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Transcript of interview with Mary Shaw by Barbara Tabach, September 2, 2011







For the first 19 years of her life, Mary Martell Shaw called Central America home. Then thanks to misrouted luggage, she met the love of her life Rollin H. Shaw, a civil engineer, at a time in when his atomic energy career was taking off. In October 1943, they married in Costa Rica and for the next two decades traversed the country: Hawaii to California to Panama—wherever a project required Ronnie's engineering skills. Mary supported her husband every step of the way, with every new location. As a traditional homemaker of the era, she became adept at raising their four kids while packing boxes, enrolling them in school and setting up a warm home wherever they landed. The move to Las Vegas in September 1964, however, left her a bit challenged: there was a shortage of adequate housing, a concern for where to send her two daughters and two sons to school, and the feeling that they wouldn't be here long. Years later, Mary and Ronnie would retire to the city where their roots ran deepest, Las Vegas. With great wit, Mary recalls the long absences demanded by Ronnie's work with the Atomic Energy Commission. She also tells stories of the great fun they and their fellow Nevada Test Site employees had at parties, of her learning to paint with watercolors, and the pride she has of all her children's successes based on their education in Las Vegas.

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Shaw, Mary Interview, 2011 September 2. OH-02763. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada


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AN INTERVIEW WITH MARY M. SHAW An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ©The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2012 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editors: Barbara Tabach, Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers and Project Assistants: Barbara Tabach and Claytee D. White ii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Harold Boyer. 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 the university 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. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White, Project Director Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iii PREFACE For the first 19 years of her life, Mary Martell Shaw called Central America home. Then thanks to misrouted luggage, she met the love of her life Rollin H. Shaw, a civil engineer, at a time in when his atomic energy career was taking off. In October 1943, they married in Costa Rica and for the next two decades traversed the country: Hawaii to California to Panama—wherever a project required Ronnie's engineering skills. Mary supported her husband every step of the way, with every new location. As a traditional homemaker of the era, she became adept at raising their four kids while packing boxes, enrolling them in school and setting up a warm home wherever they landed. The move to Las Vegas in September 1964, however, left her a bit challenged: there was a shortage of adequate housing, a concern for where to send her two daughters and two sons to school, and the feeling that they wouldn't be here long. Years later, Mary and Ronnie would retire to the city where their roots ran deepest, Las Vegas. With great wit, Mary recalls the long absences demanded by Ronnie's work with the Atomic Energy Commission. She also tells stories of the great fun they and their fellow Nevada Test Site employees had at parties, of her learning to paint with watercolors, and the pride she has of all her children's successes based on their education in Las Vegas. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Mary M. Shaw September 2 & November 14, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface iv Session 1 Mary begins with an overview of her ancestry: mother was English and father Australian who immigrated to Central America; she was their only child and was bom in Panama and raised in Costa Rica. In 1943 she married her husband, Rollin H. Shaw, an engineer from Colorado; he worked on the Interamericana Highway in Costa Rica; fulltime mother of four children; moved with husband's work to several different states including California, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Panama; always had friends 1 - 3 Talks about moving to Las Vegas in September 1964; ugliness and housing shortage; friendship of Fritzy Reeves; so few high schools that there were split schedules; funny story about finding the perfect house on Thompson Circle where the family lived for 25 years. Talks about how well her kids adjusted; limitations of shopping so she sewed a lot; safe town. Also describes how wives of Test Site scientists/managers stuck together; the story of the moving chandelier that signaled husbands would be coming home for supper; how the socialize with each other, v o l u n t e e r e d a t t h e H e l e n J . S t e w a r t S c h o o l f o r e m o t i o n a l l y d i s t u r b e d 4 - 7 Describes how little her children knew about father's work; socialization with contractors; women's club that met at Thunderbird hotel; explains being a 30-year Mesquite Club member despite Test Site wives not being included at first; misinformation within the community about Test Site; tells about writing a history of Mesquite Club recently and what that included; mentions her passion for painting with watercolors and the Nevada Watercolor