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Transcript of interview with Gil Cohen by Claytee White, August 5, 2014







Interview with Gil Cohen by Claytee White on August 5, 2015. In this interview, Cohen discusses growing up in Las Vegas and attending University of Nevada at Reno. He returned to Las Vegas to join the management training program at the Stardust. He talks about his friendships with Moe Dalitz and Carl Cohen, and his interest in golfing. He also discusses corporate ownership of casinos, unions, and his experiences working at different Strip hotels.

Gil Cohen came to Las Vegas in 1957, when was ten years old, when his father, Yale Cohen, was recruited by Moe Dalitz to work at the Stardust Hotel and Casino. Cohen graduated from University of Nevada Reno, and started working at the Stardust through the management-training program. In 1975, he was made hotel manager, his first of many leadership positions in Strip properties, which have included the Dunes, Aladdin, Hacienda and Monte Carlo, where he currently works as a casino host.

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Gil Cohen oral history interview, 2014 August 05. OH-02148. [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 Gil Cohen An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries ?Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans ii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first- person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada Las Vegas ii i Preface In 1957, when Gil Cohen was ten years old, his family moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Las Vegas, Nevada. His father, Yale Cohen, had been recruited by Moe Dalitz to work at the Stardust Hotel and Casino, which opened its doors the next year. His mother, Toby, stayed at home to raise him and his sister, Debbie. After graduating from Las Vegas High School, Gil turned down several golf scholarships to attend the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). After graduating from UNR, Gil returned to Las Vegas and started working at the Stardust, participating in a management-training program. After exploring several jobs within different departments, Gil discovered he most enjoyed working with people. In 1975, he was made hotel manager, his first of many leadership positions in Strip properties, which have included the Dunes, Aladdin, Hacienda and Monte Carlo, where he currently works as a casino host. Over this time, Gil has seen incredibly changes in the gaming industry as it has adjusted to corporatization, and an increasing digital world. Gil was introduced to the game of golf by Tommy Callaghan, and honed his skills while growing up across the street from, and eventually on, the Desert Inn Golf Course. He has maintained the sport as a hobby over the years, even once playing with Johnny Roselli. Gil's community service commitments have included serving as the president of Variety Club and work with United Way. iv Table of Contents Interview with Gil Cohen August 5, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White Preface..........................................................................................................iv Discusses parents' moving family to Las Vegas, from Ohio; schools attended, including University of Nevada, Reno. Talks about participating in management trainee program at Stardust; discovers penchant for front desk side of business; becomes hotel manager. Talks about father's work at the Stardust Hotel; how the credit system operated amongst casinos during those days; mother's social life, work with clubs.........................................................................1-5 Talks about his and Moe Dalitz's involvement with Variety Club; Moe charitable nature and getting into real estate business, building golf courses, Las Vegas Country Club, La Costa; how projects funded. Mentions best-dressed casino executive contest, past winners; changes in dressing norms by visitors over the years; evolution of casino entertainment. Talks about learning to paly golf, which becomes a hobby; playing with neighbor Bob Miller...................6-12 Recounts story of getting beaten in round of golf by Johnny Roselli. Speaks about sister, being a protective older brother. Describes starting employment at Stardust, working under various hotel managers. Mentions current occupancy trends. Talks about Frank Rosenthal; changes with city and industry with corporate ownership, started by Howard Hughes........................................13-19 Speaks about Steve Wynn's MAP Program, its alumni currently in leadership positions in many properties; technology's impact on business operations; the essence of the gambling industry, city. Discusses unions, strikes; Al Bramlet. Talks about growing up, being Jewish; religious traditions of family...................................................................................................................20-25 Reflects on educational structures, funding for gaming industry, K-12 education in Nevada; upcoming generation of casino managers. Speaks about benefits and drawbacks of growing up in Desert Inn Country Club. Considers changes seen in city's gaming industry over the years; what it was like working at different properties on the Strip; serving junket