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Transcript of interview with Dr. Ray and Linda Rawson by Claytee White, October 30, 2009 and November 13, 2009


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Raymond Rawson's life started in the rural Utah community of Sandy in 1940. His family moved around in what he describes as a scene from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. By the age of 10, the family settled in Las Vegas, which had a population of around 35,000. He attended Fifth Street Grammar School, Las Vegas High School, was a member of UNLV's first graduating class, and eventually became a dentist. In this interview, he reflects on his experiences of growing up in Las Vegas, the hardships of difficult economic eras, and his professional accomplishments in the field of dentistry, including actively advocating the creation of UNLV School of Dental Medicine. Ray also became a community leader. He served in the Nevada State Legislature from 1985 to 2001. He talks about his relationship with long-time legislator Joe Neal. Education and access to healthcare were among the issues that Ray championed and he shares his observations of these issues. In 2009, he was appointe

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[Transcript of interview with Dr. Ray and Linda Rawson by Claytee White, October 30, 2009 and November 13, 2009]. Rawson, Ray and Linda Interview, 2009 October 30 and 2009 November 13. OH-01540. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada


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An Interview with Raymond D. Rawson An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ©The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2007 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editors: Barbara Tabach and Gloria Homol Transcribers: Kristin Hicks and Laurie Boetcher Interviewers and Project Assistants: Barbara Tabach and Claytee D. White ii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Harold Boyer and the Library Advisory Committee. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the university for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project. Additional transcripts may be found under that series title. Claytee D. White, Project Director Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iii Table of Contents Preface Interview Index Appendix: Linda Rawson obituary Interview with Linda Rawson Ray Rawson Legislative Biography iv Preface Raymond Rawson's life started in the rural Utah community of Sandy in 1940 . His family moved around in what he describes as a scene from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. By the age of 10, the family settled in Las Vegas, which had a population of around 35,000. He attended Fifth Street Grammar School, Las Vegas High School, was a member of UNLV's first graduating class, and eventually became a dentist. In this interview, he reflects on his experiences of growing up in Las Vegas, the hardships of difficult economic eras, and his professional accomplishments in the field of dentistry, including actively advocating the creation of UNLV School of Dental Medicine. Ray also became a community leader. He served in the Nevada State Legislature from 1985 to 2001. He talks about his relationship with long-time legislator Joe Neal. Education and access to healthcare were among the issues that Ray championed and he shares his observations of these issues. In 2009, he was appointed to the Board of Regents, and held the position until 2011. ORAL HISTORY RESEARCH CENTER AT UNLV Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Name of Narrator: Name of Interviewer: Use Agreement yvta si d- £> J), /nUrz We, the above named, give to/tlie (/ral History Research Center of UNLV, die recorded interview(s) initiated on 10ji>C> I&.C Of as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational p/irpos^s as shall be determined, and transfer to die University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal dde and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude die right of die interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use die recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. There will be no compensation for any interviews. Lo -3^ Library Special Collections 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-7070 (702) 895-2222 ORAL HISTORY RESEARCH CENTER AT UNLV Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Name of Narrator: Name of Interviewer: Use Agreement masLcl C> .7) )_ iim We, tlie above named, give to/tlic Oral History Research Center of UNLV, the recorded interview(s) initiated on /0 /60 /ZL GO? as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational p/irpos^s as shall be determined, and transfer to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. 'Ellis gift does not preclude the right ol die interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use die recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. There will be no compensation lor any interviews. 