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Transcript of interview with Richard Leigon by Stefani Evans and Claytee White, January 12, 2017






The first part of this Shakespearean quote perfectly describes the deep admiration and love that Richard Leigon has for his father, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) leader Ralph Leigon. The elder Leigon's major contributions include 39 various positions from the Nevada State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Nevada State Democratic Party, and the Southern Nevada Building Trades Council. Richard speaks upon the early years of Las Vegas with the allure of atomic testing, going to school with future community leaders Jerome Mack, Shelley (Levine) Berkeley, and Beth Molasky as well as the role of the union in building Las Vegas. After graduating from Las Vegas High School, he attended Somona State University and obtained a degree in humanistic psychology where he furthered his father’s influence on becoming a ‘we’ person. He came back to Las Vegas to start his 40-year career as an active member of Local 357 as executive

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Leigon, Richard Interview, 2017 January 12. OH-02937. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD A. LEIGON An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2016 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editors: Stefani Evans, Vishe Y. Redmond Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the university for the support given that allowed an idea and the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE “A father should be a son’s first hero….” The first part of this Shakespearean quote perfectly describes the deep admiration and love that Richard Leigon has for his father, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) leader Ralph Leigon. The elder Leigon's major contributions include 39 various positions from the Nevada State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Nevada State Democratic Party, and the Southern Nevada Building Trades Council. Richard speaks upon the early years of Las Vegas with the allure of atomic testing, going to school with future community leaders Jerome Mack, Shelley (Levine) Berkeley, and Beth Molasky as well as the role of the union in building Las Vegas. After graduating from Las Vegas High School, he attended Somona State University and obtained a degree in humanistic psychology where he furthered his father’s influence on becoming a ‘we’ person. He came back to Las Vegas to start his 40-year career as an active member of Local 357 as executive director of the Southern Nevada IBEW National Electrical v Contractors Association (NECA) Labor Management and Cooperation Committee. He oversaw all public works prevailing-wage projects in Clark, Lincoln and Nye counties under the jurisdiction of Local 357. Along with making sure building projects were in compliance with Nevada Revised Statues and Nevada administrative codes, his office has received over three million dollars in wages that were fraudulently denied to hundreds of workers. As a metaphysical practitioner and teacher, he speaks existentially about the importance of social media and how it can help us become more humane with each other as well as disrupt millennia-long patterns of religious-based violence. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Richard A. Leigon January 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee D. White and Stefani Evans Preface……………………………………………………………………………………..……..iv Silver Street in Henderson; Sweeney and 15th Street: Huntridge; John S. Park Elementary School; Helldorado; Civil Defense and boy scouts; Ralph Leigon’s beginnings; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Las Vegas Board of Civil Service; Las Vegas Civil Service Commissioner; Nevada State AFL-CIO; Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council; Leigon Way: Bonanza and Lamb Boulevard; Ralph Leigon Way; Irish Baptist family background; above ground bomb testing from The Mint Hotel………………………...…… .1-10 Richard Bryan; John C. Fremont Junior High School; Senator Kennedy; bussing at Showboat Hotel; JFK Assissination; Valley High School; Vietnam War; MLK; Kent State……….…..11-20 McCarthy Era; Al Davis; joining the union: 1975; Sonoma State University; prevailing wage; humanistic psychology; IBEW 357 National Electrical Contractors Association; project labor agreements; generational changes in communication and technology; role of the unions in Building Las Vegas; importance of manufacturing; robots; environmentalism; Native American Spirituality; 2.4 million year cycle; Infinite Truth and energy; getting back to ‘we’…….…..21-32 Appendix 1: Personal Stories……………………………………………………………...….….33 Appendix 2: School Name Endorsements of Ralph Leigon………………………………….34-47 Appendix 3: Appointed and Commissioned Positions of Ralph Leigon……………..………48-53 Appendix 4: Letters of Praise and Thanks for Ralph Leigon…………………………...