Hickey, Liliam Lujan Interview, 2018 September 7. OH-03477. [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 LILIAM LUJAN HICKEY An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White 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 Project 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 Calderon, Nathalie Martinez, Rodrigo Vazquez Editors and Project Assistants: Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Maribel Estrada Calderon, Elsa Lopez, Nathalie Martinez, Marcela Rodriquez-Campo, Rodrigo Vazquez iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) 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 Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Liliam Lujan Hickey was born in 1932 Havana, Cuba, where her father owned an insurance company and her mother was a music teacher. At age 17, Liliam married Enrique Lujan who owned five casinos and who was twelve years her senior. It was the early 1950s, and the people of Cuba lived with stark distinctions between upper class and low-income families. Liliam and Enrique lived a life of luxury. She became accustomed to flying to New York for dinner and wearing the finest Italian silks for custom dresses. Then in 1959, Liliam’s life took a vast turn as Fidel Castro rose to power and seized assets from the wealthy class. This upended Liliam’s family and in 1962, Liliam, Enrique and their three children fled to the United States. They first arrived in San Diego, California, where Liliam took a job at the Scripps Clinic. While Liliam spoke five different languages, she attended night school to learn English. Eventually, Liliam and her family moved to Las Vegas where Enrique could find work in the casinos. v Unexpectedly in 1972, Enrique passed away, leaving Liliam and her children to fend for themselves. Liliam was thrust into the role of matriarch; she learned how to write a check and drive a car. She describes this as a period when her community activism awoke, how she secured a position working for the Nevada Welfare Administration Office, and how her persistent spirit led her to citizenship within a week. Through friends, Liliam met Nevada legislator Thomas Hickey, an Irish American who she endearingly nicknamed her Pink Husband. Liliam credits Senator Hickey with teaching her about life and the world, and ultimately inspiring much of her political activism. She was an active member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, first known as el Circulo Cubano. At the peak of her career, Liliam became the first Latina to be elected to the Nevada State Board of Education. She envisioned building a village through schools in order to support and help all students be successful. A local Las Vegas school, Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary School, was named in honor of her public service. Today, Liliam is retired, but continues to work to increase civic engagement in the Latinx community and improve our educational system. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Liliam Lujan Hickey September 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee D. White Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………..iv Hickey speaks about working on building her educational “village” and the challenges of building in East Las Vegas ………………………………………………………………………….…..1 – 3 Discusses her early life in Cuba; Life in Cuba before and after the Castro regime; her husband’s decision for both of them to flee Cuba for the United States; Cuban holidays……………..…4 – 7 Arrives in San Diego to work as medical secretary for Scripps Clinic in La Jolla; Arrival in Las Vegas in 1964 by train; begins working in real estate selling homes to the Cuban Community; Begins working in the welfare department and details interactions with Ruby Duncan, Harriet Trudell, Renee Diamond, Vince Fallon, and Mahlon Brown……..........………….……...…8 – 14 Details her work the Latin Chamber of Commerce; Friendship with Tom Rodriguez and her involvement with Career Day at the Latin Chamber……………………………..……..….15 – 17 Meets her second husband Tom Hickey; Recounts her visit back to Cuba in 2007; Discusses Cuban representation in On Your Feet the story of Gloria Estefan performed at the Smith Center and Ricky Ricardo’s contribution to Cuban representation……………………………………...17 – 22 Hickey is elected to State Board of Education; speaks on changing name for election to Board of Education; touches more on her life in Cuba before her first marriage; reflects on her second marriage………………………………………………………………………………..