Skip to main content

Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Chet Buchanan oral history interview: transcript


Download OH_03344_book_a.pdf (application/pdf; 599.19 KB)





Oral history interview with Chet Buchanan conducted by Barbara Tabach on November 28, 2017 for the Remembering 1 October Oral History Project. Chet Buchanan begins this interview with a discussion of his move to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1999 after he was offered a job as a radio show host for 98.5 KLUC. He talks about the specifics of his job, including his career background as well as the Chet Buchanan Toy Drive. For this interview, he specifically goes into detail on his coverage of the Las Vegas October 2017 mass shooting and discusses being in San Diego, California at the time, yet still striving to reach people through his broadcast with the help of CBS San Diego. Throughout the interview, Buchanan examines his desire to make a difference in the community with his show and his interactions with the public.

Digital ID


Physical Identifier



Chet Buchanan oral history interview, 2017 November 28. OH-03344. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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

Standardized Rights Statement

Digital Provenance

Original archival records created digitally








NOVEMBER 28, 2017





Chet Buchanan [radio/TV host, emcee and auctioneer] was in San Diego cheering on his best friend who was competing in a triathlon. For Chet it was an extended weekend off and looked forward to relaxing with his wife and his friends. His relaxation was interrupt upon receiving notice of the mass casualty shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

The day before, on September 30, Chet had emceed the NASCAR Truck Race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Suddenly he was reacting to the jarring call from his 98.5-KLUC co-worker shortly after 10 PM: there’s been a shooting at the Route 91 concert; there are two reported fatalities and dozens injured.

Hours later as the massiveness of the shooting was becoming known, Chet immediately felt he must get on the air for the community he loves. He scrambed to find a place in San Diego where he might broadcast and shares what he felt during that early morning of October 2.

Chet moved to Las Vegas in 1999 and quickly became a beloved member of the community as well as a highly rated local radio host and local personality. During this interview, Chet talks about the amazingly success of Toy Drive and the meaning it has for him. Each year, since arriving in Las Vegas, for twelve days in December, Chet lives atop a scaffolding in the NV Energy parking lot. He is there to publicize the Toy Drive, which has raised millions of dollars and collected innumerable truckloads of bikes and toys that have brightened the holidays for thousands of local children. 1


Today is November 28th, 2017. Would you introduce yourself for me, please?

My name is Chet Buchanan; C-H-E-T, B-U-C-H-A-N-A-N.

Great. This is Barbara Tabach. We are doing an interview for the Remembering 1 October project here at UNLV and we're sitting in my office at the library. Chet, just to get a little background about you outside of Remembering 1 October, it says you came here in 1999.

It's true.

What brought you?

The job. I've been in radio for a number of years. Quite honestly, I was done with the business. I had had my first really difficult situation in Seattle and it ended poorly and I was disillusioned. My dad has always had this little empire of real estate and agriculture and livestock on and off. And so basically I kind of had enough and it was, let's go to work. We owned a mobile home park, so basically I was going to manage that and basically get my hands dirty.

This is all in the Seattle area?

Yes. It's outside of Seattle. If you go east from Seattle, you have Seattle proper and then you have Bellevue and Redmond where Microsoft is, and then you continue west from that and you have a beautiful little valley and a little tiny town that doesn't quite know what it wants to do with itself yet, what it wants to be, and that's where my dad lives. At one point in the seventies he probably owned 70 percent of it and then has sold off a little bit here and developed there.

He had always thought that this silly radio show thing—he didn't understand that I was actually pretty good at it and had had quite a bit of success. But I was disillusioned, so I was like, all right, maybe I'm done. People in Las Vegas probably don't realize it, but 98.5 KLUC, at the time and to this day, is very well respected in the industry. It's kind of a big deal. The program director at the time is one of my best friends in the world. I actually live across the street from 2


him now. They needed a morning host and basically they asked me to come and fill in and I did. They offered me the job and I didn't want it. And they said, "Well, come back, but this time we need you to spend some time with people when you're not working. We need you to go out to lunch or dinner with somebody every day." Okay, you're going to pay me to come and vacation in Las Vegas again, okay. I said no again. Same thing a third time. "But we need you to go with these people instead. These are the people I want you to hang out with." That kind of thing. At the end of the third trip, I put a deposit down on an apartment and two weeks later I was here.

So you came specifically to work at 98.5.

Yes, I came to work at KLUC.

You've been there since when, since 1999?

Yes, since '99. Then I had an offer. The evil Clear Channel came and they were trying to put a top-forty station on here in town in 2002 and basically gave me just a ton of money to go back to the Northwest and I went to Portland. They gave me a lot of money and said, "We need you to come and save your former station in Portland." Where I had started, essentially, my first full-time job. "They need you." It was beyond saving at that point. But I was there for two years from '02 to '04 and couldn't wait to get back.

Is that a long time in your career?

Two years?

No, no. To be an on-radio personality, is that a long career?

Yes. No, it is. The reasons for that have changed. It used to be that that was a long time because you were generally looking for more and trying to go to a bigger market, so you wouldn't stay in Las Vegas a long time. But Las Vegas has changed dramatically. When I got here really the 215 ended at Decatur. Sahara ended, gosh, I think not too much farther past Fort Apache where I 3


lived. Also, the business has changed. Now people get let go just because they're making too much money in our business. If you're talented and you work hard and you're a good person and you have good ratings, then you can stay.

Beyond working at the radio station—we talked about this on the phone and this has happened to me when I would describe that you were coming in to participate in this project—people know you in the community for other reasons and talk about that a little bit. What are some of the other things that you have done?

Probably the shorter version of the story, I think I'm pretty active. It all starts and ends with the morning radio show. But a lot of times people go, "Oh, I know you," if I'm hosting an event. I host and emcee and auctioneer probably about fifty events a year in town, one a week; that's probably about right. Some weeks are busier than others. All of the events leading up to and including the Las Vegas Bowl, I do that and I'm on television and that kind of stuff. People will see me at an event. "Where do I know you from?" "Oh, well, I host a morning radio show on 98.5 KLUC." They say, "Oh, no, I don't know that." "Well, for years I did everything on the court and on the football field for UNLV Athletics for eight years." "No, no, no, I've never been to a game." Whatever, argh, argh, argh. Usually it comes around to I'm the guy that lives on the scaffold and raises toys for kids every year. They go, "Oh, you're that guy." Oddly enough, it tends to come back around to that. But I think it's good. At least they're not going, ugh, that guy, ugh. People seem to be pretty receptive, which is nice.

When did Las Vegas feel like home to you?