Society.. ..8 - 10 Some details about various places her husband worked prior to Nevada Test Site; McNary Dam; AEC in Albuquerque; being self-sufficient when he was away; packing clothing for his trips to unknown places; family adjustments and decision-making; children's thoughts at the time; impact of Cold War. Talks about what it was like to be a Las Vegas housewife in the 1960s; you were what your husband was; stayed home and made his life comfortable; example of families helping each other out 11 - 15 Talks about her husband retiring in the 1972 and remaining in Las Vegas; adjusting to retirement life; her husband Ronnie and his siblings lack of awareness of his job; how he dispelled questions of outsiders. Story about visiting Las Vegas in 1955 and observing an aboveground test from Tonopah Highway 16 - 19 Session 2 Shares stories about a parties at Kennedys' Mt. Charleston cabin during the years their husbands worked at the Test site; retirement affected changes. Talks about entertaining contractors and those parties 20-22 Talks about women she enjoyed knowing from her life during that period: Fritzi Reeves who was married to Ronnie s boss Jim Reeves; the politically active Jean Crooks and her husband Larry Crooks, Terri Schueler with whom she and others formed an investment group, gained interest in painting hobby with Clitf Segerblom; Norma Jean Haldstead also in painting group, wife of an e n g i n e e r ; Lucy Mae whose husband worked f o r EG&G 23-29 Explains how to the day her children still little of their father's work life; her daughter's story of learning from the recent book Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen; educational aspects of Las Vegas; settling in Decatur-Washington area and kids jumping fences to walk to school. Shares how she created a home with each move. Story about Jim Reeves getting a metal plate in his head and h e a r i n g m u s i c . S t o r y a b o u t d a u g h t e r a d j u s t i n g t o b e i n g new a t Western High School 30-35 Talks about the local animosities regarding the Test Site, if it would ruin the town etc. people; decision to remain in Las Vegas after Ronnie's retirement; impressed by changes that occurred. Tells about the long commute to Test Site and that her husband's office was in town; stimulating environment of raising her family here. Talks about memories of times shared with additional couples: retired Gen. John and Virginia Hilger; Mr. and Mrs. Emie Campbell (radiation); more about the Schuelers; sense of community for them all 36 _ 44 How she communicated with her husband when he traveled for work; telephone issues and party lines; stories about kids teen years and operating like a single-parent. More about time living in Hawaii; fish from Johnston Island excursions; daughter's thyroid cancer. Husband was not eager to retire; Amchitka; wanted to prove atomic energy was not dangerous; being left off the guest list o f h i s own r e t i r e m e n t p a r t y a n d funny s t o r y 4 5 - 5 3 Index. . 5 4 - 5 5 VI Shake, Rattle & Roll: Stories of Nevada Test Site Wives and Children Oral History Project Use Agreement Name of Narratorr:: MjtgJ/ Name of Interviewer: '~7~/bRAQ/-/ We, die above named, give to the Oral History Research Center of UNLV, die recorded interview(s) initiated on / / along widi typed transcripts as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes as shall be determined, and transfer to die University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal tide and all literary property rights including copyright. Tliis gift does not preclude die right of die interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use die recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. I understand diat my interview will be made available to researchers and may be quoted from, published, distributed, placed on die Internet or broadcast in any medium diat die Oral History Research Center and UNLV Libraries deem appropriate including future forms of electronic and digital media. There will be no compensation for any interviews. Signature of Narrater / V / Date Date Session 1 Today is September 2nd, 2011. I'm Barbara Tabach and I'm sitting with Mary Shaw in her home. How are you today? Good, thank you. Good. We're going to start out with some just basic questions about you, Mary. Tell me a bit about where you're from and where you grew up; that kind of thing. Well, mine is kind of unusual. My mother was of English people who came to build railroads and export coffee to Central America. And my father was an Australian who came to Central America to work in the lumber business first. And then later he got a job with the United Fruit Company. Now, they were the people who developed those Central American countries for bananas and chocolate. And the farm he was managing was truly dug out of the jungle. You could hear the monkeys at night. And the ocean was not too far away. You could hear that at night. And there were alligators in the river at the end of the garden. Then my mother thought ~ they had been married ten years. And my mother was 49 and my father was 58. And she developed a discomfort. She thought she had an upset stomach. When she went to the doctor, he told her she was pregnant. And that was me. She had never had any children. She didn't want any children. She didn't have any children. And I was bom in a fruit company hotel in the northern part of Panama. And we lived there, mother and I, for four or five years, and then we moved back to Costa Rica, mainly so I could go to school because we were quite isolated. Now, the fruit company didn't build roads. They built railroads to get up all the produce. So wherever you went you had to ride the train. So mother and I went back to Costa Rica where she had grown up. And in later years my father followed us. And we went back to visit him quite a few times. I went to school in Costa Rica. And then I worked for the Public Road Administration when they were building the Interamericana Highway. And that's where I met my husband. So how old were you when you met your husband? 