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Transcript of interview with Rachel Gibson by Kay Long & Caryll Batt Dziedziak, August 25, 1998






Rachel Gibson was the granddaughter of Nevada pioneers. Her maternal grandparents, George Rammelkamp and Anna Dougherty, were among the earliest white residents of northern Nevada, settling first in Dayton and later Yerington. Her mother, Clara Angelina, and her two aunts, Elizabeth and Georgie, graduated from the University of Nevada at the turn of the century. Clara taught in Yerington for a number of years before marrying Chase Masterson, a dentist. Rachel was born in 1913 in Yerington. The eldest of three children, she continued the tradition of women’s learning and education that began with her mother’s generation. Her 1930 class was the first to graduate from Las Vegas High School, and soon after Rachel moved to California to attend college. Although her father had counseled her to study law, Rachel chose the field of economics. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and worked in San Francisco for one year before returning to complete

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Gibson, Rachel Interview, 1998 August 25. OH-02684. [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 Rachel Gibson ???????????????? An Oral History Conducted by Kay Long & Caryll Batt Dziedziak ???????????? Las Vegas Women Oral History Project Pioneer Series University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2000 ii ? Las Vegas Women Oral History Project, UNLV, 2000 Produced by: Las Vegas Women Oral History Project Department of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 89154-5020 Director: Joanne L. Goodwin Editor: Melisé L. Leech Project Assistant and Text Processor: Dona Gearhart iii iv This interview and transcript were made possible through the generosity of the Foundation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The History Department of the university provided a home for the project and a wide variety of in-kind services. 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 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 (housed separately) 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 List of Ilustrations Rachel and Al Gibson, circa 1960s frontispiece The following photos appear after the index: Rachel’s father, Dr. Chase Masterson, outside the Success Café, 1937 Chase and Clara Masterson, portrait, circa 1912 Infant Rachel with her father and the family dog, King Rachel, George, and Clarethel Masterson, Yerington circa 1920 Tonopah Elementary School class picture, circa 1925 Rachel’s mother, Clara Masterson, circa 1935 Chase Masterson’s dental office in Tonopah Tonopah High School, sophmore class, circa 1929 Rachel outside the family home in Las Vegas Bolt Hall, University of California, Berkeley, circa 1932 Rachel standing outside her Aunt’s home in Berkeley, circa 1932 Rachel and Frank Lewis in Death Valley, circa 1933 Al Gibson posing in his R.O.T.C. uniform, circa 1931 Rachel, Berkeley, circa 1930 Rachel with Nevada Governor Richard Bryan in his office January 26, 1983 All photos courtesy of Rachel Gibson vi Rachel and Al Gibson, circa 1960s. vii Preface Rachel Gibson was the granddaughter of Nevada pioneers. Her maternal grandparents, George Rammelkamp and Anna Dougherty, were among the earliest white residents of northern Nevada, settling first in Dayton and later Yerington. Her mother, Clara Angelina, and her two aunts, Elizabeth and Georgie, graduated from the University of Nevada at the turn of the century. Clara taught in Yerington for a number of years before marrying Chase Masterson, a dentist. Rachel was born in 1913 in Yerington. The eldest of three children, she continued the tradition of women’s learning and education that began with her mother’s generation. Her 1930 class was the first to graduate from Las Vegas High School, and soon after Rachel moved to California to attend college. Although her father had counseled her to study law, Rachel chose the field of economics. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and worked in San Francisco for one year before returning to complete her teaching certification. Moving to Las Vegas immediately after completing her training, Rachel taught physical education until her marriage to her college beau, Al Gibson, in 1938. Rachel continued to teach until the birth of the couple’s first child, Marjorie. With the onset of World War II, Rachel was left to care for their young daughter as Al left for military service. Throughout the war years the couple were together whenever possible, and their son John was born in 1941. After the war, Al returned to Las Vegas and went to work for Nevada Power Company, and a second son, Bill, was born. Rachel’s interest in education never flagged, and when her children were grown she returned to teaching. In this narrative, Rachel recounts the joys and trials of growing up. Filled with detail, her stories paint a vivid picture of life in the early twentieth-century West. viii An Interview with Rachel Gibson An Oral History Conducted by Kay Long & Caryll Batt DziedziakThis is Kay Long and I’m interviewing Rachel Gibson this afternoon. It's August 25, 1998. We’re at Rachel’s home, which is 839 Spy Glass Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89108. Rachel was born in 1913 in Yerington, Nevada and Rachel has been kind enough today, to say that she will give us a brief history