Not long after I came back. I mean, I knew. I knew. Seattle is still home to a degree; that's where I grew up, I spent a lot of my life and now all of those things that were my father's, they're mine and I have to take care of them and nurture them from a distance. There's a lot of things that I 4


don't know and I've acquired other things. I've gone, "Well, I'm not crazy about this, but I do like that," and we've done that. That's a constant education, continuing education.

But Las Vegas...It's funny. We always joke. When I'm here, I want to be here. When I'm there, sometimes I want to be there. I'm at that point in my life. If you go through a rough period with your job, there have been times where you just go, well, maybe it's time to hang it up, and then you come back and you go, what was I thinking? How could I ever believe that?

Not to be overdramatic knowing the subject matter here, but One October was one of those times where I go, "I have to be here; I can't leave here; I can't." There were people that said things like, "The voice of Las Vegas; you're the voice of this community." What? What? We just tried to do what's right. I'm sure I'm getting ahead of myself.

No, no, you're doing fine.

No, I knew. There was a time and I want to say it was that 2004 Toy Drive when I came back—it was either '04 or '05—and I get pretty emotional with it, but, yes, I broke down at the end and just said, "This is my home." It makes me emotional now thinking about it. So, yes. I wish I could bring everything that I love there and bring it here or I wish I could bring all of this and take it there a lot of times. I think the rest of my life will be—I imagine at some point it will be summers in Seattle and the rest of the time here.

That would be great.

Mid-June to mid-September in Seattle and the rest of the time here.

What a nice thing to have those options, for sure. On a typical day you mentioned to me before we started recording that you get up at three.

Yes, three ten. My alarm goes off at three ten.

What are you doing at three ten? 5



But are you mentally getting ready for the day? What is it like in your role?

Always. Always. You're always looking for content and material. But, yes, I like to think I'm a reasonably highly motivated person. In fact, if I'm not trying to be modest, no, I think I'm a highly motivated person. You're looking for the next thing. What's funny is just talking about it gets me excited, gets me excited, and I go, "Ah, there it is; my sinus has opened a little bit," and it's like, there's that buzz; there's the adrenaline that I've kind of been missing the last couple of days. Toy Drive starts Thursday. This is Tuesday afternoon and it starts Thursday morning and this is the part of it that I dread because I have to leave my home and I have to leave my wife and my dogs and everything that I love and I'm going to go live on a scaffold for twelve days.

Is that what you do, you're up there twelve days nonstop?

Yes. I've lived over six months of my life on a thirty-foot scaffold.

Where is this scaffolding?

At NV Energy for the last—I want to say it's twelve years now. The first two years we were at Boulevard Mall. Then we moved to the old—well, it was Sahara and Valley View on the south side of the street there. It was there—well, two and twelve, fourteen, so that means it was there for five years if this is the nineteenth. So we were at CompUSA and there by Mariana's and all that for five years. That's the thing; there's still people that don't believe it.

Where did this idea come from?

How much time do we have?

You can give me the Reader's Digest version.

The true story was getting here in 1999, we wanted to—I—well, my boss Cat Thomas, who I had mentioned before, who is now my neighbor across the street, Cat and I wanted to make a splash 6


with this new morning show, with this new morning host. I also wanted to do something for—I felt the best way was to do it—let's not do a stunt. Let's not do a stunt for stunt's sake. Let's do something for the community because that's enduring; that lasts. I didn't know how much it would last. I really didn't. But I thought it was the right thing to do. I've been really fortunate with that where I try not to do things for the money. That will come. If you do the right thing and you do it the right way, generally it does pay off in the end. It's not the easiest way.

Ever since I was a little kid I have had this weird vision; in my head this thing was made out of wood. But you have the Space Needle in Seattle Center in Seattle. You have the International Fountain and they have this big grassy area. I can explain it now that most people would know it as the place where everybody went when Kurt Cobain died; so when you see that footage that's where everybody was. In my head when I was a little kid I always thought it would be cool to have a tower and I would live on that tower until we raised ten thousand dollars for charity. Don't ask me why I thought that. Don't ask me how I thought it. It stuck with me. That more or less turned into this. So it was like, well, let's build a thing and I'll live on it. I don't remember how it got toys and all that.

We were going to do, because we're 98.5—I thought we would raise ninety-eight hundred and fifty toys and maybe, if we were lucky, it would be ten thousand and that would be a lot. I don't know whether it was a printing error or somebody decided to take it upon themselves or whatever, but it became the 98K Toy Drive, ninety-eight thousand. I'm like, "I've done stuff like this before. Do you know how many ninety-eight thousand is? We filled a bus, a school bus full of coats and that seems like a lot and that was only like six thousand." I'm like, "Do you know what we're talking about here?" It was like, oh my god, how are we going to do this? This is going to be a horrible failure. It's terrible. 7


Then on day six we're working with the Army National Guard and we've got these dump truck-looking things and we've got three of those filled. They're not going to bring us another one, so they're going to bring us another truck and they bring this thirty-two-foot-long belly dump. Generally you haul gravel or asphalt or something like that. You use it for road construction. They're bringing that thing. And we're going to fill that? I'm like, "There is no way. We've only got six more days. This isn't going to happen." Then we started talking, "Well, maybe if it's not going to work, maybe there's a way we can make it smoke and mirrors." We filled it. That's where it began.

In those days there were no stairs; you had to take a scissor lift to go up and down. It was literally a double layer of plywood. Well, by the end of day ten, nine, the plywood had worn through in places. I took my dog up there with me and he dropped his bone through one of the holes and literally stood there and stared at it the entire day, like, how am I going to get this thing? Truly it was Wild West. We had no idea what we were doing or how.

Now it's turned into this thing where it's the world's biggest. It's the biggest of its kind. Last year we filled publicly thirty trucks; it was more than that. Trucks are subjective. You don't want to crush toys. Sometimes there's bikes in boxes. But you're filling trucks regardless and over the nineteen years you're filling trucks. So at the end of the day it was probably closer to thirty-eight or thirty-nine, but publicly—and I don't mind saying it—we called it thirty because you couldn't really tell anymore. We couldn't get trucks there fast enough last year because the last weekend is always so crazy and the last day is so crazy. It was like, ah, let's just stop here and call it good, whatever. But you can count sixty-seven hundred bikes and almost four hundred and forty-three thousand dollars in cash and gift cards.

That's unbelievable. 8


It's an eighteen-year total. There's no other way and I've tried to do the math conservatively, there's no other way that this isn't in excess of thirty million dollars over the eighteen years. I can say that without any emotion because it's not real. You know what I mean? It just doesn't seem possible, but it is.

