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Transcript of interview with Julie Menard by Joyce Marshall, March 17, 1996







Julie Menard began her career as a showgirl in 1964, performing in the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel. Although she appeared in the show for only sixteen months, she offers an insider’s view of the early Las Vegas entertainment scene. She describes a period when showgirls were treated as local royalty and “the boys” wielded considerable influence. Menard’s narrative sheds light on the glamour and complexities of the showgirl. Her descriptions of physical characteristics of the job, the day to day work schedules, the expectations of physical beauty, as well as the stigma of her occupation outside of Las Vegas offer a fuller view of the job. Menard left Las Vegas in 1966 to pursue a film career in Europe but like many Las Vegas entertainers, she returned to make the desert city her home. Although her brief performing career failed to prepare her for future employment, she relishes her brief experience as a showgirl. Her narrative evokes the glamour, excitement and mystery of Las

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Menard, Julie Interview, 1996 March 17. OH-01282. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Julie Menard An Oral History Conducted by Joyce Marshall ______________________________________________ Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas 1997 Production of An Interview with Julie Menard was made possible in part by a grant from the Nevada Humanities Committee. ?Joyce Marshall, 1997 Produced by: Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project Department of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 89154-5020 Director and Editor: Joanne L. Goodwin Text Processor: Joyce Marshall This interview and transcript has been made possible with the generosity of the Nevada Humanities Committee, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The History Department of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas provided a home for the project and a wide variety of in-kind services. The department, as well as the college and university administration, enabled students and faculty to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the NHC and UNLV for its support which gave an idea the chance to flourish. The text has received minimal editing. These measures include 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 (housed separately) accompany the collection as slides or black and white photographs. The following interview is one of nine conducted as a pilot project for the Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project. Additional transcripts may be found under that series title. Joanne Goodwin, Project Director Associate Professor, Department of History University of Nevada, Las Vegas Preface Julie Menard began her career as a showgirl in 1964, performing in the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel. Although she appeared in the show for only sixteen months, she offers an insider’s view of the early Las Vegas entertainment scene. She describes a period when showgirls were treated as local royalty and “the boys” wielded considerable influence. Menard’s narrative sheds light on the glamour and complexities of the showgirl. Her descriptions of physical characteristics of the job, the day to day work schedules, the expectations of physical beauty, as well as the stigma of her occupation outside of Las Vegas offer a fuller view of the job. Menard left Las Vegas in 1966 to pursue a film career in Europe but like many Las Vegas entertainers, she returned to make the desert city her home. Although her brief performing career failed to prepare her for future employment, she relishes her brief experience as a showgirl. Her narrative evokes the glamour, excitement and mystery of Las Vegas life before it underwent the major transformation from “family owned” businesses to corporate control. Menard is beginning a new career in the computer field in the city she loves. An Interview with Julie Menard An Oral History Conducted by Joyce Marshall This is Joyce Marshall. It is the 17th of March [1996]. It is a Sunday afternoon and I am here with Julie Menard at her home in Las Vegas. The release forms have been read and signed. I would like to start out by asking you a little bit about your early life: where you were born, where you grew up. I was born in California and I grew up in California, Las Vegas, a little bit in Colorado, all over. I went to about twenty schools. My mother was married quite a few times. I went to one year of high school in Las Vegas at Bishop Gorman and went back to California. From there I went up to Colorado and graduated and then went back to California. What did you do? Did you get married right away or did you pick a career? I started studying modeling. I went to Mary Webb Davis and I started doing some modeling in Los Angeles and I met somebody and, you know, the obligatory first short marriage. That's why I came to Las Vegas, actually. Some friends of ours, she was a showgirl, she said I would be very good. So, when did you come to Las Vegas? To be in the show, I came here, it would be November, December of '64. I hate to tell my age. I went into the practicing, you know, they shut the show [Folies Bergere] down for two weeks when they start a new show. So, I went in. I was the only brand new showgirl going in who had no experience. Peter Genero was our choreographer. So, he was wonderful. He really worked