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Transcript of interview with F. Andrew Taylor by Claytee White, September 30, 2013






F. Andrew Taylor has been a Las Vegas resident for over 20 years, moving to the city by way of New England and Georgia at the age of 28. Armed with a degree in painting from the Swain School of Design, got a job at a Laughlin casino as a caricature artist. After a brief stay in Laughlin and Bullhead City, Andrew moved to Ward I, where his girlfriend, now wife, lived. They soon moved to the Spring Valley area, where Andrew later learned through conversations with neighbors and his own research that the home sat on what was the old Stardust Racetrack. With Andrew’s move to the city came new professional opportunities. He got a job at CityLife as the in-house artist and graphic designer, what was then apart of Wick Communications. After a year, Andrew began reporting, initially working for the Sunrise/Whitney paper, and eventually working the downtown beat. Always feeling the pulse of the local arts and culture scene, he has attended First Fridays since it started, continues his own art,

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Taylor, F. Andrew Interview, 2013 September 30. OH-01805. [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 F. ANDREW TAYLOR An Oral History Conducted by Claytee White West Charleston Neighborhoods: An Oral History Project of Ward 1 Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii0 ©The West Charleston Neighborhoods: An Oral History Project of Ward 1 University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Editors: Maggie Lopes, Melissa Robinson Interviewers: Claytee White iii0 The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Harold Boyer. 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. Claytee D. White, Project Director Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv0 PREFACE F. Andrew Taylor has been a Las Vegas resident for over 20 years, moving to the city by way of New England and Georgia at the age of 28. Armed with a degree in painting from the Swain School of Design, got a job at a Laughlin casino as a caricature artist. After a brief stay in Laughlin and Bullhead City, Andrew moved to Ward I, where his girlfriend, now wife, lived. They soon moved to the Spring Valley area, where Andrew later learned through conversations with neighbors and his own research that the home sat on what was the old Stardust Racetrack. With Andrew’s move to the city came new professional opportunities. He got a job at CityLife as the in-house artist and graphic designer, what was then apart of Wick Communications. After a year, Andrew began reporting, initially working for the Sunrise/Whitney paper, and eventually working the downtown beat. Always feeling the pulse of the local arts and culture scene, he has attended First Fridays since it started, continues his own art, and has a part in a gallery downtown. Artist, curator, and beat reporter, Andrew is also devoted to his family. He has made and continues to makes an effort to bring his children to local events he discovers, and ensures that his father’s frequent visits are always entertaining. True to his profession, he ends the interview turning the tables, and throwing questions at the interviewer. v0 TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with F. Andrew Taylor, September 30, 2013 by Claytee White in Las Vegas, Nevada Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………..iv Talks about growing up in rural Connecticut; attending Swain School of Design. Moves to Laughlin as caricature artist at hotel, where he lived. Discusses seguing to journalism soon after arrival, first as graphic artist, then as reporter; interest in writing stemming from father’s research on Shaker education. Talks a bit about the Shakers. Moves to Las Vegas. Talks about Las Vegas in early 1990s; parents visits; story of taking family to see Flying Elvises.................................1-5 Discusses living in the Spring Valley area; the Stardust Racetrack that was there before the housing development. Describes evolution of First Friday; downtown beat reporting; surrounding neighborhoods; Tony Hsieh’s impact. Mentions taking children to local events, including arts scene; how he learns about new happenings around town. Talks about potential gentrification of downtown area; state of Westside area, and its history...................................6-11 Talks about series of his stories on Arts District, to eventually become guide to local arts scene. Begins asking interviewer questions, starting with a description of the oral history project current interview apart of; discuss how interviewer came to Las Vegas, pros and cons of living in downtown area. Asks to accompany interviewer on next project interview...........................12-18 Index………………………………………………………………………………………….19-20 10 This is Claytee White and I am with Mr. Taylor, F. Andrew Taylor. We are here at the R-J, the Review-Journal newspaper office in Las Vegas. How are you today? Good, thanks. You? I'm good. Today is September 30, 2013. First, just tell me a little bit about your early life; where you grew up and what that was like. Sure. I grew up in Connecticut in the country on top of—well, we laugh when they called it a mountain. It was only 2,000 feet tall. But we did have our own weather; you would drive through clouds to different weather. I lived there until I was about 14 years old and