……23 – 27 Speaks on the neighborhoods she lived in, in Las Vegas; discusses the 2018 political climate; Irene Cepeda; Cuban food and traditions; mentions other notable Cubans in Las Vegas; describes the décor in her home…………………………………………………………………………...28 – 37 vii 1 Today is September seventh, 2018, and we are in the home of Mrs. Hickey. Around the table we have... Maribel Estrada Calderon. Marcela Rodriguez-Campo. Rodrigo Javier Vazquez. Barbara Tabach. Claytee White. Nathalie Martinez. Could you please pronounce and spell your full name for me? My name is Liliam Lujan Hickey. L-I-L-I-A-M. L-U-J-A-N, is the last name. And the third one is Hickey, H-I-C-K-E-Y, like a hickey-hickey. Yes. I'll probably refer to you as Mrs. Hickey today. Everybody calls me Mrs. Hickey because that was the latest one, and it was thirty-five years with him. That's great. But my kids insisted, when there was this thing of getting a school named after you, it was not an easy thing, and the community got it for me. Tom Rodriguez was a big person pushing for me to have a school, because I have dedicated my life to education. I felt like when I came from Cuba that the education here wasn't good, and I still feel there's a lot to improve. That's why I dedicated my life to education. Since right now you volunteer for the school, let's just start there. I volunteer. I go when they need me there. They have a principal. They have their agenda. And when they need me, I go there. I try to do the best I can to be there to help. 2 I also help—I changed subjects on you, but I have so much to tell you. When I moved to this area, I want to have...Hillary Clinton talked about having a village. I have my own village. My village is, I have a Clark County elementary school, a middle school, and a high school, and those three schools were built there because I told the school district what I wanted, how I want it, and where I want it. One is Bob Bailey, which is a middle school, my dear friend Bob Bailey, Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary, and Sunrise Mountain is the high school. Those three schools are what I consider the concept for education to put in the minds of the children that they have to go elementary, middle school and high school. And that's my village. I used to do more because right now I'm more disabled. But I used to go to all the events from the middle school and the high school. I know the principals. I have lunch sometimes with them. Because my concept is to keep them together. Right now it's working pretty good because Sunrise—it's a Cuban principal. Then I have another one at the middle school she's new. Bailey and I were very close, and his wife. Both have passed away. No, Anna is still alive. Anna is still alive? Oh, I didn't know that. Yes, she just celebrated a birthday. I love her dearly. Oh, I love them. We used to be very close, Bailey and the family and everybody, because I was very active with the Latin Chamber of Commerce. Tell me when you're going to get a community college over here. I doubt it. Let me tell you, it was very difficult to build this village. It was so difficult because it's part of Nellis Air Force Base and the Nellis Air Force Base did not want the schools there. But the land was bought, and I was lucky that we were able to get three together. The Cheyenne 3 campus, it's okay, but it needs more services. They are not providing enough services there. I was active in there, too, but I don't do it anymore. Then I went to the Charleston campus, which is a lot neater and more organized and everything. In this area it would be challenging to build. I'm very proud there's a library coming, but, otherwise, nothing else in this area. Even to get teachers to work here...My husband was part of what is happening here because we didn't want freeways here, and you don't have any direct way to come to this. It's challenging to find teachers that like to stay there because it is not convenient. I have home healthcare and it is very difficult because people have to come to this area. There is not a freeway entrance. My husband did not want it that way either. We have lived here since 1984. We had to work not to have traffic here and everything, but now we're paying for it because there's no medical facility; there's not things that should have been. But it's okay. Whoever comes next, they have to do it. And the view is fabulous. You have to see it on the outside. If you don't mind, you can walk and see it now. It's beautiful outside. What my husband did, he brought rocks from a river and he built a pond there in the back. It's just pleasant at night. I used to have, when I was younger, a hot tub there, too. Have my wine in the hot tub. Here in Las Vegas a hot tub is very nice. That's great. Let's start back at the beginning. Take me back to Cuba and tell me what it was like growing up in Cuba as a young girl. Growing up in Cuba as a young girl, I had a very good education, and that's what drove me to get an education. I went to the French Dominique. I speak six languages, none of them right, but I do. But I know six languages. I'm a linguistic. I have a very intensive education. You don't play around in Cuba like you do here. When you go to school, you go to school. You go from the 4 morning to the evening. You don't have a lot of activities, just homework and school and school. Here in America, we don't do that. But that was my education. There, you get a Bachelor of Arts and Science, but I went thirteen years of school. It's a different from the education here. I can show you Bachelor of Arts and Science, but really I didn't have education in college, but I went thirteen years to school. But that's in all the Latin American and European countries, the same way; if you want to specialize in something, then you go for four more years. Back in Cuba, when you finish your education there— I got married. You got married, okay. To a guy twelve years older than me. It was very interesting because