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Transcript of interview with Ian and Irmalee Anne Ross, by Claytee White, March 28, April 5-6, 2012






R. Ian Ross, better known as Ross, and wife Irmalee have dedicated their lives to serving, and improving, their community. Both Ross and Irmalee’s families moved to Las Vegas, from Los Angeles and Reno respectively, drawn by the opportunities presenting themselves in the growing city. While in college, Ross would spend his summers as busboy at the Sands hotel, where his mother worked as beauty consultant and salesperson. Ross attended law school, and soon after finishing, started a law firm with Jerry Snyder and Oscar Goodman. After a couple of years, Ross took a position with the City Attorney’s Office while also starting his own private firm. He later served as an assemblyman in 1977-78. In addition to his work as an attorney, Ross has engaged in various real estate ventures over the years, largely in North Las Vegas. He served as the president of the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and dedicated himself to developing this part of town. During this time, Irmalee was an active member in various social organizations, including Junior League, of which she still is a member. Having lived in Las Vegas for over 50 years, from ‘mob days’ to the present, Ross and Irmalee have accumulated unique experiences, and developed keen insights, about the growth, change and development of Las Vegas. Unlike others, they embrace the city’s continuing evolution as a community.

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Ross, Ian and Irmalee Interview, 2012 March 28, April 5, and April 6. OH-01604. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with R. Ian Ross and Irmalee Anne Gray Ross An Oral History Conducted by Claytee White __________________________________ The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2012 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editors: Barbara Tabach, Maggie Lopes Transcribers: Kristin Hicks Interviewers and Project Assistants: Barbara Tabach and Claytee D. White 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 R. Ian Ross, better known as Ross, and wife Irmalee have dedicated their lives to serving, and improving, their community. Both Ross and Irmalee’s families moved to Las Vegas, from Los Angeles and Reno respectively, drawn by the opportunities presenting themselves in the growing city. While in college, Ross would spend his summers as busboy at the Sands hotel, where his mother worked as beauty consultant and salesperson. Ross attended law school, and soon after finishing, started a law firm with Jerry Snyder and Oscar Goodman. After a couple of years, Ross took a position with the City Attorney’s Office while also starting his own private firm. He later served as an assemblyman in 1977-78. In addition to his work as an attorney, Ross has engaged in various real estate ventures over the years, largely in North Las Vegas. He served as the president of the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and dedicated himself to developing this part of town. During this time, Irmalee was an active member in various social organizations, including Junior League, of which she still is a member. Having lived in Las Vegas for over 50 years, from ‘mob days’ to the present, Ross and Irmalee have accumulated unique experiences, and developed keen insights, about the growth, change and development of Las Vegas. Unlike others, they embrace the city’s continuing evolution as a community. v Table of Contents Interview with R. Ian Ross and Irmalee Anne Gray Ross March 28, 2012 & April 5, 2012 & April 6, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White SESSION 1: Ross talks about his family; parents’ courtship; growing up in Detroit and moving to Los Angeles for grade school years, including Hebrew school. Family moves Las Vegas for economic opportunities. Recalls breaking neck in high school and deciding he wants to be a lawyer. Mentions childhood inspirations; Jewish youth organizations; meeting wife in high school; childhood neighborhood and neighbors in Las Vegas …………........1-6 Irmalee speaks about her family; parents meeting in Reno; father moving to Las Vegas. Family moves back to Reno, Yerington, then to California; father receives EDD from Stanford; moves to Las Vegas to lead school district consolidation. Recalls father leaving education for banking and public service; mother works as homemaker. Father chairs fundraising committee to purchase land for Nevada Southern ....................................7-13 Ross and Irmalee speak about Irmalee’s father’s self-published novel about Nevada; publishes book of poems and drawings as well. Mention elementary school named after her father. Ross remembers his mother’s work as a beauty consultant at the Sands hotel; working at busboy at Sands during college summer breaks. Recollects stories about Sinatra, Johnnie Rae, the Copa Room, segregation…………………………………14-20 SESSION 2: Ross speaks about early growth of Las Vegas, from 1905 to building of Hoover Dam to liberalization of laws and development of Test Site. Mentions housing development booms and busts, driven by savings and loans institutions, speculation. Both talk about various residential areas in downtown Las Vegas, and their respective communities growing up; relationship between these areas and the Strip………….................