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Eddie Escobedo interview, February 25, 2019: transcript






Interviewed by Maribel Estrada Calderón. Claytee White also participates in the questioning. Eddie Escobedo was born in 1961 and two years later, he and his family immigrated to the United States. He fondly remembers his father, Edmundo Escobedo. Escobedo is currently in charge of the newspaper that his father started, El Mundo Newspaper.

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Escobedo, Eddie Interview, 2019 February 25. OH-03566. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH EDMUNDO “EDDIE” ESCOBEDO, JR. An Oral History Conducted by Maribel Estrada Calderón Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2018 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Nathalie Martinez, Rodrigo Vazquez, Elsa Lopez Editors and Project Assistants: Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Monserrath Hernández, Elsa Lopez, Nathalie Martinez, Marcela Rodriquez-Campo, Rodrigo Vazquez iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) 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 Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE When Edmundo “Eddie” Escobedo, Jr., reflects on his father, he sees a man who desired to give his family a good life and his son a decent chance at success. This oral history is filled with a son’s remembrances of his father and the impact his legacy on the son. Pride of heritage resonates within the Escobedo story. The family roots begin in Mexico, where his father Eddie Escobedo, Sr., was born in Torreon and his mother Panfila was from Zacatecas. Couple married in 1960 when Eddie, Sr., returned to Mexico after service in the US Air Force at Nellis AF Base. In 1961, Eddie, Jr., was born. In 1963, the father immigrated to the United States with his family for a better life in Las Vegas, a place he had grown fond of. As one of the earliest Latino families in Las Vegas, Eddie Sr. is a larger than life character, a dapper dresser and charitable heart, a civic leader and an entrepreneur. His example paved the way for his namesake. As a child, Eddie, Jr., witnessed his father introduce Mexican movies to the audiences at his movie theater, operated as Rancho Circle Theatre and El Rancho Teatro, and cultivate a leadership role Spanish Pictures Exhibitors Association. By 1981, the father and son launched El Mundo, a weekly Spanish newspaper, which continues to this day and serves a growing population in Southern Nevada. Together and individually both Eddies have contributed to the Las Vegas community through the Latin Chamber of Commerce, Youth Forum, and many other organizations. Eddie, Jr., revives stories of embarrassment as a Spanish-speaking student, of how it was to grow up Latino in Las Vegas, and friendships kept after graduating from Valley High School in 1979. He chuckles when telling the story of passing his verbal test by listing all the Supreme Court Justices by name to become a US citizen. Eddie, Jr., is a US Army veteran and father of four. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Eddie Escobedo, Jr. February 25, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Maribel Estrada Calderón Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………..iv Explains he identifies as an American of Mexican descent, legal name is Edmundo Marquez Escobedo, Jr. Shares his parents ancestral roots, father from Torreón, Coahuila, and mother is from Zacatecas; father served in U.S. Air Force (1950s), including Nellis Air Force Base, and returned to Mexico for his sweetheart, Panfila in 1960. Details of his Eddie, Sr.’s part-time work experience at Dunes hotel. Talks of growing up a Latino in Las Vegas, attending John F. Miller, K.O. Knudsen and graduating from Valley High School (Class of 1979); integration of schools; speaking out and being interviewed by Channel 13……………………………………………………….…….1 – 6 Describes sports divisions in Las Vegas (Sunset and Sunrise), 11 high schools; city leagues and various sports, soccer was his best; diversity of friendships; early days of local Hispanic community. Eddie Sr. always held two jobs; bartender and salesman at Western Auto. Describes growing up near the Strip when he was teenager; involvement in extracurriculars like newspaper, sports, Thespian club. Recalls his friendship with Charles Burke, an African American youth and a high school episode………………………………………………………………………..6 – 10 Talks about teachers from his youth; Nevada Test Site bomb testing. Remembers his father starting his promotions business and bringing Mexican artists to perform at the Elks Club; Dusty’s Playland at St. Louis Square, which Eddie Sr. bought and turned into a night club. Talks about the Henderson movie theater that played a Mexican feature once a month; El Rancho movie theater; Eddie Sr. bought Four Star Theater downtown. Father gets involved with politics by forming Latino support groups [for people such as Richard Bryan, Paul Laxalt]; how his father came to buy KVRX radio station; start of El Mundo Spanish newspaper; father became president of Spanish Picture Exhibitors Association; Aguilar Award event held at MGM. Talks about his being the projectionist at the El Rancho theater, family operation. Mentions some of the films shown………………………………………………………………………………….