10 — 3^ " P-6 A y Library Special Collections 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-7070 (702)895-2222 This is Claytee White. It is October 30th, 2009. And I'm at the home of Dr. Ray Rawson. So how are you this morning? I'm doing just fine. It's a good day. Wonderful. Could you just start by telling me about your early life, where you were born and a little about your family? Well, I was born on November 2nd, 1940. I was actually born at home. There was a blizzard and they couldn't get to the hospital. So they had to bring the doctor into our house. I was born in Sandy, Utah. It was a rural community about 12 miles from Salt Lake City. And it was a good place to grow up. It was farm country. We had fields to roam and play in and I used to play around the water and so on. When I was three years old, my father worked on the atomic bomb plant in Hanford, Washington. He was a carpenter. So we moved to Hanford, Washington. It was a tent city. I mean it was dusty and dry. They had big oak barrels that they filled with ice every day so that people would have cold water. It was like a scene out of Grapes of Wrath, really. But it was wartime, and I think everyone was involved in that. At the completion of that work we moved back to Sandy. I remember the train ride. I was four-and- a-half or five then. The train was loaded with soldiers coming home or going out. I remember several of them gave my mother and me a seat because I was little at that time. And they slept on the floor. They were gentlemen in that day. Good years. I mean my father milked a cow so that we would have milk for the family. He shared that milk with whoever owned the cow. And I remember bringing in hay in the spring and summer. When I was ten we moved to Las Vegas. That was an abrupt change. It was a small city then. We were 35,000 people in Las Vegas. But it was the biggest city I had ever been around. I went to Fifth Street Grammar School and then on to Las Vegas High School. I still love the mountains. We lived at the foot of the mountains in that Salt Lake Valley. They just towered above the city. I still get excited anytime I see mountains. So do you like cold weather? I don t really like cold weather. We have a cabin at Brian Head and we do ski and snowmobile. 1 But I think I was cold until we got out of dental school and I could afford a decent coat is the first time that I really started to enjoy the snow. Any brothers and sisters? I do have two brothers and two sisters. My older brother and older sister have died. I have an older sister that lives in Salt Lake and a brother that lives in Logandale, Nevada. My father and mother are both dead. They lived well into their 80s and lived good lives. He was a carpenter all of his life and small contractor in Las Vegas. And I worked as a carpenter for a few years going through school. How did you decide to become a dentist? Well, I can joke about it a little bit. Part of it was I would be nailing roofs in 120-degree heat in the summer here and decided I better continue school. But I think I had a health teacher as a junior in high school that was the first teacher that really got through to me and I knew that I wanted something in the medical field. So I just went after that. Have you been to the Fifth Street School since they've renovated it? I have. It's nice to see that they've kept it alive and that it's involved with the arts and the development downtown. It was a scary place to go. I was in fifth grade when we moved there. It was overcrowded and it was on double sessions. It seems like that's been the history of schools in Nevada. We still have crowded schools. Yes. Tell me about UNLV as being part of some of those first students there. Well, I got married right out of high school. And so I couldn't see the way to go away to school. My wife and I both enrolled at UNLV. I worked full time and went to school 12 hours a semester. So it was considered full-time student. It was the only college I knew. There were three buildings on the campus. It was pretty stark. I mean there wasn't really any grass then. We called it Sagebrush Tech. That's not very kind. Well, some people called it Tumbleweed Tech. And the classes were small. I think I had 25 or 30 in the biggest class I had. That fundamentally changed my life. Because of the small classes and the closeness to the professors, I just came alive. Were you still having the fights while you were there, the fights with the north? Any of that 2 tension still around? You know, very much so. It was called University of Nevada Southern Regional Division. They didnt want a university down there. The regents would meet once a year, maybe twice a year in Southern Nevada. We d go to those regent meetings and they were kind of disdainful of us, you know. It was like we can't spend our resources down here. I remember us kind of petitioning the students and holding rallies. It was a slow beginning. At the same time the city was beginning to grow. And I think they couldn't deny the numbers down here. I was in the first graduating class at UNLV. Before that everybody had to spend at least a semester in Reno. And it was a hardship. I mean you pick up your family or go alone and have to find housing in a strange community. So I took five years to get through college and did that because I couldn't really afford to go to Reno. You know, there were dramatic things. I can't say that you look back at everything and say it was exactly the right thing to do. But I was a student body officer. You were president of your class, weren't you? Yes, student body president at UNLV. We really picked the school colors and we picked—we were called Rebels because we were rebelling against northern Nevada. It was thrilling to finally have a graduating class and to know that we were a university. There were 1900 students maybe at the time I graduated. And now there's 