….21-28 Ross talks about law school; first jobs after graduating, in Carson City and then Las Vegas; works at District Attorney’s Office. Discusses starting law firm with Jerry Snyder and Oscar Goodman; dissolving firm for each to pursue individual paths. Ross joins City Attorney’s Office; supplements by starting own private firm………………..……29-35 Ross recollects working with George Rudiak; more about working with Oscar Goodman. Recounts stories about real estate ventures with Goodman, driven by Howard Hughes’ business expansion; co-defending accused in murder retrial………………………..36-43 vi Irmalee discusses her job as a homemaker; raises two sons; actively participates in attorneys’ wives club; other social clubs and organizations. Both speak about spending time with Irmalee’s father and brother; taking their sons to hunt, fish……..………..44-46 Ross continues talking about working at City Attorney’s Office; pursues politics; becomes assemblyman in 1977. Meets Richard Tam and engage in real estate ventures together; buy 900 acres in North Las Vegas. Ross becomes president of North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Discusses North Las Vegas’ growth plans………………...47-53 Ross discusses lengthy process of selling North Las Vegas lands; becomes Civil Service Board attorney; North Las Vegas Housing Authority attorney; manages this with private interests and law practice. Works on changing perception of North Las Vegas; prompting growth. Ross becomes Clark Country Health District’s attorney in 1988…………..54-57 Irmalee remembers going back to school and getting teaching certificate; teaches at Las Vegas Day School for 13 years. Mentions the role of Junior League in skills development. Ross discusses his unique method of getting know his clients; tells one more story about a real estate deal and the garbage company………………………..58-63 SESSION 3: Irmalee recalls the Walking Box Ranch outside Searchlight; stories of the Weikels, the owners. Ross recounts defending friend in suit brought by Frank Rosenthal; real estate standoff Steve Wynn; “Perry Mason case” defending accused rapist…………...…...64-70 Ross discusses time as assemblyman; decisions on big issues like Equal Rights Amendment, Laetrile, constitutionality of capital punishment, smog testing regulations. Continues recalling legislation on the right to die; bill to allow Nevada Attorney General to live outside Carson City; governor’s desire for landlord-tenant bill….…………...71-76 Ross speaks about passing legislation to create medical school in Reno; costs and benefits of financing professional schools for medicine, dentistry and law. Mentions school busing; sales tax issues; losing re-election to assembly. Talks about interactions with Senator Gibson; political term limits…………………………………………………77-82 Irmalee and Ross discuss transformation of downtown Las Vegas. Ross discusses elimination of railroad yards; determinants of downtown development. Both speak about Smith Center; ideal developments to continue rejuvenation; compare Las Vegas community now to ‘mob days’; their love for Las Vegas……………………………83-91 Index………………………………………………………………………………….92-93 vii viii 1 This is Claytee White. Today I'm in the home of the Rosses. It is March 28th, 2012. Mr. Ross, if you will start first by pronouncing your name correctly and spelling your first name for me. Mrs. Ross, if you would do exactly the same thing. My legal name is R, period, Ian, I-A-N, Ross. My name is Irmalee, I-R-M-A-L-E-E—that's one word—Anne, A-N-N-E, middle name; maiden name Gray, G-R-A-Y; last name Ross, R-O-S-S. Wonderful. Thank you so much. Also, I prefer being called just Ross. Oh, really? Thank you. I will. Thank you. That's easier for me because when I look at your name I want to say Ean (pronouncing). That's why I prefer being called Ross. Good. Ross, if you will get started by telling me something about your early life. My father's name was Samuel Rosenbaum. He was born in Canada and his family ultimately moved to Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from high school, and through the apprentice program, became a pharmacist, ultimately owning his own drugstore. My mother's name was Ruth Schwartz and she was born in Chicago, Illinois. There had been a marriage between the two families. My father's sister married my mother's uncle. The matriarch of the family thought that Ruth and Sam would make a good couple, and so they engaged in correspondence, and ultimately married and settled in Detroit. 2 I have one living sister, Brenda, who lives in Southern California. She's seven years my senior. I had a brother, Barry, who died when he was about 29 years old. I forgot to mention my mother's occupation; generally, she helped dad in the store. In Las Vegas, she first sold ladies' dresses and then ultimately sold cosmetics at the Sands hotel beauty shop. I was born in Detroit, Michigan, on 12/12/38. We lived above my dad's drugstore. I grew up in Detroit until I was about seven years old. Then the family moved to Los Angeles, for a couple of reasons, primarily health-related; my mother and sister had severe hay fever and asthma, and the winters were tough. Also, my mother wanted to be closer to her mother who had already moved to California. So we moved to California. I went to the grammar school, which was right across the street from where we lived. We lived on one side of Olympic Boulevard, and grammar school was on the other. I would go to school by a tunnel under the street. When the bell rang and everybody went to line up to do “The Pledge of Allegiance,” I then went to school. It was a typical