1 Oh, I was like 19. He was from Colorado. Well, I'll tell you he came down there because he had been in Newfoundland, and he was a 4-F, but he wanted to get in the service. And he did get in the service. But he did some of the original cuts for the Interamericana Highway. So was it love at first sight? No. When he left Washington ~ see, we're thinking the war. When he left Washington he was going to San Jose, Costa Rica, but they put his suitcase on to San Jose, California. And I was a secretary. My boss came in one day and he said, you know, that poor engineer doesn't know where his suitcase is; you better get on the phone and try to find his suitcase somewhere. So I found his suitcase in San Jose, California. And so he invited me to dinner as a thank-you. You kind of believe in destiny on those things. And so you got married—and you have children? We have four. We had a child every time we moved till we got the idea we better not move anymore. We had one in Costa Rica, the eldest, and one in Panama and one in California and one in Albuquerque. How old were your kids, then, when you moved to Las Vegas? We had been sent to Hawaii, which was a lovely assignment, for two years. From Albuquerque we went to Hawaii. And my husband was manager of the AEC [Atomic Energy Commission] office there. And the eldest son started to college that year. There was a daughter who was a senior in high school when she got here, and another one was a sophomore I guess. Now, the youngest boy was still in grade school. It was very different because we came from a big city, Honolulu, and naturally green everywhere. And I had grown up with green everywhere in (Costa Rica). It was, to some extent, like homecoming because we had many, many friends here. So we didn't have to start out by making friends. The manager of AEC at that time had been with us in Panama on the study of the sea-level canal. Oh, and another thing, living in Hawaii we had entertained many people from here who visited the office in Hawaii on their way to the islands and stuff. So really that was good. Okay. So you were in Hawaii for a number of years. 2 For two years. Oh, for two years. Okay. So where did you raise your kids mostly? Oh, I guess you said you moved around. We were in Albuquerque ten years. We went back and forth to Panama a few times. We were first in the study of the sea-level canal, which was very interesting. The ships went by just outside my kitchen window, but there was grass between me and the canal. So it looked as if the ships were walking on grass. And then we went to California to work for the California Department of Engineering on the levees and stuff — oh, and I know ~ and on the dam at Folsom. And Ronnie was manager there. And then we went back to Panama for a while and then to Albuquerque. Albuquerque, ten years; Hawaii, two; and then here. How did your kids feel about moving that much? Well, for one, things were different in those days. I didn't have a job. My job was the kids and the family. So when my husband came in and said we're moving, I'd say, fine, when are the movers coming? You know, I had done it many times. One of the funny things he said when he came in in Panama, he said, what do you think about moving to Albuquerque? I said what is there in Albuquerque? And he said there's a university. Well, ten years to the day the other son went to the University of New Mexico. I heard an interesting conversation between our two daughters: they had lived in Alaska a lot, and one is an attorney in Alaska. And she was talking about moving south. Oh, she had a little girl, yes. And the other sister was telling her why didn't she move down to the Lower 48 before the little girl started to high school? And Nancy said, oh, I don't want to move; you know, it's so difficult. And her sister said to her, nah, think of the times we moved and how much we learned and how much we did, how many people we knew. So I think it did them good to some extent. Absolutely. And there was enough security because we had all these other friends. It wasn't as if we were just floating around. And the manager's wife, who we have to make some kind of a report on her because she was a character, but as long as they were around, my kids always felt safe and knew they had another home. 3 So there was like a sense of community within your husband's profession — Yes. Yes. A lot. You never felt alone. At least I never did. I knew that if there was a real big tragedy, which fortunately there never was, I could call the office and somebody would help me with it, with whatever happened. And as I say we had all these friends we had known in other places. And then we started a woman's club very quickly. First let me go back to tell you about the housing because this is important. Okay. So let's start with you coming to Las Vegas. And that was what year? That was September of '64. All right. Tell me about that. I remember we came in about five o'clock on a