An Oral History conducted and edited by
Robert D. McCracken
Nye County Town History Project
Nye County, Nevada
Nye County Town History Project
Nye County Commissioners
Jane and Ted "Bombo " Cottonwood
Growing up in the east, then Los Angeles; moving to Nye County; meeting Bombo; waitressing in Beatty; holding horse shows and problems with getting ribbons and trophies; starting a business that grows and grows . . .
Rewards of the ribbon company; one of Beatty's largest employers; a loyal workforce; Beatty's future.
The Nye County Town History Project (NCTHP) engages in interviewing people who can provide firsthand descriptions of the individuals, events, and places that give history its substance. The products of this research are the tapes of the interviews and their transcriptions.
In themselves, oral history interviews are not history. However, they often contain valuable primary source material, as useful in the process of historiography as the written sources to which historians have customarily turned. Verifying the accuracy of all of the statements made in the course of an interview would require more time and money than the NCTHP's operating budget permits. The program can vouch that the statements were made, but it cannot attest that they are free of error. Accordingly, oral histories should be read with the same prudence that the reader exercises when consulting government records, newspaper accounts, diaries, and other sources of historical information.
It is the policy of the NCTHP to produce transcripts that are as close to verbatim as possible, but same alteration of the text is generally both unavoidable and desirable. When human speech is captured in print the result can be a morass of tangled syntax, false starts, and incomplete sentences, sometimes verging on incoherency. The type font contains no symbols for the physical gestures and the diverse vocal modulations that are integral parts of communication through speech. Experience shows that totally verbatim transcripts are often largely unreadable and therefore a waste of the resources expended in their production. While keeping alterations to a minimum the NCTHP will, in preparing a text:
a. generally delete false starts, redundancies and the uhs, ahs and other noises with which speech is often sprinkled;
b. occasionally compress language that would be confusing to the reader in unaltered form;
c. rarely shift a portion of a transcript to place it in its proper context;
d. enclose in [brackets] explanatory information or words that were not uttered but have been added to render the text intelligible; and
e. make every effort to correctly spell the names of all individuals and places, recognizing that an occasional word may be misspelled because no authoritative source on its correct spelling was found.
As project director, I would like to express my deep appreciation to those who participated in the Nye County Town History Project (NCTHP). It was an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to obtain oral histories from so many wonderful individuals. I was welcomed into many homes--in many cases as a stranger--and was allowed to share in the recollection of local history. In a number of cases I had the opportunity to interview Nye County residents whom I have known and admired since I was a teenager; these experiences were especially gratifying. I thank the residents throughout Nye County and southern Nevada--too numerous to mention by name-who provided assistance, information, and photographs. They helped make the successful completion of this project possible.
Appreciation goes to Chairman Joe S. Garcia, Jr., Robert N. "Bobby" Revert, and Patricia S. Mankins, the Nye County commissioners who initiated this project. Mr. Garcia and Mr. Revert, in particular, showed deep interest and unyielding support for the project from its inception. Thanks also go to current commissioners Richard L. Carver and Barbara J. Raper, who have since joined Mr. Revert on the board and who have continued the project with enthusiastic support. Stephen T. Bradhurst, Jr., planning consultant for Nye County, gave unwavering support and advocacy of the project within Nye County and before the State of Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office and the United States Department of Energy; both entities provided funds for this project. Thanks are also extended to Mr. Bradhurst for his advice and input regarding the conduct of the research and for constantly serving as a sounding board when methodological problems were worked out. This project would never have become a reality without the enthusiastic support of the Nye County commissioners and Mr. Bradhurst.