childhood. When I was eight, my parents sent me to Hebrew school; that was three days a week. My mother gave me money to take the bus, but I hitchhiked and kept the money. When I was bar mitzvahed, I no longer went to Hebrew school, so I then got a job selling newspapers on the corner. Could you imagine hitchhiking in L.A. today? I can't imagine hitchhiking anywhere today. Yes, true. When did the family move to L.A? 1946. It was an economic disaster for our family. My father couldn't get a license in 3 pharmacy in California because he wasn't a graduate of an accredited pharmacy college; he had been trained through the apprentice program, and California required a college education. So Dad opened a store that didn't have liquor and didn't have pharmacy, and slowly went broke. Thrifty Drugstore was opening two stores in Nevada, and Dad was able to get license reciprocity. He chose Las Vegas because it didn't have a severe winter, though he didn't know anything else about Las Vegas. We moved here in 1953. My school year in Los Angeles went from February to February. So we moved here in April when I was a freshman, and the following year I was still a freshman. I had a choice of either going forward or going back, and I decided to go forward. I went to summer school and graduated in '56. So I was a freshman in '53 and in '54, became a junior the following year and then a senior; I was never an academic sophomore. When we moved here, I got a job in Kline's Thrifty Market at Main and Charleston, boxing groceries and filling the shelves. I guess one of the most significant events in my life is I broke my neck when I was 15. I was on vacation at the beach with my sister who lived at that time in California. I dived into what I thought was the water and hit the bottom, sand. It was a compressed fracture of the fifth cervical, which means it was a small break; it wasn't really serious. But I thought it was serious. I decided what I wanted to become, and I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. My father, when he heard that I wanted to be a lawyer, got me a job as an office boy in a law firm, Zenoff, McIlbee and Manzone. I was an office boy there for a couple of years, and then I graduated high school. My brother took over that job. 4 Why the jump from being injured to being a lawyer? I thought I would be limited in what I could do. I thought I would be physically limited. For instance, with a broken neck, I wasn't involved in physical education any longer; I didn't do physical education in college, and ultimately, it had some effect on my draft status. So I thought it would have effect on my choices of employment. I actually never had any kind of infirmity that I'm aware of, but it was a major event in my life. I guess I just never deviated from that goal. Who were some of the people who inspired you along the way, as a young man, as a boy? Milton Green. I was very active in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in Los Angeles. Milton Green's son, Robert, was one of my classmates. Milton Green was our Cub scoutmaster and assistant scoutmaster and was very influential in my life. Tony Isaacs was our leader. He was a couple years older than we were, and I kind of looked up to him; he was a true-blue guy and nice. I did a lot of Boy Scout things—camping, hiking. I went to the '53 Jamboree at Irvine Ranch. In high school, I was involved with the Jewish youth organization, AZA, Aleph Zadick Aleph. That was very big. We spent a lot of time together talking. We'd get together and dance with the BBG girls. What is a BBG girl? The Jewish girls youth organization. I don't know what BBG stands for. Maybe—B'nai B'rith Girls. Oh, yes. Versonelle Abrilly was important to me in high school. We ate lunch together in high 5 school every day. We were friends. She ultimately arranged a date for Irmalee and I, which was significant. Tell me about the correspondence between your parents. How long did they correspond before they finally met? Did they do a regular courtship? No. It's very strange. My father was an introvert and he was very non-demonstrative. I hate to be a stereotype, but somewhat Canadian. My mother fell in love with his letters, and she also did what her mother told her to do and that was to marry him. They were not happily married. They ultimately were married for about 27 years, three children, and it was not a happy marriage. I did not understand all of this until I went off to college and my father wrote me letters. I suddenly saw he had an amazing ability to write and express himself. I could see why she fell in love with his letters. Wow. Did you save those letters? Of course not. Did your mom save hers? I doubt it. Those are some of the things we do at the university. When we collect a family's papers and those kinds of letters that they will donate, people can learn all kinds of things from those kinds of donations. I love that. Where did your family live when they first moved to Las Vegas? My family bought a house. It was at 1051 Hassett, between Tenth and Eleventh. Hassett is two blocks south of Oakey and that was virtually the end of the town. So was that considered John S. Park at that time, the neighborhood, was it called that? 6 Probably not. It was the Howard Hassett track, which consisted of two streets. Wasn't the elementary school the John S. Park? That was where your brother went. Yes. It was in the John S. Park area and if people called it that, it could be. But I always thought of it as the Howard