McMillan-Arnold, Jarmilla Interview, 2010 October 7. OH-02273. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
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An Interview with Jarmilla McMillan-Arnold An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White African American Collaborative Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©African Americans in Las Vegas: A Collaborative Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2012 COMMUNITY PARTNERS Henderson Libraries Las Vegas Clark County Public Libraries Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries Wiener-Rogers Law Library at William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas Las Vegas National Bar Association Vegas PBS Clark County Museum Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers, Editors and Project Assistants: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White, Stefani Evans. iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the African Americans in Las Vegas: A Collaborative Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada Las Vegas iv Preface Jarmilla McMillan-Arnold Jarmilla McMillan-Arnold’s father, Dr. James B. McMillan, was the first black dentist in the state of Nevada. Dr. McMillan’s colleagues consisted of Dr. West, the first black medical doctor in the state, and Dr. Ice, the first black surgeon in Nevada. This interview highlights and archives the solid foundation upon which Nevada’s black community was built. Jarmilla recalls early memories of growing up as the daughter of Las Vegas NAACP president Dr. McMillan. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a Caucasian and Indian mother who was a professional dancer. Jarmilla’s parents separated when she was very young and as a result she was raised by her paternal grandmother who owned a restaurant in Pontiac, Michigan. Jarmilla describes her grandmother as being well-known and highly regarded in the community where she maintained her business. Jarmilla attended Catholic schools in Detroit, Pontiac, and Las Vegas. Having moved to Las Vegas with her father, Jarmilla’s narrative offers keen insight into life on the Westside and living in Berkley Square. She discusses Strip integration, discrimination, and racism, in Las Vegas. Her first job was at a movie theater where ironically, as a patron, she had been previously asked to leave due to the color of her skin. She would later go on to work for the State of Nevada. v Table of Contents Interview with Jarmilla McMillan-Arnold October 7, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee D. White Preface …………………………………………………………………………………….….. iv Recalls childhood in Detroit and Pontiac, Michigan; daughter of Dr. James B. McMillan, a black dentist, and Doleeta V. Moore, a Caucasian and Indian dancer; attended Catholic schools; discusses parents separation and being raised by her paternal grandmother; grandmother owned a restaurant in Pontiac; Dr. McMillan and Dr. West owned a nightclub in Detroit……………... 1-6 Relocated to Las Vegas, Dr. McMillan was the first black dentist in Nevada; Dr. West was the first black medical doctor in Nevada; another family friend, Dr. Ice, was the first black surgeon; Woodrow Wilson was the first black city councilman; describes the differences about Detroit, Pontiac, D Street, and Berkley Square; black girls became debutantes through Les Femmes Douze; discusses business community and the entertainment on the Westside…………........ 6-21 NAACP; Dr. McMillan was the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Las Vegas branch; Strip integration; describes personal experiences of racism and discrimination on the Strip; discusses prominent figures who also lived on the Westside, Alice Key, Sarann Knight, Bob Bailey, Anna Bailey, Jimmy Gay, Helen Crozier; mentions the EOB, Economic Opportunity Board ………………………………………………………....21-51 1 This is Claytee White. It is October 7th, 2010. I am with Jarmilla McMillan in her home here in Las Vegas. Jarmilla, could you please pronounce your name correctly and spell it for me, please? Okay. It's Jarmilla Bernadette McMillan Arnold. J-A-R-M-I-L-L-A. McMillan, M-C-M-I-L-L-A-N. Arnold, A-R-N-O-L-D. Thank you so much. Now, can you tell me just a little about your childhood? And you can include your family members, what your parents did for a living, some of your first memories, where those memories took place. Well, I was born in Detroit, Michigan. So my early childhood took place in Detroit, and Pontiac, Michigan. My father is Dr. James B. McMillan, a dentist. My mother was Doleeta V. Moore. They were separated, oh, when I was about seven I would say. They were separated and then divorced. So my father kept us. Actually my grandmother raised us. She had a restaurant in Pontiac. So when I wasn't in Detroit with my father where he had a housekeeper -- he had a small house and we had a housekeeper and we stayed there and went to school. I went to Catholic schools. I went to Holy Rosary in Detroit. I also went to Marygrove Preschool, which was part of Marygrove College. My parents had two children. My brother, James, and I, we're about 18 months apart. So we were very close, very, very close. Me being the elder, I was always having to protect him and take care of him. So, yes, when