with me. Going from being a model to a showgirl is very difficult because the walk is completely different. You have to completely retrain. Now, did you have to try out for this? Most girls did. I didn't. I just walked in and this friend of mine said “I'll vouch for her” and he just looked at me and I was hired right away. So, I didn't have to [audition], no. You usually do. I just didn't have to. And so, it's an entirely different walk? 2 It's slower. The movements of the hips, the arms and hips movement. It's a whole new ball game, so to speak. It took me a little while. Matter of fact, Peter Genero had to really work with me. He said, you’ve got to get this, you know. But, I finally got it. How many showgirls were there? There were fourteen. Now, I'm talking mannequins. In those days, twelve on stage, you know, two and we worked three weeks straight. No days off? No days off and then we had three days off all at once. After a short while there, I became what they call "swing girl." So, I would take, as each girl had a day off, I would take her place. You know, wear her costumes and take her place on stage. Explain the term "mannequin." Mannequin was what people picture as the old-fashioned showgirl. In those days we wore the real high heels and the heavy [raises arms to indicate headdress]. You know, we wore a lot more clothes then they do nowadays. There was no rear end. It was like a very modest bikini. But, we had lots and lots and lots of feathers and the head pieces, we had a mat of hair on top of our head, pinned on top of our head to make the head pieces stand up even higher. We had these huge heavy headpieces. We had the big long wings out and the tight skirts. We all wore the stockings in those days. The big fishnet with the sequins and all. We were the old fashioned -- what you picture -- showgirl. The nudes. This was a nude show? Yes, the Folies Bergere. All the showgirls were nude? Yes. How about the dancers? The dancers, there were different groups of dancers. There were a few nude dancers, yes. The dancers and showgirls really didn't associate that much. We did less and got paid more, I always said. 3 That was my next question. Was there a pay difference? I believe there was. From what I remember. See by that time, I had left my obligatory first [husband] and I was going with a very, very, very wealthy man, ultra-wealthy, very well known out here in the west. As a matter of fact, I won't say who it was, but the pay by that time didn't mean that much. I really don't remember exactly. I know we were getting about $700 or something like that, seven something a month at that time. That was pretty good. Now, you say you worked three weeks and then got three days off. You did two shows a night? We did two shows a night and three on Saturdays. And you were on stage for the majority of the time? Yes. Well, they had specialty acts and everything, but, yes, I would say we were, yes. We had the fast costume changes and, as I say, our costumes were a lot bigger in those days, a lot more so than they are now. How many times did you have to change costumes in a show? Let's see, I would say at least five or six times. Five for sure, for positive. Did they have someone off stage that helped you do that kind of a thing? Yes. They had dressing women. They had like three, four women, but showgirls had theirs, dancers had theirs, everybody had their own dressers. But, we had special dressers for wardrobe and dressing. Also, another thing, in those days we had the old-fashioned, rung ladders on the side of the thing. I mean, these huge skirts, I mean, these heavy, heavy, heavy, huge things and these big head pieces, we had to bend down and we had to climb up, like steel ladders just to go from the stage up to the, you know, to get off stage. It was very primitive, you know, like the old-fashioned back stage. Are you saying that the stage was multi-leveled? Well, the backstage was. You had backstage, the stage, and then you'd have to climb up sometimes to go. Sometimes you could go around but it was -- Most of the time you had to climb up a ladder with your head piece on? 4 Yes. That's amazing. Then, also, when I started doing the lead, one of the leads, you know, the announcing and everything, we had to go up into the ceilings because we had the things coming down. It was like a crawl space up there. You had these huge head pieces and a crawl space, going through the crawl space. So, the showgirls and the dancers didn't hang out together? I guess a few of them did. Now, my friend Linda [last name withheld], which I was telling you about, she's ended up knowing a lot of them, but she was going with a dancer at the time, which they're married now. So, she knew a lot of the dancers, but most of us, no, we didn't. We just didn't. You just stayed with the people you knew. Yes, we were all friends on our own. So, how often did they change the show? Every couple of years. I was there for fourteen months. I went in with a new show, so it was the same show the whole time I was there. How about the costumes? How did they maintain those? You didn't every worry about that, if there was a problem with them? They had the wardrobe women. The ones that dressed us and they did the sewing. They took care of everything. The allergies were terrible though. I remember, I had terrible allergies because a lot of them, like the big costumes, they put them in this cupboard type things along the side and you'd bring them out and, I mean, there is nothing but dust and feathers. It was terrible. You'd be on stage and your