Jean Charney served as administrative assistant, editor, indexer, and typist throughout the project; her services have been indispensable. Louise Terrell provided considerable assistance in transcribing many of the oral histories; Barbara Douglass also transcribed a number of interviews. Transcribing, typing, editing, and indexing were provided at various times by Alice Levine, Jodie Hanson, Mike Green, and Cynthia Tremblay. Jared Charney contributed essential word processing skills. Maire Hayes, Michelle Starika, Anita Coryell, Michelle Welsh, Lindsay Schumacher, and Jodie Hanson shouldered the herculean task of proofreading the oral histories. Gretchen Loeffler and Bambi McCracken assisted in numerous secretarial and clerical duties. Phillip Earl of the Nevada Historical Society contributed valuable support and criticism throughout the project, and Tan King at the Oral History Program of the University of Nevada at Reno served as a consulting oral historian. Much deserved thanks are extended to all these persons.
All material for the NCTHP was prepared with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Grant No. DE-FG08-89NV10820. However, any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of DOE.
--Robert D. McCracken
Tonopah, Nevada - June 1990
Historians generally consider the year 1890 as the end of the American frontier. By then, most of the western United States had been settled, ranches and farms developed, communities established, and roads and railroads constructed. The mining boomtowns, based on the lure of overnight riches from newly developed lodes, were but a memory.
Although Nevada was granted statehood in 1864, examination of any map of the state from the late 1800s shows that while much of the state was mapped and its geographical features named, a vast region--stretching from Belmont south to the Is Vegas meadows, comprising most of Nye County-- remained largely unsettled and unmapped. In 1890 most of southcentral Nevada remained very much a frontier, and it continued to be for at least another twenty years.
The great mining booms at Tonopah (1900), Goldfield (1902), and Rhyolite (1904) represent the last major flowering of what might be called the Old West in the United States. Consequently, southcentral Nevada, notably Nye County, remains close to the American frontier; closer, perhaps, than any other region of the American West. In a real sense, a significant part of the frontier can still be found in southcentral Nevada. It exists in the attitudes, values, lifestyles, and memories of area residents. The frontier-like character of the area also is visible in the relatively undisturbed quality of the natural environment, most of it essentially untouched by human hands.
A survey of written sources on southcentral Nevada's history reveals some material from the boomtown period from 1900 to about 1915, but very little on the area after around 1920. The volume of available sources varies from town to town: A fair amount of literature, for instance, can be found covering Tonopah's first two decades of existence, and the town has had a newspaper continuously since its first year. In contrast, relatively little is known about the early days of Gabbs, Round Mountain, Manhattan, Beatty, Amargosa Valley, and Pahrump. Gabbs's only newspaper was published intermittently between 1974 and 1976. Round Mountain's only newspaper, the Round Mountain Nugget, was published between 1906 and 1910. Manhattan had newspaper coverage for most of the years between 1906 and 1922. Amargosa Valley has never had a newspaper; Beatty's independent paper folded in 1912. Pahrump first newspaper did not appear until 1971. All six communities received only spotty coverage in the newspapers of other communities after their own papers folded, although Beatty was served by the Beatty Bulletin, which was published as a supplement to the Goldfield News between 1947 and 1956. Consequently, most information on the history of southcentral Nevada after 1920 is stored in the memories of individuals who are still living.
Aware of Nye County's close ties to our nation's frontier past, and recognizing that few written sources on local history are available, especially after about 1920, the Nye County Commissioners initiated the Nye County Town History Project (NCTHP). The NCTHP represents an effort to systematically collect and preserve information on the history of Nye County. The centerpiece of the NCTHP is a large set of interviews conducted with individuals who had knowledge of local history. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, and then edited lightly to preserve the language and speech patterns of those interviewed. All oral history interviews have been printed on acid-free paper and bound and archived in Nye County libraries, Special Collections in the James R. Dickinson Library at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and at other archival sites located throughout Nevada. The interviews vary in length and detail, but together they form a never-before-available composite picture of each community's life and development. The collection of interviews for each community can be compared to a bouquet: Each flower in the bouquet is unique—some are large, others are small--yet each adds to the total image. In sum, the interviews provide a composite view of community and county history, revealing the flow of life and events for a part of Nevada that has heretofore been largely neglected by historians.
