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Interview with Frank Solaegui, December 1, 2004


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Narrator affiliation: Drilling Manager, Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (REECo)

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Solaegui, Frank. Interview, 2004 December 01. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Frank Solaegui December 1, 2004 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 Frank Solaegui December 1, 2004 Conducted by Joan Leavitt Table of Contents Introduction: born Fallon, NV ( 1921), family background ( ranching, northern NV), childhood and education in Fallon, NV 1 Goes to work in gold and silver mines as a mucker, then as truck driver and equipment operator for contractor at Naval Ammunition Depot, Hawthorne, NV 4 Enlists in U. S. Army as parachute infantryman, recounts military experience with 101st Airborne Division in Europe during World War II ( 1942- 1945) 6 Returns to work in gold and silver mines as a shaft man in Eureka, NV ( 1946) 8 Meets and marries wife ( 1950; death of wife 2004), move to Ely, NV to work for Kennecott Copper Co., family 10 Talks about battlefield commission to second lieutenant during World War II, and reasons for not making the Army a career 12 Recruited by William Flangas for work at the NTS ( 1958), impressions of the NTS and qualifications of workers ( safety issues, training), commuting, life in Mercury 15 Details of work as manager on Cannikin ( Amchitka, AK, 1970- 1971) 21 Role of women in Amchitka, AK during Cannikin 27 Travel in Alaska 29 Talks about work for DOE on mine fire in Kellogg, ID ( early 1970s) 31 Discusses work for DOE on underground safety issues at Hanford Works, WA 34 The Joint Verification Experiment ( JVE, 1988- 89) and comparison of U. S. and Soviet drilling technology 35 Development of big- hole drilling at the NTS, and effect of loss of knowledge and lack of maintenance of equipment on defense readiness 37 Talks about NTS drilling manager Larry Neese, and work on the JVE 40 Feelings about and experiences with Soviets visiting the NTS ( JVE, 1988- 1989) 44 Recounts highlights of life ( Army parachuting, working as miner), and talks about safety issues of miners and relationships with laboratories 47 Talks about most difficult times in life ( loss of wife, certain aspects of jobs), work satisfaction, talking about work with family, retirement ( 1991) 50 Recollections of co- workers at NTS 51 Thoughts on current and future usages of NTS 53 Opinion about worldwide nuclear threat, use of weapons, peaceful use of nuclear energy, Yucca Mountain project 54 Conclusion: general discussion of nuclear program at the NTS, declassification of information, and need to maintain the NTS 57 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Frank Solaegui December 1, 2004 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Joan Leavitt [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Joan Leavitt: I am here with Frank Solaegui and I really appreciate your taking this time. This will be very valuable for us historically. Could you start off by telling us your name, just kind of pronouncing your name for us, and when and where you were born? Frank Solaegui: All right. My name is Frank J. Solaegui. I was born and raised in Fallon, Nevada. Nevada boy. OK. Yes. My father and mother were both— well, I’m the first generation of foreigners in this country. Your mother and father were immigrants? Yes. OK. Where were they from? Spain. Actually from the Basque country, you know, there are seven colonies that— so, you know, that’s my background mostly. So your mother and father, did they immigrate together? No. No. She was about sixteen years old when she migrated over here, and so was my dad. You know, I used to ask him, They didn’t want you around the house? Well, he says, you’ve got to understand that those families, there is no industry up there where those colonies are at. Colonies, you’re still talking Spain? Yes. As far as jobs, very few of them, you know. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Now they had mining there, though, didn’t they, in Spain? Oh, yes, but not in that particular area. And those jobs for the most part are maintained by family through generations, you know, father, son, and right on down the line. So when you talk about employment for strangers, it’s almost nonexistent unless there is a new technology that has come about in that particular field. Are you saying it was economically depressed and that’s the reason they migrated? Well, there was no work. OK. And he was able to come to the United States; this would’ve been around the turn of the century? Yes, early part of this century. I believe it was 1916 when my mother came over and about 1915 when my dad came over. They were sponsored by a family that owned large ranches out of Elko, Nevada. At that time any recommendations that this family made as far as foreigners coming over was accepted immediately. That’s how they came over. How did they meet this foreigner from Fallon? Did they ever