about her grandparents, from her mother’s side of the family. Who, I understand, were George Rammelkamp and Anna Dougherty. They were married on December 30, 1876 and they lived in Sutro, Nevada. They had three children: Clara Angelina Rammelkamp, which was Rachel’s mother; Elizabeth Rammelkamp; and Georgie Rammelkamp. Georgie and Clara married brothers, the Mastersons. Who were both dentists? No, my uncle was a doctor. My dad was a dentist. What I understand is that your grandparents, after they were married, your grandfather worked for Sutro. Yes, Adolph Sutro. If you would just tell us a little bit about what you remember of your family, or remember hearing about them. Well, Adolph Sutro was very famous because he was the one that finally designed the tunnel that goes from Virginia City down to Sutro. They designed this tunnel to get the water out of the mines in Virginia City. It was hot water. Do you know why it was hot water? No, I don’t. But they always told me about the water being very hot. I have no idea why it was hot. At any rate, it worked for fifty years. He had quite a lot of difficulty getting 10 this thing started and getting it financed. A lot of people thought it was a wild idea but it did work and it did prosper for almost fifty years. There’s a great deal written about Adolph Sutro and his life at that time, so you could find that in other places. There’s books on that. Wonderful. How did your grandfather work for Sutro? What was his position? He was what, I guess, we call a head gardener or something. He did all of the gardening work and Sutro was very strong on having plants and flowers around. My grandfather apparently was responsible for that. My grandfather was somewhat of a stubborn old German anyway. He took great pride in the fact that he didn’t ever invest in any of those silly mine stocks. Financially, he managed to live to a ripe old age. I don’t even know how old he was when he died but he was quite old. He wasn’t working. As long as I was alive, he never did anything to bring in any money. So he did very well working for Sutro. He did somehow. Somewhere he got money. Did he work at the Sutro home? No, he didn’t work in the home. He did, on these gardens and yards at their home. As far as you know, him and your grandmother did not live on the grounds. No, they had a separate home of their own. I’m sure of that. Your grandfather was originally from Germany, you said. Yes, he was from Germany and she was from Ireland. We know they married in 1876. Do you know when they arrived in America? 11 No, I don’t. My grandfather is supposed to have come across the continent somehow. I don’t even know how he traveled. But I know that my grandmother came around the horn from, I don’t know but I think it was New York. Someplace in the East, she came clear around the horn. And at that time, she got very, very ill before she finally landed in San Francisco. She lost all of her hair and she had beautiful curly hair, very Irish, very colorful hair. It all came back but she never had it long, after that. She had short hair, long before it was fashionable to have short hair. But nonetheless, it made her look very nice. Her hair was lovely. Do you know how old she was when she made the trip? No, I don’t. Or how she ended up in Sutro? No, I don’t. We had some letters that we can’t find, on that, that my sister found. They were reports and one of them said that if she knew that Annie wasn’t coming back, she would have thrown herself into the ocean. This was her sister? I don’t know whether it was her sister or who. We only have this one letter, so we don’t know. And Annie never went back. We know that. Do you remember how long your grandparents were married or when Annie, your grandmother, passed away? I don’t, but I ought to be able to find it someplace. But you do remember that your grandfather did live longer. 12 I remember my grandfather. My grandmother was gone. I did have this write-up about her where they said that she died because she had stepped on a needle and they felt that the needle pierced her heart. Now whether that was a newspaper story or not, I don’t know. But that’s what they claimed at that time. So she might have been younger when she died. They were living in Dayton. Dayton is sort of in between Sutro and Virginia City. They just moved up a little ways. It was a little different. Did your grandmother work? No, only at home. With the three daughters, no sons. The three daughters, are they close in age? Yes. I think there was about two years between them. And all three of them finished the University of Reno. All three of them did. I don’t know the dates on the others, but my mother finished in 1900, the University in Reno. What type of degree did your mother get? I guess it was an A.B. degree or whatever they were granting at that time. There were no advanced degrees anyplace at that time. Did she teach? Yes, she became a teacher and she taught in Yerington, Nevada. That’s where she met John Hanna, and married him. They lived there for some time. They were only married one year when he was killed – no, no, he had pneumonia and he died. So she went back 13 to teaching. She was teaching there at the time my father came to Yerington to see his brother, Dr. Masterson. John Hanna was your mother’s first husband? Yes. Do you know what type of work John did? No, I don’t. I’m not even sure the picture we have is John. Well, it’s a nice picture. I saw it. So your father – Oh