Collection of the oral histories has been accompanied by the assembling of a set of photographs depicting each community's history. These pictures have been obtained from participants in the oral history interviews and other present and past Nye County residents. In all, more than 700 photos have been collected and carefully identified. Complete sets of the photographs have been archived along with the oral histories.
On the basis of the oral interviews as well as existing written sources, histories have been prepared for the major communities in Nye County. These histories also have been archived.
The town history project is one component of a Nye County program to determine the socioeconomic impacts of a federal proposal to build and operate a nuclear waste repository in southcentral Nye County. The repository, which would be located inside a mountain (Yucca Mountain), would be the nation's first, and possibly only, permanent disposal site for high-level radioactive waste. The Nye County Board of County Commissioners initiated the NCTHP in 1987 in order to collect information on the origin, history, traditions, and quality of life of Nye County communities that may be impacted by a repository. If the repository is constructed, it will remain a source of interest for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years to come, and future generations will likely want to know more about the people who once resided near the site. In the event that government policy changes and a high-level nuclear waste repository is not constructed in Nye County, material compiled by the NCTHP will remain for the use and enjoyment of all.
M: Jane, could you tell me your birth date and place [of birth]?
C: I was born in a small town called Indiana, Pennsylvania, August 30, 1933.
M: What was your father's name?
C: Dr. Jack Darks. He was a chiropractor. He was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
M: And what was your mother's name?
C: Her name was Anna Mary Nicely, and she was born in the little town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
M: Did you spend your early years in Pennsylvania?
C: Yes, the first 3 years; then I moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, lived there for a few years, and came back and started my schooling in the small town of Westernport, Maryland.
M: Did your father practice chiropractory in each one of these towns?
C: Yes, he did.
M: How long did you live in Westernport?
C: About a year, and then we moved to Lonaconing, Maryland, which is only 25 miles away.
M: How long did you stay there?
C: About a year. I moved from Lonaconing to Los Angeles, and I lived there quite some time.
M: In L.A.? And that's where you went to school?
C: I went to school in L.A. When I first moved to Los Angeles--I had my 11th birthday there--I lived at Western Avenue and Wilshire. And then I moved to between Third and Beverly, on Loma Drive, and then I went to Catholic school for 2 years at the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and from there we moved to San Diego County, which was Pacific Beach. I went to Pacific Beach Junior High School and La Jolla High School. When my mother's health became very bad, we moved here to the desert.
M:You mean you moved to Beatty?
C: Yes. In 1949 we couldn't find any place to rent, buy or anything in Las Vegas because there was nothing there in 1949. This was the closest that we could find. So, anyway, my mother lived 5 months. She had a very, very bad heart, and she had pleurisy on top of it. That's why we had to move so fast from the ocean, in 1949, I believe.
M: By then you were out of school, weren't you?
C: Oh, no. After my mother passed away, I moved to Tonopah with my dad and my sister. I went to school up there for almost a year. Then I quit school and married Bombo [Cottonwood] in '51. We've lived in Beatty ever since.
M: Tell me about how you got started in this unusual business.
C: Well, I was a waitress for many years. Right here in Beatty. I worked the Exchange Club and the Wagonwheel for many, many years.
M: Now, where was the Wagonwheel?
C: It was right across the street from the Exchange Club. It's not there now; the building is there. It's that little building in front of the motel. That was the Wagonwheel restaurant. I worked there many years. was a 4-H leader, and our daughters rode horses, and I would be helping putting on horse shows and gymkhanas.
M: Now, what's a gymkhana?
C: It's games on horseback, like barrel racing and that kind of thing. So then I would have to buy my trophies and ribbons from Las Vegas, who in turn would order the ribbons either out of Ohio or out of Texas. This was in the middle '60s.
M: Now, where did you put the horseshows on?
C: We have an arena here in Beatty. But we traveled to other towns, such as Indian Springs and Las Vegas, and as the children got better we moved on up to Reno to the horseshows up there. So it was state-wide, but in the meantime we held one big one here every year, the first week in May. Getting our awards, especially the ribbons, was a problem. It took months to get them in. I was discussing this with the man that owns the trophy shop in Las Vegas--and I think there was only one or 2 at that time. This was about '65 or '66. I told him, gee, I didn't think that was such a big thing; anybody could make those ribbons. And he said, "Gee, I wished you could," because he was having a problem.