That's so impressive. Are you doing your show while you're camping out up here?

Oh, yes. And I'll be on TV ten times a day on Fox 5, or seven times; I don't know what it is. But every show where they go live, I'll be on it, which they're a wonderful partner. We do the live radio show and then I do hourly check-ins on KLUC. Generally I'll do a segment with Alan Stock on our sister station KXNT, just to try and put the word out as much as we can because the reality of it—and I've told you all these numbers and it's amazing. Again, I can say that with modesty. It is amazing. It's incredible. This city, phenomenal. They've blown me away every year. The more I talk about it, I'll cry right now. The fact of the matter is every one of those toys, every one of those bikes, every dollar is gone by December 20th; it's distributed. We have sixty charities. Help of Southern Nevada is our umbrella charity. I serve on the board of Help now through our years’ long association. Last year we had sixty-seven charities that we distributed toys to and bikes and gift cards and cash and all of that. Sometimes the cash goes to, oh my goodness, we don't have any girls age four to six toys, or whatever. Every year it goes. So you wonder where my—it would be easy to go, oh, yeah, well, it's all to the good, no big deal.

I get Jerry Lewis now, and that's where I took "one more toy, one more bike, one more gift card," and I so desperately wanted him to be proud of me for this. He told me he was. I don't know if he meant it or not. I don't know if he even knew what I was talking about. I know that if we don't do it, somebody goes without and that's not okay.

That's wonderful. This gave us a great opportunity to tell that story, too. 9


Amen. I'm always happy to tell that story.

You have a really unique gift of reaching people through your voice, obviously. You inspire folks; otherwise, they wouldn't turn out with those items and that cash and all of that. We're going to go back to October first. Tell me where you were and what you were doing before the event and how you learned about it.

The Sunday before was the thirtieth; is that what it was, September thirtieth?

The thirtieth was Saturday.


Oh, okay, thirty-first, right. The first was a Sunday.

Oh my goodness. Yes, because like many of us I think one October, but my involvement is the second. You know what I mean?

Right. So I'm taking you back before it started.

Of course, October first was the Sunday. My best friend in the world—and I'm thrilled—besides my wife and they're one and one-A and they both get it. My wife understands it. He is my brother. We've been best friends since we were thirteen. We've been friends since we were thirteen, best friends since we were fifteen, sixteen maybe. Two thousand sixteen into 2017 has been a rough ride for both of us. I've had numerous deaths in the family including my father, which I mentioned. He just had a rough go and it would take me half an hour to tell you all of the things.

But suffice to say, he needed a win. So he decided back in July—we always get together for July Fourth. He lost his father this year as well. July Fourth was always spent at his dad's place. His dad had a place on a lake north of the Seattle and we would always go. It's one of my favorite things on the planet. He looked at me and he said, "You know, this is my last hoorah." 10


And then he had a—we all did—a blowout with his eldest daughter. She was a nightmare. He looked at me and he goes, "It all changes right now." I go, "Okay." He says, "I'm going to run the San Diego Half Marathon on October first." He goes, "I wanted to do it for years." He had done—not half marathon. Sprint triathlon, sorry. It's a shorter version of a regular triathlon, so it's like a half-mile swim, a ten-mile bike ride, and a five-K run.

It's still a major physical accomplishment.

Yes, yes. He's a big dude and he was probably tipping three hundred pounds. He's not obese, but he's heavy. Well, he's a former football lineman. Food and alcohol, those are his go-tos and he stress eats. He goes, "That's it, I'm cleaning it up." And he goes, "I'm going to run that Sprint Tri on October first." So he had been training all summer. He's lost fifty pounds in four months. He's going to do this thing and there was no way I wasn't going to be there.

Well, that Saturday night is the NASCAR truck race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway of which I am the announcer. I do driver intros and victory lane interview and all that. So nine o'clock hits, nine, nine thirty, whatever. I'm finally done. Literally it's victory lane. "Hey, congratulations." It was the guy's first win ever. His mom is crying. His girlfriend is crying. It's a great moment. Fox Sports is eating it up. They're doing their thing. I pull him in. I don't remember the question that I—oh, I said, "Look over there at your mom and tell me what this means to you." And he loses it and Fox all of a sudden is like, "Go back on the air." Such a great moment, boom. But literally, as soon as it's done, I'm out of there. I literally hand the mike to my guy. I'm gone.

I go home, pick up my mom. We're driving a million miles an hour to San Diego. Get there about two thirty in the morning. Fall asleep for like three hours because he is running at seven. We've got to make our way from—we had a hotel downtown kind of by the marina—we 11


make our way up to Mission Beach where they're running this thing. Then we've got to find his wife and the start. It was just chaos and we're three hours of sleep and I'm wired because I drove all night and all this stuff.

So he runs and it took—as you can tell, if I allow it I'll ball my eyes out at a moment's notice. Every time I see him—we made signs. My wife made these great signs—"beer and fish tacos straight ahead"—which became a huge hit with all of the people running because people were like, "Hey, what's the name of your bar?" And we're like, "No, no, no, this is just for our buddy. He gets to have beer and fish tacos when he finishes." "Oh, okay." And, "We love you, John. We're the only ones with signs. People are standing on the side of the road, but we're the ones screaming and yelling and blowing whistles and ringing cow bells for one guy. So he finishes and it's a win. It's a huge win.

Just finishing.

Just finishing. I caught him about, I don't know, a hundred yards from the finish and I'm jogging with him and I'm like, "Thirty seconds, dude, thirty seconds." We're just like balling our eyes out.

And so after that we celebrated. We celebrated well. Finally about three in the afternoon, my wife and I, we're done; we can't take it. The Seahawks are playing Sunday night football. So we said, "Look, we're going to go back to the hotel. Let's pick a place. You continue with the fiesta." Thank God at one point we said, "Let's take a walk on the beach," just to slow everything down a little bit. My wife is like, "I have to go. I have to sleep. I have to." My wife has lupus and Crohn's and all this other stuff, so she'll just be done. So she's like, "I have to go take a nap; I have to." "Okay, I'll get you out of here." So we Uber back to the hotel. "We'll meet you at this other bar and we'll watch the Seahawk game." 12


So we go back to the hotel. We get like an hour and a half nap and go back to this other place and now it's more beers and more food and let's go. We're watching the Seahawks and they're winning and it's great. Finally after that we Uber back to the hotel. "Okay, see you in the morning. I'll call you tomorrow. We'll go for breakfast." We go back to the hotel room.