19,000. I mean that's just exponential. And the north-south feelings are still there. We're civilized about it and we try not to punish. I mean clearly the control of the state is down here. But they stick together and they still try very hard to maintain as much control as they can. Did you continue to feel that when you were in the Nevada senate? Yes, very much. I mean it didn't matter what party. All the north and rural legislators stuck together in both houses. In Southern Nevada, because we were Republicans and Democrats basically, I think they used that to their advantage to split us. And by the time we figured that out we were either with it or no longer in office. So it's still in place. You know that there's a north-south issue when you're talking with someone from Nevada and they say, well, this isn't a north-south issue. Immediately you should come to attention because it is a north-south issue. And I think it is to them. It isn't to us. I really see a lot of statesmen down here. I think they're 3 afraid of Southern Nevada and the potential power of Southern Nevada. So in their minds it's a bigger issue than it is in our minds. I think they secretly feel that given time they'll catch up with us population-wise. When you were having those school meetings and class meetings, coming up with a mascot and school colors, did you ever think that mascot would lend itself to racism or that people would think about that in later years? No. In my mind as I think back at that time, there was no sense of that at all. It wasn't a Southern United States kind of mentality. It was a Southern Nevada mentality and we had a large black population then, not so many Hispanic. There were some Hispanics here. There may have been infringed segregation and things like that that as I try to remember back it doesn't really come across to me because of the friends we had and the associations we had. I just don't remember that being a strong issue. The Rebel flag and things like that had nothing to do with the south, really. And that's really hard to explain today. It is. Because I'm on a commission for diversity on campus and those issues have come up and I've tried to explain what the situation was because I've interviewed other students in early UNLV. But it's difficult. Like at Las Vegas High School there were members of our debate team, minority members. They had status and stature and got important parts and roles. I don't ever remember that competition being there. There were in some - the town was more segregated then. And it was before busing. So there were areas of segregation. But, no, I think a lot of that was brought out as we went through the late 50s and 60s. Yesterday I interviewed a Mormon family and they told me about Monday family nights. Tell me about that. I was so impressed with that. Well, the Mormon Church is a way of life. People are involved so much in the church. And I think there was recognition that families are spread in so many different directions that we needed to take some time that would be absolute for the family. It wouldn't be anything that would interfere because the family is important. That came as a church-wide directive for everyone to practice a family night. It was a wonderful occasion for our family. We had seven children. We 4 ate together. We did activities together. We went places and did things. So I think it held our family together. It was worthwhile. What were some of the things that you would do in the house? Did you play games? We played games, every kind of game from Pick-up Sticks to chess and checkers and Monopoly. Sometimes we'd go to a movie. There were times that we would have a family history discussion. And that's important to us to know our heritage. As a religion we went through quite a bit of prejudice also. My great-great-great grandfather was burned out of six different homes as they were pushed across the country. And part of that is because of their antislavery sentiments in Missouri. They were involved in some of that Underground Railroad, getting people out of Missouri. I think it's important that our kids know those things. We don't have to re-excite people about it. They just need to know that if you don't treat all people the same that's what happens. And that's not good. Tell me a little about leaving and going to Loma Linda because at that point you were already married; is that correct? Yeah. So how did that work with the family? Oh, it was tough. I was a carpenter then, going to school. My father and I built the house we lived in. It was on Quarry Avenue in Las Vegas. And we saved everything we could to put a well down so that we would have water. There was power there but no city water. So what part of the city is Quarry? It's Charleston and ~ oh, it's near the mental health area out on West Charleston. We paid $1200 for a piece of land out there and it was desert all around us. We built the house and we finished college living in the house. Some of my college classmates helped me put the wiring in it. But when it came time to go to dental school, oh, the tuition was 11,000 a year. And we're talking about which year? 1964. And so we sold the home to get the tuition for the first year of school. My father drove a U-Haul and we put everything we could in the car and the kids and headed to California. We paid $80 a month for a place in Southern California to live. We didn't have a car that was in good enough shape to get home. So for the