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Interview with Gracian Uhalde, December 1, 2006

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Uhalde, Gracian Michael. Interview, 2006 December 01. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Gracian N. Uhalde Adaven Ranch, Nevada December 1, 2006 Interview Conducted By Leisl Carr © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Gracian N. Uhalde December 1, 2006 Conducted by Leisl Carr Table of Contents Introduction: birth ( Ely, NV, 1952), family background, education, life in rural Nevada, relationships to other ranching families 1 Memories of Sedan ( 1962), and experiences with and anger at government officials during testing 7 Visits by officials from the U. S. Department of the Army, and anger at use as “ guinea pigs” 11 Observations of pink clouds after shots 13 Business and cycle of the Adaven Ranch historically 14 Similarities and differences of lifestyle from childhood to present 17 Use of llamas and dogs in sheep herding 18 Relationships with Ken Giles, Don James, and others re: air- quality monitoring station on Adaven Ranch 21 Family and personal health issues believed related to testing 23 Growth of summer community around the Adaven Ranch, and what the encroachment of the Las Vegas community means to the rural lifestyle 24 Geography and isolation of the rural Nevada landscape 27 Nuisance factor of recreationalists encroaching on private rural land 28 Work on Nevada Wild Horse Commission: early experiences with wild horses, possible impact of NTS on wild horses, sale of private land for NTS and other government uses, involvement with publication on Nevada wild horses 30 Opinion on possible impact of “ nuclear railroad” on rural Nevada 36 Public involvement: BLM Resource Advisory Council, Nevada Wild Horse Commission, N- 4 Grazing Board, Nevada Woolgrowers Association ( past president), Adaven Ranch continues self- supporting, living through harsh winters in rural Nevada 39 Gradual transition from old to new rural life in Nevada 42 Children and family, and higher education opportunities for children in the face of a fading rural lifestyle 44 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Gracian N. Uhalde December 1, 2006 at the Adaven Ranch, Nevada Conducted by Leisl Carr [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Leisl Carr: All right, we’re at the Uhalde Ranch, doing an interview with Gracian Uhalde, and he’s going to tell us a little bit about himself, where he was born, and we’ll move on to some topical issues. Gracian Uhalde: Yes, my name is Gracian Uhalde. I was born in Ely, Nevada. My parents [ Gracian Michael Uhalde and Helen Uhalde] are lifelong ranchers in White Pine, Lincoln, and Nye Counties. We’re now at the Adaven Ranch, which is Nevada spelled backwards, approximately 110 miles from Tonopah and a hundred miles from Ely. This is basically where my background with the illustrious atomic testing took place. My parents were ranchers. I’m the third generation. My sons are the fourth generation to live here. I basically grew up here. We transported ourselves to town to school during the weekdays and back home on the weekends. Where was school? Ely. They had a program where they paid you mileage to go to school if you were out here in a rural place someplace. I forget what that [ was]— it wasn’t very much but it helped. And Ely was 110 miles which there’s forty miles of dirt road no matter which direction you go, which nowadays is good. My educational background is [ that] I’m the smartest guy in the world and I have not graduated from the school of hard knocks yet. What is it like living—? [ Telephone rings] [ 00: 01: 43] End Track 2, Disc 1. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 3, Disc 1. We kind of started out on this baby. School. School of hard knocks. Oh, OK. What is your educational background? High school? Yeah, high school education, technically. I didn’t have to go to college. I was already too smart at that point in my life. Living in rural Nevada was great. It was the only way to go. You didn’t see people very often and it was fun when you did. I wish I could say that today. Did you grow up out here? Yes, ma’am. On this very property. Right here, yeah. Nice. And your sons did, too? Yes, ma’am. They were home- schooled till the eighth grade and then they had to interface with society. Did they go to Ely? Yes, and Jordan Valley, Oregon. Oregon? Yes. That’s where their mother is from. Oh. Wow. I was going to say, that’s a long drive on a regular basis. They did high school, too? Yeah, they did high school. They’ve all been to college. I have a daughter who’s a vet. Are they the first that went to college in your family? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 No, both my sisters went to college. I was the only one that was too smart. You stayed here on the ranch. Well, you couldn’t have taught me anything anyway. I already knew it all. And you said that your— was it your great- grandparents that came here to the States in 1881? No, my grandparents. My grandfather came in 1881, and then he sent for my grandmother. So that would make you third generation American? Yes. And then my dad, they bought the other place north and west of Ely first and they went to school in the town of Cherry Creek. They took two years to learn English, so they repeated a couple of grades. Only two years. I still can’t speak French and I’ve had four, so good on them. Yes, well, they spoke Basque. Did they? That’s how they survived. But it was an interesting time, I believe. My grandfather had a brother who married my grandmother’s twin sister. So there’s a family in Ely, my aunt, that’s a double first cousin on both sides. Right, because the brothers married twin sisters. And then the brother, his name was Gracian, he died of the Spanish flu out at Thirty Mile at the ranch in 1917? Is that when that flu—? It was part of that major flu epidemic? Yeah. I don’t remember what year, but I can look it up. [ Spanish Flu pandemic 1918- 1920] Anyway, he died, and they couldn’t get to town, so they wrapped him up in canvas and put him under the eaves out there and kept him in the ice until they could get [ to town.] They didn’t have UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 vehicles then, I’m sure they had to come by horse, so it must’ve been in 1917. I don’t believe there were vehicles at that time. They put him in a wagon and hauled him to town in the spring. So then, that sister, the twin sister, married a fellow by the name of Bert Paris. I’ve heard the Paris name. OK, and then they ended up kind of like we did, coming south. In the winter we range in Garden and Coal Valleys and Sand Spring Valley, which Rachel [ Nevada] is in. And then they came south and we kind of— besides being interrelated, we’re intermingled in the range process. I brought this map because I wanted to know exactly where this stuff is, and we can mark on this. Here’s the [ Nevada] test site, and here’s Railroad Valley. Yes, and here we are. Right here? Right inside the forest there, yeah. [ Humboldt- Toiyabe National Forest] Then this would be Coal Valley here, and this is Garden Valley. And Parises came over here but they went down Coal Valley, and then up at Thirty Mile we’re intermingled, too. Where’s Thirty Mile? It’d be in Butte Valley [ about 30 miles northwest of Ely]. About right here? Well, yes. The other ranch is Thirty Mile. It’d be right about there. And then Parises lived over the hill from Cherry Creek and that way. So the ranges both kind of sweep that way, then we come south down here for the winter, just like a bunch of gypsies, kind of moving all the time. This is Coal Valley right here. Yes. Then around in through these hills in Tempiute— in fact, actually, my uncle Bert Paris went south at Tempiute, down to the highway there. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 You guys have been here since the twenties? Before? Yes. It was kind of something that evolved. Well, yeah, I’m sure. And then relative to some of the other families, like the Sharps and the Whipples and the Fallinis, I know they have multiple places scattered throughout here, but they’re up in— Railroad Valley and— Just across the Grant Range. Yes, just over the hill. [ 00: 05: 00] Do you know the mileage on that? The mileage? Yes, how far, maybe as the crow flies? Well, to the Bordoli place, would be the first place over the top of the mountain, I would say it’s probably not over fifteen miles. There were two brothers there, too, two Italian brothers that are related to the Fallinis, Jack Bordoli— Yeah, they married a sister, or the guy married a sister. But they had a boy, Jack Bordoli had a son that died of leukemia. Yes. Same age as I was. He was the same age as you? Yes, seems like it. He died young. Yes. He died at seven or eight. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 It was a sad, sad deal. And they were great people, great neighbors, too. I remember the little kid, you know. We called him Butch but I don’t know what his real name was [ Martin]. It was Butchy Bordoli. I’ll look that up. Basically we were about the closest neighbors we had. The Bordolis? Yes. But they left. Yeah, after Butchy died. OK. So that would mean that your family and your relatives range here on this side of Railroad Valley, and then Railroad Valley itself through the Pancake Range, and how do you pronounce that, the Reveille? Reveille. The Reveille Range. These are Sharps, Uhaldes— Sharps, Fallinis— Fallinis. Bordolis. Whipples? Are they in there somewhere? I don’t think Whipples are there. OK. I know I saw a Whipple Ranch down at— Yes, in the Pahranagat Valley. Pretty strong [ there]. How far do you think your ranch is from the border of the test site? Oh, as the crow flies, I think forty miles. I wondered about that. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 You and I are going to take a ride up here and I’ll show you. We used to go up to this pass and then look south and see where the pink cloud was and see who was going to get [ fallout]. So you’re a little kid. A little kid. You were born in ’ 52? Yes. And you were a little kid when— you’d be ten when Sedan— did I write that down? I wrote that date down. [ Sedan July 6, 1962] Yes. When the Sedan crater was made. Yes. Ten years old. Tell me about the “ snow”. Tell you about it now, or tell you about it then? Tell me about it back then. Back then, I was probably scared shitless. Now I’m just mad beyond belief or— I don’t know how you can say it. But all I can remember is, as a little kid, I can remember people coming around and they made us wear these badges that I didn’t know what it was for. I didn’t understand how something that you couldn’t see could hurt you. But then when they shot the Sedan crater off and it looked like it was snowing here, I mean it looked like it was going to put down two inches of snow. I remember that well. That really— I think I had nightmares and everything after that because that kind of brought it home. Before, you couldn’t see it, so I didn’t understand how— but then, you know, you got this ash and dust sitting up here, stabbing you— Who told you not to get it on you? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Well, my dad and mother wouldn’t let us go outside. I think it was three or four days they didn’t let us go out. And then, whoever the first people who came around were, and I don’t remember faces and names until Don James, but whatever they instilled— I remember they came and took our milk cows because they wanted to test the iodine[- 131], and the strontium- 90 gets in the milk first thing and all that whole baloney. I can remember my dad being just livid because he didn’t think they knew any more than we did about what the hell they were doing. He knew that they were being so secretive and so stupid about it that it could only mean something bad. So before Don James, there were people that came out? There were people, yeah. There was different versions of people. My mother, she lives in Ely, I don’t know if she would remember names or not. That’s OK, it doesn’t matter. But Don James was basically the first person that infiltrated— or maybe he came over to our side or something— but everybody liked Don James because I think he didn’t have all the answers and he didn’t really care. He was just here basically to have a good time and to do whatever he could do. He was a real human being, you know. These other guys that came around in these monkey suits and stuff, you’d just as well shoot them as look at them. Did he dress differently? Don? Yes, just like us. He was always happy- go- lucky and girls hanging out the front and out of the back of the pickup. I’m sure. God, he was a dandy. He was the first guy I remember. How old were you when you remember that? Little? It wasn’t too far after Sedan. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 [ 00: 10: 00] OK. I don’t remember when Don James first came out here. In fact, I’m not sure he wasn’t the one that gave us the word about it, because they used to come around and tell you, We’re having a shot, and all this crap. If it gets bad enough, we’ll bring helicopters in and fly you out. My dad said, Bullshit, you’ll never do that. And they didn’t. So my dad, being suspicious and not trusting the government and thinking they were lying, bought a Geiger counter and scintillator. I don’t remember if the scintillator was a finer- tuning machine than the Geiger counter, but he really went off on this one. I do remember when they did the Sedan shot, we were haying and then after that, he took the Geiger counter over to the haystack and it just went berserk. Wait a minute. So you had hay cut on the ground, drying, waiting to be baled. Yes. Right. And then Sedan was shot. Yes. And then he measured it. Did he keep a record of that? No. He was just mad about it all the time. It was a constant state. Every time that subject came up, it just infuriated him. What happened to that hay? I imagine the livestock ate it. And to my knowledge, there weren’t any deaths. But one thing I can tell you, and Kenny [ Kenneth] Giles who works for DRI [ Desert Research Institute] told me that— I remember with my own two hands and face that I saw a deer show up with patches of burnt skin. Kenny Giles says that couldn’t have been and didn’t happen. Well, bullshit, I saw it. I know what I saw. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Absolutely. That’s an interesting thing that you, living here, saw things. It’s not like you didn’t see them. So what did they tell you about that? Like you said Kenny said you didn’t see it. Well, this is later. He said that couldn’t have been, you know, nothing was that strong. Well, you believe what you want, but I know what I saw. Did these kind of things get reported? Did you have to tell anybody about the deer? How did that work? I think my dad probably told them, but he despised them so much for being liars— I mean they proved themselves liars. Stupidity ruled, time and time again. I mean it was basically there was no point in— it was nothing you could control, and there really wasn’t a whole lot— he had no use for these people. There really wasn’t a lot of use, you know, when we did wear the stupid badges and all that crap. How old were you when you got the badges, do you remember? I can’t remember and I can’t even— there used to be one around here and things and I can’t even find that nowadays. They’re primitive things, the early ones. They had the little clip you hooked here. They were something. And I guess they had a microfilm in them, didn’t they? Come to think of it now. Their proper name is a dosimeter badge, and they had film, and the film would apparently take measurements of radiation, and it would change color or something when it got to a certain point. About the time you died. Yeah, I don’t know. Something changed color. Maybe it was just you. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 Yeah, maybe. I’ve never even seen one. After rigor mortis. Oh, God. So what kind of things would these guys tell you? I mean were these men in uniform that would come here and tell—? It seems like there were men in uniform, from the Department of the Army, at different times. Oh, I hadn’t put that together. Yes. Well, you know, when they first did some of those, they used military soldiers down there close to a lot of them. Yes. The atomic veterans, I think is what they’re called now. Right. I think that is. So the Army officials would come out. What did they tell you to do? Stay inside? Yes, then they brought that little book. [ Atomic Tests in Nevada, Atomic Energy Commission, 1957] The Atomic Tests in Nevada? And this was supposed to be your guide? Yes. It was a little cartoon book. This here is the hand manual, “ Better Living Through Modern Chemistry.” In other words, how to avoid radiation exposure or something like that. Geez. Oh, yeah. How many roentgens had this and this had and that had. What did that mean to you, as a kid? Hey, that was my first experience with the phrase, “ I am from the government and I am here to help.” And after that, I need to know no more. Is that what they told you? Basically, in a roundabout way. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 “ I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” And how did that translate in your life. I mean what did it mean? You had to stay inside for three days. On that shot, yeah. On the Sedan shot. It translated into my life as basically every time atomic energy or they had a shot or whatever, my dad would be mad for three days. They were using us for guinea pigs and they weren’t fooling anybody and they didn’t have brains enough to pull it off, not smart enough to fool someone. [ 00: 15: 00] What kind of things did your dad say? Can you tell me specifically? Well: they’re sons- of- bitches, there’s no use talking to them, they’re just a bunch of liars and best thing they can do is stay the hell out of here. They’re going to do what they’re going to do anyway, no matter what it matters to us. And we don’t matter to them either. So your dad didn’t feel like there was any recourse? No, not really. That he had no one to talk to. That’s not a very good position to be in. No. So we basically went on and lived our lives the best we could. But Joe Fallini’s dad and those, like they were one of our closest neighbors. Then after Bordolis left, they were gone, so that— and I really don’t remember a whole lot about those days in ’ 62 when they set that Sedan off. That was the first time that the reality ever hit me that you know I could actually see something coming down that I knew was bad. And you saw it. Thick? Oh, yeah. I mean, July, and it looked like it was snowing in December here. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 I forget how many tons of earth it moved but I took a tour and there’s a plaque outside the crater that says basically how much. Yes, I took a tour and went and saw that, too. Did you? What did you think of that? Oh, I don’t know that I had any mixed emotions. I think what they did was all right for them, if they could’ve contained it and kept it there. But I mean there was— you’d just go up here and watch the pink cloud and figure out which direction it was going and who was going to get nailed. And it looked like verga, you know, basically. Yes, the rain that doesn’t quite hit the ground. Yes, other than the clouds were always kind of a pink or an angry red, depending on how many kilotons or whatever, I believe. I don’t know why that is. I mean I’ve heard people talk about the pink cloud, but you actually saw it, and I wish I could tell you why it was pink. Do you know? No, I really don’t. It’s kind of an awkward thing to see in the sky. Basically I think, for my family and things, the pink cloud meant, get ready, you know, either we’re going to get it or somebody’s getting it today. But it’s coming? Yes. That it either was headed like up our direction, Railroad Valley, Queen City Summit, or towards St. George [ Utah]. North or northeast, or east. How many times do you recall seeing a pink cloud? I mean literally seeing it coming. I would say at least half- a- dozen. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 Yeah? Between— you were about ten when Sedan went? Yes. Were they all after Sedan? Some could’ve been before and some after. OK, but around that time? Yes. By the time you were in high school, though, do you recall seeing anything after that? No, I don’t think. In the late sixties and seventies, no, there wasn’t. After Don James, there were a couple of other people. There were some bigwigs that used to come around once in a while, but you’d have to ask Chuck Costa. He was, I don’t know, kind of an all- right guy but not really. I don’t know how you say it. He said all the right things, but my dad by then was so certain that he— my dad was certain by then of what they’d done and things, that he had no use for any of them. The only thing that got Jamesy by was that he was just a kid and here to have fun, too, so let him go. He got a free pass. He got a free pass because he was just that guy. How nice. Yes. Between the chicks and the truck and— nice. Very cool. The business of the ranch at this time was cattle? Cattle and sheep. And sheep. Has it always been cattle and sheep? It’s always been sheep and cattle. Approximately five thousand sheep and five to eight hundred cows. And you run your own pasture. You make hay? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 Yes. Do you irrigate? Yes. And the water source is? Cherry Creek. Which runs right out here? Yes, it starts on the east side of the mountain but high up towards the top and then flows down the canyon. And I need to get a picture of the cycle of the ranch. I know now you’re here. Oh, OK. Winter, everything? The sheep trail from White Pine County down here to Nye County and Lincoln Counties. The cattle are trucked. And then the first of April, everything starts back. So by “ trail” you mean they’re actually run on the ground? Yes. Moved slowly? [ 00: 20: 00] Fifteen days, yes, from one place to the other. Oh, wow. Is that still done this way? Yes. When you brought the sheep down, that’s how. Yes. Wow. Now, that I wouldn’t have put together. But the cattle are trucked. Yes. Why? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 Too many neighbors, I guess, for the cattle to go through, whereas sheep, there’s basically Paris, Uhalde, and Carver Sheep Company, which was Tony Omancherria [ sp], another Basque fellow that came down the White River. They went to White River along where the highway is and just north of Sunnyside, everybody split. Paris went down the middle, we came down the west side, and Tony Baloney, we called him, he’s known as Tony Baloney, went east. That’s nice. So you all brought your sheep down together. Yes, approximately. I think Tony had about eight thousand and Paris had about six thousand and we had about a little over five thousand. Did you participate in this when you were a kid? Yes. And it’s been going on like this since? Yes, almost since before Jesus was a baby. That’s a long time. Seems like it to me anyway. When you’re a kid and you’re going to school, you’d be sent out during the winter to go to school? My mother, we’d come home on weekends, depending on the winter. We always had a house in Ely, but if the weather permitting. And then summertime, my uncle took care of everything up north, the cattle and the sheep. My dad would get the cattle up there and then we’d ride and put the cattle on the mountain and come back here to hay, when I was a kid. And the split between Ely and here is because of why? Basically summer ranges and winter ranges. OK, so it’s just a matter of grass. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 Winter pasture and summer pasture, yeah. Do they irrigate up in Ely, too? We have some irrigated ground, but mostly you need the hay and things for winter, so that’s mostly grazing and rangeland. So that rangeland up in Ely is pretty much natural pasture? Yes. And I think total there’s about a little over ten thousand acres. Is this in Spring Valley, by any chance? No, we’re in Butte Valley. We’re in Butte Valley and then two herds go to the Schell Creek Range in the summer on forest [ land]. We’ve got basically that part of the outfit is summertime is about a third of the outfit and the rest of it’s in Butte Valley. And that’s about ten thousand acres? Yes, altogether. Private land. And then I think four hundred something thousand is BLM [ Bureau of Land Management] forest lease. So a little bit of government land. Yes, well, four hundred thousand acres, approximately. Oh, OK, that’s more than a little bit. And what I’m interested in is the continuation between your lifestyle as a kid to now. Has it changed in any way? Really, it hasn’t. I think I���ve been very lucky. OK, that’s interesting. But with this generation, my sons that are here now, it’s different already. How? We used to live out at the end of the road and you didn’t see anybody for months here and things. Now every year Vegas gets a little bit closer and the roads are better. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 18 That’s a pretty well- graded road coming down here. Yes, and we see more people. Who’s doing the grading? The counties. OK. Not the BLM? No, not on the county roads. This is just an aside question. Can you tell me about the llama that I saw out here the first time? Yeah, I can. I almost drove off the road because I saw a llama. We’ve had three or four. OK. Their purpose? Well, they’re supposed to be with the sheep and guard the sheep. Really. Yes. There were two brown ones but I think they ended up being gay because they never did hang out with the sheep, those two. My son got mad last year and shot one, and figured he’d make the other one suffer a lonely death of old age. The one I saw was brown, there was just one, and the sheep were in this pasture just west of the house here. So they’re supposed to protect the sheep. Yes. Have you always had llamas? No, that was the fad. The environmentalists and things say they’re the cure and the answer but the llamas I’ve seen, every sheep would die before the llama got attacked, let’s put it that way. There is such a thing as survival instinct. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 19 The dogs are good, though. I have to say the dogs— Like this one? [ Referring to the dog sitting near Mr. Uhalde.] [ 00: 25: 00] No, the white dogs. Those pups you saw when you were here. Two of them have gone out with the sheep and then the other two and the mother are still up here. But they were there this morning, with the sheep. What kind of dogs are these? Those are Okbosh, out of Turkey. They’re out of Turkey. They’re shorthaired. The most common guard dog is the Pyrenees, which is long, bigheaded, and dumb. Kind of like the Basque, because the Basque were kind of not real bright. You put them in a pickup or something and they slobber a lot. Drool. Oh, gosh. Those white ones, what are they again? Okbosh. They’re out of Turkey. That’s where they originate. They’re beautiful. They’re nice, too. They’re real friendly. I mean I can’t say they came up slobbering to lick me but they were definitely curious about who I was. And they weren’t barkers. They just wanted to know. And this one down here, he’s a cattle dog? Border Collie. Part Border Collie and part McNab. OK. Have you always used dogs? Yes. Your dad used dogs and— Ever since I was a little kid, we’ve always had dogs. But the llamas showed up. Oh, when did they become the fad? What, late eighties, early nineties? On the suggestion of whom? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 20 Whenever they came into being a fad, then that’s when all their particular uses came out as being pack animals and guard animals and all that stuff. Did your dad pick it up or did you? No, I tried them. Yeah? How long was your dad around for? Can I ask that question? He died probably eight years ago. He and my mother lived here until about ’ 96, ’ 98, and then— [ Telephone rings] Well, he grew up in the age where the smoking was good and he got emphysema. [ Answers telephone] [ 00: 27: 03] End Track 3, Disc 1. [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 4, Disc 1. What was I asking about? Oh, your dad. Can you tell me their names? Your dad was? My dad was Gracian Michael Uhalde. My name’s Gracian Neil. And the Neil and the Michael just showed up? Yes, that was my mother, the Neil part. She had a brother named Neil. She was from Wyoming. Her name is Helen Uhalde and she still resides in Ely. In fact, Kenny Giles takes her to breakfast, then whenever Jamesy’s up they go to breakfast. Did Kenny Giles show up after Don James? Yes. There were a couple of real knotheads. One guy had a wreck over the hill here, and I can’t remember his name. Jamesy would know him. And Kenny Giles, too. They weren’t— I don’t know how you say it— barely able to get around out here. I don’t know. A little different folks. Yes. I know. I know what that means, I think. That difference comes not just in dress. I mean I’m assuming they dressed differently. Did they? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 21 How do you say it? I think they came like once a month. They could drive here five months and maybe the sixth month they’d forget how to get here. Really. Yes, I mean I don’t know how you say it. Just— I don’t know. So you just had them— what was—? They had an air- quality monitoring station here. Kenny Giles or Don James could tell you more about who they were. They had a station here. Yes, when my mother— When was this? When did they put the station here, do you remember? I think they just pulled it out about three years ago. I’m trying to think of what group this is. Do you remember—? Well, it started out at the Atomic Energy Commission [ AEC] and then it went to the— who were they after that? So this is a station that’s been here since the AEC was— Yes, since the AEC days. OK. Continuously until—? Oh, well, when my mother left, they pulled it out and took it down to Heizer’s. And your mom left? Kenny Giles still monitors it, what, eight years ago or so. That’s interesting.