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Transcript of interview with Gail S. McQuary by Joanne L. Goodwin, April 14, 1997, May 25, 1997, & May 28, 1997






Interviewed by Joanne L. Goodwin. Gail Spaulding (Jaros) was born on October 16, 1937, in Cicero, Illinois. a suburb of Chicago. Both of her parents were in show business. Gail began tap and ballet lessons when she was five years old. She signed as a dancer with Moro-Landis Productions in 1956, and she worked for that company at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the Riverside Hotel and Casino in Reno, and the Beverly Hills Country Club in Covington, Kentucky. Gail was promoted to line captain and did choreography at the Beverly Hills Country Club. She stopped dancing shortly before her daughter was born and worked as a cocktail waitress at the Riverside Hotel and Casino and at the Mapes Hotel in Reno. In 1964 she moved back to Las Vegas, trained in real estate, became general sales manager and corporate broker for Realty Executives in Las Vegas and later worked as an associate with Dyson and Dyson Real Estate in Indian Wells, California.

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McQuary, Gail Spaulding Interview, 1997 April 14, May 25 & 28. OH-02675. [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 Gail S. McQuary by Joanne L. Goodwin Conducted on April 14 and 25, and May 28, 1997 Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas 2003 ii © Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2003 Produced by: Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project Women’s Research Institute of Nevada University of Nevada Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-5083 Director and Editor: Joanne L. Goodwin Project Assistant and Text Processor: Laurie W. Boetcher Agreement on Use iii iv This recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the Foundation at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The Department of History of the university provided a home for the project and a wide variety of in-kind services. The department, as well as the college and university administration, enabled students and faculty to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the university for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing. These measures include 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 (housed separately) accompany the collection as slides or black-and-white photographs. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project. Additional transcripts may be found under that series title. Joanne Goodwin, Project Director Associate Professor, Department of History University of Nevada Las Vegas v List of Illustrations Frontispiece: Gail (Jaros) McQuary, posing for a tap and tiller number, Riverside Hotel and Casino, Reno, Nevada (circa 1958) The following photographs follow page 58 in the text: 1. Gail’s father, Jerry Jaros, playing in an all-male band, Chicago (circa 1928-1933) 2. Gail’s mother, Fern Jaros, and Aunt Blanche Kirian (August 1931) 3. Gail Jaros, age 7, in a classic ballet pose (circa 1944) 4. Gail Jaros, age 19, posing with dancers, Sahara Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada (October 1956) 5. Gail Jaros, posing for a song-and-dance number, Sahara Hotel and Casino (November 1956) 6. Publicity photo, Tony Bennett show, Beverly Hills Country Club, Covington, Kentucky (circa 1960) 7. Publicity photo, Chinese dance number, Beverly Hills Country Club, Covington, Kentucky (circa 1960) 8. Gail S. McQuary, Associate, Dyson and Dyson Real Estate, Indian Wells, California, 1999 All photographs are courtesy of Gail S. McQuary. vi Preface Gail Spaulding (Jaros) McQuary was born on October 16, 1937 in Cicero, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Both of her parents were in show business. Gail’s mother, Fern (Spaulding) Jaros, was a professional trombone player who played with the Chicago Women’s Symphony Orchestra and with the internationally-known Babe Egan and her Hollywood Redheads in the 1920s and 1930s. Her father, Jerry Jaros, was a professional saxophone player who performed at the 5100 Club in Chicago, and with Danny Thomas and other famous stars. When she was five years old, Gail began tap and ballet lessons in Chicago, under the tutelage of Edith Raispeth, a George Abbott dancer. When she was twelve, Gail moved with her family to Southern California. She continued her dance lessons and did some television work and shows, “freebie stuff,” as she called it. At Westchester High School, Gail studied modern dance and choreography with Madeline Seminario. Later, she and her friend Kathy Needham helped to choreograph a major high school production, Choreo “55.” In her senior year, Gail auditioned for