M: Why was he having a problem getting them, do you think?
C: Because it was so far away, and there weren't that many ribbon factories at that particular time. And it was a very hard business because it wasn't automated. It was all hand, and it still is a lot of hand work in it. So, when I came home and was telling Bombo, he thought, well, that was a good idea. And I thought about it for a couple of years, and an accountant friend of ours thought that was a great idea when I was talking to him, and he said he needed a tax write-off so he lent us $4000, and this is how we started in about 1967.
M: Did you try making any experimentally before the money?
C: Well, not really. I tore a few of them apart that the kids had won to see how they were made, which gave me a few ideas, and then naturally you put your own ideas to work. We started making ribbons in the living room of the house, and I was printing in the bedroom. The house was pretty small over there anyway, and we could hardly get around, so Bombo finally said, "I'm going to build you a factory so that you can get out of here." I will show you what he built originally. It was 16 by 20, and since then he's never quit building. It's a bit like an "Alice in Wonderland"; it just keeps going, room by room. We've never been able to slowdown enough to put in a major building or--it was a choice between building a new factory and a new home. And, when we discussed it, we felt that we couldn't stop long enough to move the ribbon factory, so we built the new house and just took it from there.
M: OK, so what year was it that you began experimenting with it in your living room?
C: Sixty-seven. Well, we played around with it for a year or so. We didn't get going good till '69.
M: And that was when you got the loan. Well, what made you think that you could make a go of it, Jane?
C: Well, we knew a lot of people in the horse field and the 4-H field. I really thought it was going to be just extra money, but before I knew it I was fulltime and had to hire people.
M: How did you get your business at first?
C: My first customer, besides the 4-H, was a man that owned Trophies of Las Vegas, the trophy company. He bought all his ribbons from us.
M: So that gave you your start. And then, how did it branch out from there?
C: Well, people heard about us from California, and they came to see us. We just started manufacturing for them also.
M: So people came to you; you didn't even have to go to them?
C: No, I really didn't when I started. We started getting business, just in the last few years we started pushing for more. Because we are handling different things now instead of just ribbons.
M: Originally you were just ribbons?
C: Just ribbons; then we added the trophies; then we added the plaque department; then we added some sporting goods, gift shop, silver, and things of that nature, so it entailed a lot.
M: How did you know where to do your buying initially? How would you know where to buy ribbons and the equipment and so on?
C: Well, the equipment, what we used and what we bought wasn't for the ribbon manufacturing, it was for the book-binding industry. The first machines that we had, which we still have and are still in use, were made for the book-binding industry. They are hot-stamp machines, like they would boil on the edge of a book.
M: Jane is referring to the [gold] letters [stamped] on the case of my tape recorder.
C: Right. So we went from there, and I bought the first machine in Los Angeles, a little hand-operated one which is still in service to this day!
M: And it's a machine that stamps hot letters on?
C: Yes, onto the ribbon. We were buying ribbon pleated, and that was a problem, so the next machine we bought was a rouching machine, which is a nice name for a sewing machine that pleats ribbons.
M: Well, how did you know where to buy these?
C: We didn't. We did a lot of telephoning and we did a lot of running to different places in Los Angeles trying to find this out. After that, the next machine that we bought was the Ludlow, which makes our type so we can print on the ribbon. That makes all sizes and typefaces and things like that. In the meantime, we're running out of space in that little factory, so Bombo added a 16 by 32 building that we had gotten from my sister.
M: Originally, you were in your house in your bedroom and your living room.
C: Yes, and then I went to the 16 by 20 building. Then he added this other building, and before he had that done he was adding a storage room for ribbon, then we added a trailer to the end of the building, a 10 by 55 trailer, which was our button and badge department. Then he added the trophy room; then after the trophy room, we took the trailer out of there and they added a 24 by 55 building. Then by the time that was done he was starting in on another project on the building, and finally we built to the house. We took all of it, and again we're out of space. We need a lot more
M: Meanwhile, Bombo has got a job, doesn't he? He's doing this in his spare time.