I didn't know that he was so wealthy. But seventeen years old, twelve years older than me. He owned five casinos. When I married, the family side was very wealthy and I had to sign papers. At that time I was so innocent that I signed papers that whoever was born was the only inheritor, I would not get anything from the money. I would not sign it now, but at that time I did it. Because you were in love. Because I didn't know. I didn't know better. Tell me about the casino industry in Cuba. He had five casinos, three in the islands and two on the big island—I mean, in the capital, in Havana. He was also in the Olympics for Cuba in weight lifting. He got the first gold in the Pan American Games in Mexico. In Havana, like here we have a strip of hotels, did you have anything like that? No, Havana is different. They have different hotels. It would be too long to tell you. It's a long 5 story because he owned the casinos. I wasn't even allowed to go to a casino myself because I was too young. Tell me what happened when Castro came in. They took everything. Oh, he had two jai alai1 teams, two; the one in Madrid and—one in Havana. You know what jai alai is? No. It's a game that you play with a racket with a basket. Do you guys know? You throw a small ball against a wall. There's two players in jai alai. Those places, they have also gambling. Tell me what happened when Castro came in. When Castro came in, I had two bodyguards downstairs, and my house was two levels. All the money from the Americans were there. My problem, I was to get them out, because I can see on the television how they were breaking in the front door of the jai alai and registers and everything; the revolution came. Then we start preparing to leave Cuba. They came at the end of '58, '59, and I left in 1960. It took all that time to get ready to go out of Cuba. They offered him, my first husband, Enrique, they offered him to do the Olympic for the whole island, the weight lifting coach, and he decided not to do it. We were preparing, hiding. My mother did not know that I was leaving, only my sister-in-law. We left Cuba with my three kids at that time, because Mary was born here in the United States. Explain it to me. Castro didn't want people to leave? They didn't have casinos in the Castro era. The revolution did not believe in casinos. Exactly. You left in secret. Why? I packed in secret, even with my family, because at that time even my mother loved Castro. 1 A ballgame played in a three-walled court with a rubber ball. 6 They loved him. What did they like about him? I don't know and I don't care whatever they like about him. Tell me the difference in— You see, what the difference is that we were rich and poor and there was no democracy. What was the difference in life before Castro and after? I didn't live there after Castro. I lived in a Cuba with the best of everything because I was wealthy. I had a gym that he built for his father in the front of my house, which you're going to see in the books there. The pictures are there in the red one. A beautiful gym. I had everything. We were going to build the palace of exercise for a living, and my house was in the back, a two-level house. My father-in-law and my mother-in-law were on the other side with the men's gym, and the women's gym was on the other side. The gym is there someplace, the sign, even. Why did you decide to leave? When my husband decided to leave, I didn't have a say-so because he was older and I was treated like a kid. When he decided that we were going to leave, we left in a plane and we went to Miami. We were not refugees at all. So you were allowed to take anything you wanted to take with you. No, no, no, no, no. What were you allowed to take? My clothes; that's all. No jewelry or anything. No jewelry. What about money? No, money—well, the money we were sending, because Castro came in '59 and we were sending things to employees from Cuba. You were allowed up to five hundred dollars. We used to pay them to come to Miami and leave the money in a bank. And we had some money when we came 7 to Miami in 1960. How long did you stay in Miami? There were so many people asking for money that we went from there to York, Pennsylvania, left York, Pennsylvania in '61. Who was asking for money in Miami? When you're the owner of a casino and your employees are there, they come over and ask you for money to live. We did have some money, but we left. In fact, we left Cuba in '60, left York, Pennsylvania in '61, and left to San Diego in 1964. We didn't stay too long because we didn't have a place to stay or love. Why York, Pennsylvania? Because the York Barbell Company. I can see that you don't know anything about weight lifting. No. Oh, the barbells. Yes, the barbells. The York Barbell Company was there. He used to teach in the gym, not getting paid, and they gave him a room and a room in a hotel that they owned, the barbell company. They treated us very well. When you come from a foreign country, you don't know about Thanksgiving or you don't know about Easter and all those things, and you learn all those things with them. Which holidays did you celebrate when you first got here? Here, none. In Cuba you don't celebrate Christmas like you do here. We have the kings, the