So about ten o'clock I fell asleep. And it's many beers; it's been a long day; I'm out. I remember my Fitbit watch vibrating on the nightstand next to me. My phone is off because I'm taking Monday off. I'm not on the air Monday. I've taken it off because I knew this was the plan; we were going to San Diego and there's going to be beer and fish tacos. So I'm not coming back home; I'm taking Monday off and I'm going to be with my buddy.

It's like midnight and my wife wakes me up. My co-host Kayla finally called my wife and said, "Wake Chet up. I need to talk to him right now." She goes, "There's been a shooting at Route 91." She says, "Right now there's two dead and there's twenty-five injured." I said, "Oh my god." I'm like, "Wow. Wow. What's the situation?" "Well, they think it's under control, but I'm going to the station and we're giving updates."

We had a—some people call it a best of show; I call it a clip show; it was content from previous shows and most of the time you wouldn't know the difference unless you had heard the bit before and a lot of time we hope it's good enough that you don't care.

I said, "Okay." In my head I'm going, two dead; that's horrible. Twenty-five injured, awful. This isn't all hands on deck. This isn't drop everything. It's terrible, but I think we'll assess. I turned on the TV and, sure enough, two and twenty is what they were saying, two and twenty. I fell back asleep.

Later on I dreamt that it was thirty, like thirty-five and three hundred. I realize now that what I was dreaming, I was hearing it on the TV. So I woke up again out of that at about three 13


thirty and went, "Oh my god." At that point it is thirty-five dead and it's three hundred injured. Okay, now we've got to make a move. Something has to happen. In my head I'm like, okay, can I make it back to...? I've had a lot of beers the day before. I haven't had a lot of sleep. I'm not hungover, but I'm fuzzy. I'm like, okay, what do we do? Can I make it back to Las Vegas? That was my first thought, can I make it back to Las Vegas? Then I'm checking texts on my phone and that's the question, "Can you make it back here in time?" At that point it's like, well, who cares what time your, quote unquote, show starts? It's, can I be there to make a difference right away? No. It's three thirty in the morning. No. There's a million different texts, "Well, should we find you a studio? Are you awake? What's going on?" "Yes, I'm awake." Then you start replying. "Yes, I'm awake. Yes, let's find a studio. Yes..." Bop, bop, bop.

So my boss tries to get a hold of CBS San Diego. Can't reach anybody. Can't find anybody. I realize at that point I know plenty of other radio guys in San Diego, just none of them work for CBS. Then I realize, okay, now it's three thirty; these guys are probably awake by now because they've got their own show to do on Monday morning, so maybe I can get into a studio.

This wasn't unchartered territory because about a year ago this time my dad was sick, sick-sick. I was probably doing four or five shows a month out of CBS Seattle, so it wasn't unfamiliar to our show as far as executing and being able to do it and putting it on the air. We're not doing a regular show, anyway. You need a microphone; that's all you need. You don't need all the other bells and whistles. I need a microphone and a way to get what I'm saying here back to there; that's all I need.

It was scramble time. I'll never forget it. One of my buddies who works for a different company said, "I have no idea how we'll do this, but come on. We'll figure it out." I'm sitting in valet at the hotel in my car texting different...Okay, this guy, this guy. Did we hear anything 14


from CBS yet? What do we know? What are we going to do? Finally at about five my one buddy Kramer says, "Yes, I have no idea how we'll do this, but come on."

So I Google his station's address and I'm gone, vroom. It's so surreal. I've been to San Diego three times in my life. I don't know anything about San Diego. You know how some people are like, oh, I love San Diego so much? Eh, I'm not one of those people. It's okay, but, you I'm going through this unfamiliar town and now my phone is going off and has been going off. Other radio guys from around the country are on the air and they're figuring out this is a big deal and they're calling me because I'm their Vegas guy. They know me in Las Vegas. So I'm on the air with Cincinnati. I'm on the air with Washington, D.C. I'm on the air with Miami. I think I was on the air with—no, I was setting up an interview with Denver. I don't know any more than they know, but I have some context. As far as statistics and all that; I don't have that, but I do have context.

The one thing that I knew, oddly enough, we had just done hurricane relief for Harvey and Irma and we had taken six trucks full of hurricane supplies. We teamed up with Zappos and took six semi-trucks. We led the way because you can't just send them off on the air, okay, see I can't. You've got to go with them. We had just done that and taken all of this stuff to the Salvation Army Distribution Center in Dallas because they said this is where...So if it has to go to Houston, we'll go to Houston; if we have to go to Florida, we'll go to Florida; but this is the place to go.

We went to Dealey Plaza and I was blown away—horrible choice of words—I was amazed, stunned by how close the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository was to the X that they have in the middle of the street.

Where Kennedy was assassinated. 15


Where Kennedy was assassinated. I was amazed by that. Here is the thing that I knew. I said, "I can tell you that you're going to hear four hundred yards. I've seen it on the news already. It's four hundred yards and all of that. You're going to see video and it's going to look like there's a little bit of distance. I can tell you, you see this in person, it will be astounding to you and I'm telling you this number is going to rise because there's no way it couldn't. You're going to see this and it's going to be frightening to you because three hundred yards sounds like a long way. You're going to see it in person."

When I saw Dealey Plaza, I turned to my other co-host, Spence, I turned to him and go, "Oswald did it; done." Are you kidding? All these people that go, I don't know how this happened. I do. Look, there to there. What? I could add that context.

I'm on my way to my buddy Kramer. I get a message. "Got ahold of CBS; they're waiting for you. Here's the engineer's name. They've got a room set up." Okay. So literally, vroom, like in a TV show, like in an old seventies cops show, middle of the street, slam on the breaks, vroom, spinning tires. I'm heading the other way. I punch in the address. I'm only ten minutes. I'm going. "Okay, I'll be right there."

To add to just the whole surrealness, it's a nondescript building in a neighborhood. It's not nice. You think San Diego, it's a pretty good-size market. I know a couple of guys that have worked there, a big-time show that made a lot of money. I'm like, here? Okay. You walk in and then they put me in an office that they weren't using anymore. I'm not even in a studio. I'm in an office. I have a piece of equipment that's not unlike yours. It's called a Comrex and it's smaller than a shoebox, but it's that same shape, kind of. Basically what it does is it enhances either phone or digital line. It just enhances it to make your voice sound like you're right there. Literally that's what I have. I have a Comrex—and, like I said, I'll I need is a microphone—a Comrex, a 16


microphone, and the guy said, "I figured you didn't have your stuff with you."

Are you communicating via phone?

