Transcript of interview with Ida Bowser by Claytee D. White, August 30, 2007


Digital ID
Transcript of interview with Ida Bowser by Claytee D. White, August 30, 2007
Material Set
White, Claytee D.
Interview with Ida Bowser conducted by Claytee D. White on August 30, 2007. Born in Tallulah, Louisiana, Bowser came to Las Vegas as a child. Her first job after high school was as a teacher's aide. Later, she worked as a maid at the Sahara and Flamingo hotels. Disenchanted with maid's work, Bowser applied to the welfare office for on-the-job training and began working for the UNLV library, where she remained for thirty-seven years. Bowser recalls Ruby Duncan and the civil rights movement, notable individuals and places, and a discrimination lawsuit.
Ms. Ida Bowser was born in Tallulah, Louisiana, and in 1955 at the age of ten, she was brought to Las Vegas to join her mother and other family members. The family originally lived on Washington and H Streets, and later moved to Madison Avenue. Ida and her brothers and sisters attended Madison Elementary School right down the block. Ida attended high school in the ninth and tenth grades at Las Vegas High School, then transferred to Western High and graduated from there. Her first job after high school was as a teacher's aide at Variety School, which was located near Eastern on Sunrise. She returned to Louisiana until after the birth of her daughter in 1967, and came back to Vegas to work as a maid at the Sahara and Flamingo hotels. Around this time, Ruby Duncan and other women were pushing for civil rights in Las Vegas as this movement swept the country, and the federal government stepped up with on-the-job training programs. Ida was disenchanted with maid's work, and applied to the welfare office for the training. Even though she was told that the program had ended, she persisted and was eventually sent to the UNLV library for training. She started in circulation and stayed with the library for thirty-seven years. Ida can recall many individuals and places from her decades in Las Vegas and at UNLV. She talks of places like The Cove, Town Tavern, and the Louisiana Club on the Westside, and people like Bob Bailey, Sarah Hughes, and Al Bramlet. Her many memories of colleagues, friends, professors, and other notables at UNLV include Alice Brown at the library, early presidents Baepler, Zorn, and Moyer, Jerry Tarkanian and the Runnin' Rebels, and Professor Roosevelt Fitzgerald. Today Ida is retired, enjoying her large extended family, sewing, attending church and family reunions, shopping and making plans for the future. She is recovering from an accident, which gives her a chance to sort through her memorabilia and reflect on her long association with UNLV.
Identified Individuals
Identified Corporate Bodies
Neighborhood City / Town
LD3745 .B68 2007
Original Collection
Original Date (interview)
Subject (FAST)
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This material may be protected by copyright. Personal, including educational and academic, use of this material is without restriction; but acknowledgement of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries is requested whether the use is oral, web or in print. Commercial use of any portion of this material requires permission. For further information please contact Digital Collections: This document is an oral history. It is a spoken account of certain events and phenomena recorded at one particular moment and filtered through one individual's life experience, sensibility, and memory. As such, it should be considered a primary source rather than a final, verified, or complete narrative of the events it records.
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University of Nevada Las Vegas
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2236 x 3123 pixels; 7.5 x 10.4 inches; 21,258,252 bytes; 30 images
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Master File Quality
24 bit color; 300 ppi

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