feast of the three kings, like on January the sixth for Christmas. I learned how to celebrate here, just like I came, from Cuba. Were there any celebrations, though, that you remember that you continued to celebrate once you got here? 8 No. The one that I used to celebrate, Dia De Los Reyes, it was January the sixth, where the three kings come and that's all. But we didn't have Santa Claus like you have. You left York and you went to San Diego. Why? San Diego, because we bought a Volkswagen, at that time a minivan, and we just went from place to place, finding out where we wanted to live. When we went to San Diego, the guy asked us to stay there and we stayed there. But there is a story of how I learned to be a bilingual medical secretary without knowing how to type or anything. The IBM machine, the one with the record (30:42). The ball? Yes. And the Dictaphone. I didn't know a thing when I was using it. But I became a bilingual medical secretary. I organized and interpreted for the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, very elegant. But, my God, I didn't know anything. What happened to me is I needed a job because Enrique was working at the gym in San Diego and then came the invasion of Cuba and he was going to lose his job and I needed a job. I was working at that time in a department store, for a dollar. Then I applied for the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla. Because of my knowledge of the Latin and the medical terminology that is all Latin, I was able to pass the test to be a bilingual medical secretary. When I saw the IBM and the machine, I said, "Well, I cannot do it." I don't even know how to start the switch. What I did, I got the job because I dressed with culturally made clothes that I have from Cuba. I dressed well and I got dressed up better than everybody else. The look got me the job, really. But the knowledge was zero. I went to the lady. I said, "I don't know English, I don't know how to type, and I cannot hear; the Dictaphone sounds like Chinese to me, what the doctors are saying." I said, "But if you give me a chance, I can learn." And she did give me the opportunity and I became the organizer of the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla. I have been very 9 successful through my life because of my personality, I guess. Great. Why did you come to Las Vegas? Because my first husband, Enrique, wanted to come back here to the casino. It was very hard for me to leave La Jolla because La Jolla was me. The Scripps Clinic in La Jolla is a diagnosis center. I helped a doctor—the one that made the polio machine—Jonas Salk. When that guy came to the United States, they allowed me to take him around the building that is there in La Jolla. I helped to organize it. What I would do is—well, I couldn't speak English well. I still don't. But anyway, they dictate to me and they correct their own English and then I have it typed by somebody else because I wasn't even a typist. I managed to survive without being the best at anything. I organized the Salk Clinic in La Jolla. Dr. Salk scientist didn’t even look at you in the eyes. He walked this way, very nice, very interesting man. I organized the office for the doctors. When a person comes to work in the office, all the instructions were organized. Tell me some of your first memories of Las Vegas. I moved here—because in 1964 there was nothing here. I came by train because Spanish men are not too handy doing things and we came by train. The train brought us to the Union Plaza. We first lived in an apartment. He got a job working as a dealer. What did I do? Oh. I sold houses for a while and then they told me that there was a job in the welfare division and I worked for the welfare division for twenty-five years. To work for the State of Nevada in 1969 you needed to be an American citizen. I found a loop hole in the immigration law. I was able to become a citizen by myself in a Federal Court. I went on January and went to work for Human Resources in the Department of Welfare. How did you get trained in real estate? I didn't train for real estate. You just sell houses and they give you a hundred. I knew everybody 10 in town, Cubans, and I sold the houses in the neighborhood to every Cuban that I knew. Not real estate. You get a hundred and if you sell so much, you get a television set as well. I'm a good talker. I can sell a refrigerator to Eskimo, like they say. At the department store, my first job was a dollar an hour, in San Diego. It was a very elegant store. I didn't know anything about it. The lady came over and she said she was looking for something. I said, "Look, lady, I don't speak English, but if we go together I will train." Doilies and placemats are the same thing, but in the language. Since that day everybody used to buy it, everything selling in the store, in the department store. That's what I did for a dollar an hour. Then somebody came over and said, "There is a job with Scripps Clinic in La Jolla for an interpreter." I said, "Oh, fine." I got my dress. At that time you wear a little veil and gloves and you dressed up in a custom made tailored suit and white short gloves and everything. I got dressed up and got the job. They have all the diagnosis and everything in English and then Latin. That's a piece of cake for me. But when I got to the job, that's when I had the problem. I deviate again on your question. No, no. Which languages did you speak, the six languages? I have all the romantic languages. First was Latin because at that time the mass in the Catholic church was all in Latin. Then was Spanish, then French, Italian, Portuguese, and there is another one and I forgot. There's six, but I can't remember the next one. I will remember eventually. What is the other language? Portuguese, Spanish, English, Latin...I lost one more in there. RODRIGO: French and Italian. Italian. I understand Italian. English was one of those? 