Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Patricia Ross by Judy Harrell, March 19, 2014







Patty Ann Drew’s life experiences capture large movements in Las Vegas history: mob-dominated gambling, the Helldorado Rodeo, explosive growth, medical advances, and Clark County School District’s Sixth Grade Centers—all in a desert city centered in the Mormon Culture Region. Patty arrived in Las Vegas as an infant with her parents and older brothers in 1944 and was raised in the Huntridge area, where she and her brothers attended John S. Park Elementary School and matriculated from there to Las Vegas High School. In this interview, Patty talks about her parents working on the Strip, her school days, joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, marrying her high school sweetheart, and becoming a young mother in Las Vegas. After Patty married her second husband, Thomas Ross, the couple built a house west of Jones Boulevard and Patty gave birth to her third son. In addition, she returned to school to earn her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and taught at C. H. Decker Elementary School for twenty years.

Digital ID


Physical Identifier



Ross, Patricia Interview, 2014 March 19. OH-02780. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use ( or contact us at

Standardized Rights Statement

Digital Provenance

Digitized materials: physical originals can be viewed in Special Collections and Archives reading room



Geographic Coordinate

36.17497, -115.13722



AN INTERVIEW WITH PATRICIA ANN ROSS An Oral History Conducted by Judy Harrell West Charleston Neighborhoods: An Oral History Project of Ward 1 Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The West Charleston Neighborhoods: An Oral History Project of Ward 1 University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Managers: Claytee D. White, Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Editors: Stefani Evans, Maggie Lopes, Barbara Tabach Interviewers: Claytee D. White, Barbara Tabach, Shirley Emerson, Lois Goodall, Judy Harrell, Anna Huddleston, Linda McSweeney, Wendy Starkweather iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Harold Boyer. 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 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 Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White, Project Director Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE Patty Ann Drew’s life experiences capture large movements in Las Vegas history: mob-dominated gambling, the Helldorado Rodeo, explosive growth, medical advances, and Clark County School District’s Sixth Grade Centers—all in a desert city centered in the Mormon Culture Region. Patty arrived in Las Vegas as an infant with her parents and older brothers in 1944 and was raised in the Huntridge area, where she and her brothers attended John S. Park Elementary School and matriculated from there to Las Vegas High School. In this interview, Patty talks about her parents working on the Strip, her school days, joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, marrying her high school sweetheart, and becoming a young mother in Las Vegas. After Patty married her second husband, Thomas Ross, the couple built a house west of Jones Boulevard and Patty gave birth to her third son. In addition, she returned to school to earn her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and taught at C. H. Decker Elementary School for twenty years. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Patricia Ann Ross March 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Judy Harrell Preface……………………………………………………………………………………………iv Discusses her parents arriving in Las Vegas in 1944 from Illinois, leaving, and returning in 1945 so her father could work in legalized gambling; talks about living in the Huntridge area and father working at the El Rancho Vegas; describes neighborhood, introduces brothers, and talks about schools and teachers……………………………………………………………………...1-4 Recalls brothers and family pranks; describes Las Vegas shopping and teen activities; talks about joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and taking her husband to the opening of the Las Vegas Temple…………………………………………………………………………5-10 Remembers swimming in the Sahara Hotel pool, riding a horse in the Helldorado Parade, marrying her high school sweetheart and becoming the mother of two boys; describes medical care in Las Vegas in the 1950s and 1960s. Shares how she met Thomas Ross, circumstances in which they married, and Thomas’s rodeo skills.…………………………………………….11-15 Describes Thomas’s family’s mob ties and talks about why George Schwartz left the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Recalls how she and Thomas built their house on El Camino Road west of Jones Boulevard between Sahara Avenue and Desert Inn Road, birth of her third son, Danny, and family horses and motorcycles………………………………………………………….15-20 Recalls her children’s schools and Sixth Grade Centers and going back to school herself in the 1980s, earning an education degree and a Master’s degree. Talks about teaching twenty years at C. H. Decker Elementary School, retiring, and raising her granddaughter…………………20-24 Describes her sons—Darrell, David, and Danny—and introduces her grandchildren……...24-26 Newspaper articles about Ross and Toti houses 1967 ...…………………………………….27-28 Index...