Pahrump Valley Museum and Historical Society







April 2004










            George Andrews Ross

            April 2004











In 1987 the Nye County Board of Commissioners initiated the Nye County Town History Project (NCTHP). During the several year life of this project a number of interviews were conducted by Dr. Robert McCracken with individuals knowledgeable about various aspects of Nye County history. These interviews were recorded, transcribed, printed, and then archived at archival sites throughout Nevada. Dr. McCracken also published several books summarizing the oral history and other information for selected Nye County communities and areas.


Subsequent to completion of the NCTHP, members of the Pahrump Museum and Historical Society have conducted oral history interviews with additional long time residents of the Pahrump Valley and nearby areas. Two oral histories (Robert Owens and Atha Owens Young) taken by Society members were published with the support of Dr. Colleen Beck, Desert Research Institute (DRI). DRI provided typing, editing, and copying services as well as funding for bookbinding. As in the NCTHP bound copies printed on archival paper were provided to selected archival sites. Original audio tapes of these interviews were retained by the Pahrump Museum.   


As opportunity permits, additional oral histories of long time Pahrump area residents will be taken and published by the Pahrump Museum and Historical Society.









Thanks go to Mr. George Ross for agreeing to be interviewed by Mr. Harry Ford for this oral history. As a long time resident and worker in the Shoshone and Death Valley area, Mr. Ross provides a unique perspective on local mining and heavy equipment operation in the area. As a Native American descendant of a well known local Paiute family, Mr. Ross also provided background on his family history together with several examples of the Southern Paiute language.


The interview was transcribed by Don Hendricks using equipment loaned by ArchaeoNevada. Messrs. Ford, Hendricks, and Ross worked together to edit the interview and particularly to try to write down the spoken Paiute words and phrases. LaVan Martineau pointed out in 1992 that at that time no one under age 50 still spoke Paiute. Today there is within the Southern Paiute community an ongoing effort using spoken language classes to preserve the Paiute language which is still primarily a spoken language only. Using the references given below an attempt was made to set down on paper in the oral history the Paiute words and phrases spoken by Mr. Ross. Words or phrases in parentheses are additions or corrections made during the review of the first draft.


1. Martineau, LaVan. 1992. southern Paiutes - Legends, Lore, Language and Lineage. KC Publications. Las Vegas, NV.

2. Shaul, David L. and Onur Senarsian. 1997. A Working Southern Paiute Dictionary. The Paiute Consortium.




Oral History

George Andrews Ross


The following is an interview of George Ross (GR) conducted by Harry Ford (HF) on January 22, 2003.


HF:      We're doing an interview with George Ross and we're in Pahrump, Nevada. OK, George, would you state your full name.


GR:     My name is George Andrews Ross.


HF:      And where were you born?


GR:     I was born in Shoshone, California.


HF:      And what date were you born?


GR:     1925. December 26th.


HF:      What was your father's full name?


GR:     Well, his real name was Andrews Kovoch but he was commonly known as Joseph Ross. R-o-s-s.


HF:      And do you know when and where he was born?


GR:     No, I don't. From then on, he left when I was just a little kid and I don't even re..-and I just saw him after he got killed.


HF:      OK. Where did you last - where did he get killed at?


GR:     Nivloc Mine out of Silver Peak.


HF:      Did you ever hear anybody ever give a description of what he looked like? Was he tall, slim? Was he...?


GR:     No, he was 5 foot, he was 5 foot eleven and was 165 pounds and wore 16 shirts and a 32 waist.


HF:      What, what was his occupation?


GR:     Miner. He was a miner.


HF:      OK. What was your mother's name?


GR:     Julia Weed Ross.


HF:      And where was she born?


GR:     She was born in Manse, Nevada. that's six miles south of Pahrump.


HF:      do you know what day she was born? What year?


GR:     No, I don't but they estimated in 1885 or somewheres around there. That's about when she was born because she's pretty close to Mrs. Stella Brown.


HF:      Do you remember what her mother's name was?


GR:     Not right now. It's slipped my mind.


HF:      Do you remember what her father's name was?


GR:     Yeah. Tom. Tom Weed.


HF:      Tom Weed.


GR:     Nellie. Nellie Weed was her mother's name.


HF:      OK. Did she have any brothers and sisters?


GR:     She had two sisters and one brother.


HF:      And what were their name?


GR:     The oldest sister was Lily Weed and the youngest one was Rosie Weed.


HF:      And what was the brothers name?


GR:     Tom Weed.


HF:      What relation was she to Mutt Weed, John Weed, and I understand there was a Jeff Weed?


GR:     They say they were cousins.


HF:      So when she was a little girl, she actually lived on the Manse Ranch? Did she ever..? Near the Manse Ranch?


GR:     She lived at the Manse Ranch.


HF:      But she never lived on the Pahrump Ranch that you know of?


GR:     Not that I know of.


HF:      OK. do you have any idea of when your mother and your father were married?


GR:     No, I don't. I wasn't born.


HF:      OK, how many brothers and sisters do you have?


GR:     I had one sister.


HF:      And what was her name?


GR:     Stella Ross. And then she got married and her name was Fields.


HF:      And she married?


GR:     Daniel C. Fields.


HF:      Did your mother ever work here in Pahrump that you know of?


GR:     No, she never worked.


HF:      How old was she when she left Pahrump, do you have any idea?


GR:     No, I don't.


HF:      OK. Where did you first start school?


GR:     In Shoshone.


HF:      And where was the school building?


GR:     School building was right there where the motel is now, just north of the store, the new store.


HF:      How many kids were in school at that time?


GR:     At that time? There was about six. Just barely made it, one year.


HF:      Do you remember what the teacher's name was?


GR:     Mrs. Loomis. Mrs. Dorothy tuck Loomis.


HF:      What were some of the other kids' names that you went to school with?


GR:     Well, there was Mickey Howell, Joe Rogers and Wilson Bow and Mary Bow. Now, the older kids they had left and gone north. That's some of the kids I went to school with. Mrs. Loo....Winston Loomis, that's the schoolteacher's son.


HF:      OK. what did you do as a boy? What did you do in Shoshone as a boy to have a good time? A little boy?


GR:     Swim, mostly. Swim.


HF:      Swim.


GR:     Swim in the Shoshone swimming pool and ride a horse.


HF:      When you were a boy growing up what was, let's say, your friend's name, your closest friend. Not a girl friend.


GR:     Male friend.


HF:      Male friend.


GR:     Joe Rogers. Him and I was together all the time. We did everything together.


HF:      OK. Now who was Joe Rogers. And who were his parents?


GR:     His parents was....Well, his sister is Mary Sackett...and Helen Tom and ... Helen Tom. His mother was Jeannie Howell...and I don't know where she came from. She come from, they say from down at Jean.


HF:      OK. did your mother have any sisters and brothers?


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      OK. What were their names?


GR:     Lily Weed and Rosie Weed.


HF:      She just had two sisters?


GR:     She had two sisters.


HF:      Do you remember the old T&T Railroad?


GR:     Oh yeah.


HF:      Let's say when you first remember it, was it a steam engine that came through at that time?


GR:     It was, yeah.


HF:      And did it, it stopped at Shoshone?


GR:     It watered up. There was a big water tank there, that's where they watered up.


HF:      Tell me about what it looked like, what you felt like as a boy seeing this steam engine come into Shoshone.


GR:     I don't recall what I though. (Chuckling) But I know we all waited for it and then they had that Galloping Goose that came in there.


HF:      The Galloping Goose as in it was a diesel powered, it had a diesel engine on it.


GR:     Yeah. It didn't have to water up.


HF:      Yeah. How many cars would you think? There was an engine on the old steam engine. There was an engine and how many cars did they normally have?


GR:     About three-four.


HF:      Did they have a caboose?


GR:     Yes.


HF:      They had a caboose!


GR:     Yep.


HF:      OK. Give me some names of the people, the adults that lived in Shoshone at that time. Start with the owners of the store and on down.


GR:     Well, Senator Charles Brown, he owned the store....


HF:      Now, this was when you were a boy, he owned the store?


GR:     No, to start with, was Ralph Fairbanks.


HF:      OK. He owned the store?


GR:     He owned the sore.


HF:      And what was his wife's name?


GR:     I don't recall what his wife's name was. So many of them around.


HF:      OK. How many kids did Fairbanks have?


GR:     Wouldn't know.


HF:      Well, we know one of them was Stella Brown.


GR:     One of them was Stella Brown, yeah. The one.


HF:      OK. Then Charles Brown owned the sore. How many children did he have?


GR:     Charles Brown, he had four. There was Celesta, Bernice, Charles and George.


HF:      And those kids were all older than you.


GR:     Celesta was just a year or two older than me but the rest of them was older.


HF:      OK. What was the name of some of the other adults that your remember at that time that lived in Shoshone?


GR:     Well, Stella Rook, well she came about 1937 and Stella and Carl Rook. Ernie Huhn. He lived there. He was an older prospector and he came from German. He was a German, a red-headed guy, poker player, gambler. And Pop Bray, long overcoat, Dutch and gambler. Sidewinder. He wore his cap sideways. He walked like a sidewinder. And there was this Elmer the Greek. He said my name is Elmer the Greek and don't you forget that either.


HF:      Keep goin' George, you're doin' great! (Laughter)


GR:     Old Jack Perdue, old red-headed ornery son-of-a-gun. he was ornery...I used to go down and borrow his shotgun all the time, single barrel 12 gauge and I still got it. After back in '33 I think he finally give it to me. There was a fellow named O.M. Bert. He had a double barreled 20 gauge. I borrowed it and it seemed like every time I pulled the trigger they both went off at the same time. My head would flop back. (laughter) I was only just a kid.


HF:      OK. You're doin' great George. Any more that you remember?


GR:     Henry Ashford. The guy that never took a bath.


HF:      OK.


GR:     And Mrs. Brown, Stella Brown, Charlie Brown's wife run him out of the boardin' house at that time because he stunk so bad. That's where the train stopped. Every time the train stopped they'd go down there and eat in that old boardin' house. that's located right south of the Crowbar.