11 Yes, and English. There's six. I have five of the romantic languages. That's six. But the extra one is Latin because Latin is the root of all the languages. Thank God that I have the Latin because, otherwise, I could not have the medical terminology. The job at the welfare department, how did you qualify for that? My God, I'm not good on tests. You have to pass a test. I got there to help the Cuban refugees as an assistant. Then I got eligibility working and I was a supervisor for—out of the twenty-five—it took me two years to be a supervisor. In the state you have to take a test, and I had to take it three times to be able to pass because I'm no good in tests. The word test T-E-S-T, oh, makes me nervous. I don't pass a test. You can laugh. Don't worry about it. I'm used to it. Tell me about the Cuban refugees. The Cuban refugees, when they came over— there were several stages. I'm a Cuban refugee before Castro because I'm the classic, the good, the wonderful. The people that came later, there's were the Marielitos that came from Mariel, different races, different groups. I worked with the ones that I just came from to the point in the welfare. At that time, when you qualify for welfare and something goes wrong, you have a right for a fair hearing. One of the biggest accomplishments of my life was to get the refugees to have a fair hearing, and I did that with Legal Aid. At that time Mahlon Brown III was the Legal Aid executive director, and that's when I was able to get the refugees to have a fair hearing; otherwise, they didn't have a right to a fair hearing. He was with Legal Aid? Mahlon Brown, the third, was executive director of the Legal Aid, and he helped me. The other thing that I thought that I didn't tell you of—because now we're going back and I'm getting my memory. To become an employee at that time when I started in the welfare in 12 1969, you had to be an American citizen. When they told me that I could not be working there and they were hiring me, I was preparing myself to become an American citizen. But what I did, I found a law in the book, and they said no. I found a law in the books that says that a wife of people getting married and they're going to be sent abroad can become a citizen. I'm the only person that become an American citizen by themselves in this state in the federal court. Normally when you become a citizen, you show your flag and you all sit in the back and everybody sits there. Well, I didn't do that. I went into the federal court and became an American citizen. That was a Friday. And on Monday I went to work for the welfare division with my paper saying that I'm an American citizen. They could not make up this story. They didn't know that, I'm the Jackie Robinson of the welfare system here in Nevada because they didn't know anything about people like me. At this time Mahlon Brown was working with Ruby Duncan. Did you get to know Ruby? Oh, Ruby. I had to hide under the desk when she was there. Ruby and I are very good friends now. They call me the here in Las Vegas, Cuban Ruby Duncan of Las Vegas. I used to hide under the desk when Ruby used to come to the welfare to break into the welfare with...I can't remember her name right, but it was two of them. … Harriet Trudell. You're bringing me back to another era. Think about all the years. That's right. It's been a long time ago. Right. Ruby Duncan and I are very close. I'm the Cuban Ruby Duncan. Did you know Renee Diamond? Oh, I love Renee Diamond. All of them loved my late husband, Tom, the senator. Ruby used to say, "You're my senator." You know how she talks? "You're my senator." That was my senator 13 and that was my Ruby. Fantastic. You are working at the welfare department at the same time Ruby and her group of women are protesting against the welfare department. Correct. What was that like? I loved it. I like excitement. Yes. And that was a lot of it. And there was a lot of it. They used to go to my supervisor. Vince Fallon was there on the floor. They had a lot of problems with Vince Fallon. Vince Fallon, yes. He was the district office manager. They were fighting for their rights; that's all. And they did it in the best way they could do it, scaring these people, the hell out of them. It was very exciting. At that time I have a secretary that was Vary Toll. What I did, I put the desk and two tables to be able to hide under the desk if Ruby was coming. You can laugh at me. I put it under there because, well...Ruby really did a good job and helped a lot of kids. David Phillips and his wife and all, that's my family. I love them. That's