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Transcript of interview with Nancy Cummings-Schmidt by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White, October 18, 2016






With the explosive growth of the Las Vegas Valley over the past 30 years, it is rare to find someone who has deep battle born roots that go back to the early mining days of Nevada. Nancy Cummings-Schmidt is an example of that rare kind of gem. As a fourth generation Nevadan, her family came to the state in the 1800s form Ireland and England. Looking to capitalize off of the mining boom in Virginia City, they transitioned to ranching. She spent her first years in Reno and when her father went off to fight in the Second World War, her mother moved to Herlong, California and sent her to live with her grandparents. Upon moving to Vegas for fourth grade, her mother remarried and worked for the Las Vegas Sun while Nancy attended the Fifth Street Grammar School and later became a member Las Vegas High School’s first graduating class in 1956. After graduating from high school, Nancy invested in the spirit of wanderlust as it carried her to study theatre at Texas Christian University (which sh

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Cummings-Schmidt, Nancy Interview, 2016 October 18. OH-02865. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH NANCY CUMMINGS-SCHMIDT An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2016 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editor: Stefani Evans and Vishe Y. Redmond Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. 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 the university for the support given that allowed an idea and 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 Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE With the explosive growth of the Las Vegas Valley over the past 30 years, it is rare to find someone who has deep battle born roots that go back to the early mining days of Nevada. Nancy Cummings-Schmidt is an example of that rare kind of gem. As a fourth generation Nevadan, her family came to the state in the 1800s form Ireland and England. Looking to capitalize off of the mining boom in Virginia City, they transitioned to ranching. She spent her first years in Reno and when her father went off to fight in the Second World War, her mother moved to Herlong, California and sent her to live with her grandparents. Upon moving to Vegas for fourth grade, her mother remarried and worked for the Las Vegas Sun while Nancy attended the Fifth Street Grammar School and later became a member Las Vegas High School’s first graduating class in 1956. After graduating from high school, Nancy invested in the spirit of wanderlust as it carried her to study theatre at Texas Christian University (which she hated); Nevada Southern University (later UNLV), where she started her career as a librarian; San Jose State, and University of Nevada, Reno. After becoming frustrated with school, she joined the Peace Corps as the first woman in Nevada to do so and met her Navy pilot husband in Manila. With feelings of discouragement about the war in Vietnam, they both packed up and came back to Las Vegas, where her family still resided. It was during this time that she decided to settle down and finish her degree and applied for a job as the bookmobile library assistant at the former Clark County Library. v In 1973, she finished her degree at UNLV and became the Young People’s Library Coordinator for the Sunrise Library while she pursued her Masters in Library Science at San Jose State. Given total creative control and a modest budget, Cummings-Schmidt was in charge of not only bringing the plans for the library together, but also running it from 1976 to 1978. Passionate about programming, she did a program on children’s rights called Mother May I have the Freedom to Be? Nancy considers herself an avid storyteller and champion for diversity in children’s literature. She taught workshops and classes at Clark County Community College about sexism and racism in children’s literature. The legacy of Nancy Cummings-Schmidt is still alive in the diverse programming of the Las Vegas?Clark County Library District. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with October 18, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee D. White and Stefani Evans Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………..iv Fourth generation Nevadan; Irish and English ancestry; Fifth Street Grammar School; graduation from Rancho High School in 1956; Richard Bryan; Versi Ellen Eberly; Jimmy Bilbray; Charles Hunsberger; Manny Cortez; Jim Rogers; Texas Christian University; Clark County Library…………………………………………………………………………….…1?10 Young People’s Library Coordinator for Sunrise Library; branch manager for Flamingo: 1978-81; Charles Hunsberger; racism and sexism in children’s literature; Newberry Caldecott committee; technological changes in the libraries………...…………………………..