HF:      That's the adobe building?


GR:     That's the adobe building.


HF:      And that was the boarding house as in there were rooms in there to sleep in too?


GR:     No. Just the boarding house on this end and on the west end the kitchen. The east end was a boarding house.


HF:      Do you remember when the miners lived up in the old...the caves?


GR:     Well they lived there but I don't think they were miners, I think they was retired. There was a Jack Crowly and Joe Vollmer. He was the one made the home brew, right there in his dugout. And then below that was Dobie Charlie. He had that old motorcycle with       sidecar on it. And then across the wash was Ashford, Henry Ashford and his brother, I can't think of his name...they lived across the wash.


HF:      Was there a bar in Shoshone at that time or they just bought their liquor out of the


GR:     There wasn't a bar in there...they just bought it out at the store.


HF:      OK. did you ever see anyone - like your mother or some of the other ladies - make baskets?


GR:     Yes. I watched mother make baskets all the time.


HF:      What kind of material did she make baskets out of?


GR:     Well, willow for one. Willow.


HF:      A willow. OK.


GR:     A willow, you know. And devil's claw plant that grows at Chappo Spring, the only place  you can get it... that's what they used for decorating, it's black.


HF:      Can you still find some of that?


GR:     No. No. Can't find anything anymore. Everything's gone.


HF:      Do you have any of her baskets? Not even one?


GR:     Not even one. Independence, California's has one.


HF:      When you were in Shoshone as a boy, you talk about borrowing shotguns, was there anything to hunt? Did you hunt anything?


GR:     We had a lot of ducks coming through all the time, at that time but no geese. But there was a lot of ducks. There were a lot of cottontails.


HF:      OK. Where..where was the house that you lived in?


GR:     There was an old... I was born across from the swimming pool, like I said. And we moved from there cause my grandfather and grandmother, I guess they were half way inebriated, you know, they had kerosene lamps and then they come in there. My mother walked off, left myself, my sister, Stella and Juanita, you know, was raised by my mother and she's still like a sister.


HF:      What was her last name?


GR:     Juanita Weed.


HF:      Juanita Weed.


GR:     Yeah. She was Rosie's daughter. And she walked out, she had to go back and get us again. Then she went on back in and got us, brought us out. That's when they must of knocked the lamp over or something cause that's where they got burned up. My grandfather and grandmother both.


HF:      OK. That was your mother's parents?


GR:     My mother's parents.


HF:      And do you remember their names?


GR:     No..I think it was Tom Weed and the wife's name was Nellie Weed.


HF:      Do you remember what year that happened? How old were you..about?


GR:     Well, I don't know. I must have been about a year old.


HF:      Oh, you were small!


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      OK.


GR:     I don't remember it. Juanita was older she said she faintly remember it. And then from there we moved over to where the high school is now. And we stayed there until 1935 and then we moved up to..up to above the swimming pool at the the first house built in Shoshone by Cub Lee.


HF:      Cub Lee.


GR:     And Cub Lee, brother to Bob...Bob Lee, who was early residents in Pahrump for years, and the Philander was the other brother. They resided in Resting Springs for a long time before old man Bob Lee moved to Pahrump. And Juanita, there was Bob Lee's son, Clyde Lee, that's one of the Lee bunches, that's the one Juanita married.


HF:      OK, George, tell us about the first job you had, the first place you worked and made some money.


GR:     Well, I worked for Senator Charles Brown and George Brown, his son used to cut the wood and I'd take the wood and fill the wheel borrow with coal and take it into a little, old green cabin there right where the store's at now, or the new store there. And I'd keep that stocked full of, you know, wood and coal, you know, in case they had renters in there but they didn't have too many at that time but I'd check it if there were any in there. I'd check it in the afternoon. Make 50 cents a week.


HF:      Where did they cut the wood from? Where was there trees to cut?


GR:     They cut trees any place at that time, but they can't now. And the coal they brought in on the trains.


HF:      OK. then what was your next job. And some of the jobs you had.


GR:     Well, in the meantime I'd wash Senator Brown's..his Chrysler. He had SB-28 on it. I wouldn't want to repeat what he called it but...


HF:      What year do you think the car was..the first one that you saw?


GR:     This one was??...I think it was '42..or'41 Chrysler. Great big, long yellow one. Orange??


HF:      OK. so what were some of the other jobs you had?


GR:     Well, I used to paint the schoolhouse all the time. That..was when they had the oil base and you left all kinds of really didn't dry smooth.


HF:      And then as you got older.


GR:     As I got older..oh, I worked a number of places and when I was about 15 years old we started putting a road in from the Castle in the Clay and down to..they wanted us to go down to the clay pit...down there. and I would pull the tow blade and I'd never been on a Cat before, that's when I started.


HF:      Do you remember what size the Cat was?


GR:     No, I don't. It was just a little bitty thing, I know that.


HF:      But you operated the Cat and somebody else operated the old....


GR:     Old tow blade.


HF:      OK. Then what other jobs did you have?


GR:     Well, I been up to Death Valley Talc. I was sorting ore out there for four dollars a day.


HF:      And where was Death Valley Talc?


GR:     Death Valley Talc was just over the hill, maybe a couple of miles from Warm Springs. It's right.. from the bottom of Death Valley you go up five miles... west of... bottom of Death Valley.


HF:      OK. Some of the other places you worked.


GR:     Well, there was another road there putting in below Bennet Springs which is half way between Salisbury Pass and Jubilee Pass. They were putting a road there and there were quite a few of us there just pulling rocks off the road and that was one of the jobs.


HF:      Was this for Inyo County or...


GR:     No. No. This was just for a promoter, a promotion deal.


HF:      OK. Where else did you work?


GR:     Well... we are getting a little bit older now and I used to load trucks for Logan Brothers with those old skip loaders they had. You had to stand up and operate it.


HF:      Do you remember how much you made? A day, or an hour or whatever they paid you?


GR:     I ain't going to remember how much we made that time but when I came out of the service in '46 I was only getting about a dollar thirty eight - a dollar thirty nine and a half cents an hour, driving for Morgan Brothers. So at that time it must have been around seventy five, eighty five cents, I tell you. And then before I went in the service I was             hauling lumber for Sierra Talc from the railroad siding down at Dunn to all the mines around Shoshone.


HF:      OK. Let's start about at the upper end of Shoshone there and give me the names of the mines clear down through to Tecopa.


GR:     Well, there's the Gerstley mines.


HF:      Wasn't there one above that?


GR:     No. Not that I can recall. There's the Gerstley Mine and then you go on down out of Shoshone to that silica pit.


HF:      And whereabouts was it?


GR:     That's'd be west of Shoshone. Southwest of Shoshone. And then you on down and Noonday. That's east of Tecopa about nine miles. Then south of it, about three-four miles is Western Talc. And below that was the Acme Mine. These are talc mines, except for Noonday, it was lead. And, on the west side of the valley, was Eclipse and...


HF:      Where was the Eclipse, from let's say Tecopa?


GR:     Well, as you go's the west side of Tecopa as you go off of Highway 127 it's a couple miles up the hill.


HF:      OK. then, keep going.


GR:     And on over the hill from Eclipse there's Ibex Springs I'd say which is about fifteen miles from Tecopa. There was some mines out there, Morehouse and Ibex, and down south of Ibex Mine was the Superior. And to the left of that was the Rainbow Mine.


HF:      And that pretty well covers the mines?


GR:     I think so, most of it.


HF:      What about mills? did they have any mills around there from the time you were a boy, you remember where the mills were?


GR:     The mill was supposed to have been right in Tecopa, just south of there, a wee bit. But I don't recall it. But the building, got pictures of the building in places.


HF:      And that would have milled what?


GR:     That.. I would imagine that was Noonday, that would have been Noonday most of the time.


HF:      Well then later, didn't Noonday have a mill of their own?


GR:     They did, .. just south of the Noonday mine. What they call the Columbia mine.


HF:      It was called the Columbia Mine at that time?


GR:     The Columbia Mine. Years and years ago according to Larry Lee it was the Hitler Mine, I don't know why. then they called it Shoshone Mine. Now it's Columbia Mine.


HF:      OK. As you go on around and back up towards the hills back there from Noonday there was a Smith Mine. Did it work? Was it one of the working mines?


GR:     It worked during the war.


HF:      Were there any other mines back up in there?


GR:     On a little farther there was a ...up in Beck Springs was a Harry Adams Mine.


HF:      And what did he mine?


GR:     Talc.


HF:      He was a talc miner. OK. When you were a boy, and when this train was coming in, and it was a steam engine, did they still use horses and wagons at all, there, at that time?


GR:     Well, at that time there was Model Ts. the Model Ts was coming out at that time.


HF:      OK.


GR:     But a lot of times on horses and buggy from Shoshone we could...we'd to up there to Charleston to pick pine nuts in horse and buggy.


HF:      So you would go from Shoshone up to the Charlestons in a horse and buggy?


GR:     Yep.


HF:      Where did you... how did you feed your horses there in Shoshone? Was it pasture, did you have to bring hay in?


GR:     Just the plain old salt grass.


HF:      What ever happened to the wagons?


GR:     I don't know. they just.... disappeared.


HF:      Did they belong to your people?


GR:     No. they belong to Jim...Jim, not Long Jim but Jim... he lived here in Pahrump.


HF:      Jim Pat?


GR:     No. Jim... what the heck was his name? His wife Mamie.. they had the wagon.


HF:      Steve. Jim Steve.


GR:     Jim Steve. Yeah.


HF:      Did he live in Shoshone?


GR:     No. He lived here.


HF:      OK. So he would bring his wagons over there and pick you up?


GR:     At times,  yeah.


HF:      What did Jim Steve do for a living in Pahrump?


GR:     I don't think he done anything. He just did a little farming. And go up in the mountains, poach a little bit. (Laughter) Where it was illegal.


HF:      Yeah. I'd always heard he was kind of a renegade. OK. Tell me about your first car, George, the first car you drove.


GR:     The first car I drove....


HF:      The first car you drove.


