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Transcript of interview with Betty Bunch by Joyce Marshall, January 9, 1996, February 7, 1996, & February 13, 2002






Betty [Rosenthal] Bunch began dancing as a child. By the time she was nine years old she decided she would have a dancing career. At 18 years she began to work in stock theatre productions. Within a short time, she had joined the Moro-Landis dancers. She landed her first job in Las Vegas in 1956 at the Sahara Hotel as part of the opening line for Donald O'Connor. Following the Sahara, she worked as a dancer at the Riveria, and then returned to the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood. In 1961 while vacationing in Las Vegas, she landed a job dancing at the Dunes. She continued to dance, sing and do comedy until after the birth of her second child. At that time, she retired from the Las Vegas showroom, but not from show business. Her involvement in both film and stage has remained rich and varied. This interview focuses on the time Betty spent performing on the Las Vegas strip, including her long involvement with the acclaimed afternoon show Bottoms Up. The interview provides information on workin

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Bunch, Betty Interview, 1996 January 9, February 7, & 2002 February 13. OH-00137. [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 Betty Bunch An Oral History Conducted by Joyce Marshall ______________________________________________ Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas 1997 ii Production of An Interview with Betty Bunch was made possible in part by a grant from the Nevada Humanities Committee. ?Joyce Marshall, 1997 Produced by: Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project Department of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 89154-5020 Director and Editor: Joanne L. Goodwin Text Processor: Joyce Marshall iii iv This interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the Nevada Humanities Committee, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The College of Liberal Arts provides a home for the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada as well as a wide variety of in-kind services. The History Department provided necessary reassignment for the director as well as graduate assistants for the project. The department, as well as the college and university administration, enabled students and faculty to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the University for its support that gave an idea the chance to flourish. The text has received minimal editing. These measures include the elimination of the false starts, fragments, 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 collection as slides or black and white photographs. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Las Vegas Women Oral History Project. Additional transcripts may be found under that series title. Joanne Goodwin, Project Director Associate Professor, Department of History University of Nevada, Las Vegas v Illustrations Betty Bunch and “fans”, Sahara Hotel & Casino, 1956 frontispiece The following illustrations appear at the end of the text: Left photograph: Betty Bunch with Donald O’Connor at Sahara, 1956 Right photograph: Betty Bunch opening for start act, Sahara, 1956 Left Photograph: Betty Bunch in Gotta Get to Vegas, 1956 Right photograph: Betty Bunch in Moro-Landis Waltz, 1956 Publicity photograph of Betty Bunch, Thunderbird Hotel & Casino, 1960 Current publicity photograph of Betty Bunch Betty Bunch with Jimmy Durante at the Hollywood Moulin Rouge Double exposure of Betty Bunch superimposed over Fremont Street casinos Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are courtesy of Betty (Rosenthal) Bunch and Las Vegas Women in Gaming and Entertainment Oral History Project vi Preface Betty [Rosenthal] Bunch began dancing as a child. By the time she was nine years old she decided she would have a dancing career. At 18 years she began to work in stock theatre productions. Within a short time, she had joined the Moro-Landis dancers. She landed her first job in Las Vegas in 1956 at the Sahara Hotel as part of the opening line for Donald O'Connor. Following the Sahara, she worked as a dancer at the Riveria, and then returned to the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood. In 1961 while vacationing in Las Vegas, she landed a job dancing at the Dunes. She continued to dance, sing and do comedy until after the birth of her second child. At that time, she retired from the Las Vegas showroom, but not from show business. Her involvement in both film and stage has remained rich and varied. This interview focuses on the time Betty spent performing on the Las Vegas strip, including her long involvement with the acclaimed afternoon