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Transcript of interview with Norma and Gil Schwartz by Stefani Evans, September 22, 2017, October 4, 2017, & February 14, 2018

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2017-09-19
2017-10-05
2018-02-14
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It's been live, love, and laugh ever since we met. We've been married now thirty-three years. Even for a ninety-three-year-old man, thirty-three years is a long time. For Gil Schwartz, thirty-three years is nearly one-third of his life. The former real estate broker, who was raised in Rye, New York, learned the business by working with his father and then forming his own property management company in Manhattan. In 1959, with two children in tow, Gil moved to Las Vegas, where he soon took temporary quarters at Twin Lakes Lodge and he and his children learned to ride horses. In this interview, Schwartz recalls how horseback riding gave him an instant network of friends through working on the annual Helldorado Days and joining the Sheriff's Mounted Posse. He talks about Sahara Realty, the real estate brokerage he founded in 1964 and sold in 1983, and he shares his experiences 1967–68 in negotiating options to buy about one hundred parcels of unimproved land for Herb Nall, who represe

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Schwartz, Norma & Gil Interview, 2017 September 22, 2017 October 4, & 2018 February 14. OH-03242. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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i AN INTERVIEW WITH NORMA AND GIL SCHWARTZ An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2016 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editor: Stefani Evans Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. 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 and 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 Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE "It's been live, love, and laugh ever since we met. We've been married now thirty-three years." Even for a ninety-three-year-old man, thirty-three years is a long time. For Gil Schwartz, thirty-three years is nearly one-third of his life. The former real estate broker, who was raised in Rye, New York, learned the business by working with his father and then forming his own property management company in Manhattan. In 1959, with two children in tow, Gil moved to Las Vegas, where he soon took temporary quarters at Twin Lakes Lodge and he and his children learned to ride horses. In this interview, Schwartz recalls how horseback riding gave him an instant network of friends through working on the annual Helldorado Days and joining the Sheriff's Mounted Posse. He talks about Sahara Realty, the real estate brokerage he founded in 1964 and sold in 1983, and he shares his experiences 1967–68 in negotiating options to buy about one hundred parcels of unimproved land for Herb Nall, who represented Howard Hughes. He also speaks to his roles in real estate as president, Las Vegas Board of Realtors (1969); president, Nevada Association of Realtors (1972); senior instructor, Realtor's National Marketing Institute (1975–82); chairman, National Association of Realtors convention committee (1974), and regional vice president (Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada), National Association of Realtors (1974). v As he shares stories of his career, Schwartz interweaves threads of family: his children, his mother and father, his first two wives, and Norma, his love of thirty-three years. Through following the life and career of a successful real estate professional like Gil Schwartz, it is possible to learn why portions of the Las Vegas Valley grew and developed as they did over time. The 1974 Nevada Realtor of the Year and his fellow real estate experts understand at their core what Building Las Vegas means, because they helped to make it happen. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Norma and Gil Schwartz September 22, 2017; October 4, 2017, and February 14, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada Conducted by Stefani Evans Preface………………………………………………………………………………..…………..iv Gil describes Rye, N.Y., childhood, college, first marriage, working with father in real estate, and opening property management business in Manhattan with focus on rent controlled apartments. Shares reasons for leaving New York and relocating to Las Vegas with children in 1959, stay at Twin Lakes Lodge, Tex Gates and Twin Lakes Stable, Sheriff's Mounted Posse and network of horse people, parents' 1962-63 move to Las Vegas, job search, and opening Sahara Realty in 1964. Recalls selling Golden West Shopping Center, California Brainstormers, lecturing with Realtors Marketing Institute, son Rick, becoming president of Las Vegas Board of Realtors and regional vice president of National Association of Realtors. Remembers Palace Guard, moving to larger office, evolving Sahara Realty signage, 1979 lecturing trip to South Africa, importance of "Live, Love, Laugh" to dissolving second marriage, and meeting Norma Wachsman..………….…. 1–20 Gil on selling brokerage, father's death, marriage to Norma, Hank Greenspun, Kirk Kerorian, and children; Norma on marriage and her children. Gil on his Pinto Lane houses, Golden West Shopping Center on the Westside, Wonder World at Maryland Square, Jack Entratter, Moe Dalitz, Desert Inn Lounge, aging father, daughter in real estate, “floor time,” technology, Las Vegas in the early 1960s, and Sheriff's Mounted Posse………………………………………………. 