GR:     The first car I drove was an old Model A ..and it belonged to somebody else. I took it from where I was living up below the black hill. I took it down to Shoshone and turned around and came back and here was a water puddle. (Laughter) It died. that scared me. So I went up and told the owner what happened. Well he said that ain't nothing', it's just a water puddle.


HF:      What was the first car you owned?


GR:     Oh, that was way after I come out of service. It was a 1937 Chrysler.


HF:      Chrysler?


GR:     Coupe.


HF:      1937 Chrysler coupe. OK, at the time that you were going to school in Shoshone, how many people do you think lived there?


GR:     In Shoshone?


HF:      Yeah, That would have been when the train was running through and .....


GR:     Well, there was quite a few people living there but they was all, mostly all, you know, old timers, old prospectors.


HF:      Do you remember Tecopa, how many ... what was there down in Tecopa when you first remember going down to Tecopa?


GR:     Hardly nothin'.


HF:      There was a grocery store?


GR:     There was a grocery store and a gas station.


HF:      And who owned that?


GR:     A fellow by... I don't recall the guy's name but Jim Francis was the first on that owned that.. one across the street from the one that burned down.


HF:      So the closest ... if you had to buy groceries, then you could buy groceries in Shoshone and Tecopa.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      Was there any grocery stores, shopping anything here in Pahrump that you, you know, as you were a boy, let's say as you were ... before you went in the Army? did you ever come to Pahrump and do any shopping?


GR:     Oh yeah. I come to Pahrump many a times. but... just a little, little store at the Pahrump Ranch. That's where they had the store.


HF:      The store was open at the Pahrump ranch and that would have been in about what year? How old would you have been?


GR:     That would have been back in the '30s ... '30s and '40s it was open there.


HF:      OK. Tell me about .. OK, you grew up in Shoshone and you would come to Pahrump occasionally, when did you ever go and see a big city?


GR:     (Laughter). Big City?


HF:      A big city, as in Barstow or Las Vegas or something like that.


GR:     Well, I guess the first time I went to Los Angeles was ... there was a fellow named Bill Foley and just before that I did go to Vegas ... when I was ... and I don't know how old I was. But Vegas wasn't a big city then, either.


HF:      No, I realize that but it was bigger than Shoshone.


GR:     Bigger than Shoshone.


HF:      So what year do you think you went to Los Angeles?


GR:     What year?


HF:      How old were you? How old were you when you went to Los Angeles?


GR:     How old am I know? (Laughter). I don't know.


HF:      Were you a teenager?


GR:     I was a teenager. Yeah. I spent a lot of time down in Los Angeles when I was a teenager.


HF:      Were you fascinated with Los Angeles?


GR:     Not really. I don't know why. I'd work awhile and get a few dollars in my pocket and go down to Barstow and L.A. and... you know you'd be sittin' on a ...they did have benches out there in those days and you'd get to talkin' to some of them young guys down there and they'd say "Well, what're you doin' and where you goin' to stay." and so on and so forth. "Come on up." they'd say, "We got extra beds." and that's the way it used to be.


HF:      Did you ever ride the train anywhere?


GR:     Not any distance. the only time I really rode it when we was tearin' it up.


HF:      OK. Tell me, let's start clear down at the bottom when the train started. Can you tell me the names of the little places along the way that they would fill up with water and they had stops?


GR:     Well, Ludlow, and I think they filled up there. Baker, I think they filled up in Baker. I can't swear to that but there was just a stop at Riggs, just a siding at Riggs.


HF:      OK, where was Riggs?


GR:     That was ...down ...southeast of Renoville. And Renoville was between Baker and Tecopa.


HF:      So that would have been across that dry lake up on the side of the hill up there?


GR:     No... Silurian dry lake.


HF:      And the name of that was Riggs?


GR:     Riggs.


HF:      OK. Then they would come on towards Shoshone.


GR:     And the next one was Sperry. Sperry Wash.


HF:      And where was that?


GR:     That was below ... it went from Acme down to the main road. That was well was between Renoville and Tecopa.


HF:      Is there anything there now? Have you ever been down there recently?


GR:     I haven't been there in a long time. They've probably got it tore up with all them dune buggies down there. See that's right close to Dumont Dunes.


HF:      And the name of that was Sperry.


GR:     Sperry Wash.


HF:      And it was somewhere ...well, is that where the Amargosa River ran through? Is that where they got their water?


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      OK. so then they would leave there and head on up towards Tecopa. Where was the next stop?


GR:     The next stop was Tecopa.


HF:      OK. And they had ... that's where they filled up with water.


GR:     Yeah. They had a siding at... just south of China Ranch. Just a siding where they loaded cars to fill up. No water tank or nothing there. So Tecopa would be your next one.


HF:      What did they load down there,....?


GR:     Talc.


HF:      So there was a talc mine somewhere there below the China Ranch?


GR:     There was a little one on the right hand side but I think they shipped some out of there but it was all washed out and you know, you can't tell people, well, well how did they get water. They can't now, because it gulled through ... deeper than this building here.


HF:      So then when they would leave Tecopa, wasn't there someplace between Tecopa and Shoshone? At one time there had been a little town in there?


GR:     Tecopa and Shoshone?


HF:      Yeah.


GR:     Oh, yeah.


HF:      I want to say Travertine.


GR:     No. It was ....?(Zabriskie) There wasn't a town then but I believe that one time there might have been a town there.


HF:      I read the history of the store in Shoshone and that was where it came from. Originally it had been up at Greenwater and they took it from Greenwater down to...


GR:     Yeah. I remember the town. I remember the place.


HF:      I knew it before I started asking about it but now I forgot it.


GR:     Me too. You asked me about it.


HF:      OK. Then if we come on into Shoshone and they had a water tank there. Where was the next stop from Shoshone?


GR:     They stopped at Evelyn but I don't think they watered up there. Evelyn, that's between Death Valley Junction and Shoshone.


HF:      And that's right where that athel tree is, tamarisk tree.


GR:     Yeah. And if  you notice that road going up through there they were supposed to take that out but the superintendent said no just to leave it???


HF:      You know, I have to really respect somebody for that because in this day and age, you know, it's bulldoze everything and go straight ahead.


GR:     That's right.


HF:      And yet they went around that tree with the road to leave it there. OK, then it would go on to Death Valley Junction.


GR:     Yeah. That's where... that's where they went for a long time. They had a roundtable, a turntable. And then they went on into Beatty. And, did they ever go beyond Beatty?


HF:      Not to my knowledge.


GR:     I don't think so.


HF:      OK. Now where did you ride it from, where did you ride the train from in your lifetime?


GR:     I didn't actually ride it as a passenger but I started working on the tearing up the railroad at Carrara. That's just south of Beatty about what ... fifteen miles, ten miles?


HF:      What year was that?


GR:     That's in '42.


HF:      Did you ever hear the name, or remember Lois Kellogg that had the Kellogg ranch down below the Manse Ranch?


GR:     I've heard of her but I never did get to meet her.


HF:      Never say her. OK, what do you remember... how young were you.. how old were you when you first saw Death Valley Junction?


GR:     Well. I don't know when I first saw it, I don't recall how old I was. Ten years old I guess, before I was fifteen. I can remember things from fifteen on up but there back I can't. So I must have been before fifteen.


HF:      So there was a lot of railroad track in and around Death Valley there.


GR:     Yeah. There was.


HF:      And the old... you remember the old train station there, the depot?


GR:     Yeah. Junction was a booming town, compared to Shoshone. We used to go up there to watch them play ball. We'd catch a ride up with mostly with Jack Madison. And one time Jack Madison bought a Model A. And took me and Joe Rogers. We went up there and they wanted Joe to drive back. He.. we'd never been behind the wheel in our life. So Red Kinsinger, he gets on the running board, well, he says shift this one, shift this ne, shift that one, and shift down. We took it into Shoshone. (Laughter). We were doing fifty miles an hour one time.


HF:      Uh oh. Really?.. Well, do you remember the clay camp?


GR:     Vaguely.


HF:      Because it was sort of a little development up there too.


GR:     That's what I understand. That's where my dad worked.


HF:      Did you ever go down into Death Valley much when you were... before ...I'm trying to keep now before you went into the Army. Did you ever go down to Death Valley?


GR:     Yea. Very nice.


HF:      I mean.. you'd go in a car, you'd drive down to .. to the ranch?


GR:     Well, we'd go down to the ranch.


HF:      Did you ever work in the dates down there?


GR:     Nope. we went down there .. the Shoshone team, we went down and played ball against the CC Camp on time. At the Cow Creek.


HF:      OK. What about Ash Meadows, did you ever go out into Ash Meadows? Did you know anybody out there?


GR:     Well, I knew quite a few people at that time but I don't .. well they're all gone so..


HF:      So, do you remember any of the names of who live in Ash Meadows at that time?


GR:     Well, there was William Bishop, and a fellow named Ghost, but he changed his name to Billy. (Laughter).


HF:      Do you remember the Bishops? There was Belle Bishop, she had some kids. Do you remember the, her kids?


GR:     Nah.


HF:      They were all younger than you.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      Yeah. OK, tell me the names of some of the people that you knew that worked on the railroad. Who worked for the railroad?


GR:     Who worked for the railroad as it was running?


HF:      As it was running, yeah.


GR:     Well, the conductor was... I can't think of the conductor's name. I used to know it. But I know the engineer was Fuller, Dave Fuller and he had a son named Fuller and they             nicknamed him Sonny.


HF:      OK. Tell me the some of the names of the people who worked on the railroad.


GR:     Well, my uncle Tom Bob.. Weed.. was named Tom Bob and he worked on the railroad. And I guess just a gandy dancer.. and couple of other guys. And this section foreman, he had epilepsy so bad that at one time I think he almost fell of the little putt-putt and they caught him just in time.


HF:      And you can't remember his name?


GR:     I can't think of his name right off and I know it real well too. And I know when they come through Shoshone they stopped and we went out to the ball field which is above the trailer court and they'd throw out a bunch of candy and oranges and apples. And this one time he didn't. There used to be a cut that goes through there and he threw it just before he went through the cut. And I was really disappointed they didn't bring us anything.


HF:      OK. this Mickey Devine, what?