four years that we were down there—we tried a couple of 5 summers. And we could get up to the top of Cajon Pass and it would overheat by the time we hit the desert. So we couldn't really visit family or anything. I mean everybody has poverty years in their lives. But we would have four dollars left over at the end of the month. And if the kids didn't need a prescription, we could all go a movie once a month. But they were good years. We were close as a family. I studied every night and the kids saw me studying. As a result every one of them is educated. It's not like we had to force them. It's just the habit they got into. And they saw you sitting there every night studying. Yep. We have four doctors and an attorney and a daughter in early childhood education and one in physical therapy. I was the first member of my family to go to college. It was exciting for them to see me graduate from college and then graduate school. And then you came back and did more schooling. And I came here and associated with Dwayne Antz. He was a dentist on East Sahara. And I practiced dentistry for about ten years and had an opportunity to help start the dental hygiene program at the community college. So I started phasing out of my practice and phasing into the teaching. I practiced part time and taught; then I went full time as a professor and retired there after 25 years of teaching. And I've heard that you did a lot of research and writing. What was your field of research? Forensic dentistry and other things. During college I worked in Southwest Radiological Laboratories. We built some of the monitors that monitored the radioactive iodine and the air from the testing at the Nevada Test Site. We used to sit out on our lawn in the morning and watch the atom bombs go off. And you'd see the mushroom cloud coming up. So I was involved in that health physics. And then I did research in anesthesia, local anesthesia and taught anesthesia for 25 years. Fought the fights through the legislature to get local anesthesia for hygienists that they could inject. So I did a fair amount of research for that and published extensively in forensic dentistry, identification and bite marks and mass disasters, those kinds of things. That's exciting. So if I would come to your dental office and I was afraid of pain, I wouldn't have to worry about that, right? Absolutely not. You know, I always taught the students - and it's fun to teach students because they give injections to each other. 6 They're terrified, they're just terrified. And I always said to the class when we finished all the explanations and so on, then I tell them, okay, now we're ready to do this. I promise you that when we come back I'm going to ask you how many of you felt it. Most of you are going to raise your hand that you didn't feel anything and they all scoff at that. We go in and give our first injection and come back. Usually it's 90 percent of the class that says I didn't feel anything. So I taught them an atraumatic, a painless injection, and you can do it painlessly. All of the dental hygienists in this community really have learned at my hand and they give great injections. I am impressed. Great. You became a senator in 1984? Yes. So how did you decide to go into politics? Well, we were raising a family. Our kids were in the school district. It was crowded; it was overcrowded. The college was kind of bogged down. There wasn't enough money. They didn't have enough buildings. We had students that couldn't get classes. And I was teaching in the college and could see that the resources just weren't there. I thought I can do something about that. I've got to try. So I ran. Ran against a powerful legislator and worked hard. I walked the neighborhood. There were 65,000 homes that I walked to. So now, where were you living at that time? On Meachum Avenue. It's basically Jones and the expressway now, Torrey Pines, in that area. And the district was all the way from California to the Nye County border. So it was the west bench of Las Vegas. And I won by, I don't know, 65 votes or something. It was close. I didn't know until three in the morning that I had actually won. Then it hit me. Okay, now what am I going to do? And that's a scary session to go into the senate. You don't really know as much as you think you do. What were some of your campaign promises? It was education. It was economic diversity; that we were too dependent on gaming as a sole industry. And that's why we had budget problems. We still see that today. I think it was mostly those issues, economic development and education. As I got into the senate I was the first dentist that had ever been elected in the Nevada Senate. So they put me on the health committee. I think 7 Joe Neal was the chairman of the committee that year. He was a great chairman. I mean he knew. He had already been there probably ten years by the time I got there. And I learned a lot of things from him and I think I became a pretty good chairman. We went back and forth depending on who had the majority. I was chair and he was chair. Joe Neal always told me that he learned all the rules, read the rule book and learned all the rules, and that's what made him successful. That s what I learned from him. That first session when everybody was just trying to look good and give speeches and so on, I was studying the rule book and watching really how he could get the microphone whether they wanted him to have it or not. I learned those