wonderful. Tell me more about— I could tell you everything. I know it. Go ahead, tell me. No, talk to me because my mind is going 20 miles per hour now. I don't know which direction I'm going. I want to know next about Mahlon Brown and working with Mahlon. Oh, he's exceptional. The father was a senator and I worked with the son. He helped me for many, many years anytime I have to fight for people. Let me tell you, to the point that Governor 14 List was the attorney general at that time. One of the rights that I had to fight was for Cubans. — [Colloquy not transcribed] Mahlon Brown was a wonderful guy. He helped me with the Cuban refugees. He worked for everything I needed. Also, to work for the welfare department you have to be a citizen. And I broke the rule that if you are a resident—Governor List at that time was the attorney general, and he helped me to get people to work for the welfare department, too. Tell me the process of helping refugees here in Las Vegas. The Catholic Service resettled the refugees. You had to apply to them to come to Las Vegas and you help them where you can, but it's not the same as the other one. Was it Catholic Charities? Worked how with the refugees in Miami? Yes, and they resettled from Cuba to Miami. They relocated them all over the country, and I worked with the ones that relocated to Las Vegas. Tell me how the process worked. Do you remember? I can't remember. It's just like any other system. They come and they get resettled and then they get the money and the income and the rent. The majority of the work was done by the Catholic Community Service, transportation, getting the Social Security. That's a resettlement agreement with the Catholic Service. In the welfare, the only thing that is determined by their income and their eligibility is the work going to qualify for welfare. This is not a state oriented to welfare. We were the last one to acquire food stamps, and the welfare money that we get is as less as possible. We don't have any kindness for that. That was George Miller that was the administrator of the welfare division that did all those things. This is not a welfare state. You used to have the people from California asking you for furniture. 15 No, no, no, no, no, none of those things happened here in Las Vegas. This is not a welfare state. We used to pay the people to go to California. Where did most of the people live once they got here and got benefits? In the one-oh-nine, which is by Sahara. Some of the Cubans lived there for a long time. In reality, they go where they could live. Catholic Service also relocated them and found them an apartment. Tell me about the Latin Chamber. Oh, the Latin Chamber, that is my life. Latin Chamber of Commerce started by being called Circulo Cubano. Mike O'Callaghan was the governor at that time, and he says, "It doesn't sound good. You have to make it for everybody." Because he was a very fair guy and he said, "Latin Chamber of Commerce." The Latin Chamber of Commerce started out of the Circulo Cubano. I was the president of the Latin Chamber for three years. Before Otto? No. Otto was an employee and they call it president. I was the chairman. You were the chairman of the board. The chairman of the board, right. Otto was the employee, Otto Merida. Tell me about those challenging years. The Latin Chamber of Commerce, this whole story—because that's what Tom Rodriguez wrote—that's a career date for me. I started—when I saw the high school seniors; that's Career Day. That's a book for the Latin Chamber. We've got to get that one. I need to read that by Monday. BARBARA: Yes, do that. We are interviewing Tom on Monday, so I need to read that book by Monday. Go ahead. 16 Tell me why the chamber started. Tom could tell you better than me because that's why he makes me famous, he put me in everything. I came to the chamber board of directors and asked him that I want to do a scholarship for the Hispanic youth. I started with two and now we have scholarships for UNLV, for community college. I not only did that, I did it national because I was the chairman of the foundation for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United States Chamber of Commerce, and I started a program also for Hispanics to start their own business, at the national level. I have done it all, dear, you name it. I see. I feel bad because I think I took a lot of time from my family, but I dedicated myself to the community. But I'm very glad that you did that. Look where you are today. I love what I did and I enjoyed it. Right now, like I tell everybody, I'm ready to go and go happy and have a party. In fact, I have my party organized with the music and everything. At that time when I planned my funeral, they didn't have cremation, but I am going to have a party, a covered casket and a big party with a lot of music, and everybody has to laugh. Tom Rodriguez is one of my speakers. That's wonderful. While you were working at the Latin Chamber, while you were doing that— There was no working. I was on the board of directors. You were a volunteer. Well, volunteer is less. I was directing them what to do. I started Career Day. Tom helped me to do it and that's what Career Day is established it's one of the biggest things I have don