………………………………………………………………………………………..29-30 vi This is Judy Harrell, H-A-R-R-E-L-L, and I'm interviewing Patricia Ross. We are outside of a restaurant and so we have lovely music in the background, but I think we'll do fine in spite of that. Anyway, Patty, would you say and spell your last name for the recording? And then we'll get started. My name is Patricia Ross, R-O-S-S. So we are in, like I said, a restaurant. This is March 19th, and Patty has lived in Las Vegas many years and has some good stories to tell. So first I want to know when did your family move to Las Vegas and why? We moved to Las Vegas from Illinois when I was only six months old. We lived at 1000 Griffith Street in the Huntridge area at that time. We only were here a few months. My father was in the gambling business. He had done race numbers or ran numbers in Florida and things like that. But gambling was opening up in Las Vegas and he came out here to do that. Somehow things didn't work. We moved back to Illinois and then back again after another six months. Let me stop you a minute. What year was the first move? The end of '44. Forty-four. Maybe I missed that. And then when you came back, what year? It was probably in '45. It wasn't very long. We then bought a house on 1061 Griffith in the Huntridge area. My aunt and uncle, Harry Flynn, they were on the other street, on Oakey [Boulevard]. So I think that gave some comfort to my mother for moving out here and not knowing anyone. At least we had relatives here then at that time. My father got a job. I believe the job he got was at the El Rancho Hotel at that time. He always worked in the gaming business. 2 Did he deal or what did he do? I think he did everything, yes. Yeah, he dealt and did things like that. So that was why they picked that neighborhood, because your aunt and uncle would be living there, too. Probably. Homes that were built, they were post-war homes. They were actually war homes, I guess. That was one of the few neighborhoods that you actually could find a home in, I think. There wasn't much here to choose from. Especially a home with trees. It didn't have any trees then. I have pictures. There's no trees. Little twigs. They grew to be trees. It was pretty barren at that time. Everything past Oakey Boulevard to the south was desert. As children we would find great fun in going to artesian wells that weren't too far away. It was the first artesian well that I could go to. I couldn't go to the second one until I got older. It was further away. But they were just bubbling springs out of the ground. That was great fun to go out there, little tadpoles and things. And my aunt had problems; she tried to put up a picket fence to try to keep wild animals and horses and things out of her yard on Oakey because her yard faced the desert. Even wild horses would come there? Yeah, yeah. Well, I think a lot of people just let some of their stock just run and had no problems. So what was your house—what did it look like? I think there were two designs in the whole area. It was a three-bedroom—no, sorry—it was a two-bedroom, one-bath home. It had a little kitchen, a little living room and a tiny, little dining room area. Later on my father added an addition to it, which gave us two bathrooms and three 3 bedrooms, but that wasn't until I was a little bit older. Tell me about your siblings. I had two brothers, Danny and Winslow. They were six and eight years older than I was. So I was the girl princess of the house. I remember later when they got a little older they had motorcycles. They had a sidecar on one of them and my brother would sometimes let me ride in it. I remember one time. I went to John S. Park Elementary School, which is like a block and a half from the house. Ruby Thomas was principal then and my kindergarten teacher was Doris Hancock. I remember one time I think I was going to have my eighth birthday and my brother picked me up from school on his motorcycle with the sidecar. And I thought that was really strange because he wouldn't have done that unless his arm twisted. But he took me for a ride. And I said I think we should going home now. And he kept taking me for the ride. Finally I got home and I had my only surprise birthday party. That's why he had picked me up from school, but I didn't realize that until later. But we all went from kindergarten to eighth grade at John S. Park, all my brothers and myself. They were no middle schools. They built John C. Fremont Junior High the year I was going into high school. I think at some point I remember we had a choice of we could do the grade there or go to high school or something, but we all wanted to go to high school. Mrs. Schultz was my eighth grade teacher. I remember for eight years fearing that I'd ever have her because she was there from prime to eternity. And everyone in the school feared her. She wasn't all that bad when you got there. It was one of those teachers you thought, oh, please. Anyway, then I went to high school. What would your house look like inside, do you remember? Was there a table in the kitchen? 