nose would be running and you can't [pretends to be wiping her nose]. You'd be wanting to sneeze and [sniffs] you nose is running and -- You have a feather up your nose? Yeah, right. [laugh] All this dust and it was -- 5 Did you guys have any insurance? Did you have a union at the time? No union. No insurance. I guess we were, we were S.A.K. or S.A.G or whatever it is, one of those, but we didn't have any insurance or anything. What kind of a turnover was there? There wasn't that big of a turnover really. There really wasn't. In those days, there weren't as many girls as there are now that were tall and showgirl types. In those days, you were almost like the queen of the strip because there just wasn't -- now, you know, every other girl can be a showgirl, but in those days they couldn't. There was a certain look they were after? Yes, you were classier, also. I think they were a little bit more attractive. How about black dancers or showgirls? Were there any? No. None. You never even thought about it. Of course, we were young, too. Twenty, 21, I was 21. I never even thought about it, but we just never had any. Not even the entertainers. Didn't you have entertainers with the show? No blacks at all, not while I was there, anyway. Linda will tell you more because she was there nine years. While I was there, there wasn't a black, not even back stage hands. Nobody that you even saw then, let alone not in the show. No, nothing. Never even associated. It wasn't because we were prejudiced. I was raised very unprejudiced. Very continental, so to speak, but it just wasn't, they just weren't there. What did you do for recreation? Do you remember? Well, we loved our champagne [laugh]. First of all, after the show, we'd go out to the shows. A lot of the hotels had the showgirls sit in the lounge. Was that the case at the Tropicana? No. The Tropicana did not. We would go to the different hotels and see the lounge shows once in a while. In between shows, because I had the boyfriend and my girlfriend Felicia Atkins, she had so many people. It was a different life then, but anyway, between 6 shows we'd go down to the Blue Room, the gourmet room, you know, and everything was comped down there for us [emphasis] because of my boyfriends and everything. We'd bring back the bottles of Dom Perignon upstairs and all the champagne and, you know, have our champagne in between shows. Let me ask you. You said everything was comped because of your boyfriends, but, for the other showgirls, if they went in the casino and had a drink, it was not taken care of? I don't remember. I really don't know. I know at some of the hotels, when they were required to mix, then they would take care of it. Yes, but I really don't know about that because, as I said, I never had to think much about it. It was very different then because they had a lot of the old-fashioned big-spenders. A lot of them, you know, you could go out gambling with them even though I had my friend in California, I would go out gambling with some of these big spenders and you'd go home with hundreds of dollars, but there was never even a question of going to bed with them. They wanted to be seen with a showgirl. There was never even a question because if it was going to bed, there were certain girls that were put aside for that in those days. But, I'm sure there still are “house girls”. So, how aware were you of the mob and of that influence? It was part of everyday life. You never thought about it. It was very safe, like they always say, it was very safe. I could go marketing at three in the morning and not worry. You'd go down the streets and you never had to worry. It was really lovely. I loved Las Vegas in those days. Of course, when you are very, very young, though, the whole world is wonderful and new and my life was just getting started, so, everything was great, you know, let me out there. It didn't bother you that these were -- Were you aware of it do you think at the time, that this was like a mob run city? 7 You were aware, but you weren't. You just didn't care. We were treated well, everything was nice. It wasn't like I thought, gee, I'm working for the mob. I never even thought of it. You really didn't think about it. I didn't, anyway. As I said, I was very young. In those years, I thought more that the mob was almost like a glamorous thing, you know. You don't think that, gee, they're killing somebody, you know. It was a glamorous type thing. There was a lot of money. Yeah, oh yeah, because I remember one of the legends of Las Vegas, I'm trying to think, what was his name, at the, what was it? The Desert Inn or the Riviera? I guess the Desert Inn. I'll remember his name afterwards, I'll give it to you. But, I mean, one of the top, top mob legends, class man, though. [name withheld] When I came in this new show at the Trop[icana], he sent over a little note and one of the bosses said, he'd like to have dinner with you between shows. So, I went over and I had dinner and I remember it was Connie Francis sitting there at the table and a couple of other people having dinner between shows. I saw him, oh, about three or four times, you know. The next day he sent me, I interrupted myself, he sent me a huge thing of red roses and he said, you are so nice, stay as sweet. Don't let Las Vegas change you. It was so nice. I always saw him, but we remained like friends. I guess, he took me more like a daughter after meeting me and all. But, afterwards I understood he was one of the top big guys. But, I didn't think that much about it really. How about, by 1964, cosmetic