show Bottoms Up. The interview provides information on working conditions and the racial integration of the showrooms. Betty exemplifies the energy and talent that was so prevalent in showroom entertainment during the 1950s and 1960s. vii Betty Bunch and fans, Sahara Hotel, 1956viii An Interview with Betty Bunch An Oral History Conducted by Joyce Marshall 1 This is Joyce Marshall. Today I'm going to be interviewing Betty Bunch at 2685 Redrock Street in Las Vegas. This is her home. It is January 9, 1996. She and I have both looked over the release agreement and it has been signed. Just to get started, I would like you to tell me about your early life, where you were born, brothers, sisters, that kind of thing and how you got interested in dancing. Where were you born? In Willspoint, Texas and my folks moved to Austin when I was three years old. My mother owned a beauty salon and she was very heavily into culture. We went up to Dallas to see the ballet and whatever. My father was a bed-ridden invalid and so mother had to take over and run the family and she did it in a very feminine way giving my sister voice lessons and both of us piano lessons and me dancing lessons and the dancing took with me. I just loved it and resolved at nine that that's what I would do. That I would be a dancer. Of course, everybody tried to dissuade me from it. You know, “oh, you can't do that”, “you'll just get married.” But, I persevered and then I majored in dance at the University of Texas and I started dancing around town like for the Kiwanis Club and the Lions Club and whatever and they would pay me $5 to come and do my little tap act for the Kiwanis or the Lion or the Rotary. So, I became a casual. I had costumes from the recitals and then I did the University of Texas and did my first year of stock when I was eighteen and belonged to the Austin Civic Theater and was always involved in dancing and performing. I did the lead in my senior play in high school and like that and went one summer after my junior year - I was always ahead of myself in school. I was two years ahead of everybody else. I finished high school when I had just turned sixteen and three 2 days later, graduated from high school. I had started school at five. So, I had finished my junior year [of college] at nineteen and went for the summer to New Orleans with a girlfriend. I never went anywhere without my tap shoes and one basic costume and got myself an agent and went to work as an act in New Orleans. I worked at Prima's 500 and several other places, but Las Vegas was the big in place to come. So, somewhere in there I came to Los Angeles and auditioned for George Moro and got a job with Moro-Landis Dancers and opened here in 1956 for Donald O'Connor. So, you got the job, actually, in Los Angeles and then the company moved to Las Vegas? Yes, that happened often. I stayed over in Los Angeles for six years working at the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood and doing all those Fifties movies in the daytime which was wonderful. We called it doubling or it's called bicycling now and it was wonderful fun. I did South Pacific and Bells are Ringing and Imitation of Life and worked hard. You worked during the day doing movies and then you would work at night in the clubs. That's right, one club, The Moulin Rouge in Hollywood. It was a very famous, world famous nightclub. And the name of that show was? Well, I was in three different ones there. It was, oh, I don't know, nobody knows the name. It was like Viva Las Vegas -- something -- C'est la Vie I think was one of them. Donn Arden reviews, all of them with a major star as an act. And the movies were fun. 3 But eventually, all the shows were coming over here. I mean, the Moulin Rouge closed, closed entirely. It's not that I was let go, the whole line was let go. They closed the place. I don't know why. I think they sold it to someone and the first job I went to interview for was coming to Las Vegas. So, I came over here to work and when that job was over, I went back to Los Angeles, auditioned for another show that was coming to Las Vegas, so I came to Las Vegas again. And, I finally realized that all the work was in Las Vegas, so I moved over here to stay. So, the first show was with Donald O'Connor and how long did that run? The Sahara? I was at the Sahara a year, a full year. The Donald O'Connor show ran just four weeks and the forth week, you go into rehearsal for the next show, so that you're rehearsing all day to learn the new numbers for Ray Bolger, except Ray Bolger wasn't the next one. He was a dancer. He was booked later. I've forgotten who was right after Donald O'Conner. It could have been anybody, Marlene Dietrich was there at some point. Theresa Brewer, Martha Raye, Vaughn Monroe and we always, they were all booked in for four weeks and on the forth week, we started rehearsing for the new show that would be coming in. And, by the way, we worked seven nights a week. We had no night off. No days off? [No] We made $95 a week which was a fortune at the time. We considered that being very well paid. The average secretary, at the time, made $45 a week. How big were the lines? How many girls were involved here? Always twelve. 