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Transcript of interview with Marion Brooks by Kathleen Kasmir, February 24, 1975






On February 24, 1975, Kathleen Kasmir interviewed Marion Brooks (born 1913 in Santa Ana, California) about his life in Southern Nevada and his work as a mining engineer. Brooks first talks about his background before talking extensively about his early work in mining. Brooks also mentions some of the professional mining societies of which he was a part, and the two then move on to discuss gambling, recreational activities, and the atomic testing. Other topics covered during the interview include the price of groceries and food, the El Rancho Vegas, social changes, population growth, and environmental changes. The end of the interview then shifts back to Brooks’ work in mining at Blue Diamond and then a discussion on the possible locations of three lost mines.

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Brooks, Marion C. Interview, 1975 February 24. OH-00258. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks i An Interview with Marion Brooks An Oral History Conducted by Kathleen A. Kasmier Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks ii © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2018 UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks iii The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment including many conducted by UNLV History Professor Ralph Roske and his students. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as 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. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks iv Abstract On February 24, 1975, Kathleen Kasmier interviewed Marion Brooks (born 1913 in Santa Ana, California) about his life in Southern Nevada and his work as a mining engineer. Brooks first talks about his background before talking extensively about his early work in mining. Brooks also mentions some of the professional mining societies of which he was a part, and the two then move on to discuss gambling, recreational activities, and the atomic testing. Other topics covered during the interview include the price of groceries and food, the El Rancho Vegas, social changes, population growth, and environmental changes. The end of the interview then shifts back to Brooks’ work in mining at Blue Diamond and then a discussion on the possible locations of three lost mines. UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 1 The date is February 24th, 1975 at 10 a.m. The place is 2195 Tallyho, Las Vegas, Nevada. The project is Nevada History: Oral Interview. The collector is Kathleen Kasmier, 4406 South Clearbrook. Did you want to give me your name, Mr. Brooks? Marion Brooks. Your address? 2195 Tallyho Avenue. Your age? Sixty-two. Your telephone number? 736-2344. And were you born in Southern Nevada? No, ma’am. Where were you born? Santa Ana, California. Okay, when did you come to Southern Nevada? First time, about 1932. And why did your family come here? Did you come by yourself or with your whole family? I came by myself to work out here at Blue Diamond and worked there for about a year and went up to the University of Nevada, Reno. And since you were not educated in Southern Nevada, you were educated in Northern Nevada, I take it. Right, Reno. At University of Nevada in Reno? UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 2 Yes, Mackay School of Mines. Did you receive your degree from there? You bet. And you are now a—? Mining engineer, mining geology, actually. Have you had any schooling since then in that field? No, not specifically, except working with other geologists and mining engineers—field work, you know, correlation, so helping others more than anything else, which is really, I guess you might say, continuing education. In mining, you always learn; you never sit still. What specifically did you mine for? Well, I mined for everything there is, but specifically Blue Diamond was gypsum. And, what do you want, some of the other places where I’ve mined? Just different things that you mined for. Copper, gold, silver—had my own silver mine out here at—silver mine was located about halfway between Nelson and Searchlight on the east side of the highway. Now, where were we on what? What various occupations have you held in your lifetime? Everything from a mucker on up. What’s a mucker? That’s the guy that does the hard physical labor. In other words, he—in the good old days had a pretty good sized shovel in the car on the railroad track—small track—and he would scoop her up and put her in the car and push it out to the station and put it in the pocket, and then it would UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 3 be hoisted up to the surface. If it was ore (unintelligible) or if it was waste, depending on which one it was, why, that’s—the hoist man up on top would dump according to the type of material. Have all your occupations had to do with mining? Mm-hmm. Have you ever gone down in the mine and dug through the—? Well, up until the time— I’m not too familiar with mining. —out here at Blue Diamond, it was. Everything was underground. Pioche, I worked for (unintelligible) Metals up there. That was all underground. That was 1,400 feet down. And you actually went down with a pick and shovel? Oh, I didn’t, no. I was an engineer. You were the engineer—you didn’t get into that? No. And you were an engineer only at Blue Diamond? Well, let’s back up and start. When