plane. My husband had come ahead of us, so it was the kids and I who came in by plane. And as the plane circled — it was old McCarran Airport — I thought how am I going to make a home out of this ugly little place? It was dry. It was not very big. I don't remember how small, but it was pretty small. My husband had been here for three or four months. I stayed out there the summer. And my husband had been here for three or four months. So he thought I had the furniture and the stole and the supper in my purse. So I was supposed to get a house within a week and get the kids in school. It was the end of September. There was hardly any housing, and the city ended up Decatur. It was hot. And this manager's wife helped me, and the kids stayed at her house for a while. What was her name? Fritzy Reeves, a character as you have never met in your life. She had met Gertrude Stein years ago at the University of Wisconsin. So she kind of emulated Gertrude Stein. [Fritzy was the wife of James Reeves, Manager of Nevada Operations Office ofAEC.J We started to look at houses and I went back to her house. There were very few neighborhoods. And then there were many neighborhoods - I can't remember of two at least -- that had gone broke and were not finished, where people said, oh, you can buy a house there and then they'll finish it for you. But you were not sure whether they'd do it or how they'd do it. 4 Oh, and then another thing, very few high schools: there were only Western and Las Vegas High School and I think Rancho. So I was aiming to Western High School. I didn't want to drive. Oh, and then another thing at the time was that the schools were alternating (schedules). The oldest girl would go in the morning I think and then the younger girl would go in the afternoon. So it meant that I would have to be on the road all day long. And why was that? Because there were so few high schools and so many kids. Okay. The city was growing at that time — Growing, yes. — and it still was overpopulated. Overpopulated. So I was aiming around Western High School. And all of us were aiming around Western High School. We saw this house advertised; Fritzy saw this house advertised in the newspaper that sounded perfect. So all of us went over and everybody had an assignment. Somebody was to look at the kitchen. Somebody was to look at the bedroom. Somebody was — blah, blah, blah, you know. When we called the real estate man, he wouldn't show it. And I kept saying, you know I need a house and it really sounds in the right neighborhood and everything. Well, he finally confessed that — it was summertime ~ that he had shown a house to somebody within the last week or so and they had gotten locked in the garage. It was summer and the doors only opened from inside the house. He and his client were frantic because it was like two or three o'clock in the afternoon on a very hot summer day. So they found a piece of paper and they moved it back and forth under the garage door, hoping somebody would see it. A girl from across the street came to—we didn't have sprinkler systems then—came to turn the water off, okay. She went back in the house and said something strange is happening; there's a paper moving over there. So he wasn't about to show that house. He felt that it was a dangerous house. Yes, it was a perfect house for us and within a very short walk for the girls to go to school and there was a grade school for the younger boys. I want to say in our school.. .there were AEC people on every block there, not only AEC but the contractor that worked for AEC. So it was a 5 lovely neighborhood. We had bridge parties and we had weddings and we had showers and we helped each other with whatever happened. And we lived there for 25 years. Do you remember the address? Yes. 4408 Thompson Circle, just off Washington. Ronnie worked at the office here. He was not at the Test Site too much. He went to the Test Site some. He traveled a great deal. (There was a big case in — no, forget that. That was Albuquerque. That was not here.) But it was a very happy time. The girls graduated from (Western) high school. The older girl (Patty) went to college for one year in Arizona and then married. The next older, Nancy, she graduated and went on to Berkeley and then to law school. And Mike did the whole deal. He went to Gibson Junior High and Western and then moved out of state. There was something funny in the history. I met his math teacher one time at a wedding. She asked me after it, she said that she had scrounged to find some computers. And we're talking 1964 or '65 or '66. She said they were really old relics, but she just thought the kids should at least start. And Mike, the youngest, to this day claims that all he knows about computers now are based on what that lady taught him at Western. Wow. That's way before computers were really prevalent. Oh, yeah. And then he made friends with some people who skied up at -- oh, Mount Charleston, the next one, what is it called?