lessons pretty well because I learned from a master. And that is really the ballgame. If you know the rules and follow the rules, then you can always be heard. Right. What are some of the bills that you participated in, whether you wrote them or not, in the field of education while you were there over that, what, ten-year period, 20-year period, ten sessions? Twenty years. Oh, gosh, lots of things. To me the most important issue was probably class size reduction. And that's still controversial today. Conservatives think it was too expensive. Basically we were 50th in the country as far as the kids that go on to college, the kids that graduate from high school. It was appalling. I reasoned that if the kids could leave the third grade being able to read they could probably get through. Most of the dropouts didn't know how to read is why they were dropping out. So the class size reduction bill lowered the first three grades to 15 to 1. And, yes, it was expensive. Now, as it went along people fought it and they diluted it and they tried to change it. We ended up with 16 to 1 and then two teachers in a class of 32. That didn't accomplish what we needed. But there's little pockets where you still see that there's small classes and the kids do come out of there learning how to read. So I think we made a difference. The millennial scholarship was a good thing. Governor [Kenny] Guinn was the governor then. We probably wouldn't have gotten it through if he hadn't really championed that. Every bill that goes through has good and 8 bad about it. But it took us from 50th in the country to 28th at one point as far as kids going into college. And couldn't we all see that? Well, you know, I don't know. Can we? I think it changes families. It changes lives. If s the only way you break out of poverty. It's the only way you break out of ignorance. When I graduated from college, there were only 6,000 college students in the whole state. There's 120,000 college students now. And we're in our worst economic times right now. And Nevada State College has a 19 percent increase in enrollment and College of Southern Nevada is five or six percent. People understand that. When times are tough you've got to improve your skills. And that's how you get a job and that's how you make it. What kinds of things did you champion under health care? Well, we had an access problem in Nevada. We had Medicaid. And so many people were covered, but they didn't really have access to health care. In dentistry as an example, we reached a point where there were only eight dentists in the state that would see a Medicaid patient. Basically 80 percent of the Medicaid kids never had their teeth filled. Ten years ago, well, 15 years ago, the second leading cause of hospitalization for children in this state was dental infection. People don't know that. They don't understand that. That's why I championed the dental school and pushed for a dental school. And now they see 34,000 people a year that wouldn't have access to dentistry any other way. So it's still not a perfect system, but we've improved the access. So that was always the primary thing to me. It didn't matter if they were covered if there wasn't any place they could go- And I think we've changed that. How are we going to change economically us remaining gaming dependent? Well, gaming fights. They like to be the 300-pound gorilla. I mean they're the major industry and they like it that way. Mining is probably the next major and they like it that way. I remember Steve Wynn talking to all the legislators and saying: you don't need economic diversification. Every time I open a new hotel there's 15,000 new jobs. Well, that's true. But every time the economy goes south tourism stops and then we are really hurt severely. And so we can promote gaming and tourism. But we need to build other 9 industry. Now, Northern Nevada understands that. Their gaming isn't as strong in Northern Nevada. And so you see warehousing and light manufacturing and all kinds of things that are developing in Northern Nevada. They've got the picture. They understand. And we need to do the same thing here. Some of that ought to be biotech industry. And gaming's always said, well, you know, we dont need biotech industry in Southern Nevada. Well, yeah, we do. It's a good place for it. It's got a good tax structure for it. You look at the H1N1 swine flu right now. We're dependent on foreign countries for all of our vaccine. And as it really got to be a pandemic these countries embargoed the vaccine they were creating. They wanted their citizens to be vaccinated. And you can't blame them. We re left out in the cold and so we're tens of millions doses short for what we need to adequately cover. We ought to have a vaccine-producing industry right here. Whether it's in Nevada or not, it doesn't matter. But this is a good place for it. And so I went in on the campaign promise. We did a lot of economic diversification. If you look at it, we're more dependent on gaming today than we were 20 years ago. And it's because gaming's grown also. And we see that when we look at the housing situation here now. I mean it's bad in a lot of places, but I think we see the numbers greater here than anyplace else. And because of that we're — darn. We can stabilize it. I'm convinced that we can stabilize it. Nevada's going to be a wonderful place to live generations. We'll get on top of this. I agree because I love this place. What is the role of