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Transcript of interview with Steven Eisen by Barbara Tabach, September 14, 2016

Date

2016-09-14

Description

Steven Eisen (1966 - ) is the oldest son of Barry and Beverly Eisen, who were part of the migration of Jews from St. Louis to Las Vegas in the 1960s. He is married to Stacy Fisher and the older brother to Andrew and Robert Eisen. They are members of an early group of born-and-raised Las Vegans. Growing up Jewish, he became a bar mitzvah, belonged to B?nai B?rith Youth Organization. In this oral history interview, Steve recalls enjoyable stories of growing up in Las Vegas and humorous anecdotes of mistaken identity since the three brothers bear such strong physical resemblances. Today he finds himself enjoying his career as CEO of the Children?s Heart Center since 2001 and talks about the success and reputation of the pediatric medical group. It was his first job as a fourteen year old helping Theodore Manos and Michael Cherry during the MGM fire litigations where he learned about the legal world and being organized as a path to success in whatever he might pursue. Steve graduated from University of Missouri, attended law school at Washington University in St. Louis, and received his business degree from UNLV. Throughout the interview, he recalls the steady and strong involvement of his parents in their sons? educations. He also describes their active connection with the Jewish community and organizations. Steve?s wife Stacy is a professor in physical therapy at Touro University.

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Transcript of interview with Natalie Wolf by Barbara Tabach, October 22, 2016

Date

2016-10-22

Description

During this interview, Natalie shares stories of operating the bus station, a brief ownership of Commercial Deli (1987-1990), and her long career working collections for the casino industry. Her first position was at the Tropicana Hotel and has worked for MGM Properties, a loyal employee at the Mirage since 1990, starting a few weeks after the casino opened.

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Transcript of interview with Irwin Molasky by David G. Schwartz, April 23, 2014

Date

2014-04-23

Description

Interview with Irwin Molasky by David G. Schwartz, April 23, 2014. In this interview, Irwin Molasky discusses arriving in Las Vegas in the 1950s, and building the Pyramids motel on the Strip. He talks about the entertainers in various hotels on the Strip, the concept of the "star policy," and bringing Parisian shows to Las Vegas. He goes on to discuss his real estate developments, including Paradise Palms, Boulevard Mall, and Sunrise Hospital, and donating the land for the development of UNLV.

Irwin Molasky came to Las Vegas in 1951, during a time when "everyone knew everyone else," and there was a small, but strong Jewish community. An Army veteran, Irwin and his wife moved to Las Vegas after living in California for a short time. Irwin soon built The Pyramids, a Strip motel next to the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. The Pyramids opened the same day as its northern next-door neighbor, The Sands Hotel and Casino, on December 15, 1952. Irwin used his newly acquired contractor's license to become on the city's most important real estate developers. Over the next 60 years, he built everything from residential housing, including Paradise Palms to commercial properties. Projects included Sunrise Hospital and the surrounding medical buildings; Sunrise City Shopping Center and other power centers; Bank of America Plaza and much other downtown development; and golf courses. When the recession hit, Irwin began bidding on government projects across the country, successfully shielding his business and employees from the economic downturn. Irwin's real estate ventures not only had a tremendous impact on Las Vegas' economic development, but a substantial effect in social programming. Irwin donated 40 acres of prime real estate to the University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV) so that university could expand. Additionally, he was the Founding Chairman of the UNLV Foundation and received an honorary doctorate in humanities.

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Transcript of interview with Roberta Kane by Barbara Tabach, September 6, 2017 and May 22, 2018

Date

2017-09-06
2018-05-22

Description

Roberta “Bobbie” Kane (1932 - ) is the first known Jewish child born in Las Vegas. Her parents, Sallie and Mike Gordon, were liquor stores owners and among the founders of the first Jewish congregation in Las Vegas. Bobbie’s childhood remembrances are as a young girl who was fully aware that “Friday nights were reserved for religious services. Saturdays were always reserved for gin rummy.” In the late 1940s, as a teenager at Las Vegas High School (and 1950 graduate), Bobbie recalls Las Vegas as a small town and a joyful place to grow up. She briefly attended University of Southern California before marrying and beginning her family. In time, life brought her back to live with her parents. She pursued a career working for the Desert Inn group of hotels and helped open the Stardust in 1957. She was mentored by Mark Swain, “a six foot-four hunk of a cowboy” who worked for Moe Dalitz. This experience included driving Mark’s pink Cadillac to pick up hotel guests. This provided her with a