—Brian's Head? And he started skiing and ended up as the instructor of the Danish competitor in the Olympics in Japan. So the kids, they acclimated pretty easily? Oh, yeah. They were used to moving around and adjusting. Do any of them still live here? No. The eldest is in Tacoma, Washington. Patty is in Colorado. She's a wonderful quilter and married to a doctor. Nancy is a Teamster's attorney in Anchorage. And Mike lives in Whitefish, Montana, married to a girl from Utah. But this is a cheap hotel. They come through often. That's good. 6 So you've got this desert city that you've moved into. It's expanding and not enough good housing; you find a house. What else did you observe about Las Vegas as a community that made it different than other places you had lived? Well, quite naturally, because I'm a woman and had kids, shopping was limited. Ronzone was downtown and very limited. Fortunately, I sewed, so I sewed everything. It was a pretty safe town in those days. I don't remember that kind of problems. And the girls walked through a vacant lot to get to Western. There was a little incident there later on with somebody else. But the city didn't — I want to say this carefully — the city didn't take us in, but we made no effort to be taken in. Because of the work our husbands did, it was better for us to all stay together. And if you went to play bridge and all the husbands were gone, we all knew where they were, but we didn't have to explain to an outsider where the husbands were. And one of the women made a funny. I guess you have it. She said that the husbands would be gone, but they'd say that maybe they'd be home next Thursday. So then you'd hear that there was going to be a test at seven o'clock in the morning on Thursday. So then you watched a chandelier in some houses and a boat of water in others, and if it flipped a lot, you got meat out of the freezer because you knew they were going to be home for supper. I think that's a great story. When I got here they already had a little women's club. And this way we all did things. We did a little charity. We took over the Helen J. Stewart School that was for the emotionally disturbed. And one of the women decorated the library, which was a very small one, all in bird theme. So we would go - what was it, twice a week? Each woman had a day to go, but I don't think we were there all the time. And we read to the children and manned the library. And we had lots of fashion shows. And there was a game. We played bingo all the time I remember. We stuck together. We stuck together. And the kids tell that for them it was a bit more difficult because when people said what does your father do, they had to say I don't know. And where is your father, when it came down to a conference or something? Well, I don't know where my dad is, so maybe my mother will come. And some girls got together one time and talked those things over that that made it different. We really weren't too aware of that. 7 Did the kids know what their father was doing for work? Did they have a general idea, or they just didn't know? Dad went to work; I don't know what he does. Setting bombs, you know. They did know that much? Well, Ronnie worked here in the office here most of the time. But he worked under the test manager. He was like two down from the test manager. So, no. But I'll have to confess to you we don't have the slightest idea what they did. And there were a lot of office parties. In those days the government allowed the government employees to go to parties given by the contractors, particularly at Christmastime. So we had some lovely parties, lots of fun, and because the women were all friends in this little women's club. We met at the old Thunderbird hotel. They were very gracious to us. What did it take to join the women's club? Was that just automatic or was there a special — Supposedly, it was for all the women out at the Test Site, but it ended up being just kind of like staff. But there were no rules. You just walked in and there you were. No, there was none of that because, people had come from everywhere. There were an awful lot of them had come from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. And some had come from Albuquerque. I think a few had come from Los Alamos. It's like the military. That's one advantage; that you don't sit around trying to make friends. You all band together because that's all ultimately there is. And you started having like picnics on Saturday afternoons where you're not about to tell anybody not to come. Everybody comes, and with their kids. We saw a lot of the (Fritzy and Jim) Reeves. The couples partied around quite a bit. There was a lot to be done because shopping was difficult. There weren't too many grocery stores here. I sewed everything. I made everything because there were hardly any stores here. That always seemed to keep you ~ no. There was no being accepted because now I'm a member of the Mesquite Club and have been for years. And that is a city club, if you know it. I'm not knocking it. I want to make that clear because we never put out feelers to be accepted by them. But they were a city club and they didn't welcome people who worked on the Strip or us. Us, being the wives of the Test Site ~ 8 Yes. They didn't want us. We were outsiders coming into the city and these were people who have been here all their lives. They had their hundredth birthday last year. So they had been there for 60 years when we got here. One woman joined — I don't know what her ties were ~ like in the 70s. And I got my 30-year pin the other day. So I must have been invited in the 80s. But, you see, it took 20 years for them to invite us to join. Quite amazing. * And when we did join I was amazed at the ignorance. And they would have speakers speak about the Test Site. And the few of us who were there ~ there were three or four at one time ~ we'd just sit there and be amazed at the — well, because it had misinformation about the Test Site. Can you give me any examples of that? Do you remember? Oh, well, they belonged to