……10 – 15 Provides more details of the El Mundo, their weekly newspaper. Mentions family attendance to White House parties during Pres. Clinton, Pres. George W. Bush, and Pres. Barack Obama terms; experience of sitting in the Oval Office. Talks about La Verdad, newspaper run by Rolando Luraz, a Cuban immigrant. The Escobedos start El Mundo in 1981; father and his gratitude to being American citizens; his time in the US Army; Hispanic patriotism through service………………………………………………………………………………….…..15 – 19 vi Like his father, Eddie, Sr., was involved in leadership of National Association of Hispanic Publications. Talks about passing the test for his US citizenship while in the Army Reserves. Talks about community events sponsored by El Mundo; Eddie Sr. was president of Mexican Patriotic Committee, Cinco de Mayo celebration at Freedom Park; tradition started by his father to privately provide scholarships to others; his father’s reputation for being a “character” and wearing colorful hats and clothes…………………………………………………………………………….20 – 24 Talks about his siblings, involved in the family business; ventures he has done in political consulting; current local political scene in 2019 and the Latinx community; his wife Zoila Sanchez-Escobedo managed the Miss Hispania Beauty Pageant for 15 years; mentions Olivia Diaz and Ward 3; Ruben and Mariana Kihuen; naming of the Eddie Escobedo Middle School. Explains how the Plaza Escobedo investment occurred. Talks about homelife, mother cooking; father’s goal to instill Mexican language and traditions; closeness with his maternal grandmother; family traditions; visits to Juarez……………………………………………………………..……25 – 29 Talks about his former wife, Zoila, who is a real estate agent; passing of one of their sons; her political activism. Tells of his switch from Democrat to Republican party affiliation; his thoughts on immigration policies and issues. Talks about area of town known as “Little Mexico and Little Escobedo;” variety of restaurants in that area past and present……………………...…… 30 – 34 Shares his thoughts on raising family in Las Vegas; mentions loss of his middle son; Youth Forum which started in 1950, Greenspun family; his work with Latin Chamber of Commerce, Otto Merida; more about El Mundo newspaper; areas in Las Vegas where he has lived; his father and a favorite story about golf with his dad and friends; mother being the one who still closes the office every day…………………………………………………………………………...……..…35 - 42 vii 1 My name is Maribel Estrada Calderón. Today is February 25, 2019. I am at El Mundo Newspaper office and with me are… Claytee White. And… Edmundo M. Escobedo, Jr. Edmundo, can you please spell out your name for us? Edmundo, E-D-M-U-N-D-O. M is for Marquez, M-A-R-Q-U-E-Z. Escobedo, E-S-C-O-B, as in boy, E-D-O, Junior. How do you identify yourself? I identify myself as an American of Mexican descent. And why is that? Why? I had the pleasure of serving in the United States Army and there were all Americans and you come from different nationalities, but the primary thing is “we are Americans.” Let’s begin with your family history. Tell me about where your parents are from. My father was from Torreón, Coahuila and my mother is from Zacatecas. My mother was born in Zacatecas. They were childhood friends and sweethearts. And then my dad joined the United States Air Force back in 1956 at which time his first duty station was in Fort Bliss, Texas…after his basic training, his first duty station was Nellis Air Force Base, 1956. He was an airman third class at that time. He was working, making seventy-two dollars a month as an airman third class, but he took on a second job working as a bar-back at the Dunes back in the glory days of Las Vegas. He never left because he was making a hundred dollars a day, cash. Las Vegas, from what my dad says, was very exciting, vibrant, and a very small community back then, about 60,000 people from what I understand. 2 How old was he when he moved to Las Vegas? I’m going to say he was around twenty-six, twenty-six to twenty-seven years of age. And what brought him here? Nellis Air Force Base, his first duty station...He was sent here by the Commander in Chief of the United States Air Force, so his first duty station was here. He could have been sent anywhere else in the world, but it’s amazing that he was sent to Las Vegas. By the way, he was a parachute rigger for the Thunderbirds back then. When did he move to the United States? He worked in El Paso. He ran a bowling alley in El Paso back then, before he joined the air force, so he was crossing the border back and forth. He lived in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and he worked in El Paso, Texas. One day he decided, from the way he told me his story and our family history, his English was getting ‘good and gooder,’ as he describes it, not better, good and gooder. He said he walked into a recruitment office and they said, “You speak perfect English. Join.” And he did. He was already married to your mom at that time? No. That comes about seven years later. Okay. So get us to that point. Back in those days, if you know the story of Las Vegas, the original Sin City was over there – behind where the Stratosphere Tower is at right now. That’s where he lived on Baltimore Street. He had a one-bedroom apartment. He was making lots of