we were staying with my dad, we went to school down on Woodward Avenue and we lived out on Cherry Lawn and 8 Mile Road, which in Detroit now is not such a very good area, but at that time was a very nice area because my father's office -- him and Dr. West, were in an office together there on Cherry Lawn and 8 Mile Road. He owned a nightclub across the street from there. Who owned the nightclub? Dr. Mac and Dr. West had a nightclub. But we lived about two blocks down in the neighborhood. So we'd have to walk up to Cherry Lawn, walk over to catch the bus. I was in first grade or second grade. And I'd have to walk to catch the bus in front of the drugstore. Well, the man that owned the drugstore knew who we were. So he watched out for us. So we'd catch the bus. And the bus driver knew who we were. We'd get on the bus, catch the bus to the fairgrounds in Detroit and switch from the bus to the streetcar and take the streetcar to downtown Detroit to school. That's where we'd go. Now, in preschool my dad used to take me to Marygrove, pick us up and take us. 2 And at that time I guess Catholic schools had to be pretty open because I don't remember it being an issue as far as color was concerned. So, in Catholic schools, I imagine there were issues with segregation -- I mean, in Detroit segregation was probably strong and there was probably racism. But I was always in Catholic schools and always the only black, my being the only black girl and my brother being the only black boy. Or if there was another black, I was always the only one in the class. So there may have been blacks in higher grades. There was never more than maybe ten or so blacks in the entire school. But when we lived with my grandmother -- Now, is this your father's mother or your mother's mother? It was my father's mother, Rosalie Benning. When we lived with her in Pontiac, we went to Catholic school, St. Frederick's. Everybody knew my grandmother. My grandmother had worked for the unions in Philadelphia. She had done a lot of political work. So the people in Pontiac where she had a restaurant, the non-blacks who delivered the food or the milk or the ice or the beer or whatever for her restaurant who owned those businesses, they knew her very well. She maintained a lot of respect. So we would walk to St. Frederick's daily. Again, we're in a Catholic school that went from kindergarten to 12th grade. In that entire school from kindergarten to 12th grade there may have been, a total of six blacks in that school. So was there a time when you were going back and forth or did you stay in Detroit for a certain number of years? There was a time I would stay with my dad. He served in I guess the reserves or something. So when he had to go out, then we'd go live with my grandmother. Or if my grandmother became upset with her son, she'd just come get us. So actually we ended up with her for a length of time because he wasn't married. So she just said, “No, I don't care for the woman that's taking care of my grandchildren; I want them here.” So she came and got us. Wow. Both your father and your grandmother were entrepreneurs. What did that teach you? What did that do for you? Actually more so than the entrepreneur thing for me, probably the strength of my grandmother. My grandmother was a strong woman. She was an outspoken woman, probably not as outspoken as I am. But she was an outspoken woman, and a hard worker. She was a very religious woman. She was Catholic and she went to church and prayed. And we had to attend church. She had a restaurant that had a bar and she carried a. 45. And they respected Mrs. Benning. 3 I remember one time my brother and I were walking down the street. This was a street that had other restaurants and clubs on it. It was a mixed environment of blacks and whites owning the clubs. But we were walking down the street. We had to go to the store for something. I overheard somebody say, “Oh, look at those little kids.” And the man said, “You know whose little kids those are?” He said, “Nah, huh-uh.” He said, “Those are Ms. Rosalie's little kids.” The man said, “Oh, okay.” So, in other words, it was like – back off! You knew you were safe. We knew we were safe in that neighborhood. Tell me about her background. You said that she worked for the unions. What kinds of stories did she tell you? You know, my grandmother never really shared any stories. The one story I remember she shared about her family -- she was born and raised in Mississippi. And her father was a white man, married to another woman. My great-grandmother was from the Indies, the African West Indies, so I think. I'm not sure if it was sharecropping or slavery at that time. But she had two sets of children, one by a black man and four by the white man. So it was my grandmother and three brothers that were raised in Mississippi. My grandmother said she got anything she wanted in that town in Mississippi. She had a carriage. She had a horse. She had anything she wanted. She could go anywhere she wanted in Mississippi because she was Gay's child. Her maiden name was Gay. Her father's name was Gay. Anywhere in that town or any store, she could walk in. She could do anything she wanted to do because those were his kids and the white folks knew they didn't mess with him. I had a picture of him. I think my cousin took it. But he was a tall, thin man, very tall. He was riding a horse. So he reminded me -- and this is probably a racist statement -- but he reminded me of a red neck cowboy. That's basically what he reminded me of. But my grandmother said they were spoiled, the four of them. The one brother, uncle Dunbar, he was in Pontiac. Then there was another brother Guy who went to Alabama. I'm not familiar with the middle brother. But the one that went to Alabama had shot a white man and he moved to Alabama. Granny used to say he sits on the porch with his shotgun because he was always waiting for the white folks to come get him and hang him. They never messed with him. It was just one of those things that happened. 