……54-56 vii 1 STEFANI: Good afternoon. It is January 12th, 2017. We are here in Las Vegas with Richard Leigon. Richard, I'm going to ask you to please spell your first and last names for the tape, please. Sure. Richard, R-I-C-H-A-R-D. Last name is Leigon, L-E-I-G-O-N. Thank you. Also for the tape, this is Stefani Evans and Claytee White. Richard, I'd like to begin by asking you to explain please how your family came to Las Vegas and why they came and when they came. I'll do the best I can. My father was a union electrician in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He came to Las Vegas or brought the family to Las Vegas before I was born to work on Boulder Dam. This is post-construction. My step-grandfather actually came to Boulder Dam as a carpenter for construction, but those paths had not crossed yet. So my dad brought us to Las Vegas and we lived in Henderson. What year was that? You'd have to ask my sister. I would say maybe 1945 sounds about right. I know it was after the war. So, that's what brought our family to Las Vegas or to the greater Las Vegas area. Where in Henderson did you live? I think it was on Silver Street. My sister, who is eight years older than me, remembers that. I was born in 1949 in the Boulder City Hospital overlooking Lake Mead. I don't remember the first couple of years. My sister says we lived in Henderson, but I don't remember that. I remember growing up on Sweeney Avenue, almost at the corner of Sweeney and 15th in what is called the Huntridge area. So, I remember growing up in the Huntridge area. Why don't you tell us what that was like? Well, that was pretty cool. There's kind of an old Huntridge and a new Huntridge. We were in the new Huntridge, which means we were on the east side of Maryland Parkway. The Huntridge area is just north of Charleston and Maryland Parkway and runs right through the whole center of it. We were about, oh, a couple of blocks south of Saint Anne's Catholic School and Bishop Gorman High School at the time; that's where I was located. At that time when I was a little kid riding my bike, Sahara Avenue, or San Francisco Avenue, was the last paved street I remember. Everything south of Sahara was just wide open dirt except for what we know as The Strip, and that wasn't that populated back then. CLAYTEE: So what do you remember as The Strip? What was on there? El Rancho... El Rancho, New Frontier. I remember going to the New Frontier. It was kind of like a Wild West little venue. The Flamingo. Everything was just separated; it seemed like it was just so far to go. 2 But I remember the Flamingo. It was when I had a driver’s license, while in high school, that I was able to drive around and expand my experience of Las Vegas. A junior high school friend of mine who lived in the neighborhood; his father was the man who was responsible for running the Stardust Hotel. Other kids that I grew up with had parents who were in charge of various operations at some of the hotels as well. One particular someone lived on the Desert Inn Golf Course and we would walk out the back door and play “Frisbee Golf”, back in 1968. I went to John S. Park Elementary School. What I remember about John S. Park Elementary School is that we shut down every year for Helldorado and it was a big deal. Helldorado was on Fremont Street. Of course, I was too young to cruise Fremont Street, but we rode our bicycles over there. Helldorado was a big deal. In fact, the whole town participated in the Annual Helldorado events with parades and rodeo events. But we always had a rodeo down at Cashman Field and it brought in all the top-name contestants and we had the parade. As a kid it was a lot of fun to go down because they always had a kangaroo jail. Those Helldorado buttons were about four inches across. I used to have a complete collection of them. I mean, it was a big deal. You had to have all these things. If you were an adult, male, and you didn't have your Helldorado button on, they'd throw you in this kangaroo jail. They had a landline out there and you had to use a phone to call somebody to come up with your bail or you weren't getting out. What was the bail? I have no idea. I'm going to say a hundred dollars, but I doubt it was that much. Probably not. Yes, I doubt it. Maybe twenty-five dollars. I don't know. Did your dad get thrown in jail? No, I never saw my dad down on Helldorado. He was an extremely busy guy. So I never saw that part. But we'd just go down just for the entertainment. Now, my dad always took the family to the rodeo. So the rodeo was a big deal at Cashman Field and we got to watch steer wrestling, calf roping, bull riding, barrel racing, team roping, bareback riding and bronco riding! The smells of a full blown rodeo are incredible when you’re in elementary school! Later in my adult life, while in Brookhart Hardware Store in Woodland, Park, Colorado I ran into a man and we were just talking. Somehow we got to talking about Las Vegas and Helldorado back in the early days. He totally remembered how the whole town would turn out and participate in Helldorado. He remembered all of the parades and especially the RODEO at Cashman Field. As a matter of fact, he went on to tell me that he was a cowboy participating in the Las Vegas Helldorado Rodeo, the same rodeo that I was watching. As soon as he left, someone working at the hardware store came up to me and curiously asked me if I was a good friend of that guy? I said, no, that we had just met and started talking 3 about Helldorado Rodeo in Las Vegas. Then the employee asked me if I had any idea who I was talking to? I said no. That was Larry Mahan, all time World All-Around Rodeo Champion for five years in a row announced the employee! Larry and I actually kind of became friends in a way because I just saw him as another guy that put his pants on one leg at a time and he just loved the