John Rebol Oral History
Oral History Item Type Metadata
Churchill County Oral History Project
an interview with
JOHN CHARLES REBOL
Marian La Voy
March 5, 1996
This interview was transcribed by Glenda Price; edited by Norma Morgan; final by Pat boden; index by Gracie Viera; supervised by Myrl Nygren, Director of Oral History Project, Churchill County Museum.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Churchill County Museum or any of its employees.
Content Warning: Vivid descriptions of slaughtering and butchering animals.
Life has been a challenge for John Rebol but he has met adversity with strength and perseverance. His parents practiced the work-ethic of their Slavic homeland and instilled the same code in their son. The untimely deaths of his older brother and father left him as head of the family doing the work of three when he was little more than a child. Depression years found John doing any odd job that he could find -- plus feeding cattle, irrigating, mowing and stacking hay and all the miscellaneous jobs that are required of a rancher be he sixty-five or fifteen -- yet John found a little time to indulge in sports and visit with childhood friends. His mother's illness and loss of a leg to diabetes complicated his life further, but with grim determination he cared for his mother until it became absolutely necessary for her to move to the Midwest with a married daughter.
The bright light in his life was and is his dear wife, Anna. They met earlier in life, but it wasn't until later in life when John sought extra employment in Carson City that they eventually married. They lived in Carson City, but John returned to Fallon after work to irrigate the ranch and keep and eye on the various people who rented the ranch house. John took an active interest in the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Knights of Columbus. He served in leadership posts in both organizations and eventually became State President of the Eagles. The story of his life is not told with bitterness, but with a matter-of-fact attitude. He faces his current health problems with the same "grit" that makes him an admirable man. Adversity did not subdue him nor embitter him. He is and was a fine hardworking man with many friends.
Interview with John Rebel
LaVOY: This is Marian Hennen Lavoy of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project Interviewing John Charles Rebol at my home, 4325 Schurz Highway, Fallon. The date is March 5, 1996. Good afternoon, John.
REBOL: Good morning- good afternoon.
LaVOY: [laughs] John, I'm very interested in your family with their Yugoslavian background. Do you remember your grandparents at all?
REBOL: I don't remember them. I have pictures that showed who they were, but we'd never met.
LaVOY: I see.
REBOL: They were over in Europe.
LaVOY: All right, then, let's go on to your parents. Can you tell me what your father's name was?
REBOL: It was Frank Rebol.
LaVOY: And when was he born?
REBOL: He was born November 16, [original transcript says November 13] 1887.
LaVOY: And where was he born?
REBOL: In a place called Ponova Vas. [Original recording names a different place, in Slovenia, but completely unsure of spelling]
LaVOY: In Yugoslavia?
REBOL: In Yugoslavia.
LaVOY: And do you know why he came to the United States?
REBOL: His sister lived here, Mrs. Mary Shane, and so he came over here to start a new life near his sister.
LaVOY: Now, about when was that?
REBOL: I would think it would be around 1911, 1912.
LaVOY: That would be about the time that the dam was being worked on.
LaVOY: Did he work on the dam?
REBOL: Yes, he did.
LaVOY: What did he do there?
REBOL: He had a team of horses and a scraper – a Fresno scraper. He was one of the fellows that was building the dam up.
LaVOY: He must have either started a small farm of his own to have the horses or he used his sister's. Do you know?
REBOL: He had his own team of horses.
LaVOY: Had he a small place that he was homesteading at that time?
REBOL: He had just put in a homestead on this place that I now live on.
LaVOY: That's 4200 Sheckler Road?
REBOL: 4200 Sheckler Road.
LaVOY: What prompted him to homestead?
REBOL: Well, he wanted to have some property that was his own. He liked to farm, so that's why he moved over here, and that was a good place to raise a family.
LaVOY: Did he ever tell you about any of the problems that he had in filing his homestead papers, 'cause obviously he didn't speak too much English.
REBOL: He spoke pretty fair English but he had people to help him like his sister and Shuber Rogers. Shuber Rogers' is down here where John Rebol’s… where the old Shane place was. He lived on that place. He bought that place at one time.
LaVOY: Now, who bought that place?
REBOL: Joe did. His cousin.
LaVOY: Approximately, where would that be now?
REBOL: It's right across the drain ditch to the west from the old Testolin ranch.
LaVOY: On Testolin Road?
REBOL: On Testolin Road. Well, it's actually Rogers Road, I guess it's called
LaVOY: Now, this Joe Rebol had a small place that he had homesteaded. Is that correct?
REBOL: Well, he never homesteaded it. He bought if from Mrs. Shane. That was the old Shane original ranch. He bought that from Shares, and then Shanes went over on Lone Tree Road and bought the place over there that is now owned by Bendickson.
LaVOY: Oh, I see. Your father, do you know who he bought his horses from?
REBOL: No, I don't.
LaVOY: He came here as a single man, did he not?
REBOL: No, he was married when he came here.
LaVOY: Oh, well, what was your mother's name?
REBOL: My mother's name was Mary Cernac.
LaVOY: And when was she born?
REBOL: She was born December 8, 1887.
LaVOY: And where was she born?
REBOL: She was born in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
LaVOY: And you have no idea where they met or where they were married?
REBOL: They were married in Denver in 1911.
LaVOY: So, they probably came out here together.
REBOL: They came here together after they were married in Denver.
LaVOY: They probably saw the ads in the papers for the Newlands Project.
REBOL: Yes, they did.
LaVOY: Plus the fact that his sister was here.
REBOL: Yes. Yes.
LaVOY: Well, now, tell me, when he took his horses over to Lahontan, what exactly did he tell you about the dam? What it looked like and who the workers were?
REBOL: Well, I was pretty small at the time, so I don't recall too much of it. I was just a small kid.
LaVOY: When he was talking about it. You weren't born yet when he was working on it, but he was talking about it.
REBOL: Yes. He talked about… They were filling in that gorge where the dam sits, and there was a lot of dirt to be moved and so forth, and there were quite a few people working there that were on the job.
LaVOY: I understand that there was a tremendous enclave of Yugoslavian people that worked on the dam. Did he ever mention that?
REBOL: I didn't know too much about that. I was just too young to probably realize that.
LaVOY: Did he ever say how much he was paid for his work?
REBOL: Gosh, it seems like a dollar a day. Something like that.
LaVOY: Supplied his own horses.
LaVOY: And his own Fresno.
LaVOY: And still got a dollar a day.
LaVOY: But, he probably considered that good wages at that time.
REBOL: Probably was at that day.
LaVOY: What were some of the crops that he eventually raised on his ranch?
REBOL: He raised grain, wheat or barley, and alfalfa.
LaVOY: How did he irrigate them prior to the dam's opening?
REBOL: It wasn't irrigated until they got the project set up. They put in ditches and so forth.
LaVOY: What kind of ditches did they put in?
REBOL: Just dirt ditches made with a Fresno scraper.
LaVOY: Did he do that, or did the irrigation district do it?
REBOL: I couldn't rightfully say, but I would presume that the district did it. I don't know.
LaVOY: When he first got water, that's when he started planting his crops?
LaVOY: Do you recall as a little boy when he was doing his early irrigating?
REBOL: Yes. The place wasn't leveled like it is now, and there were little acreages that he leveled as best he could and put crops in to make it go. Some of the checks would run north and south. Some of them were east and west, and then eventually this was all changed over, and I have it where it all goes one way.
LaVOY: Did he plant a lot of fruit trees as a young man?
REBOL: Yes, there were quite a few fruit trees. We had, oh, everything. Apples, peaches, plums, apricots. In fact, I still have an apricot tree that he planted. Plums, nectarines.
LaVOY: He must have been quite a gardener, or did your mother handle the garden?
REBOL: No, he handled that pretty much, but Mother would also help.
LaVOY: Did she have a vegetable garden?
REBOL: Oh, yes. Dad usually had the vegetable garden.
LaVOY: And were some of the crops that you remember as a little boy that were in there?
REBOL: Oh, everything that you have nowadays. Corn, cantaloupe, tomatoes, watermelons, squash. Just about as it is today.
LaVOY: Did he use them for his own use and your mother canned them, or did he sell them?
REBOL: No, no. He used them for our own use, and Mother canned a lot of the stuff. In fact, I have some of the jars yet that she canned when we had the fair here.
LaVOY: Oh, my goodness. Well, now, your mom and dad have settled here, and have gotten their little ranch started, who was the first one born in your family?
REBOL: My brother, Frank.
LaVOY: What was his full name?
REBOL: Frank Joseph Rebol.
LaVOY: And when was he born?
REBOL: He was born July 6, 1912.
LaVOY: After he was born, who was the next one?
REBOL: Mary was born August 15, 1914.
LaVOY: And then who was the next one?
REBOL: Anne was born January 9, 1916.
LaVOY: And then, when were you born?
REBOL: I was born May 20, 1918.
LaVOY: So, they had quite a family of children in a short period of time. What is the first that you remember as a little boy about your brother and sisters?
REBOL: My brother was real close. He died in [June 24] 1929 when I was just nine years old.
LaVOY: What was the cause of his death?
REBOL: The doctor said it was appendicitis. Dad took him in to see Dr. Farrell out at his ranch, and Dr. Farrell was irrigating his ranch, and he said he couldn't go in to see him until he got through irrigating, so he said if you'll take Frank into the Moore Hospital and have them put ice on him and then he'd get in as soon as he could and see what was wrong. He finally came in and he said that it was appendicitis. He operated on him I think that night or early the next morning and he showed Dad something about four or five inches long and he said that was the appendix, but we still wondered because it didn't look like anything. It looked more like an intestine. Anyway, a day or two later he passed away.
LaVOY: Was it from septicemia?
REBOL: I don't what it was.
LaVOY: Well, that's very tragic. How old was he at the time?
REBOL: He was twelve days short of seventeen.
LaVOY: That's just a tragic loss of life. So young.
REBOL: He was a big young man. He was six foot tall and 175 pounds.
LaVOY: Even at that age.
REBOL: Yes, and was a lot of help to Dad. In fact, Dad was so used to having him helping him around the place that when he passed away, he couldn't get over it. Dad would go out to irrigate at nighttime. You could hear him crying across the field. Grieving.
LaVOY: Oh, that's tragic. Tragic.
REBOL: As a consequence, he developed cancer of the throat and three years later he passed away.
LaVOY: How old were you then?
REBOL: I was fifteen years old.
LaVOY: When your father passed away [January 26, 1932]?
LaVOY: So you had to more or less take over as the man of the household.
REBOL: I sure did.
LaVOY: Let's regress just a little bit. When did you first start school, and which school did you go to?
REBOL: I went to the old high school. It's over near the old Catholic Church.
LaVOY: The Cottage Schools now?
REBOL: The Cottage Schools now.
LaVOY: Tell me something about the school and the grounds.
REBOL: As I remember, it was a two-story building. That and the West End were pretty much alike, and they had a slide in the backside, so in case of a fire, they'd go down the slide for safety.
LaVOY: Were any of you kids tempted to go down the slide without a fire?
REBOL: Oh, yes. We tried to climb up without the teacher knowing it, you know. We'd get up there and then turn around and slide down. I think it was once a month we had a fire drill, and we had to open a window and go out that window.
LaVOY: I bet you loved the fire drills.
REBOL: (laughing) Yes, we did.
LaVOY: (laughing) Who were some of your teachers? That was first through fifth grade, wasn't it?
REBOL: Yeah, that was first through fourth, I think.
LaVOY: Who were some of your teachers?
REBOL: Florence Richards was my first grade teacher.
LaVOY: What were the chores that you had at home at that point in time when you were just a little fellow?
REBOL: Oh, I had to tend to the chickens and help around the place whatever little that I could do.
LaVOY: Did you help your mother a lot being the youngest in the family?
REBOL: I tried to, yes.
LaVOY: 'Course having two sisters, they did
REBOL: They did a lot of the inside work, yes.
LaVOY: Did your mother come out and work in the fields and help or did she stay basically in the house?
REBOL: No, no. After Dad passed away, she and I used to go out nighttime and irrigate or daytime, whatever it was She was right there with me.
LaVOY: That must have been very hard on her being left with the four of you.
REBOL: Oh, it was.
LaVOY: When you left the, what we now call the Cottage Schools, where did you go to school?
REBOL: I went to West End. That was fifth through the eighth.
LaVOY: When did you go to Oats Park?
REBOL: It was two grades at West End, I'm sorry. After that then we went to Oats Park.