then we moved closer to where my father's school was; my father taught high school. What was the place called? Stafford, Connecticut was where I was. Then we moved to Southfield, which was three miles from my dad's work. I switched high schools and went through that. I spent a lot of time riding my bike in the country. And your mother, did she work outside the home? Yes. She was a teacher until I was born and then she taught at an alternative school for five years that I attended. Then she worked in-home for a while with a couple of different projects that never really were huge moneymakers. The last occupation she had was working in a bank, but she slipped into Alzheimer's and that work became too difficult. How did you get to Las Vegas? Greyhound bus. Don't recommend it. But why Greyhound and why Las Vegas? I was doing caricatures at Six Flags over Georgia and the summer ended and the park was closing and the guy that owned the concession said we have a position in Las Vegas. I'm like, sure, I'll go to Las Vegas. Bus was the cheapest way to get here, so I took a three-day bus ride from Atlanta to Las Vegas. Not long before I actually came out they told me that actually the position wasn't in Las Vegas; it was in Laughlin. I hadn't heard of Laughlin. I said, okay, well, sure. Then I asked around and I came back to the guy and said, “I've been told by some people that Laughlin is just four or five casinos out in the middle of the desert with nothing else around.” He goes, “Yeah, but you could describe Vegas that way.” I spent about four or five months down there before I wised up and came up to Vegas. I worked at the concession up here and did that for a few years before I segued into newspaper, sort of through the back door of doing illustration and graphics, and then segued into the writing. 20 Fantastic. No journalism background? Not a lick. Is that amazing or what? Is that unusual? It's very unusual. Fortunately, I have a natural curiosity that gets me through a lot. A lot of the technical stuff I've had to learn on the job, much to my editor's chagrin. But they're happy with the stories I write. What do you look at in your background that causes you to have that knack for writing? My father taught history and he did a thesis on the analysis of Shaker education. So I wandered around with him when I was 12 or 13; we went and visited every Shaker. I didn't meet them all, but I feel that my father met every living Shaker in the summer of '73, '74, around there. So is that Rhode Island? Where are the Shakers? They're spread out between Maine and Delaware. There is none left now; they've all passed. Tell me just a tiny bit about the Shakers. The Shakers were a religious organization. I'm going off the top of my head. Around the mid-1800s. They believed the world was going to end soon. They believed in simplicity. They believed in making things work—they wanted more time for prayer. So they lived very efficiently. When they weren't using their chairs, they hung them upside down on pegs on the wall so the dust didn't settle on the chairs; you didn't have to dust off the chairs. They invented the washing machine. When my father was doing his research, there were a bunch of scientists with one of their fences that were painted outside. One of the Shakers said, “They're from a big paint company; I think they're trying to find out what we put in our paint so they never put it theirs.” Because the thing had been painted a hundred years ago and hadn't been repainted. They believed in efficiency, celibacy, and education. They educated—all the orphanages were run by the Shakers. They would raise the children up and educate them sort of in the hopes that some of them might join into the religion. It wasn't a forced thing. They didn't have to join. But they would take over teaching the kids. There were some of them that went into the Shakers and some didn't. And they had that very simple furniture? Yes, absolutely. Simple but efficient. Yes, classic lines. Thank you for that. That's wonderful. No problem. So Las Vegas...where did you live when you first moved here? 30 When I first lived in Laughlin, I lived in a hotel, which is something that doesn't happen anymore. But they actually put me up at the hotel for a few months. That's what people think; that we come here and live in the hotels. Everybody thinks that and it doesn't happen. Except that I'm the exception; I really did. At the time it was a fall; there was nothing going on here. They had plenty of rooms and they were happy to have somebody in the room and somebody working there. Of course, that doesn't happen, now anyway. I can't think of that possibly happening. But I lived down there for a while. Eventually I moved off and lived in a trailer on Bullhead City. It was weird. It's Nevada. It was two or three trailers stapled together, rooms sort of made of plywood and stuff. I was living in one little, tiny room that I was renting from somebody that worked at the hotel. When I moved up here, by that time I had met the woman I married and we ended up living together in a house off—I wouldn't be surprised if it was Ward I. It was right across the street from the west campus of CSN [College of Southern Nevada] now. Okay, good. Tell me more about the job and what that was like, how you got started, some of the interesting stories at the beginning. You mean writing? Yes, writing. I started off at CityLife. I was hired on to be the in-house artist and