the floor leader in the senate? Well, the floor leader really sets the agenda. They're very powerful. I'm not sure if it was originally intended to be that way, but that's what happens. You see the same thing in the national Congress. Harry Reid becomes very important because he is the leader. Joe Neal or Dina Titus or Bill Raggio have been very important because they're the leader. I was assistant majority leader for years. And so I was in that inner circle that made all of the final decisions. It's a good place to be. I mean that's how you get things done. The individual vote rules in the long run. But being able to set the agenda helps you to accomplish that. 10 At one point you were — some of your personal achievements — you were a community hero. Tell me about that. Linda was too. My wife and I. We were involved in the interfaith community trying to get people to see the positives of every faith. At the same time I was fighting in the senate for diversity, for education, for improvement. And I think people recognized that. We were surprised, but very, very pleased. I don't think I was familiar with that award. You were part of the Clark County Anti-Tobacco Task Force. What was that work like? Well, we've always recognized that tobacco has a serious health consequence and that in Nevada we have a very high percentage of smokers. Gaming has always resisted any attempts to regulate that because it would interfere with their business. And I understand that. But we put a concerted effort to try to create places that were smoke-free, restaurants, grocery stores, family places that you could go without having to breathe the smoke. Always controversial, tough fights every one of them. There was a lawsuit against—essentially the attorney generals of the states came together and sued the tobacco companies. And there were billions of dollars in awards out of that. Well, that set up a foundation, the American Legacy Foundation. There's still over a billion dollars of endowment fund in the Legacy Foundation. I was appointed by the National Conference of State Legislatures to be on the Legacy Foundation. It promotes these tasks forces in every state and community to get out the message and to try to fight the effects of tobacco. We know that lung cancer, I mean everybody accepts that today, but breast cancer is also. Tobacco accentuates that and pancreatic cancer and other cancers. So basically it's been a successful effort in educating people. There's still smokers. I don't think we ever wanted the government control to dictate to people you can or can't. But they ought to know what the consequences are. There's even smoke-free casinos, not many. But they do well. There are people that want to gamble that don't want to breathe that. We know the workers in the casino industry suffer. And I saw a lawsuit in the newspaper the other day where I think a dealer is suing one of the casinos here because of that. 11 Yes. And that creates a lot of controversy in the press. But it isn't the most healthy place to work. Yes. Because you're a dentist I'm going to ask this next question. My friends and I sometimes talk about tobacco is horrible, but we think the sugar industry is probably even more horrible. And we feel that all of us are addicted to it. Candy, pies, cakes — we all just love that. What can we do about sugar? Education is part of it. In dentistry we made a chart up one year that had sugar cubes that represented how much sugar. So if you have an ice cream cone, there's six or eight cubes of sugar. If you have a piece of pie, there's 25 cubes of sugar. Education's part of it—becoming health conscious. And I think our society is becoming more health conscious. Yet, we see that childhood obesity is a national problem. Most of that's sugar and fats. Right now today you see the controversy about sugar cereals. Dentists have known that for a long time. It's not good for your teeth, but it's also bad for you generally to have that much sugar. I think it's an awareness thing. The government can play a role by seeing that labeling is fair and accurate. And then let people make their decisions. Who were some of your classmates back at UNLV the first time around? Oh, gosh. Jim Bilbray was a class or two ahead of me. I think Richard Vernon went to UNR. Yes. A lot of my classmates went into biology. They became veterinarians, a couple of doctors and a few park rangers, as you know for a while was a strong program out there, and a few dentists. Neil Glover was a classmate. And some teachers. We had Tom Wright, Dina Titus' husband. Oh, yes. Dr. Wright. He was a contemporary. I'm trying to think of others. Las Vegas High School, when we started as freshmen that was the high school. I guess Gorman and Las Vegas High School. And then when we were sophomores they opened Rancho High School. So all the early leadership in Nevada we knew from high school days. Then many of them went away to college, but a few of them stayed and graduated from Nevada. So tell me about deciding to run for the board of regents. How did that occur? How did you make that decision? Well, actually the governor called and asked if I would be willing to accept an appointment for 12 board of regents. Steve Sisolak ran for the county commission and so there was a vacancy. I told him that I would be happy to, I'd be honored. That is really kind of a natural position because I worked education in the senate. I was a college professor and knew the shortc