Hassett track. My brother went to John S. Park. Behind us was another street that's escaping me right now and then there was Saint Louis. Then it was just desert. One of my favorite stories is watching my mother clean the sand out of the service porch with a shovel because we were virtually at the end of the desert, and the desert really blew. We had a small two-bedroom, one-bath house, and there were four of us—my mom, Dad and my brother and I. By this time, my sister had married and she was no longer immediately in the family. It didn't have a carport; it didn't have a garage. It had a big yard because it was a small house. I used to ride my bicycle from there to Vegas High. Do you remember any of your neighbors? Yes. Chaz Meyerson lived across the street. Chaz was a year or so ahead of me in high school. We weren't that close in high school, but we later became roommates at college for a year or two. He studied engineering, but he played the guitar and he liked playing the guitar, but he didn't like engineering that much. Later he actually became a professional guitarist, after about a year or two of engineering. We've had no contact since. Then there was Cantor Kinnory, who lived two doors down from us. While I went to Hebrew school five years to get ready for the haftarah, my brother studied with Cantor and memorized his in six months. Somehow that didn't seem fair to me, but that's 7 how it goes. He and his wife were refugees from Germany. I never asked the question, but I've always wondered why were they wise enough and smart enough to leave Germany when they did, because they survived and obviously numerous others did not. Gertrude, after the Cantor died, became a client of mine. I did law work for her. They were nice people. Then one block south, about the same place in the middle of the block where I lived, was Jim Grigsby. We were close. During the summers he could get construction jobs that paid a lot of money and I could only get busboy jobs, which didn't pay as well. But we were friends and we would go out together. Jim later became a fireman, I think, for Clark County and died young of Lou Gehrig's disease. There was another boy who lived down the block, Arson I think his name was, but That's about all the neighbors I know. Good. Thank you so much for those memories. Irmalee, I'm going to do exactly the same thing. Okay. I'm going to ask about your early life. I have a little outline there just to help you remember some of the things that I'd like you to touch on. All right. My mother's name was Irma, spelled with an I, Cordelia, Niles; Niles was her maiden name. She married my father and his legal name was Raymond Guild Gray, so obviously my mother became Irma Gray. People called my father Guild, but his first name was actually Raymond. But there was an agreement in the family that he would be called Guild. There was a discrepancy between his parents as to what he should be named. His father had a friend 8 named Guild and wanted to name my father after his friend. They compromised and called him Raymond Guild, but he was known to almost everybody as Guild Gray except when he was in the Navy they went by his legal name. My mother was a homemaker. She did have some college at UNR. I don't know why she didn't finish. I don't know whether she married or whether she chose to do something else. My father primarily was an educator. My parents met at Lake Tahoe, but they were both living in Reno, Nevada. My father moved there in 1913 from Illinois with his family. I'm not sure what year my mother moved there. She moved there to stay with some aunts. They met on a double date where they were each with other people, and started dating and married. Anything else you want to know about them at this point? Okay. I have one brother. I think there's more to tell about your father. There is a lot more to tell about him, but I don't know at what point you want me to— Let's tell about him. My father had a very full life. He was educated in Reno, for elementary school and high school. He graduated from high school at 16, went to work for a survey crew that surveyed central and eastern Nevada. He worked for them two or three years. Then, at the advice of his boss, he started college at UNR, and got a bachelor's and a master's. Once out of college, he came to Las Vegas in 1938 and taught at Las Vegas High School. Thirty-six. I thought it was '38. Maybe he left in '38. Maybe he came in '36 and left in '38. You're correct because I wrote a couple of notes. 9 I can't be wrong all the time. [All laughing] **He was not in Las Vegas for very long at that point in time because his father had passed away, who was living in Reno with his mother. He returned to Reno to help his mother even though he had a sister that also lived in Reno. From there, he was principal of Reno High School for some time. He did some teaching at UNR. He had a state position in education. We moved to Yerington, Nevada for a year, and he was a combination of high school principal and superintendent of their school district. We were there only about a year before returning to Reno. In 1943, he joined the Navy. When he left the Navy, he was the administrator of the Pacific Fleet Radar School. He left the Navy at the end of the war. We eventually moved, probably about 1952, to Walnut Creek, California, because he decided to get an EDD, a doctorate in education, and he was accepted at Stanford. He also had a job as curriculum coordinator for Contra Costa County, a little bit