Moro-Landis Productions. After graduation from high school, she worked in the family music store, Westchester Music, until she signed with Moro-Landis to perform at the Sacramento State Fair in 1956. Gail’s career as a Moro-Landis dancer then took her to the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the Riverside Hotel and Casino in Reno, and the Beverly Hills Country Club in Covington, Kentucky. At the Beverly Hills Country Club, Gail returned to choreography when George Moro promoted her to line captain. Gail also performed at vii the Cork Club in Houston. Gail continued dancing until shortly after her daughter Deborah was born. She ended her dancing career at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks, then worked as a cocktail waitress at the Riverside Hotel and Casino and at the Mapes Hotel in Reno before relocating briefly to California. In 1964, Gail moved back to Las Vegas. She then trained in real estate, eventually becoming General Sales Manager and Corporate Broker for Realty Executives in Las Vegas. Gail currently works as an Associate with Dyson and Dyson Real Estate in Indian Wells, California. Gail McQuary’s oral history chronicles the evolution of a dancer’s life, from the era of the line dancer to the development of the Lido-type production which incorporated both dancers and showgirls, such as the Tropicana’s Folies Bergere. She describes the star-studded glamour of a dancer’s life when she says, “We were like prizes. We were something.” However, Gail also reveals candidly what it took to be “something”: long hours of rehearsal, sometimes working seven nights a week for long periods and low pay, dancing even when you were sick or injured. To Gail and other dancers like her, dancing was a profession and to behave professionally was the hallmark of a good performer. This attitude carried over into her work as a cocktail waitress which, like dancing, required performance and professionalism in dress, makeup, and attitude toward the customer. Paralleling the evolution from the dance line to big production shows is the development of Las Vegas from a small town into America’s fastest-growing city. Gail tells us what it was like to work as an entertainer in the 1950s and 1960s, contrasting viii yesterday’s more intimate star-studded lounge acts, which patrons attended “dressed to the nines,” with today’s big production shows and casino floor space covered with slot machines to draw in the tourists. The first-person narratives of Gail McQuary and others in the Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project provide a vivid account of the early history of the entertainment industry in Nevada. Gail (Jaros) McQuary, posing for a tap and tiller number, Riverside Hotel and Casino, Reno, Nevada (circa 1958). Gail, still part of Moro-Landis Productions, went to the Riverside after performing for about a year-and-a-half in Las Vegas. An Interview with Gail S. McQuary An Oral History Conducted by Joanne L. Goodwin 1 This is Joanne Goodwin. I’m interviewing Gail McQuary in her home in Las Vegas. It is April 14, 1997. We’ve just read the agreement and this is our third try. The first one was very nice. I want to thank you for spending the time to do this. It’s my pleasure, Joanne. Thank you for asking me. Let’s start out talking about your family background and how you began dancing. Ooh. That’s really interesting. I was born in Cicero, Illinois which is a suburb of Chicago. Both my parents were in show business. My mother [Fern Spaulding Jaros] was a professional trombone player and my father [Jerry Jaros] was a professional saxophone player. He had a little group with his sisters, and my mother was with a group called Babe Egan and her Hollywood Redheads, which traveled all over the world. This was back in the late teens, early Twenties; no, 1920s and early 1930s. So I come from a musical background. So when I was born, I was the third of the three children. I was the baby and my mother kept saying, “Gail, so-and-so’s coming over for dinner and you’re going to dance.” And I just started dancing on my own because I just loved all this music around me, constantly. Years ago when my mother was playing with Chicago Women’s Symphony Orchestra, she’d bring the three of us children and we’d sit front row center. Of course we’d have to hear Tchaikovsky and Beethoven and Brahms and all the wonderful classics, and Rachmaninoff and everything. So I got a fantastic education in classical music when I was very young. 