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Interview with Lawrence V. Robinson, November 23, 2004


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Narrator affiliation: Tunnel mechanic, Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (REECo)

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Robinson, Lawrence V. Interview, 2004 November 23. 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 Lawrence V. Robinson November 23, 2004 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Joan Leavitt © 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 Lawrence V. Robinson November 23, 2004 Conducted by Joan Leavitt Table of Contents Introduction: family background in Nebraska, early education, work on the railroad, training as a welder 1 Work for Redstone Arsenal, Alabama during World War II 6 Move to Los Angeles, CA, marriage, family, runs cattle ranch in Beryl, UT 9 Work as welder and as tunnel mechanic for Reynolds Electric ( later REECo) at the NTS ( 1955) 11 Reviews journal of work history beginning in 1934 16 Leaves NTS ( 1971) and works as welder for local companies in Las Vegas 17 Recalls move to Las Vegas, NV ( 1960), recalls watching atmospheric tests at NTS 19 Talks about problems with getting Q- clearance 21 Involvement in music, and starting barbershop quartet in Las Vegas ( 1964) 24 Connection with the Masons 27 Talks more about family background, and most difficult times in life 32 Talks about best times in life 35 Personal family background: marriages, children, work in California 40 Conclusion: retirement activities, comments on what young people should learn 45 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Lawrence V. Robinson November 23, 2004 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Joan Leavitt [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Joan Leavitt: Why don’t we go ahead and start with your family background, your mother and father and their background, their names? L. V. Robinson: My daddy’s name was Sam and he was born in Nebraska City, one of, oh, I guess there must’ve been ten or twelve in that family. But his mother died at an early age, and his dad was a bricklayer and done small contracting. In fact, some of the Peru State Teachers’ College where I went, one of the buildings, my dad used to tell about Grandpa was the contractor on that when they built that. Now you said this was Nebraska City? That’s where my daddy was born. And where was it that he was working as a contractor? Well, wherever the work was, you know. But that one building was part of the campus there. Of course, I just went one semester there. I didn’t like it. Was this the University of Milwaukee? No, no, this was Peru State Teachers’ College in Peru, Nebraska. Peru. How do you spell that? P- E- R- U. I can still remember the old college song. OK. And you only went there for a semester, then. Yes. And you didn’t like it. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Well, think about citizenship and politics, how interesting that would be— and late in the fall, right after lunch, I had my tummy full— and in the basement of the library we had this class. Well, as prose as it was, I went to sleep. And I was sitting right behind one of the posts in the basement there, but I didn’t know it till after that class was over. We was walking across the campus to another class and one guy come and looked and kind of grinned and I said, What’s the matter with you? And he said, Did you hear what that doctor said a while ago? And I said, Oh, what’d he say? And he said, He asked you a question but you didn’t answer him. And pretty soon he said, Well, I guess Mr. Robinson isn’t interested in our conversation. Does anyone else care to answer? Oh, so you hadn’t even known he talked to you. I slept right through it. Well, I kept telling Dad, I don’t like that. I don’t like that at all. It was Dad’s idea. It was a pre- dental. He wanted me to be a dentist. Well, I’m anything but dental material, you know, but anyway finally he got so disgusted with me, he said, All right, you can quit, but you’re going to have to go to work. And so I did. His friend was a depot agent and they had an extra gang come into town— and so Monday morning, and here I’m just an, oh, ninety- eight- pound weakling, almost— And how old were you at this time? Oh, I would’ve been seventeen, probably. So was a teachers’ college, was that something that you did after eighth grade? After high school. I went through high school in Stella, but then I went to Peru. Was that a two- year college? It was a four- year. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 It was a four- year. But you could get your bachelor’s there. So anyway, they put me running a jackhammer on the railroad. So I guess they thought maybe a few hard work, I’d be anxious to go back to school, but I wasn’t. Had you ever done that kind of hard work before? Was that the first time? No, I grew up on a farm. Most of that’s hard work. So anyway, I knew how to drive the mules and stuff. Anyway, let’s see, oh, I did a little job of truck driving, whatever, the contractor come through town. Well, finally I read about this school in Milwaukee. The more I looked at it, so I wrote to them. So everything looked like it’s what I wanted. So my dad was pretty aggravated with me for quitting. He wanted you to be a professional. [ 00: 05: 00] Yes. But I had this to do. I said, Dad, do you suppose Grandpa would loan me money to go to school? I can see that scowl come over his face: I don’t know. You might ask him. Well, they were quite well off, so [ I said], All right, I’ll do it. So I go, and Grandma, she was the book one, you know. So I had to sign a note and when you make some money, when you want to pay on that, she’d get that note out. And so anyway, I knew how to pay my bills, too. At that time, back in the thirties, nobody had any money and so the school, they had it arranged you could work two hours a day for two meals as a busboy in these restaurants around Milwaukee. And breakfast was just talked about. We didn’t have any breakfast. We didn’t have money enough to buy it. But I just had two meals a day for two hours of work as a busboy, and I carried those trays back to the kitchen with my chin in the coffee cup to keep it from tipping over. So it wasn’t easy. So how much money did you end up borrowing from your grandparents? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 Oh, golly, I don’t know. It was several hundred dollars. I know my father’s tuition was fifty dollars, and that was in Utah, so I was just curious if you remembered. Well, it was more than that. It was several hundred but I don’t remember. But you had to busboy your way through to earn the meals. I paid them all back. And then of course then Dad, he said, Well, now, you’ll never amount to a thing. You’ll be just like your old uncle. He was a bricklayer and he was just all over. You’ll be just like your uncle. He was Dad’s oldest brother. Of course, he didn’t take care of his money, you know. So you’ll be just like your uncle. Well, it wasn’t the fault of the trade. It was just my uncle. He just didn’t know how to take care of his money. Some people can really spend it. They spend everything they make. Yes. So he had me pegged like that, so I kind of fooled him. You did well. Well, and with your wife being a bookkeeper- accountant, she probably did a good job of keeping track of things, too. Yes, well, I just let her do it. It’s nice to have someone in the family who does. If she wants to do it and she feels a little superior that way, that she can do it better than I can, well, that’s just all right. Just go ahead and do it. Well, you were telling me that you actually got your degree as an engineer, that you were a welding engineer, but that— go ahead and tell me— a little bit that— but welding engineer jobs were difficult to find? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 They just practically was nonexistent up until the war [ World War II] come along. And then by that time, why, then you could get a job as that, but by that time I had gotten in this other rut, so to speak, you know, and I— You’d taken welding jobs since they— Yes, I just decided to call myself a welder. And then, of course, out here at the [ Nevada] test site, I don’t want to put down that I’m a welding engineer because that was advancing like a lot of other things were and now— Oh, so you felt like the welding technology, you had fallen behind by that time? Well, yes, I felt behind. Oh, that’s why. So I would just write— now if they wanted me to do something, well, I can’t do that, I don’t know. Well, I thought according to your application, you’re a welding engineer. Yes. So I’m not going to get caught— So you just didn’t go there. I’m not going to get caught in the corner, you know. You just didn’t put down welding engineer. You just said welder. No. You could check my record out there right now. Well, during World War II, then, did you go into the military or did you do the home front work? No, by that time bad luck started for me then. I was working in a tank shop in Omaha. Built a back section for these gas transports on the road and they had to put a jack up in there [ 00: 10: 00] to put that false head in there before you put the back part on. And young and foolish and not paying attention, why, the jack slipped out and I was sitting in there and it come down and mashed me and broke my back. So the fourth and fifth vertebrae, they don’t look good on X- ray UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 right now. So anyway, and when the war come along, I think my number was 92. I was just one of the first ones called. But when I go for a physical [ they said], No, we don’t use you. I got a 1- B that time. Well, let’s see, I was in Indiana by that time on a job, and then the next time I come up again, I was in Memphis, Tennessee and that time I got a 4- F. So the guy said that time, You just go back to whatever you’re doing because the war’s going on and you might not be able to keep up, so you just forget about it. But I thought they had me this time, and I already had a friend that was over in North