C: That's it. That's what we've been doing all these years--just work!
M: What has been the biggest challenge for you. Here you were a waitress, and a mother and everything.
C: The biggest challenge was getting the first fair, California Fair That was a big challenge. Now, can you imagine a Nevada company doing California State Fairs? That's a challenge.
M: How did you manage that?
C: Price and quality. I usually call on the Fair manager personally, and show him my product.
M: You show him your ribbons and you're giving your prices. Then what happens?
C: Well usually I ask him to go back and look at their bills from the previous years to see how we compare.
M: That's what does it? When he sees your quality and your prices, then you usually have a sale.
C: That's the way it's been working. And then after you get one Fair manager, he in turn tells somebody else, but for many years we couldn't take their orders because we just didn't have the manpower, the machines. We couldn't produce enough. About 5 years ago a gentleman came down to us from Montana and wanted us to do his fairs, he did a lot of fairs. So we decided we would invest in this automated machinery that did some of the fair ribbons, and since then we've had to buy other sets of machines to do this. Just to keep up. But we have automated printing machines, and we've had them for quite a while, but we didn't have the automatic V-toppers. That's the machine that does the fair ribbons, or like the track ribbons for the schools. They are pointed, with a card and a string. It's the ones that the schools use for track. You can't make those by hand and come out, so we have automated machines. Well, we have the automated computers that print the ribbons, and from there they go into the other department. How many does it make an hour? Fifty a minute, 40 a minute?
C: And then we have automatic stringing machines that string 50-75 per minute. So it's all done that way, automated, now.
M: So it sounds like one of the problems that you had is keeping up with your market. That's a pretty enviable problem for a business, isn't it, having to struggle to keep up with the demand.
C: Every time you turn around you have to buy another machine that's faster, better, adds something to it. Yes, it is. You never seem to get your head above water, really, because of that. We try to have 2 of everything at least. Of every machine in case one breaks down. Because we are in such a remote area, and BoMbo does all the repair work. It gets to the point where it's kind of hard on him, especially if he's trying to repair and add another room on at the same time. Not everybody can repair them, and he started on the ground floor with than, so that made it a little different.
M: What other problems have you faced because of your isolated location?
C: Well, when we started, we only had his service or United States mail We didn't have United Parcel. We've only had them 10 years. That was a great help to us, because they come to the door, pick up, and they also deliver every day, 5 days a week.
M: Do they have an office here in Beatty?
C: Vegas is where we get ours. They deliver packages to everybody, you know. Oh, sometimes they have to go to Death Valley or things like that, but we are the only account.
M: Well, you can ship anywhere through them.
C: Oh, yes. It's made a great difference, that one-day air service from the east coast to the west coast. We cannot ship back there in one day, but we can order one day and have it the next.
M: How did you find out where to buy all of your supplies?
C: That was tough. I talked to a lot of people in the business. Some of them were very helpful; some wouldn't tell you anything. Trial and error. I'm still looking for suppliers. You're always looking.
M: I noticed that you have suppliers overseas, don't you?
C: No, only on the silver plate. Right at the present, everything that we make in that ribbon is American-made; that's 100-percent American. The only thing that we import is the silver plate for the trays, the goblets and things like that. There's nobody here in the country that is anywhere near competitive for horse shows.
M: Do you see your business continuing to expand like it has?
C: Yes, I do. I think we'll be opening up the mid-west in the next year.
M: Where's your market now, largely?
C: In the west. Nevada, California, Arizona is a big customer, Texas is a big one, Oklahoma is a big customer, and Montana is one of our biggest customers. We hope to open the mid-west up next year. We have a daughter that is starting to show our product there, so we'll see where that leads us. We found out through the years that showing the product personally is a thousand times better than any catalog. You can waste a lot of time and money sending out flyers, catalogs, even colored ones, and receive nothing in return from it. But once the person sees the product and is holding it in their hand, it makes a lot of difference.