GR:     This Mickey Devine, he was the engineer on the Gallopin' Goose.


HF:      And then Dave Fuller?


GR:     Fuller? He was an engineer on the locomotive.


HF:      On the steam engine.


GR:     And conductor, what the heck was the conductor's name, I remember, I can see him plain as day, saying "Aboard".


HF:      What kind of fuel did the steam engine burn?


GR:     Coal.


HF:      OK. Death Valley Scotty. did you ever see or know Death Valley Scotty?


GR:     I didn't know him but I seen him many a time at Shoshone.


HF:      What kind of a car did he drive?


GR:     I don't know what kind of car it was, great big long one anyway.


HF:      Did you ever go out to Scotty's Castle?


GR:     Two times. One time, the first time was in '71 and the second time was.. '99.


HF:      OK. Let's talk about the military. Did you serve in the military?


GR:     Yes sir.


HF:      OK. When did you go in?


GR:     I went in April 1944


HF:      And where did you take your basic training?


GR:     Camp Roberts. Summertime, hot.


HF:      And after you had had your basic training where did you go?


GR:     Well, I went to San Luis Obispo, trained some more there and then to Fort Ord. And then we went to Germany. First we went out to .. out to the south Pacific. We did a lot of training out there for beach landing. and then we made a movie out there .. or they made a movie, we was in on it. Had planes flying over and I was one of the wounded, you know. You go down off the shop on the LCIs (Landing Craft Infantry), hit the beach, I was one of the wounded. Thank God, they took me back to the ship for KP  and a lot of them died, but they had those Mae West belts, just supposed to be a lifesaver that just went around you waist. And when you got your ammo on and your full field pack and all that, well it all dropped down. It was just an inner tube, was what it was. And a lot of them died there. Well they landed short of the LCI and a lot .. we all jumped off but them short guys like you they had their butts up in the air. We had to rescue them before they drowned. Well, that's what they told us .. that the lifesaver would save your butt, you know. (Laughter).


HF:      So you were wounded? You were actually wounded?


GR:     No.


HF:      Oh, this was all in the movie..


GR:     The movie.


HF:      I see, I see. I'm glad to hear that, George. OK, then where did you go from there?


GR:     I went to Germany. We hit France, then moved into Germany. Was doing a lot of cleanup details in the Battle of the Bulge and all up through there. Copenhagen, Dusseldorf. We got pinned down a couple of times in the .. Battle of the Bulge. We lost a lot of men there. And then we went on in .. just about 50 miles from Berlin when they surrendered. Then we came .. then we came back here, delayed in rout, they shipped us to Japan. At that time we didn't know there was going to be an invasion but good old man Truman, you know he dropped that atomic bomb and it was that done it. boy, I could kiss him right now for it. (Laughter) If he was alive!

(End of tape 1)


HF:      OK, George, when did you first get married?


GR:     We got married in 1946 in Fresno, take it back, Highway City.


HF:      And what was your wife's name?


GR:     Edith Nillie Drake.


HF:      Drake?


GR:     Drake. Maiden name.


HF:      And how many children did you have?


GR:     Two. And had three .. lost one at age two months.


HF:      OK. What were your kids' names?


GR:     Oldest one is Steven Ross and the daughter is Dixie Ross.


HF:      And did the little one .. the two month old one have a name?


GR:     George Allen.


HF:      Was a boy?


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      How many grandkids you got?


GR:     Oh. Don't ask me! I must have six or seven.


HF:      OK.


GR:     Those are great-grandkids. I've got four grandkids.


HF:      You've got four grandkids.


GR:     One, two, three, four. Four grandkids.


HF:      And how many great-grandkids?


GR:     Six or seven. (Laughter). Well, it's not my fault.


HF:      OK, after you got out of the service, after you got out of the army, what kind of work did you do, and where?


GR:     I come right out of the service, I went driving for Morgan Brothers. We was hauling all the ore from the talc mine, and Noonday. That's half way between Baker and Yermo.


HF:      And what kind of truck did you drive?


GR:     KW. KW with an end dump .. eighteen wheeler.


HF:      Do you remember what size engine you had in it?


GR:     Cummings. Hundred fifty Cummings. and you could walk around the side of it when you was going up the hill.


HF:      OK. What was your next job?


GR:     My next job? I went to Fresno. I was working in figs, we were irrigating .. and then when the .. then we take the capper figs .. First we irrigated. We'd flood the whole grounds and then after that when the capper figs start coming out, they got so big and they got a little hole on the end. And you could see them little bugs flying around there. And you take the capper figs with the flies and put them in a little basket to go on the good eating figs for pollination. And then that was in December, January, February, March, April, March .. in the middle of the summer they start picking them. Then, from then on they are bumping them. Now these flies .. then they take the figs to this big sulfur house to kill the little bugs that we had planted on the good eating figs otherwise you'd be eating bugs.


HF:      OK. then what jobs did you have after that?


GR:     Well, I come back. I went to work with Noonday just for about a month. Then Carl rook come up after me and wanted me to go to work for him. On the county road.


HF:      That was..?


GR:     That was 1948.


HF:      And what county was that?


GR:     Inyo county.


HF:      Inyo County Road Department.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      OK. And you worked for Carl Rook .. what did you do for him?


GR:     Well, I was on the dozer, and I run the blade, and done a lot of patchin', front end loader, just general.


HF:      How long do you think you worked for the county at that time?


GR:     At that time, three .. two years.


HF:      And then where did you go to work after that?


GR:     I went back to Kansas And, I was there not very long, just a couple of nights, and they said "Well we need a ballplayer" so my brother-in-law and I went over and said "Hey, here's a ballplayer". so the guy he said "Well, come on, you can play with us." I pitched the first night. Pitched two games that first night.


HF:      Was this hardball or softball?


GR:     Softball. I laughted and I was surprised when they said, I could hear them hollering and say "Well, start swinging when it leaves his .. the ball leaves his hand." You know, they never saw a fast ball back there. And after I was on base there, he almost broke my foot, a rolling on it. this batter come up, he knocked a little popup right behind first base. And the first baseman went after it, I went out to cover first and he threw it at me, threw it high and this runner instead of him, you know, sliding in like he should, he rolled in and he rolled right on this part of my foot. He almost broke it. Made everyone on my team mad, because they said that was uncalled for. They tried to put me out of commission. And then right after that we won that game. That was, mind you , Fredonia Christian Church. (laughter) And the second game was the cement plant back there. We lost it but we won the first one. then came back, I went to work at Darwin. I played ball with Darwin.


HF:      What kind of wages did you make, working at Darwin?


GR:     You know, I don't remember.


HF:      And what did they mine at Darwin?


GR:     Lead. little gold, copper.


HF:      So do you think that the fact that you were a good ballplayer helped you get a job now and then?


GR:     Yes it did. (laughter) It sure did in Darwin. You know how miners are, "I'll be glad when the ball season is over so they get some miners in here." We played against Darwin in Shoshone. We beat Darwin.. '73 or '74. And then, when I went over there, I went to work over there, they recognized me, I went right to work, didn't have to do anything.


HF:      So how long were you in Darwin?


GR:     I wasn't there very long. Three of four months.


HF:      And then you come back. Where did you go to work then?


GR:     I don't remember where I did come back then .. At Warm Springs.


HF:      At Warm Springs. That was an underground mine?


GR:     That was underground. Yeah.


HF:      What did you .. what did you.. at Warm Springs later on, did they have little trains that drove right down underground and got the ... hauled the ore out of there?


GR:     Yes. But that was the highball outfit. I went out there, stayed three days. I didn't care for it. it was nothing like it was before .. in the '50s.


HF:      Well, did they have a very large opening down there that they were mining out of?


GR:     Yeah. they had those .. what do you call .. little buggies going down there. And they hauled the ore out of there.. that's where Walter Turner worked.


HR:     Walter Turner?


GR:     Yeah. He was on the loader, or something, wasn't he?


HR:     I think he was driving one of those things down.


GR:     Yeah. Well I was driving one going up an incline and it wasn't too steep but the axle broke just when I was going up there. I said to heck with this, man. The last I remember there was a guy behind me watering down the drift, the incline. Boy, if it had got away, you know it would have killed him. That was enough for me. I only stayed three days. It wasn't worth it.


HF:      The living quarters that were out there were excellent weren't they?


GR:     Yeah. Always was. But it was better in the '50s when we were just hand tramming. The food was good and the living quarters was good.


HF:      They even had a swimming pool, didn't they?


GR:     Yes, later on they had a swimming pool.


HF:      Wasn't that owned by a woman?


GR:     Ernie Huhn was the one that discovered it. And I don't know how, Louise Grantham got in there, but when Ernie died I guess Louise Grantham just owned it. That's what Judy Palmer was doing a lot of research on her. She went clear back east someplace, in Ohio someplace, and run into the nephew of Louise Grantham's friend.


HF:      And what kind of an ore .. what kind of ore did they bring out of there?


GR:     Talc.


HF:      That was a talc ore.


GR:     That was a hard talc, some of it was a real cosmetic talc.


HF:      So what was some of the other .. the next job that you can remember that you went to work at?


GR:     Western. I went to work at the Western. No, I went up to Excelsior at southern California Minerals. And I stayed there and then went down to Western Talc. These are all talc mines in this area. Then I don't remember where I went from Western.


HF:      Do you remember who was the boss at Western?


GR:     Yes, Tiny .. Tiny Seeger.


HF:      Tiny Seeger.


GR:     Yes. He was bout like this .. about as tall as this lamp here.


HF:      Well, did you ever work...


GR:     He used to be an ex-policeman in Pioche before he come down at Western.


HF:      Did you ever work at the lead mine up there at Anaconda at Noonday?


GR:     Yeah. That's where I was working when Carl rook came up in 1948.


HF:      So OK can you remember the next job you had? After left Western Talc?


GR:     Western... I don't remember where it was, I think it was back to Warm Springs.


HF:      OK, give me another job that you worked at later on in your life. You know, as you're coming along getting up to now and you're retired. You left Warm Springs and then what was another job you had?