business; new development projects, including various arenas.......................................................................26-31 Index.........................................................................................................................................32-33 v This is Claytee White and I'm with Mr. Gil Cohen. We're at the country club in Las Vegas. It is August 5, 2014. How are you today? I'm good, Claytee. Thank you. Now, is Gil correct, first name? Yes. And the last name is...would you spell it for me? Cohen, C-O-H-E-N. Thank you so much. I'd like to start by talking to you about your early life; where you grew up, what you did as a young boy and what that was like. We moved here from Cleveland in 1957. My dad came here to work at the Stardust Hotel that opened up July of '58. When we moved here...he came out ahead of time and we moved here not far from where we are at now in the Pardee-Phillips development. We lived on Pardee Place. P-A-R-D-E-E? Yes. That was one of the developments that?I think the whole town was east of Maryland Parkway, basically, except for the casinos. There's a great picture I want to show you on the way out. Good. I went to school at John C. Fremont and from there I went to Las Vegas High, graduated from there. Then I went to school at UNR in Reno. I came back in 1969, and I started working at the Stardust in a program that now is considered either a MAP Program at some companies now, management trainee, or a program where the department head will take you under his wing and show you all he knows or all he wants to share with you about each department. I did that at the 1 Stardust seems like forever, but I guess it was only a few years before somebody asks, "What do you want to do?" I had a chance and I thought, I want to work at the front desk in the hotel side. I didn't like the laundry quite as much as I had thought I?I never liked the laundry. I didn't like back of the house. Accounting was not my strong suit. I like talking to people, dealing with people. I got an opportunity to work as a desk clerk, front desk manager. Don't hold me to this. It was 1975 I was made the hotel manager at the Stardust Hotel. So no gaming? Not to that point. I just want to go back and ask a couple of questions. Why UNR? I fell in love with that school when we went up there for a state tournament. The class before me?I graduated in '65. Some of the '63 and '64 guys that I knew were up there and it just looked like it fit for me. It was small enough. I was never one to try to say that this is where I want to stake a claim and everybody's going to know me, or anything like that. It just felt comfortable. I was offered a golf scholarship at the University of Houston. I turned that down. When I found out that they had like twenty-five or thirty thousand students, I thought, God, I'll get lost there. One that I turned down very quickly was?I shouldn't say it was a scholarship; it was an invitation to West Point, which oftentimes turns into?I don't know about scholarship, but it was a golf invitation. I knew my grades would never get me in there and I saw a movie sometime prior to it called The Plebe and it scared the hell out of me. I said I don't want to go there; I don't think they're on our side. So I went to UNR. I just loved it. Okay, great. Tell me what Las Vegas was like?how old were you in 1958 when your family moved here? I was ten years old. 2 So you remember then. Did you drive out? No. We flew, TWA. The airport was located on Las Vegas Boulevard, McCarran, where the private planes are now. That was it. In those days...I'll never forget my dad pulled the car up almost to the end of the stairs leading down from the plane. All the baggage was just out there, and he just threw the bags in the car and drove away. Oh, what a difference. Went right from there to the Desert Inn Hotel. The Stardust was not built yet and he was still in training. What was he in training to become? [Laughing] Very good question. The backstory of that was he was involved with gaming in Cleveland, as most of the guys from the Stardust and Desert Inn. Everybody who started this town had a backstory. When Moe Dalitz said, "Yale, come with me," he packed up and he left. My dad never dealt a game, but he had an eye to spot a cheater or a mistake, and it lasted a long time. Wow. But he didn't ever actually handle the cards. He knew how. The cards, the dice. Basically gaming in the early sixties was the craps tables. Slots were for the ladies. Let the ladies go play slots. Okay, yes. He gets out there, and he's in a meeting with all the owners and executives and they said, "Well, I think we'll put you in charge of slot machines." My dad and I have one common thread between us. We can't fix anything. Mechanics is not our strong suit. So he said, "Well, I'm out here; I might as well make the best of what's going to be a bad situation." One of the partners was a dear friend, dear guy named Bobby Kaye. Bobby said, "I'll take him with me; I'll teach him credit." Because that's one thing in Cleveland and all the other 3 surrounding places...the credit was given because I could look at you, I knew you, you're in the neighborhood or you're a friend of somebody. If he says it's okay, give it to him. The numbers were obviously not as big as they were