I've got to be honest with you, I think they had me on an ISDN line. I'm 90 percent sure. I didn't check. I didn't care. He goes, "I know you don't have your stuff." They gave me a pair of ratty old headphones and a laptop, which basically I just used to stream the local TV here, national TV for updates, and away we went. They could talk back to me over this; it goes two ways, so we could talk with the headphones; I was plugged in. But we were on the air. It's, hey, tell us what you know; tell us how you feel; if you're looking for somebody and you need help. We know they're going to need blood, so we're sending people out to United Blood Services, not unlike Nine-Eleven.

I tell people this and I've told this story a lot. It's charity season and a lot of the charities were worried after one October. Oh my God, what are we going to do? People have donated so much, fifteen million dollars. We're never...There were people that were...I had one the weekend following; theirs was on Saturday, on the seventh, and they were worried. Should we cancel? Absolutely not. You know when Toy Drive took off? When the stock market crashed. When the housing...2008; that's when Toy Drive took off because people who have it feel blessed and they want to give. Trust me on this one. Trust me.

Well, we should give money to the victims. Okay, if you want to do that, fine, but people are coming for you, for your cause; don't feel bad about that. You're okay. I will tell you this. This much I know; I've seen it. This year will be the nineteenth year. The eighth day of Toy Drive this year will be my two hundredth day living on a scaffold. I've lived over six months of my life on a thirty-foot scaffold made out of pipe and plywood and metal in a tent with a porta-potty. By the way, every year I find a way to bring less stuff with me. Technology is a beautiful 17


thing, so I bring less stuff because I don't want stuff. I want to collect toys.

What I've seen and what the rest of the world got to see on One October and the days following is the magnificence, the unbelievable spirit, the heart, the courage, the you're not going to do this to us; we're not going to let this happen that Las Vegas has. The rest of the world sees three and a half miles of Las Vegas Boulevard. We see the rest. That's the factory. That's where people go to work. That's where you take your aunt when she comes into town. That's where folks from California go. Much love to the Strip. I love the Strip, too, for everything that it is and everything that it provides us with, but that's not us. And I've known that and our listeners have known that and I reminded people of that that day; that you know what this is; you know who we are and you know what we're going to do with this. This is horrible. This is a terrible thing. This is ours now. We didn't know what to call it then; it was The Shooting. Nobody liked the term massacre; it was the shooting; it was the events. I think I was going with the events; that thing that happened. But we told people this is not going to define us and it can't. We've seen this for years. And now, guess what? The rest of the world is going to get to see you; the rest of the world is going to get to see you for who you are. So, no, it doesn't get to divide us; it gets to redefine us. There were so many people that were like, wow, that's amazing.

Much love to the LVCVA. I love them. I love all of those people so much. I just was like, ugh, do we have to do Vegas Strong? Everybody else has been strong. That started with Boston. It was Boston Strong and then Houston Strong and Orlando Strong. Unfortunately, you have all those situations. Are we going to do Vegas Strong? Ugh. But honestly, we were. Yes. I wanted to do Vegas United. I wanted it to be united. But you know what? We were strong; we were.

When you started broadcasting and you go on the air, do you have any recollection of what your first words might have been? 18


Something along the lines of, you probably already know by now what happened. We have had people here all night. I will tell you the truth. I'm not in Las Vegas; I'm in San Diego, which that's a story in and of itself. We have work to do, so let's start there. It was something like that.

That makes sense.

It was Toy Drive. It's Toy Drive again. We have work to do. But it was an amazing day. We sent somebody to United Blood Services. Who knows when they open? Who knows what's going to happen? "Yeah, I just got here. There's fifty people in line already." It was a quarter after six. "There's fifty people in line already." By seven, there's four hundred people in line. "Hey, somebody take some water down there. Somebody take some food." It's that whole thing.

So you started prompting people about what they might do for those people that were in line?

Yes. What can we do? What do we need to do?

I've talked to people, in fact, one of our coworkers who was in the bloodline. She said it was amazing just to watch all the people who were trying to participate by bringing water, by bringing food. Did people start calling into you immediately?

My recollection is yes. Here's the funny thing. I can't see the phone lines. I can't see anything that's happening in the studio, so I'm focused. There was a moment that I'll remember that the sun had come up and the sun's above the horizon four fingers, four fingers above the horizon, and I realize—I mean, I knew it—but I looked and the freeway is below us and the sun is coming up in San Diego and it was peaceful. I just had that moment of, okay, okay, I already know the world goes on. I also quickly thought, and still think of and realize, what this is like for other people, how quickly we moved on from things like Orlando. Well, okay. Gosh, that's terrible. It's awful. It's in the back of your mind, how can we help? Oh, we're across the country. Blood 19


doesn't travel. I mean, it does if you need it to, but you're not going to find anybody who is going to...So you do the best you can at home, but your life then moves forward. I realize that even in talking to people from other cities in the days after One October that we're still living it and the rest of the world kind of moves on.

I saw a thing the other day where some of the victims had gotten together for Thanksgiving dinner and they're like, we just hope we're not forgotten. Oh my God, how could you feel that way?

But I think there's also a thing...I had a friend that got shot and spent a couple of days in the hospital. I don't want to dwell on that with her. I'm glad she's okay. "Do you need anything? Are you good?" I'm not going to keep asking you, do you need anything? Because after a while you're like, "No, I don't need anything; I'm fine." But for those few days...

Gosh, that's funny. I never even thought about this. Yes, so this was that weekend. So Nevada PEP Run Walk Roll. I'm there with Ricardo Laguna. He was our grand marshal; I was the emcee, on Saturday night, because I do driver intros from the start-finish line and do all the introductions. There's my buddies; they're shooting the fireworks off at the end of the race. Jessica and her...

The showgirls.

…and red showgirl, yes, the showgirls were there in victory lane. Okay, let's take selfies so I can post it on social media. Okay. Then, boom, we get to the Marriott Marquis in San Diego. Oh, I want to take a picture of that open parking thing because this looks like a place I shouldn't park. Oh, there's the view from the room. Oh, it's awesome. I bought it at a charity event, at a golf thing. So, yes, we're going to use the room. Oh, look at that. Oh, yea, there's my buddy after the race. I'm taking pictures on my phone. We're all Seahawked out. So we're going to drink beers 20


and then we're going to watch the game later, yea. I'm trying to get the right selfie again for social media. Then the next morning, a nondescript room. Accounts payable from 1986. [Showing a video]

So you documented your weekend.

That's the room I'm broadcasting from where people are like, "You're the voice of Las Vegas."

Well, you are.

"You became the voice of Las Vegas that day." That kind of thing.