graphics. It was actually Wick Communications at the time. They had the Business Press; they had CityLife; they had the Senior Press. I think that's all they had at the time. There were a couple of other publications that formed while I was there. A friend of mine, Andy Hartsell, had been doing the job beforehand and moved on to Scope, which is now the Las Vegas Weekly. He'd went to take over there and suggested me to take over the position because we had worked together doing caricatures. So I did that for a year. That was another one where they called me in and asked do you know how to use Photoshop? And I'm like, sure, I know how to use Photoshop. And by god, I did learn how to use Photoshop before they realized I didn't. I plugged through that. I learned a lot just hands on. My degree is in painting. In fact, when I was a college senior, I saw my first art computer and it was extremely primitive. That would have been 1985. Where did you go to college? Swain School of Design. It was in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a small school in a very old maritime community that's since been eaten by great white bureaucrats. From the time I was a freshman until the time I was a senior, they doubled the administrative staff and quadrupled the 40 tuition. Two or three years later it was gone. It's been absorbed by Southern Massachusetts University, Dartmouth campus. Which year were you born? 1963. And which year did you come to Nevada? 1991. So in 1991—that's such recent history; I can't even recall what was going on here. That's just too recent. 1991 was right at the edge of major change in the city. The Excalibur had just opened up. That's where I was working. The tower was opened I think the year before. It was the beginning of the attempt to turn Las Vegas into Disneyland. So that was just before the Mirage? I believe the Mirage opened up before the Excalibur. They were both very new. Steve Wynn kind of helped to start that what you call— Having said that I could be wrong because I seem to remember...I was there the night they imploded the Dunes. I know that involved Treasure Island. Okay, that was it. So yes, the Mirage was already here. Okay, good. So what did you like about Las Vegas? Like many people of that time, I assumed I was going to be in Vegas for two or three years and then move on to somewhere else. I enjoyed the spectacle. I enjoyed the fact there was stuff going all the time. I enjoyed—at the time there was a lot of unintentional irony. A lot of the signs were funny without meaning to be funny. Do you remember any of those signs? I remember there was an intentionally funny sign on a gas station near the south end of the Strip that said—as you're heading out of town basically—that said, “Free aspirin and tender sympathy.” Yes, I see what you mean. “The hottest slots in Las Vegas” was unintentional but may have been intentional. Yes. 50 It was great fun day when friends would come to take pictures in front of those signs. Yes. What did your parents or your father think about you coming to Las Vegas? My mother was still alive when I moved out here. She was not expressing much at that time. My father was concerned about how far it was away from Connecticut. We managed to get him lost several times the first time he was out here. But he has since come back. I have great joy taking him to new and strange places every time he comes out. He's out here two or three times a year to visit. Oh, wonderful. My favorite time was—oh my gosh, this probably would have been 15, 16, 17 years ago. He was out for Thanksgiving and I looked at the clock. It was like seven, six o'clock, to go out at night. So I said, “We're going to go.” “Where are we going?” “I'm not telling you.” I loaded the kids up and loaded him up, and we drove out to a parking lot, probably Texas Station, one of these out here. There's all these people milling around, but there was no indication what was going to happen. There was just people milling around in the parking lot. There was a murmur of the crowd, lights hit up in the sky and pointed up, and the Flying Elvises were landing in the parking lot. He said, “Okay, that was good.” So now, from studying the Shakers, what does your father find to research here or to think about here in Las Vegas? It's hard to speak for my father. But I suspect he would find very little connection between the Shakers and Las Vegas. Las Vegas is very much about spectacle. At least the Strip is very much about spectacle, extravagance and disposable society; and the Shakers are very much about—even though they thought the world was going to end—building stuff to last. I got it, yes. They weren't sure when, but they didn't want to waste time building new stuff between then and now. So make it work. Why did you decide to live in a neighborhood like the one you live in? And I want you to tell me about that neighborhood and how that move happened. That neighborhood was where my girlfriend, who is now my wife, lived at the time. I'm not sure how she ended up there. But we didn't live there for terribly long. We lived there for six or seven months, and then we moved down to an apartment near Clark High School. In fact, we 60 lived in two different apartments near Clark High School until moving to what is now—well, it was then Spring Valley 16 years or so ago, maybe 15 years ago. Tell me more about Spring Valley and what that's like. Sure. Spring Valley is one of the newer townships. Spring Valley