……11?28 vii 1 S: Good afternoon. This is [October 18, 2016], and Stefani Evans and Claytee White are here with Nancy Cummings-Schmidt. Ms. Schmidt, for the tape, pronounce and spell your names, please. Nancy Cummings Schmidt. N-A-N-C-Y. C-U-M-M-I N-G-S, hyphen, S-C-H-M-I-D-T. Thank you. Let's start by talking about your early life. Please tell us how your family ended up coming to Nevada and when they came and what your childhood was like. I am a fourth-generation Nevadan. I was born in Reno and raised in Las Vegas. My family came to Northern Nevada way back in the 1800's. The family came from Ireland and England. Miners came to the Virginia City area and then I had some family members who ended up in the mining and ranching professions. I was actually born in the old Washoe Hospital in Reno, Nevada. The old brick building is still there. It reminds me of how old I am. My sister and I spent our first years in Reno. It was during World War II that my father went off to war and my mother went to a placed called Herlong, California, which is just outside of Reno, about 80 miles. It was an army ordnance depot and she worked in the personnel department. She became the editor of the Challenge newspaper there. She sent me to live with my grandparents in Reno at 941 Sierra Street. I didn't go to kindergarten but I went to first grade at Orvis Ring in Reno and lived with my grandparents. Those were the days when as a small child you could actually walk to school. I walked across the UNR campus, all by myself. You can't do that anymore. When I was in the fourth grade we moved to Las Vegas. It was after World War II. My parents were divorced and my mother remarried. My stepfather was assigned to Southern Nevada and we came 2 to Southern Nevada. First we moved to Henderson, 259 Water Street. The house is no longer there, right across from the school. What year was that? It was 1947. I was in the fourth grade and we were there one year and then we moved into Las Vegas. We went to the Fifth Street Grammar School. I was in the fifth grade in Fifth Street Grammar School and I had Miss Irene Barsaleau, who was my mother's fifth grade teacher in Yerington, Nevada. I had this dear, sweet, little old lady, the same teacher that my mother had. I got my taste of libraries at Fifth Street School in the fifth grade because Miss Barsaleau had set a little cart with books on it and she insisted that we all read in our free time which she gave us. She also allowed one person to read to the class after lunch and I got picked to be the reader. So I got to read the Boxcar Children all the way through to my class. My sister and I had to move from the Fifth Street Grammar School to John S. Park when my parents moved to South 13th Street. We finished grammar school at John S. Park. Both of us graduated from the John S. Park elementary school. We lived at 1411 Norman all those years. Grew up on Norman Street, which is part of the old Huntridge area. We were right off Maryland Parkway. We went to the Parkway and played with all the kids. We went to the Huntridge Theater and watched the Saturday cliff hangers. Then both of us went to Las Vegas High School. My sister was in the Rhythmettes and I was part of the Rhythmettes Committee. I was also actively involved in the student newspaper and the student yearbook. I was a head majorette for Las Vegas High School band. Terry and I were very active all through high school. When did you graduate high school? 3 1956. That was the last full graduating class. Rancho High had freshmen and sophomores, but no seniors. The only other graduating group of seniors was coming out of Bishop Gorman High School, which was the private Catholic school. That was the last year all Las Vegas seniors graduated together before the other public high schools started graduating students. I think there were about 456 of us graduating that year. Who were some people that were in your class that we might know? One of my very good friends that was one year ahead of me was Richard Bryan. In fact Richard lived around the corner from us and all of us kids played together on the Maryland Parkway Circle. Versi Ellen Eberly became a person who did a lot of writing and became a journalist. Our class was just loaded with people that went on to do many, many different things, like attorney Don Ashworth. Jimmy Bilbray was a good friend and a congressman. Manny Cortez, father of Catherine Cortez-Masto, was on the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Clark County Commission. Mary Coleman-Kincaid, one of my best friends, was on the Clark County Commission and went to prison. The husband of another best friend, Ellie Glenn Shattuck, is a high profile attorney. Jim Rogers—media mogul, multimillionaire, and philanthropist—he and I worked together on the school newspaper, Desert Breeze, and the yearbook. As we go through this others may occur to me. When I graduated I had been accepted to the Pasadena Play House. I wanted to go into the theater. Somehow I got cold feet and I couldn't go. Instead I took off with my best friend, Arlene Henson, who lived on the same street. Her parents loaded us in the car and took us off to Texas Christian University. I went to TCU for a semester. Neither one of us liked it. We were miserable. We wanted to go home and come back to Las Vegas. 