fact that I wasn't asking him for a pair of boots or a free shirt and he could just be a guy. Oh, nice. Not National Finals? Well, we didn't have a convention center yet and we didn't have the Mack Center. We still had Southwestern University. We didn't have all of that. This is back when McCarran Airport was a long drive out of town and Sunset Park was still just a dream. Everything was small. So I was in Cub Scouts Webelos and Boy Scouts, Troop 69 of Griffith Methodist Church. Cub Scouts Webelos and Boy Scouts was a big part of development back in those days. Again, I went all through the whole program, Cub Scouts Webelos and Boy Scouts, down at Griffith Methodist Church. Being in the Huntridge area, of course we'd go to the Huntridge Theater. I'd get an allowance of a dollar and it was always a silver dollar. I mean, everybody had silver dollars. But with a dollar I got into the theater. The first thing they always rolled was a World War II war film and then we always had to have a Looney Tune cartoon, at least one before the main feature. Then I could get a box of popcorn, a soda and a candy bar, and I think that broke even on that dollar. You had a whole day? Yes, yes. So we had a great time down at the Huntridge Theater. That was a lot of fun. What kind of activities did you do in the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts? The most fun was we went to Zion at least twice a year. We would go camping. Now, we always went camping in and around Las Vegas. Where I live right now was so far out of town, of course. I can remember camping out in this area. We're talking about ZIP code 89113. ZIP code 89113. Of course, this goes back during the Civil Defense days, I remember now that we're talking about Boy Scouts. Every Saturday at noon our Civil Defense sirens went off to test our alert system. Of course, in school you learned about duck and cover and all this and that. So what did you do on Saturdays when it would go off? 4 Just listen. We just had to stop and listen. The school system back then, Clark County School System, they would talk about it in school and that's when you learned the duck and cover part. What you practiced and one of the things we talked about in Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts was the Civil Defense system in Las Vegas, and all these blue signs with the little circle and the triangle in the center would point you somewhere, so you had to know where that was. If it's not Saturday at noon and that siren goes off, you need to know where to go. So you had to know these little signs in your area where you lived, where are you going. So where were the safe places? Well, that was a long time ago. I couldn't tell you. But I do remember when I was in high school and we drove out here, me and a couple of friends, and we went hiking we came across a mountain that was hollowed out, huge. We figured out that this was a Civil Defense; this was one of those locations. It wasn't in the city. It was out here in 89113. But it also had hundreds of barrels of water and stuff in there. We knew that this was a place where people were going to be brought to. The National Guard was always a big deal and always played a big role in our Civil Defense. Now that would take us into junior high school, but in high school we'll talk about going out to the Test Site. But in junior high school that was John C. Fremont Junior High. John C. Fremont? Yes, John C. Fremont Jr. High. I recently found out that John C. Fremont was previously an elementary school and that we were in the first class as a junior high, which is grades 7, 8, 9. In homeroom, I remember that the kids sitting next to me by last name were Levine, Mack and Molasky. Oh, in alphabetical order. Yes. So as we're sitting in alphabetical order all through junior high and high school, Shelley Levine sat right next to me and Charlie Mack and Beth Molasky. There were other people in our 5 class and things growing up, but those kids I remember quite well. We had great relationships. Junior high school, of course, was a time when we had different experiences. Obviously that was a time when President Kennedy was assassinated. Now, my President Kennedy story, I can either tell you now or when I talk about my dad because it involves my dad. Is the Kennedy story in the time frame that we're talking about? Is that story coming up? Oh, sure. Let's talk about it now. And you can introduce your father as you're going through this. So my dad, Ralph Leigon, was born and raised in Tucumcari, New Mexico. My mom, Evelyn Morrow, was born on a cattle ranch in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. So she was a cowgirl and my grandfather was a cowboy. My dad's dad worked on the railroad, Union Pacific Railroad. Now, my dad's dad, Grover and his wife, Sally, my grandmother Sally, they moved from South Carolina in a covered wagon. They moved to Texas and Texas is where on a farm everybody got through the Depression. So my father was a small boy in the Depression. There was a time when my grandmother and my grandfather—my dad wasn't born yet. But let's see. There was my dad and my dad had two older brothers and two sisters. The family walked from Texas to Vaughn, New Mexico. So they literally walked across an entire state. My dad was born in Vaughn, New Mexico, and then they went to Tucumcari where, again, my grandfather worked for Union Pacific Railroad. That was kind of a