Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Ernest Clary by Tom Mattingly, February 10, 1979

Document

Information

Date
1979-02-10
Description

On February 10, 1979, collector Tom Mattingly interviewed his neighbor, professional engineer geologist and registered surveyor, Ernest Henry Clary (born May 21st, 1906 in Lincoln, Nebraska) in the collector’s home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The interview covers Mr. Clary’s personal and professional life and the history of Nevada, including, the early above-ground atomic tests, presidential visits and the crash of Carole Lombard’s plane. All persons present during the interview, include: Tom Mattingly, Ernest Clary, Mary Mattingly, and Matt Mattingly.

Digital ID
OH_00390_transcript
Physical Identifier
OH-00390
Details
Citation

Clary, Ernest Interview, 1979 February 10. OH-00390. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rights
This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use (https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/research_and_services/reproductions) or contact us at special.collections@unlv.edu
Standardized Rights Statement
Digital Provenance
Digitized materials: physical originals can be viewed in Special Collections and Archives reading room
Language

English

Geographic Coordinate
36.0397, -114.98194
Format
application/pdf

UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 1 An Interview with Ernest Henry Clary An Oral History Conducted by Tom Mattingly Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 2 © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2018 UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 3 The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment including many conducted by UNLV History Professor Ralph Roske and his students. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as 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. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 4 Abstract On February 10, 1979, collector Tom Mattingly interviewed his neighbor, professional engineer geologist and registered surveyor, Ernest Henry Clary (born May 21st, 1906 in Lincoln, Nebraska) in the collector’s home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The interview covers Mr. Clary’s personal and professional life and the history of Nevada, including, the early above-ground atomic tests, presidential visits and the crash of Carole Lombard’s plane. All persons present during the interview, include: Tom Mattingly, Ernest Clary, Mary Mattingly, and Matt Mattingly. UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 5 UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 6 UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 7 Okay, today—today is February 10th. 1979, and the collector is Tom Mattingly and the narrator is Ernest Clary, a neighbor of mine. Clary where do you live at right now? 929 Essex Drive West. Okay. Where were you born and when? Lincoln, Nebraska. May 21st, 1906. Okay. Do you know the members of your family? Yes. Okay. What are they? I have five sisters and two brothers. Mm-hmm. And I know their names if you want them. Yes, please. The eldest boy was named Maab, and the next one was June, and the next one was a boy, that was Lester. The next one was a girl, that was Amelia. The next one was a girl, that was Mary. The next one was a girl, that was Ethel. The next one was a boy, myself, Ernest Henry. Mm-hmm. And then, the baby of the family was a boy, George. Sounds like you had quite a big family. (Laughs) Yes. What is your family history, if you know it? Ah, on my father’s side of the family, there’s been a Clary in this country for a long time—possibly way before the revolution. My mother’s family, her mother came from Germany and her father from Alsace-Lorraine. And they came to Cincinnati, Ohio, first. There was, on the UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 8 Clary side of the family, there were Clarys that came to Maryland when they had the French Inquisition of the (unintelligible). Go on. They were the French Huguenots and lead Baltimore that all faiths come to Maryland to live and they came there. There’s a place now in Maryland that is named Claryville, that was the old family home then. However, in adding our side of the family, our part of the family (unintelligible) it seems as if there were are and were Clarys in North Carolina and it may be that stream that I’m a descendent of. How far does your family go back, if you know? As I said before, I think they went back before the revolution. My father had a cousin in Omaha, Nebraska by the name of Joe Codington, who did quite—quite a bit of genealogical traces and he had it traced back about that far. Okay. Do you know anything about your ethnic ancestry? It seems as if it were a combination. My father used to say that there was a branch of the family that was Watkins. Oh yes? And they were supposedly (unintelligible) and then there were Clarys who came to this country also from Northern Ireland that may be ancestors of ours. Then there are also German and French in our family. The exact amount, I couldn’t tell. What kind of education do you have? I’m a high school graduate and also a college graduate. What did you major in? UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 9 I first started out in engineering and went to three different universities but wound up in the end with a bachelor’s of science degree with a geology and mathematical majors and civil engineering minor. How