surgery was coming into vogue, I think. Well, when I went into the show, what was coming into vogue then, and a lot of girls had it which they are having a lot of problems now, were not the breast surgery, but it was the shots, the silicone shots. That was the big thing. You know, there was a doctor [George Kliefkin] here in Vegas doing it to all the girls. So, the silicone shots were the big thing. I personally was always the size I am, but my boyfriend, he says, oh, you know, my friend from California, my gentleman friend, he says, oh, it's a great thing. Why don't you have 8 a couple, you know, but I'm terrified of needles, so, he kept on and on, so, finally I took two one-half shots and I almost fainted both times. I can't take needles and I'm so glad, but I was always [makes gesture of large breasts], 38c, 38d. Was there a lot of pressure on the girls to do that? No, at least not in the Trop[icana], not on us. The hotels, as far as I know, never said anything. At least, they never said anything to me. No, not at all because I know Linda and all the girls at that time. They just accepted? Well, you were hired for what you were. But, do you think that girls did not get jobs because they were not very well-endowed? I would imagine so. There were some smaller girls, some of the European girls weren't real big. As a matter of fact, I don't think they wanted you real big. I was one of the larger ones, I'd say. Myself and maybe Judy Madison, a couple of us. I know that some of the girls started getting the injections in the face to get high cheek bones? Not that I know of. All the girls that I knew were, we were all ourselves. As far as I know, there was no cosmetic surgery except the shots. Some of the girls had the shots and that was it. Another thing that was very different, is that there were no drugs back stage. Now, I understand that there is quite a bit. Really? Friends told me that even like ten years ago and right now that there's a lot back stage, but in those days, there were not. How about others, uppers, diet pills? Yes, uppers, diet pills we took. As a matter of fact, I started on those myself a little bit through one of the showgirls. For? Just to keep you awake? 9 Well, actually when I was traveling, when you had those three days off, the one time you had to stay in town, be on call in case someone got sick and the next time you could travel and I used to go to Mexico or go different places with my friend. Like if I was up 24, 48 hours I would take one. I remember coming back from Mexico, you know, but then even when I started modeling and traveling a lot. I was traveling all over the world, living in Europe, I lived in Italy, that I started taking them. But, not so that it was -- So, there was really no -- ? There was champagne back stage. There were no drugs but there were uppers. I think on their own time maybe one or two of the girls smoked marijuana, but that was their own business. I never even knew what "coke" [cocaine] was. I had never even heard of it. Heroin, of course, was something that was real taboo. That was sick. That was junkie-type stuff. That is the sense I'm starting to get; that the diet pills, nobody took them because they wanted to lose weight. They took them because they wanted to stay up. Absolutely. I didn't know a girl there that had trouble. Oh, one girl had trouble with weight. Other than that, none of us really because we were young. I had trouble keeping weight on. I still do. But, no, the diet pills because I just wanted to party. I wanted to just keep living. Sleeping was just an absolute waste of time. [Laughs]. It wasn't until I was about 26 or 27 that I even knew what a little bit of darkness under my eyes was. Tell me what a typical day was? What time did you usually get up and what did you do in the afternoons before you went to work or did you just get up before you went to work? Yeah, it depended. If I was out the night before, I slept later. But, usually, I got up about early afternoon, late morning, early afternoon. Then do a few errands or run out and do a few things, whatever, and then go to work. But, then if I was out partying or whatever the 10 night before then, of course, you sleep a little later throughout the day and get up and go to work. How soon did you have to get there before the show started? I'm trying to remember if it was half an hour or an hour. I think it was half an hour, we had to be there half an hour before the show. I know that on my days off, once in a while, I'd go to L.A. and like if the plane was running late, I would be a nervous wreck. Once, I was actually putting my makeup on, on the plane. Everybody is watching me, looking at me, and I'm trying to get these huge eyes on, you know, the great big because the big exaggerated make-up on, on the plane. More than once I went on stage without my eyelashes, just the eyes, for the first number. More than once, because I always run late anyway. You wore fake eyelashes? Big long fake eyelashes, yeah, well not real big but big. The makeup was a little bit more, I believe, than what it is today. Of course, the pancake makeup. Most of us, not all of us, but most of us were running late all the time. It wasn't until about five years ago that I finally stopped having dreams about being late to the show. Having dreams and then running out on these big stages and having to crawl up and down these ladders and getting in the wrong place and trying to get my step going again. It was like being late for school. My dreams were always being late for the show, until just