4 But that particular side of the family, they all were very, very fair, very fine hair, freckles, thin lips. They were all tall and thin except for my grandmother and they all looked like red necks to me. But my uncle Dunbar was an alcoholic and he used to like to come take us to the movies. So my grandmother used to tell him in Pontiac, yes, you can take them, but you know you have to be sober. And he worked for Pontiac, General Motors. So every Sunday he'd come, he'd be sober. Whenever he wanted to spend time with us, he was sober. Now, he might be sober from Monday through Friday, but after five o'clock and then Friday through Sunday he might have had his issues. But they respected her and they were close. Then she had my aunt Nancy, who was on the other side. But they were close and they were brown skin in complexion. Aunt Nancy lived in Pontiac, too. But Aunt Nancy -- she's my favorite aunt -- must have had nine kids. My aunt Nancy learned how to drive when she was 80 years old. She was 80 years old when she drove a car. I love it! Isn't that something? She is something else. We used to walk to visit Aunt Nancy. Granny would send us up to Aunt Nancy. We'd walk up there and she'd be out in the yard digging and doing her vegetables. She could knit and crochet. It was exquisite work. She used to always try to teach me how to knit and crochet and it just didn't stick. But she did exquisite work. She was great. Her and my grandmother were very close, and my father. My father loved his aunt Nancy. He was very, very close and called her aunt Nancy. So that was your great-aunt? Yes. My grandmother's sister. Yes. And her kids. And her oldest son ended up being the dean of students at Howard University. There's a lot of intellect and intelligence. I guess it kind of slipped past me a little bit. No, it didn't. But in our family there was a lot of it there and a lot of accomplishments. So as far as my grandmother teaching me the entrepreneur thing to get back on it, no, not really. But education was important. How you carried yourself was important. Honesty was important. To stand proud was important. So the dancing, the fencing lessons, the acting lessons, the modeling lessons -- these are things that she saw that we would have. And the other thing she used to do is pick our friends. How did you like that? 5 It was my grandmother. I never thought about it. As long as I was with my grandmother, I guess because I trusted and knew that love was there -- and I think about it with my brother, too -- I don't think we ever really -- at that age it never seemed to be a problem for us because she just used to pick them. So we could only play with who she said we could play with. Whether they were black or white, they had to be somebody. Well, I love that kind of atmosphere and that kind of discipline. Yes. Yes. And you had the discipline of the Catholic school, as well. Oh, yes. Yes. And never ran into any racism -- I remember the teachers used to always come and request my clothes for the poor. And my mother, because they were separated, she always sent me dresses and clothes and stuff. My father wasn't into clothes, but my mother was always sending these boxes. And in these boxes were all these beautiful dresses and things. And at Christmas with my dad when we were little there was always toys. So where was your mother? My mother moved around because she had been a dancer. After she left from dad she was a dancer. In her world my mother being mixed -- and she was mixed. She was Caucasian and Indian, looking more Caucasian probably. She had been adopted by a black doctor out of Oklahoma. So she ended up going to Fisk. That's how she met my dad. But it was actually through the people that adopted her, those family members that I met, they said, “No, she's not black.” It's just that she was Indian. And in Oklahoma part Indian, you know, that was an issue. So she was Caucasian and Indian. So she ended up living on the other side of that wall. She lived on that Caucasian wall and that was her life. But she always would send us things. And my grandmother would always tell us about my mother, always. She would make us write letters and would show us pictures and say, “this is your mother.” So what would she tell you about your mother? She would just tell us that she loved us and that she was beautiful and she was dancing. And mom always called us and we always had to write little cards and things and send them to her. She would let us call her if she knew where