20–41 Gil describes his 1967–68 work with Herb Nall, who bought unimproved and under improved land for Howard Hughes. He describes the collection of maps, memos, and options he created and saved, and the processes by which he and his team sought and negotiated options to buy Las Vegas and North Las Vegas properties that Nall had identified……………………………………. 41–68 Appendix I: Images from Gil’s Scrapbook…………..……..………………………………. 69–80 Appendix II: Sahara Realtors Brochures…………..……..………………...………….……. 81–95 vii viii 1 Good afternoon. This is Stefani Evans, it’s September 22, 2017, and I'm here in Henderson with Gil Schwartz and Norma Schwartz. Gil, may I ask you to spell your first and last names, please? G-I-L—actually, it's G-I-L-B-E-R-T, but I would prefer to be called Gil. Schwartz, S-C-H-W-A-R-T-Z. Thank you so much. Why don't we begin at the beginning? You can tell us about your childhood, where you were born, raised; that kind of thing. I was born in 1924, June first, in Brooklyn, New York, although we lived in the Bronx. My mother wanted to go out there for delivery because her brother was a surgeon in the hospital. So I spent the first probably six years of my life living in the Bronx. My sister was born four years later. She had a very interesting life. Very quickly, she graduated top of her class in high school, was accepted to Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Vassar—any school she wanted to—graduated, later became an attorney, and [still] later became the attorney for the United States Nuclear Energy Commission. She traveled to Europe and did a lot of work there with other countries in developing nuclear energy restrictions. Oh my goodness. What is her name? Her name is Marjorie. Today her name is Marjorie Nordlinger. Wow. So let's talk about you. My dad was an optometrist, a stockbroker. Then he managed a stock brokerage office in New York City, and he later became a real estate broker. When the stock market went to hell, he became a real estate broker. If I remember correctly it was somewhere around 1940, '41. We moved to Rye in 1930. There were open fields. I played a lot of ball, baseball, 2 basketball. We lived right on Long Island Sound or just across the street from it, so we swam an awful lot. We were in and out of the water all the time. I had a little ten-foot sailboat when I was a kid and stole the shower curtain from my mother's downstairs' shower room and made a sail out of it, but it worked, so we enjoyed that. I graduated Rye High School. Before that I went to Milton School right where we lived. I used to walk to school every day. Then I went to Rye High School and I graduated there in 1942. While I was in high school, I guess the interesting parts other than just going to school was I had some activities, like I played clarinet in the marching band. I worked behind stage for many years and enjoyed that. In my last year I became a stage manager and we put on lots of productions, what have you. Things of that nature. My first job when I got out of high school, I worked as a tender, drove the little tender in the yacht club area of one of the local clubs. I would deliver people to their boats, bring them ice, pick up their garbage, do their odd jobs, whatever the story might be. Then fall came. I went to Clarkson College of Technology where I studied electrical engineering. It was a very, very cold spot just south of the border of Canada. I remember going to a fire with my roommates, downtown one night. It was a big fire. The next day we went back, there were piles of ice. What had happened is, the hose would shoot water and it would freeze coming down. They had ice there almost the whole winter as I remember it, so I was not happy about that. My living accommodations were in a private home. It was an old screened porch that they had put some windows on, no insulation, nothing. The floor was linoleum covered with a couple of mats on it to a point that I remember going and stuffing newspapers underneath the porch in the rafters and trying to tape them up so they would stay there for the winter. So I was 3 not a happy camper at Clarkson. I had a four-year deferment. The war had just started and I had a four-year deferment. During my first year of college I decided I'm going to get out and go to the Navy, which I did. I joined the Navy. I enlisted and went with the Navy. I had an early medical discharge and held several different jobs thereafter, like I had a cigarette route. People don't know about those things anymore. They had cigarette machines and the change would come into the envelope. So I used to fill what the change was going to be while we were in the shop and then I had my route where I had to go and set up the machines and fill the machines and what have you. Where did you do that? I lived in Rye. You went back to Rye. Oh, I stayed in Rye. Yes, of course. My dad was in the real estate business then. He had left the brokerage business. He was a real estate agent in New York City dealing in commercial real estate. My mother was always anxious to have him teach me the business or encourage me to go in and help him, but he was never happy about that. He was a loner and liked to do his own thing. But finally he conceded on one condition; that I follow him for a year and carry his briefcase and not get involved in anything other than learn, which I did. It was very, very interesting and it kind of set my life going