2 But as far as my dancing career goes, I started dancing when I was five years old. That is, taking dancing lessons. I was taking four lessons a week: two ballet, an acrobatic, and a tap. I wasn’t that great in acrobatic. I could not do back flips. For some reason my arms were never strong enough. But I loved my tap and ballet, and we’d give performances. My teacher [from age five to age eleven] was Edith Raispeth, who was a George Abbott dancer. Very well learned and an excellent instructor, and a beautiful lady. And so I took my lessons from her and we had our recitals. So my background, still, was all music. I was the only one in my immediate family that went into show business. Both my brothers did not. My mother said, “I always wanted to be a dancer,” and she saw herself dancing through me. But I just absolutely loved it. I moved to California when I think I was eleven or twelve. I continued my dancing lessons and I was in a lot of shows there. I did some small TV work through my classes that I was taking from the studio that I was dancing at, but it was just freebie stuff. It was just fun things to do, you know, when you’re a young teenager and doing all these things. In high school, which they don’t have anymore and I wish they did, but in high school [Westchester High School] I had modern dance classes. I had the most delightful instructor, Madeline Seminario. I’ll never forget her. She was just a perfect lady and she taught us, in our modern dance classes, how to choreograph and how to put things on paper. Just like if you’re a music writer or composer, you put the notes on paper. Everything is done through mathematics. Our whole lives are mathematics. Everything we touch and think about, is all done through mathematics. Well it’s the same with dancing. Everything is mathematics. Composing is the same thing. I mean you have to hear the tune and you have to write the notes, but everything is done in a very structured 3 way. So we learned how to choreograph and we learned how to put down what we wanted to express on paper and then teach it to other people to do this. Whereas a musician, the composer writes the notes and they play it. Well, as a dancer or choreographer or somebody that’s trying to stage something, they have to show the person how to do the arm movement, where they want to stand, how to turn. Whatever the motion is you have to actually show this person what you want. You just don’t put it on paper, you have to actually show it to them. But in choreography you learn to put everything on paper and then show it to the, you know, to teach the – if you saw the Chorus Line, the movie Chorus Line or the Broadway show Chorus Line, you had the instructor there telling the girls, “Okay, one, two, three, up, four, five, six, seven, eight.” But everything was done on paper first before it was taught to the girls. Everything, I’m telling you everything they did, every hand movement was done on paper before it was shown how to do it. Is it sketched out? It is sketched out to the fact that like, right now I’m doing this little fashion show. It’s not going to be anything like a Broadway show or anything, but I’m writing now, “On one, two pivot here, with your right foot walk back three, four. Pivot here, right arm goes up, left arm goes down.” This type of thing, pirouette, one, two. Everything is done in mathematics. And everything is done to the count of eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and then you do it again. Of course everybody says, “Five, six, seven, eight.” That was our thing when we started a routine when I was dancing. Five, six, seven, eight [makes rhythmic sounds]. So that’s how we do. Musicians do, a-one, a-two, 4 a-one, two, three, four. But we do five, six, seven, eight. Don’t ask me why. Dancers: five, six, seven, eight and musicians: one, two, three, four. We never could get together on this. Anyway, I continued my dancing through high school in modern dance and I loved the choreography. I had some beautiful girls in my high school modern-dance class, that we all got together and we would choreograph. We had a big production called Choreo “55.” It was our high school graduation year and we probably had forty or fifty girls that Kathy Needham [high school classmate] and I helped choreograph the entire show. We had students who were, in that sense, learning lighting, so we had the students from the lighting department come in there. You know in high school, I don’t know if they do this now, but we had the whole high school working on this production. We had the lighting department, we had the music department, we had the graphic department. All these kids put their energies together. And then we had people making little costumes for us. It was nothing elaborate, you know. [In] the music department there was a young man there named Michael Zearott. He was a piano player, a composer, and he was eighteen years old. He said, “I’ll write you a tune that you can dance to.” So he wrote this [tune] that was called Life and Death, and it was the most gorgeous thing and he wrote it, he played it, he taped it and then we choreographed a routine to it. There were three or four of us that did this. I mean, it was marvelous. And Michael has gone on to be one of the greatest composers in the United States. You might see his name around town and every once in a while I see something, conductor Michael Zearott. I say, “Oh my God. This is wonderful.” 