my father got acquainted with my mother at that time because she was living with my aunt and my uncle, Uncle John. I don’t know how it got started but Mom was not too infatuated with him because she had a college degree and he didn’t have anything. He had left home at fifteen and tramped all over the country. He had even been up to Alaska and got frozen in while he was there, and then came back. He opened the Success Café in Montana and he had that for some time. This is all your father, just doing it on his own. All alone, and he managed one way or another. Then after he saw his brother there and they talk of some kind, he went down to San Francisco and entered the – what was it called – S & P University in San Francisco, which is now affiliated with Stanford but not at that time. He was studying to be a dentist. I have a feeling Mom helped him although I never heard of that really. She helped him and he became a dentist. Then he came back to Yerington and he married her. Isn’t that a wonderful story? It is so exciting. I wonder how many years it took to become a dentist back then. 14 Well, I think both becoming a doctor and a dentist, in those times, was very simple in comparison with now. There was one thing about it, my dad was very serious about this dentist business. He’d study and go back and go to clinics every once in a while, to follow things. I think the original learning was quite simple. We have a nephew who became a dentist and he’s a Dr. Masterson too. He finished college ahead of himself. He was very good at it and he’s had some recognition on certain things in dentistry, right to this day. He’s about retired now. Is that your aunt’s son? No, that’s from my brother’s family. Now let’s see, we were in Yerington weren’t we. We were in Yerington. Yes we were. I think it’s very interesting that your mother was able to go back. She was teaching when she met your father and as far as you know, she continued teaching until they were married. They were married after he became a dentist. Do you know what year they were married? No, but I was born in 1913. I think they were married sometime after 1910, in that area someplace. Are you the first? Yes I’m the first, the first of three. I have a brother and a sister. And what are their names? Well her name now is Clarethel Beatty, and George Masterson. His picture is down there. Memories as a child, growing up as a child -- 15 I remember it. I have funny memories. Girls wore dresses. They never wore anything else. And we wore long stockings that went up over your knees. Were these stockings silk or wool? Oh no, they were cotton and they were coarse. They were ugly. They were terrible. We had laced-up shoes. You’d get out in the mud puddles, which were about every place. The streets were nothing but gravel. Where is this at? In Yerington. We had long underwear that you had to tuck down into those awful stockings and then pull the stockings up over them and try to look glamorous with this lump of stuff all over your legs. Feeling very glamorous too, I imagine. Then you had to lace the shoes. And those old shoestrings were always breaking and we had a terrible time with them. I have the most unpleasant thoughts about the shoestrings breaking. It wasn’t nice. And when we’d go to school, we’d always go from puddle to puddle. There were puddles all the way up to the school. I don’t know why we didn’t die of something but there were skims of ice over the top and we’d eat this skim of ice. We ate snow, too. We ate snow and ice. There were two to a grade. First and second grade had a room, and third and fourth and so on. Clear through the eighth grade in one building. The building is still in Yerington. I think it’s a museum now. It ought to be. 16 Feels that long ago, doesn’t it? Were you in classes with your sister? Oh, no, no. She was called Baby and she was much younger than I was. I was way ahead of her. Well, I was only five years older than she was. There’s five years between myself and my sister. George is in between. Were you in classes with George, ever? No, I never was in class with any of them. So they didn’t cause you any problems in school then. George was a problem. I can say this, I don’t think people had too much understanding of children at that time. You were suppose to be more seen and not heard. I look back and think how George could have been treated much more kindly than he was. If he did anything wrong, my dad would get out the razor strap. That was the strap that he stropped his razor on for shaving. And George would get it. George did not necessarily need that. He needed more understanding and a lot less of that. But that’s what he got and it did affect him for the rest of his life, I think. I think there was a big difference. Boys were expected to act one way and girls were expected to act the other way. Well George was very active, very full of life. And he got in trouble. I don’t know. I never heard of anything that was so terrible that he did, but he certainly got told about it anyway. He got the strap too. Yeah, he got the strap. 