I got out of school, I came down here to Goodsprings and worked out there at the Chiquita Mine. That was a gold mine; this was during the Depression years, about ’37, ’38, along in there—’36, ’38 on, somewhere in that vicinity. One of the gold mines that was operating, of course, at that time, gold was thirty-five a block, and you had to sell it to the government. But, other than that, why, all the other metals were free. You could sell them wherever you wanted to. But the price of copper and silver was way down; silver, I think, was about thirty-five, thirty-seven cents, gold’s thirty-five. Depression was on, you could hire expert laborers or expert miners and timbermen or whatever for five dollars a day or less. And there, I was everything from, as I say, a mucker on up. Actually, that’s where I got most of my UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 4 first experience on underground mining, and worked on up, and then I was in the mill. We actually refined or recovered the gold there and refined it—casted the bars, and then I’d, either Jimmy Smith, who was the ramrod out there, either he’d take it in town to the bank, or I would and we’d ship it to the mint in San Francisco. This town was Pioche? No, Goodsprings. Goodsprings. Yes, there’s where I first started. And Pioche was a lead, zinc, silver mine. And they had 500 tons, I guess it was. And then from there—oh, forgot about that, that’s not in this county. That’s okay. And then from there, we traipsed over here to Henderson, and they had sent some engineers over to England—this was right at the start of the war—and they were building the magnesium plant over there. And unfortunately, the boys came back, and they knew a little something about some of the stuff, but they were a little dubious about the actual application of the processing—taking the ore and turning out magnesium. So, I went in with Bart (unintelligible), who was one of the process control engineers and worked with him. Well, the first thing we did was evaluate when the project changed hands. We went up to Gabbs, Nevada and evaluated all the cores down in the diamond (unintelligible) up there, evaluated all that, and then came back down here and plotted it all. There was quite a bunch of us that were not—we had not gone (unintelligible) to study the manufacture of magnesium, which was probably better because jolly old England, when tea time came, they just shot everything down. But, anyway, I worked with Art Newell and, let’s see—I forgot, whole bunch of them. Oh, Maxie Muller, he was another one of the engineers that we worked together with up there, started, and then Frank (unintelligible). And we started the first UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 5 cell out there in the actual manufacture and production of magnesium. And it was all done by hand. He charged the cells and you did this, and you did that. Art Newell, at that time was running he refinery. That’s where we refined the metal to take it out of the cells—electrical process. And then from there, I finally got to the point where everybody was fighting overseas, and I wanted to go over and have some of it, stupidly. (Laughs) So, anyway, I’d fight with the boys and we finally compromised, and I went into the Navy. And when I came back—well, we had a ranch in Northern California. I went up there, rested for a while, (unintelligible) little gold mine—bought some properties around there, came back down here. Mr. Bradley, who was the vice president in charge of production for Blue Diamond Corporation at that time, and they were in a jam down here—they couldn’t get any engineers who knew anything about real construction work. I told them, okay, I’d come down and give them a hand—and wound up there ever since. And that was about the size of it. You worked there until you were forced to retire, then? Yes. After we got the plant enlarged—that was the first enlargement of the plant. Prior to that, it was a small plant. And after the enlargement, then we went ahead, worked, oh, I don’t know, four or five, six years, and there was another big expansion on the plant. And I’ve seen the thing grow from a little dinky joint to a plant that’s a pretty good size now. Excuse me, but do you know when gypsum was actually discovered at Blue Diamond? At Blue Diamond? Yes. Oh, yes. Well, about 1910 or ’11, somewhere around there—1910, I’d say. The Tuzzi boys—some of the relatives are still living here in town. There was (unintelligible) and I forgot—there was three of them anyway. They were prospectors, farmers, miners—you name it. UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 6 What did they find the gypsum was useful for? Well, it’s a product that it used for making drywall, wallboard, or plaster (unintelligible) is what they use for setting arms and making impressions for teeth. The other material is used in your plaster, like your plaster walls, or, as they refer to it now, drywall. There’s very little of the plaster walls, so almost everything now is wallboard, gypsum wallboard. And they make it in every shape, size, description, and thickness you can think of. What’s the name of the company up at Blue Diamond? It used to be Blue Diamond Corporation Limited, and then it was merged, or sold, actually, to Whipple Company. And prior to that, the little town there, Blue Diamond, before it was sold—the town was owned by the company. They built the homes there and they rented them out to their