straight. I got married in 1945 and had two children, a son and a daughter. After that year was up—I was married by that time, I guess—my dad sold a lot of commercial properties to out-of-state people and they were looking for a managing agent and he thought it might be a good idea to open a management department. So he opened a management department and he asked me would I take care of that together with the associate that had his office in our little 4 office complex who was an attorney. The attorney and I became partners in Budd Management, B-U-D-D Management. What did that stand for? What did Budd stand for? It was my nickname when I was a kid. I used to be called Buddy. So he suggested I use Budd Management, which I did. I managed properties from Park Avenue apartment houses, thirteen-story, Fifth Avenue apartment houses, major buildings, to what they called cold water flats where there is just a light bulb in the ceiling in the hallway and no hot water after the first floor. So I used to up and down a lot of stairs and take care of things and look at things and talk to the superintendents and what have you, and office buildings, also. This is all in time because I was there for years. It was very, very interesting and I learned a whole lot and had learned a whole lot from my dad before on negotiating and this, that and the other thing. I did the leasing and all the things that were necessary to take care of property—collect rents, lease, pay bills, hire people, blah blah blah. So was this all over Manhattan or...? Manhattan only. Just Manhattan, but all over? From downtown Liberty Square up to probably about as high as 86th Street. Somewhere along the line, I read the rent control restrictions and there was a disclaimer—I shouldn't say disclaimer—there was a part of the statute that said that if you took an apartment and altered so as to create more than one apartment, then it was exempt from rent control. Rent control was the biggest thing that really was a problem in values in New York. We had one building at 470 Park Avenue that had two apartments to the floor. One was, I believe, nine or eleven rooms and the other was thirteen or fourteen rooms. One became 5 available and I suggested to the owners that we alter it. So we hired an architect and he drew up plans and we started. I figured we'd make enough mess and enough noise that people would move out, which is what exactly happened. We altered the big one into three apartments and the smaller one in two apartments, so there were five to a floor instead of two, and they were not rent controlled anymore. It took us a couple of years before everybody moved out and we finished the whole job, but it got done. It worked so well that these owners bought another building on Fifth Avenue and we did exactly the same thing. Little by little they all moved out and little by little we expanded it. So that was very, very interesting. In 1959, I remember coming to my office. My secretary said to me there's a letter on my desk that I won't like. So I went in and opened the letter. It was an attorney representing my wife and she wanted a divorce and naturally the children, custody. I had great concern for lots of reasons about the children. I was not against the divorce. We had our problems. I hired an attorney and spoke with him. And he said to me that I should get out of New York, take my children and leave because I won't have any chance, with New York state rules at that time, of getting any custody at all. Well, I disliked New York, I disliked commuting, and I disliked a couple of other things, and I wasn't about to leave my children, so I took the two of them and moved to Las Vegas. How old were the kids? My children at that time were—well, that was '59—probably about five or six was the youngest, my daughter, and my son was four years difference, so that would make him nine to ten. I had many other reasons for leaving New York, too, so I wasn't unhappy about leaving. But why Las Vegas? My attorney gave me Nevada, Florida, Arizona. He gave me four or five different states, and I 6 chose Las Vegas because I had been here once and spent a day or two. It was an interesting city. It just seemed like the quicker, easier place than the others, so I took Las Vegas on that basis. I moved here in the Rat Pack era. What was your first address when you moved here? Do you remember that? I will tell you, yes. For the first few days until we could get settled we lived in a motel on East Charleston. I've forgotten the name of the motel, but East Charleston. Actually, my attorney wanted me to move to Boulder City because that was a very quiet rural kind of place, no gambling or whatever, but the Rat Pack was here and as long as I was here I was going to have some enjoyment. We moved from there to Twin Lakes Lodge and we stayed in the Twin Lakes Lodge for the summer. I taught my daughter how to swim in the pool there and my son had a great time. There was the Twin Lakes Stable, so my son used to go down there and ride horseback regularly. I became very friendly with Tex Gates who owned the stables. Tex Gates? Tex Gates, G-A-T-E-S. School was coming. My divorce was granted during the summer. My wife was notified. Never heard from her attorney or anybody about a settlement or anything else. My attorney said, "Stay there." So I did. We rented a home on Sahara Way, which was just across the street from Twin Lakes Lodge. My son could still do his horseback riding. Through Tex I got very involved in