5 So anyway, when I was in my senior year, my dance teacher in California – who I can’t even remember the name because I really wasn’t doing that well, I just wanted to keep up my studies – said, “You know, Moro Landis Studios, you ought to go and audition for them because they have the lines in the different cities.” I said, “Oh, ok. That sounds like fun.” So one day I called up Moro Landis Studios and I talked to somebody, I can’t remember who it was, and they said, “Well, why don’t you come down and audition?” I said, “Ok.” So I got my tap shoes and everything and I made an appointment and went down there and Ruth Moro, who was part of the Moro Landis – Ruth Landis and George Moro, excuse me – a husband and wife team had these lines throughout the country. So I met Ruth and she said, “Ok. Do this.” So I did like and hour-and-a-half audition by myself with her, in the studios, which was downtown somewhere, North Hollywood. So I did the audition and she said, “Ok, Gail. If anything happens, we’ll give you a call.” I said, “Ok, fine.” So I graduated from high school and I was working in my father’s music store – we had a music store, had to keep music in the family – and I get this call one day. And they said, “We’re auditioning for the Sacramento State Fair. Would you be interested?” And I said, “Sure.” So I went down there and auditioned again. [I] got the job and they said, “Rehearsals start on a certain day.” And I said, “Fine, I’ll be there.” Now you have to understand, I’m just a very young eighteen-year-old. I come from a very nice family, know nothing about “the show business” or what it’s like or anything like that. So I’m thinking, “Well, this is going to be fun. It’s going to be like one of our rehearsals at high school.” Wrong. It is not like a rehearsal in high school. We rehearsed at the Rainbow Studios, which is a very, very famous studio where all the stars from the musicals used to rehearse in. The Gene 6 Kellys and the Judy Garlands and all these people rehearsed at what was called the Rainbow Studios in Hollywood. Well, my first day at rehearsal, we rehearsed from eight o’clock till about, it must have been five or six o’clock at night. We had an hour off for lunch, you know, that type of thing. I have never worked so hard in my entire life, physically, than I did that day. I had no idea what to expect. I got home and my mom says, “Do you want anything to eat?” And I said, “No. I just want some milk.” All I wanted was milk. I drank a whole quart of milk and I went to bed. I could hardly move the next day because I’m using muscles that I had never used before. But what we were in rehearsal for was the Sacramento State Fair; it was going to be a two-week engagement. We rehearsed for two weeks. I made a hundred dollars a week – whoopee! – seven nights a week. Real lucky, only one show a night. But I worked with – It was a sixteen tiller line. In other words, it was sixteen girls doing these routines and at the end of every routine we had a tiller. And this is like – I’m trying to think. Who are the girls up at the Flamingo right now? The Rockettes. Remember the Rockettes, how they kick one-up and you have all the kicks, you know, on the Jackie Gleason Show, all the Rockettes are doing. Well, that’s what we did. But we did a routine before that and then we would end up with all the kicks – the tiller line. So we’re kicking our little fannies off from morning till night. I lost weight, I couldn’t move, my feet were all bleeding. It was just a gruesome thing, but I’m in show business. I’ve got my chance. So we went to Sacramento. There were four of us that drove up, stayed in the little motel to conserve and save money. I worked with Eddie Fisher. I worked with Jack Carson. I worked with such marvelous, marvelous entertainers. I worked with a bear act. You name it. I worked with the Goofers. I’m trying to think who else. I’d have to get the book out. But 7 there were just tons and tons of fabulous and very, very talented entertainers that you would give your eyeteeth just to see on stage. And here I’m working with them. That was so fun and I’m part of it. How was that? Was that intimidating? Oh, no. It wasn’t intimidating. It was a thrill. It was wonderful. I mean, they just thought we were wonderful. I tell you, throughout my whole career I imagine there couldn’t have been more