recently, I still had those dreams after all those years. You put all this makeup on and it lasted through two shows? Oh, yes. It's like putting regular makeup on, just a little more so. Instead of foundation, you put pancake on and, of course, your eyes were very exaggerated. I still do a little bit. Of course, we wore the eyelashes and whatever else. Did the hotel supply your makeup, also? No. You did your own. You supplied everything. They supplied the shoes which absolutely killed us. Now, at least, they wear the sensible shoes. We had to wear the real 11 high, high spike heels. We had to go down these huge stairways with spike heels. I remember because I'm terrified of heights. No wonder I never drank at home alone, but I started [to have a drink}, I remember the first time I did my announcing. My friend called from California and he said, “well, have a Bloody Mary, have something”. I said, well, I have orange juice and some vodka so I had that, you know, to calm me down because I was going to be doing the announcing. Between shows, we'd all have a little champagne or a drink or something. Mainly, because those damn stairs, wearing these high spikes with these long gowns with the big, long trails, walking down -- And, you couldn't see your feet? No. Walking down these big, you know, steep stairs, stand there, nothing to hold onto and a lot of times, you'd have to stand because they'd have us layered going up. Stand there and do a little number like this. [stands with hands out and sashays from side to side]. With your arms out the whole time? Always. Always with your arms out. Those stairs, I used to [takes a deep breath] to this day. Did anyone ever fall? Yes, one girl fell and broke her arm. But, to this day, I still count stairs going up and down and no matter where, when, how, why, I to this day still count stairs going up and down. I talked to other girls and they do too, a lot of them. Ah, because you used to do that on stage? Oh, you had to. I can imagine going to step down the next stair and there isn't one or thinking you're on the bottom and you're not. Well, that's what happened to this one girl. She fell I guess about three or four stairs and broke her arm. They just kind of dragged her off and you go on, you go on with the show. 12 Tell me about, you said you announced. What..? When you became one of the lead girls, at the beginning of our show, we'd come out of the ceiling and my number was, "The sensational, fabulous, fifth edition," you know. Then afterwards you would just announce the different acts and walk through. Being swing girl, anybody was sick or off, I would take their place. One time, the lead singer, the opera singer, got in a car accident, so, they had to throw me into her dress real fast which came up half way to my knee. You mimic and [laughs] then in the finale, they needed, I had to walk down the stairs. You had to mimic her song? A part of it, yeah. [laugh] It was funny, then walking down the stairs. But, we had the live bands in those days, but they had things recorded, in case. Like her voice? Yes. All you had to worry about was whether your mouth matched? You knew all the music and songs by heart because it's all piped in backstage. A lot of it was a lot of fun. We had like the stage and we had the round ring going out, what do you call it, the walkway, catwalk. One of the numbers we had the real big hoop skirts, the really big, big, hoop skirts going down. And you always get someone who had been drinking, you know, the guys and the couples even and they're being funny and they're looking under the skirts. So, it happened almost every show. We had a way of standing there and you couldn't move and they'd be doing that, so, it would be time to move and you knew just how to go like this [standing with arms out she moves her hip to one side] and knock all their drinks off the table. Just knock all their little drinks over, you know. [laughter] They all took it well because they were the ones that were looking. Sometimes you'd swish your dress over their heads, knock everything over, just that little extra swish. Your costumes were really, as you say, a lot more. Now, they come out with very little 13 on. In those days they were very elaborate. We had like a million dollars worth of costumes in that show in those days with the feathers and all the jewels. We were the only hotel that wore pasties. I never really felt like I was nude because I'm a very shy person. I'm a very, very shy person and for me to even get undressed in front of my ex-husband was a big deal. I always undressed in the bathroom. I mean, I like low cut dresses and all, but I always liked having something on. You know, just look pretty. Just the little sparkle there. And they matched the outfit that you were wearing? No, it was like a flesh color with just like a little star, or like a few little sparklets. So, you didn't have to change those? No. Well, that's a break. Yeah, oh yeah, with the tape. No, no, you put them on before you went in and you wore them underneath and in between. They were held on with tape? Yes, we put them on with tape, but it was very nice. The other shows had to have them completely nude. I always felt better this way. I didn't feel like I was naked. Your costumes, now, this was before velcro, wasn't it? Were they zippered? Zippers and many times my back got caught in that zipper. Many times. Oh, god, that was one of my terrors. Every time they go [she grabs her waist and sucks in her stomach] you just say, oh please god, you know. That was one of the real terrors. You should have gotten combat pay for that. Now, you worked for just fourteen months. Yes. I got kind of bored because I figured I couldn't go any further. I went as high as I could. As high as you could was what? To be an announcer? 