railroad-Irish connection there. Then my father and my mom met in school in Tucumcari, NM. But my dad...Okay. So here's some of the stuff that my dad did in Las Vegas. It's really my father that inspired me to come to UNLV with your program of people that helped build Las Vegas [Ed. Note: Reference to UNLV Libraries’ Building LV Initiative]. There are a lot of unsung heroes of people that helped build Las Vegas. My dad, coming out of the Depression and volunteering for World War II and getting rejected and volunteering and getting accepted, my dad served in the United States Navy. Prior to that he had joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Tucumcari, New Mexico. If we are going to talk about my father then it is important for everyone to know what he was dong to help build a better Las Vegas for the fathers, mothers and children. My dad was a quiet man, a working man, a man building our community. Here are a few of Ralph A. Leigon’s accomplishments. I didn't even know until I returned to Las Vegas in 2002 why dad was never home at night growing up. But he was very busy. He was a Boy Scouts of America Tri-State Council member. He was a Clark County Civil Defense trustee. He was a Clark County Democratic Party committee member as well as Clark County Democratic Party Convention chairman on three occasions. Clark County Federation of Labor president. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357 business manager from 1950 to 1969, and that has never been duplicated; you have to be elected every few years. He was the International 6 Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Executive Council; he served from 1960 to 1976. He was the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International Secretary; that's for United States and Canada, from 1975 to 1985. When my dad got promoted to Washington, D.C., then governor of Nevada wanted to throw a going away party for my dad and he had to rent the Las Vegas Convention Center in order to do it; it was that big. He served on the Las Vegas Board of Civil Service as a trustee, Las Vegas City Golf Board member from 1959 to 1970, Las Vegas Civil Service Commission member, Las Vegas Community Relations Commission member, Las Vegas Valley Water District Advisory Committee member in 1961, Nevada Governor's Committee on State Education and Financing member, Nevada Human Rights Committee member in 1958, Nevada Savings and Loan founding charter member for 1956; that was the first savings and loan in Las Vegas, possibly the whole state. Nevada State Advisory Council for the First World Congress of Flight, member in 1959. If you go to the Nevada State AFL-CIO and look at their charter, you'll see my father's name because he was a founding charter member. How could you not know some of this? You never knew any of this? Growing up, I knew my father as a working electrician and then I knew that he was the Business Manager/Secretary running Local Union 357. Dad worked in the day Monday through Friday down at the Union Hall, came home for a martini and dinner, took a deep breath and was off to a meeting. I became aware after the fact that he was promote to IBEW International Secretary. As a fellow Union Electrician I would smile when I got my C.O.P.E. ticket from Washington D.C. and there was my dad’s rubber stamp signature! My father never bragged about anything he was doing. He did not tell war stories growing up either. I’m not sure if it was growing up as a child of the depression or going overseas to fight WWII. Once in a while out of the blue, Dad would drop a bombshell like the day he told me that Howard Hughes sent Robert Mayhew to recruit him, Dad declined the offer. He was just your dad. He was just my dad. Nevada state AFL-CIO Mortgage Investment Trust trustee. Nevada State AFL-CIO National-International Union Committee secretary-treasurer. Nevada State AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trade Department vice president and executive board member. Nevada State AFL-CIO founding member and president, 1959 to 1963. He was also on the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council; he chartered that as well. Nevada State Board of Education member from 1971 to 1976, Nevada State Democratic Party Central Committee member, Nevada State Democratic Party Convention 7 chairman on two occasions. He was a Nevada State Eldorado Advisory Group member from 1959 to 1960 and again in 1961, Nevada State Employment Security Council member from 1955 to 1971, Nevada State Red Cross Board of Directors, Nevada State Regional Import-Export Committee, Nevada State Unemployment Advisory Board, and Salvation Army Executive Board. He served on numerous grand juries as well as Southern Nevada Building and Trades Council founding member and vice president. He was Southern Nevada Central Labor Council president from 1952 to 1960, and Spring Mountain Youth Camp board member, United Fund board member, United Way executive board member. USA, United States of America President's Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped member from 1960 and 1961. And he served on the United States White House Conference on Education, delegate in 1955. And he was never at home at night. He was never at home. My dad's calendar was set on January one; for the whole year he knew where he was going to be. While he was doing this, he was, again, the business manager of IBEW Local 357. So he had