4 You were a dancer. Were there showgirls? Not really, not in the Moro-Landis Line. Occasionally, depending on how George [Moro] choreographed the number. I remember once, Dennis Day was coming in and they needed two showgirls to stand on each side of him for a skit. As a matter of fact, I was the one they picked, two of us and I was one of them picked to be showgirls and, of course, dressed. This was, nobody did nude in those days. This was, I think the year before the Stardust got here and the Stardust was very, everybody was shocked, you know, my goodness, they had some nude showgirls. Of course, they were all perfectly elegant ladies, but they were European girls. At the time, nice girls didn't go topless, it just wasn't done. The difference with the showgirls here was more costuming and less dancing? Right. Yes, showgirls carried huge hats. They worked very hard. I have a lot of respect for them, but they are not trained dancers. They were hired for height and for beautiful figures and faces. They were hired for their looks and their height; whereas, dancers, obviously had to dance. We were trained, but once in awhile, it would cross-over depending on the height requirements. And the pay was no different? Later on, they started paying nude showgirls more to give them an incentive to do the job. You know, to try to attract girls into the thing. But, in 1956 there were no nudes. 5 Right, except, I think there were at the Stardust only. I've forgotten what year the Folies Bergere came in, but those were all English and/or French girls. Mostly, English girls. Would you say that the majority of the dancers then by the late 1950s were European? No, only in the French shows. We had three French shows in town. The Stardust had the Lido, the Dunes had the Casino de Paris and the Tropicana had the Folies Bergere and those three French shows were very, very popular and well attended. It was the big “in” thing. Weren't they large shows? They were huge shows. Huge shows. So, in terms of numbers..? Oh yes, there were 36 dancers and showgirls, instead of the twelve opening line. See, like the Moro-Landis dancers, we just opened the show and that was it. You know, and then you got dressed. Then you had a headliner. Right. A headliner. Once in a while the headliner wanted the girls to join him in the finale. Then, we'd put together a finale. But, that wasn't always, it was just once in a while. Like Ray Bolger wanted us to join him in the finale, so we did a whole big dance number around Ray Bolger. The same thing happened at the Riviera. I wasn't at the Riviera until 1961 and George Burns, for instance, wanted us to do a number with him. It 6 wasn't hard dancing. It was just kind of piddling around and I don't know, whatever. I've forgotten who else was at the Riviera that we danced with. So many. Was there a big turnover in the girls or was it pretty steady? Pretty steady. It just seems that if you worked seven days a week without a day off, that would become very demanding and people would get sick and leave. It was. What tended to happen is that sometimes girls would come just for the summer. Like I remember, at the Sahara, there were two girls, sisters, I even remember her name, Nina Vaughn and baby sister, whose name I have forgotten. They were from Houston, Texas and they just came in for the summer between courses or, you know, they had to go back to school, so they gave their notice and left in September and they had to be replaced with somebody else. So, people would come in for the summer only and go back. You had no recourse if you got sick? If you got sick there was no sick pay, there was no..? No, nothing. Were you replaced or did they work around you? No, they just worked around you. You just learned to go on whether you were sick or not because you had to be near death to miss a show. One, you wouldn't be paid; and, two, it meant that a rehearsal had to called. You know, they'd call you at home and say, "Get in here, we've got to rehearse. We've lost Mary Sue," or whatever. Then we had to rearrange quickly, right before the show, rearrange the number so there's not a great big 7 gaping hole and that's a burden on your friends and they'd be angry, you know. I don't think I ever missed a night. I don't know of any dancers that missed, I mean, you just didn't do it. You just didn't. You came to work if you were ill and oddly enough, you don't