Africa and the Marines was wanting welders over there, building those aquisystems, they called it; so I thought well, I’d rather be over there a long ways from home than picking up cigarette butts for twenty- one dollars a month. So I didn’t feel too bad about it. But anyway, I worked all these government things all over the United States. You mean different government contracts, is that what you’re saying? Yes. What are some of the different contracts you worked? Well, now, one time, my one good job I had, I was in Houston, Texas and I got a telegram to come up in Alabama, up to what is now known as the Redstone Arsenal. At that time, it was a factory to build incendiary bombs in there. And of course, there wasn’t such a thing as a Q- clearance in those days. If you was warm and knew what you was doing, you’d do. In fact of the matter, after they’d get one section a- going, why, they wanted some changeover made. I got to get in where they was filling those bombs, you know. And now you’d have to have the greatest of security to get in there. Not at that time. But it was interesting that I got to see all that stuff. Now is that during the forties that you were doing this? Yes. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 So you got to actually get really close to the bombs, then, and— did you do welding on them at all? Well, no, this was the incendiary bombs. And they were all about that high and about that big around [ indicating size] and they were on a conveyor, and then they’d come down. And where they fill those, there was a little swimming hole right there so if that— oh, what’s that stuff when air hits it, it makes a fire— and it goes around there and there’s an operator here and one here [ indicating positions]. They take every other one and they fill that under water, fill those under water, and then when it gets overfull, why, that comes up and then it makes a fire. And then if these operators get any on them, all they got to do is turn over and dive in there and that puts— so they don’t get burned. So they have to try to keep it from getting exposed to the air, is that what you’re saying? Yes. So I got to see all that, you know. It was interesting. Yes, that was home front work, then, wasn’t it? And [ as] luck would have it, after I got up there, well, there was two contractors. One was a piping contractor and the other one was process piping. Well, the process piping man, I said, Well, here I am. He said, Well, I’m bound by law to put you to work but, he says, I don’t know what I’m going to do with you. I don’t have any equipment. Well, we was riding in the back of a truck from where we hired in, in the head office, and I see all these guys here and knew them all. And I said, Well, what about those guys there? So that’s when he told me they was a different contract. [ 00: 15: 00] And I said, Well, I’ll just get you off the hook. I’ll go back up there and make them put me to work. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 And he said, Boy, that’d sure help if you can do that. Switch companies, then. [ And I said], I can do that. So I knew that one boss. He was from Frankfort, Kentucky. So when I come in there, why, boy, we started talking to each other: Where have you been all this time? I’ve been looking all over for you. And I said, You son- of- a- gun, you haven’t thought about me since the last time. And that’s the way we got along, you see. So he said, Come on here, get busy. Well, I had to go back up to the office and quit that one and hire in on this other one. The main superintendent, I didn’t know him, he was from Memphis. And so later we got acquainted and more acquainted. So finally, I don’t know, we’d been there maybe six months, this guy, he got a job as the welding superintendent on a job in Millington, Tennessee, which is about fifteen miles north of Memphis, on a naval base, and he wanted to pawn that superintendent’s job off onto me. I said, I don’t want it. I’m not that hungry for a job like that. You’re just the goat, you know. If anything goes wrong, it’s your responsibility. Yes, it sound like you prefer to have a job that you get to focus on and finish, rather than having to worry about the— Yes, I just want one to worry about, and that’s me. OK. Don’t want to be a supervisor. I don’t like that because when I have those kind of jobs, I watch this guy doing something. Well, if it’s not too bad, you’re supposed to keep still and then go on. I look at it, and if I was doing it, I’d do it a different way. So I just don’t like a bossing job. Like my son says, anybody can be a UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 boss. But anyway, I followed this one guy up to Memphis and I was the number- two boy hired for that job. And my union card was out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. So I was a gypsy. You did travel all over the place, didn’t you? So did you meet your wife in Las Vegas or—? Yes. So what finally brought you to Las Vegas, then? Well, I left Alabama and went to Los Angeles. I had a twenty- five- foot trailer, and it took me about a