4 There was a table in the kitchen. I would think maybe—I don't know. I'm trying to think how many chairs were around it. But yeah, there was a table in the kitchen and a stove and refrigerator. There was a clothesline. I remember hanging out clothes. That was a chore I didn't like, but I got it. There was a washing machine but no dryer at the time. It wasn't very big. In fact, I've gone by my childhood home and somehow it shrunk because in my childhood it was bigger and warm and cozy and now it just looks like, oh, please. Did you come home for lunch from school? We always walked home for lunch, yes. We walked home for lunch. And your mom would always be there. And my mom was always there. I had lunch and would walk back to school. You were always with the neighborhood kids. We'd go out to play. They'd call you home for dinner. They'd stand outside the door and call your name. If [I] came on the first time, I was called “Patty.” And if I didn't come for the first couple of times, then I became “Patricia.” And if I ever got to “Patricia Ann Drew,” I knew I was in really big trouble because I didn't come on time the first few times I got called. But I was probably more of a tomboy. I had the brothers. Cowboy movies were very popular. We would walk to the Huntridge Theater. When you think back on it, I think, why would my mother let me walk there? But times were different. I walked with my friends. I walked to the Huntridge Theater. There was the Saturday matinee and they had cartoons and a movie or something. It was full. I think it was just full of kids. One time they had some kind of fundraiser or drawing or something and somehow I won a bike, a big red bike, and I thought that was so special. I think it's the only thing I ever won. But it was really amazing. I loved that. When I got older— 5 [Recording interrupted] This is Judy Harrell again. We're trying to pick up where we left off where Patty explained that they had a lot of freedom in their childhood going from place to place and running around and being called home to eat and going to the movie. I wanted to talk about a good story that Patty tells me about her brothers being fooled, like if she was supposed to set the table, she'd pour buttermilk for him. I'm sorry, Patty. Tell that story again. Oh, we'd be all out playing and mother would call us home and we'd come from our various destinations back home. But one of us children each had a job that day. If you were the person that had to set the table and pour the milk, then you'd have that job, but you had to be home before the rest of us. If you did that you could easily pour somebody the buttermilk. My father drank buttermilk. He was from Wisconsin and he loved buttermilk and cheese and all that. So we would give the glass of buttermilk to somebody else and they'd come home hot and sweaty and take big gulps of that buttermilk and it was just horrible. We hated it. Well, we kept pulling that prank. Mother would get so mad because we'd waste a whole glass of buttermilk doing that. Anyway, we kept on with those pranks, too. Then we had another prank that my brother and I pulled one time when my aunt was watching us. She was going to come over and check on us. We were home from school. And my brother Winslow decided that we would pretend that we had a fight. So he put ketchup all over me and we had knives and put ketchup on the end of the knife and laid there on the floor dead when my aunt opened the door. I don't think she ever baby-sat us anymore because we were just too much. My brother Winslow and I were always a little bit more in trouble than my brother Danny. He was the good one. 6 Well, tell about Danny and his health problems. Yes, Danny had health problems. When he was 12 or 13, he would get up every morning and be sick to his stomach. My mother thought, well, he can't be pregnant, so it must be something else. But none of the doctors could diagnosis it here in town. I think there was only the Las Vegas Hospital. So they took him down to Southern California and they found a brain tumor and he had an operation at the Queen of Angels Hospital when he was 13 years old down in Southern California. When he was recovering from that, because of where the tumor had been, he had to learn to walk and talk and do those things all over again. So my parents, of course, had to spend a lot of time and money getting nurses and people to take care of him and his needs. I think at times we had nurses actually come from California because of the type of health problems that he had at that time. But he did learn to get his strength back and learn to use those parts of his body. He always had a little limp the rest of his life. Otherwise, he recovered. Both Winslow and Danny graduated in the same year, 1955, from Las Vegas High School. My brother Winslow Drew actually ran against Richard Bryan for student body president that year, too. So it was interesting. It was a smaller town. It was a smaller place. And tell about what your uncle built to help Danny with his physical therapy because we didn't have this stuff available. No, we didn't have things like that. Everything that we tried or did, a lot of it was just made up. My uncle and my dad made pulley things for him. My uncle made like a wooden cubicle thing that Danny could actually stand up in and lean on. They'd put a pool table or something out in the backyard and stand him up in that and he could actually do things with his friends out there, if he could do that. But yeah, there wasn't physical therapy. I don't remember any time that he ever went to any of that. Of course, there wasn't chemo or radiation. 