M: But that's expensive to go and visit them, isn't it?
C: Yes, but usually it takes one time. The only time you would have any difficulty is when they change officers in some of the clubs, and usually you get them back if they stray away, and you do them a good job.
M: Well, what do you think it is about yourself that has enabled you to make this really amazing transformation from a waitress to a businesswoman?
C: Well, I had an idea, and nobody else had it. I use colors in some of the styles and things, and I still use a lot of laces and things. Nobody else makes them, and we have a very competitive price, so I think that's what has been the answer.
M: What personal qualities do you think you have? You know, I don't think everybody who had the idea could have done it.
C: If you want to work all the time--and I did as a waitress. I worked
16-hour shifts in the restaurants in the old days, and we thought nothing of it. So I had a good background there, so I could work those hours, and it didn't seem to bother me. Or drive or keep on the road those many hours. I've got a lot of stamina, thank God.
M: A high energy level?
C: I do have a high energy level. But I'm still doing a lot of traveling, in the off-season, of course, not this time of year
M: What is your off-season?
C: We start slowing down around October till the first part of April, and I can usually go out and show fair managers my new line for the year, new trophies, new plaques, new figures that we've got in.
M: You have to kind of come up with a new line each year to keep competitive? Do you do the designing or do you have designers?
C: I do, yes. I do it myself.
M: You do it. Did you ever study art or anything like that?
C: No, but my mother was an artist, and she went to college to be an artist, yes. Something must have rubbed off there. Yes, I'm always thinking about new things, because I get really bored with the same award all the time. Ribbons we can change color-wise a little bit, or fancy stuff, but the plaques and trophies have stayed so basic all these years. So I changed it and went into a sculpture line that nobody else has, and so this is what I have been promoting the last year and a half, the sculptures. We'll be showing at the conventions caning up for fairs, for western fairs. There is an international, plus they have the Western Fairs Association, which is what we're going to be looking at. We'll see where we go from there.
M: What has been the most gratifying thing about the success that you've had in this business, Jane?
C: Keeping my original customers.
M: You still have your original customers?
C: Yes, I do.
M: Is the man in Vegas still in business?
C: He has sold out. In fact, we're on the third owner, and we're still doing manufacturing for Trophies of Is Vegas, yes.
M: What are some of the problems of competition that you've had over the years?
C: Well, very few, I find, but some fairs they won't even open the door to talk to you. So the first thing that crosses my mind is that they're getting a kick-back, and you don't want them anyway, so you just leave. I found very few of those, but I have come across a couple. You know, when they won't talk to you or won't see your line, then you know.
M: But that hasn't been that common?
C: No, it has not.
M: So basically everybody will see you or give you a chance.
C: One man that wouldn't see me was a manager of the Arizona State Fair After I tried to get in to see him to show him our line, he was convicted and sent to jail, where he spent many years for bribing and bribery and pay-offs. That really happened.
M: Jane, you're a major employer in Beatty. I think you might be the largest employer, aren't you?
C: No, I think some of the restaurants and bars, because they have 3 shifts. We are right up there with them, though.
M: What's the highest number that you've had employed there?
C: Thirty-eight last summer.
M: Where do you get your help from?
C: Well, thank God, they've been with me for many years. I really have what you call the cream of the crop, because those girls who have worked for me for many years know what they are doing, such as the printers, the button department, shipping. They've been there so long. I don't have but one new girl in the last year.
M: You just don't have any turnover?
C: Well, it's hard to break people in, teaching them.
M: People don't seem to move from the area?
C: No. Well, we've had some move, yes, like my bookkeeper. I lost one that moved to Fallon with her husband. I've lost a few in the plaque department; one started her own business; another one wanted to semi-retire, and another one moved to Colorado. Other than that, like I said, I've really been blessed with good help. I really have. And some of those girls travel 30-some miles one way to come to work.