many years did that take you? It took me about—total of five and a half years, I think. That would amount to about eleven semesters but a lot of that time I was working and I didn’t carry full time work. (Background chatter) Do you remember the visits of any of the presidents, such—in the Las Vegas area, such as President Roosevelt or Hoover? Or spectacular events—such as the 1942 crash of Carole Lombard’s plane? I remember when Johnson was here. In fact, I was right up there when he came by with Senator Cannon and Senator Cannon was introducing him to everybody but me. And—(Laughs) I also was here when Carole Lombard was—met her death. And I remember it so vividly because one of the boys—the young fella who lives here now works for (unintelligible) as the draftsman by the name of Ballinger, didn’t show up for work the next day. And he took his horse and went with the horseback posse out to try to find the wreck and when he got back I (unintelligible). Could—could you spell Ballinger? Do you know? B-A-L-L-I-N-G-E-R. Okay. Off-hand, I just can’t quite pick up his name. I think it was Elvis. Do you—what was President Johnson here for? He was campaigning. And what was Cannon here for? UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 10 To present President Johnson to all the bigwigs in Nevada, with the exception of me. (Laughs) Was this in 1942 when the crash was? Or what year was this? I think it was in, either, yes, it was early 1942. Do you remember when the plane crashed do you remember any specific details about it or just that it crashed? No. I didn’t remember much about it. I read it in the paper but I didn’t remember it. I knew that it crashed I think on Mount Potosi, and in a very, very inaccessible place. Were or are you now active in politics? I have been a little, always been a Democrat, and I have been active in supporting candidates and also a couple times I’ve run for county surveyor. What does a county surveyor do? There’s too many things to go into detail. It does just what the job says. He has to be a licensed or registered land surveyor in the state of Nevada. Uh-huh. And he supervises all the work that is done for the county and that. Okay. Are you a member of a social club or a special interest group, here in Las Vegas? I am not a member of any social clubs. I have been for a long, long time, a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metal, (Unintelligible) and Petroleum Engineering. How long have you been a participant in that group? Since 19—since 1942. How long have they been established? The IAME as it’s known, is one of the founder societies. I think it’s well established well over a hundred years. UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 11 Okay. Is or was gambling an important recreational activity for you and your family? We did a little of it when we lived here, from ’41 to ’44. But since then, it has not. What other kinds of recreation do you seek? Either alone or with your family? We travel by some, and of course, my wife was the pillar of the Methodist Church, so we take in any of their social events that are—that happen to come along. Personally, I have been quite active in engineering societies. But (unintelligible) and most of my recreational time I spend in gardening and reading. And I think right now that our biggest interest is our grandchildren. How many grandchildren do you have? Four. What are their names? The oldest one who’ll be eleven in June is Bridgett Colleen Clary. She has a brother of nine years old, who’s Ryan Sean Clary. My daughter, who is married to an attorney, has a little boy three years old and a little girl, two weeks old. And the boy’s name is Justin Andrew Davidson and the little girl’s name is Joslynn Caroline Davidson. Okay. Matt Mattingly speaks: You’re advertising the baby. (Laughs) Where—(Laughs) where, let’s see—where have you traveled to that you remember well, in your lifetime? I’ve been to Alaska twice. I’ve worked in Mexico. I’ve worked in California several years, worked in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ohio, and of course, Nebraska and Nevada. Some a little time in Montana and Louisiana. Unfortunately, I’ve never worked in Texas, so I have to apologize to your father on that score. UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 12 What were you doing—what kind of work were you doing in Mexico? I was sent down there during the war, World War II, to make a survey and design a tailings dam, at Cananea, Mexico. What were you doing up in Alaska? I worked in the AJ, what’s his name, it’s the last, you know, mine, in 1936, and in 1969, I went up there to look at a mining property and write a report. This was for a mining company of Dallas, Texas. Do you remember anything about the early above-ground atomic tests? Well, I was here and went out northwest of town and watched the explosion in Lake 52. Outside of that, I’m not very familiar. I have visited the site and gone down into the actual place or the hole in the ground, you might say, the cavern, where one of the bombs exploded. When did you do this? I did that several years ago. It was when we had the American Mining Congress here, I think, or it was in—during the Southwest Mills meeting we had here. And I went as a guest free of charge, everything bussed and everything paid. I don’t know who footed the bill but we all were guests. You said that you went inside one of the tunnels where the bomb had exploded or where it was going to be exploded? I went right down into