14 To be an announcer and swing and everything like that. Matter of fact, the stage manager, Dave Johnson, he took me out to dinner when I told him I was going to be leaving and he offered me more money and everything if I would stay, but I just felt that time was right. I was going to go back to L. A. with my friend and then, it turned out, that I traveled a lot with him and then I ended up living in Europe. So, the timing was right for me. I know not every girl, there were some girls then that went home and had families, well, I don't think so really. There must have been one or two [laughs]. Somewhere. I know nowadays, they all say they have kids and families and this and that, but a few of them, I know a lot of them were married, a few of them were married. Then there were the professional girls, you know, the call girls, also. There were I think one, two -- You mean that some showgirls were also call girls? Right. There was one for sure, one or two, I think. Most of them that got married, married dancers? Or? Married dancers, bartenders, dealers. People that they knew in the hotel. Yes. A lot of them, like myself, they went on and they did, you know, I wanted the world. Monica, she married like a bull fighter and then she married a very wealthy man in Chicago and did very well, but most of them -- One of the dancers, a male dancer, I don't know whether you know him, he started as a dancer at the Trop[icana], then he was a stage hand there and then he became one of the head stage hands at one of the hotels and then he went in real estate. Now, a lot of them went into real estate and things. Ronnie Reese, he died a couple years ago. A lot of them went on to go into business and do real good business. I think it was a spring board for a lot of things. The town was growing so fast and there was a lot of opportunity here. Nobody ever imagined it would go like it is now, of course. 15 No, certainly not me or I'd have bought that property. Yes, we would have bought a lot of land back in those days. We sure would have. For you, to stop doing what you were doing was no problem. You were ready to move on. Yes, I was ready to move on. It was a -- You went on to what? To model? Well, I ended up living in Europe and I was having dinner with my friend and some other friends over in Rome and somebody came up to me and asked me if I was an actress and I said, you know, I was very young, tall, long blond hair and very, and I said no and I got kicked under the table. They gave me the cards. My first film, I was the leading lady. It was just sort of handed to me. I was very fortunate. I did three different films and because of that I was, because of the films, I was put on magazine covers and did a lot of layouts. I have a lot of the layouts. I have boxes full of magazines and newspaper clippings and all, boxes of those. My only thing is, my life revolved more around which nightclub I was going to and what I was going to wear and who I was going to date than it did. I never took any of it serious. I always felt kind of bad, you know, some people, they just pursue it their whole life, it's their dream and it's handed to me and I could care less. But, that was my life. What brought you back? Because my friend's money, because I lived very, very well over there and all that and I had this kind of high profile. They started all the kidnappings and everything in Europe and I went through a very nasty spell with that and my aunt came over and we had a very nasty experience. So, I decided it was time to come back. I was over there for nine years. When you came back to the states, did you come here? I went to California and then my friend passed away. We were together fourteen years and when he passed away, I had blown all the money he had given me which was close to a million, a million and a half, you know, he gave me all sorts of money and I just blew it. So, he died young. Then, I came back to Las Vegas and I met my ex-husband and we 16 traveled all over. He was in the hotel business, so, I did a lot of traveling. I lived in the Bahamas and Tahoe and Vail and all over the place. Always came back to Las Vegas. Then, I left my ex-husband. We were living in the Bahamas in '89 and I came back to Vegas and again, I was broke. I just said, I'm leaving. I'm walking out. I just walked out on him and I got a job at the Horseshoe. It took me six weeks to get a job, even knowing a lot of people, having a lot of friends here. That's where I met Tommy, my fiance. What were you doing at the Horseshoe? The only job I've ever had besides showgirl. I worked in the sportsbook, racebook, [as a] cashier and then I went to the main cage. I lasted for five months. Gruelling? Yes, five months. Now, I have no experience to show for it. Now, I'm going out in the workforce again at my tender age. I had almost six, six and a half years with Tommy. You didn't work during that time? No, we traveled. He was a sports handicapper. He was very famous. He was the joy of my life. I don't know what the draw to Las Vegas is, but I'm finding that even though you weren't born here and this is not your original home -- Everybody comes back. I did go one year to high school, my freshman year of high school at Bishop Gorman, but I don't know what it is. It's like a magnet. You just always, maybe it's because before it w