LaVOY: Where was the West End School at that time?
REBOL: It's where the Westside School is now. [West End School]
LaVOY: And that property had been owned by whom?
REBOL: A fellow by the name of Mori.
LaVOY: You know his first name? Oh, that's all right. It's not important. But all that was the Mori Ranch?
REBOL: It was part of the [Sam] Mori Ranch, yeah. In fact there was an irrigation ditch that went right around the school yard.
LaVOY: It wasn't fenced or anything?
REBOL: There was a fence there, yes, and there were a lot of trees around there. A lot of leaves. We used to play
out there in the leaves and build leaf houses.
LaVOY: Do you remember any of the teachers in those couple of years that you were there? Well, if you can't remember any of the teachers there, that's fine. I was just asking. From there you went to, what, Oats Park School?
REBOL: Oats Park.
LaVOY: Tell me about Oats Park School.
REBOL: Oats Park ran from fifth through the eighth. I'm making a little error back in my other . . . I think old high was first and second, West End was third and fourth. Oats Park was the school that John Oats, Senior, had given the property for the school, and I remember the teachers the e. Mrs. Denton was in 5A. Louella Toft was in 58. Elnora Toft, Louella's sister, was in 6B, I believe. I'll have to think a little bit on who was in 6A. In grade seven there was Miss Hattie Temple, and Miss Succaman was, I believe, in 7A. Miss Lulu Smiley was in 8B, and Laura Mills 8A. Laura Mills was real stern. She was a real stern teacher and stood for no foolishness. If anybody cut up or was out of place, she'd walk around. She had a boyish bob, and if somebody tried to smart off with her, she'd flip her hair back, and she'd come down with them with a wristwatch, and she bounced them on their seats. Miss Smiley was about the same way. She was a bigger teacher, and with the crippling of her ankles, she stood for no foolishness at all, and she would bounce students up and down in the desk and really get their attention. They felt like about two cents.
LaVOY: (laughing) Well, at least she didn't use the ruler on the wrist, did she?
REBOL: No, no. I think that Laura Mills, I've seen her use the ruler a few times, but they were good kids. (laughing) They behaved themselves.
LaVOY: Well, I would behave myself too. Who were some of your classmates that you recall in the Oats Park School?
REBOL: Oh, I had Edgar Clayton and Tony Testolin, Allen Menard. Allen Menard was the brother of Mrs. Tommy Inglis. They lived over north of me across the canal. And I think there were six girls and one boy. Then Earl Hornback who is now back in Michigan. There were many, many students that I could probably think of if I had a chance to give it thought.
LaVOY: Something that's just come to my mind, with you living where you do, how did you get to Oats Park School?
REBOL: We went on buses.
LaVOY: You had buses at that point in time?
REBOL: Oh, yes. Yes. We rode buses from the time that I first started. I remember getting on the bus one time when Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney had just their fight, and, of course, I was a Jack Dempsey fan, and he lost the fight, and I thought the world had ended 'cause Jack lost the fight. But, the school buses were old. Didn't have a door, but they had a canvas on the door for a door, and that canvas as the bus went along it would flap, but it would keep a lot of the cold air out. Later on they had better buses and nicer buses. My brother drove one of the buses when he was a freshman in high school, and then years after when I got into high school, I drove a bus myself. I drove for four years.
LaVOY: We'll get into your driving of it, but, going back to the canvas flapping. That would all right in the warmer days, but what did you do in the winter when it was cold and you had nothing but a canvas?
REBOL: That was the door in the wintertime. In the summertime they had a kind of a tieback, and they kept the door open so you had air.
LaVOY: Seems to me you'd have fallen out of the bus.
REBOL: No, they were pretty careful that nobody fell out.
LaVOY: Was the canvas on the windows, too?
REBOL: No, they had windows.
LaVOY: But no doors.
REBOL: But no doors. Later years they did have the doors that shut, but the original ones, no.
LaVOY: Who was the principal of the Oats Park School at that time?
REBOL: E.C. Best. I might add that also in Oats Park I had a manual training teacher and physical ed teacher by the name of Archie Safely, and he taught us shop and so forth. We would have periods where we'd go out for calisthenics, as they called it, and we'd have different games that we played. Like you'd stand up and have somebody get up on your shoulders and then somebody else would do the same thing, and you'd try to wrestle the other team down.
LaVOY: Oh, yes, I remember that one! I can't think of the name that they used to call that game. It had a special name. The boys used to love to do that. Some of the girls would try it, too. Now, you mentioned Mr. Safely as being the shop teacher, what was his first name?
LaVOY: And he must have also been a good singer. Was he?
REBOL: His wife was.
LaVOY: Oh, was she?
REBOL: It was his wife. She had a beautiful voice.
LaVOY: At your graduation, which was what, in 1934?
LaVOY: No, from eighth grade.
REBOL: Oh, eighth? No, we didn't have any graduation exercises as I remember.
REBOL: We just moved on.
LaVOY: Oh, I see. You don't recall anything at all for that?
LaVOY: By that time you were ready to go into high school, and I imagine that with your brother being gone and you having to pick up all the chores, that it was much harder for you.
REBOL: Oh, yes, it was. It was. Much so.
LaVOY: Were you able to be in athletics at all in high school?
REBOL: Yes. On my senior year, the coach had been trying to get me to come out for a long time because I was quite tall and fairly agile and he wanted me to come out, but I couldn't see my way clear to do it. So finally in my senior year, Don Robertson, the coach finally asked me if I'd do him a favor to come and play because he didn't have any tall guys on the team. So, Edgar Clayton lived on beyond me a little way and over off of Alcorn Road. He and I palled around together and we both went out for basketball. Edgar played football, too. I played the one year, the first year, as a center, and, of course, first-year man I was pretty nothin' as far as I was concerned, but the second year-I went back another year because times were hard, and I was driving the school bus, so I figured, well, I had a little job, and that was more than there was around the country, so I went back for another year. I failed a class on purpose to come back for another year so I could play basketball and drive the school bus, too.
LaVOY: What class did you fail?
REBOL: I don't recall now what it was. One that I know that I could pass, but I was real ignorant.
LaVOY: (laughing) On purpose.
REBOL: (laughing) On purpose.
LaVOY: So, actually, instead of 1937, you should have graduated in 1936.
REBOL: Should have graduated in 1936, yes.
LaVOY: With the basketball did you play in any state tournaments or anything?
REBOL: We always had a state tournament at the end of the year, but with Fallon they had a little tiny gym that's in the present junior high school which was just a small gymnasium something like fifty, sixty feet long, and when you'd get into a big gymnasium like you went to Reno, why you would quickly run out of gas. We did the best we could. That year Coach Robertson put Clayton in the center and put me in as a guard. I was fairly quick on my feet, and he put me up front on defense. In those days every time you made a basket, you went back to the center and jumped center, and it seemed like you were always at the center spot jumping center. Many a time I was able to intercept the ball and go down for a bucket, one or two, which was probably my high scoring times, but we did get the ball away from them. Some of the games that I remember like Stewart Indian School, they beat us eighteen to seventeen. Those Indian boys were taught to if they got behind you to grab onto your shirt and hold you back so you couldn't mobile, and, of course, the referee didn't see it, so they would handicap you. Anyway, we lost. Like Dayton, they had little gym, too. I think that was probably a similar score. Very low. But it was a rarity to see anybody score eight, ten points.
LaVOY: Fallon was noted for its baseball team. Did you belong to any of the baseball teams?
REBOL: No, they didn't have baseball at the time. At noontime we played out in the baseball field, and that game I really did love. I always figured that I would be a baseball player at one time. And I was good even though I say it myself. I could scoop a grounder and throw it to first base. Throw it from shortstop to third base. I used to watch Martin Summerbell at one of the town teams. It was quite a - [End of tape 1, side A] It was a must to see Fallon and Lovelock play because they were such rivals. Fallon had a good team year after year, and along with Martin Summerbell, Newt Lumos played on first base. These boys, most of them, came from the CCC camps, and there was a pitcher by the name of Johnny Shamp, and Johnny Brucker who later played football for Fallon High, was an all-stater, just a little fellow, but what a ball player!
LaVOY: Had he come with the CCC?
REBOL: He came in with the CCCs, and he stayed here. In fact, later in life he married a Fallon girl by the name of Dooley, and he now lives in Sacramento. He was only four feet eleven, I think, and about 175 pounds, but, boy, those legs were just like pistons. They were moving!
LaVOY: That interests me, you're mentioning the CCC. About when did they come into this area?
REBOL: It was during the Depression. I would say, just roughly speaking, and I wouldn't want to be quoted on this as being accurate but I would say around 1930 to 1934. In through there. In that neck of the woods. [January 17, 1936]
LaVOY: Where were the CCC camps located?
REBOL: They had two camps. One was on the north side of town across the railroad tracks where the new housing addition is now.
LaVOY: You mean up by the Venturacci housing addition?
REBOL: Yes, but on the right side, and the other one--where the heck was it? It was over here this way from…
LaVOY: Wasn't there one by where the Whitaker comes in now? [42 Whitaker and Williams]
REBOL: It seems like over in that neck of the woods. Yes.
LaVOY: One was Camp Carson, and I can't recall the name of the other one right at this moment. [Camp Newlands] Were those boys accepted by people in the town?
REBOL: Oh, yes. They did a lot of good here.
LaVOY: What all did they do?
REBOL: As just one example, they used to grub the canals of trees and brush and so forth that held back the water. They riprapped with rocks around take-outs and cross boxes and the like. They built roads. They did most everything.
LaVOY: Were there local men that worked with them?
REBOL: Oh, yes. F.C. Erb---that would be George Erb's father-was one of the foremen. Harold Fitz was another. Harold Fitz could probably give you a lot of the data on that. I don't recall others, but there were . . .
LaVOY: Didn't Louie Moiola?
RESOL: It seems like Louie was one of them, yes.
LaVOY: They actually had to live in the camp?
LaVOY: Did they live like under an Army regimen?
REBOL: Sort of like, yes.
LaVOY: But, they were permitted to come and play ball with the town team.
REBOL: Oh, yes.
LaVOY: Did the town team win any big contests?
REBOL: It was usually between Lovelock and Fallon. There were teams from Reno, too, that played. I remember going to a lot of the games. In fact, I would never miss a game because it was such a good sport to watch, and the rivalry was so great. They won their share. They sure did.
LaVOY: At this point in time there were also a lot of hunting activity with ducks, etc., in this area. Can you tell me something about that?
REBOL: They had a Greenhead Hunting Club. There was a club down in Stillwater and then also down at the government pasture out south of Fallon. There were ducks, geese of all kinds, swan. Swan were prohibited from being killed. I remember one time there was a family here by the name of Cocanour. Richard was one of them, and they had what we called the tin shop. They did electrical and they did refrigeration and so forth. Richard--he was Catholic, quite a guy. In fact, his picture's on the Eagles' Hall. In one of the pictures on the basketball team there. He'd gone down to the duck club out south of Fallon, and this big goose came over, and he thought, "That doesn't look like a goose, and still it does," so he says, "I'm going to take a chance," so he says, "I shot it and down it came," and he says, "It was right over near the fence," and he said, "I went over the fence, and when I got there, I said, 'Richard, what have you done?' " (laughing) It was a swan! (laughing)
LaVOY: But Richard picked it up and took it home.
REBOL: (laughing) I guess he took it home. (laughing) There were a lot of ducks in those days. Especially in the hard winter that we had. I shouldn't tell this on myself, but I will. I was living alone at the ranch, batching at that time, and I had planted some barley right next to the ranch house west of the house, and the barley had come off, and there was, I would say, about eight inches of snow on the ground. After a bit the ducks were really coming in because they were so hungry. So I went around the haystack this one day, and I looked out there, and the ground was just black with ducks. I thought, "Oh, boy! Here's where I get a duck." I didn't have a license or anything, so I went into the house and I got the shotgun, and I snuck up behind the corner of the haystack, and boy! they were out there thick as fleas, so I cut loose. I shot two times, and it sounded like you could hear it back to Gettysburg the shots were so loud. Anyway there were ducks all over the place, and I dashed into the house with the gun, got rid of that. I didn't dare go out, but I looked out there, and there were ducks laying everywhere. So, I finally got enough nerve to go out and start picking up ducks. I got twenty-nine ducks in two shots. (laughing)
LaVOY: Oh, my goodness gracious!