7 So ten years later his cancer came back and he wound up with cancer more on the brain stem the last time and that repressed his breathing and he had to be put in an iron lung. He died a couple days after that second operation. I believe that was in 1956 or 1957 that he died. I think 1957. But his funeral was very large, a lot of people came. I wanted to ask you where you bought your clothes. I guess there was a place called Miss Bobbie's, but I can't remember everything. Ms. Bobby's was downtown. It had petite clothes. Yes. Well, I was petite at one point. Miss Bobbie's. At that time all the stores were downtown. I mean we had Ronzone's, which if you could afford that...that was a more expensive store. But they had the only escalator in town. And then we would go to Sears and J. C. Penney's. But when I was a teenager I think it was Miss Bobbie's and some of those places that were more the “in” thing to do, sweater sets. I don't know if I ever had a poodle skirt so to speak, but I know of them. But do you remember Sarrett's downtown? Yes, I do. I think that was the only office place downtown. Dad got me a Corona typewriter there. I had my first typewriter. It wasn't electrical, but it was my first typewriter. Do you remember Von Tobel's? Oh, yes, Von Tobel's. That was a staple, too. We'd go to Von Tobel's. There was White Cross Drug. There was Austin Drugstore and that's where we went a lot of times for prescriptions and things. And a drugstore that we could go in and—there was one downtown on Fremont Street, a drugstore, and you could go in and I had my very first toasted cheese sandwich there. At a counter you could sit there. Where Milk's was, Milk's Restaurant? 8 I don't remember. I remember there was a Hickory Wood Barbeque downtown and they actually had the big pit in there and you could see the meat being roasted and that was great. And you had movie theaters down there, too. Yeah. As teenagers you'd cruise up and down Fremont Street and go to the El Portal [Theater], usually not the Fremont Theatre because it was off the beaten path and you went to the El Portal Theatre. We'd go around, up Fremont [Street], around the train station, which at that time you'd just make a loop. And then you'd go back down, all the way to the Blue Onion. My husband has said that they used to call that Doing the Doughnut. Yeah. That's what we did and then go down Fifth Street. Sometimes we had a car rally. I had a brand-new Corvair, the one with the engine in the back. It made it really easy for the front to crunch up real good. So when I was in a car rally and he stopped ahead of me, I ran right into Rex Rainey. It was known all over the school. It should have been published in the yearbook because that's how embarrassing it was. I don't know if we hit upon this or not. But the grocery stores... Yeah. There was Cliff's. The market I most remember early on was Cliff's Market. It was on Fifth Street and I can't remember the other street that touched it, but maybe like Gass [Avenue] or something. It was right there in the Huntridge area. We'd go to Cliff's. Cliff owned it and he cut the meat, I think, was the butcher. You just bought anything you want there. I remember begging for Toll House cookies, if I could get my little box of Toll House cookies. I loved it. That's what I had there. I want to ask about the church. Was your mother LDS, also? No. I had friends in the neighborhood that were LDS and I started to go to the [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] LDS church. They built a chapel right by John S. Park Elementary 9 School but there was also the bigger church down by the high school, too. That was the oldest church. I probably went there, too. But I made several good friends. Of course, Winslow, right after high school, married Marilyn Harding who was LDS. And then her sister, Kay Harding, and I were the same age and we went to Las Vegas High School. So I, again, was associated with the church. I begged to be baptized at the time, but was told when I get older I could make my own mind. I know you're still active in the church. Yes. I wanted you to tell about the Temple that's been built here since then and how important it is. Oh, yes, it is. I never—well, for years in the church you had to be married to your spouse to be able to go to the Temple. They changed that ruling back in the 90s, in 1990 something. So I was able then to go get my own endowments and go to the Temple for the first time. But I did have lots of friends who made the trip back and forth to St. George and back. In fact, a lot of times they would even maybe rent a bus or something to do those trips. So a Temple was really important in the valley. What year was the Temple here, do you remember? I should remember these things, shouldn't I? It was in the early 90s because I know I went there. I think I got my endowments the first year it was open. We can add that date later. [Ed. note: The Las Vegas Temple opened November 16, 1989.] Okay. I remember taking my husband who is not LDS to the open house at the [Las Vegas] Temple. Of course, a lot of people wondered why they built it way out there, but they had their reasons. My husband said, well, he'd go, but he didn't want to have to dress up. And I said there 10 will be people in every kind of outfit. I said just be nice and whatever. So I was kind of anxious about taking him out there, kind of like the cowboy meets New York or something. So I took him to the Temple. And the first thing you did out there for this open house was you went in these big tents and they put little booties on you, on your feet so that people didn't ruin the new carpeting that was in there. I'm not kidding you, when I went in this tent, everybody knew Thomas. And I thought, excuse me, I've been in the church all this time, for twenty-something years I've been in the church and everybody was talking to Thomas. It was so amazing. We went through the Temple. He was probably surprised how many LDS friends he had. Yes, yes, he did. What's funny is—actually, a year to the date after