out here. Now there's a little bit more formality. You've got to fill out paperwork. You're expected to pay it. If you lose your credit line, you lose your money; I'm going to go back to you and send you a bill, and I hope you pay it. The stories about if you didn't pay it...that's another long story. But they got collected. Gaming debts were always considered honorable debts. The few who were known to have beat a casino because he didn't pay him, you couldn't go anyplace in town without somebody calling up and saying, "Hey, I've got John Smith here. Didn't he play down there?" Because there were no computers. It was a great age of talking to people and saying, "Yeah, he stiffed us for five thousand dollars." So you go back and say, "John, you've got no credit here until you straighten out with..." whatever hotel it was. So was the black book even necessary since you had that kind of communication? The black book is something different. Black book is people who were deemed to be undesirable in the way of ownership or allowing them to come into the property. No, credit is another thing. Credit was something else. What is your father's name? Yale. Y-A-L-E? Yes. I thought that's what you had said. Tell me what your life was like in Las Vegas for your mother. My mom was a pretty tough old bird compared to what you see around now. She raised two kids, 4 my sister and I. She was a stay-at-home mom as we were growing. Dinner was on the table. My dad worked nights. So as often as possible he would have dinner. It might be an earlier dinner than...five, six o'clock rather than what we are more used to now. But Ozzie and Harriet times; that's a good time to have dinner. She had her nucleus of friends, other casino wives. She would be able to pick and choose who out of those people she felt most comfortable with. She wasn't a drinker, so that part of the equation was eliminated. She wasn't into sports. She wasn't a golfer or a bowler. Later in life she found slot machines as her friend. But my sister and I were gone, and that was her outlet. I'll never forget they'd be sitting around a lunch table at somebody's house, either our house or one of her friends', and the ladies would look at each other like, you have to say it first because otherwise I'm going to be the bad one. What do you want to do tonight, Toby? Well, let's go play slots. Okay, fine. So you're the guy; you made me do it. [Laughing] Yes. Did she ever join any of the social clubs or service clubs? Yes. She was a member of the Jewish organization the Hadassah that for quite some time. They would always call her. The beauty of being a part of an organization, you can either be a worker bee or a supporter bee, and that's what they would call her. Do you want to be on this committee? No. What would it cost me to get me off committee and just help the organization? And that was it. She gave. My dad gave an awful lot, too. But spending time in organizations..! think I started when I was?I was the president of Variety Club. I was really involved and interested in that. I worked for United Way on their charity things. Then time and energy became a question. We've always heard that Moe Dalitz did a lot of that kind of stuff; that he was really well known in the community. Did you ever hear any of those stories, how he would help the? 5 Moe is probably one of our closest friends. Moe started Variety Club. He founded this organization after the Desert Inn started making some money. He's always been a kind-hearted person. I forget exactly how it happened here. But there was this organization and it had to do with theatrical people. It was a nationwide organization that was just really getting its roots, and they needed somebody to head it up in Las Vegas because Las Vegas had...all these entertainers were coming. I say they; I really don't know who they were. They called Moe and said, "Will you help start this Variety Club organization?" And he said, "Sure." In those days, the beauty of the town was that he'd get a synopsis of what the organization was for?and he liked every part of it?and then what it would take to operate, and what he needed to do to promote it and so on. Again, you're either a worker bee, which he was?he was very instrumental?or a giver bee, which he was able to do because he could pick up a phone and say? Benny Goffstein, who was at the Riviera?"Benny, send me ten thousand dollars for this organization." Benny Binion..."Send me ten thousand dollars." Okay, fine. Because favors, everybody does favors for everybody else, in those days. So all the sudden the Variety Club is here. From that spun enormous generosity from him and his foundations. The university made off while he was one of the?I want to say he was one of the founders of; it had to do something with land because he owned a lot of land. Ah. Was he close to Thomas & Mack? Very close, yes. They had something to do with the land that became UNLV's land and all kinds of things. Yes. When Moe got out of the business, the gaming business, he got into real estate business. This property, Las Vegas Country Club. The Boulevard Mall. Great story. He told me this once. He and one of his partners, who was not a golfer, right after the Desert Inn Hotel opened up, were 6 standing on the east side of the building and Moe's looking out and