The way I realized that you should be included in this project was because one of the people who called in talked about calling into you. They don't want to be interviewed yet for the project. And I did talk to him a lit bit about, well, I always wondered why people after a horrific event want to be public in their outpouring.

I'm really fortunate; I have a lot of friends. I do; I have a lot of friends.

Well, sure. You're a good guy. You're a community guy.

Well, other people are good people, too.

But you're a community guy. You're a personality.

But I like people.

Yes, and it shows.

I think if we're friends, we're friends quickly. Hey, man, not for nothing. Before One October, you'd ask people about Joe Lombardo, you wouldn't always get a lot of people going, "Yeah, Joe, Sheriff Joe." You wouldn't always get that. I like Joe. I generally like people until I have a reason not to like them and I've never had a reason not to like Joe. Joe is Joe. His personality—my initial thought after about the third day when I stopped...After a while you're focused so hard on what he was saying at every press conference and then there was a point—I don't even know 21


how far in it was; it could have been one day; it could have been three days—Oh my God, Joe looks tired. We're don't hang out. We don't go to dinner. But we know each other. We see each other. Hey, Chet. Hey, Joe. Hey, Sheriff. I walked up to him. He was at Opportunity Village as Camelot, their big gala fundraiser. I was hosting it this year. He was there early and I saw him across the room and I smiled and I said, "I'm not going to tell you all the stuff everybody else has already told you because you've already heard all that and you already know." He smiles and goes, "What you got for me?" I said, "All I could think about was how much you hate doing press conferences." He laughed and he laughed because through it all people are human.

So if guy that you've talked to—and I don't know how much he's told you, so I'm not going to tell you everything, either—we know each other through charity stuff. I don't remember if he sent me a text or where it initially started, but it was basically, "I was there. I took fire. I probably shouldn't be here." I'm like, "Are you okay to talk about it?" Then he said, "Yeah, with you." His story was horrible. They dove under some bleachers. They heard bullets ringing off the bleachers. As I recall the story, they found some metal of some sort and literally held it up as a shield until they just decided let's go for it and ran.

Another person I know talked on social media about she called her mom because she thought she was going to die. She called her mom. She thought, this is it; I'm going to die today. Then later on that week we're in a meeting and I use the phrase dodged the bullet and immediately went, "Oh my God, I'm so sorry." And she was like, "It's fine." But I realized just how much our lives had changed, just how different that is for everybody.

I just tried that day—we as a show just tried...the things you can do. You know what it is right then? Then what it is—for me, anyway; I don't even know what anybody else did. I assume they all did the same stuff we did. I don't necessarily know if what we did was better, worse, 22


good, bad, whatever. But at the end of the day you have a license from the FCC and part of that license is to serve the public and it comes back around to what I told you earlier with the whole genesis of Toy Drive and all of that—and this was drilled into me by my mom and by my dad—my mom most verbally; my dad kind of through actions—but, truly, you're never going to go the wrong way by trying to do the right thing. So if you stick to that and do the right thing for the right reasons...If I was standing on top of a scaffold to raise toys for kids and people didn't think that we were really raising toys for kids, if they didn't really think that I stayed there and all that, it just wouldn't work. It would be fine. It would be good. But it's why I tell people to stay focused. Yes, it still has to be entertaining to a degree—this was not that case with One October, but Toy Drive—but there are ways to do that. That's where celebrities come and you talk to them and then they make a donation and it's awesome. That's where that comes in and people love it. And they want to hear the totals, and I think people do. They're like, "Oh my God, are we going to make it? Are we going to get one more bike this year? Are we going to get one more toy?" In this case, you tell people what they need to know, tell them what they want to know, and give them a place to be. They just want to be somewhere.

It seems like you're an anchor of trust that people can know. So in your broadcasting, how long were you on the air? Were you the only person on the air? How did you guys fill that air time?

No, my show was with me. I don't think we played any music that day; we shouldn't have, and if we did that was a mistake. We didn't.

I would assume you didn't.

I can't imagine that we did. Maybe one.

Were you individually or was your co-host also broadcasting that day? 23


No, they were there. We just tried to, again, disseminate information and take calls and just kind of be there. I've got to be honest with you. It's all a blur. It's just all a blur.

Do you have a recording of that day's broadcast?

Oh, I'm sure.

That would be nice to contribute to this project if that's available, if there's any way to do that.

I'll find out.

I've listened to the clip of that interview; that's all I've heard and that's quite moving. I don't even know if that's the right word. But it resonates when you hear a person talking so close to the time of the event and so affected by it.

The other thing we said, too, we said, "No politics; now is not the time for that. Whatever your belief is on guns, whatever your belief is on...If anything, if you want to talk about anything, let's talk about mental health. Let's talk about how we treat each other. Let's talk about how someone could be so motivated to do this thing that they had become so detached that this seems like a good idea."

And you announced that as—

Oh, yes.

—no politics or comments or questions about it.

We talked about it. We said, "If you're going to go politics on this, there's no time for this, not now, not today, not today, not Monday." I said, "And probably not Tuesday. We don't do politics, anyway." My co-host Spence, his character is a bit of a wild card. He's a "say what he wants." Things are black and white; that's just him. He will try and slip things in on occasion, but we don't do politics, anyway. No good comes of it. I figured that out early on. No good is coming 24


from any of that. There are people, "Why aren't you doing Trump stuff? Why aren't you doing Trump humor? Well, it's really working for Stephen Colbert." I said, "Yes, but what about all the other people who aren't Trump haters? What about the people who voted for him? Just because they're not making noise—they made noise at the polls. So why would I do that?" It's not going hurt me by not making fun of the president, in my estimation, so there's no reason for it now, especially no reason. This shouldn't be a place or a day or even a week or a time that we should be yelling at each other about anything.

So on October second, which you're describing that this is the kind of broadcasting that you're doing, when did you resume normalcy?

As a radio station?


I don't know. I really don't know. We went off the air at ten and it felt like the thing to do because there was no more information. It's not like Nine-Eleven. Nine-Eleven, that thing carried throughout the day. We were scared. I don't know about you, but I was scared. I thought, wow, jeez, when are they going to hit the Strip? When is that coming? Wow, there really aren't any planes in the sky. How far could I get on a tank of gas? What would I even pack if I had to leave? What would I take? I was married to my first wife then, so I've got her and I've got two kids and two dogs and then food and water and clothes. What do you do? So this wasn't that.