the—what was there after it is exploded, right where the bomb was exploded. What did it look like? Just a hole in the ground. (Laughs) Was it big? UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 13 I didn’t recall how big it was but it was set off in a volcanic tut. I know I remember that. I was more interested in the geology of the place than I was in the actual size or anything like that. And I—later on, I got to see moving pictures by Louis Fossil, who was with EG&G Company, and showed the movies that they took of the explosion, with cameras that they claimed could do—had a frame of a million to the second. Pretty fast. Pretty fast, very fast—and they were pictures, too. In fact, after seeing those pictures and reading about the so-called meteor that exploded in Siberia, and the description of it by people who had seen it. I am in full accord with those who think that that was not a meteor but was an atomic blast. I get my two cents worked in on that. That’s right. (Laughs) That’s a very interesting story. You don’t happen to remember what the—on this test where the bomb was exploded, you don’t remember what the—what is it? I don’t know how much— The kiloton to—? No. I don’t know the size. That wouldn’t be hard to find out from the agency. But I think—I don’t know which one it was either. But I am pretty sure it was one of the first underground not above-ground. But we also visited the pits, the big pits where they blasted—that was a big hole in the ground on the surface. That was quite a sight too. What changes have you noticed in Southern Nevada since you first arrived? Such as economics? UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 14 It’s always had its cycles of ups and downs, and when it was down it came back—when it came back after being down it went back higher than it had been before. Every time it has. And in the last twenty-five or twenty-six years I’ve been here, I have never seen or heard of a place that had grown any faster unless it was Florida in the boom, in the twenties, that I’ve heard about but never was there, was never there. What kind of environmental changes have you noticed, since you’ve been here? Smog. (Laughs) (Laughs) Anything else? The accident rate is a—you can call ‘em environmental change if you want to but we have to put up with it. And some of the—you might say groups of people who are radical—there’s quite a bit of radicalism comes here once in a while but generally it comes here from someplace else. It isn’t inherent in the Las Vegas economy. Any overall remarks and observations about the changes that you’ve noticed in Southern Nevada, whether they be economic, environmental, or just anything? I think it’s just wonderful the way this city has grown. I—it is outstanding and I can’t explain it but it just happens that’s all, and the only thing that I can criticize about it is that the engineering design has not kept up with the big boom and neither has the control of floods and things like that. Well, my grammar’s terrible. (Background chatter) Can you give me an occupational history, like where you’ve worked? Well, when I came here originally I worked for Basic Magnesium, Incorporated as an engineer, a civil engineer. And then, I was gone for seven years and then I came back and since I was a registered engineer I could go into private practice and I did in 1952 and I’ve been in private UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 15 practice ever since, except for about two years or so about—on a part time basis I was a city engineer in North Las Vegas. That was when, during the, you might say, the Harkey regime. What was the Harkey regime? Well, he was the mayor then, and it was my duty to—as part of my job, to attend the council meetings and I always report to them for the Amus, to it, or them, as Amus and Andy Shows. From what you say, it sounds like this governor or mayor was the real (unintelligible) in the rear. I have heard his speech so many times I could almost repeat it by heart. Could you now? No. I can’t anymore, but I could for a while there. How many—? He always told about his banking career. I see. How many years was he mayor? I don’t know whether it was two or four. I guess it was about four years. I don’t know how long the mayor was elected for then. Was his govern—was his regime known for (Laughs) local corruption? Ah, not particularly. Not particularly. Given the fact that he had a very good council, I can say that up until he was defeated, there was no corruption in the city of North Las Vegas. He was all above board and then he washed their dirty linen in public. Have you received any awards or honors in the—as far as your job goes or hobbies or? UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 16 Oh, not particularly. I was appointed to the state board of registered engineers by Grant Sawyer and I served eight years on it and (unintelligible) got signed when I was vice-chairman and then when I wrote a letter to Laxalt ‘cause I didn’t care to be considered again for appointment, the other board voted me some kind of certificate of award or whatever you want to know, or want to call it and it’s made out and someday maybe my grandchildren will have it framed. I don’t intend to. That must be quite an award? Well, it’s, it’s just a, you might say a certificate that I have served. Do you know of any history of illnesses in your family? Oh, they’ve had everything, I guess. My brother died of a heart attack at age forty, my older brother. What was your older brother’s