get ill much when you know that's what's going to happen. Was it just one show a night at that time? No, always two; an 8:00 o'clock show and a midnight show. Dinner and drinks? Yes, the first show was a dinner show and the second show was always a cocktail show. I think some of the big production shows only did one, but I'm not sure about that. I don't think so, Joyce. They always did two. I can't think of one ever doing only one. Later on, much later, I think it was all the way into the Eighties, I seem to remember that Sinatra, or somebody of his stature, Barbra [Streisand], would be able to do only one show, or maybe only one show on the slow nights, but even Sinatra had to do two shows on a Saturday, I think. So, back to 1956, you went back and forth between Las Vegas and Hollywood? Yes, after that year at the Riviera, I went to the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood and stayed, really, for five years. It wasn't until 1961 that I came over here with four girls from the Moulin Rouge. Friends, all of us, and we just came because the job was over and we were tired. You know, we worked seven nights a week there too. We needed a vacation. We came over here and saw the show at the El Rancho Vegas that had not yet burned and it burned that year. But, we saw that show and fiddled around. I was sitting in the coffee shop at the Dunes with my suitcase by my side. We were all meeting there. Two of us 8 had gone to stay with one girlfriend that lived here and two of us had gone to another. Sitting in the coffee shop, a choreographer I knew walked over and said, "What on earth are you girls doing here?" and we told him and he said, "You mean you're out of a job Betty?" and I said, "Yes, I am, I'll go back and look for work starting tomorrow, you know, we're all meeting here. We're going to get in the car and drive back." He said, "You want to go to work?" I said, "Well, sure." He said, "Hold on." He walked to a booth, like three booths away and I'm watching him, like that, and when he got down there, he talked for a few minutes and then this woman stuck her head out and looked at me. And then, he walked back over and he said, "O.K., you're hired." I said, "What?" He said, "Yes.” The woman was Selma Diamond and she was the producer. She was producing a show at the Dunes called Gotta Get to Vegas now famous as being the worst show ever done on the strip. Just dreadful. But, she used short girls. I'm only 5' 7 1/2" but she hired that height for showgirls, whereas, most of the girls in the line were shorter. So, that very night I sent the other girls back to Los Angeles without me. I found out that two girls I knew were in the line at the Dunes and they said, "Oh, yeah, you can move in with us. We have a third bedroom. No problem." I mean this all happened within 45 minutes and they asked me to rehearse that very night after the midnight show. The job was as a showgirl, so, being an efficient, organized type, I got out my pad and pencil and drew pictures of all the formations and simply said to the line captain, “Look, I can go on tomorrow night, if you need me to. I mean, I'm a dancer, this is simple.” So, they fitted me into the wardrobe. We did a rehearsal the next day. One rehearsal, one walk through, me as a showgirl and I went on that night. But, it was easy. I just said to the other girls, 9 “you know, I'm a little foggy on the entrances, so, give me the highlight when it's time for me to walk on.” But, it was just walking, there was nothing to it. I told you it was a very simple show. You mentioned moving in with two other girls that were in the show. Tell me about housing during that time. Was it difficult to find housing? No. There were apartment buildings, new ones all over. Later on, I just remembered the La Fonda Apartments. I'll mention that because they're gone now. Do you remember the La Fonda. Yes, I do. They were beautiful, elegant and gorgeous and, of course, now Steve Wynn has leveled them for a parking lot for the Mirage. I moved in with Chickie Marion and Leslie Evans was on the other side of the strip and they had a three-bedroom apartment. I guess that was what was available in the area and, so, they each had a bedroom and there was a big living room. They were elegant, gorgeous apartments. The town was growing so fast. Yes, it was. People talked then about how fast it was growing, but, you know, I was married to a real estate broker for twenty years and now I can look back and know that this has always been a boom or bust town. It would have a huge growth spurt for three or four years, sometimes it goes, and then a sudden bust where lots of people go broke. But, this roll, the one that started in 1985, it's still on a roll. There's been no bust. How long did the show last at the Dunes? 