HOWARD HUGHES, A QUARTER, A STORY, AND A PICTURE!



Itís taken me a long time to decide whether to publish this information, however, after sitting back and watching the results of my silence, I have decided to tell what I have known for many years. My story will produce a picture that was taken of Howard Hughes at age 65. The description of the picture is not a guess. It was taken by a man standing close to the entrance of the Mint Hotel in early March of 1971, and it is to him that this story will make the most sense.

In 1986, I decided to send letters telling my story to the Las Vegas Sun, and then to 20/20. Then after waiting for years for something to be said about what I had written, I began e-mailing The Nevada State Attorney Generals Office, Geraldo, Rosie, Oprah, and Jeffrey Wells at Showbiz Confidential, who is the only one that seemed remotely interested at the time in what I had to say. Then, my latest contact and rejection which came from the Las Vegas Review Journal. However, I want to thank A. D. Hopkins at the Journal for his time on this matter. So, because the media has chosen to burke what I've written, I think it is time that I publish my story, so that everyone might know what took place in front of a Las Vegas Hotel in early March of 1971; Something that happened to me and something that will produce a picture taken of Mr. Hughes at age 65, even though it is contrary to what has been written about Howard Hughes, and about his never returning to Las Vegas.

First, a little bit about how I got to be in Las Vegas. I was born in New York city on 9/11/49, was raised in Sacramento, CA, Clovis, NM, Peru, Indiana, Alexandria, LA , Bitburg, Germany, and Las Vegas, NV. Then at the age of 18, I joined the Marines. I was a member of the first, all Nevada State Marine Platoon, #2067, June 18, 1968. I spent time in Vietnam from March 3, 1969 thru May 1970, with Alpha Company, 3rd Amtracs, First Marine Division, Stationed at Marble Mountain, and spent time on A47 in An Hoa, and A06 at hill 37. As you may have guessed by now, I was a military brat. My father served for 27 years in the Air Force, before retiring as a Line Chief at Nellis AFB, located outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. As for me, 2 years, 3 months, and 11 days in the Marines, including the one plus tours of duty in Vietnam, was enough for me. It was time for me to get out of the Military and go back home to Las Vegas.

On December 2, 1970, I returned home to Las Vegas. I quickly found a job working the graveyard shift at the Four Queens Hotel as a bar boy. While working there, I had the pleasure of working with the first cocktail waiter in the history of Las Vegas. The first night he worked there, a reporter from the Las Vegas Sun covered the event. Much to my surprise, I was even quoted the next day in the paper, as a sympathetic bar boy, saying that 'Dale, the male cocktail waiter, had a lot of guts.' But thatís not my story.

It begins one morning at a motel where I was living, located one block north of Fremont street, on Main Street. My friend, Ron Spillman and another friend named Rick,(who worked for a time at the Grofts Arctic Circle commissary and then at the Four Queens Hotel as a dealer. His father worked at the Mint Hotel as a Poker dealer), stopped over to see if I wanted to go out and have some fun at the casinos with them. I told Ron, who had just returned from the Navy on leave, that I didnít have much money and couldnít afford to go with them. He told me that he would loan me some money and that I could pay him back whenever. He also told me that he didnít know when he would have a chance to see me again before he left, and that he was going to see another friend, Steve Adamson that evening, so I needed to make a decision right then. I decided to go with them, so we got into the car they were driving, {a Blue, 1957 Chevy, 2 door Sedan} and headed to Fremont Street.