money, working at Nellis Air Force Base, working as a bar-back on the three hotels that were back then. He ended up being broke every Friday – he would get paid; he was a young man; he spent it all. 3 One day in 1960 he decided that he had just about had enough of the single lifestyle here in Vegas, so he went back to Mexico to find my mother, find his sweetheart. They dated for about six months, got married, in 1961 I was born. My dad came back to Las Vegas at that time. He was working out here and waiting for the paperwork and the process to legally bring my mother and myself here. On one of those trips back to Mexico, on one of his leaves, my mother ended up pregnant again and my little brother was born, Nicolas Escobedo. After all the paperwork was processed and everything, my dad was actually discharged by the air force at that time and he brought us to Vegas. I was three years old and I still have a vivid little memory of getting off the bus downtown, the Greyhound bus. There’s a picture that my mom took with one of those Brownie cameras and there’s a picture of me running towards my dad, who I had not seen in a while. My little brother had never seen my dad, and so he was, as the story goes, my dad had to make friends with his own son. What was growing up in Vegas like? For myself or for the family? For yourself. For myself? Up to what age? Let’s go to ten. Up till ten. I’ll tell you what, when I was five years old, I got registered at elementary school, John F. Miller over on St. Louis by Eastern. One of the funny things is – when you’re a new immigrant and your family is a new immigrant, it’s a culture shock. We actually lived it. I lived it. I only spoke Spanish. I didn’t speak English. When I was registered in the school, I remember that I was put—back then there was no ESL classes; there was nothing; it was sink or swim. I ended up learning English pretty fast. 4 But there was one story in kindergarten. And it’s one of those memories that will stick in your head forever – where I actually knew I was not part of this country yet. It was during Valentine’s Day and they had asked us to bring in some cupcakes. My English wasn’t very good back then and I remember I came home and I told my mother that I needed cupcakes to take to school. My mother did not speak English and she actually heard pancakes. I remember going to school with a plate of pancakes and a strawberry and cream on top; that’s the way my mother prepared them, and I took them to school. The culture shock and the lack of English comprehension of the English language at that age and the culture shock, I remember being ridiculed by everybody else. “Oh, you don’t know what it is.” I felt it at that moment; at age five I knew that I was different. Because of that I remember the humiliation and saying to myself, “It won’t ever happen again.” Age five, because it sticks with you that you’re not part of here; you don’t know what all the festivities are and what’s going on here. It was a culture shock. But the funny thing is, many of my friends that I went to school with from age five, because we’re talking about a small valley back then, the kids I went to grade school with, we went to middle school and we went to high school together and we went to college together. I still maintain many of those relationships with a lot of those people who are still living. A lot of them are passed away now. It was an interesting time for me. When you moved here…You said that your mom didn’t speak English either. Were there any classes that the community offered? We’re going back to 1960. In 1960 there was no ESL classes; there was nothing. It was learn and you only learned—a lot of people don’t understand this, but I’m a firm believer that quick immersion and not dual languages is the best way for our community to prosper. A lot of people 5 talk about ESL classes. They have their benefits and they have great things that they offer for our community, but being one of those kids who was brought in at a certain age and within a year and half, two years I was speaking perfect English. To me it’s very important, and for our family, that—we’re strong believers in straight into the fire; that’s it. You get in there. I know a lot of people say different people need different types of help. But back then, it’s the way I was taught, you walked in—I went to France and I was there for a year and the same thing; I picked up French within a year. For me it’s very important for our community—and I’m going off track here—but it is important, but back then it was different and it was sink or swim. By the way, back then I can tell you what, in my kindergarten class all the way through grade school, I was one of two Latinos in that class; that was it. Even in high school I think there were eighteen of us, back then in high school, in Valley High School in 1979, maybe about twenty, twenty of us who were from a Hispanic origin. What was the neighborhood where you lived like? I grew up over here by Sahara and Eastern. It was a nice community. It was walking distance to John F. Miller, K.O. Knudson and Valley High. We had the opportunity to grow up—like I said, it was a community where you grew up with the people that you went to school with, friendships were established, everything was in the same neighborhood, and it was just the