10 Well, it was so awful, I think, that lasted six weeks. I was here six weeks. A wonderful comedian, Jerry Collins. He died later of a heart attack, a dear wonderful comedian. What did I do then, I've forgotten. I guess I went back to Los Angeles and then, I think I went on the road with Louis Prima. There was a big audition at the Moulin Rouge, is where the audition was, for Dick Humphries and I got the job and went on the road with Louis Prima. He had just divorced Keely Smith and was putting a show together by himself with the Witnesses. Where did we go, my goodness, we went to Lake Tahoe and then, well no, first we did the show at the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood, I forgot. That's where he played. If it was no longer the Frank Sennes Dinner Show, big extravaganza that I'd been in for five years, it's just that Louis Prima rented the theater and it was a different show. We introduced the twist in that show. It had never been done. Chubby Checker had just started doing his little twist number and Dick Humphries was a dear friend of mine and he's dead now. We sat around, the dancers with Dick, and he said “Louis wants us to do a twist number because he's going to do "Twist Around the Clock”" or whatever that big hit was. Louis Prima liked to stay right on the edge, on the cutting edge of whatever was new. And Dick said, "Girls, I don't know what to do, I don't know how to twist and he wants this big twist number." So, we went out that very night, we went out to the nightclubs. We went to like four different nightclubs and watched the kids doing the twist and then we sat down together. I think there were three or four of us that went with Dick and broke it down and discovered what it was. We did a consensus of what the kids were doing -- well, this is what it breaks down to -- and put in a huge twist number with Louis Prima. Then the Moulin Rouge closed, and we opened at the 11 Crescendo and I know that the ladies, all the Beverly Hills matrons would grab me between shows in the ladies' room and say “come in here and show me how to do that. It's a big fad, I want to know.” I remember. It was not as easy as it looked. No, there was a little knack to it. But it was fun, so, we introduced the twist. Then we went to Lake Tahoe and got snowed in. It was, oh, I don't know, it was tons of fun. A wonderful life. This was the early 1960s? Right, 1961 and 1962 and after the Lake Tahoe closed, we were there for Christmas and we got snowed in, which was just fabulous and beautiful up there. Louis Prima cooked Christmas dinner. Had us all in for Christmas dinner. He made his famous pasta, you know, he likes to cook and serve dinner for all of us, turkey and dressing and wonderful Italian food. And then we came into the Desert Inn and played the Desert Inn. Was that in the lounge or in the main showroom? No, it was in the big showroom. I was the line captain in that show. There were only six of us that went on the road with Louis so they let the Donn Arden dancers, half of them go. There were twelve in the line at the Desert Inn at the time -- Donn Arden dancers -- and they kept six of them to join us so that there would be twelve and let six go on vacation, as I recall. So, I met some of those girls too. I don't remember what I did next. Then you didn't work for Louis Prima any more after Lake Tahoe? Yes, yes. Well, no. We came here to work at the Desert Inn. We played, oh, four weeks here at the Desert Inn. 12 Oh, right. So, this was a constant turnaround. You worked job for job, you didn't work under contract for anyone, so when a show was over, you had to go out and find another job. That's right. I look back now and think how did I do that without terrible fear, but I was always hired within the week. I don't think I ever went more than a week without a job. I was well-trained and I was the perfect height and I had turned myself, by that time, into a pretty girl. I knew how to put on makeup and do my hair. And you continued to go back and forth, between here and Los Angeles, wherever there was work? Right. At that time I still considered Los Angeles my base because I had spent five years there, so that was kind of home. It wasn't until the Riviera job in 1961 that I really decided to move over here and stay here. It was the Dick Humphries line. It was twelve girls that opened the show. Then you stayed primarily with the Sahara, Riviera, Desert Inn? Well, yes, let's see. Somewhere in there was the Aladdin show, big show at the Aladdin that never opened. You rehearsed for that? Three months. Three full months with Paul Godkin. Shirley McLaine came in for New Year's Eve. We did a special, by invitation only, performance. Even though the place wasn't open, they invited a whole ton of people in to see the show. It was a gorgeous, gorgeous show with