17 The girls would not get the strap. No, we didn’t get it. Can you remember one thing that George did that he got the strap for? Oh yes, I could in Tonopah [Nevada]. I remember when he got – it was very unfair and I still think of it. It was terribly unfair. Would you like to tell us about it? Well that was in Tonopah when he was much older. There was a little boy came to town who was nothing. He was just an orphan. He was living in a house someplace and the town sort of turned out to help him because he was this lone little orphan. People were trying to help him. Somebody stole things from his place and somebody attached it to George. George said he didn’t take those things. I don’t know what it was, whether it was candy or something. The police got on him and when the police came, my dad would have none of it. If the police came, then he was guilty. Of course the policeman was looking for somebody to blame it on. The police had George reporting every week for, I don’t know how long. But he was still in town. I don’t know where they thought he’d go. He got the razor strap then, terribly. But he swears to this day, he never touched it. He never took it. It was not his fault. He had nothing to do with it. A whole different set of rules that you were living by. Anyway, it was discipline. Always discipline. Not much talking. 18 No, not much talking and very little understanding. Discipline first, and then you understood. What about with the girls, did you just not do anything wrong? We had a much easier time. And George was a rambunctious, loud boy, very loud and very rambunctious. That in itself, he created it. If he’d have just been quieter and approached things [differently]. I used to say, I could always go in quietly and ask my mother for something, and I got it. But George would slam-bang through the house and “wham,” and he never got anything. So even though it was acceptable for a boy to be a little bit more rambunctious, it still didn’t bring about good results for George. No. He wasn’t treated too well. [Six lines deleted] How long did you live in Yerington before you moved to Tonopah? I think I was in the sixth grade. Yeah, because I went seventh and eighth grade in Tonopah. Seventh and eighth, through the freshman year and all but the senior year of high school, I was in Tonopah. So we were in Tonopah all that time. I’m assuming you moved to Tonopah because your father was going to do dentistry work or do you remember why? I don’t really know why. I think Pop thought he could probably better himself by moving to Tonopah at that time. Maybe Clarethel could tell you but I can’t. Unfortunately she couldn’t tell you now. No, I don’t know why. I know why we left there. 19 Why? Well that was because that was during the depression. The mines closed and everything dried up in Tonopah. This is when we left Tonopah. That’s when we came down here, practically the same time as the Garsides and the Ronzones, all three of us. And your father, the Garsides, and the Ronzones were friends in Tonopah. Oh yes. Had you been in Tonopah for about four years? Well, four or five or six years. But you really don’t know why you left Yerington to go to Tonopah. No I don’t. I can remember why we left Tonopah to come to [Las] Vegas. Oh, I can remember when we went from Yerington to Tonopah. Pop had got some man to bring us in a car. I remember it because there were no roads. It was a path, no highways. The path was pretty well worn. You could see where to go but you simply went around big bushes or if it was a gully, you’d take the easiest way to go. It was all twisty and rattley. We traveled from Yerington to Tonopah and it took us all day. We arrived in Tonopah in the dark of night and Pop had bought a house. So we had a house to live in and it was quite a nice house, for the time. It was up on the hill. The house was later moved, I think, to Carson City or someplace. Somebody moved it. We didn’t move it. We sold it. The house had a player piano in it. I do remember that. I can remember the inside of the house. I thought it was wonderful. 20 You moved down and a car brought you, your mother, your sister, and your brother. Did you bring any of your furnishings? We brought just the usual, dishes and things. I don’t remember how we got all of that. I know we brought it somehow. There must have been another way of moving that. There was probably moving trucks and moving vans back then. But the house was furnished. It was already furnished. And I mean it was furnished. It had dishes in it, even. It was quite nice. It had belonged to another doctor. A doctor’s family had owned it previously and then we went into it. I’m wondering if the house was your father’s dentist office. Oh no, he had an office downtown. In fact it was in what we called the bank building downtown. He was on the second floor and there was an elevator. The elevator is still there but it’s blocked off now and no one can use it. But we used to use it. But the bank building is still in Tonopah? Oh yes, the bank building’s there. It’s all there. The second floor was his office. There was a beauty parlor on that floor, too. It was really just rooms and some people lived in some of the rooms and the beauty shop was in one of the rooms and Pop’s office was in another. There was an attorney next door to him, Campbell. He was an attorney who practiced law here for many years. He practiced law here. It seems to me he came from Tonopah too. Dr. Cherry, who was very prominent here at one time, came from Goldfield. All of you came about the same time, into Las Vegas, in the early 1930s it sounds like. 21 I think they all kind of moved around that time. When the mines weren’t doing well in Tonopah. I think the Army has brought Tonopah back. But in the 1930s as the gold mining declined – There was nothing. This is Kay Long and today is September 1, 1998. I’m