we were married I was baptized. The reason I was baptized is because his friend from high school who was a rowdy run-around kid had joined the church and became a missionary and he's actually the one who baptized me and gave me my lessons. It was his friend. So it's a small world. How about the Strip? Do you remember as a young person or as a child ever going to the Strip or being aware of it other than— Oh, yeah. That was a big thing. I remember the El Rancho Vegas. I have pictures of just being a little toddler and going to the floor shows. I had a booster seat and I could sit in there and would watch the shows. Back in those days as children you were not allowed to walk through the casino or be in the casino. You had to boogie right through there if you were. I remember shows like “Spike” Jones, who I never saw, but I remember some of the people that played here a long time ago. So would your dad or mom pay for the show or was it comped? I think they probably paid, but I'm not sure. I don't remember. I was the littlest one. I just 11 remember going. I remember when my mom worked at the Sahara Hotel I could go swimming in the swimming pool there and that was a big thing to do. I would take a friend and we'd go swimming. I'd get the hamburgers and that from their little stand they had out by the pool. I remember staying there till it was time to go home, the sun set. Right behind the Sahara Hotel there was a horse corral and we'd go and sit on that fence and try to feed the horses, carrots or whatever. It was all right there. I mean there was a corral, there was the hotel. And when they built the Tropicana [Hotel], we thought why would they build something so far out as that? I mean it just seemed like the strangest thing. Tell me about Helldorado. Helldorado was just like another huge, big event. It happened every May. You knew it was the end of school. It was something to look forward to. It was the only time we went on rides or anything was Helldorado. There were parades. We had it seemed like three days of parades or at least two days. One was the beauty parade and one was like the old-timers’ parade or something. One year I rode a—I had taken horseback riding lessons. I always wanted a horse and wanted to be Dale Evans or something. Anyway, we took riding lessons and we got to ride in the Helldorado Parade. I thought it would be so wonderful and I guess it was wonderful except my horse just kept wanting to go another direction than we were supposed to. So that was kind of frustrating mile or whatever I had to take him. But it was fun. It was fun. So after high school you married your high school sweetheart. Yes. And you had two boys. Right. Tell about that, the two boys. 12 The two boys, well, when you're young you don't always—it's not like nowadays where maybe you get some experience. It just seems like all of a sudden I was a mother and I just had to learn a lot of things just from experience, trial and error. What years were your boys born? They were born in '61 and '64, again, at Las Vegas Hospital. Oh, tell about Las Vegas Hospital. A lot of people don't know about that. Well, the hospital had the doctors on the bottom floor and then the top floor was the hospital part. So there was Dr. [Grant] Lund and he was our pediatrician for as long as I can remember. That's back in the days when doctors would actually come to your house. I can remember him coming to our house all the time. It seemed like I had allergies, hay fever and I'd get colds and whatever. I can just remember him coming many times to the house. Then there was Dr. [Wilmer] Allen. He was the eye doctor. And Dr. [Gerald] Sylvain and Dr. [Claire Watson] Woodbury were very prominent doctors at the time. They all worked there at Las Vegas Hospital. Then if you got sick enough, and one time I did—I think I had asthma and I had to be put upstairs in the hospital. I just thought I'm going to die. I just was so heartbroken to do that. It was like a big ward. It was, I don't know, ten beds or so. It was just a huge ward that I was in. So both boys were born there? Yes. And I was born—no, no, no. Both of my boys were born there, yes. Dr. Woodbury was my first doctor. And then my second doctor I can't remember, but Dr. [William] Hardy delivered him. That was kind of eventful because he didn't actually remove all the afterbirth and I had to go back a few weeks later and have that done. That's exciting. Yeah, that was fun. It wasn't until years later that I actually went to women's hospital and had an 13 OB/GYN deliver a baby. Back in those they had the rabbit test. The rabbit says you're pregnant or you're not pregnant. It said I wasn't pregnant. But guess what? I was. And they didn't always maybe know your due date as much. Certainly not what you were having. No, no, no, you never knew what you were going to have. But with me I was so small and the stomach got bigger and bigger and I thought I think I'm carrying at ten months. They just said, oh, when they're ready they'll come. I remember the doctor saying, honey, when your baby's ready it will come. And I thought, oh, my word. I truly do. My last baby was actually a little induced because I really think I had a problem with that. But nowadays they would have taken care of that, but back in those days you went until you burst. I remember that, too. And the husband that you've known most of your life and is most important to me, too, is Thomas. Is Thomas, yes. So that first marriage didn't work out, but then you met Thomas Ross. Yes. We met at the