really officially started sometime in the early eighties. The neighborhood I live in is part of the original Spring Valley neighborhood. It was a housing track, Pardee Homes I think. It was a housing track by one builder and they had bought the property from the Stardust Racetrack. In fact, I have an old aerial picture of the Stardust Racetrack that I've superimposed over the neighborhood. I live in the pit stop. So it's very likely Elvis was in my backyard before it was my backyard. Most people don't know anything about any of the racetracks in Las Vegas. Do you know anything about that history? Have you heard people talk about that racetrack? Yes. I'm a bit of a history buff. Please. One of my daughter's friends, her mother lived in that neighborhood when she was a teenager. They always talked about going up to the racetrack to drink. I assume that it was a dirt lot that they were racing their cars around in. It's gone now, but there's an old map in here that showed the Stardust Racetrack on it. There's a three dimensional map, with the raised mountains and raised terrain. That map happened to be made the year that that racetrack existed because the racetrack only existed one or two years. Once I found that then I started trying to look into it. The racetrack was there a year. It was owned by the Stardust. It was a weird sort of oval with a pinch in it. They filmed Elvis' movie Spinout on it. When it closed most of the facilities moved up to the northeast part of town. Somewhere in 1996, '97 or so, somebody bought that place and expanded on it; now it's the Las Vegas Speedway. The Speedway is directly related to what was the Stardust Racetrack. Good. Thanks for that connection. Living in Spring Valley, tell me about your connection with downtown, where you do shopping and all of that. I just became the reporter for the downtown beat. I was the reporter for the Sunrise/Whitney paper, which is the east side of the valley. I'm also an artist, and I have part of Eclectic Gallery at the corner of Casino Center and Colorado. Oh, you're not that far from places like the Bar and Bistro. Yes, not too far from there. Same block as Williams Costume Shop, which has been there forever, right across from The Funk House. Yes. 70 I've been going to First Friday since months after it started. I was the reporter for the Mercury actually when that was going on. I did a lot of taking photographs of events going on. I've hosted shows in there. I've curated shows in there. I've been watching the whole thing grow. But as far as shopping downtown...mostly what I do is lunches. A lot of places I go downtown is for lunch, if I have the time or the money. Over time, from that start of First Fridays until today, give me the changes of that Downtown Arts District. Initially it was very quiet. It was almost a private party. There were a couple of hundred of us wandering around. It was really only between The Arts Factory and The Funk House. In fact, early in the day somebody had dipped their sneakers in paint and walked between the two, and that was how you could find your way between the two venues, following the foot trail of paint down between the two. Then things got more official, and things expanded and more venues opened up. It's still kind of a dog bone of a map. Really between those two things everything spreads out from the corner of Casino Center and Colorado where The Funk House is and where The Arts Factory is. Now do you see it expanding, though, to the downtown area of Las Vegas Boulevard, Fremont Street? Do you see First Friday spilling over there, Fremont East? Now that the thing's been bought Tony Hsieh and his people, I think many of the artists believe there is an intent there; they intend to move as much of it down there as they can. I think that they will succeed in getting a good chunk of the art scene down there, but it will be a different art scene. I think you'll see a lot of the local artists and the more traditional artists still down in the old part of it. And I think you'll see a lot of people that do spray can art and people that do the expensive art you see in fancy hotels move up there. I think you'll still see a lot of painting and the more hard scrabble artists still working out of The Arts Factory. That being said, there's a couple of major venues down there that they'll probably keep a lot of good solid art down there. The Brett Wesley Gallery is a first-rate gallery. The Art Square has expanded. So they're a pretty major (compass) right there on that corner. Yes. Nevada Humanities has moved in there, Mingo's. Into The Art Square, yes. Yes, I agree. I'm very impressed that you are doing the downtown beat. I want to know more about—I want to live downtown one day, actually downtown. Sure. 80 I want to know more about that scene. People in John S. Park, people in McNeil, the Scotch 80s, those older downtown neighborhoods, what do you see that relationship with the Tony Hsieh crowd, Tony Hsieh design? There's some crossover. But generally if you're living in those areas, you've lived there quite a while, or you're of an artistic vent, or you have a fair amount of money because the real estate's gone crazy down there and it's expensive. Some of the buildings—I've been to a lot of houses down in that area; they're old and beautiful, beautiful mid-mod buildings and that sort of thing. But yes, Tony Hsieh's crowd is not going to be able to afford to live in those houses. They're not being paid