As far as the urgency it felt like we had just reached an end to it. It was ten o'clock; we're done. We stayed on until ten-ten, ten-fifteen. But it just felt like we needed to be done. It's funny. I just saw this morning—saw it again. This guy sent me a message about something else. I think I was probably on the air speculating at the time. "Well, it's probably time for us to go. Maybe we'll play a little music. You guys have probably heard enough about this. Now we might need 25


to be the place where you come to get away from this because it's everywhere. We've maybe done what we need to do." This guy writes, "Please stay on the air. You are the voice of Las Vegas. We need you more than ever. Hearing everyone's story good or bad is important for our recovery as a community." He wrote that at nine forty-seven in the day. By the way, I believe he is a UNLV student; I believe he is.

Any of those people that communicated with you, if you see them or want to share with them that this project is going on, we're happy to invite everyone. We intend to have this project go on for at least a couple of years because people's memories and timing for sharing stories will vary; we know that.

With me, if you don't catch me right away—like the broadcast part of it, honestly it's a blur. I remember there were a couple of situations—we didn't pull commercials right away. There had to have been an opportunity because one time I went to the bathroom and another time I went and got more coffee, so there had to have been commercials. I still don't think we played a song.

Like those superheroes, when do you get to go take a break? Because you're in an adrenaline infused state, I would imagine.

I'm a pretty positive guy and I'm a guest in someone else's place. I remember seeing the receptionist and, of course, they look at you. Who are you? "Hi, I'm Chet, I'm from Las Vegas." "Oh. Oh. You're from Las Vegas. Oh."

Just saying that you were from Las Vegas that week afterwards especially—

It was that morning. It was that morning; it was the second.

Yes. But I'm just staying from my personal experience. I traveled and I started taking a deep breath because people say, "Where are you from?" If you said you were from Las Vegas, it was so fresh that their emotional sorrow or outpouring was immediate. 26


With all respect and with all love, my getaway format when I don't want to hear top forty music, I'm a country music fan; I grew up on it. I have many friends in that portion of the industry. My wife loves country music. Had that not been a school night and had we not been out of town, the chances of us being at Route 91 would have been high; it would have been really high. But I was booked through it. We wanted to go and through my friends in the industry, yes, we could have been there and probably in a place where...There were so many friends of mine that knew that were like, "Oh my God, tell me you weren't there." Then you realized you have to answer. You have to answer right away or people are going to be scared. Again, with all due respect, it was exhausting. It really was after a while. I'm physically pretty wiped out. Mentally I'm like, oh, man. But there's that adrenaline and I knew we did good things. It's not good things. But I knew that we did what we were there for. That feels pretty good in a horrible situation, horrible, awful. But, again, I knew there were so many heroes. You knew there were going to be so many heroes. You knew there were going to be so many amazing stories. You knew that this was one demented—and I apologize for it, but there's no other way—demented asshole. I really so desperately want to go further with that. This isn't that; we're not under attack. This is just one guy that picked this place and we get to bear the brunt of it because it just is; it just did.

What kind of impact do you, Chet, feel this has on open events? Route 91, will it occur again? I don't know. We'll see. But anyone going to any...You were at a race. Things could happen at a NASCAR race or whatever. What impact does that have on people when they look at attending an event like that with a mass group of people in the open?

The scarier—look, this guy...Something just struck me. There's a movie where somebody is talking about—oh, this is the dumbest reference on the planet and I apologize for it, but one of my favorite movies of all time is from the eighties. It's a Bruce Willis movie. It's called The Last 27


Boy Scout. I think they were trying to trade on the Die Hard.

I remember the title, but I don't remember what it was about.

The Last Boy Scout may have come before Die Hard. But anyway, Bruce Willis is a failed Secret Service agent and he's a private detective. He gets wrapped up in this thing. There's this guy that's going to do some damage at a professional football game. It's all tied to corruption in the NFL. The story is long. But at one point one of the bad guys says about one of the other bad guys and he's talking about the other bad guy being in a highly enlightened position. It's a Bruce Willis movie, so it's being goofy verbiage and all that. He goes, "Highly enlightened position." Of course, Bruce Willis gets out of the dangerous position he's in and he goes to the stadium, "Highly enlightened position." He looks up and sees the guy who is up in a light pole. It made me think of that right now when you said, "What is this going to look like going forward? "

Yes, I think you've got to be a little more careful for a guy in a highly enlightened position. But the people who say, "Well, how did they not stop this? How do you not notice that?" And I'm kind of a little surprised that more people haven't come out and said this and I've been careful with it. It's a safe place, we've got a little distance now, and honestly nobody's ever asked me. You weren't stopping this. You weren't. How does a guy get twenty-five guns—or whatever it was—into a suite at Mandalay Bay and how does no one see it? People bring things to hotels for conventions, for all manner of reasons. You don't get searched and you're not going to get searched. Oh, they took him up the back elevator. Yes, he was a whale. He was a guy who spent a lot of money. He didn't want to go up the elevator with other people. He wants to get in and get to his room as soon as possible with all of his stuff. We need to see the video footage. All in good time. I appreciate your rights as a citizen. Let those people do their job. Thank you for your willingness to investigate. It's funny how people are about this. Well, they're not showing 28


the video; there must be something up. No, there's nothing up. They just want to make sure they know before you know. They'd like to go catch the bad guys before you know about the bad guys and before the bad guys know that they know about the bad guys. You know all that stuff. I talked to a guy in an event later on that was pretty sure that he knew the guy who took said stuff up to...Whatever that guy's name was. I'm glad I can't remember his name because I don't want to know his name. He said, "Of course, it happens all the time." My wife is the executive pastry chef for Caesars Entertainment and across the street at Caesars Palace. I don't know nothing about nothing, but I've been around casinos enough. She and I have been together ten years now and I've done enough events and I've seen the back of the house. I know how stuff works. And we're still dealing with people; we're not dealing with superheroes.

My God, I felt so terrible. Commissioner Sisolak and Sheriff Lombardo brought Carlos—the guy who went to the door, the security guy—brought them to Camelot, and the other guy, the engineer, Steven, the two guys that were on Ellen; that's how I explain it. Those are the guys whose names should be top of mind. But I appreciated that they brought them there and I appreciated that they got a standing ovation and that they were recognized. I also appreciated that none of us figured out it was them until they pointed them out. None of us looked and went, "Hey, there they are." It was horrible for that kid. It was tough on him. He put his head in his hands and he sobbed uncontrollably. You know why? Because everybody hates it. But he hates that. He's not a hero. He's a guy who went to work that day and just happened to be in the spot and he did the right thing and he's a hero. He's a hero. But he didn't put his pants on that morning and go, "I'm going to go save everyone." Because you never know when that's going to be you.