she was at that time. Then my mother would come visit and she would stay because my grandmother had seven rooms upstairs at her house that she rented out. So she kept one room for visitors. So she'd come and stay with us. 6 Where were the places that she danced? Oh, gee, I couldn't even remember to tell you. I know that though here in Las Vegas she danced at the Showboat. Oh, my goodness! Yes. When she came here she was at the Showboat, exotic dancing. We're talking about the Josephine Baker type dancing? Yes. Yes. So she was in D.C. and Chicago. She was in Tennessee, Sacramento, Alaska. So she danced around. Oh, that's wonderful! Then she married again. How did you get to Las Vegas? Dr. James B. McMillan. Tell me that story and tell me who Dr. James B. McMillan is. Dr. James B. McMillan is a black dentist from Detroit. My father was the first black dentist in the state of Nevada. When he was in Detroit, he and Dr. West shared an office together. Then Dr. West moved to Las Vegas. And being as close as they were, Dr. West constantly talked to him to try to get him to come to Vegas. And I think he did come visit and Dr. West wanted to get him to stay here. You know, it's like -- his friends called him Mack. “You know, Mack, you'd be the first black dentist.” Dr. West was the first black medical doctor within this state. He wasn't married yet. But my father had met -- actually he had gone back into the service. I guess he was in the Korean War. He saw a picture of Mickie in Jet and became attracted to her and wrote her a letter and that’s how they met. Mickie was from Detroit. So he was from Detroit. Mickie was a model. She was also an X-ray technician at the Detroit Hospital. People did not realize this about Mickie, but she was a very intelligent woman. They came out here to get married. They came back and dad came to my grandmother and said, “Well, I want to take my kids.” We didn't want to go, but we were his kids. I remember him and my grandmother fussing. And she said, “Okay, I'm going to let you take your kids.” I remember her saying that – “But nothing better happen to them.” So how old were you at that time? I was eight, which made my brother seven, something like that, going on seven. Eight or nine. He 7 introduced us to Mickie in Detroit and I remember that. She used to take me to the hospital where she worked and I'd help do X-rays. That's what I always remembered and loved about Mickie. Mickie was in fashion shows. The next thing I knew I was in fashion shows. I mean, you know, she was just a very beautiful woman. I was like awestruck to see this. We used to fly from Detroit to Vegas and then back to Detroit. Then dad came and got us, so, we drove from Detroit to Las Vegas. We stopped in Oklahoma. We stopped at the Grand Canyon. Then we ended up here in Las Vegas. I remember us riding in the back of that Pontiac. I woke up and we were coming down D Street. And I looked around and broke out in tears. Why? I got completely hysterical. My father is a very stern man. He didn't like tears. “You know, you need to stop all that.” And I still cried, and my brother tried to console me. So what was so different about D Street from Detroit, from Pontiac? Well, Detroit and Pontiac, being older cities and more established -- you have to understand at that time you had General Motors and Pontiac and Chrysler. So you had these people that lived in brick homes. There was lots of the grass and trees. They had these beautiful buildings, old buildings, big buildings, no storefront. Even my grandmother's restaurant, the restaurant was in front, but we had this huge house in the back. Then we had a huge backyard. On top of that there was a big beautiful old house. The man that owned the cleaners that lived next to us had this huge, big, old white house. So you'd walk down the street with trees, big beautiful houses. That was the difference. You come down D Street and you're looking at storefronts. You're seeing a lot of space. You're seeing very small homes. Not that the people didn't work hard for these homes or keep these homes, it's just that it was a whole different culture in a sense to me, cultural shock to me as far as a city. What about the streets and the streetlights and all of that? Well, there were no streetlights. There were no sidewalks. So there weren't any. So that, again, was a shock. Until we got into Berkley Square. When we pulled into Berkley Square, now you've got sidewalks. You have a few streetlights, but you have sidewalks and streets. And you have a different look of a house, a more modern looking type of a home, single-story home, small, but single-story home. So we pulled up to this home. We lived at 524 Wyatt Avenue. We pulled up to that house. My father owned that house and the house next door that he rented out to entertainers. But at that time Wyatt was the last street to have 8 been built when we moved in. So when we woke up the next morning to go outside there was nothing but desert in our backyard that went on because they hadn't finished building the houses behind us on Burns yet. So Berkley Square was just under construction at that time? Yes. Wow. Now, where was Dr. West's house? Dr. West's house was across the street, not directly, catty-corner across the street from