he said to his partner, "We should buy some land out there," waving his hand out there. Sam Tucker said, "For what?" He said, "Well, we'll build a golf course." He says, "I don't play golf." And Moe says, "Well, I do and our customers are going to play golf, so we're going to build a golf course." He says, "Okay. So how much land do you want to buy?" He says, "I don't know, buy land." These are Moe's recollection of it. Standing at the back of the building at the Desert Inn, he was pointing east, what is now Desert Inn Road. When he got done pointing, it was at Winterwood Golf Course. That's on the other side of everything. It's on this side of the mountain. It was this property. It was that property. Everything down Desert Inn Road. The golf course, Winterwood Golf Course. He bought up as much as he could because the land was cheap. He used to tell me, "One of the things about buying land is they don't make it anymore." He did the same thing with La Costa. I asked him one day, because using this story, I said to him, I said, "How much land do you own here?" There were some high tension wires way out there. You see the mark four? oh, yes. It's quite a ways away. I said to him, "To there?" He took my hand and pointed it out like this. A huge amount of land. But that was...a gift a lot of people have is being able to foresee the future. If they're right or wrong, right at that point in time, they're right. You see people like Steve Wynn, for example, who could walk into a room, into four walls, and come up with a Bellagio or Mirage or a Wynn. I don't know how they do that. Tell me what La Costa is. La Costa, I haven't been there in a while. La Costa was a great gathering point because it was unique in the fact that it was a health club and all fat people went to the health club. Their 7 health...[Laughing]...what the men thought was if they sat in the Jacuzzi for a little while and had their drink an arm's reach away or got a massage, they said, "Boy, what a workout." They played golf and rode in the cart all day long. So it was beautiful. [Laughing] Great. It was the first really designated health spa that I can remember. I don't know. I'm sure they had them on the East Coast. But this was something that was different. Then there was always the other backstory of where the money came from. It was Teamster money because they were the only ones that gave money. You mentioned Parry Thomas from Thomas & Mack. He was the only banker in Las Vegas?for that matter, in the United States?that would give a casino owner money to build or expand or anything. And that wasn't until a little later. I want to say it started with Steve Wynn at the Golden Nugget, but it probably was a little earlier because I'm sure he tested the water before. He was dealing with guys that...again, you look them in the eye and you say, "You've got to pay me back." Yeah, I'll pay you back. I need it now. I'll pay you back when I get it. I've heard that because these men were now in businesses that were legal and legitimate here in Las Vegas, the wives felt so much better about their lives here than prior to coming here. Did you ever find that to be true? I don't know. That would be a question for somebody..! know the wives of the owners from La Costa I think, a lot of them moved to the Southern California area. The ones who stayed behind I don't think anything?there wasn't a blip on their screen as to how things were going to change for them. They played their golf on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They had dinner three or four times a week at the hotel or at one of the adjoining places. I don't know if there were any real big 8 differences. There wasn't a superiority feeling, I don't think, of anybody at the time. Nobody came in there and said I'm the king. For lack of a better description, they used to have a contest, who was the best-dressed casino executive. Everybody was [well-dressed] at that time, because we didn't have an awful lot of places to choose from to go buy your clothes. Penney's or Sears or something like that. Eh, I don't want to wear that. So they found a tailor that would build it. Year after year it was just like the Who's Who list of the best dressed. These guys, I think they got embarrassed by it and said, wait a minute, yes, I can afford that type of three-hundred-dollar suit where the floor man, who also has to wear a suit, has to go to a Penney's or a?what was the name of that? Sears? No. There was a great store here. I'll think of it. For a hundred and twenty-five dollars, it fit them. So that's all that counts. You don't see that anymore. You do see this thing that goes out for a charity at Saks Fifth Avenue. Some of my friends have been included in that as being the best?I don't think they call it the best-dressed?top twelve or something like that. Who are some of the people that would win those contests over the years? In those years? Yes. Carl Cohen was always?and as I name people I know I'm leaving out hundreds of others. Of course. Carl Cohen was always a good dresser. Al Sachs was a good dresser. Obviously, I've got to put my dad in that category. Strange, the ones I remember are the big guys, heavyset guys because they had to have their clothes made for them. That was a time. I was talking with some people the other day. I'm