4 We came back to Las Vegas at the end of that first semester and both of us enrolled at Nevada Southern. The classes were in the Las Vegas High School auditorium. Dr. Wright was my history professor. [Colloquy not transcribed.] Dr. Dickinson, of course, was the first dean. I took an English class from Dr. Dickinson. Those were the two faculty members. They started the little library in one of the rooms in the auditorium and I got a job working in the library. There were just a handful of books. They hired a lady, Mary Lee Bundy, to come in and be the first librarian. My friend Arlene and I worked with her. We put out the very first yearbook. I was the editor of the very first yearbook when UNLV was Nevada Southern. We did the newspaper. Maude Frazier Hall opened, the very first building, and we were able to move out there. Mary Lee Bundy, the librarian, left that summer, so there were three of us who were library assistants. We moved that library from the Las Vegas High School auditorium out to its very first location out at Frazier Hall. There was no librarian so during the summer there were just two of us who ran the library together. Dr. Dickinson said, "Girls, would you please do me a favor, just run the library and keep it open." So we did. Towards the end of the summer they hired Jerry Dye, who came in and was the first really official library director for UNLV, Nevada Southern at the time. I worked for Jerry. He kept the two of us on and we worked with him. I finished that semester there and went onto San Jose State and then came back to Nevada Southern. At that time in order to get your degree you had to finish at UNR. I went up to UNR to finish my degree. I only had one semester left. They refused to accept my Texas Christian University semester's grades for whatever reason. I'll never understand. I was so upset and so unhappy that I left. I didn't finish. Then the Peace Corps came along and I joined the Peace Corps without finishing my education. Off I went to the Peace Corps. I was the first woman in the state of Nevada to go into the Peace Corps. I wasn't the first person because there was a young man from Boulder City that beat me to the punch. They sent us off to the Philippines, two years in the Philippines. I met my first husband as I was 5 finishing my tour in the Philippines. He was a Navy pilot coming off the Hancock, the carrier. I met him in Manila. We were married and we came back and I was a Navy wife for several years. At a certain point, when a lot of naval aviators and military people were becoming very discouraged about the Vietnam War and the whole military situation, he was a Lieutenant Commander and he decided that he wanted out. He and I packed up and he got of the Navy and we came to Las Vegas, where my family was still here. My mother was working at The Sun for Hank Greenspun. Hank got my first husband started in his career in publicity as the Frontier Hotel. Talk about nepotism. He worked in the PR department and the guy who was running the department just took him under his wing and mentored him. Fortunately my husband Mike had a real talent for writing so he made up for the fact that he got the job and was stuffed on this poor man. That was when I decided that I needed to go back to work. I also needed to finish my degree. I came out to the campus and they said, "Well, you only have a handful of courses that you need." In between all of this time from my Peace Corps to my Navy wife years I went to school everywhere I lived and I had assembled so many credits that someone at the university told me, "Nancy, you could have a Ph.D. by now." But, here I was with no degree. Two goals: finish your degree and get a job. I thought I will go up to where I started at Nevada Southern and go to the UNLV Library and see if I can't get a job. I walked in and I asked if I could talk to someone about working at the library. They sent me down to someone and I talked to him for a while. He said, "You really don't have the qualifications for a job here, even though I love your history and you were here before I was, but you just don't qualify. Why don't you go down Tropicana, the Clark County library has just recently opened a few years ago and talk to them?" It was a store front on Tropicana. Jean Ford was responsible for getting it all 6 started. So I walked into this store front and I go up to the desk and there was a girl sitting there. Her name was Marsha Cutler and she said, "May I help you." I said, "Yes, I am wondering if you have any jobs available?" She said, "What is your background?" I gave her a brief background. She said, "I think you want to talk to our secretary. Let me go get her." She goes in and gets this secretary, Marjorie Stringfellow. Marjorie comes out and you can tell she runs the show. She sits me down and we chat and I give her my background history. Marjorie says, "I think you need to come in and see Mr. Smith." She grabs me by the arm and trots me into Harden Smith, who was the library director. She says, "Harden, I want you to meet Nancy Cummings. She is here about a job and I think we ought to hire her." They happened to have a job opening for bookmobile library assistant. He hired me on the spot because Marjorie liked me. I took the job and I was in seventh heaven. I was thrilled. It was a big old trailer. I have pictures. They had to haul me around in a big truck to park me because it was just a trailer. He would come in and hitch me up and take me to the location, unhitch me and leave me parked there for the day. We had five or six locations. Here I am on my book mobile with the kids. I started story time on there. I was also modeling for Bernie Lentz at the time. [Colloquy not transcribed.] At noon time I would lock up the book mobile and race off and get my fittings and race back and try to juggle all that. C: I want to finish up with the library but I want to know about the modeling also. That was my start with the Clark County library. It was on the book mobile. They were building the new beautiful Flamingo library, which is now very different than it