huge amounts. They've sort of got dorms set up there in various places. So they'll live in downtown, but I think the neighborhoods will still remain separate from that. I think it will bring a lot of vitality to downtown and I think people will be drawn to that. But I don't think the Zappos and boys will be moving into John S. Park any time soon. I agree. What kind of entertainment do you and your wife—how old are your children? Sixteen and twelve. Wow, sixteen. How do you entertain a sixteen-year-old? You don't. You step back. They don't need you at that point. They have no interest in you. [Laughing] That's not entirely true. I do try and get them off to a lot of events. I at least make the offer. They're old enough that they have their own wills, and I'm not going to drag them to things unless it's something I really think is important. But I make the offer and if they come they come. This weekend there was a big comic book exposition at the Riviera, and I took them to that and they were happy with that for a few hours. Then Sunday I went to see a ukulele show at the Art Square. I think they would have enjoyed it, but I didn't make the opportunity. In fact, if this guy plays again, I'll definitely try and get them to see it. I take them out to Spring Mountain Ranch to see the shows whenever possible, if it's one they're going to enjoy. I haven't had a chance to do it in about seven or eight months, but there's an old-time country dancing thing at the Charleston Heights Center that my daughter and I were going to for a while and that was fun. It was very formalized dancing. We weren't terribly good at it, but they'd call this stuff out and we'd try and follow it. It was fun. I'm trying to think of what else I've done with them recently that they've actually gone to. I used to drag them everywhere. First Friday, they would come with me all the time. Basically we would go into the galleries and who had the best cookies usually. But they were a fixture for a while. It took quite a few years of me going without them for both of us to say, eh, I guess they're not coming, huh? 90 I want to know more about that downtown hub for education. Where do your children go to school? My boy goes to school at Spring Valley High School and my daughter goes to Lawrence Middle School. What do you see happening in that downtown area? Do you think The Arts Academy and— I've seen a lot of talented work come out of The Arts Academy. I've got friends whose children have gone there. I've gone to see shows there, seen plays there. Really impressive stuff. I know that the whole Tony Hsieh's Container Park is going to have a bunch of educational things in there, too. I've kind of got my eye open to see what happens with that. Last weekend I went to two different lectures downtown. I went to a lecture—the one I saw you at, actually. I went to the one at the Fifth Street School about what is happening in downtown. I can't remember what they actually called it, but it was basically a roundup of what's going on. The next time I was at the Trifecta Gallery in The Arts Factory. They are having art lectures on Thursdays every week except for preview Thursday. That's something new they started. So I have to know more. Other than online, where would you find it? Do you find that in CityLife? The lectures? They just started them, so they hard to find. If you go into the Trifecta website, she'd have it up. But she doesn't have the next few shows set. She has November set, but she doesn't have the October shows nailed down yet. She has a nice little space for that. She's got a great space for that, yes. Yes. And then nice restaurant connected to it. These are the kinds of things I wanted to know. I wanted to know about downtown. What do you see as the future? Now that we are really in the midst of these changes, new City Hall, the Smith Center, what do you see as the future? I just sit back and watch. I'm not sure what's going to happen. It's interesting because they've brought in a lot of money. They've brought in a lot of big-idea venues. But there's still a lot of these odd little pockets downtown of very, very poor people in the midst of all this richness. I would love it if—not that I want people to be poor. But I'd love it if there would still remain the diversity of people there, if some of those less expensive neighborhoods would survive the urban renewal so that you would have people from different economic strata mingling. I'm afraid that there's a movement to try and push everybody that's not making X amount of money out of downtown. I wouldn't like to see that. I'm much more interested in seeing everybody. I'm 100 interested in seeing people from different levels. That being said, there's a homeless element downtown that's going to cause trouble, too, that sort of makes walls of where they're going to develop. Right across the railroad track from downtown, if you drive down Bonanza, you cross the railroad track and you're in an old part of town that's called the Westside. Yes. It was the original black community. It was actually here before Vegas was here. Exactly. What do you see happening with that area? I'm really interested in the redevelopment of that area. Do you see that ever becoming part of the new development, when we look at the Smith Center, which is on one side, we look at downtown? I would love to see it happen. That is a place where there's a lot of buildings that are falling apart and they're not going to be