REBOL: Then I didn't know what I was going to do with all the ducks, so I figured, well, I'd keep a couple for myself. I remember I took ten ducks to Richard Cocanour. I don't remember what I did with the rest of them, but I gave most of them away. (laughing) I'd be picking yet, I guess.
LaVOY: (laughing) Oh, dear.
REBOL: Law-abiding citizen.
LaVOY: Yes. Yes. The Sagebrush Club was where the hunters seemed to gather. Can you tell me something about that?
REBOL: The Sagebrush Club was owned by a fellow by the name of Bill Powell who, by the way, was a baseball player. He was quite old when he was still playing. I think he was sixty-five or some such matter, and a good player. He owned the place, but that was the meeting place after the ball games. With Lovelock especially. They'd come in and they'd really have to have a beer, you know, 'cause they were hot and tired and talked over old times. There were some beautiful plays. Lovelock had a good team, and I remember, as I spoke a while ago about this little Johnny Brucker, he played center field. Vic Arobio was the catcher for Lovelock, and he could really hit. He was big, and he was strong. They had just turned the field around so as it was the baseball field faced the northwest, and out in the outfield way out there, there was a little ditch, and there was no fence or anything. That was probably the outfield fence as far as that was concerned. But, anyway, the game was real tight, and Fallon was ahead just a run or two, and Arobio came up to bat, and there were some men on base. There were two outs, and Arobio hit this mighty shot out into center field, and Brucker, I saw him go, and he was just legs a flying, and he looked up. The ball was still going over his head, so he looked and he jumped the ditch and ran over across the ditch and caught the ball. Of course, that put Arobio out, and that ended the inning, so I can still see Vic Arobio coming home to home plate as he rounded third base shaking his head. Impossible.
LaVOY: But the little fellow had it.
REBOL: The little guy got it. You bet. He was good.
LaVOY: Where did they play? Where was the field that you're talking about?
REBOL: It's where the present baseball field is out on the north end of town. Out on the Venturacci side there.
LaVOY: Now it is on the right hand side of that road?
REBOL: No, there's a little softball field on the right side, but on the other side. They still play baseball there. That's a baseball field. The grandstand is still there.
LaVOY: Oh! Well, I'll have to check that the next time that I am out. Your father--I want to get back to him just a minute. He passed away probably in what year?
REBOL: He passed away in 1932.
LaVOY: 1932. So this story that you were telling me about your being alone was a little later in the thirties. Your father, I understand, he was known for being able to pitch hay up on wagons. Can you tell me something about that?
REBOL: Well, he was well known as a spike pitcher. He stayed out in the field and just pitched hay on the wagons.
LaVOY: From the ground to the top of the wagon.
REBOL: From the ground up on to the wagons. If it was a high wagon with the Jackson fork, then the driver would drive the team and also set the hay where he wanted it to build up the load so it would come off readily with the Jackson fork. That was used with a Jackson fork. In later years they went to what they called sleds or slips, and my uncle built several of these slips with a gooseneck on them where they could turn real sharp. They could turn right around.
LaVOY: That's your uncle…?
REBOL: Joe. Uncle Joe.
REBOL: Yes. They had nets on them, and you'd have a spike pitcher just on one side because the guy that drove the team of horses and the wagon was pitching from the other side. He'd drive the team and pitch at the same time. So, Dad was quite well known as a pitcher. He was real strong and had a real reputation for pitching hay.
LaVOY: People in those days had to work very, very hard for putting up their crops and everything.
REBOL: Yes, they did.
LaVOY: There's a story that you have told me before about when the wheat crops were being harvested. Did he own the combine that was used?
REBOL: No. He always hired a fellow by the name of John Konda. Or I did too when I took over. John Konda had what they called a separator. Stationary thresher, and it was a pulled by this tractor that I call it a one-lunger. It traveled about two miles an hour. Its picture is on the letterhead of your Churchill County Museum.
LaVOY: Oh. Did that belong- Konda own the one that's on there?
REBOL: That was the one that John Konda owned. He would go around to the different places and thresh the grain. We would have it combined, put it in shocks, and then we'd have to put it into a stack, and then they'd feed it off of the stack. So this one year, R.L. Thomas who lived up above--Reno Quicili lives there now—came over, and he said, "I see you're going to have your wheat thrashed. Do you mind if I come over and bring mine? I just got a little bit of grain. I'd like to have it thrashed. Do you mind if I come in? It'll save me a set." Which was twenty dollars at the time. "So we wouldn't have to make another set." And I never gave it another tumble or anything. I didn't think anything was amiss or anything, so I said, "Why, sure. That'll be all right." So he brought this grain over, and Quay Imus lived to my east where Mel Dias now lives. Quay came over and was watching the threshing, and we'd started on Thomas's grain, and he stuck his hand up there to see how much grain was coming out of the pipe that blew the straw into the pile. I happened to be watching, and all of a sudden he jerked his hand down and shook his hand. He was saying a few choice words. I noticed that he had a handful of sandburs. That load of stuff that Thomas had brought over was plumb full of sandburs. And, so, of course, I had those darn sandburs on my place then.
LaVOY: That was a neighborly gesture!
REBOL: (laughing) That was a dilly.
LaVOY: The sandburs hurt so, I can imagine with him really complaining when he had his hands full of them.
REBOL: I would think it would be every bit as bad as a porcupine. They have those little burrs that stick in, and, oh, they do hurt! Those were eventually done away with with a good stand of hay, but it was something that you remembered.
LaVOY: With a pile of burrs there, you couldn't burn them or anything, or had they spread too far?
REBOL: Well, they spread through the whole stack, you know. They were on the top of course, and, of course, the good stuff was down below. I don't remember now just what I did with it whether I burned the stack or what.
LaVOY: That's very interesting. When you were in high school, and, of course, all of this was going on at the time, tell me, what were, Harold Rogers lived close to you, didn't he?
REBOL: Yes, he did. He lived about a mile away from me on St. Clair Road.
LaVOY: And then you had the Pflum family.
REBOL: Pflum family was across the road and to the south of him.
LaVOY: And then who were some of the other families that lived in your area?
REBOL: The Inglis lived up west on Sheckler Cut-Off now, and the Menards were down the canal just east of the ditchhouse, and the Limas were on Lima Lane. Sterling Lima was on the old Jack Theyer place, and the Mills boys lived where Newell [Mills] lives now, or several of the Mills boys. Lattins lived east where the Lattin place is now.
LaVOY: It seems to me in the back of my mind there was a tragedy that occurred in the thirties sometime I believe. Someone in your area shot someone else.
REBOL: It was a bachelor by the name of Tom Vestal that lived off the St. Clair Road right near Hanifans, and there was a dispute between Maurice Hanifan--that is Maurice Hanifan Junior's father--and Tom Vestal. This Tom Vestal, he had just a couple of snag teeth, and he was a mean lookin' guy, but real big hearted. He always treated us good. He always came over to help Dad butcher hogs or whatever it was, but evidently, they got into a dispute over a fence line or something, and Vestal shot Maurice Hanifan in the ankle, and I guess he spent time in the penitentiary for it. I remember that quite well.
LaVOY: What happened to his place when he went to the penitentiary?
REBOL: I don't know. He kept it. Whether somebody was operating it or what I don't know.
LaVOY: Were there any other disputes that you can recall in that particular era of time?
REBOL: No, not that I remember.
LaVOY: You just mentioned that Mr. Vestal used to come and help with butchering. Tell me something about how your butchering was done. First with beef and then with hogs.
REBOL: We never ever butchered beef at that time, but we did hogs, and I still have the old hog trough that we had boiled water that we put into this trough that was a kind of a rounded tank. I guess maybe it would hold maybe a hundred gallons of water.
LaVOY: How did you heat that water?
REBOL: With a outdoor pit fire and a pot with water.
LaVOY: A great huge iron pot?
REBOL: Well, they weren't iron pots. They were buckets or whatever. Tubs. Just whatever. Then you'd kill the hog and dip him in the hot water and let him sizzle there for a little while. The hair would come off easy, and then take the scraper and scrape the bristles off.
LaVOY: This was putting the entire hog after it had been shot and bled?
LaVOY: That seems to me that would have been a very messy plus time-consuming job.
REBOL: It took time. We always saved the blood and made blood sausage out of the blood. It sounds terrible, but Mother and Dad used to make the blood sausage.
LaVOY: How is that made? Do you know offhand?
REBOL: They mixed the blood. It couldn't coagulate. They had to keep stirring it so it wouldn't coagulate, and then they'd make it with rice and I don't recall now what else they had in it, but it was real delicious.
LaVOY: Did they put it in a casing?
REBOL: They put it in casing. We had to clean up the intestines as that was the casing.
LaVOY: What was involved in cleaning the hogs' intestines?
REBOL: We had like a cow's horn, and then you just pour water in through that and you just keep running it through until the intestine is clean.
LaVOY: I imagine your mother probably did that, the stuffing of the intestine.
REBOL: Oh, yes.
LaVOY: How did she stuff it? With a big spoon or with a pestle?
REBOL: No, a big spoon. Like I say, with this horn, you'd stick right into the end of the intestine and just keep pushing. Then when you had a what you figured was a pretty good-sized sausage why you just made a twist in the casing, and that was the way to . . .
LaVOY: How did they cure that?
REBOL: They hung it up in the porch and let it dry. Maybe they even had it over a warm fire to cook it a little more or something.
LaVOY: It's interesting to me that the blood had to be kept stirred, and then they put rice or whatever, potato or whatever they put in with it. They must have put something else in it. Did they cook that over a stove?
REBOL: Oh, yes. And spices.
LaVOY: And added spices.
REBOL: Oh, yes.
LaVOY: And then after it was cooked to the consistency that they felt it should be, then they started stuffing.
REBOL: That's right. That's right.
LaVOY: Did they stuff it while it was cold or hot?
REBOL: No, while it was still warm, and then they'd hang so it would dry and cool down.
LaVOY: That's interesting that it would keep. What did they do with the rest of the pig?
REBOL: We made hams and bacons. Dad had some crocks that he put the brine in and then put the hams in and a piece of wood to hold them down and then put a rock on top of that. A good clean rock washed off well, and that kept it where it [the brine] permeated into the meat.
LaVOY: That would be more salt pork, shouldn't it?
REBOL: No, not salt pork. It was regular ham. It was good. On the bacons they used the salt. Bacon salt. You know, the salt cure.
LaVOY: Did you have a shed where they smoke the bacon?
REBOL: No. We, I think, just put the smoked salt on and then hung it. That way with the smoke salt it had the flavor and also did the curing.
LaVOY: Seems to me that you must have hung it in a screened-in area or something to keep the flies from it.
REBOL: Oh, yeah. We used to have a screened porch, and that's where this was all in the cool.
LaVOY: That's interesting. Did they use the head, too?
REBOL: We used to open up the head and get the brains out and so forth, and Mom used to like to cook that for breakfast. Brains and eggs.
LaVOY: That was a popular dish in that particular time, and one of the reasons, probably, coming from a foreign country, they were used to eating that.
REBOL: Oh, yes. Yes.
LaVOY: Did your Yugoslavian group of friends ever get together for picnics and things?
REBOL: Once in awhile. Every once in awhile we would go over to Shanes in the buggy or the car after we got the car and spend Sunday over there, or they'd come over to our place either way. There weren't that many Yugoslavian people here. The Verants up on the corner of Sheckler Cut-Off and Sheckler Road were the only other Yugoslavian people that I can remember being there.
LaVOY: What did you do at the picnics? Did you play games or just eat and visit?
REBOL: Visit and eat, and the kids, of course, always played. Wintertime, the Shane boys--there were eight brothers and two girls, and the boys were always full of the devil. They had a river down in back of the old Bendickson place now. We'd go down there, and, of course, I didn't have any skates. I didn't have any money for skates. We couldn't afford them, so I'd go along and watch and hope and wish, but never got the opportunity, but those boys were real good. They'd go on that river, and there was quite a ways that you could skate. I remember this one time that Tony was about the middle of the boys. He was quite a typist, and Joe was just above him. He was pretty good at typing and shorthand and so forth, too. There was a state contest, and Tony was supposed to be in this state contest. They were skating out there and across the ice there were two strand of barb wire about, oh, I'd say, two feet up in the air. The lower strand was probably a foot off of the ice, and they were playing tag there one day. Tony and Joe could really skate, so Joe touched Tony, and he says, "You're it!" and away he took. They skated around for quite awhile, and they couldn't quite catch him, and finally Joe took off, and he jumped over this barb wire fence. Tony didn't see it in time, and he caught his skate on the top wire, and he took a nasty spill. Of course, when he came down, he hit his hand flat on the ice and he tore a little spot right off his finger that he needed for typing. It looked like a dime. It just took the hide right out of there, and, of course, that did him up for the typing contest. He was out of it. (laughing)
LaVOY: (laughing) He wasn't very happy with his brother.