meeting friends and people, and I got to ride the horses myself once in a while. He got me to join the Sheriff's Mounted Posse, which I did, and I rode, in fact, in [John Fitzgerald] Kennedy's Presidential Parade, 1961, in Washington, D.C., which was quite an honor and quite a thing to remember and talk about. We threw silver dollars at the crowd as we went down. 7 Of course you did. The hotels all sent us down there because we carried the banner for Las Vegas. They gave us silver dollars and paid all of our expenses. So I got involved with the Posse. I got very involved in the Elks Club to a point where I worked on the parades. The Children's Parade, I helped them. I remember standing on the corner of the Golden Nugget and Fremont Street [at Second Street] one day, and an elderly fellow came over and introduced himself as Jim Cashman from Cashman Cadillac. I was selling Helldorado buttons. He congratulated me on my efforts to help the Elks Lodge, so that was another experience. As I say, friends. Ralph Lamb, who was the sheriff—he was not the sheriff at the time; 8 Butch Leypoldt was. The head of the convention center, Bud Albright, was a friend. Bob Clark, the veterinarian. I got so many friends, all horse people. A few years later, we still hadn't really resolved anything, but the kids were going to school and I was having a very good time, enjoying it, and I had made up my mind I was going to stay in Las Vegas. My mother and dad moved out here in 1962 or '63 because they missed the kids an awful lot. Were you still renting the house on Sahara Way at that point, or had you bought a house? No, I was still renting on Sahara. I stayed there a couple of years, as I remember. I don't think I bought a house until later on. Finally, in Las Vegas, I've got to go to work one of these days and stop riding horses and going out and watching the Rat Pack and what have you. So I started looking for a job. The first place I went to was First National Bank because they were the biggest bank in town at the time. I figured the real estate department would be very interesting, and I had a lot of experience. So I went and interviewed with First National, and they liked my background, liked everything I said, and they said I'd have to start as a teller; they don't hire anybody unless they start as a teller. Well, I wasn't about to start my life as a teller. So I went to a very noted real estate broker, Tom Campbell, and I interviewed with him for a job, gave him my background, what have you. I couldn't qualify there, because I didn't have any experience in land, I wasn't familiar with the area, and that went through. I looked at a lot of other places without too much success. Yes, I could find work, but I couldn't find something I would enjoy that I could continue with. My dad suggested that I open my own real estate office. Now, he was always a loner, as I said before. I could never expand what I wanted to do working with him because he didn't want to be any bigger. 9 So I got to thinking about what I would like, and I nixed the idea at first. Then I thought about it and said, you know, I don't want to sell real estate. I want to open a company and manage a company. I said, okay, my goals will be... I had some mental goals—what I wanted—I wanted a professional office; I wouldn't sell. I wouldn't be in competition with my salespeople, and I would give my leads to them. I wanted to develop a major office, and I was going to make it a very professional office, where all the men wore jackets and ties. That was my first failure in the real estate business. People didn't wear jackets and ties in 1963. They do today, because Las Vegas has changed an awful lot. I also would only take full-timers, no part-timers, no housewives who had a couple of hours to make a couple of bucks. I wouldn't do that at all. We went out and bought a piece of property on Sahara Avenue, 953 Sahara, which was in Commercial Center, and we built a three-thousand-square-foot office in 1964. We opened the office in 1964. At that time it was my dad who was going to do commercial. He loved to work, and loved all those kinds of things; he had been going out with brokers and looking at property and land. He had a pretty good idea of what was going on. We had lots of applicants when we first opened and ran our ads for sales people. Only a few would qualify, though, because most of them were part-timers, or else they just wanted to show houses; they didn't really know sales techniques or how to close a deal, whatever the story might be. A year later I hired a general manager because we already had ten sales people or thereabouts, and I was trying to do other things. I didn't want to sell or whatever. We only had ten sales associates' desks, and I wanted to grow, and this would give me an opportunity. So I hired a general manager. Who was that? 10 Paul Manini. If you look through my scrapbook, you'll find that there are no residential sales reported or shown, other than occasionally, if it was a big house or a very important person's property, because everyone sold houses. But we would show all of the commercial deals in full scale in the scrapbook. So it was full of commercial deals, which was not my interest really, but that's what happened. In fact, I've only showed one house to one person—I showed them more than one house—but I made one sale of a house and only showed one house, and that was to the incoming president of Nevada Savings and Loan. The owners of Nevada Savings and