getting a little off base. 9 No, please. We want to do this like this. I was talking to some people the other day about what's wrong with Las Vegas and everybody says it's the corporations, it's this and it's this; they don't give what they used to give. One of the people I was talking to said, "Look at the people who come in here." I said, "Well, it's summer months. You're going to wear shorts; you're going to wear tennis shoes." About the same time?I had some time and I was going through my real history about Las Vegas and I'm looking at pictures of who was playing in the casinos at that time. It was a sport coat or a suit and tie. Women were dressed up. That's where it's got to start. How do you tell somebody, I'm sorry, you've got to wear a coat or you've got to wear a tie or a top hat, you need tails or something like that? Because you don't know what he's got in his pocket. The underlining current of this whole thing is you know your customer and if you know your customer is uncomfortable wearing suits and ties and stuff like that, but you know he's got ten, twenty, thirty thousand dollars in his pocket that he wants to spend, you may have to bend a little bit. If they ever wanted to regenerate the olden days...everybody talks about going back to the olden days. How many times can you use Rat Pack's name in a sentence? There's some great entertainment out there, but it's costly. It makes it tough for the average worker to come out here and say, I'm going to spend three hundred dollars to go see whoever it is, and say, I had a really good time. Because there's always a chance the entertainer is not that good when appearing live. At one time it was just a dinner show. It was a dinner and a second show. The Stardust had a third show. On Saturday nights they had a two o'clock show. So those were the real degenerates who would stay up. They had no place to go. They couldn't go to bed; they're in Las Vegas. They only have seventy-two hours to kill or whatever it was. They were killing every minute of it. 10 I don't think that's a bad idea. No, not at all. Right. So are you related to Carl Cohen? No. He was just a very dear friend. Tell me about golf. It's a terrible sport and nobody should ever play it again. They should make prisoners play golf. They'll never commit another crime. I've heard that you are so good at it. There was a time. Yes, I enjoy golf. When we first moved to town, we played baseball, make-up games on the corner of a dirt lot. Then, I don't know, it was supposed to be fun, but everyday we would have to go to these people's houses on the Desert Inn Golf Course and swim and have a good time. It was a hundred and eighteen degrees outside. It's hot out here, Mom. So I notice across from where I was there was a golf course. It was Desert Inn Golf Course and right across the fairways was a driving range. So I put some pants on and I walked over there and I'm looking around, looking around. There's not a bucket, but a tub of golf clubs. So I grab a golf club like I knew what I was doing. A bag of balls was fifty cents, and I just happened to have that in my pocket and gave it to them. Now I'm looking at these balls and I'm looking at these clubs. I'm thinking, what do you do with this? I was looking down and watching people, how they swing and what they do. The first thing I do, I put the club down and it's facing the wrong way. And I thought, well, this must be a left-handed club. So I turned around. I don't know what I'm doing. Some guy came up to me who later changed everything about me. His name was Tommy Callaghan; Tommy was a friend of my dad's that I didn't know at the time. He said, "How do you hit a baseball?" I said, "Well, I can hit it right-handed or left-handed." He says, "How do you 11 throw a ball?" I said, "Right-handed." He says, "Okay, how do you write?" And I said, "Left-handed." He said, "Oh, you're screwed up." He says, "Here, try this club." It was a right-handed club. So we figured out that I'm more right-handed when it comes to golf than left. So I just went out there. It was a tough sport for a young boy, especially at that location. We didn't live on the golf course at the time. Yes, I'm out there beating the ball around. But I always got the ball in the air, so I thought that's the object of the game. We moved to the Desert Inn Golf Course. My neighbor at the time later became Governor Bob Miller. He wouldn't play golf with me. He wanted to play basketball because he was tall. I have a story about him, too. He's a dear friend. I didn't have an awful lot of friends to choose from to play golf. So I would go out there and I wound up playing with older guys, older than me, which meant that they were over twelve years older. I'm still in contact with some of them. It's a great game. Bob Miller was out of the governor's office and he was playing in our golf tournament, at that time the Las Vegas Invitational. I would always ask him when we were playing basketball, "Come on, let's go hit golf balls." He would say, "No, I don't want to play." I played golf with his dad, Ross Miller, but he wouldn't want to have anything to do with it. So years go on. Now he plays golf. As a former governor they invite him to the golf tournament. He's got this beautiful State of Nevada golf bag, the state seal, and a kid steals