REBOL: I later learned how to skate, and it was real sport. It really is a good sport.
LaVOY: You don't see anybody skating around anymore.
REBOL: Unless you go out toward Rattlesnake Reservoir out there in the wintertime. We used to go out there, and you could skate out there for miles.
LaVOY: That was one of the entertainments during the Depression.
LaVOY: You didn't go out with groups of you?
REBOL: Oh, yes. We'd go out and have a bonfire out there, and then we'd have marshmallows and hotdogs. Yeah, we'd have a heck of a time.
LaVOY: Who were some of the people who skated out there with you?
REBOL: Oh, Tony and Gilbert Testolin, Gerry Alberson, Neil Gerdemann. Oh Gee… Most everybody at that time. [End of tape 1] We used to skate till midnight, one o'clock in the morning and then we'd get out there every chance we had. It was just a big lot of fun.
LaVOY: What kind of skates did you have?
REBOL: I had a pair of hockey skates.
LaVOY: Were these attached to your shoes?
REBOL: Yes, they were right on the shoes.
LaVOY: Before that weren't they just fastened to the shoes?
REBOL: Clamp-on skates, yes.
LaVOY: That's what I learned on.
REBOL: Yeah. Well, I couldn't even afford those in that day. (laughing)
LaVOY: (laughing) Well, you must have had a great time doing these things with your friends.
REBOL: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. We used to have what they called Forty-niner Days. A rodeo and the State Fair was here and so forth.
LaVOY: Now this was in the thirties?
REBOL: Late thirties, yes. I remember one time I was milking cows-
LaVOY: Now this is before the late thirties 'cause we are right now in the mid-thirties.
REBOL: Tony and Gilbert Testolin came over. I think Jerry Alberson came over, and we were all going to go into the Forty-Nine show but I still had to milk the darn cows, and I had a bunch of them to milk. I had five cows in the barn at one time. I was milking them by hand, and I finally got down to this one cow, and, 'course Tony and Gilbert were all set for the occasion. They had cowboy hats and so forth. I was milking this one cow, and she was kind of flighty, and Tony came over beside me where I was milking and all of a sudden-I had hobbles on this cow--all of a sudden this cow went berserk, and she was up and down and all over, and I had to get out of the way to keep from getting crowded onto the floor, so Tony managed to get up front by the stanchion and that was the worst thing he could have done because that cow really went to town. She was just up and down, jumping up and down bellering and bawling and Tony stuck his foot on her and that was more poison to the wound. I have a picture of that cow yet that brings back memories.
LaVOY: How did that affect your going to the fair? Slowed you down?
REBOL: Oh, (laughing) it slowed us down a little bit, but we got there.
LaVOY: What got the cow upset?
REBOL: She wasn't used to that kind of attire around the barn. (laughing) She was flighty.
LaVOY: Oh, I see. It was just a stranger's coming in.
REBOL: Stranger come and, boy, she went wild. She went berserk! (laughing)
LaVOY: (laughing) Oh, my goodness.
REBOL: I used to milk a bunch of those cows when I was driving school bus. I'd milk twenty-one by hand. Then I had to do the separating, feed the calves, feed the cows, separate the milk by hand. That was all turning the handle and separate the milk.
LaVOY: Did you sell this milk?
REBOL: No, I sold the cream. This was 1929, 1930, in through there in the Depression days. And people don't know what a depression is, but let me tell you that I think that's one of the, something that this world ought to know because people don't know what hard times are. I got twelve and a half cents a pound for butterfat. Fourteen cents was the highest that I ever got. And milking all those darn cows, I'd get up four o'clock in the morning and I was in bed by eleven o'clock at night, so I just got a little sleep.
LaVOY: This was when you were going to high school?
REBOL: I was going to high school. I was playing basketball. I was driving the school bus. The whole thing. I don't know how I did it, but I did it. There was just enough money there to pay the bills and get a little groceries, and that was it. So people want to know what hard times are, I can tell them what hard times were.
LaVOY: Yes, indeed. Something that you mentioned just a few minutes ago about when your family went on picnics that you went by buggy, when did your father get his first car?
REBOL: Gee, I don't remember what it is. I have a picture of the car. It was a Model T Ford, and it had a top that came up over the top of the car, of course, and it came down to kind of a point down to the windshield, and as Dad drove in--he'd just had one lesson on driving the car in town--and it had the three pedals. One to start, one for reverse, and one to go ahead, and when he drove in . . .
LaVOY: This is when he brought the car home for the first time?
REBOL: Brought the car home for the first time, and he was going to park it on the east side of the house because the shade was there. He was going to keep the car in the shade, and out in the front in the yard there were a bunch of cottonwood trees that were around the yard, and the roots, of course, came up at an angle. So, we all ran out to see Dad in his new car, and he was honking the horn and really elated. (laughing) He made the turn and he heads in to stop the car by the house, and, of course, he forgot which pedal to push to stop the car, and he gave it the go. So, the car shot out. (laughing) I can still see the blue smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, and he was hollering, "Who-o-a. Who-o-a." (laughing) He guided it between the two trees, and, of course, when he hit this one root that comes up on the side of a tree why it tipped the car over, and he ripped the top of the car on side of the top. He finally drove out across a little sand hill that we had in front of the house, and, of course, he got stuck there and that stopped him. (laughing)
REBOL: Oh, what a tragedy! (laughing) A new car with a big tear in it. (laughing)
LaVOY: (laughing) Of course, naturally, he had to repair the tear. Did he have to buy a new top or just repair it?
REBOL: I think he took it in to a fellow by the name of Fred Venth. Had a little upholstery shop and harness shop, and this Fred Venth repaired it for him.
LaVOY: He probably didn't even have it paid for, or did he pay cash for it?
REBOL: I don't remember. I think he probably paid for it because he always paid for everything that he got.
LaVOY: Who did he buy the car from originally?
REBOL: Ford Garage. I don't remember who had it at the time.
LaVOY: How long did you keep that car in the family?
REBOL: Oh, we had that for several years, and then he finally turned it in on another car. I have pictures of the two cars. Then I can remember Mr. Frazzini was a salesman here. I don't remember who he was selling cars for, but he was a salesman. Maybe he sold for himself. I don't know. Don't remember, but, anyway, Frazzini was a common visitor out to the ranch because he was trying to sell Dad a new car, and he was always trying to sell him an Essex, (laughing) but he never ever succeeded much as he tried.
LaVOY: Your father stuck with the Ford?
REBOL: He stuck with the Ford.
LaVOY: Oh, dear me. (laughing) One story about this same era that you have told me about before was when somebody was coming out to try to sell your mother something, and your dog was not very friendly.
REBOL: Oh, yes. That was a tearjerker. This minister from the Holy Roller Church came out this one day, and he had a Model T Ford, and on the back he had one of those tip-up covers, and in the back he had a phonograph. Usually he'd come to the door, and he would just try to give Mother the pamphlets and so forth that he had and try to get some money from her, but, of course, we didn't have much money, so that was out of reason. So this one day I was down in the old dirt cellar, and in the cellar I had this pressure pump. I was down there putting new packing in the pump and there were about five or six steps to go down into the cellar. It was an underground cellar, and we had this dog by the name of Skipper. It was a black shepherd, and that was Mother's protector. Believe me. So this one day this fellow drove in and Skipper was barking so I walked up a couple of steps to see who it was, and here it's this Holy Roller. He was a big portly guy with a big stomach, and he had dark pants on, and he was toothless and he chewed, so he was a kind of a gummer, and so this day he opened up the back of the trunk and he brought out a Victrola, and he set the Victrola on the screen door, and, of course, the door couldn't shut then, and Mom had to listen to this darn Victrola. So he just stuck the needle down on it, and I noticed the dog was going around. This day he had his wife with him. The dog had gone over, and he'd raised his leg to the left front wheel of the car, and then he came over, and he was standing behind the old preacher. He was sniffing him, and Mom's sitting there listening to this, and all of a sudden the dog raised his leg, and he let him have it clear down from the knees on down, and he was drenched! Well, that stopped the show. The old lady in the car (laughing), the wife, started a hollering something. She'd seen what had taken place, and the dog, the hair bristled up on the back of his neck, and he went over and he got the left rear wheel. Went around and got the right rear wheel and went around in the final gesture got the front right wheel. Gave it all a good drenching so that was the end of the man. We never saw him again.
LaVOY: He picked up his Victrola?
REBOL: (laughing) He picked up his Victrola and ran. (laughing) Drenched. I can still see Mother holding her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing in his face, (laughing) but it was so funny! When he left (laughing) I went over, and I said, "Mom, I don't think you'll need to hear him anymore." (laughing) He never returned.
LaVOY: (laughing) I really don't blame him!(laughing) Oh, dear. When you were driving the school bus, who were some of the people that you picked up in the school bus?
REBOL: Oh, I had a regular route that I started. I left home and I would be over to the Mills boys. I went on up to pick up the Thomas kids. That's Richard Thomas and his sisters. On over to the right there was a side road there that went over where Sheckler Cut-Off runs now. There were the Mobley boys there. The Mobley family, the kids, and the Partridge boy and girl and Ingles, and then down the canal, Menard, McCains, Leslie Johnson and his brother, Arthur Hagen, Emmett Hagen, The Lamb family – that’s Leo Lamb's family, the Williams. They were related. It seems like the DuPonts and the Brias. They are in Reno now. I see he just passed away a short while ago. Fremont Bria. And clear on into town and then over to the school. It seems like I picked up something like thirty-eight or forty.
LaVOY: Did you have any trouble making them mind?
REBOL: At first it was all up to me to try to keep them in order. I didn't have any trouble. Ray Partridge was giving me a hard time for awhile, but he saw he couldn't buffalo me, so he knocked it off. Then finally the School District put on what they called conductors, and this Richard Thomas was a conductor on my bus, but he wouldn't even open up his face to tell them to behave or anything, so I had to, in spite of that, keep them in order, and he got five dollars for being the conductor.
LaVOY: What were you paid for driving the bus?
REBOL: To start out, the first year I got sixteen dollars a month. The next year I got seventeen. The following year I got eighteen, and the final year I got nineteen dollars. I saved this money that I got for driving the school bus and for helping with the haying and so forth, and I bought my first new car. It was a 1937 Plymouth coupe. I have a picture of it. I thought I was pretty fortunate that I could have a car of my own, and I guess that I really was. I didn't know what it was to go to a show. Didn't have any money to take anybody to a picture show or anything like that, to the theatre.
LaVOY: So you didn't have any girlfriends?
REBOL: Didn't have any girlfriends. Gee, I guess I missed quite a little bit. (laughing)
LaVOY: (laughing) You graduated with the class of 1937. Can you tell me something about that graduation?
REBOL: We had a speaker. I'll never forget him. He was a Baptist, I believe, a Baptist minister by the name of Brewster Adams.
LaVOY: Oh, yes.
REBOL: He was real comical, and we all had heard him before and we wanted him, so we got him for our speaker.
LaVOY: He came from Reno?
REBOL: He came from Reno. The graduation was held there in the auditorium there on the basketball floor in the old high school.
LaVOY: I notice that you had so many musical selections and whatnot. Was that something that you had a good music program in the high school?
REBOL: Yes. We had a teacher by the name of F. Dean Moore. I think he was an Englishman, but he was a little odd, but he was a good music teacher, and he taught music, and he also taught glee club, singing. Then there was a teacher there by the name of Herbert Peck that was with the musical side of it, too, along with being a typing instructor.
LaVOY: You mentioned this Mrs. Archie Safely. She taught, too?
REBOL: It seems like she did teach, but I don't remember where she taught. I think she was probably a substitute teacher.
LaVOY: And then you had a vocal selection by a Mr. Ray Brimhall. Who was he?
REBOL: The Mormons were just coming into town at that time, and they had a ranch out in this neck of the woods somewhere.
LaVOY: The Brimhalls?
REBOL: Brimhalls, yes. In fact I think it was the old Gerdemann place that they bought. Where Hiibel is at. They had a boy and a girl that were in school, and I think he was the father and he gave us some renditions as I recall.
LaVOY: Who were some of the people that you have that graduated with you in 1937?