name? Lester. Lester Clary? Yes. Lester William. And he used to smoke two packs of camels, put it down to the very end every day. And he died at age forty, as I’ll repeat it, I’ll repeat. And he didn’t want me to smoke and I didn’t. He always pushed me in athletics and although he smoked until the day of his death. And (unintelligible) smoking and over-drinking. But he did not drink, period. My father, I think, had to possibly, (unintelligible) and a gallbladder trouble and he died at, close to age seventy-three. And my mother, I think hers was a heart attack and I can’t say that—exactly what it was because she had a stroke and she lay flat on her back perfectly helpless for over a year and a half before she passed away. And she was seventy-three. I had one sister who died at a fairly young UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 17 age, fifty-nine, and I understand from her children that she had sugar diabetes and that’s enough of the hypochondria. I see. What—other than of course, your engineering and your gardening, what are your special skills and interests, if you have any others than those? Oh, I guess you could say I got to be a pretty good draftsman, you want to call that an interest. To me, it’s kind of slow death. (Background chatter) Yes. And I as a young fellow, wanted to travel a lot and would have been glad to go on explorations, either in a (unintelligible) artic or down along the Amazon River, or into Africa. I never got to do it and know that maybe I could afford a trip to Africa or someplace I don’t care to go. Would you—? I wanna see America first. (Laughs) What would you, if you could go down to Africa or South America, what would you be interested in seeing? In South America, the—up the Amazon, I do believe (unintelligible) because it’s interested in the minerals up there in the (unintelligible) and also interested in the people. I have a quite a bit of interest in such things as flying saucers and Velikovsky’s books on—one of them, Worlds in Collision and Ages in Chaos and, which I haven’t read yet, and Earth in Upheaval, that’s two. Because they go in both of them, particularly, anthropology, goes into you might say branches of geology, which they have so many set rules. And now they’re knocking them out and substituting other things that seem better explanation for the origin of the earth. And consequently I have a—anything that I see that’s written by Velikovsky or by Warshawski or UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 18 anybody else in that field, I like to read. I had one book on flying saucers that I loaned a friend and it got lost and I follow that quite closely because if there are beings from other planets over here I’d like to know more about them. However, if these other places where these people supposedly live don’t have the things that we have like particularly music, I’ll just as soon remain in the United States and not visit them. How many, would you—how many, if you know off hand acres have you surveyed in the Las Vegas area? I couldn’t tell you that because I’ve been surveying ever since I came back here and I did supervised work before I came here and I’ve worked in other states in surveying and other branches of engineering and so I couldn’t say that but at one time I also was an engineer for the Vegas Heights Water and Sanitation District (unintelligible) besides surveying, had to do quite a bit of design work. And I do quite a bit of design and quite a bit of consulting work at times, particularly in the geologic and mining field. If you were designing something, what would you be designing? Well, in the civil branch, which I’m qualified as a civil branch to civil engineer, I’d do whatever’s required in that field, but if it simmers down to a really very cut and dry space list I would get someone else to help me on that. And in the geologic field, that would be mostly exploration and geological work, particularly in fields more than in the office. And unfortunately, I never had time to set myself up a small lab for the determination of minerals, which someday, I might do, but it’s rather doubtful. Are there a lot of minerals here in the valley? I say that Las Vegas is a geologist’s paradise. Not only are there minerals in this Clark County but there’s good chance of oil in Clark County. In spite of the fact that they drilled dry hole near UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 19 Las Vegas. And then, the adjoining states are close, California, Arizona, and Utah, or, are still every sign of mineral deposits, as well as close to Las Vegas in Southern Nevada. What would you say in your opinion is the probably the most plentiful mineral, other than of course Gibson here in Southern Nevada? Well, believe it or not, there’s gold in Southern Nevada, of course we have our lead a zinc deposits over at Goodsprings, with a possibility of their opening up someday a platinum mine there because they found platinum there. Goldfield, I think, at Goldfield in particularly, there’s more gold still in the dam that’s ever been taken out and then maybe that may be true to Tonopah true with the gold and silver. Then across the line over in, off in the mountain range, particularly the Inyo range or, I believe that’s what you call her. That mountain, there’s mineral deposits in there, that may run high in silver and gold. And over in Death—near Death Valley in the range up there, I can’t—they call it’s name— Yes. Well, that range is referred to as the funeral range, which it has