to run that union. That's not even everything what all would happen. Now, do you remember the party, the going away party? I was in Hawaii. So you don't even remember that. Oh, no, I wasn't in there. As you know, I could keep reading everything that my dad's done. So you're not even finished with the list? No, I'm not finished with the list. How many pages is the list? Just a half more. You want the half? Absolutely. For his dedication to this community and fellow man, Ralph was recognized, honored and appreciated with a street named Leigon Way, which runs alongside the old union hall at Bonanza and Lamb in Las Vegas. Las Vegas mayor and city commission declared May 22nd, 1976, as Ralph Leigon Day. The governor of Nevada, Mike O'Callaghan, presented an Outstanding Nevadan Award, June ninth, 1977. The governor of Nevada, Richard Bryan, who grew up two blocks from us, declared April 11th, 1986, as Ralph Leigon Day. United States Department of the Treasury presented a Patriotic Service Award in September 1982. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357 dedicated their new union hall in honor of Ralph A. Leigon on May 15th, 2010. He was a charter member of the Griffith United Methodist Church 8 in Las Vegas and belongs to the Heritage United Methodist Church as well. He is also a member of the Las Vegas Masonic Lodge number 32 and the Zelzah Shrine. Ralph loved golf and in the springtime of 1952 Ralph took golf lessons from PGA professional John du Flor. Ralph was a member of the Las Vegas Men's Golf Association from 1952 to 1974. He was a member of the Las Vegas City Golf Board from '56 to '74 where he served as secretary of the board from '66 to '74. In 1958-1959 my dad worked with a volunteer committee that helped to start the Del Webb Sahara Invitational tournament. Herb McDonald and John Romero were the key leaders. Ralph played in the Sahara Invitational Pro-Am each year from 1958 to 1972. Ralph was paired with professional golfers of note, Jerry McGee, Bill Bair twice, Al Geiberger, Doug Sanders, Chi-Chi Rodriquez and Raymond Floyd. So that's pretty much...It kind of sums it all up. And this is your daddy? That’s my dad! Can you tell that I’m pretty proud of my dad? When I think back over the years I can remember people coming up to me and telling me about something that my father did to improve the situation they were in for everyone involved; US Senator’s, business owners, Nevada Governors’ and working men and women. My ancestry is Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Scandinavian. I’m the youngest in our small Scot-Irish-Welsh-Scandinavian family and I don’t remember talking about feelings or personal anything. It was pretty quiet in our house and rarely did anyone raise their voice. You were just told. Remember, children were to be seen and not heard. I’ve talked with men my age and others remember their dad’s in the same way. And yes they were of the Gaelic background, too. So no, I knew very little about my dad’s world. However, now I can see why he wasn’t home much and why every Saturday and Sunday, as long as the sun would rise, that he was playing golf on a beautiful green relaxing golf course somewhere! At his pace my dad might need two martinis! So I thought the Irish were more vocal and lively. That's another nationality that begins with an “I,” Italian. I thought Irish were—okay. Hey, all the Irish I know are real quiet. But not the San Francisco Irish or the New York Irish. 9 So San Francisco Irish, for example? Well, my father came from a Baptist family. I don't know if that means that's why they were quiet. I'm from a Baptist family. There was little talking in my house. That's interesting. We didn't really discuss much at all to be honest with you. Well, I don't know how he had time to do much of anything. Yes. So tell me about growing up with a father like that. Did you work as a teenager? Yes. Tell us about your jobs. But remember we've got a John F. Kennedy tie-in. Yes. So I want the John F. Kennedy tie-in. So that wasn't until—you were born in '45. I was born in '49, 1949. So let's get the John F. Kennedy tie-in now that we've introduced your dad. Because we were moving into junior high school. So now you know who my father was. We've got a taste of who this man is. He was a man of many hats and I can tell you a couple of stories about that. But he was a man who wore many hats. So when I was in junior high school...The John F. Kennedy tie-in. Then we'll have to back up to fifth grade and aboveground atomic bomb blast testing. Let's do that first. So aboveground bomb testing...So my dad told me a couple of times, he said, "Okay, son, I'm waking you up really early on Saturday." "Okay." That's all he'd tell me. Oh, he wouldn't tell you why. He doesn't talk much. That's right. We don't talk. 10 Yes. He has a reputation for being an amazing arbitrator and he's always been in demand as an arbitrator and a mediator, high demand. But quiet at home. Because he doesn't talk. No, he talks a lot there. Richard Bryan will tell you all about my father. Richard Bryan has nothing but praise for my dad, and so does Shelley Berkeley. Shelley told me, "Richard, when we graduated high school and you left, I went and learned everything I know from your father." Now, when you say Shelley Levine, you're talking about Shelley Berkley. Shelley Berkley, yes. Anyway, so we got up and he drove me. We went to the tallest building on