GR:     Well, the last job .. well it wasn't the last job. I worked for Red Johnson, that's right. When I left the Western I went to Red Johnson at Sheep Creek. That's another talc mine.


HF:      And where is that located?


GR:     That's located, you turn towards Baker and when you get down to Dumont Dunes, you turn right. Right out of the bottom of Death Valley. We worked out there for a couple of years and then Red Johnson .., until it caved in and then I quite. He went on around and started another pit.


HF:      What did you know about Red Johnson?


GR:     What did I know about him? Well, when him and I was contracting out there, he was a nice guy. And he was a drinking man. And we just .. we got along real good, tell jokes and everything, you know, and .. And then he quit drinking and started hiring the guys, boy, he turned just the opposite.


HF:      Do you know where Red came from? Do you know anything about Red?


GR:     No. No. Gene Casper was telling me about where he came from. He never did say where he came from. I know.. I know something .. you know they say he was hiding out or something.


HF:      Yeah. He'd never talk .. never tell us.


GR:     No. He didn't talk about himself.


HF:      So after you left that job, then do you remember some of the others you worked at?


GR:     Yes. I went to work for .. I was working at the Western, sinking a new shaft with Jimmy Ambrose, standing on my head. I'm mucking up .. I'm mucking the waste out there. Go to work at two o'clock and quite at ten o'clock, at night. And I was eating breakfast in Tecopa one morning and Howard Thorne come by and he ask me if I wanted to go to work for him. And I said "Doing what?" And he said "Well, we're going to build a bunker at Eclipse". Then I said "Well, let's go have a look at it." Well he had a little front loader up there and it was pretty good. I worked there for a while. Then I had to go out to Death Valley Talc .. (Multi-Mines and Kennedy Minerals). My first pay check was bigger than what I was getting at Western Talc standing on my head. I thought I'd just quit and go to work for Howard Thorne at Kennedy Minerals. So, from then on I was building road up there for Death Valley Talc, and I was building road down in New York Mountains, and up to Eclipse. That was my job, I was my own boss, making a lot of money, making better money than I was all those other jobs underground. I had a lot of good company equipment. I had a lowboy, I had a grader, had a dozer, front end loader, and compressor. I always worked by myself.. And all the drilling, I did.. I don't all that. Especially down in the New York Mountains.


HF:      OK. Tell us where the New York Mountains are?


GR:     New York Mountains are seventy six miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada. Right out of Ivanpah. Ivanpah is located right on the railroad tracks.


HF:      And that's where you worked? For how long?


GR:     I worked ... I worked there during the summer time and go to Death Valley Talc or Eclipse in the winter time. Then I'd go down there in the summertime again. I was my own boss. They just turned me loose on everything.


HF:      And what was your next job?


GR:     That was it. When I quit I went up North.


HF:      OK, now George, you're retired and you were born in Shoshone, a little town, an now you winter in Tecopa, and you summer in Idaho, and you've got you new Dodge pickup and you just sort of take it easy. Is that right?


GR:     That's right, I just take it easy. You don't have my card, here, let me give you my card.


HF:      OK, George, just give me some names of all you can remember of the miners that you worked with, the miners you knew, the miners that you would be friends with (and sometimes enemies on Saturday night) to the late forties and into the fifties.


GR:     Well. Danny Fields. I worked with Danny Fields. Of course, he's my brother-in-law. We worked at the Excelsior Mine. That's twenty five miles west of Tecopa .. east of Tecopa, take it back. And we worked together there. Then .. but all the miners I've worked around, Clyde Lee, I worked with him, I worked with Bob Lee, he was a mill man. Oh, there was a number there, Buster Smith and Dobbin. They worked at Death Valley Talc.


HF:      Where was Death Valley Talc in relation to Warm Springs?


GR:     Just about a mile or two north of Warm Springs and about five miles from the bottom of Death Valley going west. Right south of Telescope Peak.


HF:      OK, you remember any other of the miners' names?


GR:     Well, I can go on and on, I think.


HF:      Keep going.


GR:     Jimmy Ambrose, and Pat Gardelious' husband, what the heck was his name?


HF:      Doug. Donald Tom.


GR:     Donald Tom. He was a hoist man. And Merlin Howell. And Bud.. what was the guy's name from Baker? Bud Thompson?? He was married to Glenn Adams, Susie's, Bernice's cousin. he was a miner and he worked at the Superior. And around Noonday.. oh, there was a bunch of .. a lot of Mexicans worked at Western.. Pedro and David Escamiellas and Contanas. I can't think of their first name now.. Reuben Contana.. Art Contana married .. I can't think of the name.. Mavis.. and his brother was named.. I don't know.. Reuben.. a lot more around there.


HF:      OK, what about some of the truck drivers... that drove for Morgan?


GR:     Oh. when I come out, I run into Jack Foley who was a truck driver. And Bob Ellis and Merle Ramsey and Buz Treece and a fellow by the name of Hood. Now see they only had seven trucks and three drivers when I first started but then they .. we started trading off .. relief drivers. And Leroy .. not Leroy.. Raymond Johnson and Deloy Fairbanks all drove for Morgan Brothers.  Suttont.. he drove for .. he drove for Mojave Mud. Mojave Mud was the truck company when I came back from Fresno.


HF:      Do you remember when Morgan came into Shoshone and he built the shop and built the little Morgan houses there .. do you remember that?


GR:     In Shoshone.


HF:      Right.


GR:     That was Morgan? I thought it was Mojave Mud?


HF:      Could have been .. could have been he just took them over and they called them, they called it the Morgan Houses. Cause when I was a boy, behind the school there, that two little rows of houses was always called the Morgan Houses and that's where the Sutton's lived.


GR:     Yea, but I think.. I thought that was Mojave Mud. Morgan built houses in Tecopa, even he built that store for Grimshaw in back of the Morgan Houses.


HF:      Do you remember the mechanic's name that worked for Morgan?


GR:     In Tecopa?


HF:      Right.


GR:     Bill Pockestes and .. he was one of the mechanics and Jack .. his wife got killed in Overton.. you remember him.. Jack. His wife got killed in that bank robbery .. they shot his wife. Jack .. what the hell was his name? He was a mechanic at Morgan.


HF:      OK, so, we'll just leave that blank and then we'll help you fill that in later.


GR:     Jack, what the heck was his name, Jack..?


HF:      OK, let's go back to playing softball, or playing ball. They have a uniform over in Shoshone now that they found and I understand they played hardball, is that the truth?


GR:     That was back in the thirties.


HF:      And did you play on that team?


GR:     I was just a substitute.


HF:      And what was the name of that team?


GR:     Shoshone Indians.


HF:      And then.. sometime then down the road you started playing softball.


GR:     Yeah, that was .. there was no game going on. Since that broke up, I guess, there was no game going on. That was back in the thirties, thirty nine I guess was the last time we played. And then I went into the service. I came back and went to Fresno. Came back and Jimmy Gilliam, he had this softball team going. And that's when we started up again. That was in forty.., I guess he started up in forty seven.


HF:      And what was the name of your team then?


GR:     that was .., it didn't have a name come to think of it.



HF:      Do you remember what color uniforms you wore?


GR:     We just had a .. just a shirt. It was long sleeved. It was orange and blue, I think, trimmings on it. Big S on it. And a little later on we got the whole uniform, like you got. You know, satin.


HF:      And what color were they?


GR:     Blue. but.. and then we broke up somewheres along there because .. the rooks, Jimmy Gilliam, Art Bell and them, they didn't like .., they didn't like the way we played ball cause we, you know, we celebrate all night, night before. And we had a big meeting, in .. in Tecopa. So we decided that we'll just break up. And take who wants to go with George, .. you know that Ramsey was a good ball player. he was a good catcher. Surprised he'd come to me. Bert Nicholson, Donald Tom. And I got all the best players and all that Rook got was Jimmy Gilliams and Art Bell, just a few stragglers. but we played a few games and that didn't last very long. We got back together again, you know. I guess, they couldn't do           without us good players. (laughter.)


HF:      Did Donald Tom every play on your team?


GR:     Oh yeah. Yeah, he was on my team all the time. You've seen him play, a left fielder. You could hit a ball and he'd be out there waiting for it.


HF:      I'd heard that he was fast. After I knew Don Tom he .. was sick and he had put on a lot of weight and didn't play ball anymore. That was in the fifties. that was when I played.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      I played for your team in Darwin. One time they were short some players and there were some of us guys went up and we played in Darwin. We wore your uniforms and the whole shot.


GR:     Oh, you did?


HF:      Yeah.


GR:     What year was that?


HF:      Got in a darned fight up there and they had to call the game. It would have been about 1953-54. But the game was about tied up and Larry Lee or Ramsey one got in a beef with one of their players, and boy, they all ran us into home plate and we all packed up and left town. In a hurry.


GR:     In Darwin?


HF:      In Darwin. So can you think of any the other names of the players that .. that were on that team in the fifties, the good team that wore the blue uniform.


GR:     Yeah....


HF:      Start at home plate. Who was the catcher?


GR:     Well, Bud.. Bud Rosenberg was the catcher for a while but back in forty-nine .. who was the catcher, Ramsey? Always caught.


HF:      Cause Ramsey was catcher in the nineteen fifties.


GR:     Yeah he was catching before that too, forty seven, forty eight.


HF:      OK. He was the catcher. then, who was the pitcher?


GR:     Me and Harvey Segundo. Harvey Segundo pitched when we beat Darwin.


HF:      OK. Who played first base?


GR:     Bert Nicholson.


HF:      And then later on it was Larry Lee.


GR:     Yeah. He didn't play too much though. Donnie Devine, he played first base, when he was around. The second baseman was Carl rook all the time.


HF:      OK.


GR:     And I played short when I wasn't pitching.


HF:      OK.


GR:     And third baseman was Art Bell. And Donald was left field .. and I don't know who was center field, oh, Kenny Mason, I guess was in center field for a while. And right field was .. I don't know who. Even had Oscar Haskings out there one time, trying to catch a ball! You know. (laughter)


HF:      But you loved to play softball, didn't you George?


GR:     I loved both of them. I played first in hardball.