employees. So, ideal for raising children—that’s where we raised our two kids. And that was grammar school, then of course high school, we had to come to town. They had a bus that rode the kids back and forth from there. But I would say, I don’t think you could find a better place to raise kids. Then, after that, why, after the company was sold, then the Whipple Company was not in the real estate business and had no intention of being, and they sold to a company that—I forgot what the name of the company is—but anyway, they took it over and bought the property. I was never (unintelligible). They, in turn, of course sold to the people there. It’s still a nice little green spot in the summertime. Are there springs up there that keep it green? No. They pump water from the well, and wash, which is below us, about halfway between the plant and the village. And the water actually is pumped, furnished, by the Blue Diamond Company. I don’t know what (unintelligible) Company now—but I don’t know what the arrangements are. But there’s some kind of a deal whereby the town is furnished water from the UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 7 wells of the (unintelligible) Company. And sooner or later, they’re going to have to go up there and drill their own well, I think. That’s why it’s so green? In the summertime, yes. It’s very green? Yeah, everything else out there just desert, dry. The Blue Diamond town itself is green? Oh, yes. Cottonwood trees and elm trees, lawns—just like it is here in Vegas. But it’s a rather shock to people when they drive down the road and all of a sudden they go around this bend, particularly if you go around this other way, you hit that little green oasis in the summertime. And it’s quite a bit cooler there, too, (unintelligible). I understand. Normally about ten degrees difference. Is there snow in the wintertime up there? Sometimes. So it’s at a higher elevation obviously? Well, it’s about a thousand feet higher. Okay. At what addresses have you lived in, in Southern Nevada? Well, we were out there at Blue Diamond, we were over at Goodsprings—no address, just towns. And then of course, here. So you’ve lived three different places? UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 8 Yes, and then, of course, I was carrying on two jobs at one time there. I was working for Blue Diamond, and we were running this silver mine out there. So, halfway between Nelson and Searchlight. So, but you still— We had a home out there. You had a home in Searchlight? No. Or at Blue Diamond? At the mine. At the mine? Yes. I see. Or not a home. It was a house. Was your family with you then? Oh, yes. Sure, every weekend we’d go out there. I see. And then the last stages there, I hired a mine superintendent, guy by the name of Jim Markell. He still is—he lives over in Henderson. We had a crew working out there. Why did you move from place to place? About like everybody else, looked like a better job, or more entertainment, you know, I mean, it gets stale if you stay in one place, do the same thing too long. And a miner is very restless anyway, particularly when he’s younger. He’s gotta get out and look the country over. Were you married in Las Vegas or Southern Nevada? UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 9 No. Where were you—? Married in Reno. Reno? Mm-hmm. Is or was church activity an important part of your life? That is a question that’s kinda tough to answer, but the actual truth is, no. No? Because in mining, you very seldom are located where you can. Now they did, out there at Blue Diamond, they had a little community church out there whose preacher would come out from town—that’s where the two kids went to the Sunday school on Sundays. My wife was quite active, but unfortunately, I was usually working on Sundays. Do you remember the visits of any of the presidents or other important people to the Las Vegas area? No, not really. You couldn’t read or—? When Roosevelt or Hoover came? No, I wasn’t here at that time, I don’t think. If I was, I was probably out in the desert someplace. The politics, they, shall we say, leave me cold. I’m afraid a lot of people are beginning to feel that way. I have always been a Democrat myself. Do you remember the 1942 crash of Carole Lombard’s plane? I was not here at the time. I was overseas. Oh, that’s right. UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 10 But I knew all the people involved that finally found her plane. Irv King was my superintendent up there at Blue Diamond at the time, and plane came right over. Like, they actually saw the plane crash. Several of the miners were outside— [Recording cuts out, starts midsentence] Went right over the top of the mines. What happened was, the commercial plane landed in Boulder City, and the pilot—at least this is the summation that everybody gave—the pilot set his course from there and then apparently received a radio message or something happened—anyway, he came in here and landed and picked up another passenger or two, and took off. And that threw him just enough to the west without having corrected, apparently, as near as they can find out. He did not correct his course, and instead of making a loop or a circle and gaining more altitude, he took off like he would have from Boulder City. He would have been farther to the east between 500 and 1,000 feet, and that would have put him in the clear. But instead of that, he was too far to the west by that much and hit