was. It was a totally different design. It has been completely redone. Mr. Smith, the director, decided to hire me to come in and run the children's department for them. I was going to be the children's librarian and someone else would go on the book mobile. I got to come to the brand new big library and be the children's librarian, which 7 was just a thrilled for me. Director Harden Smith was an interesting person. One day he had a staff meeting, called us all into the auditorium right after we moved into the new building and he started complaining about our customer service and how we may needed some extra training. He was getting complaints. We were all sitting there confused about what was going on. All of a sudden he collapsed. He fell off his chair and a couple of the employees rushed up to help him. He got up and brushed himself off and said, "I don't need any help." Then he walked off. You might want to find one of the original library trustees to find out what really happened. Rumor was that he had a drinking problem and that he had collapsed because of alcohol. That was rumor. What happened I don't know, but it was shortly after that incident when he left. Chester Davis, who was the head of Technical Services, was appointed interim library director. Chester had been so good to me when I was on the book mobile because Technical Services would let me pick off all the new books for all my patrons. I had patrons in the senior center, patrons in the low income area. They were so good to me. Chester and I had a good working relationship from the get go. He came in only until they hired a new director because he wanted to go back to Technical Services. Right before Mr. Smith left he hired a woman to come in and be the children's services coordinator, to do the coordinating for the whole system, for all the branches, to take in the whole Southern Nevada area we were serving. My position was the children's librarian for the new Flamingo Library and Mrs. Coburn and she took over the children's services for the whole system. She had some challenges with me from the very beginning. I had a very loyal staff. The person who was working for me in the children's department was Marsha Cutler, the same person who I walked up to when I inquired about any job openings. Marsha was the one sitting at the desk asking, "May I help you?" I hired Marsha to come in and be a children's assistant for me here. Marsha became my employee. 8 She was the branch manager at Charleston. Yes, a wonderful story teller and a wonderful children's person. Mrs. Coburn became the children's services coordinator. She went off to summer school and she told me that I was responsible while she was gone and I had to run the summer reading program. I was fine with that since I had already been doing that before she came. We had the most successful summer program. There was a full page spread on me in the newspaper about what a great program it was. They had pictures. When Mrs. Coburn came back she was furious because she felt that I had usurped her place and that I had taken over and that everyone loved me and how dare I? This is the layout that made her so unhappy. My staff were so supportive of me and I kept saying please don't rub my wounds with salt. They kept saying, "You are a lovely lady." What she did to me was she changed my schedule so that I was no longer available for any programming. I couldn't do any more children's programming. All I did were the regular services. She took me off of programming and she took me off of collection development. She did everything possible to make it very difficult for me. My staff was so loyal to me that they all charged in one day and told her that they were willing to give up one of their days so I could get back to do programming. They tried to support me. It got to a point where one day I told my husband, "I can't do anymore. This situation is untenable. I am going to have to resign." I went into Chester Davis' office and I said, "Mr. Davis, Chester, I can't work in this environment any more. I cannot work under these conditions." He looked at me and said, "What are you asking me?" I said, "I am not asking you anything. I am going to resign, as much as it hurts me." He said, "No, you are not. You are staying put. You are not going anywhere." He called her into the office and dismissed her and gave me the position of Young People's Services Coordinator. This is before Charles [Hunsberger] got there. Chester Davis was my game changer. When Charles came on board, Chester went back to his little cubby in Technical Services. It is because of him that I am here. That was my game changer, Chester Davis. 