HF:      Where did you ever play hardball at?


GR:     Shoshone. We played against you guys.


HF:      No. We never played .. not in my time, we never played hardball.


GR:     Pahrump had a hardball team.


HF:      Pahrump had a hardball team?


GR:     Yea. You remember Dwayne Mc Cowan?


HF:      Yeah.


GR:     Yeah. He was a good pitcher but he was wild. He would as soon hit your .. He didn't have the control.


HF:      So then you played hardball probably into the sixties?


GR:     Yeah. Early part of the sixties and they all wanted to go hardball over there. They already had a hardball team here so we went to playing hardball.


HF:      I see.


GR:     You didn't play?


HF:      No. I never played hardball. I was married and raising a family. I didn't have time to go out and play with you guys. You guys played to rough for me. (laughter).


GR:     Heh!!


HF:      OK, George, let's go back to mining. I want you .. you were a hardrock miner. I want you to give us all the terms. OK, when you go back in .. when you started the outer, outside, and you go back in, what was that called? When you went straight in?


GR:     Well, I was more of an equipment operator than a miner.


HF:      Yeah, but you know the terms, what were they? When you went back in...


GR:     Drift. Drift.


HF:      That was a drift.


GR:     That's a drift that went in.


HF:      Or, you didn't call it a tunnel, it was called a drift?


GR:     Well, it was .. no, the miners called it drift but other people called it tunnel.


HF:      There we go .. that was .. I was the tunnel man. OK, the drift goes back in. OK, now, now tell me how you make this drift. You have a, what was the piece of equipment called to drill the hole?


GR:     Jackleg.


HF:      A jackleg, yeah. OK, so you drill a hole.. how far back in do they go?


GR:     It depends. It depends. They go back in wherever the ore is at. It might be 2-3000 feet back there.


HF:      No, I mean how far did they drill a hole?


GR:     Six foot.


HF:      OK, you drilled six foot holes. roughly how many did you drill?


GR:     It varied, according to the ground.


HF:      So, let's give a rough estimate.


GR:     Well, if you had real hard ground, sometimes, you put twenty two holes in it.


HF:      OK. And then..


GR:     Then, if you had a nice soft ground you didn't put as many holes in it.


HF:      OK, and then you drilled the holes .. then did you load your own holes with dynamite?


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      OK. so..


GR:     The miner does that himself because he knows the ground. He knows how much powder to put in there.


HF:      So how many sticks would you say you'd put in a six foot hole. How much in each hole?


GR:     Well, in hard ground like out at Warm Springs, a six foot hole, that ground was hard out there, he'd just .. right up to the collar. How long's a stick .. about eight inches? I said collar, that's the starting of the hole.


HF:      OK, now you would put the fuse in the cap. Let's say you put four sticks in. Where would the fuse and the cap go?


GR:     In the first on that goes in.


HF:      The first one that goes in?


GR:     the first one that goes in. Like that's your powder. (demonstrating) You can either take it this way or you can take it in this way and bend your fuse over. And the fuse will be sticking up and then your powder will go in behind it. So when the primer goes off, it sets the others off.


HF:      OK, now you would cut your fuses at different lengths. Why was that?


GR:     Timing it. You time it that way. You cut it all the same length. Then when the miner loads his holes, then he starts cutting it. He'll say "I'll make it so much .. make it so long" .. and so forth. The first round goes off, you've got a vee cut .. you don't necessarily have to have a vee cut. If you've got a vee cut, you've got to put something around here but lots of times you go right straight in and you don't want it here. You put four holes in it, that you burn. Then we got one on both sides. Then you got you knee burn down here. then you got two here. this is called hard ground.


HF:      Here, as in higher up?


GR:     Yeah. If you're going to put timber in there you need three holes, but if you going arch you only put one hole up here and two down here a little lower. That'll arch it.


HF:      Arch?


GR:     And then you got your lifters and they're the last ones to go. First, your center burn will go, which will leave a hole about so big, whatever.


HF:      So big, as in the center, say a eighteen inch out of the center .. a twelve to eighteen inch would blow out the center?


GR:     Yes. it gives the sides a place to break to.


HF:      OK.


GR:     And then you go up, you use this, that'll break through that. And then your middle holes goes, that goes next, it'll come down. And then your sides. And then your knee lifters come in, and finally your lifters, down at the bottom. That's what picks it all up.


HF:      OK, what did you use to light your fuse with?


GR:     Carbide light.


HF:      A carbide light!


GR:     Yeah. A lot of people didn't like it if they went right straight in, you lost your fuse light but if you go sideways with it, you know .. it's just the way you split your fuse. If you split it this way, gap it open, or you can split it down this way.


HF:      Well, what was the thing they called a spitter that they made out of fuse?


GR:     Well, that was a .. you did use a spitter out of fuse. You make it so long, whatever length you want..


HF:      OK. We're talking about a couple of feet...


GR:     ... cut notches in it.  All the way down through there. And then you got to time that too. And then you take one end .. and as you get down here it'd spit out.


HF:      And that would light one?


GR:     And that would light one. And then the next one you'd spit out that would light the other one .. and so on down.


HF:      And that's how you time it .. with your spitter?


GR:     Well,  you time it when you load your hole. You cut so much off of each hole.


HF:      So as you run your drift in, if you had to timber it, what .. what kind of timber did you use. Give me a dimension and, in fact, how tall and how wide was this drift?


GR:     Well, the width.. if you got a mucking machine, it's gotta be five foot wide and seven feet high. The bottom of the cap. The post and your cap is made out of eight by eight. Then your lagging is what your people call two by twelve's. These are all rough lumber. The lagging would go over the top of it. Then you had your collar braces .. to keep .. When you blast, you've got your timber standing right up next to your face, and let the collar braces hold it in place. Hand mucking, you want to make is as small as you can. (laughter).


HF:      OK. so you run your drift back in a hundred feet and then .. you want to go up. What is that called?


GR:     Air raise.


HF:      A what?


GR:     Air raise.


HF:      Air raise? so you're going to make a raise?


GR:     You're going for air. You're back a hundred feet, it gets pretty .. pretty raunchy and sticky back there. No air.


HF:      OK. So that's how you vent it?


GR:     That's how you vent it. Yeah.


HF:      OK. How do you .. how big around is the vent that goes up? Say you have to go up fifty feet.


GR:     Fifty feet? Oh. That would be nothing. (laughter) Fifty feet? Well, you've got to stand, you've got to have room. Maybe five by five. because you're using a stoper there and you've got your staging you drill off of and you're going up.


HF:      Are you making a set as you go up?


GR:     You're making a set as you go.


HF:      What's the normal size of a set? Is it anything you want it to be?


GR:     Any width. Any width. As long as you're going for an air raise it don't make any difference.


HF:      That's called a square set?


GR:     No. A square set is different. It's just a ..


HF:      OK. so you've gone up then and you've vented your hole.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      You've vented the mine. OK. Now then you're in the vein and you want to go up, what is that called when you're .. when you're going up in the vein?


GR:     You call that a raise.


HF:      You're going to do a raise?


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      And then that's when you put a square set in?


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      Tell us how you put a square set in.


GR:     A square set is eight by eight with a little notch on the end .. on this end. And then your cap is .. it's notched too .. where it fits right down up against the little knob that sticks out.


HF:      You're talking about eight by eight timber?


GR:     Eight by eight timber.


HF:      And how tall are they? How long are they?


GR:     They might be about eight foot.


HF:      Eight foot. OK.


GR:     It'll sit right on top of one another when you're .. the second set it has a notch on the bottom too but then you'll have a little hole where these timbers come in together. That way the little notch goes in, all the way up. You follow me?


HF:      Oh yes, oh yes. Yeah, so then it's sort of like tinker toys, in a way. You just keep going up, and going up, and going up.


GR:     Yeah. You're actually splicing them together, is what you're doing.


HF:      OK.


GR:     It's called square sets.


HF:      OK, and then you're still drilling with a what?


GR:     Well, either jackleg or stoper. you know what a stoper is? Sort of a piece of machinery like this with a stinger coming out of the bottom there. And you got your steel naturally, and you got your air, and water .. and a lot of air and water on the handle, and the stinger'll come out. So on the stoper you can't do nothing but drill up. You can't hardly drill the drift with it, you can only make a raise.


HF:      OK, now tell us about .. everything has to have power with it. OK, what kind of power is running all this equipment?


GR:     The compressor. Air compressor.


HF:      And where's the compressor, the sir compressor?


GR:     Outside.


HF:      OK, the air compressor's outside. You've got lines running in there.


GR:     Pipelines, two inch, mostly.


HF:      And you have to have water, so somewhere you have to have a tank that's running water into the mine.


GR:     That's up above. You've got the gravity flow. You've got to have water to drill with.


HF:      OK, now tell me about your equipment. What do you wear to protect yourself, hoping that you don't get killed in there?


GR:     Just what you got on, hard hat.


HF:      And you wore you boots ..


GR:     Boots, hard toed boots.


HF:      Hard toed boots, and a hard hat. And then tell us about your light ... that you used in there.


GR:     Carbide light?


HF:      Yeah.


GR:     Well, a carbide light. You used to buy the carbide. And the carbide light has got a little .. little cup on the bottom of it and you fill that full of carbide and on top there's a little bitty hole up there with a cap on it, you put the water in there. And in order to .. then you turn a little water on and you form a gas in the carbide. then you just take it and strike it, because it's got a little striker on it just like a cigarette lighter.


HF:      A flint, a flint.


GR:     Yeah. A flint. And then your carbide lights.


HF:      And then you put that on your hat.


GR:     Put it on your hat.


HF:      So you're walking around with a fire on your hat.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      Did they put out any heat .. that would ..


GR:     Not much


HF:      Not much


GR:     No


HF:      OK, how long would a normal carbide light last?


GR:     About four hours. I've had two hours, four hours mostly, I've had them burn eight hours, I'm not kidding you.


HF:      Well, what did you have for a safety because if you get in there and for some unknown reason your light goes out, for any reason, what do you have for a safety? what do you have for a safety? What do you have to have light to get out of there?