tell you? In Elko where this individual was at there were a number of people that knew of this person, this family that was sponsoring. What was the name of this family, do you remember? I’ve heard it but I keep forgetting. That’s OK. If it comes— I was just curious. But you see when they made an application to come over, they had to have a sponsor. And when this gentleman’s name was placed as the sponsor, there was never any question, there was never any problems that resulted from anyone that they sponsored. Well, this family owned a large part of a valley. I could tell you where— out of Jack Creek, Nevada. My dad went to work on the UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 ranch for, oh, a year or two. My mother worked there in the— they had a boarding and a rooming [ 00: 05: 00] [ house], two- story large building. So what did your father do on this ranch? Whatever was needed. Kind of a ranch hand? Yes, as a ranch hand. OK. And your mother worked in the cooking? Yes, maintaining the rooms and what have you where people stayed. Now they weren’t married at this time, though. No. But that’s where they met. Yes. So anyway, that’s where the acquaintanceship started. At a later time, possibly at, well, I’d say 1917, is when they married. They moved out of there to Golconda, Nevada where my mother and an uncle’s wife managed a rooming and boarding house. That was a large railroad town at that time. That was Golconda. Where is Golconda? Golconda is between Elko and Battle Mountain [ Battle Mountain and Winnemucca]. But at that time it was, I’ve got to say, quite a large town. It was the center point for shipping of cattle. We’re talking about days before trucks. The stock would be driven into the corrals which the railroad had, and they would be shipped from there. There were a lot of ranches up there in northern Nevada? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 There still is. But they’re not as large nor operated in the same manner as they did then. So anyway, to make a long story short, that’s where the family started out. My oldest brother was born there in Golconda. In Golconda. And where were you born? Fallon. And what year was that? What year and date was that? Well, in 1921. Nineteen twenty- one. Month and date. What is it? January 26, 1921. January 26. You’re going to have a birthday soon. And is that where you grew up, in Fallon? Well, I say I grew up and went to school there. When I got out of school I left there because other than working on a ranch, there was nothing in Fallon for the young people to do. So they were all leaving, migrating to different places. And I went to work in a mine. You know, I tell people—[ they say], Boy, you must’ve made a lot of money. I say, Let me tell you something about the pay scales. You were very, very lucky to receive that because of the people that were looking for work. Well, this was during the Depression, wasn’t it? Oh, yes. And mining was the main place where there was any work at all. Correct. So anyway, they used to always say, Four dollars a day for muckers and five dollars for miners. And what’d you start out with? Mucker. You started out doing mucking. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 That’s where you do the shoveling. Is that shoveling whatever—? It’s rock. In the mine that’s all there is. And in that position you learned the other things that are related, such as drilling and handling explosives, loading these rounds after they’re drilled to break the rock and what have you. What kind of mines did you work in? Gold and silver mines. But anyway, I always get back at that four dollars a day. They say, Well, what the devil could you do? I says, You could do as much with that four dollars as you can with a fifty- dollar bill today. I remember my mom and dad said their rent was twenty- five dollars a month, and that was in 1935. Oh, yes. [ 00: 10: 00] How long did you work in that mine? Well, in that mine I worked about three years after I got out of school. I went to work for a contractor out of Hawthorne, Nevada. It was the Naval Ammunition Depot for storage. There were two contractors there and of course this was at a point in time when— I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “ cost plus.” Tell me what it means. It means whatever the contractor pays or it costs him to operate is reimbursed by government. So anyway, I went to work there and I actually liked the work very much. They were doing different types of work. They were constructing a dam up in the canyon out of the town site nearby several miles to provide the water for the depot. Prior to that, that water was supplied by water wells. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 So I went to work for this contractor. My employment in the mines did not relate to operating equipment or what have you. And they were very good. First [ they said], Hey, how would you like to learn how to drive these large trucks? Oh, so they were giving you opportunities. Oh, yes. Doing more than mucking. Yes. That mucking was behind me. You didn’t like that very well. You wanted to learn some other things and go on. Oh, yes. So anyway, I worked there as a truck driver and an equipment operator. So you got to actually do work on mining equipment, is that what you’re saying? No, this was construction equipment. OK, construction equipment at this point. And I went to the service from there. Now which branch? I was in the parachute infantry. And was that at the beginning of the war [ World War II]? It was 1942. As long as you had good health, physically in good shape, you could get into the paratroops, which paid fifty dollars more a month than regular infantry. That’s how I got into the paratroops. Is that the reason why you went into it, because there was more money? Initially yes, but I really liked it. That���s a lot of jumping out of airplanes. So you spent the war jumping out of airplanes, is that what you did? Yes. So that’s life. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 Are there any experiences that kind of stand out in your mind of that time, 1942 to— was it to the end of the war, till 1945? That is. Now was it in Europe that you were or was it in—? In Europe. Which battles were you in? Well, I was in the invasion of Normandy, and Holland. Then there were, I’d say, other battles that we did not jump, you follow me? And after about three years of that I wound up— well, it was 1944. I thought I would like to go into the service. Just with a snap of the fingers, you know. To make it a career? [ 00: 15: 00] Yes. Well, to make it a career but at a later time I changed my mind, which was bad because there were officers in this organization that I was in, the 101st Airborne Division— they were building up other divisions, you know— that would tell me, you ought to think about getting into the military on a permanent basis. You know, you’re a young man. When you’re about in your late thirties, you’ll be qualified and eligible for retirement, and you can either stay or seek other work and still get a retirement paycheck. So there were things that encouraged you a little bit to think about this. Well, during all of this thinking and what have you, along comes World War II. It stopped all of that. Oh, you were thinking about that before World War II? Oh, yes. OK, so you were thinking about making it a career before the war came. I was, yes. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Oh. OK, that makes it clear, because it sounded like you were thinking about it after you had been in. OK, so World War II comes along and you changed your mind about making it a career, is that right? I was drafted, so they made my mind up for me. And I was in the service four- and- a- half years. When I got out of the service, I had sort of changed the thoughts of what I’d like to pursue in life, not really knowing what in the devil I wanted to pursue, you know? You’re kind of confused because you’re getting into a different world. Yes, going back to the normal and what is normal. So anyway, after leaving there, after I got out of the service, going back, I was just driving through a town where I had met this individual that I worked with at Hawthorne and he says, Hey, you looking for a job? And I says, I haven’t learned to eat or what have you yet without having one. Boy, he says, I’ll tell you what. You just follow me. He was a supply man, warehouse and supply, for a mine that was about twenty- five miles out of Eureka, Nevada. So that’s where I went to work. I worked there for about— well, until September. There was a company that was sinking a shaft just on the outside of Eureka, Nevada and they were looking for shaft men. Now was this also gold and silver mines? Yes. OK. And a shaft man, is that something that all of the gold and silver mines do? No. There’s different phases of mining operations associated with gold and silver mining. First, there’s the drilling and locating, and then driving tunnels or shafts to where the ore bodies are at. You’d have to do that with any metal or mineral that you’re pursuing. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 So now you had an opportunity to do shaft work. Yes. And that paid— well, I’ll tell you what it paid. The mine that I was working at paid seven dollars a day. Well, that’s getting better. Oh, yes. Now how much was the mine you went to, then? It was twelve dollars a day. Now this was right after World War II. Yes. So you’re talking 1946? Six, right. OK, twelve dollars a day. OK. That was a lot of money then. And that was shaft work. Yes. Now is shaft work a little more dangerous? Is that the reason why it would be more? Well, it is in a way but it’s a little harder than actual mining because you don’t have the [ 00: 20: 00] convenience of all the equipment that you have driving tunnels. So is it more drilling equipment? Doing shafts, is that using more drilling equipment? No, not necessarily drilling. You need drilling equipment to break the rock. You drill the holes with blasting. And of course then the material has got to be taken out. They had their own mucker which had a clan that operated it, a clan that loaded buckets. So that is how things got started. I also met my wife in that particular town. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 What name was the town? Eureka, Nevada. Was her father a miner? Yes. Prior to that they had been ranchers, but intermittently he’d work in the mines. Ranches paid a dollar a day, you know. So you got married in Eureka, Nevada? No. You just met her in Eureka, Nevada. Right. And in 1950 we were married. Six months after our golden wedding anniversary she passed away. That’s my life story. Life has never really been the same since she passed away. And I believe that anyone that is married that long goes through this same thing, you know. You see these things, the manner in which they’re done and how people respond to certain things, you know, from your marriage, but everybody doesn’t live the same. So anyway, as a matter of fact the year she passed away, well, it would be just a little over four years ago, which is to me surprising and yet something I haven’t figured out to this day, we all had Thanksgiving dinner. She was there joking with all of the guys that were there. She had a physical exam scheduled the following day at the hospital. Well, she never did, you know, five days later she had passed away. It was fast. Really fast. Yes. Well, she’d had a physical several months prior to this and it was not detected. She had cancer of the kidney. That’s what she passed away from. Oh, and that is really fast. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 Five days, you know. Well, in a way it was better that it occurred that way than laying in the bed for months. And you did have Thanksgiving together. Yeah. So you began your life in 1950 with her. That’s a good love story right there. Golden anniversaries. That’s very special. That’s a special— Let’s see. So you were working in 1950 and this is in— where was it again that you were? Getting back to your story. Eureka, Nevada. And how long did you stay in Eureka? A short time after we were married, we moved to Ely because of a better job. Oh. Even better than fourteen dollars a day? Or was that the fourteen dollars a day? The company was real good. That was Kennecott [ Copper] that I went to work for. And anyway, [ 00: 25: 00] I liked it better. And my wife liked it better. So that’s where our family was started. And you have one son. Do you have more children? We had tough luck with a family. We had one boy that passed away, oh, thirty, forty hours after birth. And then we had a boy that had cerebral palsy, and he lived until he was sixteen, but he never passed away from anything related to cerebral palsy. But anyway, that’s his— his picture was there. So you had three sons, then, is that right? Correct. Janie Solaegui: Two sons. And a daughter. We didn’t get to the daughter. You have a daughter. Where is she? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 Frank Solaegui: They’re all passed away except my son that she is married to [ referring to daughter- in- law, Janie Solaegui] that lives here. This is their own home. Oh, the daughter also passed away. All the children other than my son that works at the [ Nevada] test site. Oh, Danny [ son Daniel] works at the test site? Yes. Oh, OK. Donna Neese had said that you and the Neeses share a cousin or a grandson, or what was it? A grandson or a nephew or— anyway, there seemed to be some connection with the Neeses. She told me about your son. He’s worked at the test site now twenty- four years. He works there now. He has a good job, which I am grateful for. So that’s life. OK. Now I heard that you had— and this is actually getting back to World War II- that during World War II there was some things that you were kind of a hero about. Would you mind talking about that? Well, anything that you live through, there’s things that you have to do that’s either a matter of continued life or immediate death. But I was battlefield- commissioned. What rank were you commissioned to? Second lieutenant. Oh, you were? Yes, from a sergeant to a second lieutenant. See, everything at that time in my life, as in many others, was depending upon the money that these positions made. And there were officers that were in the companies that I was in and what have you that kept telling me, Solaegui, you ought to make this a profession and put in the twenty years. Do you wish you had, in a way? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 Yes, yes, because I could still have done a lot of things after thirty- five, thirty- eight. This would be another lifestyle, you know. That pension would have been nice. Oh, yes. And you kind of enjoyed the work, too, didn’t you? Oh, yes. But your life took a different detour. So you were battlefield- commissioned. That must’ve been actually really during a difficult time, then. Yes. It resulted from the officers in the company that I was in, all but one of them had been [ 00: 30: 00] killed, so I was performing as an officer for about six months until the division manager says, Hey, we’ve got to stop this. We’re going to hang a second louie [ second lieutenant] on you. And I says, Does that change the pay? He says, Oh, yes. Was