We parked in the alley located on the side of The Golden Nugget Hotel, closest to the Pioneer Club, however, we did not pull into the parking lot because we wanted to save money. We walked to the street that ran between the Golden Nugget and the Pioneer Club, then made a right and headed to Fremont. The cross-walk light was red, so I waited, but Rick and Ron wanted to get started, so they went ahead and crossed against the light. While I stood there at the corner, I noticed an old man sitting on the window ledge near the entrance of the Mint. As Rick and Ron approached the curb, the old man pushed himself up and began walking towards them. The light changed and I began walking across the street. Ron pulled out his wallet and was handing the old man a dollar as I reached the curb, and I remember asking myself at that time, "Do I walk around this old man and ignore him, or do I give him what I have in my pocket?" Before I could answer my own question, the old man had taken the money from Ron and had turned towards me, walking straight to me, with his arms stretched out away from his sides, so I stopped and he held out his hand straight towards me for money. I was so embarrassed that all I could do was look down towards the sidewalk, then I reached into my pocket and pulled out the only change that I had and told him, ď Iím sorry Sir, but this is all that I have.Ē He took the coin, a quarter, that I gave him with his left hand using his second and third fingers and thumb, his finger nails were all manicured, and the length of his nails were from 1/4 - 3/8 of an inch long, his palm was up. After he pinched the coin, he rotated his hand 180 degrees, so I could see the back of his hand. There was a large scar on the back of his hand along with some burn spots. The burn spot that I remember the most, was the one that was in between his second and third finger where they met at the back of his hand.

While I was still looking down, the old man asked me my name. I was still staring at his shoes and the cuffs of his trousers. Looking up to answer his question, I took a good look at what he was wearing, which included, his long black wool over coat, his shined shoes, his pleated trousers, a silver and black vest with paisley prints on it, and a fine knit turtle neck shirt. His hair was white and was almost down to his shoulders, his skin was a pale milky white color, he had age spots on his face and he had dark brown eyes. The whites of his eyes were a light yellowish brown, and he had a few small brown spots in them. He topped his 6+ foot body off, with a black derby that had a satin band.

When I told him my name, he just stared down at me with furrowed brows. Then we just stood there looking at each other for what seemed to me to be minutes, but in reality was only 10-15 seconds. Then the old man turned to his left and went towards a group of people that were heading towards us, after just passing the Horseshoe. Again he stopped them and made gestures for some money. A man reached for his wallet and gave him a dollar, which the old man popped out of his hand and put into his overcoat pocket. Next, as a lady was going through her purse for money, someone yelled, ďThere he is!Ē

Next, a black Cadillac, a Fleetwood, pulled over to the curb on Fremont. Then a rather large man dressed in a suit and wearing glasses got out of the rear passenger side and stepped in front of me, stretching his arm out, so that I could not go any closer toward the old man. While this was happening, the old man got a dollar from the lady and put it into his pocket. Then the man that was in front of me looked over to the old man and said, ďCome on, get into the car.Ē The old man then lowered his head a bit and held his chin with his right hand using his index finger and his thumb, as if to be thinking. Then he responded with, ďDid Jack Real Call?Ē the man in front of me said yes, and then the old man walked flat footed over towards the car.

I stepped back in front of the Cadillac and looked through the windshield. All I saw of the man driving, was a white, long sleeve shirt, a watch, a striped tie, and the pens that were in his pocket, not his face. Then, another man got out of the rear door on the drivers side and ran back, towards the rear of the car and as he turned to the left, he almost fell over the rear fender, while trying to get to the side walk where the old man was standing. By the time he reached the side walk, I had already made it back to where I was standing originally, and stared at him directly in the eyes. When he noticed me, he turned his head away from me, toward the Golden Nugget, so I couldnít get a good look at his face. He also stretched out his arm, so that the people on his side could not get in between him and the old man.

As the old man and the other two men stood by the car, I caught a glimpse of something out the corner of my left eye, a flash of light. Looking towards the Mint Hotel, I saw a man with a camera. He was slowly lowering it back down from his face onto the leather strap that he had around his neck. When the camera came to rest on the strap, the man looked me right in my eyes and nodded his head, as if to say, __ "I took a picture of them"__. At that time, the old man and then the other two men got into the car. I stared at the old man sitting in the middle of the back seat looking into his eyes, then I looked at the man in the front passenger seat. When he saw me looking at him, he looked as though he was going to laugh, then he looked down at something he had in the car. I stared directly into the old man's eyes again as the car began to pull away, then, I stepped into the street to read the plate on the car, which read, to the best of my knowledge of the order, in which the last three digits were in, HH (2) 857.