GR:     You got rails.


HF:      So, you walk out in the dark.


GR:     You walk out in the dark down on your knees walking the rails!!


HF:      Did you ever have to do that?


GR:     No. No. You know, the carbide light, very seldom is anything going to happen unless you get mud or you get a little carbide or something inside of it. But usually, there's supposed to be two men working within hollering distance, because it's against the law to work by yourself.


HF:      OK, now supposing you're back in there a hundred feet and you want to go down. How do you go down?


GR:     You sink it.


HF:      OK, you're making a sink in there.


GR:     You go right straight down using a shaft, or you incline, would be going in like this.


HF:      And .. how do you, how do you set up to go down on that? I mean, you're going to timber that ...


GR:     Yeah. You're going to timber that.


HF:      And remember, the timber is going to follow you down.


GR:     Do what?


HF:      The timber is going to want to follow you down. As you blow the next hole, I think you timber would be sinking. It doesn't sink?


GR:     Oh, you mean that. Mostly .. if you're going to do that then you need to go with a raise, if you're going to do that. But if you're going to sink a shaft, it's usually just hard rock.


HF:      You don't have any timber in a ...


GR:     Not going down.


HF:      Not going down.


GR:     No.


HF:      Did you like working in the mine?


GR:     No.


HF:      But talc mines are so light down there though, one little carbide light'll... it's so white it just lights up the whole area.


GR:     Yeah, that's true. And it's clean work. The talc is clean work.


HF:      OK, so now you're going to haul that stuff out of there. You blew it down and now you got to get it out of there. You can use the mucking machine .. OK .. there's other ways, isn't there, like if you're going to bring it down?


GR:     Yeah, slush it, slush it into a chute.


HF:      OK, tell us about a slush.


GR:     Slusher, well us it .. some like Red Johnson used it out in a drift. Well, when it's blasted up, it all comes down. you got your scraper. Lot of people call it a scraper. It's built like a fresno, .. you've seen ..


HF:      Right, right.


GR:     And you got your tugger up here. Lot of people call that a slusher too, but a tugger it's got two handles on it. One of them to take it back and the other to bring it in.


HF:      So the tugger is actually a winch?


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      OK.


GR:     It works both ways.


HF:      OK.


GR:     And then, usually you got this little ramp that's going down there with a scraper come up, and got a hole there. You got your car underneath and you just load right into that car.


HF:      So it only takes one man to run the tugger and one man to wheel the cars out.


GR:     Yeah. You can do it yourself...


HF:      OK.


GR:     You load the car up and take it out. And then don't forget now, you got to get back to break the boulders too.


HF:      And you break boulders by how?


GR:     Double jack.


HF:      So you don't drill them and blast those unless...


GR:     Unless they .. you don't have to, they break pretty easy.


HF:      Did you wear any kind of eye protection, to keep from...


GR:     No.


HF: keep from losing your eyes?


GR:     No.


HF:      OK, now then. You got to run a track back in there. How do you run a track back into your .. into your ..


GR:     Well, you drift in .. when you're drifting in and you keep pushing this ..  you've got to slide rail. It lays on its side and you got your track in .. your slide rail lays on its side. You put your tie down and you just keep moving your slide rail up as you're blasting and taking the muck out. You might have a ten foot slide rail, maybe twenty foot, whatever it is, you know. And when you get to the end of the slide rail that's when you stand your rail up. Upright, like it should be. Because you're right up the face. Then you start all over again with your slide rail.


HF:      OK, so you .. you run your track, you start running our track in .. how many ties .. how big is this track? Is this track like three inches by two inches or, .. because it's small?


GR:     It is small. It's eight pound to a foot.


HF:      OK.


GR:     It's about so wide and so high. (Gesturing)


HF:      So it would be like a miniature railroad track?


GR:     Somewhat. Yeah.


HF:      Do you remember the dimensions you put it apart .. the width?


GR:     I believe twenty four feet (laughter) .. feet. Twenty four inches, maybe eighteen sounds about right.


HF:      OK. so now then you've got your car loaded and you push it out there. Do you try to have your ... tunnel or drift, do you try to have it so it has a small slope to the outside?


GR:     Slightly.


HF:      Just a slight slope.


GR:     Just slight. Danny Fields when he was running drifts, he kept it level. That way, you could push either way. But most times, you're going up just real slightly.


HF:      To get back in. OK, so you're going to take that ore out of there and .. so you're going to wheel it out on the track. What do you have at the end? You're up on a mountain so you try to get a place so when you dump it goes over the side, is that right?


GR:     Yeah. The end.


HF:      Yea, over the .. well over...


GR:     Over the side of the hill.


HF:      Over the side of the hill, the end of the ..


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      OK, how do you dump your ore cart?


GR:     Well, usually you got .. right in the front there they got a tie running across all chained down. And then on this tie they might have a chain .. safety chain that you hook on to the back end of your car to keep from losing it. And you just trip it, automatically trips by itself but you got to hang on to it.


HF:      So when you trip it, you don't have to actually lift it up a little bit?


GR:     You do just a little bit, not much.


HF:      And then out the ore goes and then you wheel the thing back in.


GR:     You come back, unhook it, undo your safety chain down here.


HF:      OK, now when you're going to have your tugger in there, you're going to have to have a pulley somewhere behind where you're drifting this out. How do you .. how do you anchor that pulley into the .. into the drift so that it's solid, so that you can run this cable back and forth?


GR:     Well, if you're back there and you've got your timber going all the way back, you might take a chain and run across but like out at Warm Springs they drilled special holes, they dug. Then they put a piece of pipe, not pipe but solid steel. About this long and it's got a loop right here. And it's small here and it then gets bigger right here. OK, you put that in the hole and you got a wooden wedge, .. not a wooden wedge, a steel wedge that would go right in here. But you don't want to take this all the way in. And as you're pulling on that, it'll keep tightening. And in order to take that pin out, you just hit the end of that thing, the           pin, and that'll loosen up the wedge and it'll just fall right out.


HF:      Come right out. OK, George, let's try to talk a little bit about the ... the Paiute language. As a buy you could pretty well .. you could understand it all and speak a lot of it?


GR:     I could speak a lot of it. Understand it. I can still understand it but, you know, a lot of that, I can't pronounce.


HF:      So many of the Paiutes are gone now, who around here do you know that still talks it, the language?


GR:     The Him girls, I believe still talk it.


HF:      Did you know the Jim family pretty well when you were young, I mean, would your family come over and get all of you together with the folks here in town?


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      Just for the fun of it, do you have some words at all, I mean what is a horse in Paiute?


GR:     Waw'adov, waw'adov (laughter)


HF:      Ok, what would a dog be?


GR:     Poongkoots.


HF:      Say it real loud, into the .. real well.


GR:     Poongkoots


HF:      Ok, what would man be?


GR:     Tungwats.


HF:      And what would a child be?


GR:     Well, it varies. Ai'puts. Nah,nah, that's a boy. A little child would be .. a little girl would be "na'ainsitsi' and a boy would be "ai'puts".


HF:      What was the name your mother always called Chopper?!!


GR:     Muxuat.


HF:      And what was that?


GR:     Crazy. (laughter)


HF:      OK, say that real good into the tape!


GR:     Muxuat. that was Chopper's name. Mother called him muxuat (brainless) cause he's crazy!! (laughter)


HF:      Now Chopper was a young boy who lived .. you tell us who Chopper was.


GR:     I don't know what he was.


HF:      He was a young boy that went to high school, that grew up in Shoshone and graduated from high school and ..


GR:     He worked at the Brown's store..


HF:      Right.. and he was .. he was crazy.


GR:     He was.


HF:      OK. Can you say "Go to Pahrump" in Paiute?


GR:     Pahrumb u-vandu kwaia. "You want to go to Pahrump?"


HF:      The name "Pahrump" it was just always Pahrump, it didn't .. (end of second tape)


GR:     It's January 22, 2003 and we're doing an interview with George Ross in Pahrump.


This is tape #3


HF:      Can you tell me, George, about any of the plants that were used for food that you heard you mother talk about?


GR:     Yeah. There was a number of foods, like .. Indian cabbage, I guess you'd call it and then they had that mesquite beans. They'd grind that up and pine nuts was another food. And they had these little berries which you could mash up and drink it like a Kool-Aid.


HF:      OK, what was the name of the  .. the Paiute name of the cabbage?


GR:     I can't think of it now. (Tuhmu'duh)


HF:      OK, what was the Paiute name for the mesquite bean?


GR:     All I remember was beans, mesquite beans. (Opi)


HF:      Did they have a name for the .. what was the other thing you said? Cabbage, mesquite beans, .. and pine nuts. I guess that's all of it.


GR:     (Toovutsi' - pine nuts)


HF:      OK, what was some of the plants that they used for medicine?


GR:     Well, they used that creosote, I think they call it, but to me it's greasewood. They used that, then they used that other stuff .. chupaniv (yerba namsa?) is the Indian name for it.


HF:      Say that again, real clear.


GR:     Chu pan iv


HF:      And that was used for what kind of an illness?


GR:     Well, the same thing... for cuts and burns ..


HF:      And that's what the greasewood was used of also?


GR:     Same thing. Yeah.


HF:      OK, did anybody, when you were young, did they have a garden, like over in Shoshone, did they grow a garden?


GR:     Mother had a garden. She had a garden right below where she lived in the little house at the cut. Right where the schoolhouse is now. That was all black soil and she had a garden there.


HF:      And what did she grow?


GR:     Well, she grew mostly cantaloupe and watermelon, and others didn't do too good.


HF:      Was there a Paiute name for cantaloupe and watermelon?


GR:     Watermelon, no. (Pavon'okwitse)


HF:      No Paiute name. OK, do you remember the Paiutes getting together, all together in Pahrump whether it was at a . . .


GR:     Pow-Wow?


HF:      Pow-Wow or whether it was at a funeral, or whatever.. do you ever remember any of those?