than maybe five or ten entertainers that I have worked with that I would say, “You know, I’ll never work again with them.” Because they were just obnoxious or rude or somebody that you wouldn’t want to even say, “I know them.” And these are very, very famous people. But they just treated girls like dirt. They never talked to them. I mean it was just wonderful that these other stars would be so glamorous, and happy to see us. Years ago when I worked with Liberace at the Beverly Hills, it was in the winter so we did a cute little winter number, tap number and a tiller. But it was a killer. The whole routine was a killer routine and we’d get off stage and we’d be huffing and puffing and sweating. And he’d say, “Girls, that was wonderful. Girls, you were beautiful.” I mean, he just gave us this lift that made us feel, “Hey, it was wonderful.” So we’d go back in the dressing room smiling instead of being, “Oh my God. Another routine like this is going to kill us.” So he was an entertainer that we all looked up to because he was such a nice person. And he treated us with respect. We worked our fannies off, let me tell you. After I did the two weeks in Sacramento, I think it was the second or the third day prior to closing and this gal came up to me and she said, “Gail, how would you like to 8 work in Las Vegas?” I said, “Well, that’d be kind of nice.” I said, “Well, where?” She said, “It would be at the Sahara Hotel and we would need you for the September show. So that means you’d have to be there in August for rehearsals.” I said, “Can I let you know in a couple of days?” She said, “Sure.” So I went home and told my parents and they said, “Oh, Gail. This will be wonderful.” And I said, “Ok. Great.” So I did it. It was like, “Oh my God. Now I’m really in the big leagues.” You know, you dream about this all your life. I knew that I was going to be a dancer from the time I was two years old. I never said, “I’m two years old, Mommy, and I’m going to be a dancer at the Sahara Hotel.” I knew what I wanted to do was be a dancer. And I could care less where it was. But now the opportunity came and I could not throw it away, at all. I could not throw it away, so I took it. It was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. That’s how fast it went. It wasn’t like I had to wait the six months like you see in stars doing it, “Now I’ve got to wait another six months until the next job came around.” It was boom, boom, boom. Just like that. I was very lucky. Let me back up for just a second, at the risk of slowing down this wonderful story. That’s ok. I get talking, so just slow me down. First of all, you lived in Los Angeles proper? I lived in Westchester. That’s where I graduated from high school. That’s by the airport, LAX. How did you get around? Were you driving by then? Oh, yes. I was sixteen, seventeen years old. Sure. I got a car. Actually I have to go 9 back a little bit. I’d been working, not dancing working, but working since I was thirteen years old. I told you, we moved to California when I was eleven or twelve and my father opened a music store in Westchester called Westchester Music. And it became sort of a landmark there, through the years. So I started working when I was thirteen. My mom worked there and my father worked there, my brothers worked there, I worked there. After school, on weekends, whenever we could do it because it was a family-type situation. And so I had people driving me, you know parents. And of course I was baby sitting too, so people would pick me up and take me home. But when I got sixteen, seventeen I got a car. I can’t remember, maybe I was just driving my brother’s car but I know I had a vehicle. But, you know, Los Angeles then was not like it is today. We didn’t have all the freeways and basically I didn’t have to go anywhere except Westchester until I got this job, to where I had to go to Hollywood every day to rehearse. So I really wasn’t driving around like a lot of people do today, you know, drive an hour- and-a-half to get to their jobs. So your lessons were right there in your neighborhood. Oh yes, very definitely. When I was a little girl, this is cute, when I was a little girl, of course my mother took me to all my classes, and we would take the el[evated train]. Now the el-train would stop on – I’ll never forget this. Where we got the el, we’d go into Berwyn, at the very end of the line is where we got off. And then we would walk across, I think it was Cermack Road, and there was a bank building on the corner and my teacher’s studio was on top of the bank building. She had a really big studio. Maybe if I would see it today, it wasn’t that big because I was a little girl. I saw pictures of me 10 when I was a little girl, in front of my house. And then years ago