north. That year he remodeled our home, he traveled to Stanford for his classes, and he had a full-time job. This was the kind of guy he was, which for a lot of people was quite amazing. He did very well at Stanford. He got A pluses. He was always high energy, very busy. We were in Walnut Creek for about a year, and in Las Vegas, they wanted to consolidate the school district. He did his thesis at Stanford on that consolidation. Somehow there was a connection between the educators in Las Vegas and Stanford; the Stanford people recommended my father as this person to do the consolidation. So in 1953, we moved to Las Vegas. At that point in time I think it was called the Las Vegas 10 Unified School District. Two years later, it was the Clark County School District. I've read two different things: most of what I have read says there were 14 separate districts in Clark County; I’ve also read there were 13. He consolidated all of those into the Clark County School District. There was tremendous growth in Las Vegas during that time, so there were a lot of challenges. He held that position for about five years, and then he left education and went to work for First Western Savings and Loan. Do you remember what he did there, Ross? He was a vice president. He did personnel. He did demographics. He also negotiated and located new branch sites. The company was expanding, so they were opening new branches. He did that, and he did all the hiring. He did all the kinds of things that weren't involved with banking. So most of the savings and loan people there were money people, and he was very non-money. He did the things that the other people couldn't do, and he did them all. Did you take after your father? I would say that no one in our family [laughing]. My brother and I probably have some of his characteristics, but this high-achieving person is pretty unique. They exist, of course. We all know of people who have accomplished a lot in their lives. I would say that except for possibly my 16-year-old granddaughter, maybe she will be more— Too soon to tell. Yeah. Did your mom work outside the home? She did not. She was a homemaker like during that period of time; that was more common than women that worked outside the home. She raised children. She was involved in community activities. She was a member of the Gray Ladies. The Gray 11 Ladies was an organization that went to Nellis and assisted people in medical need. She was a member of the Mesquite Club. She was one of the founders of the Campfire Girls, and she was a leader in Reno and in Las Vegas. She was a Daughter of the American Colonists, so she traced her heritage back to the 1600s. She was pretty active in that organization. I think that's about all. My father was a member of multiple organizations, and so she would go with him to different events. She was mostly a supporting kind of a person for his career. Wonderful. She left out a couple of things. Okay, First Western Savings. Yeah. Then while he was at First Western, he was a two-term assemblyman. My goodness. Yes. He ran for the assembly as a Republican and was there for two terms. He was the one who sponsored the bill, creating the funding for the school district, the sales tax. Yes. They didn't have a method of paying for all the schooling, and the goal was to get a dedicated entitlement that couldn't be touched for other things. He was able to pull it off. He did do that. At another point in time, he was city manager of Boulder City for a couple of years. He also worked for the county as— Need to go back a step. Yes. He wanted to finish getting his pension, his 30 years in. 12 From? PERB [Public Employees Retirement Board] Okay. He had all that time at the school district in Reno and here. They had an opening in Boulder City for city manager and also had two other positions open at the same time. They couldn't pay enough for him to be their city manager, but if he took all three jobs and got all three salaries, they could afford him. He committed to being there for three years. And he did all three jobs. He did all three jobs. And did them well. And did them fairly well. Yes, he did them well. He also worked for the county for a short time and did analysis—population analysis, economic analysis. In his last position, he worked for a company called Burrows, Smith and Company, which was a financial company working with municipal bonds. He traveled the state, and went to different municipalities. Bottom line, I think you would call him a Nevadan and not a Las Vegan. He lived here a number of years and loved the community, but he had his affinity to the entire state because of his experiences and the people he knew from all the cow counties. One thing that would be of interest is that the legislature provided financing for what they called Nevada Southern, the precursor to UNLV, but they said that the community had to find and buy the land for the university. My father was the chairman 13 of the fundraising committee so they could purchase land. He's very involved in the state of Nevada. Do you know anything about that land purchase, how much money was raised? I was either in high school or college, and one of my summer jobs I was to count the cash. I recently read something that he had written about the gaming people not supporting the university. But Benny Binion gave $5,000 of his personal money, and that was their biggest donation. They had a certain amount of money and they wanted 40 acres of land. They just kept going further