GR:     Yeah, I remember some of them Pow-Wows I used to go to and a lot of them now they call a Cry Dance. I don't know what they cry about and I didn't see them dancing. They have it .. and then once a year, I don't remember what time of the year, they get together and do the same thing as they would at a funeral. they think back about their relatives, you know, that passed away and they do a lot of that crying too.


HF:      Do they have one particular place here in Pahrump that they did that?


GR:     Well, the only place that I can remember was up here at .. I don't know what you call it, there was an artesian well there and a cottonwood tree and the waters run down and there's a lot of water cress there. We used to eat .. everybody used to eat the water cress.


HF:      OK, do you remember which the .. up here in our cemetery in Pahrump we have two graves, one is Whispering Ben and beside him is Whispering Ben's wife. that's all that's on their headstones. Did you know Whispering Ben?


GR:     Yeah. I knew Whispering Ben. Yeah, he used to whisper everything when he talked. That's the way he got his name, Whispering Ben.


HF:      Do you remember his wife?


GR:     I can't think of her name.


HF:      And where abouts did they live in Pahrump?


GR:     They lived right up there where the artesian well used to be.


HF:      OK...


GR:     So did Mamie Steve and Jim Steve. They lived there. You know at that time there was nothing around.


HF:      And what did Jim Steve .. you don't know of anything that he did, that he had some wagons and horses, you say?


GR:     He had wagons and horses, where he got em I would never know because I never saw him doing any work.



HF:      Well, would he run like a taxi service, with these...

GR:     No, no, no.


HF:      And just used them for his own use. Well, then .. he would come to Pahrump, com to, rather Shoshone and pick up your family.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      As you come, .. when you would leave Shoshone and come to Pahrump, come to, rather Shoshone and pick up your family.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      As you come, ... when you would leave Shoshone and come to Pahrump, how would you .. what was the road, the trail that you used?


GR:     Well, we came .. we come right straight by the little black mountain that sits off by itself north of Shoshone. That's where the old road is that comes across there. And then they got this new road in but the old road comes around .. well it circles around. You can see parts of it. When you go around the curve after you pass the dump you can see parts of it. Oh yeah, you can see the rock stacked up and cut across and come on over.


HF:      Did it go through the same pass?


GR:     The same pass but you can see it when you're going down and then you cross the main road and going on around over the pass.


HF:      Well, now, would you go from there straight to Pahrump or over .. in Chicago Valley there's a place over on the .. on the east side where there used to be a spring and some little cabins .. a little cabin and a little garage or whatever. Were you ever over there, was that part of the trip for water or would you come straight through to Pahrump?


GR:     No. We come right straight through to Pahrump. Yeah, they call that Twelve Mile Spring.


HF:      Who ever lived there?


GR:     Nobody that I know of.


HF:      Was that part of the Paiute .. was there anything around there that would make you believe  the Paiutes used that in years past?


GR:     Years. Way back in years.


HF:      Is that the only water you know of in that valley at the time .. that little spring?


GR:     Yeah. In that valley, at that time, yeah. If you go over there, you can still, probably if it hasn't all been picked up, you can pick up a little pottery, piece of pottery and arrowhead.


HF:      So then you would leave Shoshone in a wagon with, what, two horses ..


GR:     Two horses.


HF:      And was it an old farm wagon, or was it a buggy?


GR:     No, no. I guess you'd call it a farm wagon.


HF:      And you'd all get in the farm wagon, and then you would come to Pahrump. And then from Pahrump you'd go up on the mountain.


GR:     Yeah.


HF:      What ...


GR:     A lot of times I'd ride my white horse over and then when they left here, .. Jim Steve's horses, they wasn't much, you know, broken down nags, they'd hook my horse to it and he .. he could take off like nothing. Go right up, go up to Charleston.


HF:      What .. was there a particular spot up there that had a spring or something that you would say for a few days?


GR:     Well, what the hell was the springs up there? Wheeler Springs? We'd stay anyplace up there where the pine nuts were plentiful.


HF:      OK, what about the ... the petroglyphics, the writings, the Indian writings. Where were some of the places that you know that those are?


GR:     Some of the places?


HF:      Right


GR:     There's a lot of it down at Barnwell.


HF:      Where is Barnwell?


GR:     Well, you go .. you go down I-15 where it used to be Wheaton Springs. You turn left there like you're going over towards Nipton. That's on the railroad. Just before you get to Nipton you turn right. And then you come to Ivanpah. And then you go on, up the hill, Ivanpah .. not Ivanpah but Vanderbilt. And you go up to Barnwell. Then you make a left hand turn over towards Southern California you have a claypit. Right over there, and south of that there's petroglyphs all over, down there. And beautiful ones. And another place is when you're going down past Sandy Valley turnoff, going down by Kingston is Pachalka Springs. And that's to the east of that road that goes down from Sandy Valley into Valley Wells. And you go up there, there's a lot of petroglyphics up there. There used to be a water tank up there, water and used to be apple trees, water cress. We used to go up and have picnics. But last time I was there, it was all dried up. Log of glyphics up there. Lot of them. There was some up there real high. I don't know how they reached them. I put her (Ila) on my shoulders to take a picture. (Ila is George's granddaughter)


HF:      OK. Over around Shoshone or in the Pahrump Valley, have you ever seen any on the hills around here in the Pahrump Valley?


GR:     Not that I can recall.


HF:      OK, what about over around Shoshone?


GR:     In Shoshone, there's one right west of where I was raised. It's in walking distance. Not very far.


HF:      Are there a lot of them?


GR:     Not too many.


HF:      OK, what were some of the symbols, do you remember, that's up there?


GR:     No. But, there's a big one up there, a horse's head. But I think somebody else put that up there, it's not real.


HF:      OK. OK, I'd like to get a few more of your Paiute words. If you were going to say .. OK, let's say tree, what is it for tree?


GR:     Tree? ... go to the next one.


HF:      OK. What would it be for rain? It's going to be a rainy day. It's raining.


GR:     Raining. Yeah.


HF:      And what would you say for sun?


GR:     Ta'puhts.


HF:      Say that one real clear in here.


GR:     Ta'puhts.


HF:      And what for the moon?


GR:     Moon. I'd just say moon.


HF:      Just moon?


GR:     Yah (Muhyu' tohots)


HF:      What would you say for spring?


GR:     Paw.


HF:      Paw?


GR:     "Paw" is water.


HF:      Now Shoshone, the town of Shoshone, why .. do you have any idea why that was named Shoshone?


GR:     No, I don't.


HF:      The .. were there many Shoshone Indians lived around here?


GR:     not that I can recall. I think they were all Paiutes in there.


HF:      And then down at Death Valley is where the Shoshones started?


GR:     The Shoshones started, yeah.


HF:      How about horse, what is the Paiute name for horse?


GR:     Waw' adov.


HF:      And for cow?


GR:     Wanggus'ee


HF:      Did they one for sheep?


GR:     Sheep.


HF:      How about a pig?


GR:     Peen' keets.


HF:      How about a war? do you have anything for war, trouble, a fight?


GR:     Trouble or fight? (Fight - nunump' okai)


HF:      I mean, if somebody came to you and said they're having a fight over there .. is there any word for that that you would know for its excitement ...?


GR:     There is a word for that but I can't think of it right now. But I would know it if somebody said it to me, I would know what they were talking about.


HF:      What did they call a steam engine? Did they have any name for it?


GR:     I don't think so. Just a steam engine.


HF:      OK. What about the river, did they have a name for river?


GR:     Paw.


HF:      Always just water.


GR:     Yeah, it's got to be in a sentence.


HF:      OK, OK, how about sleep, was there one for sleep?


GR:     Awpuh'ee.


HF:      OK, how about house, where you lived?


GR:     Kawnee', kawnee'. We say "kawnee"", that's "house". Or you can say "kaw'neeva", that's "your house."


HF:      What about a cave, is that the same thing?


GR:     I never recall it being called cave.


HF:      Do you have something for food, or eat?


GR:     Tuhkaw' (eat). Tuhkup (food).


HF:      And that's to eat, or to drink?


GR:     To eat, and food.


HF:      OK, how about drink?


GR:     Evee'nu.


HF:      Say that clearly for me.


GR:     Evee'nu. Paw evee' nu, that's to drink water.


HF:      Drink water, OK. Drink whiskey?


GR:     Ondor o'vahts.


HF:      Clearer.


GR:     Ondor o'vahts.


HF:      That means drink whiskey?


GR:     No, that means whiskey.


HF:      That means whiskey.


GR:     Actually they call it "ondor o'vahts" because of that brown back (brown glass bottle) and beer, the call it "toohoo'tuhuts" because if foams over.


HF:      Say the bear again, real clear.


GR:     Toohoon'tohuts. That's when you opened it, it foamed over. They called it "toohoon'tohuts" and whiskey they call it "ondor o'vahts" because it's brown on the sides.


HF:      OK, what is .. you blew my mind here because you got into color .. what is red?


GR:     Ungkaw' hawd.


HF:      Say it real clear.


GR:     Ungkaw' hawd.


HF:      OK, what would yellow be?


GR:     No... (Oa?)


HF:      How about black?


GR:     Black, too'kwawdum.


HF:      How about white?


GR:     Tosaw'hawd. Tosaw'hawd.


HF:      Red, did I say red?


GR:     Ungkaw' hawd.


HF:      OK, give us the word mountain, in Paiute.


GR:     Kaiva. Kaiva.


HF:      And rock?


GR:     Tuhmpee.


HF:      And money?


GR:     Tuhmpee. Same thing. (Your money - tuhmpeem)


HF:      And gun?


GR:     A gun, I gotta think that over. (Gun- ah chu')


HR:     Would it be like weapon?


GR:     ........


HR:     OK, can you say "Go with me"?


GR:     Nuwuwaino.


HF:      OK, now say "I come tomorrow".


GR:     Tu'aik' pepitchuway.


HF:      Let's say "Where is your mother?"


GR:     Peum ah vawnee.


HF:      "Where is your father?"


GR:     Mouu'am ah vawnee.


HF:     OK, that concludes it for today. We want to thank George for participating in this and that is the end.






There was no Index in this oral history. Digitization by Suzy McCoy - Beatty Graphics SM Productions - Beatty, Nevada.