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Interview with Fred Ray Huckabee, January 7, 2005


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Narrator affiliation: Supervisory General Engineer, Chief Test Construction Branch, U.S. Department of Energy

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Huckabee, Fred Ray. Interview, 2005 January 07. 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 Fred Huckabee January 7, 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Joan Leavitt © 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 Fred Huckabee January 7, 2005 Conducted by Joan Leavitt Table of Contents Introduction: military service, work for Great Western Drilling Co., then moves to REECo at the NTS as project manager on various jobs, transfers to ERDA, works on various tests for the JVE both in U. S. and in USSR 1 Family background, early education, military service, work for Great Western Drilling Co., goes to work for REECo at NTS 5 Describes drilling work at the NTS 9 Identification of photographs: Soviets at the NTS, January 1988 12 Photographs: Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan and 20- man U. S. delegation ( Moscow, USSR) 13 Photographs: Soviet delegation at Siegfried and Roy ( Las Vegas, NV), Soviet delegation ( including Viktor Mikhailov) at the NTS 14 Talks about cultural differences between Soviets and Americans ( Smith’s grocery store story) 17 Recalls visit of U. S. 20- man delegation to Moscow and Semipalatinsk, USSR ( January 1988) 20 ( Aside) Story of visit to Enewetak 22 Talks about preparations for and drilling of satellite hole at Semipalatinsk 24 Charles McWilliam and work on Kearsarge at the NTS 36 Tells story about flying the Russian and U. S. flags at the NTS and Semipalatinsk 37 Life at the Semipalatinsk test site, USSR 39 Conclusion: story about shipping in fresh vegetables for U. S. crew, and meals at the Semipalatinsk test site 42 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Fred Huckabee January 7, 2005 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Joan Leavitt [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Joan Leavitt: I’m here with Mr. Fred Huckabee and he’s given me a printout of some of his career highlights which he’s asked me to read for the record. He was with the U. S. Air Force, November 1947 to November 1951. Then from May ‘ 52 to February ‘ 62, he was a drill helper, a driller, and a rig supervisor for Great Western Drilling Company, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. He drilled for natural gas and oil and some helium during that time. And then from December 1974 until June 1976, he was a project manager, using the same drilling equipment as in Colorado, at Malta, Idaho in the Raft River Valley. He drilled three geothermal holes and two injection holes to depths of eight to nine thousand feet for a pilot plant for geothermal electric power. From May 1974 to November 1974, he was a project manager in Colorado in the Pieance Basin, Rio Blanco, which consisted of taking a government- owned drill rig and support equipment from the NTS [ Nevada Test Site] and drilling two holes seven thousand feet deep and performing massive hydrofracts in the gas- bearing zones at sixty- five hundred feet. Previous jobs were with Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company in Nevada at the test site from February 1962 to February 1977, where he was a driller and rig supervisor until October 1967, and a project manager in drilling until February 1977. He was a committee chairman for numerous studies, designs, and activities such as Russian housing complex in Area 25 and Mercury, and new contract approach for M& O Contractor, closing of Area 12 camp, et cetera. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 He was a member and operations expert for the Coordinating Schedule Group meetings in Washington, D. C. with the Russians for the Junction, Hoya, and Greenwater nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site. Those were also verification tests? Fred Huckabee: Yes, that was on the verification tests, and each one of those, we’d go to Washington and meet with the Russians and make a protocol of what we were going to do and everything. OK, because I saw some pictures of Junction, but these were the other names. Right. He’s been Chief Technological Operations for the Coordinating Schedule Group meeting with the Russians for the Batyr Guriya Nuclear test at Semipalatinsk Test Site in Moscow, July to August 1991. He was a deputy team leader at the Soviet Semipalatinsk Test Site in the drilling of a CORRTEX hole to twenty- two hundred feet with a drill rig from the U. S. and other support equipment transported from the U. S. on Air Force C- 5A aircraft in conjunction with the Joint Verification Experiment for a Russian nuclear test, April to June 1988. He was a member of the delegation in defining and negotiating the Joint Verification Experiment and the preparation of a protocol for the Threshold Test Ban Treaty in Geneva, Switzerland, February to March 1988 and July to August in 1989 and October in 1988. Member of the U. S. twenty- man delegation to visit and receive presentation from the Soviets on their nuclear testing program and operation in Kazakhstan at their Semipalatinsk Test Site, and their visit to the Nevada Test Site in January of 1988. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 You were the project engineer, Crater Exploration Project at Enewetak Atoll in the [ Republic of the] Marshall Islands in the South Pacific from the planning through the onsite oversight from fall 1984 to spring 1985. He was a member of Safety Task Force appointed from Washington, evaluating operations of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Office [ SPRO], Kenner, Louisiana, from November to December of 1978, after safety investigation of petroleum fire involving casualties and injuries. [ 00: 05: 00] He was also accepted to federal government ERDA [ Energy Research and Development Agency], February 14, 1977, as a general engineer in drilling, and promoted to Supervisory General Engineer, Chief Test Construction Branch, September 26, 1977 to the present. That is a really full, concise summary. That’s wonderful. Hard to know where to begin. Fred Huckabee: Then I’ve got my retirement letter from Nick [ Aquilina] there if you want to just read it. You might not want to put it in there. That’s from Nick. Let me go ahead and read that. Dear Huck, It gives me a great deal of pleasure to represent your many friends and associates throughout the DOE [ Department of Energy] Nevada Field Office in wishing you well in your retirement from the federal service. Your vast experience, professionalism, and can- do attitude will certainly be missed. It has come to my attention that your twenty years of federal service have included four years with the U. S. Air Force and over sixteen years with the Energy Research and Development Administration [ Agency], ERDA, and the Department of Energy at the Nevada Test Site. Your UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 career at the NTS began in 1962 with Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company, Incorporated as a drilling superintendent. Those were the days when Texas know- how and ingenuity were the way to accomplish the task at hand. In February 1977 you switched horses as you joined ERDA at the NTS in Mercury. Your vast contributions to the Nevada mission have been global and without equal. In addition to being recognized as a drilling, mining, and construction expert on the NTS, your valuable contributions to the programs of the NTS are extensive. During the early stages of your NTS career, you served with distinction as Project Manager for Drilling Operations for the Rio Blanco Gas Stimulation Program in Colorado, the Geothermal Pilot Plant Program at Malta, Idaho, and the Crater Exploration Project at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Probably your most noteworthy contributions were to the Joint Verification Experiment, where you served as a member of the twenty- man U. S. delegation to review with the Soviets the U. S. and Soviet nuclear test programs to develop protocols for the joint U. S. Kearsarge test and Soviet Shagan test. You also served as deputy team leader for the drilling of a CORRTEX hole at the Soviet test site in Kazakhstan, USSR. Your participation in the preparation of the protocol for the Threshold Test Ban Treaty in Geneva, Switzerland and as Chief of the Technical Operations for the Coordinating Schedule Group meeting for the planned Russia Batyr Guriya test contributed to the successful U. S.- Soviet Union protocol negotiations and resulted in global recognition of your vast experience and capabilities. Your humor, knowledge, and outstanding contribution to the Nevada mission will leave an irreplaceable void. I am confident that you and Emma Jo] will enjoy your retirement with all the enthusiasm that you have shown in your career. We extend our best wishes to both of you for happiness and success in the future. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 Oh, that’s beautiful. He’s very eloquent. Oh yes, he is. That’s wonderful. No wonder you treasure this. And I’m glad we have it in the record. That is something to be proud of. That gives a really wonderful overview of some of the things that you have contributed to the Nevada Test Site. Right. I just wanted to get that in there and then you’ll understand the questions you want to ask or whatever from there. Yeah. I do. Maybe if we could just kind of— because if— I can come back for a second interview, it just all depends on how far we get. We have approximately about an hour and fifteen minutes on one tape, and so my plan is to kind of take a break after that and we’ll just see how we’re doing. Sounds good. And so as far as we get, I really want you to be able to contribute everything you want to contribute. Let’s just start with your family background, with your mother’s family background and your father’s family background. Well, I was born in Brownfield, Texas, right south of Lubbock, Texas. Do you know where Lubbock, Texas is at? I do. And was raised there. Went to school and high school at Brownfield. And then I went in the military service from there. And went to San Antone [ Antonio] to go through basic training with [ 00: 10: 00] the Air Force, and then to Lowry Field, Colorado for administrative courses, and then to Hamilton Field, California— Let’s look again really quick and see. What year was this that—? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 This was 1947. So it was right after the war [ World War II], then. Right, right after the war. So 1947. After I left Lowry Field, Colorado, I went to Hamilton Air Force Base in California and got on a ship there. It went to the mainlands of Alaska and let off some troops, and then some more troops got on, and then we went on to Adak, Alaska. And I stayed there for fourteen months in Adak, Alaska. And came back to the United States to Fort Lawton in Seattle, Washington and turned in my cold weather gear and picked up my summer stuff and was sent to Carswell Air Force Base in Dallas, Texas. And then moved to Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, Texas, and got out of the service at Ellington Field. I worked my way in the orderly room, if you know what an orderly room is, of the Air Force or for a branch of the Air Force— Now “ orderly,” I associate that usually with “ hospital.” Does that have anything to do with a hospital? No, no, that wasn’t a hospital. The orderly room was where the branch of military personnel was in this branch, and I can’t remember what the name of it was. But I worked myself around service records of the personnel that was there and the time reports up to the chief clerk— Was it kind of an administration job, is that—? Yes, it was in administration. Then my final six months there, I was the first sergeant of my unit. And then I was discharged and moved back to Brownfield and went to work for Magnolia Petroleum Corporation at Kermit, Texas, outside of Brownfield, about eighty miles from Brownfield. And I stayed there about seven months and I said I don’t like the administration portion. I need to get out in the weather, you know, so— So you wanted to be in the field, then. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 Yeah, so I wanted to be in the field. You discovered that’s what you liked. So I said I’ll just try my work at working in the oil fields. So I went to work on drill rigs as a roughneck and eventually worked myself up into driller, and then from driller to a rig superintendent in charge of the drill rig, the moving and drilling of the holes and everything, the maintenance of the drill rig. Now this was oil, then. It was oil, drilling for oil. And so I was in west Texas and New Mexico drilling in various places, and then moved to Farmington, New Mexico. This was with Great Western Drilling Company. And moved to Farmington, New Mexico, was transferred from our Midland office in Midland, Texas to the Farmington, New Mexico office. And drilled gas and oil wells out of the Farmington area in Colorado and New Mexico and Arizona and Utah. And that went through the process till 1962. In 1952 is when I went to work, when I left the administration portion and went into the field. And 1962, we kept hearing about the Nevada Test Site. And there was a couple of guys I knew there. And the test site was wanting experienced drilling people and rigs and equipment; one of these guys had a couple of rigs he was going to send to the Nevada Test Site and lease to the government when underground testing started getting underway. And so— [ 00: 15: 00] They didn’t really drill when they were dealing with atmospheric testing. No, there was one or two atmospheric shots after I got there in ‘ 62, but after that it was all underground testing and drilling operations. And they were really having to pull a brand new technology in order to do that. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Oh, nobody with the government or any of the contractors that was there at the time being knew nothing of drilling operations. And it was an all out effort for the government to start underground testing and testing as quick as possible. Because this was right after the Cuban missile crisis. That’s right, and the Russians were progressing and everything, and the United States wanted to get their part in, you know, and— And they were absolutely prohibited from doing atmospheric. Oh yes. So they not only had to start and gear up, but they had to gear up in a way that was very, very different. Oh yeah, they knew nothing of that, and the contractors that was there, like Reynolds Electric [ REECo] and Holmes and Narver and various contractors there, they knew nothing of drilling operations. And your experience had mainly been field experience. Oh yes. Yes. And so from Farmington, well, I quit Great Western Drilling Company and come in with two of those drill rigs that were sent into the test site. And equipment was coming into the test site by the gross, of the government leasing rigs. They didn’t buy them, they just leased them from various drilling companies to start the operations. And equipment was coming in from here and there; and we didn’t have the proper supplies because they couldn’t get them ordered quick enough, and crews were coming in and hiring out to REECo, which that’s what I done when I come in. I had to go through Reynolds Electric to get to the test site. Now was the drilling also— I mean because the geology was hard, was that something they had to have a learning curve on, too? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 Oh, yeah, you mean even for the personnel coming in? Right, because drilling— Oh yeah, the geology was different than the areas that they’d been in. And drilling for oil would be different from drilling for testing. Oh yeah. See, when you drill for oil, you probably finish a hole with an eight- and- three- quarter- inch- diameter bit at five, six, or seven thousand feet, you know. So it’s smaller. OK, so it’s a smaller one. Well, you’ll start a little bit larger, say a twenty- six- inch, so you can set surface pipe through the water zones and everything, and then finalize the hole at about eight- and- three- quarters or maybe seven- and- seven- eighths inches down in the oil pay, as you would call it. And so when we come into the test site, well, it was really unfamiliar geology- wise of what we were getting into and what they were wanting. And the first thing they wanted to do was drill thirty- six- inch holes. Well, in the oil field, we didn’t drill— sometimes we might set surface pipe at a hundred feet or something with a thirty- six- inch bit, but they wanted to go to two thousand, three thousand feet, thirty- six- inch. Now this was a scientist who said this is what we have to do? Oh yes, this was Los Alamos [ National Laboratory] and [ Lawrence] Livermore [ National Laboratory] saying what they would like to have so they could get their instrumentation in the holes and everything. And so we went through a period of time for about two years of trying to advance in the technology of what they were wanting, and dealing with bit manufacturers and oil field equipment suppliers and everything. Now who would make the suggestions on the change of bits that had to be done in order to get those holes? Was that you guys, then? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Oh yeah, that was us and the engineering group and the whole drilling department. So it sounds like scientists say, This is the idea and you guys figure out the practical problems for solving this, then. Yes, that’s right. So you were on the “ let’s make it work” end of things. Right. And so we went through— started drilling thirty- six- inch holes and drilling with mud like we did in the oil field, a mixture of mud to circulate the cuttings out of the hole. And [ there] was so much material coming out, we was having problems with sand and [ 00: 20: 00] everything settling and sticking our tools in the hole and everything. And so we come up with a different method of using air foam, it was a soap mixture; and we’d blow air with the soap mixture and blow it back out of the hole and it would be soapy, bringing the material out of the hole. Lubrication? Yes, for the lubrication, and bringing the cuttings out of the hole that you were cutting up, as you were drilling. And then we advanced on into that in later years. The laboratory kept wanting more experiments and larger holes and everything, so we started from thirty- six to forty- eight to fifty- two to sixty- four to seventy- two to eighty- six to ninety- six to a hundred- and- twenty to a hundred- and- forty- four- inch holes, through that series of time from 1962 until 19, say, ’ 75 or something like that. So we were changing equipment all the time— our drill rigs for supporting the weight and the larger diameter of holes that we were drilling. It took more weight to drill those holes to put the weight on the bits, to drill the formation because of the larger diameters, so we had to buy drilling equipment to accept that. We went from a, say, a four- to- five- hundred- thousand- pound derrick that holds weights, holds the weight of the equipment, up to a million- and- a- half and two- million- pounds drill rigs. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 That is mind- boggling to even think about that much weight. Yeah, and we had to enlarge the working area around where the men were working and to accept those large- diameter bits and mandrills and everything that went in the hole. We had to remodify those “ substructures,” we called them. So there was a lot of engineering work during those years to get to drilling a hundred- and- twenty- inch holes I would say that— Well, I notice you have all of your fingers. Yeah, I’ve got all of my fingers. I didn��t lose any of my fingers. That says a lot, doesn’t it, as far as safety is concerned. Yeah, it sure does, because we was very safety- minded with REECo and bought all of the safety equipment we could buy to do the work without getting people hurt. And eventually, I mean every once in a while somebody would get hurt but I guess that’s normal in any heavy equipment operations or anything, but very, very, very few. And so I’ve got a film. Have you seen The Evolution of Drilling? No, I haven’t. You haven’t seen The Evolution of Drilling? No, I haven’t. The government’s got that. I’ve got one if you want to watch it a minute. I’d like to watch that. And just watch it and maybe you can get a set of the film to go— can you use film with your book and everything? I can. I can. OK. Why don’t we shut off a minute and then I’ll try to put that on. [ 00: 23: 51] End Track 2, Disc 1. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 3, Disc 1. [ At this point, they begin looking at photographs.] Yeah, I wanted to show you this here. This is what the Russians— I don’t know if you’ve seen that. Oh yes, I’ve seen something like this at— oh no, not exactly this. OK, this is when the— when I went to Russia I was there for fourteen days; then when I come back, well, then their twenty- man delegation come to our test site, and we showed them how we tested and everything. Now was this is January, then? This was in January. Now is this Las Vegas? This is out at the mess hall. You know where the mess hall area in Mercury—? The steak area. The Steakhouse? Yeah. And there’s [ James] Magruder there. See Magruder? Yes. I’m in there somewhere. There I am. Oh, there you are. And the Russians are down here and the Americans are up here. It’s the two twenty- man delegations together. Now were you one of the first of the twenty to go over to the familiarization trip to Semipalatinsk? That was the twenty- man delegation. Will you tell me what you remember about that? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 Well, look at that, and then I’ll tell you. Oh, OK. And this is [ Mikhail] Gorbachev and [ Ronald] Reagan in Moscow. Now is this when they signed it? Yeah, that’s when they signed— Troy [ Wade] said he was in a picture similar— now there is Reagan right there, isn’t he? Yeah. Oh, that’s nice. Now here’s the— there I am. There’s Magruder. Walt [ Walter P.] Wolff. There’s Troy. Now that’s Paul Robinson, isn’t it, right there? Yeah. Paul was my— when I went to Geneva, he was— what do you call it, the ambassador? Yeah. Yes, he was the ambassador. Ambassador of nuclear test talks. Right. This is the twenty- man delegation plus our interpreters. So these were the Americans, then. Right, that’s the Americans. Now we took them to see Siegfried and Roy. Yes. Nick talked about that. This is the Russians and the Americans up on stage. And I notice— this was one of the people who talked about you because there were some nice— you were with the group. Yes. You were with the main group. That’s you right there, isn’t it? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 Yes, that’s me. That’s me. But there was another picture with just you with, I think, Troy and Nick. Yeah, it’s in here. Now this was just— we gave this to the Russians. This was just showing them the Nevada Test Site. [ Going through pictures] That’s where you entered the test site. The entrance. And this one was just a picture from Mercury. One of the drill rigs. Now this is all part of the stuff that you showed them, right? Oh Yes. We gave them this. It was to take back with them. We gave each one individually one of these. This is the ground zero and this is the trailer park back up here and all the cables that was going to go down hole. Then they wanted a picture in front of a hundred- and- twenty- inch bit. Yeah, they’d never seen anything like that before, had they? Oh no. And that’s inside where the device went, and they wanted to stand on the inside. That’s the bottom portion of when we lower— that the device set in. Now is that Viktor Mikhailov? That’s Mikhailov. Yeah. I’ve heard a lot of stories about him, too. He’s a nice guy. Nice guy. Did you have any experiences with him? Oh yeah. When he come over, he brought me a pair of the tall boots. The Russian boots? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 The Russian boots, where they do the goose- step and everything. And he gave me a pair of them and he said, These are good boots but, he said, don’t leave them under your bed because they smell, he said. Oh, that’s funny. Then this is the device going down hole. OK. Yeah. OK. And then this is a picture of the craters. Yeah, the craters. This is of our wild horses up there. And this is— we shut a test down one time. Right before we fired it, we seen on our TV from the CP [ control point], we seen those fox in a little— Really? Yeah, and so we shut the test down when it was supposed to go and sent some men out there to pick those fox up and move them away from the test site, up from the test. Oh, that’s wonderful.. So we gave them that, and this is the little fox that was— Oh, that’s nice to know that you saved them. And this was in the Steakhouse. And it was a mural. Have you been in the Steakhouse? Yeah, but it was closed, so we didn’t get to go inside. [ 00: 05: 00] Well, these are some paintings that’s up on the wall. We told the Russians, said, This is the way it was when we first went to the test site, this is the way we drilled and everything. And we said, This is the way we started drilling. This is the way we got there, we told them. With your donkey and with a mule. Oh, how funny. Yeah, that’s the way we started it. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 Now all these murals, then, are in the Steakhouse? In the Steakhouse, right. Oh, OK. Then here’s Siegfried and Roy up on the stage with the Russians and Americans. Did you feel like the Russians were quite impressed with that show? When the show was going on, well, I was sitting with a group of them with an interpreter with me. I said, What do you think about it? And they said, Well, it’s not as good as some of ours. Of course. What else would they say? Oh yeah. It’s not as good as some of ours. But they enjoyed it. And this is probably one you’ve seen. Yeah, that’s the one. Of Siegfried and Roy when we was up on the stage. That’s Magruder and Troy, Nick, myself. You’re in with quite a group there, aren’t you? Oh yes. They’re the guys that make it happen. And let’s see, which one’s that one? I thought I had one of the— wasn’t there one with the little white lion? I think that was at the beginning. Oh, was it? OK. I think that was at the very beginning we saw that. There they are, right there. Yeah. These are beautiful. Oh yeah. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 The Siegfried and Roy pictures are just beautiful. Jeff Gordon had an album that had this cover over at the [ Atomic Testing] museum, and that’s where I first learned about the JVE [ Joint Verification Experiment]. Oh, it is? It is, because he had that cover and he also had some news clippings and things and some pictures, you know, similar to that, not exactly like that but a lot of that same kind of a thing, so that’s how I got started with that— When they come over to visit us, well, we gave them a presentation out there for two or three days, but at night, well, we took them to the Siegfried and Roy. On the way back there were a Smith Food King over here on the 95 highway here at Jones. I don’t know if you remember where that was. Yeah. They’ve closed it now. So we pulled in there on the bus, taking them back to the test site after the show, and so we went on inside and boy, they scattered and went all through there. A bunch of them went to the Timex watches and everything, the General did, and two or three more, and a bunch more, they’re just walking around. And the majority of them, they bought baby pacifiers. Oh really? How strange! Yeah, nearly every one of them bought baby pacifiers. I wonder why. Well, they don’t have them over there. They didn’t have baby pacifiers. And here come the interpreter. One of the interpreters was Gorbachev’s personal interpreter. And when the twenty- man delegation from there come— Farafonov? Michael Farafonov? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 18 Yeah. And so Gorbachev assigned him to the nuclear portion for this so he could get more up on the technical portion of nuclear testing. So Farafonov or Gorbachev could get up on it? So Gorbachev could. And Farafonov would know more on the language and what for the interpretation and everything. So anyway, when we stopped over at Smiths Food King, well, Farafonov, he went down and here he come back up. He had a three- pound can of Folgers coffee. And I said, What are you doing with that coffee? He said, My boss told me to bring it home to him. Oh. Gorbachev wanted Folgers. Oh, that’s funny. So we get back to the test site and they had went— you know in Russia, if you want milk you go to a milk store. If you want cheese, you go to a cheese store. And you stand in line to get into those. If you want clothes, you go to a clothes store. If you want eggs, you go to an egg store. It’s not like our grocery stores. Where everything’s there in one place. When everything’s in one place. So when we got back to the test site from that night after we left the show and stopped by Smiths Food King, they said that was a set- up. They said that’s not like that in the United States everywhere. Do you know why they said that? You don’t have any idea why they said that. The reason they said it is because that’s not the way they operate in Russia, because each one of their stores is separate, the cheese store, the milk store. And so we said no, no, that’s [ 00: 10: 00] the way we do business here. And they said, Nah, I think it was a set- up, you know the interpreter was saying, They’re saying it was a set- up. So [ we] gave the interpreter a telephone book and said, Here’s a listing of all the grocery stores in Las Vegas and ya’ll pick any one you want to pick and we’ll take you back to UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 19 town and don’t let us know till we get nearly in town which one you picked and then we’ll go to that place. And so we took them to one and they understood it wasn’t a set- up, that that’s the way we operated. Well, that was one of the interesting cultural differences between Americans and Russians that you learned the first night they were, the first week they were here, then, isn’t it? Oh yeah. Yes. You know, that appearances are not always the reality. That’s right. But anything that we done or anything, well, they done it a little bit better. No matter what it was, well, they do that a little bit better. Well, you think they would’ve ever admitte