REBOL: Julia Barkley. She is now Julia Mackedon.
LaVOY: Mike Mackedon's mother?
REBOL: No, wife.
LaVOY: Mike Mackedon who's the lawyer. His mother? It wouldn't be his wife.
REBOL: No, she's still here. Leonard Mackedon. Leonard Mackedon's wife
LaVOY: Oh, I see.
REBOL: And Jack Beach, Junior. He's still alive. Trina Behrman played basketball. Carolyn Best lives in Carson City now. She's married to Pete Kelly. John Roden. He's deceased now. George Bowman who is Bill Bowman's brother.
LaVOY: They were from Fernley, weren't they?
LaVOY: I mean Hazen.
REBOL: The Buckley brothers. Iola Conner was Howard Conner's sister. Mason Coverston, Donald Downs who was in foreign service. Laverne Drumm who was Andy Drumm's daughter.
LaVOY: Getting back to this Donald Downs. Did you know him at all?
REBOL: Oh, yes.
LaVOY: I understand that he first served in Bolivia.
REBOL: I think so.
LaVOY: And then went to Europe and served in the Diplomatic Corps.
REBOL: Foreign embassy or something.
LaVOY: In Europe.
REBOL: Um-hum. Um-hum.
LaVOY: When you went to school with him, did you have any idea that he would go that far in the Diplomatic Service?
REBOL: No. He was a sharp kid, but I didn't think he'd ever be what he turned out to be.
LaVOY: Then you had Elmer, I think.
REBOL: Elmer Erickson was in the class. Uh-huh. And George Frey, Jim Gibbs who was killed in the War.
LaVOY: That's Anne Berlin's brother.
REBOL: Anne Berlin's brother. He and I played guard together on the basketball team, and Marie Gott who's married to Newt Lumos, one of the CCC boys. At the present time one of his sons is here in Fallon working as a teacher at the high school, I believe.
LaVOY: Oh, really!
REBOL: Ila Hewitt who was married to Bob Cress. She's passed away now. Ruth Hiibel, Charlie Hoover, Nadine Hursh who just passed away a short while ago, Austin Imus who was my neighbor, Eleanor Inman, Inabelle Jarvis who was married to Hansen – first name escapes me right now – Paul Jesch who's deceased, Jim Johnson was an attorney, deceased, Doris Jones, Philip Jones is deceased, Charlie Lehman lives in Reno.
LaVOY: Tell me. Was Mario Peraldo in that?
REBOL: Yes, he was.
LaVOY: Something I wanted to ask you. Something that I read said that Mario played for different functions on his accordion.
REBOL: He was a pretty good accordion player, yes.
LaVOY: Did he play in school functions and things like that?
REBOL: As I remember he did. I think he played for dances, too, as I recall.
LaVOY: He doesn't do this anymore is the reason I'm wondering.
REBOL: In fact, I'd forgotten about it. Yeah, he did.
LaVOY: Harold Rogers was in your class.
REBOL: Harold Rogers. He was a good, good guy. He was a good artist. He could draw comedy or anything. He was good.
LaVOY: You mentioned Leno…?
REBOL: Madraso. He had one of the clubs here. Leno's in Fallon. It was a nightclub and restaurant. Good restaurant.
LaVOY: Is that at the end of Whitaker?
LaVOY: I can't think of the name of it right at the moment.
REBOL: It's a seafood place now. [Tony's Seafood Restaurant, 1350 West Williams Avenue] Patricia Summerbell was among them. Norman Toft was a brother to the two teachers that I was talking about. He played basketball with me. Elmer Weishaupt was another. That's pretty much as I remember who were there.
LaVOY: Then after you all graduated, then you were out on your own, and you couldn't afford to go to college.
LaVOY: So, what did you do?
REBOL: Well, I first went to work for Standard Oil as a gasoline truck driver and delivering gasoline, and I would have two five-gallon buckets that I'd draw the gasoline from the tank and then dump it into the containers, barrels, whatever they had. I think one of the worst places that I ever had was my cousin, Herman Shane, [laughs] which I shouldn't say. He had a platform up in the tree. The platform was over my head, and then he had a ladder up to this platform and the tank above that so he could draw his gasoline into his tractors. So, he had a hundred-gallon tank as I remember, and I'd have to fill those darn buckets and then put them up on the platform, then go up the ladder and dump the ten gallons, come back down, fill them up. Go up and down, up and down till I had him filled him up.
LaVOY: And how much were you paid for all of this?
REBOL: I was paid a hundred and twenty dollars a month. I put in oodles of overtime. Never got a thing for it.
LaVOY: Well, that's the way it was in those days.
REBOL: Oh, yes. You were lucky to have a job.
LaVOY: And you kept the ranch going with your mother?
REBOL: Oh, yes.
LaVOY: All of this time that you were working.
LaVOY: So, when you'd leave work, you'd have to come home and do the chores.
REBOL: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I would pick turkeys, too, in the fall. Turkey time for Mrs. Blair.
REBOL: Minnie Blair and Bill Howard who's over east of the experimental farm. He used to raise a lot of turkeys.
LaVOY: Tell me, what was involved with your picking turkeys?
REBOL: You had to have your own equipment. A hackle which you make to hang the turkey up on by its legs.
LaVOY: You mean that wasn't furnished?
REBOL: No, no, no, no. You brought your own. You had to have your own. Tie it up to a beam or something. I think some of the sheds are over there by the Spudnut Shop [1350 South Taylor Street] yet in back that we used to pick under. Then you'd have to have a weight to put in the nose of the turkey so they wouldn't flop their head around, and then you'd have to stick them and bleed them. You cut the jugular veins on both sides of the neck and then in the cleft you put your knife right up the cleft and then stuck it into the brain and turned it and that shocked them. Of course, the turkey would start to flop and so forth, so you had to be pretty quick because the main thing you wanted to do is get those wing feathers because they could sure slap you. We used to pick for Mrs. Blair-I don't know how many, but I guess a couple of thousand, and I picked with Nick Holt who was just a good neighbor, a good friend. Cubby McCain, Tony Testolin and his mother worked together. Tony would do the rough work and then Mrs. Testolin would do the pin feather picking that need be, and then we had some Indians from Stillwater. There was a couple there. I think his name was George. All day long between the two of them they'd pick six birds. They'd be talking Indian as they were picking, and, oh, were they slow! You got so you could pick a pretty good turkey, and so Cubby McCain one day said, "Hey, John, how do you pick up such a good bird?" We knew this Indian was listening--the one that picked six birds a day. So, I said, "Well, I get down on my hands and knees and I look up and if I see that it's pretty smooth why that's the turkey I grab." So, I finished my turkey and went in to get another one. The pen was right next to a gunnysack door, so I went back to get another bird and here's George. He's on his hands and knees looking up at the turkeys. (laughing) We had quite a laugh about it. (laughing)
LaVOY: I'll bet you did.
REBOL: But I'd pick a gobbler and then a hen, a gobbler and a hen. I could pick forty a day.
LaVOY: Oh, boy, that was a lot of work!
REBOL: Oh, that was a lot of work. My hands would swell up just like I'd been stung by a wasp. Until you got used to it, you know.
LaVOY: Then, didn't you have to put a hood or something on Mrs. Blair's turkeys?
REBOL: Well, they had a paper that was in the theme of the state of Nevada. They were known as the Norbest turkeys, and Mrs. Blair's place was known as the "Atlasta Ranch". There was an incident there that was real interesting, and I think it might be worth bringing up. We were picking, and she had just an awfully lot of birds there. President Roosevelt was the president at the time. [End of tape 2 side A] I grabbed this turkey and stuck it, started pulling feathers off of it. You want to pull the wing feathers first because they can really slap you and then the tail feathers. Comes with one swipe. Just a twist and a pull down and you got the tail feathers. Then you just grab feathers, you know, and I noticed when I got down to the breast, the breast was all purple. So, Nick was a pretty good turkey man, so I said, "Nick, come over here. Show you something."
LaVOY: Now, who is Nick again?
REBOL: Nick Holt. He lived out north of me. He used to raise quite a few turkeys, and I'd help him pick, too. He came over, and he says, "What the heck is this?" So, I said, "Darned if I know." He says, "Well, maybe we'd better let Mrs. Blair know about it." So, somebody got Mrs. Blair. We had a big pile of feathers that we had on the side there where they'd clean up everyday and just pull them off to the side so they're out of the way, so Mrs. Blair came out, and she said. "My Lord, what's this? Well, I wouldn't want to sell anything like that. Throw it in the feathers." And these turkeys would weigh fifty pounds. About twenty-five dollars a bird. I think they were fifty cents a pound. So a little while later, Nick got one, and then somebody else would get one. I got another one. I guess we threw about eight or ten of those birds into the feather pile there. That night when I got through and I went home and I was milking the cows and I was thinking about this, "I wonder what the devil that was?" And it had snowed, and it was freezing cold. The roost was only up about eighteen to twenty inches up above the ground, but these gobblers were so big that they couldn't get up on that roost, so evidently in the daytime that manure and everything got mucky, and so they'd just squat down in the manure there and spend the night there and evidently they froze. So the next morning I told Nick, I said, "Nick, I think I know what was wrong with those birds." He says, "What'd you come up with?" So I told him, and he, "Ah, I bet you're right." So we saw Mrs. Blair again. She says, "Well, if you get anymore, hang them separate, and I'll freeze them and see how they turn out." So, we ran into some more the next day. Quite a few more, and she froze them, and she later told us that there was nothing wrong then. That's what it was. They had just frozen. The meat was just perfectly all right, but just purple.
LaVOY: That's very interesting, John. I've never heard anything like that before.
REBOL: But those breasts were a foot wide. She sent one to President [Franklin] Roosevelt for Thanksgiving and another for Christmas every year as a gesture.
LaVOY: That's very . .
REBOL: Very big of her.
LaVOY: Yes, especially since I think she was a Republican. (laughing)
REBOL: Yeah. Didn't make any difference to her. She did that. She was a fine lady.
LaVOY: Well, gosh, that was a lot of work. How much did you get paid for doing that?
REBOL: Fifty cents a bird.
LaVOY: So, if you got your forty birds a day…
REBOL: Got twenty dollars a day for it. Big money.
LaVOY: (laughing) Oh, yes. In those days I'm sure it was. What were some of the other jobs that you worked at?
REBOL: I worked as a meat cutter in Safeway here. I don't know how long I was there. John York was there. His son was a teacher that just retired, Lonnie Moore's dad, he was the head meat cutter there.
LaVOY: Mr. Moore?
REBOL: Mr. Moore, yes, and I worked there for quite awhile, and then I went out to the air base [Naval Air Station Fallon], and I worked out at the air base on the gasoline crew as an operator out there gassing the planes and filling the tanks for gasoline when the trucks came in with the gasoline.
LaVOY: When did the base start? Probably about 1941 or 1942.
REBOL: I would say that. That's what I was thinking. It was right in that neck of the woods. 
LaVOY: Now, your mother was still alive at that time.
REBOL: Oh, yes. She was still alive.
LaVOY: Were your sisters still with you, or had they married?
REBOL: No, no. My youngest sister, Anne, got married in 1936, I think it was, to Leonard Warr who was the superintendent of Truckee-Carson Irrigation [District] electrical department, and they were working up at Lahontan. They were married a year and a half, lived on Humboldt Street, and he was up at Lahontan working behind the power house on some electrical stuff this one day, and Kent's alfalfa meal mill was working at the time. Of course, they didn't want to shut the meal mill down because of lack of electricity, so they left it on. They had had to re-wire something up there, and Sandy Bottoms was there and George Erb was there, too. Leonard had just finished the job of wiring around what he had to do, and he asked George to throw him up a connector. George threw the connector up, but he didn't throw it right, and Leonard missed it. So when he went over to pick up the connector again, it was a few seconds that Leonard took time off from the pressure, and he smoked a corn cob pipe, and he pulled out his pipe and filled it with tobacco. He got a match and lit it, and as he touched the match to the pipe his arm touched a sixty-six hundred volt wire, and it knocked him off of the platform and fell on his head. Crushed his head in and killed him.
LaVOY: Oh, how tragic. And so then your sister was a widow then.
REBOL: She was a widow. She went to work for the… She went to work for Dan Solari in the Farm Security Administration, I think. Whatever it was. That may not be the correct name, but it was Dan Solari, anyway. And then she was transferred down to Pioche and worked there, and that's when she and Neil Gerdemann got married. Then they moved back to Wichita, Kansas.