my brother went there to visit the house in Cicero and he stood by the house. And I said, “You know, our house really wasn’t that big.” You know, when you’re little, everything is so gigantic. So when you see it in a different perspective, you think, “Oh my God. This dining room is really small.” But when you’re a little kid, everything is so gigantic. So that was the same thing. And then in Hollywood, you’re working with Moro Landis while you’re in high school? No, no. What I did is I auditioned for Moro Landis. When I graduated from high school, that’s when I got the call to do the Sacramento State Fair. So I was out of high school in that point in time. But it wasn’t that much later, when I graduated, that I did the Sacramento State Fair. And then the following month or two, I went into Las Vegas. I was still eighteen when I was dancing in Las Vegas. I hadn’t had my birthday yet, so that was a lot of fun. Were any of your other friends involved in dance professionally? No. Not one of them. Not a one. All my friends in dancing, I got when I got into show business. My girlfriend Kathy, who I really enjoyed, she was an excellent dancer but she got married in high school and had three kids, boom, boom, boom. So she didn’t have any type of a career that way, although she could have. She was very good. But she decided to have babies and I said, “Not me.” I want to enjoy my life and do what I set out to do. I didn’t spend all these years and my mother’s money to go home and get married and have kids at that point in time. That’s not what I wanted. 11 You said your mother wished she had been a dancer. Yes. My mother always said that. When she saw me, she could see herself dancing through me because she enjoyed show business. My mother was truly a show business – well, so was my father. But my mother’s parents had seven children of which she was the fourth of seven. And her father, of course they’re deceased now, but her father taught all seven children to play an instrument. So they had, at that point in time, the Little Spaulding Band. Now this is back in the Twenties. This is really there when they didn’t have much. And my mother said for Christmas sometimes, she’d be happy, she’d be thrilled to death if she got an apple or an orange for Christmas. This is how it was back then. They saved for instruments, and they had their instruments. He taught them all to play the piano. He taught them all to play different instruments. Even today – well, not anymore because my mother is retired – my mother played the sax. My mother played the trombone at that time and I had two aunts playing the trumpet, I had an aunt playing the clarinet, I had an aunt playing the piano. And then another of my uncles played the saxophone and something else. I mean it was their own little band but this was the family. What kind of things would they do? Would they get gigs? Oh no, no, no. This is just family stuff. They’d play for functions and this is all freebie stuff. They just played for local things, local fairs and things like that. Maybe their church fairs and things like that. They would just get together and they would just play on Saturdays and Sundays and just the family would play. It was just to get together and play music. It was wonderful. It was really nice. 12 And that carried through, it sounds like, with your parents. Oh yes, absolutely. I was telling you about this tape recording I have. My father went on to – he was with 5100 Club in Chicago. He ended up playing in the band there when Danny Thomas was the emcee and the star. He worked with Danny for a long time. He’d say, “Gail, years ago Danny Thomas used to borrow money from me.” I said, “Did he ever pay you back?” He says, “Yeah.” Both my mother and father have worked with fabulous stars before me, in their generation. I’ve got a picture of my mother and George Burns in my office. My mom went to see him, must have been about seven or eight years ago. He was playing, I think, at the DI [Desert Inn] or Bally’s or something like that, and so they took a picture together, my mom and George Burns. Because my mother played with Babe Egan and her Hollywood Redheads (that I told you about) at the London Palladium and Babe Egan was the headline. And George and Gracie were way down on the bill. He didn’t recognize her but he remembered the band, Babe Egan and her Hollywood Redheads. They were very famous back then. This was a long time ago but it was something. What was the draw to Los Angeles for your family? At that point in time it was opportunity. In 1948 and 1949, L.A. [Los Angeles] was just starting to come around. There was no music stores in particularly Westchester, so they decided to move there. I guess things were dead in Chicago, I really don’t know. All I know