week to get there, in January, because I would take the southern route so I’d miss those snow banks. Well, I got out there and I worked and I got married. Well, I didn’t feel good out there, that dampness or something, I didn’t like it. I had gotten married and then this one son come along and he had the same problem I had. So I thought well, if I can get him out of there, get in the high, dry country, why, with me, I felt better. Was it asthma? Was it lungs? Yes. The sea air did that to you, then? Yes. So I read in the paper where some guy had some land he wanted to sell up in Utah. So I went up there and I bought some out there in the Escalante Desert, thirteen miles north of Enterprise. By that time, I had my second boy. He was— well, they were all born in Long Beach, but my girl, I think she was three months old when we moved out on the desert. So she had two brothers, you know, and she grew up just like a boy. Did you have a ranch out there? Yes. You did? Did you raise some cattle? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Yes. Well, I’d go to L. A. and buy these week- old calves and doggie them, doggie- raised, on a bottle; then when they get up springing heavy, send them back down there and make good milk cows. So that’s what I did that way. Oh, you raised milk cows, then. You raised them up to be milk cows and then you sold them to somebody else? I sold them back to the dairies down there. The dairies in California or—? Yes. [ 00: 20: 00] Yes, because I know there were dairies down in southern Utah, too. Oh, yes. Oh, OK. So now when you lived in Escalante, did you—? Not the town of Escalante. This is the Escalante Desert. Beryl [ Utah] was our address. The desert. OK. And was that your home base even when you worked out at the test site? Yes. I’d go home on weekends. So you commuted, then. How far of a commute was that? Well, if you could go west through Modina and Panaca and down through Caliente and come in the back way, it wasn’t too far. Oh, I don’t know. It was over a hundred miles. And you would do that once a week? Yes. So you lived at the test site for a week and then would come home on the weekends? Yes. So how did you get hired at the test site, then? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 I had a cousin, he was a crane operator and worked these foreign jobs all over the world. He was several years older than me. Well— Now what year was this that you came to the test site? About 1955—[ I had a cousin] that was a crane operator— so what happened, I’d got a job, I had my own truck and welding machine, I got a job, I wasn’t working at the test site at the time. Anyway, it sent me up to, oh, it’s a place with a lot of Mexican [ people]— anyway, it was about quitting time and here’s a guy come by with a backhoe. I looked up and it was my cousin Dick, Dick Robinson. Dick. So he didn’t remember me. He was my first cousin. And he right away went from there, he went to the test site. And I said, Do you know anybody there? And he said, Yes. And I said, Well, can you get me on there? It’d be closer to home, you see. So I did, and he was the one that knew the superintendent there, Oakey Spears [ sp] . You probably have heard of Oakey. Well anyway, he got me on there, and I was working swing shift in the welding shop there in Mercury. Well, [ as] soon as that test was over, why, of course, I got laid off. But that was the starter— That’s how you got started. Were you working for Reynolds Electric[ al] and Engineering Company] at the time, then? Yes. OK. So they laid you off, but then they brought you back on, then, for the next test? Well, no, no, I guess from the union, they called me. They needed some hands out there at the test site. But, you know, it was a strange thing. This you’re not supposed to have, but I had it. I UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 had two union cards. I had one with the Operating Engineers and one with the Steam Fitters. Well, this one job, I got a welding job [ to] go out in Jackass welding stainless pipe. Well— Now you said Jackass. Is this Jackass Flats or—? Yes. At Jackass Flats, that’s where the job was? Yes, that’s another part of the test site. Well, it was an unusual kind of a weld, but we had to bell- hole it, in other words, weld it in position. Well, we run out of that good welding rod, so they had some old sloppy cheap rod they got out. So I’m doing that and this ain’t right. I don’t like this. I tried to reset my machine, see if that’d improve it; it didn’t. There were two [ 00: 25: 00] more guys that could make the test out there and I go to see them: How you coming along with that old poor rod? Well, not very good. I said, Well, I’m just not going to put anymore of it on there because it’s not a good job. So the superintendent, I told him, I said, I’m not going to do that. He said, Well, I’m going into town tonight and I’ll call L. A. and have them send it out and I’ll pick it up in the morning, the good rod, and I’ll bring it out. OK. So in the morning, why, these other two guys, they went ahead and was welding away, and me milling around there doing nothing. Well, that boss, he was just as nervous as he could be because I wasn’t doing anything. Well, as soon as the superintendent come in, late because I thought he was just waiting for the bus to come in and bring that welding rod. So as soon as the superintendent drove up, why, this boss got over there as quick as he could to tell him that I wasn’t doing anything. So I just wasn’t too far behind him and I said, Did you get that rod? And he said, No, I didn’t get any. And I said, Well, you just as well haul me to the barn, then, because I’m not going to weld that poor old stuff. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 So I quit. And if you look at my record, reason for leaving, poor welding rod. So the next spring, I’m out there as a CAT mechanic, working there right in Mercury, and was eating breakfast there in the mess hall and I looked over and I see some of those from the Pipe Union guys. I finished eating breakfast and I went over there and I go, What are you guys doing out here? And he said, Well, we’re working out in Jackass Flats. We’re grinding out some stainless welds, poor welds, and getting it redone. See, your stainless, you can’t cut it with a torch. You got to grind it out. I said, I know exactly where you’re working. Oh, so they had to redo that work? Sure, they did. Sure, they did. But they didn’t have many of mine was bad. I had about two or three of them and I just give up. You can’t make a good weld with that kind of rod. That was really quite a stand for you to make, to say I am not going to do poor quality workmanship. Well, that’s just what happened. I don’t know. I’d rather leave with a good reputation than get fired because I done a poor job. That’s really something. So then you worked more as a mechanic after that, is that right? Well, finally, yes, because I finally got in as a tunnel mechanic. Tell me what a tunnel mechanic does. Well, just repairs anything that the— the miners, they can tear up anything, you know, and they do. Of course, that’s part of the job. It isn’t because they’re just trying to tear something up. It just happens that way. Is it their machinery that you—? Yes. OK, some of those— UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 Yes, jackhammers and the machines, for instance, from the old jumbo in there, they’ve got three or four guys sitting there drilling up in the heading. Well, if a slab comes down and breaks a fitting, then they got a telephone in there and they’ll call out and what shift you’re on, you go in there and fix it. Well, then you get paid hazard pay by working underground, which was an incentive to want to be underground. And then a lot of the machinery, we had a shop outside the portal there and a lot of things you could fix out there, right there in the shop. So it sounds like when underground tunneling really went into production, is that when you became a tunnel mechanic, then? Well, that’s what you hire in as. Of course, my first job— this is something else that I didn’t like out there— you worked two weeks’ days, two weeks’ graveyard, two weeks’ swing. I don’t like [ 00: 30: 00] that and I keep telling them, I says, As accident- conscious as you people are out here, that’s the worst thing you can do because for about a week your head don’t know what your feet’s going to do. Yes, it takes a while for the body to adjust to a new cycle. That’s right. So it just wasn’t working. In fact, they would pay you if you had an idea that they could use and they figured over a year’s time basis, they’d pay you for that. Well, like I jokingly say, well, as lazy as I am, I want to make it the easiest way I can. That’s right. Did you ever submit that idea? Yes, and I got paid for, I guess, three different jobs. Really? Wow, that’s good. But there was one guy there that— we got to deduct for taxes and then another for— by the time you get through all the deductions, why, there wasn’t much left, so I didn’t— but at least it made work easier for me. Yes. Well, if they didn’t change the shifts all the time, you know, it improved. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 And that was another thing that I turned in. Old Bill Flangas, was the head over the tunnels. Well, he wasn’t the kind that you liked to visit with, so what did I do? Oh, I had some stock in something and they had a meeting one night down here in town and Bill was there and I thought, oh boy, you’re on my level now. I said, Bill, you know, I turned in an idea for everybody, with a few exceptions, everybody can work on the same shift that they prefer and they won’t have to adjust every two weeks. He says, Yeah, and I suppose everybody wants to work on days, too. I said, No, they don’t. I don’t like to work nights, but a lot of people do. So I said, With a few exceptions, you could put every man where they want. But they didn’t buy that idea because miners had done that generations ago, that’s the way it’s going to be now. They didn’t have any reasonable reason— So miners didn’t do it, but you’re saying the mechanics did do it? Miners did, too. And every Monday morning, we had to listen to a safety meeting, and that’s what I told them. I said, All this safety, why don’t you practice it? Because working like this is just an accident waiting to happen. But it fell on deaf ears. I’m still kind of confused because I thought they implemented it sometime. They never implemented it? Never did. No. No. That’s too bad. That would’ve made your job a little more enjoyable. Well, in fact, the time I left, I quit. I said, Either put me on the work shift there is and leave me there. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 But the graveyard, put me on there and just—[ they said], Well, you know, we don’t do things like that around here. I said, All right, then, run me off. Well, they ain’t going to do that. So well, I’m going to quit, then, and so I did. So when did you quit, then? Oh, I think it was about ’ 71, maybe. I think I could give you a pretty good idea. OK. [ Pause as Mr. Robinson leaves the room and then returns.] This is an old notebook that I had when I was in Milwaukee. But I’ve got a lot of things in there. But I’ve also got— Oh, look at that. Is it like a journal or something, or is it just a record? Well, there’s a lot of— let’s see, here we are. Now is this from when you were a student? [ 00: 35: 00] No, and I don’t know why I did this, but in 1934 I’ve got a job here at Condon Grading, and then 1935, Western Asphalt, I was a CAT skinner on that. Eaton Metal in Omaha, 1936, and it comes right on down— You kept track of all of your different jobs. Oh, how interesting. Yes, and it’s helped me out. Now if it was jobs that I didn’t like and I only stayed for a few days, I don’t have that, but this is the old original. Now here’s M. W. Kellogg, that’s in Baytown, Texas, that’s where I was there. So Pacific Pipe Plant, that’s when I come to California in 1944. Utah Construction, that’s work in the iron mine west of Cedar City. What a wonderful, concise work history. This is really incredible. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 It’s helped me and I don’t know why I was smart enough to log all this employment up, because when I went out to the test site, there’s a dozen guys there [ that said], Hum, let’s see, I can’t remember when I was here or that. I don’t have no problem. I take my little blue book along. It didn’t take me thirty minutes to have my application filled out. Wonderful. Oh, my goodness. See, there’s Wells Cargo here in town. In 1958. Here’s Reynolds Electric in ’ 61. It’s REECo now. In 1968. There’s one in ’ 71. REECo, ’ 71. That finished me up with the test site, in ’ 71. You know I told you I thought it was about ’ 71. But then here is Jesco [ sp], I worked down at Bullhead [ City, Arizona]. Acme Boiler here in town. Dunes Hotel, I was with my Operating Engineer’s card, I was a welder there at the Dunes from 1974 to ’ 82. And then— Boy, that was a long job for you, then, wasn’t it? It was eight years. Yes, it was so easy, and I’m right at home. That test site, you put in fourteen hours trying to get in eight, but this was just an old man’s lazy, easy job. I was old enough, I guess I was sixty- five, maybe, so I just quit out there. But that ended my career. Well, that’s a great, concise, all together— what’s interesting, it’s all in your own handwriting during those years. Yeah, that’s what I did. You see up here, I worked up in California and changing the gas distri— in Ventura. Gosh, I’m not even familiar with California. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 18 That’s when they was putting in the freeways, the one to Ventura. They was going to move the gas distribution system over and underground, so I go up there and work on that. The way they found me, why, I was in Boise, Idaho up there with a cousin. I had went up there because they was gassing the city, so I thought well maybe I can get [ 00: 40: 00] a job up there. When I did, why, of course my wife knew where I was at, and they called me from California, if I’d come down there, because I’d already tested out for them. So I went down there and I stayed there all summer, moving the gas. So yes, I was kind of a gypsy. Well, you’ve really seen the West build up in construction and roads and you’ve really participated in its development. Yes. You can see how this was kind of well tattered and torn. But you’ve kept that all these years. Yes. That old notebook, you know, it’s just frazzled. Served you well especially when making out your employment applications. Yes. Oh, I could just think, that was the first time that I ever give it much thought, but when I see those guys just scratching their head, now, I don’t know, but I didn’t have any problem. You know Sandie [ Medina, of Southern Nevada Building and Constructions Trades Council, NTS Medical Surveillance Project] with the test site? You know her? No. Oh, you’re with the university. Well, I had to go down and fill out a thing with her. I took this thing along, filled it out. This is for health, maybe. Of course, I’ve got the emphysema. But that’s what they’re— they’re checking up on different things,