fabulous costumes, just beautiful. Shirley McLaine was here with 13 her husband Steve Parker, who produced the show with Alan Lee. I was the swing girl on that show, meaning I had to learn all the parts in a couple of different numbers. Because you would do different roles? Yes. I did different roles. It was fun and when that closed, what happened next? Oh, I know what it was. When the Riviera closed, I got the job with Bottoms Up. See, at that point, I had already been a dancer for some time. The five years at the Moulin Rouge and the year at the Sahara and the year at, what is that, seven years, I'd been around for a long time and I love this story. Joyce Roberts was the line captain at the Riviera and we all got our notice, the whole line, the Dick Humphries line, entirely go and they hired another choreographer and Joyce Roberts said, "Betty, I've heard of a job that's coming into town that's called Bottoms Up. It's a show out of Dallas, Texas that's a big smash hit down there and they're looking for a girl that can sing, dance and do comedy sketches and that's you." Not everybody, not all the dancers, could sing and do comedy and acting as I was trained to do and she said, "Here's the man's name. It's Breck Wall and here's his phone number." So, I called, you know, terribly formally the next day about 10:00 [a.m.], long distance to Dallas, Texas and they answered, "Bottoms Up Production Office," and I said, "May I speak to Mr. Breck Wall, please?" And this voice came on the phone and I said, "Mr. Wall, this is Betty Bunch and I'm calling from Las Vegas and I understand, blah, blah, blah, and I'd like to audition for you and blah, blah, blah." And there was this strange, unnatural silence and then there was a little giggle. Finally, this strange voice said, "Betty, this is Billy Ray. Honey, I changed my name to Breck Wall." I said, "Billy Ray, darling, how are you?" We went to the University of Texas together and Billy Ray 14 Wilson escorted me to the Junior Prom the year we were both eighteen years old. He said, "Of course, you're hired, of course you've got the job if you want it. Get on the next plane.” Isn't that funny. It is. He changed his name. That's wonderful. Yes, who knew? Here again, you go somewhere else, to Texas, to learn a part for Las Vegas. Right. They had moved the show to Houston, Texas, the Continental Hotel and we did ten weeks at the Continental. I mean, I got thoroughly settled into the show because there were lots of sketches and everything. At that time Bottoms Up was a very fresh, intellectual, witty show. Much like Upstairs, Downstairs in New York City or like Capital Steps or that kind of thing. Nancy Austin was starring. Bill Hannon was in it and I joined the show and learned it thoroughly and well and then we came in and opened the Castaways. We were here for six months and it was a smash hit -- standing room only. I remember it. It was a great show. Do you really? Oh, yes. For heaven's sake. That was fun and I got to do a little solo in the show so that was back to doing sketches and parts. That was fun. And after the Castaways, the show was so good, they booked us into the Thunderbird, which was a better, bigger theater. Do you remember that showroom at the Thunderbird. It was a gorgeous showroom. 15 Yes, I do. So, the show left the Castaways then and went to the Thunderbird. Yes, I think we had a few days off. And was this the same situation where you worked seven days a week? Had things changed, at all, by this time? Oh, my word, no. It seems to me, we started getting a day off. I think we got a day off. I'm sure we did. That was seven years later, you see. That was all the way into 1963 or so. And so, we had a day off, but we also rehearsed for free and we did tons and tons of publicity, constantly. Constantly working during the daytime -- radio shows and modeling assignments, you know, things. So, you always worked two jobs. Just about and totally on call. Breck was a wonderful boss. I don't mean that, but he did expect you to show up when told to show up and we did. We rehearsed for free and sometimes putting new numbers into the show, it was, you know, could be huge work, all day, every day, until we got new numbers into the show. 