the side of that mountain just, the one peak in there that he hit. And then it dropped down in; unfortunately, it was a very, very tough place to get into. They had to build a bunch of ladders to get down into where the plane was—hit the side, then dropped. And just the sheer face was on the northwest side towards Las Vegas. Do you remember any important persons’ divorces in this city? Here? Mm-hmm. I don’t pay any attention. (Laughs) Or marriages, such as Clark Gable’s? No. Okay. Were you or are you active in politics? UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 11 No, not really. Which party do you belong to? We already answered that, Democrat. All right. And were you or are you a member of a social club or other special interest groups? About all the mining organizations up here: AIME, Registered Mining Engineers, two or three in different parts of the, that has formed the country. Of course, I dropped all that now. The only one I maintain now is AIME, American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical Engineers. Do you go to regular meetings for that? I did up until the time I quit. Are you active in anything else? No. No, I’m pretty well limited now. But prior to that, of course, I was dealing with about everybody that was in the country. And I still do to a certain extent. Guys call me up and they want to know about a property here, good gold mine here or there, or different types of material, minerals and materials or whatever it may be. See that pile of junk up there? Is that what it’s all from? Yes, maps, and stuff. When you were active in this metallurgical society? Well, I was registered—professional engineers and AIME both had meetings here about once a month in town. They still do. Were you an officer? UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 12 No. I didn’t have any time for that. Well, just about the time I had my heart attack—in fact, when I did have it, I was dealing with some other properties here. Of course, after that, I had to give it all up. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, (unintelligible). Is or was gambling an important recreational activity for you? Never (unintelligible). Or your family? Never gambled? Oh, sure I gambled. Mining is a gamble, a big one. Yes. Yes. But as far as— But on the gambling tables, I pay my dues once in a while, pull out five bucks. It’s not the center of your life or anything? (Laughs) No way. I used to know a lot of the old timers—you wouldn’t believe this, but they used to have a crap table in town here where you could shoot craps for a nickel. That is hard to believe. That goes back a long ways, too. And Lorenzi Park out there, that used to be the big attraction in town, really. Every Saturday night in the summertime, they’d have a big dance out there. Everybody would go out there and have a beer or two. Wasn’t the kiddies’ playground then like it is now? No. Or the duck pond? No. But they had a big swimming pool out there. In fact, outside of one or two of the hotels Downtown, that was about the biggest attraction, you know, for the family type of people and UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 13 young guys and girls get together out there. There’s a family here in town now that used to go out there, I can remember, just about the same age as I am, and that’s Von Tobels. Oh. I’ve known the Von Tobel boys from way back. They’ve been here since the very beginning. Dad came here in 1900-and-something. There’s a lot of history that somebody someday ought to get together and go back through the files. There have been a lot of stories that have been written in the Review-Journal—I’m just passing this on for what it’s worth. But they can consolidate the early stories of Southern Nevada from these articles that have been read. Now, another one we were just talking about here, was where Carole Lombard’s plane crashed. It was, you know where the Potosi is? No. Well, anyway, it would be to the north and west of where Carole Lombard’s train crashed—called the Potosi Mine. That was the mine back in the early days by the Mormons to get lead for their bullets. The only problem was, they had so much silver in it that the silver would stick in where the rifling, on the barrel of the rifle—the silver would stuck up and pretty soon would spoil the rifling in there. There wouldn’t be any (unintelligible). Did they realize that they had silver there? Well, they finally did, yes—finally found it out. It’s been quite an active mine—or was, it isn’t now. One time, they had (unintelligible) up there (unintelligible)—I don’t know, I’ve heard different guys that used to be up there, I’ve heard them say fifty, sixty, seventy people, up to a hundred, take your pick. It’s been pretty well torn up now. Part of the—back up for a second—UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 14 the ore there finally turned into a lead, zinc, silver ore—very high grade. And they built a smelter up there. The Mormons did that? No, this was the mining company. Well, they just got the lead out—Mormons didn’t do anything with it other than—oh, gosh, this was, I don’t, I couldn’t really tell you when the Mormons were up there, though it was in the 1800s. And I mean, they’d come down there and get a couple of lodes, and that was it. So, actually the first person that founded it? I don’t know who found it. But I presume that some old prospector probably did, and he told somebody else, and the story goes