it. They catch the kid. Bob, who had been the district attorney here, he wasn't doing anything. He says, "I'm going to prosecute him; I can still prosecute him. I'm going to prosecute him." So they catch him and the guy gets, I don't know, six hundred hours of community time or something like that. 12 I wrote a letter to John L. Smith. I said, "If they really wanted to punish this kid, they would have made him play golf with Bob. [Laughing] That's great. John says, "I can't write that." I said, "Why?" I said, "Put my name on it because he'll know." So they put it in. He reworded it a little bit, but I knew that it was my words. Bob calls me up. He said, "Did you tell John?" I said, "Sorry." [Laughing] I love it. Before we leave golf, tell me about Johnny Roselli. I was just going to tell you about that. Johnny Roselli was?if we start by saying he's in the black book, everything prior to that doesn't make...but off-work, he was a nice guy. I was playing golf by myself and I had gotten to the sixth tee at the Desert Inn Country Club and here is this old man with a caddie. I was about eleven or twelve, I think. I had just broken fifty for nine holes. I think I shot forty-eight the first time ever. I thought I'm a dragon slayer. So I meet this guy and he says to me, "Do you want to play in with me?" I say, "Sure." He says, "Do you want to play for some money?" I looked at him and I'm thinking?I don't have any money in my pocket?he's an old man. And I had just broke fifty. This is all way before drugs, so I don't know what got into me. I say, "Yeah, sure." He says, "I'll play you for ten dollars a hole." Six, seven, eight, nine. And I said, "Okay." Well, he beats me. I run into the locker room and there's a dear man, God bless him, his name was Freddie Linacre. In those days everybody just threw him a silver dollar. I ran in there. I beat Johnny Roselli in. I said, "Freddie, give me forty dollars." He says, "For what?" I said, "Just give me forty dollars. I'll give it to you tomorrow or the next day." He says, "Okay." So he cuts off forty dollars. I've taken it and I've got it in my shirt. I said, "Here, Mr. Roselli, here's your money." He 13 says, "That's okay, kid. I'll get it from your dad." So naturally?he wouldn't take it. So I give Freddie back his money. Either that night or the next morning when I saw my dad, he said, "I understand you're a gambler." I said, "Not a very good one." He said, "What did you do?" I told him about it. He said, "Well, I'm going to teach you a little something about gambling." I said, "Okay." He said, "First of all, always pay your debt off." I said, "I tried. I did try to do that and he wouldn't take it." He says, "Secondly, if you don't know the guy you're betting, don't bet him." I said, "All right." But he went back to the first one. He says, "Always pay your bet off." So years go by and now I've got a couple of trophies in my room, and Johnny Roselli comes over. He's looking and he says, "Oh, you're quite a golfer, aren't you?" I say, "Yeah." I said, "You owe me a rematch." He said, "No, I don't." And that was it. That was the last time I saw him. Wow. It was a great time growing up here. It sounds like it. Was it as great for your sister as it was for you? I think so. She made a lot of friends in school. One of the things that she reminds me about was that because she was a younger sister, if a guy came to the door to take her out, I would say, "She's not here," and slam the door. Another thing that she reminded me about was I would nonchalantly refer to some of my friends and she says, "I never met them." I say, "What do you mean you never met them? They were at the house." She says, "I never met them." Debbie's three years younger than me and I don't think, with a few exceptions, she met any of my friends I went to school with because I didn't want them to know her. I was protective. Very. 14 Yes, a little over the top. Debbie has a great history. Her and her dearest friend, Georgie, went to school at Valley High. I think they graduated there. If they didn't graduate from there, they graduated from?the name of that store was?Joseph Magnum because that's where they spent their time. One of the best dress shops in the world. That was it. Again, they've remained close after forty or fifty years. Great. So getting back to your first job at the Stardust, as you were being taught all of the different jobs by?Bobby Kaye? No. Bobby had retired. He was out at the Desert Inn. My main go-to person was a gentleman by the name of Kenny Ryan. Kenny was food and beverage director and just a dear, sweet man. He would send me on my way and if I came back, fine, and if I didn't, he wouldn't miss me. Finally, Al Sachs and Herb Tobman, after they had taken over the place, said, "We're going to make you hotel manager." Prior to that I worked for Mike Adams who was the hotel manager. Mike left there and got into transportation business in town. Another hotel manager who at the time went over to the Aladdin was Jim Bobberra. I see Jim from time to time now. So basically Herb Tobman was the overseer of the departments. Which of those jobs did you like most as you were learning the business, going from one position to another? It was always the hotel, the eye contact, the relationships you make and you learn about the people?the cu