'Cause it was the kind of show that was very topical and so we were constantly putting in new things. Breck would fly into New York for the weekend and pick up new lyrics and new numbers and whatever. Maybe we went to Dallas after we closed the Castaways. I think we did, somewhere in there, we flew into Dallas and did a couple of weeks before we came back to the Thunderbird. Did you always call him Breck then? 16 Yes, oh, Breck would kill me, you know, if he, he ordered me not to tell anyone that his real name was Billy Ray Wilson, he would kill me. Breck's an artist and he just decided to cut that part of his life out. He was no longer Billy Ray, he was Breck. You worked at night and then you were always doing things during the day, but you must have had leisure time. Yes, surely -- some. I remember mother, I got on the phone with her one time, she said, "Oh, Betty, you're living such a strange life, all those strange hours." I said, "Mother, I live a very regulated life with very steady hours. I sleep every day until twelve noon. I get up and have breakfast and then about 5:30 [p.m.] I start thinking about what I'm going to wear to work tonight." I was always a clothes horse and I'd start getting the wardrobe together and 6:00 [p.m.] I'd have a little snack, a sandwich or something light and leave for the theater at a quarter to 7:00 [p.m.] I always got there by ten to seven, never later than that because it took me that long to get, you know, made up and do an 8:00 [p.m.] show, have a light snack between shows, do a midnight show, get out at l:30 [p.m.] or quarter to two, go have a drink with friends or meet someone or have a date or whatever and get in 3:00 [a.m.] or 4:00 [a.m.], go to bed and sleep until noon. What more regulated hours could you have than that. But, yes, there were afternoons and I did have a lot of hobbies. Several of us got together and played bridge. There were, not often, not all the time, but some other college women, let's see, oh, Marilyn Johnson who still is here, owns Rock-A-Billys now. Married Ash Resnick? 17 That's right. And she had been a showgirl at the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood before she came to the Tropicana, so, I knew Marilyn before. But, she was here at the Tropicana and I think already married to Ash by the time we were playing bridge. Ginny De Voix who later became the right-hand girl to Richard Bryan, worked in the Governor's office. She represented him and Ginny played bridge. I can't think of who else, there was some pit-boss's wife who had been a dancer and as I said, I was always a clothes horse and I made most of my clothes. I sewed, made beautiful clothes and shopped. You didn't do any sports? Well, not really. You have already related to me that you didn't go to the Lake [Mead]. Right, no. There was always the fear of getting hurt. I mean, if you strain a toe, you're out of a job. Girls that got hurt, if anybody, if you broke an ankle, you're out. You're not like a secretary that can go into work on crutches. The job is over and there is no insurance and there was nothing to fall back on. I always had money in the bank, but I mean by that there was no second job you could do. I would have been horrified to think that I couldn't work as a dancer. So, I was always very careful not to do anything that was physically dangerous. It was probably a very real fear to be injured. In Lake Tahoe, it was part of the contract because everyone wants to ski in Lake Tahoe. They learned by experience that girls would get hurt and be out of the show that night if they went skiing. And so, it was part of the contract that you signed in any Lake Tahoe 18 hotel that you were strictly forbidden to go skiing and that you were subject to be fired if you were seen on the slopes or caught going skiing. Did you know that? No. It's very impressive to read a contract -- I was always very serious about contracts. That's a serious thing when you sign your name to something, so, I never went skiing and was always begged to do so. Oh, Betty, you'd be so good, you're a dancer, it would be so easy for you. Yeah, but I'm not allowed to do so. And the same thing was here. I wouldn't go water skiing, not only because of the skin problem, being redhead, but because it's dangerous. You could fall and get hurt. Now, other girls did. There were plenty of girls that went water skiing. I was just always prissy. Some probably just went yachting, also. I went out on the Riviera boat one time with all the girls. Each hotel had a boat that they sent high-rollers out on. One time, a girl in the line at the Riviera was maybe dating someone who was in charge of the boat and nobody was going one day and she called and said, "Quick, quick, get your stuff together. We've got the boat for the day.” Out we went with a gorgeous picnic hamper full of fried chicken and potato salad from the Riviera kitchen. This was part of the good life. You know, we had everything we wanted, anything we wanted, we were generously paid, never bought a drink anywhere in this town. Never bought a drink. Just walk in and you'd see somebody who knew who you were or recognized that you were in a show and, I don't know, a maitre d' or somebody would walk over and say, "Hey, you girls are in the show at the Riv[iera], aren't you?" 19 Then, of course, we didn't know until the check came that somebody had picked