us. Next to that was his office. So he had an office on Wyatt? He had an office originally on Wyatt in the house next to him. Then when my dad came they built the office on Bonanza. So both Dr. West and your father had two houses on Wyatt? Yes. I think Dr. West had more than two houses. He had about four. And Dottie rented those houses out? Yes, his wife, Dottie, yes. She took care of a lot of that. But daddy and Dr. West built their office on Bonanza. They built that little complex there. It was their office. Next to it was a restaurant and next to it was a liquor store and then there was another business. So it was about four different little businesses. I remember going with my father to check out the building. So this was the business center near the Moulin Rouge, right beside it? It was right next to the Moulin Rouge -- not right beside it, no. There was a space, big desert area because that complex that was built did not exist. It was just the Moulin Rouge, a little desert, and then dad built his office. They were at the corner of H and Bonanza, in a little bit. You know where there was a Dairy Queen right there? Well, there's this little stretch of buildings, about four of them. They built that there. I can't remember the address, 901 or something like that Bonanza. I can't remember. Do you think they financed that or just built it? I'm not really sure because I was only eight or nine. If they financed it or how they built it, I'm not sure. I just remember going up there with my father when it was under construction. I remember him standing in the doorway looking at it and the frame was up and he was saying this was going to be his office. And I said, yes, okay. We're in Vegas. I'm not too happy about this. 9 Where did you go to school? Well, when we first got there to go to school -- I think we went back that summer, but I'm not for sure. But the first school they put me in was Madison and I was there for one week. So this was 1955? Yes. They put us in Madison and I was there for one week because my father was waiting to get us in Catholic school. I'm not sure when Kit Carson was built. But they put us in Madison. Then we went to St. Joseph's. Where was St. Joseph's located? St. Joseph's was off of Eighth and Bridger, still there. It's still there. How did you get back and forth to H and Bridger? We took the bus. Our father didn't take us. Oh, no. My daddy did not believe in -- I love him dearly, but my daddy did not – would not spoil his children. My father did not believe in spoiling you. You learned how to walk to the bus stop. You learned how to take the bus downtown, change buses, or we walked from Fourth Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. So how did you get from Wyatt over to Eighth and Bridger? So you took a bus? We took a bus, a city bus. On which street? We walked up to D Street, D and Freeman or Leonard, whatever street was there. We walked up to D Street, caught the bus. The bus would go all around and go back up H Street. Then it would go down Bonanza and take us downtown to Fourth where we would change or either walk from Fourth to Eighth, depends on what kind of mood we were in. My brother and I, we used to walk from Fourth down to Eighth downtown because we were used to that. I mean we had to walk everywhere. So tell me about the composition of your classes at St. Joseph. Composition in respect to the people? Back east in Detroit you were sometimes the only black. We were the only blacks in this class, too. We were the only blacks, my brother and I, when we first went there that I remember. And I know other blacks attended. A lot of them went to St. Anne's, St. Peter's. St. Joseph's, I don't remember a lot of blacks. I do not -- and this is honest to goodness truth -- remember any other blacks at St. Joseph's. Most of my friends ended up being white folks. 10 Until today? Do you still have lots of white friends here in Las Vegas? No. Some. One of my closest friends, yes. I have a mixed set of friends. But I have a mixed set of friends, yes, blacks and whites, yes. And one of my closest friends is non-black. And then the other closest is black. So it depends. But now as I've gotten older probably more of my friends are black. I still do either. I'm comfortable. I'm comfortable with the people depending on how people are. That's the way I feel. It depends on the people. I don't need to have black friends to justify my blackness. Yes. Tell me about the class structure in the black community as you were growing up. Well, when we came here in Vegas and I was in Catholic school, there was no class structure. Okay. So tell me what you mean by that. Actually the only class structure, as far as social class is what I think you're talking about, there really wasn't a social class. There was my father, who was a dentist. There was Dr. West, who was a doctor. I met Mabel Hoggard, a teacher, which I think is just one of the most wonderful things. She was a teacher. I met David Hoggard. I'll never forget going to Mabel Hoggard's house and she baked rolls for us and I just thought she was the most wonderful cook in the world. I loved it! David Hoggard and my father were really close. So it was Dottie West, Dr. West. I met Lubertha Johnson. I'll just never forget her