9 Did you finish school at UNLV? Yes I did, in 1973 I got my degree at UNLV and then Charles came. I have to go back a bit. We do not call Clark County Children's Services area, Children's Services, we call them the Young People's Library, YPL and they still call them YPL. It is because when we moved into this building, we were all looking out and watching the trucks bringing the books in. They were unpacking the books. I am saying, "This whole beautiful space here is going to be for youth of all ages, kids of all ages, so do we really want to call ourselves children's librarian? What can we do?" We got our heads together, my staff and I decided on Young People. That is how YPL came about. And it is still like that? Yes. Then Charles comes along in 1972, I think. He allowed me to continue being the Young People Services Coordinator. That is when Ann and I started working together. He brought Ann in as Extension Services. She was doing all the outreach and extension and I was working with Ann. We were going out to Bunkerville and Mesquite. We are talking about Ann Langevin? Yes. That is when we began working closely together. We did workshops for everyone. I did all the Young People's services. Charles called me in the office one day and said, "You have a really good career with us, but you are not going to go anywhere until you get your MLS. That is the law. I want you to seriously consider going to library school. I will do everything I can to support you to get you to library school." Ann said, "You will go to library school." I was so fortunate because San Jose State College had a summer-only MLS program. I got my MLS in three summers. Ann went with me the first summer. We drove down to San Jose together, as I recall. She was going to see that I got to library 10 school. Charles was so generous. He allowed me to adjust my schedule so I could go off. I had all the summer reading programs planned and everything together so I could take off and do this. I did it in three summers because of his support and his generosity. He said, "You are not going to be an administrator in this organization until you have your MLS. When you get that MLS I will make you an administrator. That is my promise to you." He did. When I came back from that third semester with my MLS in hand he let me do the Sunrise Library. My first library branch was the Sunrise Library. Tell us about the difference between being YPL and running a library branch. Actually, I continued to be the YPL Coordinator. I was a two-hatter. It was fine with me because I loved my children's work. We needed a location down in the Nellis/Sunrise area. They located a piece of property on the corner of Nellis and Sunrise. This is the one that preceded the really big nice one. The place was just a mess. It had been an old auction house and an old motorcycle shop. I can't even begin to tell you, cobwebs, mice, grease, but I could see that it could be this really neat library. Charles gave me a modest budget and said, "This is it. You do whatever you want." Charles was wonderful. He didn't rein you in, he would give you some parameters and say," Okay, you go do it. I am behind you all the way." He was really wonderful about supporting his people that way. I took my little budget and off we went and we did the original Sunrise Library. Tell me about those pictures. We had to clean it up. It was a colossal mess. It was in the Nellis Plaza. It was the motorcycle shop. Describe it the first time you looked at it. I thought hmmmmm, silk purse, sow's ear, I think I can do it! It was a sow's ear. 11 How did you get the labor to fix it? He gave me this modest budget and I went out shopping. I bought some very inexpensive carpet. I wanted the children's area to have these big plywood cubes and we painted them and we put the easy books in them. That was the first time we had used the plywood cubes, at Sunrise. I hired a carpenter because some of the walls had to be removed. The Eldorado High School Honor Society students helped me with the flooring. We took up all the old gunky awful stuff. That was a mess. Charles let me have the maintenance crew, the guys from the library. We all cleaned it up. We got in there and did it. The Eldorado High School kids stuck with me. They helped lay the new floor. We were able to open it. This is all about the progression of the work. It is all here. I am going to donate this. We had a story room and here I am doing the story time with the kids. It turned out to be a very presentable, airy, comfy branch library. These are the pictures of the kids. This is what it looked like in the front. This is me starting to paint. This was the exterior before we changed it. We had a horse hitch there because there were kids who came down from Sunrise Mountain, riding their horses and they would hitch them up there. Down on the other end there was an old bar, run-down, funky bar. Alice Atkinson, who was a fine water colorists, who is well known in Southern Nevada for her water colors, did that funky old bar, with an old mongrel dog sitting there and a couple of people coming out of the bar. That was one of the pieces we later bought for our permanent collection at the Flamingo Library. It was right down the corner from where my library was. When I left I said to Charles, "Can I take that Alice Atkinson with me to Yuma, just for old times’ sake?" Charles let me have the Alice Atkinson. These look like they were on display. Where were they? We had them on display at several different times, when we had displays on history of Clark County Libraries, and we had them on display at Sunrise Library when we opened. 