LaVOY: And then your other sister, who did she marry?
REBOL: She [Mary] married, I would say in about 1934 as I recall it. She married a fellow by the name of Bob Ryan, and they had three children, two girls and a boy. Bob was pretty heavy at raising the elbow, and there were some shady times. Little kids that never had much to eat, so I'd go over there when I was working at Standard Oil to eat my lunch, and I told Mom, I said, "When you fix my lunch, put a little bit of extra in my lunch because I think little Donald [Ryan] is pretty hungry." So she would, so I would go over there and he'd see me, --just a year or two years old and his eyes were as big as saucers--so he'd come over and I would reach in my lunch, and I'd give him a sandwich or whatever I had extra. He thought that was just okay. Mary's marriage wasn't too good. She had a hell of a life with the man.
LaVOY: Did they live in Fallon?
REBOL: They lived in Fallon for awhile and then they moved down to Lompoc, California. He worked in the place down there that makes sheet rock and so forth. I can't recall the name of it right offhand.
LaVOY: And they're both deceased now?
REBOL: They're both deceased. She passed away twelve days after my first sister passed away in 1994.
LaVOY: Getting back to this time that when you were doing all these different jobs and whatnot, were you dating anyone?
REBOL: No, not for awhile. I worked over in Hawthorne for Radisch and Brown and then McNeil Construction Company, too, on the warehouses over there. When Dad took sick we had quite a little expenses, so I took out a mortgage on the ranch, and I wanted to get that mortgage paid off, so I went over there and worked as a carpenter.
LaVOY: This was after you had graduated from high school?
REBOL: Yes. Manuel Mello and I went over and we worked there for almost a year, I guess, but I was getting a dollar and a half an hour which was big wages then, and I managed to get the debt paid off so we didn't have that hanging over our heads.
LaVOY: Your mother--this would bring us up into the early 1940s, and you were not ever drafted because of being the only son. Is that correct?
REBOL: I was drafted a couple of times.
LaVOY: You mean you were called up?
REBOL: I was called up, but I failed the physical examination.
LaVOY: For what reason?
REBOL: Fast heart.
REBOL: So they turned me down. I plowed up the place and was ready to plant it when I got notice that I had to go again. Well, by that time, the time I got back and everything so the ranch sat without me doing anything at all on it.
LaVOY: For one season.
REBOL: One season.
LaVOY: And where did you have to go? You said they called me up.
REBOL: I went to Salt Lake City.
LaVOY: Oh. Who else went with you from Fallon at that time?
REBOL: Ascargorta was one them, Bingo's cousin.
LaVOY: Did a whole bunch of you go together or just one or two at different times?
REBOL: Well, I think one or two at different times. Whatever they had drafted for the month. We had to get on the train at Hazen. Justin Brown was one of them. He later worked for the railroad.
LaVOY: You were called up. They tested you in Salt Lake and then you had to come back.
LaVOY: As a four F. Is that what they called you?
REBOL: Four F, yes. Then Mother, of course, never had anybody to take care of anything. I was supposed to go the third time and I passed the examination, but the following day they called the truce on the day of the draft so I didn't have to go. I was within a day of going.
LaVOY: Oh, I see. Of the boys that were lost from here, did you know . . . well, of course, you knew the Gibbs boy?
REBOL: Oh, yes.
LaVOY: And any others from here?
REBOL: Merlin Scholz, Jim Gibbs, Noel Pirtle. Great guy.
LaVOY: Did you know this Bruce Van Voorhis?
REBOL: Yes. His brother, one or the other. I don't remember which one it is now worked at the Kent's at the lumber yard, and I can still see him today as he was.
LaVOY: That brother was . .
REBOL: Wayne Van Voorhis and Bruce Van Voorhis.
LaVOY: Wayne was lost in the Bataan death march, was he not?
REBOL: I believe so. Ira Inman was another. He was in the Pearl Harbor. Weaver.
LaVOY: James Weaver? Was that his name?
REBOL: Doesn't seem like it was "James."
LaVOY: I recently read about that that he was on the USS Arizona.
REBOL: Yeah, he and Inman. I think they were cousins. Barney Macari. The only son they had. I worked with him over in Hawthorne on the construction over there. He was one of the casualties. Neat guy. There were a lot of boys that I knew. I think your brother [Donald Hennen] was one of them, too.
LaVOY: Yes. Even though he lived in Fallon, he was drafted from Elko and was killed. But, with the war times, now, here you have just gotten through the Depression where times were so very, very hard, and here wartime comes and everything was rationed.
LaVOY: How did you, with the ranch and everything, how did you handle that for your gasoline?
REBOL: It was tough. We had coupons, and I might mention a little incident that took place. First I was driving and I'd have different people that were working together. Clifford Carr and his dad. They are two that I remember anyway, and anyway we used to drive over there.
REBOL: Hawthorne and back every day. That's seventy-three miles one way. Anyway, I finally got a ride with Norman Thory who was married to Betty Woods, and he was a welder over in Hawthorne on those buildings. They'd put in the steel and then they'd weld before they poured the concrete. He was a welder, and he had a DeSoto sedan, and he had that thing souped up till I mean it would ramble. He'd do 115 miles an hour between here and Hawthorne. So, this one evening I was in the back, and tires were rationed. Had to have a permit for everything. Even the vulcanizing job, and I was sitting in the back seat on the right side, and we were coming down that little hill into Schurz, and he was doing ninety miles an hour, and he had one finger on the steering wheel, and he kept bragging about this car. What a great car it was, and all of a sudden I felt something under my rear end. Boom, and he'd blown a tire, and he just coasted it in toward Schurz, got out, and he only had one spare tire, that was a recap. Put the recap on, and we went on into Fallon without a spare tire doing ninety miles an hour, so I figured, "That's enough of that. I got to make other plans." So I don't how I went then whether I caught a ride with somebody else or what but it was an interesting time.
LaVOY: Yes, I imagine that it was. (laughing)
LaVOY: I know your family were involved with the Catholic Church here in Fallon.
LaVOY: Can you tell something about who your early priests were and who the early members of the Catholic Church were?
REBOL: The Hannifans. John Hannifan, Senior, and his wife, and, of course, their son, John, Junior, and Martin that is in that picture that I was showing you, and the two sisters. One of them was a nun, and the other girl married a fellow in Reno. Then there were the McDonalds. They lived right down off of Wildes [Road] over here across from where Louie Moiola lived on the hill there. I think it's part of the ranch right on the corner. I can't think of the name right off hand. It'll come to me. The Taggerts and the Pflums. Ben Pflum and his brother, Fred Pflum, who was a bachelor and Louis Covell and his wife, and you probably know Marguerite Tourriel. She's Louie's daughter. There were quite a few of the old timers. The Shanes. Mrs. Shane.
LaVOY: How about the Solaeguis?
REBOL: They were there later.
LaVOY: They were not of the original group.
REBOL: No. No. I think there's a picture. I gave it to Harold Rogers to blow up, and it was in the church there for a while. It showed the old timers there.
LaVOY: Where was the church?
REBOL: It was down on East A Street.
LaVOY: East A?
REBOL: Um-hum, and behind it they had a little diocesan Catholic building. It was a quonset hut, and we used to have our K of C [Knights of Columbus] in there.
LaVOY: When did you join the KCs?
REBOL: I believe it was around 1949.
LaVOY: And you've been active ever since?
REBOL: Oh, yeah. I joined the Eagles in 1943, and I've been in that ever since. I'm a past state president. Past president of both Fallon and Carson City aeries two times. I've seen a lot of improvement there. I've done a lot of work and so forth there. I've gotten in a lot of members that are now Eagles and still Eagles. Miles Robison. Miles Robison brought me into the Eagles in 1943. My dad belonged to the Eagles before that so I had an interest in the Eagles. I've been with them ever since.
LaVOY: Where was the Eagles lodge originally in Fallon?
REBOL: We originally met in the Fraternal Hall upstairs, and we had between two hundred and three hundred members, and then they moved out. They had a chance to pick up a barracks from the CCC camp, and they made a hall out of one of the buildings, and it sits behind the Sierra Welding.
LaVOY: By the Stockman's. [1560 West Williams Avenue]
REBOL: Back in back. Yes. And then they sold that and built out west on the Reno Highway.
LaVOY: Why did they go out that far?
REBOL: Well, Mrs. [Frances] Ogden owned that property, and she gave them a ninety-nine year lease on the land, so they went ahead. I was over in Carson City at the time, and I noticed that somebody had laid a floor out there, and I wondered what was going on. This was around 1979, I guess, so later I found out that the Eagles were going to build a building out there, so later they put that original metal building up, and then I moved back down here, and they were meeting at the Senior Citizens' Center. When I went into the meetings there were five people there at the meetings and the sixth one that they brought in was Merritt Yeoman, and he was in the rest home, so they'd pick him up out of the rest home so they'd have a round table discussion. So the first year that I was here, I got busy and I got, I think, twelve new members for the Eagles that first year. In the Eagles hall there's a banner up there with the, it's red, and that shows, I think it was 1980, 1981, that we went over the top, and that's when we got started. Then we had a convention that came up in 1981, and I was the president the first time there, and, of course, the women were meeting in the little barroom about as big as this room here. So, I said, "Where are we going to meet? Where are the women going to meet?" And they all decided they'd have to meet in this barroom and they'd have to go out to the bars, Chaparral Bar and the bar to the west there for part of their meetings and that, so I said, "It would be nice if we had our own hall here where we could all meet together. That's the way you have convention." So we discussed and, of course, they didn't have any money, so I lent them some money to get started, and then Miles Robison came in with the relief money, too, and we got started on it. Well, it was six weeks to go before convention, and we were still laying the blocks up for the walls, so it was springtime. The contractor put up six rows of blocks, and the wind came up, so he shut it down because he was afraid the wind might blow them over, so he stopped laying blocks. So the next day he started. He put up two more layers of bricks and blocks, and the wind came up, and again he stops, and I thought, "Lord, are we ever going to get through with this thing?" So finally the weather turned good, and we got finished with the block and we had our trusses and everything ready. There were about eight of us that volunteered to come in there and help. It was all volunteer help. We put up the trusses and we put the sheeting on the roof but there was not covering on the roof, so we decided, well, we'd give the women our main room, and we'd take the new addition, so George McLean who had a roofing business here came in with a helper, and they put black paper on the roof. It looked like rain, so if it rained we wouldn't get wet, so he saved the day for us there. That was all on the cuff to George. I remember Elmer and I cut the big door in the back so we could open up into both rooms. We finished that at 3:30, I think, and the early bird registration started at 5 o'clock.
LaVOY: That was cutting it very short.
REBOL: That was cutting it short. I remember going home, and I laid down on the bed, and I collapsed. I was tuckered.
LaVOY: I imagine that you were. You've certainly had a long history with Eagles, and, as you mentioned, you were state president. Tell me, with the Knights of Columbus what offices you held with that?
REBOL: I was president of Carson City Eagles #1006 for two terms and the Fallon Eagles #1447 for two terms. I was a Faithful Navigator of the fourth degree, and I was a Grand Knight of Carson City Council over there, 4781, and then I've held state treasurer's job, and I held the state marshall's job. That was about as much as I could handle.
LaVOY: Have you ever headed the council here?
REBOL: No, not here. No, I haven't. I was one of the original ones. Harold Rogers, Tom Pflum, Al Glaubitz, and I came in the original group here, and we belonged as a Reno Knights of Columbus #978. Firmin Bruner was the one that started us here. Bless his heart. A true Knight.
LaVOY: Who were your first priests that you had here that you recall?
REBOL: I remember Father Duckam, Father O'Connell, Father Horgan, Monsignor George Smith, Father [Lawrence] Ouilici.
LaVOY: Now [Francis] Mikula was here.
REBOL: Mikula, yes, he was here. Of course, Father [Domonique] Tambourin.
LaVOY: Now that's coming in later years, but it's going way, way back. With the families, was there much church activity? Did you have church functions every year?
REBOL: No, not so much. They had the Portugese celebration, of course, every year. They didn't go in in those days, as I recall, too much into the bit. They had a nice choir composed of Bingo Ascargorta and his sisters, Josephine Ascargorta Pagni and Georgina [Ascargorta] Moiola. They were good. Bingo could really sing.
LaVOY: And you were a small congregation until probably 1950 or 60.