way we did things back then. Up until integration began, one of the things is that I never experienced any racism even though I knew about racism. I remember going to school. I remember everything up until the sixth grade when desegregation was established and then they had the court order to implement sending us to the west side of town in Las Vegas, Kit Carson. They moved us back and forth 6 because the African Americans were sent this way; they sent us the other way. I didn’t know about the racism. I remember being interviewed at that time by Channel 13. It just happened to be I was one of the kids that was at a bus stop. It was our first day of school. This is in the sixth grade. I remember that I was interviewed by Channel 13 back then and they asked me, how did I feel about going—I don’t know why they picked me, but…And I would be picked out for the rest of my life to do many interviews. But I remember being interviewed and I remembered what my dad told me back then: “I bought a house in this neighborhood because it was easy walking distance for you to here, here and here.” He did not believe in us being shipped to the west side of town. That’s when I started finding out that people were treated different, Hispanics, African Americans and whites. I wouldn’t call it racism because that was farther out. Las Vegas didn’t have that much. But I did understand it at that time. Tell me about your middle school experiences. Middle school? Fantastic. Back then we had eleven high schools plus Gorman. Growing up here was very unique. We had the Sunset and Sunrise divisions, eleven high schools, eleven middle schools; I can pretty much name them all. Since I played sports—tennis and soccer—we pretty much got to know everybody in the community. We played on the city league from middle school all the way to high school; the same people who went to Gorman or Western or Chaparral or Bonanza or Eldorado or Vo Tech, we all played on the city leagues. And then in high school we played for our high schools. There was a feeling that you kind of knew everybody in the valley. Three hundred thousand people and you’re in high school, and that’s everybody. Eleven high schools. You got to know everybody in the valley. You had friends at every high school. There was really no gang problems. Sports was it. That’s what we did. 7 Explain the city league. How did it work? The city league, it’s just the soccer leagues. They had the baseball leagues, Pop Warner football, Little League baseball, and the soccer leagues were starting back then. I played soccer. I played baseball. But soccer was my sport. It established relationships between different friendships because, like I said, the city leagues allowed everybody up until high school to play together and then you became combatants in the arena of soccer because you were now playing for your different high schools. But when school would end, we would all go back and play on city leagues and we would be on the same teams again or versus other teams. Back then, it’s hard to explain, but Las Vegas was not that big, so you had friends in every high school from every walk of life, African Americans…There was not very many Orientals. To this day, I think I had one Korean friend. As a matter of fact, I know I only had one Korean friend. I had a lot of African American friends because of the sports, a lot of Anglos. Again, there wasn’t that many Hispanics out here. Back then in the fifties and the start of the sixties, my dad always explained to me that back then before the Hispanics arrived, this town was pretty much the positions of waiters and bartenders were the Filipino community because of Nellis Air Force Base. Until the Hispanic community starting migrating out here like my dad did, that’s when the Hispanic community—back then, let’s just be honest, they were Mexicans—they are the ones that started taking and filling up positions on the Strip as the city started to grow. What was it like to grow up in a military family? The only people who participated in the military was my dad who served his six years and myself. I did about twelve years, two years active and then the rest I did in the reserves. I am Sergeant Escobedo at your service. Was he still active when you guys were here? 8 No, no. What was his occupation? He was a bartender. He was a bartender and a father. For some reason my dad always had two jobs. My dad was working as a bartender. Back then there was a nationwide store called Western Auto. They sold everything. Do you remember Western Auto? Of course. Yes. Well, my dad was one of the managers at the store. He had two jobs. He would work during the mornings at Western Auto and then he would work from three until twelve o’clock at the Dunes and then at the Sahara. Can you describe what the Strip was like? I was kind of small, but I’ll tell you what, when we were growing up here, the Strip was off limits for us, the kids in the community. That’s not where we went. We went down Fremont Street. Up until 1979, for us from sixteen until nineteen, the gathering place was downtown. Downtown is where we would go back and down like in the movies; we would go one way and the girls in one car, us in another car, back and forth, whistling, throwing out phone numbers. It was just—I’m not going to say an American classic, but Las