12 How long were you there running that branch? Since I was still doing YPL work I had an excellent staff. Beryl Andrus was my children's librarian. Beryl became the manager of the new Sunrise Library. I hired Beryl to come into the original Sunrise Library and be the children's person. Beryl helped me by supervising the staff. We would open the library about mid-morning and I would stay about three or four hours and then I would have to go back to headquarters, this library, and do my YPL work. I was split between the two. I had such a great staff that they could run the branch. I was the Sunrise Library branch administrator from 1976 to 1978; then Charles brought me into the main library on Flamingo to be the Flamingo branch manager administrator. He kept his promise to me. Ann Langevin took it on after I left. I was the Flamingo branch manager from 1978 to 1981, and then I went to Yuma. I took my directorship in Yuma, Arizona and that is when I moved. That is the history of me and my library years. What did they offer you in Yuma to make you leave Las Vegas? I wanted to be a library director. It was an opportunity to expand my horizon and become a library director. Charles really was a mentor. He mentored me; he mentored Ann, and he mentored many of us. He was a special person to work for. He was supportive and he kept his promises. It was very difficult for me to move on because I loved living here and this was my home. My family was still all here, yet I made that major move. It was not easy for me. Virginia Mulloy worked for me in YPL, she was a wonderful children's person, but then she moved on to the programming department because Charles was big on programming. She and I started the permanent art collection together when I was the Flamingo administrator. We decided that we needed some permanent art. We started buying juried pieces from Las Vegas artists and then we expanded it. 13 We have the Salvador Dali piece; there is the Cybus collection. In fact I have a picture of me with the Cybus people when they were donating the Indian collection. The permanent art collection, I was part of getting that started, which I am very proud of. When I walked into the Windmill Library a year and a half ago and I saw this little pamphlet about the permanent art collection I thought, "Wow, I had a big hand in that." It has made me feel so good. What did you feel walking into the Flamingo Library today? It is totally different, but what I did want to do is that I wanted to go to the front and go into the auditorium. I think, I am not sure, but I think it is still the original stage. I think they remodeled the auditorium but I think the space is still the original space. I'm thinking that is where Mr. Smith fell off the chair. But that is also where I had many, many wonderful programs. Clark County Library has always been huge on programming. I did some special children's things that are in one of my binders here. We did a program on children's rights, Mother May I Have the Freedom to Be? These were humanities programs. We did one on sexism and racism in children's literature. I have all the brochures in here. For those programs we were able to bring in some national speakers, some very prominent speakers. The other thing I did was I brought the first John Cotton Dana award to the library system. I did it with Energy Expo 80, which won a John Cotton Dana award. I brought here, for you, the original proposal, with the award letter. It is the whole program. It was a month long, very ambitious program. I don't know how we managed but we did it. Explain what you remember of it without looking it up. It was a month-long program. It included exhibits, workshops, and panel discussions. There was also a national newspaper project. Nevada Humanities were part of this. We had a humanities scholar, Dr. 14 Felicia Campbell, who did the literacy component for us. We did a whole bunch of science fiction stuff that she put together for us. The Arco people came in with a big fancy car that they put out on the front lawn. It was a demo car that taught people how to be more conservative with fuel, etc. We had a huge solar display. We had national companies come in. All the sponsors, everyone who was involved, they are all listed in this program here. Charles was gearing up because the American Library Association was coming to Las Vegas for the first time in 1973. In 1972 he took me to Chicago to the ALA conference, my very first ALA conference, American Library Association. For the record, because I am not sure we have talked about that in this conversation, when you say, "Charles," you are referring to Charles Hunsberger? Yes. Charles Hunsberger. He took me to Chicago for my first conference. Part of the reason he took me was that ALA [American Library Association] was coming to Las Vegas the following year. The children's division of ALA is huge. The Newbery Caldecott dinner and award activity is one of the biggest activities of the whole conference. It is where they announce the winners of the Newbery Caldecott Award. It is an incredible event and we had to plan that. The Las Vegas conference was planned by the ALA conference committee, but I was the local arrangements person for the Children's Services division. Charles knew it was going to be a huge job. I had to do all of their local arrangements. He took me back to Chicago. I was invited to the Children's Services' planning meetings, where they talked to me about what I needed to do to prepare for the next conference. The first thing they said to me is that you have to have a steering committee of 25 people and then you will have these sub-committees. I’m thinking that I only had 4 employees. I went to the Newbery Caldecott dinner and I saw how prestigious and how incredible it was. They guaranteed me that they would help me from 15 afar. I knew that I was in for quite a chore. Charles, he took me to the Playboy Club. The first time I had ever been to the Playboy Club he took me. Here I was a bright-eyed children's librarian. The following year I had to gather a group of