south until they bumped into someone who was willing to sell them 40 acres of land for that amount of money. There was a lot of negativity that they bought land so far out. I know. That's amazing. They obviously only bought 40 acres of land and the campus is substantially larger now. The first building, Maude Frazier Hall, was built in '58. Prior to that Nevada Southern had classes at the high school auditorium and the Baptist church. I know that because I was a freshman at the Baptist church and in the high school, and a sophomore at Maude Frazier Hall. I guess the culmination of her father is that he received Distinguished Nevadan from the University of Nevada, Reno. He wrote a novel after he retired. He was in his 70s. He did retire? He did, three years after he said he was going to retire, and after his retirement party. I think he was afraid to retire. He didn't know what he was going to do with himself. 14 Obviously, he had a lot of interests. He did eventually retire. What was the novel about? Nevada. Of course. It was called The Treble V. He had a friend in the Nevada State Legislature, Norm Glaser. The Glasers own a lot of ranches in Elko. When he and Norm were going around the land, they saw kind of a dugout, and Norm told him that that was a dugout [where] somebody lived in the 1800s. That was the genesis of this novel. Norm's brother was— Arthur. —Arthur. So he named his character Norman Arthur. It's a story of Norman Arthur and his descendants, from about 1846 to 1925. There are things in the book about the founding of Reno, Carson City, Winnemucca because his character travels, being a rancher, to deliver his cattle and does things. Everything in the book is historically accurate. Do you still have a copy of the novel? Yes. That is great. It's 900 pages. But Nevada history. Right. It's interesting. Ego is an amazing thing. My father-in-law was a near genius. He couldn't get the book published, so he published it himself. My father-in-law wasn't much of a salesman; he didn't believe in that. But he hustled that book all over the state. 15 He went to every library in the state of Nevada and had them buy a couple of copies. He would not give the book to anybody. He would give the book maybe to his daughter and his son, but he wouldn't give it to anybody. Have you thought about having it reprinted and published? No. No. No. The point I'm getting at is even friends had to buy it. I like it. He ultimately broke even. Okay, good. He got all of his money back out of the book. Yeah. I was reading something yesterday where he said he had sold 4,000 copies. People wanted him to write another book, but he knew he couldn't write another book. He had several hobbies. Photography was one hobby as well as poetry. He wrote poetry. He decided to create a collection of his poems and photographs on the Great Basin. Then he just focused on writing poems. He'd think of a subject, a whole series of subjects, and then he'd write poems on it. He had the poems he had written, plus new poems, and he compiled them. Every poem he had a picture taken that depicted the poem. Like if he wrote about a dead tree, he'd have a picture of a dead tree. He called it Nature Sings and he published that. That is wonderful. Was it published by a publishing company this time? Guild Gray. Yes, that one was published locally. 16 I can't remember his name, who published it. It was his friend. It's on the tip of my tongue. It will come to you. The final thing is they named an elementary school after him. He enjoyed going to the school and talking to the children. He would donate money to the school every year, a couple thousand dollars here and there. The children were always amazed that there was somebody called R. Guild Gray, that there really was a human being. He would go in October around Nevada Day and talk to the fourth graders. He would give them a little lecture, with a slide presentation, on the history of Nevada. He also would go around giving talks and slide presentations to various civic organizations. He was active in the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and one time delivered a talk to the chamber on why he wasn't rich. Of course, I knew why he wasn't. But it was funny because he was intellectually honest and he explained how he had a friend, George Early Harris, who was here in 1936-7 with him. Early was real estate-oriented. He tried to convince Dad to go in with him to buy 40 acres of land for $500 an acre and it's the land where the Desert Inn hotel got located. He talks about this and whatever. Then he ends the talk this way, which is typical and, I think, accurate, “But I still wouldn't have been rich because as soon as the land was $550, I would have sold it.” [Laughing] I love it. That was my father-in-law. That was wonderful. I'm going to get back to your mother, Ross. You said something earlier 17 about the Sands. Yes. Tell me about your mother's work. My mother was a salesperson. I don't know why she made the transition from dresses to cosmetics, but she did. She had a line of cosmetics out of Beverly Hills called Aida Gray. I see. She was their representative here and sold them at the Sands. She was not a cosmetologist, but she would give facials and counseling. My mother kept doing this work until she was in her 70s, and she had gorgeous skin. She would tell people that the reason she had such great skin was because of Aida products. [Laughing] I think that was great. That wasn't true. My mother just had absolutely gorgeous