Vegas was a lot of fun back then. There wasn’t a lot of drugs. There was plenty of alcohol because that’s what kids did back then. It was a very community until about 1978 when we had a problem at Valley High School with race relationships between the African American community and the white community. If I remember correctly, they tried to overturn a bus at Valley High School and a gentleman named Johnson actually shot an African American young man who played on the football team with us was being harassed and he actually shot somebody in the butt at school and that started a race riot at our school. I remember that was the next time that I felt that I was caught between a rock 9 and a hard place because I had so many African American friends from my sports and so many friends from being on the yearbook staff and the school newspaper, being in the thespian and playing sports. I felt I was caught between because I was brown, my African Americans were black, my other American friends were white, and they forgot that we were all friends. It was just something that all of a sudden everything blew up. That’s when I knew that we had problems in the community. But in the end everything calmed down and we all became friends again. This is not the Deep South. My African American friends were on the west side of town; we were on this side of town; most of the white kids with money were on the Sahara South, so we were Sahara North, so we knew where we were at. You mentioned the school newspaper. When did you become involved? From high school I was involved in everything. It was school newspaper, the Thespian Club. I was on the tennis team, soccer team. I tried out for the football team as a kicker. Again, back then there wasn’t that many; we didn’t have a thousand students at our school. It was a good school. There wasn’t that many high schools and we all got to know each other. But the race riot that happened that year, ’77-78, was something that still sticks in a lot of my friends’ and my memories that we look back and say how dumb we were to fight over that. But for me, it was like I was caught between a rock and a hard place because, like I said, I had friends on both sides and everybody wanted to come over here and let’s go against this side and come over here. No. As a matter of fact, there was a gentleman named Charles Burke, African American, who was one of my best friends. With the race problems that we were having back then, I remember I walked into a bathroom one day and a couple of African Americans walked into the bathroom and they started threatening me. I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey, listen. I’m not white. Don’t put me in the middle.” But they were going to beat me up, anyway. Charles Burke walked into 10 the bathroom and he actually told those two guys, “You touch him, you’ve got to go through me.” I actually had a friend of mine who defended me at that moment. Like I said, at that moment I said, “I have to pick sides. I’m either white or brown or black.” I just felt comfortable dealing with everybody. In the end, about two years after high school that young gentleman who defended me was working at a Carl’s Junior on Fremont and Eastern and through the drive-through window he was shot and killed. It was very sad. To this day I remember how he protected and defended me and then for him to lose his life over a silly, stupid, somebody trying to rob him at a Carl’s Junior, he was shot dead. What was the teacher population like? Were there Latinos? We had a couple. There was always some Latino teachers in our school. Back then my mentor at school was Mr. Schaffer. He was a science teacher and I was into science. Mr. Schaffer had a good control of the students and was very enthusiastic with participating. We had a lot of good mentors. I go back to middle school with Mr. Bonnie, the English teacher. Back then we still had the Nevada Test Site doing bombs, detonating underground nuclear explosions, and I remember when they would announce it and there would be an explosion at eight o’clock in the morning. We would all be at our desk and we would all sit there and wait for the lights to start moving. We still had tests back then; crawl under your desk. As if crawling under the desk was going to help in a nuclear attack. Little snippets of that that happened go into what was going on in the world and you start thinking about that. But, yes, we used to have…They would detonate the bombs and we would see the chandeliers and the light fixtures move and you grow up with that kind of stuff. And then you grow up where you’ve got 11 to hide under your desk. We did that all the way up until about seventh grade and then everybody figured out that hiding under a desk is not going to do nothing. You were here for the aboveground testing as well. No. My dad was here for the aboveground. I was here for the underground tests. You were born which year? I was born in 1961, brought here in ’63. We did all the underground testing. Your father, did he tell you about the aboveground? He saw the aboveground testing, yes, he did. He would tell me how people would come into town and they would go out to the hill over there, watch the explosion, then come back into town and get drunk. It was just a party back then. My dad had a lot of stories. I learned at an