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Jack Weinstein and Polly Weinstein interview, April 12, 2018: transcript

Date

2018-04-12

Description

Tower of Jewels is one of those iconic Las Vegas businesses that continues to thrive. At the time of this interview, Jack Weinstein is in his nineties and “retired.” With him is his daughter Polly Weinstein, who in addition to being involved in the business management has her own custom designed jewelry line, aptly named The Jeweler’s Daughter. As the youngest of six children born to Jewish Russian immigrants Joseph and Pauline (Polly is named for her grandmother), Jack was raised in a dangerous neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. His youthful enterprise included collaborating and then splitting up with his brothers in a jewelry business, before eventually moving west to Los Angles in the early 1960s. On his own, Jack became a wholesale salesperson representing lines of watches to other businesses. Included in his list of clients was Al Sanford’s Tower of Jewels in Las Vegas. The two became friends and Al suggested setting up a partnership between Al’s son and Jack in 1964. Eventually

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Ashley Vargas interview, October 30, 2018: transcript

Date

2018-10-30

Description

Interviewed by Laurents Banuelos. Elsa Lopez and Claytee White also participate in the questioning. Ashley Vargas, also know by her stage name Ms. Aye Vee is a Las Vegas native born and raised. She has received notoriety in the Las Vegas valley for her raw story telling and poetry. Vargas identifies as an Afro-Latina Puerto Rican. She spent her childhood growing up on the Eastside. She vividly remembers having to navigate several spaces in order to survive the rough neighbors she was in. Today, Vargas uses her poetry to communicate her experiences and set ups workshops to help cultivate young up and coming writers. Please note the following disclaimer: This interview contains language that some may find offensive.

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Mario Sandoval interview, December 6, 2018: transcript

Date

2018-12-06

Description

Interviewed by Claytee White. Mario and his six siblings were reared by a single mother who taught him all of the family recipes. Moving to Las Vegas at four years of age Mario remembers moving into a black neighborhood where the family was not welcomed. All windows in their home were broken into the first night. The family moved the next day. Though the new house was still in an African American neighborhood, they were protected by Vera, their black babysitter. Mario developed the intense work ethic of his mother, and after working in several strip casinos, found his home at the Horseshoe, today's Binion's. He has been there for 33 years; first as a busboy and then becoming a waiter. He is a Culinary Union trained shop student who picketed his beloved work place for ten months during a 1980's labor dispute. His work in life and union benefits have made his a very good life.

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Transcript of interview with Sarah & Joni Fried by Barbara Tabach, March 4, 2016

Date

2016-03-04

Description

The website for Freed’s Bakery happily displays the headline: Baking Sweet Memories Since 1959. Today the third generation of Frieds (correct spelling of the family surname) is hard at work creating incredible wedding cakes, cookies, and delightful desserts for the Las Vegas valley. For this oral history interview, Joni Fried, her daughter Sarah Fried, and nephew Max Jacobson-Fried sit to share stories of working in the family business started by Joni’s parents Milton and Esther Fried. Joni has handed the reins over to the third generation who invest their delicious souls into maintaining this Las Vegas tradition. Their tales range from childhood memories of holidays baking and cleaning to their personal favorite desserts. They also explain the impact on their business as early adapters of computer technologies and social media marketing. In October 2017, Freed’s Bakery landed a TV show, Vegas Cakes, on the Food Network.

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Transcript of interview with Evelyn Miller McDonald by Maylene C. Cabatingan, February 26 & 27, 1980

Date

1980-02-26
1980-02-27

Description

On February 26, and 27, 1980, Maylene C. Cabatingan interviewed Evelyn Miller McDonald (born 1905 in Alderson, West Virginia) about her life in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also present during the interview is Maylene’s step-father (name unknown) who occasionally participates in the conversation. At the time of the interview, McDonald had lived in Nevada for over seventy-two years and described early Las Vegas as a small-town railroad community with few amenities. McDonald discusses her occupational history, and how her father started the first car garage in Las Vegas. She goes on to talk about the impact of the Great Depression on Las Vegas and how Hoover Dam’s construction reduced the severity of the financial depression in comparison to other cities. She then recites the hotels that were built and the appeal that Vegas had to tourists and divorcees. McDonald later discusses how prostitution was accepted by the community, and recalls a story about how local businessmen rallied together to ensure that a minister would preach the funeral for a young woman who had died, despite being a prostitute. McDonald concludes her interview with a brief discussion of her goals in life and her pride in her daughters.

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