in 1964, we moved from Building 155 to the university here in Las Vegas. I think it was Southern Nevada University then, and that’s where our new buildings were. What was that like, living in Mercury? It was pretty nice. You had your own room. You lived in barracks and you had your rooms and the bathrooms were down the hall. It was just like Army barracks is what they were. But you had private rooms. When we got here, we got $ 9.00 a day per diem, and we stayed at Mercury, lived out there. All the breakfast, lunch, and dinners was $ 1.00, and the rooms was $ 5.00 a week, so that $ 9.00 per diem, which was tax- free, was a lot of money. You could live on that and pocket your— what did we get? Every two weeks, I believe, after taxes and everything was $ 114.00. Oh my gosh. And you’d put it in your pocket. Yeah, that was home free. Were you married during that time? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 No. I didn’t get married till May 30th of 1962. But I still stayed out at Mercury during the week, even though I was married— come home on weekends. Was that because it was a long drive? Well, we just had to get up— it wasn’t the drive or anything, we had government vehicles that would go back and forth, but we were working long hours. We’d go out the back way out of the Nevada Test Site, the valley road, and sometimes we’d have to leave at one o’clock in the morning and go out down the valley road, the north entrance of the Nevada Test Site, and then come out on the old highway, State Highway 25 it was called. We’d set up our equipment out there, waiting for the shots and so forth. During the reactors, we’d also work— most of the reactors were done in Area 400, and we’d have to go down into Lathrop Wells and the Amargosa Valley and Death Valley and so forth like that. That’s why we stayed at Mercury, because we had to leave so early in the morning and work late at night. It was easier— and then we had to bring all our samples back into Building 155 at Mercury, so you just really couldn’t come home during the week. That makes sense. In December of 1970, most of all the Civil Service people that was with the Public Health Service just automatically transferred over to the United States EPA. That was a new agency that was formed then. The commissioned officers, which there was a lot of them, stayed with the Public Health Service till they completed their— most of them retired after thirty years. They were forced into retirement. Surgeon General [ C. Everett] Koop at the time decided that thirty years was enough, so he made it mandatory for the commissioned officers to retire after thirty years. A lot of them stayed thirty years, then they retired and usually went to work for Los Alamos [ National] Laboratories [ 00: 15: 00] [ LANL] or Sandia [ National Laboratories, SNL] or UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 Lawrence Livermore [ National Laboratory, LLNL]. Then after two years they could come back as civil servants into the United States EPA. Interesting. That’s a way to extend your career. A lot of them did, and some of them went to different jobs but still stayed in the nuclear industry. How did that transition affect you? Well, I was Civil Service, so it didn’t bother— they just automatically turned me over into the United States EPA. Did the job change at all? No. Did exactly the same job, and the same bosses, same supervisors. Nothing changed except you went from Public Health Service to EPA. So your little patch changed. That was all. That’s it. It was a little different because when you’d go up to Ely, at that time they were closing the copper facility up there, the smelter, and the EPA was more or less involved in the closure because of the pollution. So when you went up and you had your little patch on your shoulder, which I did, I was kind of proud of it, so anyway people were a little hostile, especially that worked with the copper company there. So I decided I’d better not wear my patch and I just said I was with the Public Health Service for many years after that. A lot of people never knew the difference, till finally after a few years it just went away; they didn’t care if you were EPA or what anymore. The newness had worn off, and the hostility. I understand. Right. But when you get about 2,000 people lose their jobs, they were a little hostile up there. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Right. That’s interesting. Can you tell me what it was like doing your job? Specifically when you did radiation monitoring, what did you do? I need you to paint me a visual picture of it if you can. Like I’ll take one— on a lot of the shots we’d go out— a lot of them wouldn’t vent, but you’d still have to go out and leave early in the morning, usually about one, 1: 30 in the morning, drive, oh, 100, 150 miles. It’d still be dark and then they’d position you in where you wanted by radio, because we had repeaters all over, Net 12, where they thought if there was a venting or a release of radioactive material. Then we’d set up our equipment and so forth like that, or get ready to set it up. If there was a venting, then you were positioned in where they figured the cloud would pass over you, the radioactive cloud. Then you’d set out your equipment and get it all started and then monitor the passing of the cloud with handheld instruments and also your air samplers and so forth like that, till the cloud passed. Then you’d move on down and follow the cloud, which would sometimes if— would take days. You’d just follow it from wherever you contacted it, like it was in the Gunnery Range and you’d just proceed on and follow it. They did it with ground people, which were us, and also with airplanes, and they’d track it. They could position you from the airplanes on where the cloud was going to be. Is this a cloud you can see with your naked eye or is it one—? At first you could. You could actually see the fallout. I was in some fallout there in Gold Flats which is north of Area 20 at the Nevada Test Site. I was right just about in the line of the cloud passage and I’d doubled back my instruments so it wouldn’t get them contaminated. I set them on the hood of the vehicle before the cloud— I could see the cloud coming. It was dark and it was covering the whole Belted Range, mountain range, the fallout was coming. When it started UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 coming in, of course, the scintillator, it went right to 5 mR [ milliroentgen] immediately, pegged it out, even before the cloud got there, just from the shine. [ Palanquin test, April 14, 1965] The shine is? From the fallout. I don’t know exactly how to explain it. You weren’t getting fallout yet but— But it was the evidence that it was coming. Yeah, right. Gotcha. It pegged it out, so then I went to my other instruments and then the fallout started [ 00: 20: 00] coming. I was sitting in the vehicle and it was coming down so heavy, I turned the window wipers on in the vehicle to knock the debris off, the fallout, so I could see the instruments. I still couldn’t see them because I couldn’t see— it was falling onto the plastic bags that I had the instruments in, so I had to get out every so often and shake them out. So it pegged out the E- 500B which goes up to 2 R, 2 roentgens. And then I went to my other instruments. We had some old Army instruments, and I forgot exactly what they called them. We had them set for— Reynolds Electric had theirs set up to 500 roentgens. Ours was set for 50 roentgens because we were farther away. So it started going up 5 R, 6 R, 7 R, quite rapidly. Oh god. Still had my window wipers going and get out and shake the bag and to look, and it got up to 10 R and I says, well, I think it’s about time to get out of here because—. It’s a little more than—. Wow. So I called on the radio and I said, Lee, well, turn the truck around, and started out, and just as I was leaving I started putting the instruments in the vehicle and it was reading 12 roentgens, which is pretty good because 500 roentgens is fatal, full body dose. One hour, you’ve had it, you ain’t going to make it. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 You’re a little cooked? Well, you’re a goner in a couple of weeks, two to three weeks. So I figured that’s the time to leave. So I went on down and got out of the way. Well, my instruments were— couldn’t use my scintillator; it was completely wiped out for hours later because it was completely saturated. E- 500B, after I got out of the cloud, I unbagged everything and tried to get them down, but the truck was, it was running about 500 mR on it, milliroentgens. The radiator and so forth, it was pretty cracked up. So went back in. I figured— and I had about 60 mR on me, I was in the truck most of the time. So I was going back to Mercury on the valley road that’s the north entrance into the— the road into Gate 700. And so I get there and they had some REECo monitors there and it set their instruments off. They said, Where you coming from? And we had a big long conversation. I said, I was out in Gold Flats, and I said, I’m going into the CP [ control point]. I got to get the truck deconned and so forth like that. So a fellow followed me into the CP and went in there and I got deconned and took my clothes and everything and so forth like that. Put me in coveralls and took my shoes and bagged them up in a big plastic bag. Then they deconned the truck, and I went back to 155 and put on some regular clothes. Believe it or not, kept my clothes and brought them home and the wife did them in the laundry. No kidding. Just put them in the washer. Yeah, they still had, I think, 25 mR on them. Did that a lot. Oh my God! Do you still have them? Oh yeah, they were clean after. But in those days, that’s what you did. You didn’t— It wasn’t quite the— UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 Yeah, they didn’t have the thing. They just run amok, we did, in those days. We were more interested in documenting the cloud and where it went. And then the next day, I ended up, I think it