some geology that I would certainly like to have the time and—to go up there and spend some time and look at it because it’s been very bothered and shaken up and it’s very high in minerals. I know where and I can’t give you the location but it’s just across the Nevada line in California. What would you say in Nevada is probably one of the best mountain ranges for minerals, for minerals and rocks? Off hand, I can’t exactly give you that, because Nevada has had a—such a fantastic, outstanding background in mineral deposits. Of course, the Comstock Lode, which is, was a Bonanza, and then, at Tonopah and Goldfield and then you got great mineral deposits near Eureka and the UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 20 Copper deposits at Ruth and Nevada are outstanding and possibly, will yield a lot more. As far as copper is concerned— (Tape one ends) (Tape two begins midsentence) Ah, possibly in Southern Nevada we may have copper deposits but I haven’t really had a chance to study them. Although, a friend of mine has brought me a few samples in, from down near Nelson, I believe it is. And, incidentally, Nelson has quite a history too, for the production of minerals. Have you ever developed—have you ever visited any of these small towns before 1955 or maybe twenty years, ten, twenty years ago, Tonopah, Goldfield, Eureka, Ruth, and Nelson? Back when I’d like to I’ve just been through them and possibly stop to eat and talk to a few people. Tonopah fascinated me, I did some work up there one time and got to talk to one or two parties up there but never to anyone who was really a prospect there and knew a lot about it. I met one prospector down at Searchlight. He was quite outstanding, his name was Jim Henry, and since then he has passed away. He was a sandy-haired fella, that had a very pleasing personality and he was very likable. He told me he could take me back over there along the Colorado River and show me an Indian mummy. And he also said, that he knew a (unintelligible) gold deposits, and he’s one of few prospectors I believed, because he had already developed some industrial minerals (unintelligible) to use it. And, he was also well-known around there for paying his bills. And generally when you find a man that pays his bills, he meets his obligations, he wasn’t about to tell tall stories—and since then, of course, he has passed on, which I’m very sorry. Can you describe any of the small towns like Tonopah or Goldfield, as they were ten, twenty years ago and what the size was? UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 21 No. I can’t do that because of just during World War II, the Tonopah (unintelligible) just due to an army base and mostly the description of these places I’ve read in the Review-Journal and in one and two historical articles by different people and generally the minerals are described and not the people in the town. But I think that Nevada history is very outstanding and the fact that Mark Twain came here is a feather in Nevada’s cap. What did you like best about Mark Twain? I love, as all people do, his sense of humor. Uh-huh. Someday I may be able to get up to his place in Missouri, where he grew up as Tom Sawyer. When did Mark Twain come here? Oh, it was back in to 1860s. I’m not sure of the time. His definition of a mine was a hole in the ground own by an (unintelligible). I took some of my geology at the University of Nebraska. Always quoted Mark Twain’s description of it, the definition of a mine, and I guess it’s pretty true. Some people (unintelligible) the truth. What do you, ah, you were saying earlier in the conversation that you like the Comstock Lode, or you were interested in it, is that what you said? Yes. Yes. I’ve read one book about it and all the other articles that I could get. One book was about the big four for a flood, Mackey N. O’Bryan who made millions on the Comstock Lode. And then there was another book I read about the Central Pacific Railroad in which it mentioned the Comstock Lode but— Did—? For descriptions of it, I have a book on ore deposits in North America written about 1900. It’s a very, very good book. UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 22 Who was—who was the author? Off-hand, I can’t tell you. I’ll think of it after this. Did you ever visit the Comstock Lode when it was in operation? No. It went out of operation, and a long, long, time ago, but there’s lots of stories about the Sutro tunnel. What is the Sutro tunnel? Oh, Sutro tunnel was a tunnel that was driven in there by a fellow by the name of Sutro. But (unintelligible) in order to get in there and drain the tunnel, they drained the water out of the tunnel, and they had to, pretty much, but it’s a whole story within itself. A very, very long (unintelligible) story. What year did this occur? Back in the ‘60s or ‘70s, I don’t know. (Unintelligible) No. You said geothermal would be good here in Clark County, Nevada; is there a lot? There’s always a possibility. There were several geothermal occurrences, hot springs, so to speak, I don’t know of any, (unintelligible) but Nevada, there are hot springs on the Colorado River, below Boulder City. Okay, you said you remember the name of a guy who wrote the Comstock Lode and his name is Kemp? Well, he wrote this book that I bought in an (unintelligible) bookstore in Oakland for a dollar and a half, during the Depression. And I thought it been out of print for years and years and his name was Kemp. K-E-M-P (unintelligible) and it is a classic. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s about all the prices I might tell you some other things about that book but it (unintelligible) because I know you have other questions you wanna ask. UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 23 Okay, I’m gonna ask you some questions on the Old Ranch. Do you remember anything about the Old Ranch, formally the Stewart Ranch, now known as the Mormon Fort? No. I don’t remember anything about that because—I can’t tell you why I didn’t get interested in that. The only thing I do know is that I know that the Helen J. Stewart, I think was the person who originally owned that and I know her grandson, real well. His name is Clinton Stay and he’s city surveyor now for the City of North Las Vegas. I hired him originally to go to work out there for me. Is Clinton Stewart spelled C-L-I-N-T-O-N? T-O-N. S-T-A-Y? S-T-A-Y. Very fine man. What does Clinton Stay do now? He’s a—? He’s a city surveyor, out there now. And as to my suggesting and my continual encouragement I think, is what kept him taking the exam until he passed it. He, unfortunately, he would kind of get buck fever when he took the exam. I knew that he would, if you would just take his tranquilizer someday that he’d have no trouble passing the exam, ‘cause he’s an excellent surveyor. Must be awful hard, the exam for engineering, for the geological, must be very hard. They are tremendous, they are hard, if I had to take an exam now in any of those fields I’d come up with about twenty percent. What does a test like that cover? Ah, so many engineering subjects, too many to mention, and in geology, they, the exam, if I’d had to take it, I learned from a geologist in California and I got that into the so-called UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 24 “Grandfather’s Club,” but if I were to take their exam, I’d have to have a few Ph.D. degree, recently, from university, to pass it. As far as being an engineer and a surveyor, back when you first started what was the pay per year? Uh. If you can remember. Well, if anything, from a hundred dollars a month to start out with a month, some of them start out at eighty, that was during the Depression. So start out a less than that if they could get it and then they ran it, in engineering, that was tough to get over, pass what you call, two hundred a month Plato. Then it was just about as harder to get over the three hundred and so on. Well, the war came along and the pays pyramided, so to speak. And the engineers got about what they were worth during the war. Now it’s just fabulous what they’re getting. They’re paying as high as thirty and forty thousand dollars a year for engineers out of college. Well, into twenty thousand dollars, way up in there. But with probably about the start out in our day for maybe a hundred and fifty dollars a month. That is also two of the traits, now they’re getting quite a high pay but considering that a dollar an hour was a good tradesman’s pay back in those days, they’re not out of line at all. Were you here in Nevada during the Depression? No. I know several people that were, and worked at Boulder Dam, and they can give you some stories. I think that, I visited the grand Hoover Dam, in 1936, when things were trying to pick up, and jobs were at a premium then. So, you can imagine what they were back in the ‘20s and 30s here in Boulder Dam. UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 25 Okay. Other than your high school graduation and your college graduation, what were some of the main things you remember that were turning points in your lifetime? Well, the main one was getting my degree in ’39. I’d been out seven years and (unintelligible) practically for a degree but no degree. So pops then got on me about it couple times while I was there and so I had a job that I could save a little money on. So, I went back and took the years’ work and got my degree and that’s one of the turning points. And then, another turning point was when I went to work as a kid for my brother-in-law, as a gosh-devilling (unintelligible) maker, and learned that trade, which helped me some to go to school. And, I could work at that trade at different times or after 1928. Or, I think it was 1928, I haven’t worked at that trade at all. But it was a, might say, a turning point, and the fact that I got a diploma in high school was a turning point in my life. It’s a—they call it a, really a commencement, and that’s what it is. It sets you up to start other things. To get a high school diploma back then, it must’ve been awful hard? No. It wasn’t. If you had that get-up-and-go, because I went to a school that had some of the finest teachers in the whole United States. And if you had a goal, and now mine as a goal, was to become an engineer, they would help you and or cooperated and you either knew how to read and write and do all the things that high school graduates don’t do now. You have to have that in the eighth grade. In fact, of the matter is, I learned to square, how to extract square root when I when I was in the seventh grade. And that teacher was a teacher by the name of Sadie Glasgow, and I think that was a turning point in my life, too—having her as my teacher, because she was a marvelous person, and taught me many things that I remember even to this day. One of ‘em being a little grammar, which I haven’t displayed lately. UNLV University Libraries Ernest Henry Clary 26 When you went into private practice here in Las Vegas or Nevada, was there a great demand for surveyors?