here with Rachel Gibson and we’re going to continue our conversation today. We’re going to start out today in Tonopah, as Rachel remembers some of the activities. We’ll let Rachel tell us about what was happening in Tonopah as she was a pre-teen. I think as I look back on it, it was kind of a stark time. The P.T.A. [Parent Teachers Association]. There had been dissension within the P.T.A. and there was known. So we had no parent organization in the school. The most important thing about the school was the basketball team and it was the boy’s basketball team. The boy’s basketball team and Saturday night dances, were about the only recreation people went to other than the theater. The theater was small. We had a man named Dutch, who used to play the piano. We had the piano to accompany all of the movies. He was very good. He knew how to play the proper noise or make the proper sounds for various times during the movie. He seemed to be wonderful at it and we all thought he was wonderful. And of course the movies were silent movies. They were very silent. Were they on every day of the week? 22 I think every day of the week, but I’m not sure that they were every day. But he’d play the music, which would depict what was going on in the movie. It was a black-and-white movie and there were captions or writing on the movie that you had to read. So that explained the movie. I think we all kind of learned how to read from that. Of course we went to school. The teachers were good in their way, as far as that goes. It put the written word in front of you. Yes. Now I can’t read fast enough to keep up with it sometimes. Let me ask you about there not being a P.T.A.. Do you remember what happened with the organization? No. My mother never even got started in it. I don’t know that she would have, too much. My dad wasn’t very happy about anything. He wanted her not – I don’t know, he just didn’t believe in organization. Although Pop was in, I don’t know if it was the Lions Club. There was another men’s organization. My husband was Kiwanis. I’ve forgotten the one that Pop belonged to. Was it the Masons? The Masons were in town. The Masons were quite strong in Tonopah, but that wasn’t a woman’s organization. But was that what your father belonged to? No, he never was a Mason but he was in this other organization. It was like the Kiwanis. Oh, the Rotary Club was what he belonged to at that time. As far as your mother belonging to a club, you feel he was not – 23 She didn’t have anything. I feel in a way now, it was such an empty life. But we were very happy. We thought it was wonderful. We had that wonderful basketball team. We all toadied to the basketball team. How often did they play? Oh, during school they’d play every week. They’d either be out of town or in town. Then we’d always have a meeting afterwards, when they’d come in. They’d always say, “We had a good trip going down, and it was better comin’ back.” All these boys would say the same thing. We’d all laugh and think how wonderful that assembly was because we had all these boys talking. But they all had a good trip goin’ down. Maybe somebody did something a little different on the way back and we’d laugh uproariously. It was so funny. This was an assembly held at the school, after they came back from a basketball game? After they came back and especially if they won the game. Especially then, they’d tell you all about it. Tell me some of the cities they would play against. I remember Hawthorne and Sparks and Reno. I don’t remember but I guess they played Las Vegas. I don’t know. They played all the little towns around in Nevada. Was basketball quite a popular sport for the high schools at that time? Yes it was. Do you know if there were baseball teams as well? 24 They played baseball out on the playing grounds, but nobody was very much interested in it. The girls played baseball. I was perfectly terrible with baseball. They used to choose sides and the good players, of course, got chosen. Then when there was nobody else left, I could be on that team because I was absolutely no good at all. I had the same experience with baseball. I close my eyes when a ball comes to me. And if you close your eyes, you’re no good, absolutely not any good. So as a young woman, there wasn’t a lot of activities. No. Although you did mention dances. Were there dances? Well we had dances. It was Saturday-night dances.1 This is side two of September 1, 1998 interview with Rachel Gibson at her home. We were just speaking about dances in Tonopah. Well, the high school had some dances and there was a dance downtown sometimes. The dances downtown, I think, were very popular. I never danced. I always thought that I couldn’t dance. My family felt very badly that I wasn’t dancing. My dad even paid to have me have dancing lessons. I had dancing lessons. This is something that nobody else had because I would go to visit my aunt in the summer and there were places where we could have dancing lessons. So I had dancing lessons in the summer. But then of course, no boys ever asked me. I was an outsider, definitely. I was a long way from being the popular girl in the school. Where did you get the dancing lessons? 