is they said, “We’re selling the house and we’re moving.” But that’s what they did. My father opened a store with my mom’s younger brother, Al, who had some business in music stores. And of course my father, being a musician, he did everything. So they 13 opened up the music store and then they expanded. They got a bigger one. Then my mother started the Westchester Youth Band. And for years, she brought this band together and they marched in all sorts of parades. They marched in the Rose Parade. It was very famous, Westchester Youth Band, for years. But my mother started that and she was the director of it. It was a huge band. They had uniforms and they paraded and danced and everything. It was great. It was wonderful. It was exciting. Were your brothers and sisters in it? No. David may have been in there in the trumpet section but he was getting too old. This was for, not in high school. You know what I’m saying? Younger kids. He may have played in there but I can’t remember. So you went up to the fair and then you said a lady came up and said, “Do you want to go to Las Vegas?” Exactly how it happened. Was she part of the crew? She was the line captain for the group and so she asked me. They were having some replacements and she asked me if I wanted to go and I said, “Yeah. Absolutely.” I had to check with my parents first. [Laughing] I was barely legal. If they had said no, I think I would have still gone. But they knew this is what I wanted so they said, “This is Gail’s opportunity.” So I went. My father drove me up there and got me all situated. I met a gal there and I lived with her. There were three of us in the apartment and in fact it was on, this is funny, it was on Boston Avenue, down where is now, what do they call it, they 14 have a name for that area right now that surrounds the Stratosphere Tower. The “naked city” or something. And let me tell you the naked city then was not the naked city now. It wasn’t even called that. It was just Boston. We had a beautiful apartment on Boston and I used to walk to work. Had to get there by seven o’clock because we had to get our makeup on and get ready. The show was at eight. We do an eight-to-nine fifteen, nine thirty show. Then we’d mix to eleven and then we’d go back to dressing room, get ready for the twelve-o’clock show, do a twelve o’clock show which would be over by one, one fifteen, one thirty. And then we’d mix to two thirty and I’d say, “Ok, bye.” And I’d walk back by myself on the Strip – or it was Fifth Street, still is – to Boston, to my little apartment. Never get bothered by anybody. I mean you can’t do that [now]. Here I was, a gorgeous blonde, young, all made up with all this makeup. Sometimes we’d stop at Foxy’s [Firehouse Casino]. You know where Big Dogs is right now, across from the Sahara Hotel? [corner of Sahara and the Las Vegas Strip] The Big Dogs Casino? Well, that whole block, where Big Dogs actually is on the corner, there was a beautiful dress store, a high-class couture, and then further streets down there was a delicatessen called Foxy’s. And then there was a shoe store. And there was all these other little stores along there. Going toward Fremont? Yes. From Sahara, just that one little block. Was that Fanny’s? It’s gone. I have no idea what the name of the store was. 15 The high-fashion store. It was right on the corner but I can’t remember the name of it. But anyway, there was a bunch of little stores there and Foxy’s the delicatessen. So we’d sometimes say, “We’re going over to Foxy’s.” We’d go there and have these great big sandwiches and pickles and everything. It was really good. So we had that or we’d just go to the drugstore there. I’d stop and get some stuff. Then you’d go home. Then you’d get up the next morning and go to rehearsals. That’s all I did was rehearse and do the shows. But it was exciting. My first job there at the Sahara, I worked five months without a night off. They had no swing girls. You worked all the time. I made a hundred-and-twenty-five dollars a week for working seven nights a week, rehearsing almost every day, and doing three shows on Friday and Saturday nights. Yes. And I loved every minute of it. I thought it was wonderful, you know, I thought it was great. Not one night off for five months. Is everyone else eighteen [years old] in the line? No. Let me think now. As a matter of fact, no. There were a couple of girls my age, but I think most of them at that time were older than me. I imagine they were in their twenties. You know, at that age, when you’re eighteen and nineteen, you don’t even look at anybody for ages like, “How old are you?” It doesn’t even enter your mind. But I knew some were older than me but I never thought, “Oh, gee. I wonder how much older she is than me?” [End of tap