able to save them. They are going to be bulldozed. A lot of vacant lots. A lot of vacant lots. I was inside the Moulin Rouge before it burned. I think I may have taken the last pictures of the murals before that burned. I drive through there, and every time I drive through I see another vacant lot that wasn't there before. There's a few interesting buildings. There's the old Binion's building down the street that's got some structure to it. There's—oh, what is it called? There's a town square, town something casino. Town Tavern. Town Tavern; that's it. That's still an interesting building that's down there. You have the Westside School that they're renovating. Right. So you've got pockets. Right. Right outside of there is Nevada Partners. Right. You have the Cultural Arts Center. There are some really stable, sturdy structures anchoring the community. 110 Yes, but you've got a lot in between that really needs some serious help. I think they did a lot of that in the sixties, built a lot of bad-way built cookie-cutter structures trying to create housing and it didn't work. It was a failed experiment. I talked to—who was it? I was doing a story about Larry Bolden. Yes. And I talked to a gentleman whose name is escaping me right now who was on the force with him, another black gentleman. He was on the force before Larry was. He was telling me that in the fifties when Bolden was hired as a policeman, the Westside wasn't as—it was much more racially diverse. He said there were blacks and whites and Polish, a lot of immigrants he said, but people of all different... I think back in the thirties we really saw that. We saw whites. We saw Latinos. Now I think it's mostly blacks and Latinos moving in now. Yes. He was saying it's just become this dividing line. I drive through there, but I'm a reporter and I've always got my nose in places that might not seem normal for people. I'm always wandering around some corner of the world. They're like, you went there? I'm like, yeah, I went there. That's me as well. I really appreciate this. I appreciate that look at downtown. What kinds of things are you writing about? What do you have in the backlog? Well, it's been interesting. I switched from Sunrise/Whitney to downtown. In Sunrise/Whitney I had to pound the pavement and find my weird little stories, find my odd people living up there in the hills. Everything flows through Sunrise/Whitney; all the water flows through it. So everything happens there, but it's not easy to find. It's not a big billboard-ed community. I got very good at finding little hidden stories. With downtown, I'm deluged with what's going on. I can only write two or three stories a week, and so I have to figure out which of the two or three stories I really need to write. I do miss finding all my weird, quirky people. I found a lot of odd, interesting folks up in Sunrise/Whitney and I haven't had a chance to do that yet. I haven't had a chance to find anybody that was off the beaten track. I think you will, though. Oh, I'm sure I will. I just have to find a moment when there's not a charity run running through the middle of town on top of the Pride Festival or on top of a Latino Festival or on top of... What are you doing with Life Is Beautiful this coming week? Is it this coming weekend, I believe? 120 Yes. I'm doing nothing. The daily's got it covered so well that I didn't bother with it. I figured that—yeah, yeah. I see. For the fifth I wrote about—for the eighth is actually I wrote—that's the problem; we write in advance. I'm turning stuff in on a Thursday that's laid out and edited Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and laid out in the paper the following Thursday; then it doesn't see print until the following Tuesday. So I'm writing so far in advance. I'm constantly living in the future and living in the past. I have a hard time keeping track of what I wrote for when and all, and I have to go back and look at what day was here and there. What is the story that you want most to write about downtown? Oh, my gosh. I think I am slowly doing it. I've started a series on the first of the month where I take a piece of the Arts District and go into a focus on it. I think I'm slowly building a definitive guide to the Arts District. I suspect within a year or so I'll actually have something that we can put into a package and make into one giant story about the Arts District and what's there. I'm always interested in history, too. I love the quirky downtown history. I love the old Portal Theatre, which now has some of the world's ugliest leather jackets, although they have eased up. There was a time when they used to have leather jackets that would have 15 colors, all bright, bright greens and oranges and yellows, all on the same jacket, and now it's 10 or 12 different colors of browns for the most part. Okay, great. So one day when you write the book, the book, what are you going to call it? Oh, gosh. What am I going to call it? I don't know. Titles are hard. You've got to get the title right. That's right. Yes, I agree. You can't dance around a title. I appreciate this so much. No problem at all. I love talking about downtown. I'm thinking about something—I want to call the editor of CityLife. Brand-new editor. I need to talk to that person because I do interviews sometimes in a series. I think people who read CityLife would find it interesting to read 150 words about this person—it's something unusual—and next week to read abou