Loan asked me to please take care of him as he was coming into town. The first deal I made when I was in the real estate business in Las Vegas was selling the Golden West Shopping Center. I wasn't going to be in commercial, but I had a friend in New York who was interested in buying some property, and it was a big piece of property. Where was it? It was in the northwest area. I don't remember exactly where, but it was in the northwest area. [Ed. Note: Golden West Shopping Center was in the Westside, at H Street and Owens Street. In 1978 John Edmond purchased it, renovated it, and renamed it Nucleus Plaza.] That was the beginning of my commercial business, which I started getting involved in, and which I didn't want to do. I wanted to just run a business. Starting in '66, I took a lot of educational courses on how to operate a real estate company and how to build training courses and advertising and all those kinds of things. In fact, I was so impressed with one of the instructors—he also did consulting—that I hired him as a consultant. He came and visited my office and interviewed some of my people, and he then reported to me on what he thought I was lacking, or what I should be doing; he gave me many great suggestions. I became very friendly with him; his name was Ira Gribin, G-R-I-B-I-N, from 11 Los Angeles. Through him I was invited to join the California Brainstormers, which was a group of real estate people that got together and shared their important information in their company, about desk cost, advertising cost, expenditures, and production and what have you. So I met a group of the top real estate people in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas and learned an awful lot from them on what to do and how to do in the real estate business. I was, in fact, the first out-of-state member. It was just California real estate brokers. Today I think there are people from all over the country. Later, in fact, I became an instructor in some of the courses that I had taken. These courses were given by the National Association of Realtors. Actually, it was the Realtors Marketing Institute, which is a part of the National Association of Realtors. I became a lecturer with them, and I traveled around the country teaching other people what I learned and how I learned it, whatever the story might be. Early in 1970s, I think it was, my son, Rick, graduated from [Arizona State University] ASU with a degree in—I think it was called real estate, maybe it was some other name—real estate. He had wanted to become a veterinarian, because of his love for horses. In fact, my kids never even had bicycles. All they had was horses when they grew up. My daughter had her horse. He had his horse. I think we had three horses at one time as we moved to larger houses. He wanted to become a veterinarian, and between Bob Clark, who was a veterinarian, and myself, we convinced him that he should go to a better field and hire a veterinarian, and that way he doesn't get kicked in the teeth and pushed around by animals. So he finally conceded and he went to ASU, and he graduated with a real estate degree, and he came to work. It never really worked out for him. He didn't really like the business, 12 although he was doing very well, and he had some other problems. I guess he stayed for about maybe nine years, and then he wanted to leave and do his own thing. In 1969, I became president of the Las Vegas Board of Realtors. As a side issue and interestingly enough, on election night someone tapped me on the shoulder for me to sit down in an empty seat. We got to talking a little bit and he asked me who he should vote for. I said, "Well, I'm running for president." He said, "I'll vote for you." I won the election by a couple of votes, maybe it was one and a half, because associates got a half a vote, and the broker got a full vote. So if it hadn't been for him, maybe I wouldn't have been the president of the Board. His name was Bob Bigelow, and he later did a lot of building of apartment houses here in Las Vegas. My good friend Sam Iacovetto, whom I ran against, became Board president the next year. Today, I am the oldest living past president. 13 A few years later I became the regional vice president for the National Association. Regional vice president meant that I was in charge of Nevada, Arizona, California, and Hawaii; that was my territory to go and visit. It was such a tough thing being the regional vice president. I had to go to Hawaii and flew out there first class, Pan Am [Pan American Airlines], full food service. Full-page ads by Sahara Realty for Palace Guard, Las Vegas Review-Journal, March 4 & March 9, 1973. So sorry you had to deal with that. Yes. So I enjoyed that very, very much. During all this time I was still lecturing around the country. You can see why I started accomplishing my goals. I wasn't selling. I had been 14 involved in several other shopping centers, which I sold, originally. In 1972 or '73, I saw Palace Guard advertised. It was a form of insuring home buyers of the house and its issues. I contacted the owner of Palace Guard, and when he came out West he came to see me in Las Vegas. I signed on as the exclusive Palace Guard representative for the state of Nevada. Palace Guard was such a sales tool; I couldn't believe how strong it was. Again, my scrapbook is evidence by the size of the ads that we took. Our listings went up because we covered all the houses with Palace Guard. Our sales went up. At that time there