REBOL: Mike Hart over in Hazen was totally blind. [end of tape 2] Mike Hart was one of the parishioners here, and his wife would always bring Mike up to the front of the church. They usually sat up on the left side of about the second pew, and as he'd go up he would be talking and Mrs. Hart would say, "Here's Judge Kenny and here's Mrs. Rebol and here's Mrs. Shane." He would talk out loud, "Well, God bless 'em. God bless 'em," and different ones, you know. And once this man came outside the church after Mass, if he heard your voice once, he would always remember who you were. He had a brilliant mind for remembering.
LaVOY: Now, this was Agnes Sever's father.
REBOL: This was Agnes Sever's father. He was stone blind. I think he lived to be ninety-five. He had a ranch across the road from the Hazen store, and Tony Sever who was a Bohunk. He was a Yugoslavian and his mother. They were here, too. He was the railway station agent, and Mike would go across that highway to go over to the ranch, and he showed me his legs one time where he had run into stuff. His shins were just scarred where he used to bump them all the time.
LaVOY: How did he cross the road? He had to have somebody with him to tell him the cars were coming.
REBOL: Nope, nope. He had good hearing, and he just… God was beside him, I guess.
LaVOY: When did the old Catholic Church--when did they build the new one? Approximately?
REBOL: I was, I think, over in Carson at the time when they were working on that. Around in the fifties, I would say.
LaVOY: But, basically, you were not here when they did that?
REBOL: I wasn't here when they did that.
LaVOY: You were saying that during the War you had worked in Hawthorne, and you were still ranching for your mother.
LaVOY: Then what did you do after that?
REBOL: Then I went to work. Mother developed sugar diabetes, and we had to amputate her right leg above the knee. It was probably one of the hardest things that I ever did in my life to say to remove the limb because it was either that or her life. I tried to keep her here and handle her for a bit, but it was just more than I could handle, so I asked my sister if she would take Mother and take care of her because it was impossible for me.
LaVOY: How old was your mother then?
REBOL: I would say she was about sixty some, sixty, sixty-five, in through there somewhere.
LaVOY: Was the surgery done here in Fallon?
REBOL: No, it was done in Reno, I believe.
LaVOY: And here she had nursed you through all the illnesses of childhood and whatnot, and I believe, did you have scarlet fever, too, as a little kid?
REBOL: Yes, I had scarlet fever when I was, I think, about seven years old, and in those days nobody could come and visit or anything because you were quarantined. The health officer came out and put a quarantine on the door so Dad arranged for Ascargorta across the road-that's Firmin Bruner's parents--to take my brother, Frank, who was driving the bus, and they kept him for the time that I was under the quarantine. Anne and Mary went over on Harrigan Road to some people by the name of Johnson. Julia and Geneveive Johnson were the daughters. Bill Johnson was his name. He worked for the highway department, and their neighbors, Jim Melton, I believe it was, and so that way we got by.
LaVOY: And you recovered from the scarlet fever?
REBOL: I got over the scarlet fever.
LaVOY: Getting on back to your mother when you could no longer take care of her, where did your sister take her?
REBOL: She was back in Wichita [Kansas], so she took her back to Wichita.
LaVOY: And that left you completely alone?
REBOL: I was batching, yes. I batched for about five years.
LaVOY: Were you working in Hawthorne all this time?
REBOL: No. It was after that. I think I'd finished Hawthorne, and I was on the place running the ranch.
LaVOY: When did you go to Carson to work?
REBOL: I went to Carson in about 1955, I think it was.
LaVOY: That was right after when you were ranching and then you felt that you had to earn more money, is that correct?
REBOL: Yeah, I had a chance to get a job with the drivers license division, so I went over and applied for the job, took the test, and got the job. I commuted for a year, I guess. Almost a year back and forth and that was just too much, so finally I figured well, I'd better, time to get married. I was getting to be an old man anyway.
LaVOY: You hadn't had any girlfriends in between here.
REBOL: No, no. I had met Anna in I think it was around 19… when I was working at the Standard Oil anyway. Paul Osgood and his wife introduced me to Anna on a blind date.
LaVOY: Where was Anna from?
REBOL: She was working in Carson City, but she was from Winnemucca originally. We dated for a lon-n-g time.
LaVOY: Well, not from that time. Not from the time when you first met her on a blind date?
REBOL: Yes, ma'am.
LaVOY: And then you moved to Carson? What was Anna doing in Carson?
REBOL: She was the secretary for the Public Service Commission, and then she was the secretary for Governor Pittman, I believe it was, and then she went to the Supreme Court as a court reporter. Yeah, Public Service Commission. She started there with them.
LaVOY: Was that any reason why you took this job in Carson was because Anna was over there?
REBOL: Well, I think maybe it had a little something to do with it. Yes, it helped, and then we finally decided to get married. Anna, of course, was taking care of her mother so she couldn't get free, and I was taking care of my mother and I couldn't get free. It's been quite a life.
LaVOY: Give me Anna's full name.
REBOL: Anna Legarza.
LaVOY: She was born in Paradise Valley, wasn't she?
REBOL: No, it was on the ranch, out west of Paradise.
LaVOY: And she had, as I say, come down to Carson City and had gotten her job there.
LaVOY: When were you married?
REBOL: We were married in 1956 on November 2, the day before election day.
LaVOY: You had dated all this time, so when you decided to get married, where were you married?
REBOL: We were married in St. Teresa's [of Avila Catholic Church] in Carson City.
LaVOY: Did you have a big wedding?
REBOL: It was a kind of a hushed-up wedding. Not anything elaborate. Just relatives and close friends.
LaVOY: Where did you have your reception afterwards?
REBOL: We didn't. We had to catch a plane. We took a trip to San Francisco. Flew into San Francisco so we didn't have any elaborate reception or anything.
LaVOY: And how long did you stay in San Francisco?
REBOL: I think it was ten days or two weeks. Something like that.
LaVOY: Oh, that's great. Did Anna wear a white wedding gown?
REBOL: Yes, she did.
LaVOY: Well, how very nice. And who were her attendants?
REBOL: Mrs. George Meyers and her brother Jack Quinlan was my best man. They lived right across the corner from us in Carson City.
LaVOY: Then when you returned from your honeymoon, where did you live?
REBOL: We lived in a little house on Nevada Street, I believe it was.
LaVOY: Did Anna's mother live with you?
REBOL: No. I think she moved back to Winnemucca, and then in later years she came and lived with us for several years until she passed away.
LaVOY: And during this time you were working in Carson?
REBOL: I was working in Carson City, yes.
LaVOY: What was your job?
REBOL: Driver's license examiner.
LaVOY: You did that for how many years?
REBOL: Twenty-four and a half years.
LaVOY: And all those twenty-four and a half years you came back and forth to Fallon to irrigate and things like that?
REBOL: I had Nick Holt do a lot of the work for me until Nick wasn't able to do it any longer, and then, of course, I had to. So there were probably five or six times in the one year that I would get through work at five o'clock, go home and change clothes, get a bite to eat, and run over to Fallon to irrigate the place. I had Nick set all the boxes so it would take me an hour to get down to Fallon, and by the time water would get there, I would have one check irrigated probably. would irrigate the whole night through without any sleep and get through like six o'clock in the morning. Turn the water to someone else or shut it off and get back to Carson City and take a shower and eat and go to work without any sleep.
LaVOY: Had you rented your house at that time?
REBOL: At the ranch, yes. I rented the house.
LaVOY: Did the different people take good care of it?
REBOL: Yes, I had some good renters. They took care of things. I was quite happy. There was one that I wasn't too well pleased with, but on the whole it was good.
LaVOY: Then when did you decide to return to Fallon?
REBOL: In 1979 the office force, some of them were not of the best kind of people. I shouldn't say that, but it's the truth. People that never even took an examination to get a job, they were worming their way ahead. I was never given a promotion although the State never ever lost any money on me. I did my job, and I did it painstakingly, so it looked like a kind of pressure move. I had to go see the doctor, and he said, "Now, John, it'll be two things. You can keep your job and have a heart attack or you can get out. I would advise you to leave it because there's just too much pressure there." So I talked it over, and I decided that I'd leave.
LaVOY: Did Anna quit her job at that time?
REBOL: She was already retired. She'd been retired for three or four years. She'd spent thirty years with the State and she wanted to spend her last days with her mother, so her mother was there with us at that time. It made things turn around a little.
LaVOY: Did her mother pass away then before you moved back to Fallon?
LaVOY: And that sort of prompted your making it easier for you to come back?
REBOL: Yes. I didn't think that Anna would like to live on the ranch, so I didn't specially want to move back, and I was kind of turning ideas over and so forth, but she said she'd be glad to live there, and it wouldn't make her any difference. As it turned out it's a been a good life.
LaVOY: Well, you have a lovely ranch, and you've done real, real well there with your fields and your cattle and whatnot. Now, sort of, in coming to a conclusion here, from the time that you first started running the ranch all by yourself to the present time, what changes have you seen in the farming community in Fallon?
REBOL: Oh, I see a big change. It isn't like the days when it was, even though prices were down and everything, it was an enjoyable place to live. Now with the water situation the way it is and everything going for the Indians it just makes you want to vomit. They're taking our water away, they pay you nothing for it, you have to break your back trying to make a living. Prices are down as they are right now. It's a real headache. I've seen times when it was enjoyable. We used to go help neighbors do things and they'd come and help you. No money was changed. There was very little, if any, and everybody was getting along, and now it's dog eat dog, and money is foremost.
LaVOY: You have quite a herd of cattle at the moment. With cattle prices as low as they are, will you continue raising them, or what are you going to do?
REBOL: I'm debating. I'm getting to the age now where I should retire. I'll be seventy-eight in May, and I guess it's time that I took it a little easier.
LaVOY: By taking it a little easier, would you continue living on the ranch, or do you have other plans?
REBOL: We haven't given it much thought as far as that is concerned yet. I kind of like the country.
LaVOY: I agree with you a hundred per cent on that. Well, John, we are getting very close to the end of our interview, but your mentioning how difficult it is with ranching and what now, something I neglected to ask you, I understand that there were several Japanese truck farmers here. Did you know the families?
REBOL: Oh, yes. Knew them well. Knew them well.
LaVOY: Who were they?
REBOL: There was the Ito and the Kito families. Lived up on St. Clair Road. The Sasakis lived over behind Venturaccis just past the canal, and then out east where Louie Guazzini now lives was the Kaji family.
REBOL: Yes. I played basketball with Tomami Ito. He was a real nice Japanese boy. Good athlete. He and I played guard to the last year that I played, and he was just a whale of a basketball player. Two families lived in one little house that Johnny Gomes owns now. [Corner Allen Road and St. Clair Road] It's a yellow house and the two families lived in that one house.
LaVOY: Itos and the Kitos.
REBOL: Itos and the Kitos and they all got along. They had, I guess, around eight girls, and I think there were two boys between the two families. One was Ito and one was Kito, and they were just a hundred per cent people.
LaVOY: What did they raise, and where did they sell?
REBOL: They sold right there at the ranch. They had an underground dirt cellar. There was electricity in there, and it was nice and cool in there, and then they had another cellar up by the pump house that they kept stuff in, and, gee, for fifty cents you could fill the whole back of your car with different kinds of vegetables. Then Mrs. Ito or Mrs. Kito, either one, would say, "Here's a watermelon. Givee. Givee." She was giving us the watermelon for being there. Real, real fine people.
LaVOY: Did the Sasakis also raise garden vegetables?
REBOL: Yes, yes, they did.
LaVOY: Now, with the Kajikamis, it was my understanding that when the War broke out that Jimmy, I guess his name was, went back to Japan and fought on the side of Japan.
REBOL: Oh, I didn't realize that.
LaVOY: I had just heard this, but the others had to go to the concentration camps, didn't they?
REBOL: Yes. Tomami Ito was in the service for the United States. I remember they took their guns away from them and everything--this is where Johnny Gomes' place is now, and one night vandals came in and they stole four hundred watermelons from them. They couldn't protect themselves or anything. They didn't deserve that kind of treatment. They were real, one hundred per cent Americans. Good citizens. Junior Kito in later years moved to LA [Los Angeles], and he was crossing the street one day and got hit by a car and was killed. He was an all-state football player for Fallon that year.
LaVOY: That's a shame.
REBOL: Yeah. He was a nice boy. Good football player.
LaVOY: I wanted to get this in because I've understood that they were such nice families, and, of course, were in the farming as you were in the farming. Is there anything else that you can think that we can mention before we bring this to a close?