El Cortez Hotel, Jackie Gaughan's El Cortez Hotel. I got a job there because my dad knew Jackie and Thomas got a job there because his father was in the mob and he got a job there. And so we met there. Thomas, he'd walk by me. I was in a cashier booth in the casino and he'd walk by and look at me and I'd look back at him, kind of flirty. And I knew he was going to come and ask me to go out. But then at the same time my father was struggling with—he had heart problems and had had a heart attack—several heart attacks. I moved back home with the two children to kind of help Mom out, too. When Thomas first asked me to go out with him, I said no. He said, are you sure? And I said, yes, I just can't right now. It was more because of my family situation. I just didn't feel 14 like—then later one of the change girls, who was actually much older than I was, said, you know that Tommy Ross, he's a nice kid. His family lives on Desert Inn Road two doors down from Wilbur Clark, which was going to be on the other side of where my uncle's house was on Desert—my uncle Johnny Drew lived next door to Wilbur Clark. Then a couple of houses down was Tommy's—Charles Ross' house. And then next door to them was [Ben] Goffstein who owned the Four Queens [Hotel]. But anyway, poor Thomas. So I told this change girl, I said, well, maybe if he was to ask me out again, I would accept this time. And if you knew anything about Thomas, you'd know that was probably not going to happen. But I guess he did because I was so cute. He asked me out again and we went out a few times. We double dated with Mary and Frank Toti, Frank Toti and Mary. And then my father left. My mom decided it might be better if she took him back to Illinois and had family back there to help. So they left one night. Before they left they came by the El Cortez and they said goodbye to me. It was kind of unexpected. My dad took Thomas around the back of the car and he told him, you better watch over her. And they left. That was the last time I saw my father alive. He died within a few more weeks. And Thomas and I got married. That was back in the old days when a father might say that to a young man, you take care of her. Yeah, right. And that he really did. He took it to heart. He was going to leave. And I said, well, my mom's coming home and I've got to be married if we're going to be together. So he says, well, how do we do that? And I says, well, you go down to the JP [Justice of the Peace] and you say I do. And that's what we did that very same day. He went and got the license or 15 whatever. It was Super Bowl Sunday or something. Yes, that first Super Bowl of the year [1966]. It wasn't on a Sunday, but it was Super Bowl weekend or something because that's how he always could remember when we got married. Then he went to work. Then he went to work. We went out to work with Frank and Mary [Toti]. They are the ones who stood up for us for the ceremony. Then he went to work. He went to work that night. That's what a man did. That's what you did. You did what you did. Tell us about Tommy because as friend of yours I was surprised to hear he was a rodeo man. Oh, yeah. Well, he owned two horses when we got married. He had two horses and they were boarded out on a place over off Eastern. Again, all that was ranch area out there. He had done rodeos. He was a calf roper. You rope the back ends, rope the hind legs. I forgot what the name of it. Spurs and everything, oh, yeah. He still has his spurs. He won't let me give those away. They're in the garage right now. The rope and the rope can and rope grease and the whole thing. Yeah, he was a rodeo guy. Never official rodeo, but that was his pastime. To his credit he adopted your two boys. Yes, a few years later. The ex-husband pops up every now and then. To stir the pot. To stir the pot. Thomas just said no. He's going to be the one calling the shots. So he went 16 down and he adopted the two boys. I can't remember. I think it was a bishop at my ward who actually performed the adoption, but I can't remember that name right now. Maybe it was Brother Simmons, a lawyer named Simmons. I was going to mention, in passing you said that Thomas' dad that was connected to the mob. For those of us who have lived here many years, that's not unusual. No, that's not unusual. It wasn't unusual then. I mean my Uncle Johnny was part of a Chicago mob. He was in charge many years of the operation at the Stardust [Hotel] where they would actually skim money made every day off the top and then that would be sent back to the good old boys and then before that whoever owned and operated the Golden Hotel up in Reno. Then Tommy's father—I know that he was from Chicago, too. But he actually dealt in the more hard core. I'm not saying he ever took anybody out, but I wouldn't doubt if he did because he was, from what I understand, a very mean and aggressive person. Well, in that time period when you're talking about and when we came in the 60s, the people who had started with the gaming here were gamblers. So it was common. Right, it was very common. That was the bottom line. I remember having one of my neighbors was George Schwartz. I went to school with George Schwartz. He married Jo Ellen Mopps. They were our neighbors out on El Camino Road. At one time he ran for and became on the [Nevada] Gaming [Control] Board. Maybe he didn't run for it, maybe he just got appointed to it, to the Gaming Board. This is the truth. They actually put a little bomb in his car one day. And I tried to tell him before then, bec