M: They come from the Amargosa Valley, don't they? And is it seasonal for part of your work? Do you put them on in the peak season or do you keep them all along.
C: We keep our 24-25 basics all year
M: I see. So you're a steady employer for more than 2 dozen people?
C: Yes. How that came about was we got some new contracts in out of Arizona for the winter, and that made it so. Now this summer we'll have to pick up some of the school kids.
M; So you take the school kids in the summer and give then work?
C: Yes. I like them to be 16 or older ones, but you can get 14-year-olds that do just as good if not better. I've had my grandson working for us since he was 14 or 15. This will be his third year or fourth year with us. Anyway, he comes out from St. Louis, and he works for us in the trophy department.
M: Which market is the hardest to crack? Trophies, plaques and so on.
C: No difference in it. Like I said, it's just showing the product. Once you show it, then usually we sell it.
M: Because of the high quality and because of the competitiveness, huh? C: I think so. Well, we have things that we make personal for certain customers that we don't make for other customers, and I think that has a lot to do with it. We custom. Like for Tonopah we do Jim Butler's sculptures. I will not sell that sculpture to anybody else. In fact, BLM called me and wanted a sculpture of Jim Butler and his burro, and I said, "No, you have to talk to Bobby Perchetti." And they had to put it in the form of a letter before I would give up that sculpture. Well, I mean that is theirs; that is theirs, and I just don't think anybody should be allowed to use that sculpture. It was made for the Chamber and for the Convention Center and the town of Tonopah, and it shouldn't be used for individuals.
M: How do you see the future of Beatty?
C: I think, if the Nevada Test Site keeps going, of course, and they put in the high-waste nuclear dump, I think we might show 50 more families. I don't see a great one.
M: You don't see a big influx?
C: No. Reason: most women wouldn't like to move out here, and they don't have any stores to shop in. When the Nevada Test Site opened in the early '50s we thought Beatty would boom then, and we got maybe 10 families, and the rest of them lived in Las Vegas. We didn't see any great thing here for this town. So I don't see any great thing now. I think maybe the Amargosa Valley might do better than Beatty, because it would be closer. Only because of it being closer. But people can ride these buses from Las Vegas to the Test Site at a lot cheaper than they can drive their cars; so, no, I don't see that raising a bunch of people. I can't see Beatty a big metropolis, really. Besides that, that would not be good for us here anyway.
M: Why do you say that?
C: Well, it would be just like what happened in Tonopah, with Anaconda. They came in, and the town bent over backwards and put in water sewerage, which the local people are now paying for because they are gone. And it was very much of a burden on us--on Tonopah and Nye County.
M: Now you have the same thing in the Amargosa Valley with ABC.
C: That's right.
M: And the new community center and everything.
C: You see, things like that should be really given a little thought. I was on the water and sanitation district here, which is an elected office, for 8 years; and, if the government wanted to bring in workers, I would put a "no-no" on it until they put their money where their mouth is and put in sewer and water. Because if they would move out of here tomorrow, you're stuck paying that, and you wouldn't live long enough to even get it paid. So I think that if a government wants to put in a facility, they should help finance that facility. Or a big company.
M: We talked a little bit about the problems you've had, and the satisfactions, I think. What have been your other satisfactions besides keeping your original customers?
C: Like I said, that's number one, and I think we'll be getting more as we expand again.
M: Do you find that companies, competitors, tend to come and go or is it the same ones over through the years?
C: You have some that care and go, but basically you have the same ones. And I'm friends with a lot of them, too. The old people that have been around a long time mostly are good people. We can swap ideas with one another. I don't do what they do, and they don't do what I do, so we get along.
M: You have bus tours come to your shop now, don't you?
C: Yes, the other day we had a bus tour, tours going through the shop. It was a BPW (Business and Professional Women) convention here. They came through the shop. But then we do a lot of work for the BPW.
The index has been removed for the digital format. Digitization by Suzy McCoy - Beatty Graphics SM Productions - Beatty, Nevada