was a six percent commission through multiple listing, shared: three percent by the listing broker and three percent by the sales broker. We raised our commission rates to seven percent, gave them their three and kept four. So that was a real winner. The local real estate board was so incensed with this whole thing that they formed their own insurance, that they called Castle Guard. So we now had competition with Castle Guard. And this was formed by the organization that you had been the president of? Castle Guard. Yes, and all my friends, too. I had a lot of friends on the board that I did things with. In fact, we had, just quickly if I remember, Joe Nolan, Jessie Emmett, myself—and I think there were one or two others I can't quite remember—we started a school for real estate for licensees. We used to teach the licensees at night school and hope they would come to work with us. What was the school called? I don't remember that at all. I don't remember. We opened our office in '64. Maybe it was five, six years later, we had three thousand square feet and the building next to us became empty and I rented the empty building. We broke a hole in the wall so we could go back and forth and added another three thousand square feet to 15 the office, which meant starting all over again to fill it with salespeople. But because we were doing so much business—again, no real problem getting people to come and work for us; they really liked to—we had our pick and picked full-timers; that was the biggest thing that we had. Your business was Sahara Realty? Sahara Realty, yes, that was the legal name. It became Sahara Realtors; that's so the sign could be enlarged. Again, if you look in the scrapbook, you'll see examples of the sign, which I had learned in my taking courses to make your sign simple and don't put too much information on it so that it can be read easily. I went through three stages of that until I finally came up with the final one, which is Sahara Realtors. In 1977, a few years after Palace Guard, the office was again full and tight and I decided to make it a larger office. There was a building just about a block away on Sahara Avenue with full frontage on Sahara Avenue. Title Insurance Company was a tenant there and the rest, I think, was empty. We rented that building and now we had eight thousand square feet. We started at three thousand and we're now at eight thousand square feet. Did you keep the other offices as well? 16 No, no, we closed the other offices. So this is eight thousand square feet in the new building? In the new building, that's right, in the new building. We had to really alter the whole building. It made a great, beautiful office. There again, our office was brand-new. Of course, everything was new, the furniture, the carpet, the equipment, the pencils, the typewriters. Everything was brand-new, which, again, gave you an inch above a lot of other offices in town. 17 In 1979, I took a trip to South Africa. I was invited there, as were a couple of other people I went with, to lecture to the Real Estate Board of Johannesburg. They were going to take us out to a safari and whatever the story might be. So I went out there and I couldn't believe what South Africa was and what the city looked like. I didn't expect it, and I guess I should have. My first day on the podium one of the members stood up and said, "What did you expect to see, lions in the street?" And I said, "Yes." But it was a very, very interesting trip and they flew us to Cape Town. And then there was a city, Durban, that was much like Florida; it was a resort city on the ocean, beautiful city. We went on a camera safari and stayed there a couple of days. We lived in one of those safari huts and went looking at all the animals and taking pictures. It was really a wonderful, wonderful experience and probably the first time in a long time that I got away and really saw what's going on in the world. I'm not sure if I mentioned that I am now an honorary member of the South African Estate Agents. I should also say I'm an honorary member of the Las Vegas Board of Realtors and I have been for many years. In flying home, which took twenty-one hours, I got to thinking about my life and where I was going. I had accomplished about everything I wanted to do in my business life. I really enjoyed it, it was wonderful and a pleasure, and I was really successful and I was very happy about it. I remembered a card—I got a Christmas card once that 18 said, "Live, love, laugh." That was in the fifties. It's still on my bureau right now. "Live, love, laugh." If you walk around my house, you'll see little pictures, "Live, love, laugh." I've got a glass paper weight that says, "Live, love, laugh." My kids have been giving me "live, love, laugh" since then. It made me think about a whole lot of things that I was missing in my life. I got home. I had remarried many years ago, and we had two children: Lisa and Debbie. I told my wife that I think that we need to get divorced, and she agreed with me. We had no problem. We sat down between the two of us and arranged all of our terms and conditions and went to an attorney. They drew it up, we signed it, and that was it. We got it all done in a week or two; something like that. 19 Way before that—I forgot—way before that, within three years of coming out here, my wife at that time—she was my ex-wife; we got a Nevada divorce—I used to invite her out to visit with the children, and she would come out and visit with the kid