REBOL: Yes, I might add too, that Tomami Ito is in the import-export business in San Francisco.
REBOL: Now. Unless he's retired. I haven't heard. When I was just a young boy in grammar school, yet, Nick Holt used to raise strawberries on his place which was just north of us about half a mile, and he had quite a strawberry patch there, and he was selling these strawberries to Kent's and so he asked if we would pick the strawberries for him. So, Mary, Annie, and I went over and picked the strawberries, and every other day we'd go over and pick the strawberries. We picked all morning long. It seemed like it took us a half a day to pick the patch, and then we'd go across the canal and go over to Bill Blake who lived on the other side of the canal and up just a quarter mile or so, and he had a little patch of strawberries. We'd help them. We'd never eat a strawberry while we were picking.
LaVOY: Well, that's admirable.
REBOL: Dad told us, "When you're working there, you're working for them. You don't eat any strawberries," so we never ever ate a strawberry.
LaVOY: So your halo has been polished. (laughing)
REBOL: We got three cents a basket for picking those strawberries
LaVOY: My goodness. How times have changed! Well, John, this has been a very, very interesting interview, and on behalf of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project, I certainly want to thank you.
REBOL: Thank you very much for having me. [End of tape 3]
LaVOY: This is Marian Hennen Lavoy of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project doing an addenda on John Rebel. This was done at the request of John Rebol and with the permission of Myrl Nygren. The date is July 22, 1996, and the recording is being done at my home 4325 Schurz Highway, Fallon. Good afternoon, John.
REBOL: Good afternoon, Marian.
LaVOY: Very happy to have you here, and I understand that you wanted to give us some more information on Bingo Ascargorta so I will just let you go right ahead and do what you would like to do.
REBOL: [doorbell rings, tape cuts] Bingo lived across the road from me at the Ascargorta ranch, and he had a terrific singing voice. He was a good singer. In fact almost the whole family was good singers. Georgina had a beautiful voice and Josephine also, and they formed the choir in the church. Bingo and Claude Mills were hauling hay in to the Kent alfalfa meal mill, and they would load two wagons apiece and haul that in with four horses on each of the two wagons. They would probably load up in the afternoon, and then the next morning they would take it in to Kent's, and unload it. Then when they were heading home, it would probably be after dark or around dark, and I can remember Bingo way down the road, probably down by Lattins and you could hear him singing Home, Home on the Range, and it's something that I've never forgotten. He always had a song that he was singing as he was rolling along on his way home.
LaVOY: Did he sing at other functions other than at St. Patrick's?
REBOL: If he was asked, he would also sing wherever they would ask him to sing.
LaVOY: Did Claude Mills sing, too?
REBOL: Not that I remember.
LaVOY: But, they were just partners on the hay hauling.
REBOL: Yes, they would work together. One behind the other.
LaVOY: Do you recall anything of interest with their hauling hay? Any episode that was of particular interest to you?
REBOL: No, I don't recall other than just what I mentioned, but that I do recall.
LaVOY: I believe in your interview that you mentioned how the haying was done, did you not?
LaVOY: And this was just picking up the hay after it had been stacked or when it was in the field?
REBOL: No, it was in the haystack, then they would unload it from the haystack onto the wagons and haul it in that way.
LaVOY: And what did they do with it at the Kent's store?
REBOL: They made it into alfalfa meal.
LaVOY: What was that used for?
REBOL: For ground-up feed.
REBOL: For cattle, poultry, or whatever.
LaVOY: Then did they sell it in fifty-pound bags and like that?
REBOL: I don't rightly know. They shipped it out, it seems to me like, on railroad cars.
LaVOY: Where did they take it to be shipped?
REBOL: The spur was right in back of Kent's meal mill.
LaVOY: Who worked in Kent's meal mill that you recall?
REBOL: [Pause] Ed Wadsworth was one of the fellows that I recall. There were probably several others, but I don't recall now just who they were. It's just been too long.
LaVOY: Tell me where that meal mill was located.
REBOL: It was in back off of Broadway Street in the northeast part of town. In back of where Mr. Madras() lived, and it was known with a spot there called The Jungles. The hobos would come in on the trains, and then they would sleep in The Jungles there and the farmers would come around and employ them to help on the ranches.
LaVOY: Well, they were like regular hay crews that came in.
REBOL: Yes. Yes.
LaVOY: And did they stay on the ranches while they were working, or did they come back and sleep there in The Jungle as you call it at night.
REBOL: No, they'd usually come out and stay right there at the place. They did on our place I know.
LaVOY: About how much were they paid a day, or do you recall?
REBOL: I think it was like a dollar and a half a day.
LaVOY: And that was working what hours?
REBOL: About an eight-hour shift.
LaVOY: Were they fed?
REBOL: They were fed, yes.
LaVOY: How many meals?
REBOL: Three meals a day.
LaVOY: And your mother, of course, cooked them.
REBOL: Yes, Mother cooked the meals.
LaVOY: Did they come into the house to eat?
REBOL: Oh, yes. Yes. We treated them just like family.
LaVOY: Well, now, with this meal mill, how long was that in existence?
REBOL: That was in existence for quite a few years, and eventually they discontinued grinding the alfalfa. It seems like they had a fire or two in there, too, and that never helped any.
LaVOY: Has the building been completely taken down now?
REBOL: I believe it has been.
LaVOY: Was that owned by Ira Kent?
REBOL: Yes. Ira H. Kent. Tommy's father.
LaVOY: And then when he passed away, his children did not keep the meal mill going, or had it stopped before that?
REBOL: I think it had stopped before that, but I wouldn't be positive about it. I know that Tommy took over the lumber yard and the hardware part of the store.
LaVOY: This Claude Mills. Did you have anything extra that you wanted to mention about him?
REBOL: He was always the stacker on our place. We always paid the stacker a little extra money because it was pitching the hay and putting it in place so to make it a nice looking bent of hay. He was real good. I remember that instead of coming down with a Jackson fork or anything, sometime there'd be some hay down in there, and he'd just leap off and into that hay. It was kind of ticklish, but he always liked to take chances.
LaVOY: Well, I guess that was entertainment in those days.
REBOL: That's right.
LaVOY: Do you have anything else that you wanted to mention about Ascargorta and Mills?
REBOL: Ascargortas were real good neighbors. We always went over to help them with the hay. They came back and helped us with the hay, as did other neighbors. The cost of the haying was very, very minimal. It was just a matter of cooperation and, yet, everyone helping each other.
LaVOY: Now, Ascargorta is a Basque name?
LaVOY: Were they Spanish Basque or French Basque?
REBOL: Spanish Basque.
LaVOY: And the elders had come right from the Pyrenees?
LaVOY: Do you have any idea where they came before they came to Fallon?
REBOL: They were out in the Austin country. I think the dad worked in the mines out there.
LaVOY: Out by Berlin and that area?
REBOL: Yes, and Firmin Bruner was the oldest boy. As you all know, Firmin is quite a historian on that part of the country.
LaVOY: Suppose, just for our information, you tell us why Firmin changed his name.
REBOL: He was working out in that neck of the woods.
LaVOY: That's Ione or Berlin, one or the other?
REBOL: Berlin, yes, and this fellow, Bruner, took a liking to Firmin, and he adopted him.
LaVOY: Why did Firmin's family let him be adopted?
REBOL: I wouldn't know, but he's gone by that name ever since.
LaVOY: About how old was he when he was adopted?
REBOL: I would probably say sixteen or eighteen, in through there somewhere.
LaVOY: And Mr. Bruner obviously had no children of his own.
REBOL: I don't think that he did.
LaVOY: That's very interesting. And, so, Firmin has gone on to become the most prominent, actually, of the Ascargortas.
LaVOY: And his grandchildren, their names are what? Just the family name is all we really need.
REBOL: Bruner and Achurra. Solaegui and Johnson. The children.
LaVOY: Are they continuing in family ranching or have they gone into business?
REBOL: Most of them have gone into business. Johnny Achurra still has a ranch out here. He's married to Norma [Bruner]. Solaegui is retired now and living in Sparks.
LaVOY: What did he do for a living?
REBOL: He sold equipment for Cashman Equipment Company. I think he has a kind of an engineering business in Sparks now.
LaVOY: And then Johnson?
REBOL: Johnson was a meteorologist.
LaVOY: And the daughter met him from the base, is that it?
REBOL: Yes, he was in the service, and then when he got out of the service, they moved to Colorado. I think it's Colorado Springs where they are. She was the youngest daughter.
LaVOY: Well, then the Ascargorta family has certainly spread all over the west, hasn't it?
REBOL: It sure has.
LaVOY: All right, now, you also mentioned that you would like to reminisce just a bit about George McCracken. Would you care to go on with that?
REBOL: George McCracken was the principal of the high school, and he was real strict. He ruled with an iron fist so to speak. He was a good educator, and everything was business. There was no foolishness with the girls in the high school. If you might have got caught laying a hand on a girl or something and he caught you, it would be a demerit in the office at the high school. Four demerits, your went out on your ear, so as the time goes on, you appreciate what George E. McCracken was. I used to think that he was real rough and tough, but in later life you realized what kind of a man he was. There wasn't any of this foolishness that goes on nowadays. Everything was on the up and up, and everybody was happy.
LaVOY: Did you ever get on the broom squad?
REBOL: No, I don't think that I ever did not that I recall. I was a pretty good kid, really. (laughing)
LaVOY: (laughing) Did you have anything else you wanted to say about Mr. McCracken?
REBOL: I remember one time, as a little example, we had a session where he called an assembly. I figured that I didn't want to attend that assembly, and I'd had to walk over to the Oats Park to get my bus to drive it on the route, so I figured I would just slip downstairs in the lower locker room and hide out until everything was quieted down, and I would make my getaway. So I went down and everything was quiet and I figured, "Now's the chance," so out the back door I went. I headed up the south side of the building, and I headed out across Maine Street and all of a sudden, I heard a voice, "Mr. Rebol, where are you going?" Well, I turned around and I was caught, so I told him that I wasn't feeling too good and I thought I'd get over to the bus and rest a little bit, but he had me come back and take in the assembly. That was just one of the ways that was George McCracken.
LaVOY: Do you remember what the assembly was about?
REBOL: I don't remember.
LaVOY: But you did your resting in the assembly.
REBOL: (laughing) I sure did.
REBOL: On basketball games he would call an assembly. In those days they didn't have buses for transportation, so he would call an assembly, and he would ask different people if they could drive a car and take players along. They would usually have two or three people, at least three cars, to take the students or the players over to the different towns. That's the way we got to the different games.
LaVOY: Interesting that nobody was worrying about liability insurance and whatnot in those days.
REBOL: Not in those days, no. You never thought anything of it.
LaVOY: And everything went along real, real well.
REBOL: Real well.
LaVOY: Very few people got hurt.
REBOL: Nobody got hurt.
LaVOY: Somebody that I just happened to think about. I wondered if by any chance you knew the Drumm boy that was killed.
REBOL: [Andrew] Dellard Drumm [III]. I sure did.
LaVOY: And he was coming from a basketball game or something?
REBOL: I think they'd gone over to Reno to a ball game. [July 4, 1948] It seemed like it was a ball game. But, anyway, there was Dellard… [long pause] Dellard and Eddie Barrenchea and [Cecil] Davis – I don’t recall his first name now. I don't recall his first name now, and it seemed like somebody else was in the car. There was only one survivor in the car of four. The three boys were killed. [William Estes, of Reno, was the fourth one killed.]
LaVOY: That must have really been a tragedy for the town of Fallon.
REBOL: It sure was.
LaVOY: Do you recall anything about the funeral?
REBOL: Not in this point in time, but I remember it was a real, real sad occasion.
LaVOY: Now, was he killed before or after his sister, Laverne [Drumm], was killed?
REBOL: Before. His sister, Laverne, was killed a few years later. Well, it was a few years after she'd graduated, and she flew a plane. She had her own plane, and she used to fly, too, and, of course, Andy [Drumm] flew. She dropped into this airport, and when she took off she hit the top of some trees, and that caused the plane to crash and she was killed. She was a nice girl.
LaVOY: Her family had a lot of tragedies.
REBOL: Yes, they did.
LaVOY: Well, okay, John, is there anything else that you have forgotten that you wanted to put on this tape?
REBOL: I don't think that I do right at this time. probably think of a lot of things later.
LaVOY: Well, then, on behalf of the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project I want to thank you for this addition to your oral history.
REBOL: Thank you very much. I hope that it will be of a little bit of good to the community.