Another man who was a spectator at that time asked me what had just taken place, and I told him that I did not know, then the crowd started to disperse. Then, Ron, Rick and I went into the Mint. Once inside, I wrote down the license plate number on a cocktail napkin. Ron and Rick were curious to know why I had done that. I told them, I wanted it in case I heard if someone had been kidnapped, the next day. When Ron got change at the hotel he loaned me some money and we had a very good time together and at the end of the day, I was able to repay him.

I didnít think about this incident anymore, until the evening of April 5, 1976, when I was driving home from work. I was listening to the radio when it was announced that Howard Hughes had died and he had left his estate to a man that had given him his last quarter in front of a Las Vegas hotel. I drove home, then went inside and turned on the television. As they announced the message again, I told my wife at the time that they were talking about me.

In a few days, a story about Melvin Dummar came out. Once they started telling his story about picking up Mr. Hughes at a gas station, then driving him to a strip hotel, then giving him a quarter. I figured that there was no way that I could prove my story. I had forgotten about the man with the camera, so I let it go.

So even though it was said that there was no will in October of 1986, I began thinking of it again. So, I went to the library and checked out a book about Howard Hughes and his Empire. As I thumbed through it and read certain pages, I found out that on December 4, 1970, Mr. Hughes called someone in Nevada, either the Governor, Paul Laxalt, or a man named Franklin who was in charge of the Gambling Commission. He told the man that he would be returning home soon. I received a letter signed by Governor Laxalt on December 4, 1970, welcoming me home from my military service. But, in the next sentence in the book, it stated that he never returned to Las Vegas again.

I kept searching and looking for answers, but it wasnít until I came across the picture of the man that had gotten out of the rear right passenger seat of the car that day, that I knew I was on the right track. His name, Levar B. Mylar, a senior aide to Howard Hughes. Then continuing the search of other pages and pictures, I found a photograph of the man that was in the front passenger seat, John M. Holmes Jr.(an ex Air Force Mechanic), another senior aide. Seeing these men reassured me that I had been within a foot of Howard Hughes, and to prove that, I would like to find the picture, that was taken on that day in early March of 1971.

Also, during my research I found out that the man Jack Real, who's name was mentioned by the old man, went to work for Howard Hughes a few months later, in May of 1971. He now works in McMinnville, Oregon, restoring the Spruce Goose. I E-mailed him and he also reassured me that Hughes left on a Locheed Lonestar jet, serial number N1142 from Nellis Air Force Base on November 20, 1970 and he never returned to Las Vegas. I thanked him for the information and then let him know that I did not pull his name out of a hat. Again, his name was mentioned by the old man that had been in front of me. It was also interesting that on one of the E-mails, the words, "This may have been forged", was typed on it.

My friend, Ron, canít help me because he died in a Naval accident in 1972. Nor, my friend Steve, (an ex Nevada Highway Patrol officer), because has also died. It was Steve, that I had mail a letter to the Las Vegas Sun, from Las Vegas in 1986. As for Rick, I havenít been in contact with him since leaving Vegas in April, 1971.

So, if you are the Man that took that picture, or someone who has seen the picture that I have described, of an old man with long white hair hanging down below a black derby to his shoulders, in a long black overcoat, standing in front of a black Cadillac, with another large man with glasses dressed in a suit and another man to his right, in front of the Golden Nugget Hotel in March, 1971, please contact me!!! If Rick reads this, please contact me.

When I locate the picture, I will put it on this web page with the permission of the man that took it. I also know that when this picture does surface, there will be no doubt to who it really is, Howard Hughes. Regardless of whether or not this picture shows up, it will not change the fact that this really happened. Just by writing this story and putting it out where others can read it, whether they believe it or not, will help with my closure on this matter.

Jack

E-mail: mymrhughes@yahoo.com

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