was, oh, a lot of shots ended up into Idaho and northern Nevada and Elko and all over. Then on the reactors in ’ 61 and ’ 62 and ’ 63, ’ 64, and ’ 65, we’d be out in the Amargosa when they’d fire the reactors. They were on railroad cars. They’d bring them out of the E- MAD [ Engine Maintenance, Assembly, and Disassembly] Building, and they were turned upside down. You brought them out and then they’d run the reactor. Well, the coolant in it is graphite, and they’d shoot out the graphite. They’re like grains of sand; they become radioactive. There in the Amargosa Valley, which is south of Lathrop [ 00: 25: 00] Wells, probably twenty miles from the reactor, me and Jerry Carrillo, we were on the road, we’d put an scintillator up on the dashboard of the vehicle and we’d go down those dirt roads, and when the scintillator would peg out we’d say, oh- oh, we got a graphite pellet out there somewhere. They’re like a grain of sand. You can’t see them. So then we had our E- 500B and we had it where we had a stick with a probe so you wouldn’t have to bend down and hurt your back, you could stand up with this probe, you had the hook down like that [ demonstrating], and then you could go down and you’d set up and you’d go out in the desert and go around until you found that graphite. You had to find that one piece of graphite? Yeah, it’d be laying out there. You’d find it because it was really radioactive. So we’d get up there, and then you’d have a big spoon with a plastic sack and you’d lift it up and lift it up and get your E- 500B on there, Geiger counter, and see if you had it, then you’d chunk it in the plastic bag. You’d tie it up and sit it and then put it in the back of the truck. You’d find a lot of them in the mRs, 400, 500 mRs. Well, this one we found, it was 2 roentgens, 2 R. So going back in, I believe this was in ’ 63 or somewhere in there, [ it was either B- 4D- 202 Kiwi on May 1964 or B- UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 4E- 301 Kiwi on August 28, 1964] it was one of the Kiwi shots, then going back we were about 100 feet from the entrance to Mercury and we set off the gamma alarm because we had all these graphite pellets, set off the gamma alarm when we were bringing them back. So anyway, we went up there. On a lot of the shots, reactors and shots, Reynolds Electric, all of their instruments, they were also in Building 155. They had the west end and we had east end of the buildings. Well, a lot of the Plowshare shots, they all vented, and so did, you know, the reactors, well, we had all— our trucks become contaminated. We’d come back— well, on one of the shots, all of us, we had about eight vehicles that were all contaminated and we didn’t stop at the CP to get them deconned because they wanted all the vegetation and the soil and the water and everything that we’d picked up after cloud passage, they told us to bring them in immediately into Building 155 so they could get them counted and so forth: the air filters and the soil and the water and the vegetation, on our counting equipment there. So we all pulled up there, about eight, nine, ten vehicles, right along the north side of the building. We just accidentally parked them down where the REECo, all of their monitoring equipment was. So of course, bringing everything in there, we had it on outside and we were rebagging everything and being very good and bringing them in so we could check everything on our instruments. Well, their background went up because of the trucks, they were so contaminated; this is through a concrete wall and the trucks were just parked right there only about three feet away. Well, all their instruments, they just boom! They couldn’t do anything because their instruments was—. Your trucks had mucked up their—. We’d saturated their instruments from the radiation coming from our trucks, so they couldn’t count any of their stuff. We had to back the trucks up, and everybody— called the fire UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 department, they came up there and we backed our trucks up about 200 feet and took them out over there in the desert. They came and washed— because a lot of the fallout from the trucks had dropped off there, and they washed everything down away from Building 155. Then it settled everything down where they could count and we could count everything. We had all the bags and the soil and everything outside, away from the building. We’d bring them in after we rebagged them and kind of kept them in lead shields. Some of the stuff that we brought down later on when we brought it to the university, we moved our lab down here, and you had to keep everything outside, paper everything in, before you brought the vegetation in, and some of it was so hot, the [ 00: 30: 00] vegetation, that they couldn’t even put it into the machines because you would contaminate— it’d be too hot, so you’d just leave the big doors open on the counting machine and you’d set it out on a chair and count them that way. Wow. That’s an interesting procedural issue. Well, it did, you’d find out what isotope and everything else was in it. But you counted out— you couldn’t put them inside. No. I don’t imagine. I did have one question on that fallout story you told me. Do you remember what year that was or what test that was? There were several of them. Several of them that you—? Yeah. The one I really— I think it was Palanquin. You’re going to have to get a book like this. You can get this from the Department of Energy. [ DOE/ NV- 209 REV 15 December 2000] We have some. You’ve got it? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 Yes, we do. This is very interesting. You can go through here, they’re all logged down, every shot— This one is called the United States Nuclear Tests, 1945 to 1992. Oh, nice. Let’s see, I think it was April of ’ 64 [ looking through book]. I remember this one because I’ll tell you a little story on that one. Absolutely. That was ’ 65 [ referring to Palanquin]. Pike was the one where it came down through Las Vegas. There was a guy here at one of the schools, he was demonstrating a Geiger counter to his students when the cloud passed over, and I guess it registered about 1 mR, 2 mR, or something like that. And the cloud, that was Pike. That was March of 1964? Yeah, and the cloud went clear down into Mexico. Oh wow! You guys didn’t have to chase it that far, did you? Well, I was off for eleven months during that one there. I went to work at a plumbing company for eleven months and then I went back to work. I was gone eleven months during ’ 64 to ’ 65. I came back in— let’s see, I’ll show you here what we got. Where is it? [ Referring to book] This one right here. Palanquin in April— Palanquin. Release of radiation. That was up there. We chased that. It vented and it went up through— straight north of the test site, up through the Belted Range, over Highway 25, down 8- A down to Austin, and we chased it clear up into there. I ended up— no, there were several of us Public Health Service officers and Civil Service, Public Health Service people— I ended up in Winnemucca. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 That’s way out there. It had snowed and rained just as the cloud was passing, and dropped everything down into— the radiation contamination, into Kings and Paradise Valley there out north of Winnemucca, Nevada. We were there for six weeks. We had people at Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, and Elko, the whole area in there. Well anyway, the ones I’m most familiar with is Kings and Paradise Valley, which is fifty miles north of Winnemucca. I was there six weeks. There was about eight of us there in Winnemucca, and then they had six or seven people, Public Health Service officers, in Battle Mountain and some in Elko. We picked up milk from people’s dairy cows, or family cows is what they were. Right. Because there’s a big ranching history out there, isn’t there? Right. I had, I think, six ranches in Kings Valley and there was about five places in Paradise Valley. Well, I did most of my run every day up through Kings Valley, up to Kings, I went up to Denio and McDermitt. They’re up on the Oregon border, right there on the line. It might be in Oregon. Half of the little town is in— I mean there was only a filling station and a bar and a— it’s [ 00: 35: 00] nothing there. I’d go through, make a circle in Kings Valley and pick up milk from the people, a gallon of milk. I think I had five or six locations. Then I’d bring mine back and everybody would come back and meet at Winnemucca airport and load the plane— it was a Public Health Service airplane— load it up full of milk and vegetation. Then he’d fly on over to Battle Mountain and pick up the samples there, and then into Elko and pick it up, and then back to Las Vegas. He did that every day for six weeks. All the milk was just loaded with radioactive iodine, more than drinking water standard. I think it was all over 5,000 Pico curies per liter. And those kids— in fact I started, after about three days, I’d leave a cubotaner, a one- gallon cubotaner UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 every day and they’d fill it up and then I’d buy milk from the grocery store and bring good milk out to them and leave it and just switch milk with them. Was that your idea or is that just what you did? Yes. We just did it because there was no use— young kids, I mean they were little babies drinking—. In fact probably, just hearsay, I’d say that those young people probably all got thyroid problems now. They’d all be in their late forties. Sure. From the milk contamination? In fact there was a big article here in the paper here about a year ago. The governor of Oregon— see, the Downwinders, they won’t accept Oregon as a state for Downwinders, and man, those people got zapped just like everybody else. I was thinking seriously, I was going to call the governor up there and tell him he could find all of this information there and see what he could do about it because, myself, I think it’s wrong. But they didn’t know anythi