it up or down? Oh, it was up. Now how did you feel about officers? Some noncommissioned people don’t like officers at all. Right. Right. They wouldn’t be caught dead being an officer. Well, let me tell you, you raised an interesting question there. There are people who are both enlisted people, noncommissioned, and commissioned officers that have a dislike [ for the] way of life. I really like it myself, you know. That’s why after, oh, I’d say after six, eight years in the service and people would say you know, You ought to think seriously about the regular Army. See, by that time I had increased my rate to a first lieutenant, you know, and an UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 increase in pay and responsibility. I often think about it and I thought boy, you know, what in the heck would I do? And really there were parts of the military that I disliked. Did you? What parts? It was some of the direction that you got from much more senior officers. The problems come about that if you raise some question about that decision, you get a little stamp put on you, you know, he’s a troublemaker. Insubordination? Yes. Are you saying that they’re not open to suggestions? Right. And so there is no creativity. Right. It’s gone. And what did you think about that? Well, life goes on, that’s just the way it happens to be in that particular area. There were parts of the military that I really liked and when we talked about this other officers would say you know, you’re qualified and you ought to think seriously about going to Germany to one of the U. S. bases there and boy, that will be a citizen’s pension. Your responsibility is considerably less and it’s continuous. And this was after World War II when they were rebuilding Germany? Yes. Oh. “ A citizen’s pension.” What does that mean? Well, you’re paid by the military and you pursue another job in civilian life out of the military. But you said no. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 Well, I tell you what, I often thought that was a bum decision on my part because I could have put in the rest of the years to fill out my twenty years, which would’ve required about, oh, eleven or twelve more years in the service. Oh, you had been in the service already for nine years? Yes. You were halfway there. You see, because overseas is two- to- one, you know, and anyway I thought about it and I said, [ 00: 35: 00] what the hell do I want to stay in the military for, you know, and get up and shine your shoes and put on your necktie? I often have thought about it. My sense of values was really off kilter. Well, maybe there was something else that you were supposed to do, because the test site has kind of a military mindset with some of the procedures and things that they do. So anyway, after I got out of the military I [ was] back again mining. And then I came to the test site. Now you knew Bill Flangas somewhere else. Is he the one that got you to come to the test site? He mentioned that, yes. I had a job in South America that I was preparing to get the family ready to go over there. You already had a job offer? Yes. And this particular day I happened to go over to Ely, Nevada. That was Bill Flangas’s birthplace and home. And he says, Hey, he says, you know, I’ve been down at test site now for about a week and boy, they could sure use you down there, and all you’ve got to do is just get down there and say you want to go to work in the underground, which I did, and thirty- three years later— Now did you say, How much do they pay? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 Oh, I knew. You knew they paid well. Well. Yes. Their reputation had— Yes, it gets around pretty good. So you came down. Were you planning on staying for a long time or was this supposed to be for a short time? Not too much planning other than the fact that it was a job and a pretty good one until something better come along. Do you remember your first impressions of the test site and its work? Oh, yes. What were they? I tell you what, I’ve never seen anything quite like this because it was a place where there were people from all over the United States, and it seemed to be that the assignments to most of the people was not really in the area where they should be assigned. And this was a part of the problem in the underground. They were starting to do underground tunnel work. Now this was 1958? No, no. Which year was that? I want to say 19— Was it the Rainier event that you were preparing for? I went to the test site just after the Rainier event. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 OK. Because I do have a list of the tests, if that would be helpful. Now I can get that out. Let me do that. I believe you’re right, though, in 1958 in June. I went to work at the test site June 30, 1958. OK, June 30, it looks like— well, I don’t know if this is helpful to you at all. We’re looking around June 30 here [ showing list] and we’re looking at Operation Hardtack and of course this just tells— this is in the islands here. Most of those were the islands. So you said it was after Rainier. So did you do work on Rainier? No. OK, you weren’t doing any of that. OK, we’ve got the underground right there, ’ 57. When I went to the test site there were two other tunnels that they were just starting, long ones. So they were just starting to dig out the tunnels, then? Yes. [ 00: 40: 00] Which tunnel were you in? E Tunnel was the first one that I went into, which later on, you know, grew by additions. It was in fourteen hundred feet. The problem with that tunnel and also with B Tunnel, which was the other tunnel, is that they did not have qualified miners. You see, the work at the test site underground was still somewhat new. You have any idea why they hadn’t thought about using miners before? Was there a scarcity of miners? No. No, the location of the jobs and still being somewhat new, they didn’t have any idea how long these jobs might last. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 18 Well, was there any union- type expectations that miners did some things and construction workers did other things? Was there any kind of a division at that time or was it more loose, more general? Well, I’d like to say yes, but no, the unions got started in there quite early. The miners did the mining and the equipment operators operated the equipment and truck drivers [ drove] the trucks. Then why were construction workers doing mining? They called themselves miners? Well, they’re called construction workers but they’re within the miners’ union. OK. Were these some of the people that you said shouldn’t have been doing what they were doing? There were quite a few, and there were people that were strangers to both mining and the particular area. They were job- hunting. And at that particular time, if someone said I’d like to go work at the test site as a miner, you went to work. They let you. So it sounded like they needed men. They needed manpower. If you were willing to drive it, you were a warm body and they’d give you a chance? Right. But that was bad because there were people that came to work there in assigned jobs they had no knowledge of and the work, the job, reflected it, you see. Now especially the building of the tunnels, was that right? Yes. I know Bill Flangas had said that when he walked into the tunnel it scared him. It scared him because it was an accident— Did he say why? Well, maybe you can describe it better because he said why but I didn’t really understand it, but it sounded like it was shoring up of the tunnel in some way. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 19 All tunnels in mines and other areas have a semicircular back, and the walls are straight. There’s a reason for that, is because of the weight to prevent the larger sloughing, you follow me, of rock and what have you. And any time that there is any possibility of something sloughing, steel sets are used. At the test site, for example, when I went there the main tunnel was in fourteen hundred feet. It was an eighteen- foot- wide tunnel with a flat back. And you had expected it to be curved. Oh, yes, but I’ll have to tell you about that. The tunnel superintendent whose name was [ Donald] MacGregor, I told him, I said, Someone’s going to get killed in here because of [ 00: 45: 00] that flat back. There are large slabs that form from the small fractures in the rock. Well anyway, he looked at me as if to say, You think you know everything. But about four or five days later there was a man that was killed there. Well, certainly that requires a big discussion and the reason for that and what the problem was. Immediately they went to rounding the backs and using steel sets instead of flat, straight timber. Now was this before or after you were hired? This was after I was hired. After you were hired. So they knew you knew what you were talking about. Were you able to train the construction workers or did you just mostly replace them? Well, you train and replace as they’re available. Because that was bad. There were people there that this was their first time underground, and assigned jobs they had never done, you see. And that happened and existed with both tunnels, both B and E. You’d see these things and yet in my position you can’t really do anything about them. You can’t make company policy because of the need at that time of miners. They had ads in the papers to the outlying communities and they would see that hey, there’s a mining job over there. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 20 All they saw was a job. Yes. [ As in] I can learn anything. I’m a fast learner. Right. So you saw mining [ as] a learning curve of how to do underground testing, then, with those tunnels. What were some of the first tests that you saw? [ It] was in E Tunnel. It was right after an event they called Rainier, and of course there’s much discussion about the tunnel sections going in to where the first experiments were, you know. I’m telling you about these flat backs, and there was a change that was coming about very quickly. Well, it sounds like they did have safety concerns once it was brought to their attention and they couldn’t ignore it. Well, not only that,