25 Oh, I went in Berkeley, California. That’s where your aunt was at. Yes. Did you spend the summer with your aunt in Berkeley? Yes, sometimes I would. It was very nice there. But you came back in the fall and you were a dancer. I wasn’t a dancer. I never danced. Did you feel comfortable with dancing after the lessons? No. I think people unconsciously did it, but I was afraid of boys somehow. But then I had a brother. I don’t know why I was afraid of boys. This was pre-teenage, right? Are you about twelve? I was twelve when I started there and then twelve onto fourteen and fifteen I was there. I never danced. You didn’t dance with the boys. No. But when I came from Tonopah to Vegas, I started dancing. So it was just the early teenage years that you were a little hesitant about boys. Yes, and no boy ever asked me so I always sat on the sidelines. Were they asking the other girls? 1 End side 1, tape 1 26 Yes, some of the other girls were dancing. I wonder why they didn’t have some classes for dancing and why they weren’t trained. The boys didn’t do it well. They didn’t know how and the girls had to follow what they did, which wasn’t good. I wish there had been more training in dancing. As for music, I signed up for music and usually the teacher didn’t show up or something. We very seldom ever had anything resembling music and if we did it was to sing a couple of popular songs with the piano and that was the end of it. There was no part-singing or anything of that sort. Was that part of the school curriculum? Yes, it was part of the curriculum but that’s what there was. If the teacher didn’t show up, you didn’t have the class. And our P.E. classes, we’d line up according to our height and I was pretty close to the front of the line because I was tall. But I wasn’t as tall as the tallest. I think there were two or three who were taller than I was. We’d march. We’d march around the gymnasium and then learn how to come down, two at a time, down the middle – then four at a time and six at a time, and keep straight lines and turn square corners. That was our P.E. Sometimes we played baseball out on the playground. Do you have any idea what the marching was for? Were you going to do a parade? Did you ever march in a parade? No, there was no “what for.” That was to exercise. I don’t know. Wouldn’t we like to find that P.E. teacher now and find out. Yeah I would. 27 I’m interested as far as the school. It sounds like it was a rather large school in Tonopah at the time. We had one building and the upstairs was the high school and then downstairs was the elementary. It was just one building. Where was the gymnasium located? Was it part of that building? Yes, it was on the ground floor with the elementary school. There were two wings and the lower grades were in one wing and the seventh and eighth in the other wing. Do you remember any of your teachers’ names? Oh, Miss Blake was very much in evidence. Yes, I can remember Miss Bradley and Miss Slaven. The Slavens lived up the hill from us. Oh yes, I remember those people. When they were teaching you at this time, were you in the lower part of the school or were you in the high school? I was in seventh and eighth. Did you change classes? No, the teacher came there. We had Mr. Long, who taught here. We knew him before you did. He was in Tonopah. I remember Mr. Long telling us that we should never expose our knees because there were veins going over the top of your knee and you would suffer from, I guess, cold or something if you exposed your knees. Had your family told you that before or was this just Mr. Long? No, my family didn’t tell me that. Anyway, girls wanted to roll their stockings down below their knees and that was very bad. 28 Could a boy have shown his knees? No, boys always wore long pants. I never heard of a boy showing his knees. They never, ever wore shorts or pants. The girls all wore dresses and boys wore the pants. Were the dresses above the knee or below the knee? Below the knee, and then we had pull-up stockings. They were so awkward. Were these the cotton ones that you were telling me about before? Yes, mostly they were just cotton stockings. That’s all. They never stayed up very good. You were pulling at your stockings all of the time. But according to Mr. Long, you needed to keep your knees covered. Yes. Did you hear that from anybody else? No, I just remembered Mr. Long telling us that in class. I remember one time when I was looking down in my desk, our books were kept on a level below the top of it, and Miss Slaven just jumped all over me because I always had my head hidden and, “What did I think I was doing down there?” What were you doing? Anyway I still remember it because I was so embarrassed. And what was I doing? I don’t know. [laughing] Do you think you were sneaking and reading another book or something? 29 I might have been. Now I wish I’d been more of the devil than I was. I was always the goody-goody. I was a pain in the neck. I really was an awful pain in the neck. Were you a tattle-tale? Oh no, not a tattle-tale. But I did the right thing. Oh, one day I did play hooky and my dad received a notice through the mail. He brought it home and put it on the table in front of me and I said, “Yes.” Pop looked at it and he kind of laughed and walked off. Never was anything done about it. The only time you ever did anything wrong, so to speak, and you got caught. We had a golf course. I remember we went to the golf course instead of going to the gym class or something. I mean it was a city golf course. It wasn’t a school golf course. And you should see the golf course. There were hills in amongst the sagebrush. There was nothing else but the markings for various holes. My dad liked to play golf and he played with