Going forward, yes, I think you've got to look out for those highly enlightened positions. While I sympathize with the pain that people have gone through, it's tough for me to feel good 29


about people who are suing over this. I hope that we can all come together and everybody can pay their medical bills and I'm sorry for the people who have injuries that they won't recover from. It's terrible. I don't know that anybody could have done anything. Moving forward, yes, I think maybe we have to look out for some of those...

Do you think it's changed Vegas tourism attitudes at all?

I hear Mandalay Bay is still quiet. I hope not. I hope not. I hope people are smarter than that. I don't know about you. If somebody gets up on an airplane, they better pass the smell test. They better pass the eyeball test. I'm lucky enough that I travel back and forth to Seattle all the time and I have an Alaskan Airlines card, so I'm able to upgrade quite a bit. A lot of times I'm able to call and get bumped up and sometimes I have enough points. Every once in a while I'll pay just because I can, because I can get a discount on it because I've got the card. So I sit up front a lot and if you're coming up front, you better not be fooling around in my mind. If I go to a movie theater, after what happened in Aurora, yes, I've got an eye on folks. I know where my exits are. I'm not that crazy about sitting in the middle of the row; we do it, anyway. The thought crosses my mind. If something happens, just on top of your wife; don't run; cover her or just be prepared to have your head right. So, yes, I think about stuff. We've already kind of moved past Birmingham, the Ariana Grande concert. What do you do? What do you do?

They just played a football game; the Canadian Football League played their Grey Cup, their championship Sunday night in a beautiful stadium in Ottawa, Ontario, the nation's capital. There's a condominium building just beyond one of the end zones and it's a selling point. What, you've got to tear that down now? What do you do? There is condos that have sight lines, I would imagine, for CenturyLink Field in Seattle. But, again, like Birmingham nobody even went into the stadium, inside that arena; they went up by the box office and set off explosives as the 30


concert let out.

So, no, keep an eye out. Love each other. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, be ready. It's stupid again. I'll give you another last Boy Scout quote, which is just bizarre that that stupid movie has stuck with me like this, but it is true. They're going, "So give me some of that superhero detective stuff." They were joking, like, if you hit a guy in the head with a surf board, you have to say surf's up, pal. You mean like that? Hey, yeah. Let me tell you, sky is blue, water is wet and Satan claws—because his daughter had drawn Satan claws; she was mad at him—he goes, "Satan claws, he's out there, man. You just hope you see him before he sees you." But it's the truth. You hope you get to them first and you hope you're ready when something happens. But, yes, at some point we've got to figure this stuff out. We could go a lot deeper into this and I saw you looking at your watch and I should look at mine.

I just got a call; that's all. I know no politics on your show, but we do ask everyone if the event modified or had any impact on your personal opinion of guns?

Solidified. No, not really. But, see, I grew up in a split family and both sides of it had guns. We lived out in the sticks, but I don't hunt. I never understood hunting. I eat meat and I grew up, "Hey, Dad, so what happened to...?" Well...So I'm not crazy about all that. Just me personally, guns don't kill people, people kill people. We need to fix the gun laws. All of that was illegal; many of those guns were illegal and the bump stocks should be. But who knew what a bump stock was until then?

Not before that, yes.

Yes, sure, stuff like that, stuff like it should be, it should be only because there's no reason, but you're not going to stop it. Marijuana is illegal for much of the country and it's a part of our culture; it is. Cocaine is still illegal and through the eighties was a huge part of our culture. 31


Underage people, kids shouldn't be able to get alcohol; they do. There are many things we do in this country that are illegal. I just think the issues that we have and that the world has are more societal. I just wished we cared about each other more. There's nothing funnier to me than watching an adult try to cross the street when an adult who is driving in a car is coming because the adult who wants to cross the street knows you don't walk in front of cars under any circumstance. In fact, you wave the car by because that way the car can't hit you no matter what. But now we are so, no, you will stop for me; I am crossing the street; you must stop; it is your duty; you are illegal if you don't stop. Oh, look at that guy, he didn't even stop. I wouldn't walk out in front of a car for ten thousand dollars; I just don't. I was raised differently. Remember how it used to be that you can mess up at home all you want and that's bad enough; you mess up school, you better hope I don't hear about it; if your neighbor brings you home and says, "Guess what your kid did," that is worse than anything on the planet. Now, parents call teachers and scream at them, "What do you mean my kid failed? What do you mean my kid got in trouble? That's your fault." Or, "How dare you speak to my kid." What? So I think societally...Sure, this kind of stuff has happened. There have been serial killers; there have been people who have gone off the deep end. There's a lot more public love and activism and all of those things, but I think we're horrible to each other as a society; I really do.

We need some good manners.

Yes, yes.

I think you're a great guy, what you're doing—the official title is Toys for Kids?

No, no, no, Toy Drive.

Okay, that's the official name. I think that's wonderful. I'm going to have to make sure I get some toys out to you. 32


Just come and see it. That's what I tell everybody. Here, I'll show you a picture from last year.

I think that's great. I want to thank you for your time. Is there anything else?

Thank you for your time. I think the implication was kind of, what were we doing that day? We just did it. I feel great. Are you kidding? I was on the verge of tears eight times. Obviously, I'm carrying stuff, so thank you for listening to me.

Thanks for participating. This is, I think, an important project to document. I'm going to hope that you'll share those photos and video with me. I'll add that to the collection.

Oh, okay. Oh, just of San Diego?

And your documentation of your day leading up to that.

Okay, I will. Here's the funny thing, just months earlier I'm taking the picture.

To be in Dallas there so close in time, that's amazing.

Yes. Then I took a friend of mine, a buddy of mine came to town—I forget when he was here, but it wasn't too long after and he was staying at the Luxor. Yes, we're okay. We're coming out of the Luxor. We're going to go get something to eat. I went, "Oh my God." I've got a sunroof on my truck. I open it up and I said, "Right there." He goes, "Oh my God, yes, it's Mandalay Bay." Then he goes, "So where was it?" I go, "Right there." Because it's across the street and a few steps. It's across the street. But from that angel...We got lucky, I think.

I agree with you, very lucky.

I think we got lucky. It's horrible.

It's tragic. But if there's luck in tragedy, you certainly were.

Yes. Let me find a Toy Drive picture really quick before we go, from last year. It's funny that when you put it in that context, I've had a fun year. I did my show out of Seattle a few times. This was my dad's funeral and I'm walking. [Showing video] 33


And it was beautiful. What a pristine morning.

Yes. That was actually out of the studio window.

Thank you very much.

[End of recorded interview]