from there that that’s—I don’t know whether it’s a true story or not, but it sounds good, anyway. Yes. Oh, I could tell you stories that would curl your hair around this part of the country. True or not, I don’t know. (Laughs) (Laughs) Well, I imagine it’s probably half and half. Yeah. Of course, the ranch up here, it used to be called Wilson Ranch in the early days. Buster and Tweed, the two part Indian and part White—George Wilson was their father, and he died and left the two boys Tweed, and then the other one died, and then Buster, who was Tweed’s son, and they had the ranch there for years and years, and then Chad Locke (unintelligible) and Abner, the radio team, he leased it for a while or rented or did something there, and finally he decided that he liked it. And he bought the place and built the big home up there. Chad Locke was a very good friend of mine, still is. He’s getting a little bit on the old side now. Where’s this ranch located? UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 15 Right back over here in the base of the hills there. That’s the one that the county just bought here not too long ago. Spring Valley Ranch? Yes, (unintelligible). The one that they bought from Fletcher Jones? Yes. That one? Mm-hmm. I’ve been there. And then Chad Locke, when he sold it, he sold it to Vera Krupp, and then she had it for quite a while, and she got pretty sick. She sold out, moved down to L.A. and lived a short time and died—she had cancer. I used to go up there, shoot the crap with her once in a while. It’s a beautiful place up there. Yes. When you consider the desert down here. Let’s see, what other kinda recreations do you seek, either alone or with your family? Do you have any hobbies that you like to do by yourself? No. Our family—my wife and two kids are always pretty much a unit. In other words, wherever the—the kids went with us, in other words. And we’d go up and go fishing down on the river, up into Utah. But all these places now, I mean, I wouldn’t even bother to go—I’ve been spoiled, you know, it’s been turned into commercial campgrounds and nineteen million people. I’m not antisocial, don’t get me wrong, but when I got out camping or something like that, I like to do it UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 16 where you’re not, you know, you move your arm out this way, you don’t poke it through somebody’s tent. (Laughs) Did you camp when your kids were little? Oh, yes. You bet. They learned to camp and hunt. My son learned to mine when he was about five years old. We had some property up at Beatty, which is just north 120 miles. I took him underground with me, and he had a little tiny hammer (unintelligible) prospective jackhammer, I mean, it was (unintelligible). I held it for him, and he ran it. Prior to that, when I’d go out look at mines or whatever, I’d put him on my back or shoulder, whichever one was high enough for the back to go down the drift or wherever it was—he’d ride along, had a lot of fun. And then when we first started opening up the silver mine over here by Nelson, both my son and daughter were in on that. They helped me out there; we’d go out on weekends. We were bumping it out above the water out. It was called the Oro Plata Mine, an old mine, quite (unintelligible) for the area. Did they pursue any of this in their careers—any of their backgrounds as far as mining, or? Oh, yes, Tom is, my son. What does Tom—? He’s a geologist, mining engineer and geologist. Took off in your footsteps. Yes. He mined up Wyoming and Idaho, Utah, Honduras, all over the country. And he’s out here at Blue Diamond (unintelligible). In fact, he’s running the plaster mill. Do you go site seeing in your car? Now? Yes. UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 17 Oh, yes. Got a release a while back from the doc and he said just take it easy. We went down into Mexico—my daughter lives in Los Angeles—we moved down there and went on from there. After Christmas, moving on down, Baja California. Did you camp, or? Oh, yes. I got this, motor home went up there. Yeah, I saw the camper in your driveway, and I thought you— VW. That’s all you need. I had been working on that, though, for quite a period of time to build it up, but be able to—see, I was gonna retire at this age. In fact, I would’ve been retired now if I hadn’t retired earlier on the heart. How long ago did you retire because of your heart? It’s been about sixteen months now. That’s quite a while. And the doc (unintelligible) I can putter around, take it easy—no altitude. I used to fly a lot, and then I quit flying. Did you have your own airplane? No, but my partner did. Oh, I see. It was a joint venture. You were doing horseback riding out in the desert here, or did you ever? (Laughs) You couldn’t get me on a horse in this desert. (Laughs) UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 18 I think it’s cruel, really, the poor horse. How did you get back to the mines? Jeep. Four-wheel-drive type of vehicle? Either jeep or dune buggy, one of them. Dune buggy would go over a (unintelligible). Back early in the thirties, though, when you were doing this, did they have the automobiles that you could use? No, but they had some damn good burros. (Laughs) (Laughs) Oh, you get on a burro but not on a horse? Well, burros are made for the desert country. I mean, they’ve been here for years. Over at Goodsprings, there used to be, darn things, there must have been a million of them over there. They