and her hats and her tall, strong stature. I mean she always stood straight. So the social class mainly existed then of teachers, the two black doctors, entertainers mainly, some beauticians. Down the street lived Marilyn Armstrong, who was Marilyn Branch at that time. Her mother was a beautician, one of the black beauticians here. They lived on the corner. Across the street lived the McNeal family on Wyatt. I'm not really sure what Mr. McNeal did, but he was friends of ours, an acquaintance of the family. I'm trying to think who else. The Haynes family live on G Street. Other than that I'm not really sure as far as social structure if you want to move up the social ladder. Woodrow Wilson, Sarann Knight-Perdy, they were wonderful people. But there was no social class as there was in Michigan. I mean doctors in Michigan, teachers in Michigan -- you have to understand teachers were teachers, but doctors were doctors. So doctors are higher on the ladder than the teachers. And the people who were business people or who were supervisors or managers for GMC or something, they were on a whole different ladder. So there was a whole different social structure, which always amazed me because I've just never been a social class kind of person. 11 Tell me about entertainment on the Westside. I want to know about entertainment for your father and his friends and then entertainment for you. Okay. The entertainment on the Westside would have been Jackson Street for my father and his friends. I think there was the Cotton Club, Town Tavern, Louisiana Club, the Morocco Club, or whatever. There were various clubs. They were all on D Street. That was gambling and entertainment for them, that's where they'd go. For young people there was no entertainment. There was only -- I remember. I'll never forget this because we used to always go swimming over at Dr. West's house. He had a swimming pool. So daddy would let us go over there. But daddy got tired of that because Dr. West's kids, Rocky and Johnny, who we knew, they were older than we were, considerably older. So, again, it's that structure. And so we couldn't go swimming over there all the time unless Mickie was with us. And Mickie did those things. I mean she would take us swimming. She tried to develop a modeling program for young girls, but it didn’t last long. She would take us to L.A. to see plays because that was my first experience. I had never seen a play. I think I saw "Auntie Mame" is what she took us to see. I'll never forget that. She took us to L.A. to see "Auntie Mame." We went to see Johnnie Ray. I'll never forget that. But then here in Vegas there wasn't anything because we weren't able to go. So as far as swimming, we didn't have a swimming pool. Dr. West had a swimming pool. So Mickie one time went to take us to Dula Center to go swimming. They told us blacks couldn't go swimming. So they didn't let us go. So we came back home. Then she took us to Jefferson Center, which was built on the Westside. That was the only community center for blacks. It was a small, small pool. They built a small pool, and the blacks could go in it. But you can imagine living in a community with one small pool and all of these kids it was always crowded. So my father didn't want us going up there. So when they wouldn't let us in Dula, my daddy said the hell with this, I'm going to build a pool, and he built us a swimming pool in the backyard. So even though we didn't have a fancy house in Berkley Square -- I mean there were people who probably had better homes in Berkley Square than ours. But ours was not fancy because, again, that's just how my dad was. But he built that swimming pool. And he owned other houses. And he owned other houses. But he built that swimming pool and that's where we were supposed to swim. So that's where we went swimming because blacks weren't allowed to go to Dula Center. But we could go 12 to Jefferson Center. So I did. We'd go to Jefferson Center sometimes. I was Missy Jefferson Center one year when Billy Eckstine's wife and Billy Eckstine were here. They were friends of Mickie's. They came and stayed at the Moulin Rouge and brought their two sons. So we'd go up there and visit and hang out. Mrs. Ekstine crowned me Missy Jefferson Center. I'll never forget that. She was wearing this gorgeous chiffon dress, beautiful chiffon dress. Isn't it something how we remember that dress? Well, because what happened was, of course, the people at the center were trying to do the appropriate thing and had bought her a corsage. And they went to pin this corsage on her chiffon dress not knowing. And she said, “Oh no, darling, no, no, no. I will take the flowers, thank you, but this is chiffon. You cannot put a pin in chiffon.” And those are the kinds of things that I remember. I just went, “Oh.” I mean, you know, these are the things as a young girl that kind of stuck in me. But other than that she was a lovely person. It was just that you don't put a pin in chiffon. What about debutantes? I was not a debutante. My closest friend, Sandra White, was a debutante. I think I was gone. I had left for college. Debra White or Debra Roberts, who I had known when I first came here, was a debutante. Her father and my father were friends. Tell me about how black gir