Fremont Street, the Mint Hotel. We rode the elevator to the top and we got off and I see these other guys, these other adults in there. Nobody's talking. They all just nod. They all nod to each other. Nobody's talking. They're all watching their watches. I think it was eight a.m., a couple of minutes to eight. So we lined up along the bank of windows that faces north. All of a sudden, you would see—I guess it's fifty miles away—but you would see a flash and then you would see a mushroom grow. And then it seemed like seconds, it might have been a half a minute, all of a sudden, the building would shake and the plates would rattle and it would just pass through the building. A couple of times, we would just sit there amazed and enamored staring at this mushroom cloud. What color was it? It was a bright white flash for one thing. Then the sky around it would change and turn and it would get pretty bright. Then you would see these little lines start lining up alongside— Vertical lines. Yes. As the mushroom grew into a big mushroom, then you would see these little white lines lining up, stagger out from the... Lines of light? It was dust, dirt, something, atomic debris. Going down from the...? Yes, they were vertical. Coming down from the top of the mushroom? So if you've ever seen that photo of the mushroom and there are these white lines on it that's exactly what we were looking at. That's what we saw. So was the mushroom white? Was it orange? 11 Well, first it was a surprise because it was so bright. It was just this rotating ball of gas that would just...It was just the mushroom basically. It would just literally come straight up just like it was sucking everything off the ground and coming straight up and then just boiling. As it's boiling you would see some different colors. So it was in constant motion. Yes. Yes, it was in constant motion. It was just this boiling. It was pretty strange. So you were in fifth grade. I was in fifth grade. We had two newspapers, the Review-Journal and the Sun. If you know the battle between those, you understand one was printed in Los Angeles and had to be brought up by a bus. So what was kind of interesting is within a couple of days of—now, we had Anderson Dairy and Heine's. Heine's was a dairy back then, too. I noticed on the front page of the newspaper on the bottom right corner was a small box and it would just say, "Warning, don't drink the milk right now; it's a little radioactive." See, the cloud would drift over into Utah and Utah is where all the cows were. So that's why we heard about the deformed cattle. Yes. And you also heard about the city in Utah that has the highest leukemia rate in the nation. Correct. So, yes, the radiation would drift over into Utah. But, yes, so it was kind of interesting to read, "Don't drink the milk right now; just wait a while." Right now. Yes. So how did the population of Las Vegas respond? What did your parents' friends who talked say about that? Sure. Now, here's what we have to understand especially for today's generations, we had no social media. So there wasn't any social media. It was the newspaper. You had a phone that was on a party line. You had a newspaper that was going to come out a couple of days from now. So people getting together and talking took effort. We talked about it more in the classroom and in school. So we would learn more about it as a scientific thing in school. But understand that in Las Vegas the hotels figured out how to capitalize on this. So they would have Miss Atomic Bomb Hairdo or whatever. So everybody was mesmerized by this 12 novelty. Nobody was, oh, my god, it's terrible and it's the end of the world. It was more of, wow, what a novelty. As children growing up, we just...We didn't understand it. Doesn't everybody? Yes. We just thought Las Vegas was normal. Whatever you grow up in, you think that's what's normal. So we all just thought this was normal. But we had Helldorado. Now we have this other event that you never know when it's going to occur and it was a big deal because it wasn't so much that you could get out of school, but usually these were on the Saturday and people would drive to the skirts of town to watch the bomb go off. It was just that I was privileged to be with my dad and have a special invitation to go to the top of the Mint Hotel and do this. So it was a big deal. Everybody thought, wow, this is really cool. Of course, we were on the cutting edge of that. My dad explained to me later in life how we were really tied into the Los Alamos, Sandia Laboratories; that's where the plane left; that's where the bomb came from. The bomb wasn't built in Nevada. That's where the atomic test...Now, understand, since my dad was the head of the electrical union, we had a lot of electricians involved out there that were wiring everything. You could go down to the union hall; there was one book just to sign up as electricians to go to work at the Test Site. Everybody wanted to work at the Nevada Test Site. Did you earn more? Yes, you got more money. It's a national federal contract. Besides the fact that you have to drive so far, so there's going to be a little travel pay involved. But government jobs are interesting. So, the John F. Kennedy thing. I just have one more question before we go to Kennedy. Oh, please. Please. So you were in fifth grade. So this would have been 1955? Yes. So do you know what test this would have been? I don’t k