don’t go as fast as a horse, do they? No. Do you remember anything about the early aboveground atomic tests? Mm-hmm. When they first started? You want the truth out of me, it scared the hell out of everybody for a while. I have no idea what they would even by like—just hear the rumbling sometimes. You’d get up in the morning at the—see, they’d always shoot just at dawn, or before dawn, really—just before the sun came out, so that by the time it was all over with—well, of course, later on, they were shooting later. But the first ones were pretty early in the morning. We’d get up and we’d run out on our front—we were out at Blue Diamond at that time. We’d tear off up here towards the (unintelligible). We’d see that, it would light up things just like daylight. And then a short time later, why, the old ground would shake, jump, wobble, you know, the UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 19 concussions come down and say there shooting up in the air at that time, not underground. And water, too, we were mining underground (unintelligible) at the time, and one or two of them, they’d call up, and they made sure that we didn’t have anybody underground. [Recording cuts out, tape ends] Informant is Marion C. Brooks. The date is February 24th, 1975. The place is 2195 Tallyho, Las Vegas, Nevada. Collector is Kathleen Kasmier, 4406 South Clearbook, Las Vegas. The project is Nevada History and the Oral History Interview. Now, let’s get back to the atomic testing. When did they start testing underground, as far as you could remember? Well, I really couldn’t swear to that, because I don’t remember that part of it. I would say it was in the late fifties somewhere in there. Okay. I’m probably ten years off, but— Well, it’s a good guess. What changes have you noticed in Southern Nevada since you first arrived? Number one, the economic changes? You spell that M-O-N-E-Y. (Laughs) First time I came here, Downtown was Downtown. And if you go twenty blocks in any direction, why, you were caught in the desert. And since then, of course, it’s expanded, as you well know. Where we are right now out here in Paradise Valley, there wasn’t anything. Just desert? Just desert. I was trying to remember, the farthest place out, I believe, for a long time was the Red Rooster. And that would be about the first little bend when you make when you’re coming out the Strip now, first little tiny bend in there—I don’t know what building is in there, but it was UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 20 about the extent of it, and from there on, it was just desert. I think there was one other place over here, they had an artesian well over behind us over here. I don’t know, they called it the Rocking Horse Ranch or something like that now. But if I had bought 1,500 or 2,000 acres right around in here, in those days, it’d probably cost me about twenty-five cents an acre. Hindsight’s better than foresight. So, when you first came here, there was no Strip, or the El Rancho, I believe that’s the first? The El Rancho was—well—[audio cuts out] But the Tomoyasu family was, they were way out in the desert out here. They had an artesian well; in fact, they had two or three of them there. What is an artesian well? I heard you refer to that a couple times? That’s the ground pressure underneath there, I mean, the water pressure under the ground was such that when you drill a hole down, the water would come up to the surface. You don’t have to pump it. Like a geyser would be? Similar. Similar? Just, water comes up, that’s all. You drill a hole and put a casing in it. This whole basin in here used to be artesian water. I don’t think there’s any now. I don’t know how far down the water level is. That’s what’s happened. People come in. But the Tomoyasu family used to grow most of the vegetables for the town here. They had a terrific vegetable garden out here. Were groceries quite a bit cheaper then? Well, to give you an idea, when Mom and I were over at Goodsprings right after we were first married, every two weeks, we would take a twenty-dollar bill, and we would go in, we had our UNLV University Libraries Marion Brooks 21 Dodge coupe—I think it was 1936 or something like that—and it had all kinds of room, big trunk in the back of it with a lid in the back, it was a coupe. And we would fill that thing with groceries enough to last us for two weeks if anybody came in or guests or company or anything, we’d have plenty for them. And then we would go down, and we would have a drink or two, and then we would go have supper. We’d do this every two weeks on Saturday night because Sunday—we worked for two weeks straight, then we had a day off. We would have supper, either down at the Chinaman’s or over at the—I can’t remember the name of that old restaurant there—it was two or three places there in town that were pretty good to eat. The Overland Hotel used to have pretty good food, but they shut that down. That was right across from the ODP Depot. Then we’d go out, and of course everybody knew everybody. That was one of the big parts of the whole deal is (unintelligible) around down there, and you’d run into somebody you know. Well, this (unintelligible). You’d push your money on the bar, (unintelligible) twenty-five cents or something like that, and you’d leave your change on the bar, and then this guy, he’d want to go over here. Well, he was gonna meet so-and-so, “Okay, where do you we go?” Meet him over some other place. And