the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and they had a vote one day that they were going to—okay. I've never worked for that because I don't believe in it. But anyway, they liked me. But they go to a big convention every spring and supposedly years ago they did like a manifesto of votes of all these clubs all over the country. And some were already giving the government of the ideas of what they can do, which is a lot, although they all go in the trash, but that's another story; oh, the old lady telling us what to do again. One time in particular they wrote this opinion about the testing out at the Test Site. And the three of us were like these people don't know a thing about what's happening out there or what's up. I must say that we were all aware—okay. I wrote the history of the Mesquite Club last year. It seems that when the depression of the 1930s came along, the government started the dam, which helped this town a lot. So Las Vegas didn't suffer from a depression because of the Boulder dam. People started coming in very early. They started coming in in the 20s to make scientific studies. So they had all these people coming in and bringing money and education. And then when we came, the town was kind of floating around a bit and the Test Site had a big payroll every week. And all these very intelligent people, some of the - it sounds snooty for me to say this ~ but some of the best brains in the country came in. I believe that helped the city a lot. We very quickly started going to plays and concerts as soon as it started. I think some of the men in Holmes and Narver, which was one of the — 9 In the what? Holmes and Narver. Here again, my ignorance is great just because they never told us anything. Okay. But Holmes and Narver was a company from California that did like the housekeeping at the Test Site. I think they did food and housing and all that. Anyway, and they were a very big company here... I think that they were involved with opening the engineering school at the university. And they put so much money in there, or somebody did, that they were able to get really good professors because there was so much money. And Holmes and Narver was greatly involved in that. Mainly, I like to think that they were smart, educated people, you know, with great big educations. One of our best friends was the head here of the Lawrence Laboratories (LLL) in California. And his wife, Jean, was a brain. And she got involved in the political part of the work in here. I'm going to tell you one thing about Jean. Jean and a friend started a little polling office where they could do polling for candidates. Kenny Guinn came to them and asked them to run a poll to see if he should run for governor. They liked him, but they found that he would not be successful. So he waited quite a few years before he started again. But those years that he waited (were) based on the study those women did. And then little by little, by the 70s and 80s, we all started getting in to different things. Again, these people had really good educations and really good -- So you had the women's club and eventually you got involved with the Mesquite Club. Were there other things that you did in the community? Oh, I always painted. Yeah, I always painted. And way back when -- I'll tell you something. In those days to join the Watercolor Society, which was supposed to be a very nice little group, you presented your painting and then the members voted on whether you could get in or not, which naturally agreed with politics or not. But I went to pick up my painting. And the lady who had founded it, her name was Mya LaCosta. She lived close to the airport in a little bitty house. And her husband had been a pilot I think. We're talking like 1965. And she stood looking at the front door. And she said that when she had moved in there she could see to all the points of the horizon without one building. She died about a month before she had her hundredth birthday. 10 And she lived at home and had 24-hour care. So I said to a mutual friend, how can Mya afford that? And she laughed and she said to me, you ve forgotten that the airport is built on their land. But, you see, that's the kind of place we came to. Yeah. You've seen so much change. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. So let's go back. Now, your husband's career is secretive. But at the same time, was it as secretive in other locations that he had worked or just when he got here? No, just when he — well, no. I guess in Albuquerque he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission. The Albuquerque office — I've going to make this clear; that I'm not really terribly sure about what I'm going to tell you. But from Los Alamos they came down ~ you know, after Oppenheimer and all those people, then they came down and had the Albuquerque office. Los Alamos still existed. And my husband and these people that came out of the sea-level canal studies, they went up to McNary Dam and built it. And then I don't know, but like three or four of them were all hired by AEC in Albuquerque. And we had gone to Panama on a job that didn't turn out. So they told Ronnie to just come up to Albuquerque. We were attached to Sandia base and Kirtland. I worked in the women's club at the officers' club. Yeah, but early in the game we were taught to keep our mouths closed. And I must - I repeat, the women never blew it that I can remember, anything. In Albuquerque times they were just... gone a lot. That's something that should be pointed out; that w