early age that I wanted to work with my dad. My dad, after working as a bartender, he saved his money up and he ended up starting his first business, which was promotions. Back then the Hispanic population was small, but he started bringing in Mexican artists to play. He would rent the Elks Lodge and he would fill it up with four or five hundred people, charge five dollars a head and bring in back then the top name musicians and singers. Juan Gabriel was one of the people that he brought in, Vicente Fernández, Perez Prado. My dad contracted and hired a lot of those people. Sonora Santanera. You name it, my dad brought them. Then my dad saw the possibilities. Across from where the Stratosphere Tower is right now—it was called St. Louis Square—there used to be a place called Dusty’s Playland. It was a bowling alley. My dad ended up buying that place and turning it into a night club, a bar and a social venue. He held onto that until—unfortunately, the population wasn’t able to support it. He lost it. He always had the idea of always having businesses. His next business venture was opening up—again, going back to 12 the racism, back then in the seventies there was one place where you could go see Mexican movies and that was all the way in Henderson at Water Street. The movie theater out there would show Mexican movies one time per month. The story my dad tells me I remember vaguely. He would take us out there on the weekends to go see a movie. One day the owner, because my brother and I were running around, threw my dad and myself and my brother out of the movie theater. My dad looked back at that gentleman and said, “I’m going to put you out of business,” because of what he did. Whether it was racism or because we were unruly, it was a step in my dad’s next business venture. My dad ended up buying a movie theater a couple of years later. The downtown Four Star Theater on Third Street and Fremont. He ended up making an arrangement with Mr. Glass who owned it to rent it on weekends. He would rent the movies, show them. He rented the movie house for the weekends. He would get the movies, do all the advertising, and it went very well. That went on for a while until Mr. Glass saw how much money my dad was making and canceled the contract. My dad again says, “Oh, really?” Back then there was a movie house called El Rancho and that’s where the African American community used to go on Bonanza and Rancho. It was a black movie house on the west side of town. It was going belly up and my dad bought it. That’s how he started his next business venture, which led to the only Mexican movie theater in town for many, many years. By that time he was still doing promotions, still bringing in Mexican artists, still doing everything. He had his finger in everything. He also go into politics back then, working for different politicians, forming Latinos for [Richard] Bryan or Latinos for—how far back do I want to go?—Laxalt, even for Senator [Paul] Laxalt. He started getting involved in politics. By that time he had saved up a couple of nickels and dimes and he decided to buy time on a radio 13 station, two hours on the weekends. But that gentleman did the same thing. When the gentleman saw that my dad was starting to sell lots of advertising, the gentleman who owned the radio station threw my dad out. My dad said, “Okay.” To be a radio broadcast personality back then, you needed to have an FCC license. Now anybody can go on the air, but back then you needed a license from the FCC. I remember my dad took the family down to Long Beach. He took his test and got his license to be a radio broadcaster. A couple of years later he ended up buying the radio station. Which station? Back then it was KVRX. Him and his partners, they bought the radio station. The radio station led to my dad opening up his next venture, which is the El Mundo Spanish newspaper, which is celebrating now thirty-eight years. Who were the partners in the radio station? Tony Carranza, Camillo Coral, my dad: They were the three Hispanic investors, and then Scott Gentry, who currently owns another radio station here in town. What kinds of topics did they cover on the radio station? My dad was getting into politics. My dad saw that there was a need to communicate to the Hispanic community through radio. Back then AM stations were called low-broadcast stations. They could broadcast at high frequency during the day, but at five o’clock, as soon as the sun went down, it went to low voltage. The best way I can describe it is the broadcast signal was turned down and it didn’t have that much frequency or power. Everything was during the day, but in the evenings AM stations went half-dark. My dad was also president of the Spanish Picture Exhibitors Association when he owned the movie theater. He got into that. Him and his friends from California and the three big movie 14 distributor houses, Columbia, Sony, back then in those days, they brought this idea to my dad about trying to do something like a Hispanic Academy Awards. My dad said, “Well, there’s no better place than here in Las Vegas. We’ll hold them here.” My dad created what was called the Aguilar Award and the events were held at the MGM back then where Hallelujah Hollywood used to be at that theater. They started holding these awards every year. My dad had the bigge