The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Memories of Clackamas County Extension

November - December 2016 – 10:45a.m.

Video: OSC, World War II, and 4-H Extension . December 7, 2016

Location: Black residence, Milwaukie, Oregon.
Interviewer:  Mike Dicianna

0:43:34 - Abstract | Biography | Download Transcript (PDF)


Mike Dicianna: Well, today is Wednesday, December 7th 2016 and the OSU Sesquicentennial Oral History Project has the honor of capturing the story of Harold M. Black, OSC class of 1947 and OSU Extension emeritus. We are at his residence here in Portland, Oregon – Milwaukie – and my name is Mice Dicianna, I'm an oral historian for the Special Collections and Archives Research Center. Well, one of the things we always like to start off with is a short biographical sketch of your younger days, like when and where were you born, some early childhood memories, that type of thing.

Harold Black: I was born on Vancouver Island, British Colombia, Canada. I moved to Oregon with my parents when I was one year old. So I'm really an Oregonian. That's why I don't talk with the Canadian accent. [laughs]

MD: Where did they settle at? Where did you live when you were a young child?

HB: In Oregon?

MD: Yeah.

HB: In Creswell; I grew up in Creswell. Small town, ten miles south of Eugene.

MD: So that's where you went through your grade school years?

HB: I went to grade school and high school in the same building: downstairs grade school, upstairs high school. There were twenty-one in my high school graduating class.

MD: And that would be 1941 is when you graduated. So one of the things I always like to ask is when you were in high school, there was a lot going on in the world, what with Europe and Japan's expansion at the time. Did you guys in Creswell, Oregon have a sense of how the world was about to change?

HB: I missed that.

MD: Did you know have a sense about world events, what was going on, in your high school?

HB: Well, I was certainly aware of it. I remember my dad coming home saying "Wall Street fell today," which was in 1929. But then the war in Europe, high school students are aware of what's going on but it didn't directly affect me. But I was aware of it; very much aware of it.

MD: So any other high school memories? Were you an athlete, that type of thing?

HB: No, I was very small for my age, and it's a small high school, 100 students, so we didn't have many teams. But I did play basketball, and only reason I played basketball is because there weren't very many others. [laughs] So I did basketball in mine. The rest of the time, Fall and Spring, I was busy working.

MD: On the farm?

HB: No, we just had an acre, we had enough room for a cow and a garden, but not on a farm. But I worked out, started saving. I decided when I was a freshman that I was going to go to college, so I started saving my money and by the time I graduated I had $450 saved up for college. [laughs]

MD: And back then, that was a substantial amount of money for college tuition.

HB: Yeah, well tuition was $22 a term. [laughs]

MD: And students of today would just be -

HB: No, it wouldn't have worked. But I also worked all through college for 35 cents an hour. So it's all relative.

MD: [laughs] Yeah. So when you were looking at colleges, did you have any choice other than Oregon State College?

HB: I wanted to be in agriculture so I never even considered any other college, even though I lived ten miles from the University of Oregon.

MD: That's true.

HB: But Oregon State was agriculture and I wanted to be a farmer.

MD: So you entered Oregon State College at the time, in 1941, at the spring term, in probably the most climactic school term ever at this institution. So let's talk a little bit about OSC in 1941 and then after the war began. One of the things I always like to ask is, what was your initial impression of OSC when you got there? The campus, where did you live, that kind of thing.

HB: [laughs] I grew up very poor and so I had never been further away from home than 100 miles. Actually fifty; Corvallis is as far away as I had been from home when I went to Oregon State. So it was all new, I was very naïve. Everything was new.

MD: Where did you live on campus?

HB: I lived in Weatherford Hall, up on top in the tower on the 3rd floor.

MD: Oh wow.

HB: So I lived there for one term, then I moved into a boarding house, then I moved into a co-op from there.


MD: Yeah, early co-ops. Which co-op were you in?

HB: Maple Manor, which isn't there anymore. It closed during the war and never reopened. After the war I lived in Beaver Lodge, so I lived in the co-op most of the time I was in school.

MD: Right, you were an independent.

HB: I was an independent, yes. Co-ops were great places to live, they were very economical.

MD: So what were some of your – you were an agricultural major, and what did you specialize in? Or was it just Ag?

HB: Well, I got an offer of a job in the Farm and Crops department, so I ended up majoring in Farm and Crops, the reason because I was working in the department. [laughs] I didn't know anything about agriculture, I was so naïve.

MD: And so you just kind of moved into that curriculum area. Did you have any favorite professors there at Farm Crops? Because we've got a number of them that are kind of famous.

HB: Well, Don Hill was the department head, Bob Henderson was one of the staff members. It was a fairly small department. I don't remember others until after the war. Then we had a couple of new ones that came in after the war. Those are the only two I remember beforehand. Harold Finell, don't forget Harold Finell.

MD: Oh yeah, big time; big name. So as a freshman, did you have to wear the little green -

HB: The beanie? The rookie cap? Yes I did.

MD: And did you ever get caught by one of the members of the vigilance committee?

HB: No, because I was so naïve I was very faithful, because I didn't know any different. I was not very independent. That's why I never get caught.

MD: [laughs] So you followed all the rules like not wearing corduroy pants and going to all the sporting events?

HB: Corduroys were freshman or sophomore. Freshmen had one thing and sophomores had the other, I can't remember which was which. But I wore what I was supposed to.

MD: You were a good rook.

HB: I was very - did what I was supposed to do.

MD: Now at the end of the year they have a rook bonfire where they -

HB: Oh yeah, I helped build that.

MD: Oh wow, did you burn your hat?

HB: Well, I was there but I didn't burn it. Somebody else did.

MD: Oh really?

HB: That was before the Oregon game.

MD: Oh, ok.

HB: Yeah, the night before the Oregon game. Yeah we always had the rook bonfire, and the rooks had to maintain the bonfire. [laughs] I had forgotten about that.

MD: These campus traditions that have gone by the wayside, I always try to have people relive those traditions because they are somewhat important to the history of the college. They're as much a part of it as our sports team are. And so that rook cap, hearing about that is real beneficial.

HB: After the war, the incoming freshmen had been veterans and they weren't about to wear a rook cap. It ended after the war. [laughs]

MD: Today is the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, and I am just absolutely humbled to be able to ask you this question. I was able to ask Andy Landforce, but I wanted to get another perspective: the day after Pearl Harbor, what was the mood on the OSC campus? How did the students feel? What was happening that day after Pearl Harbor?

HB: I don't remember. I don't remember. That was so long ago and my memory's not very good. I remember where I first heard it, walking from lunch at the MU back to Weatherford, I first heard it. But I don't remember what the mood was on the campus, I just don't remember.

MD: Now during this time, another famous event for OSU is happening as we were going to the Rose Bowl.

HB: Rose Bowl; Durham, North Carolina.

MD: And this is the 75th anniversary of our only win at the Rose Bowl. Did you guys listen to the game in the dorms?

HB: No, I was home. It was on New Year's Day, so we were on Christmas vacation. So I listened to it at home, and I still remember listening to it on the radio. No TV then. And I remember the game very well.


MD: Now, there's been a lot of talk about how the radio announcer kind of favored the Duke team.

HB: Oh no question, no question. What was his name? He was a famous broadcaster. He definitely favored Duke. Definitely, yeah, I remember that.

MD: Yeah, I heard that from many people that have heard the game, they thought it was a little slanted to the East Coast.

HB: And it was played in Duke because of the war.

MD: Now there was a big celebration on campus when we won the Civil War game that year, because that put us in the Rose Bowl. Do you remember the celebrations on the campus when we got actually the Rose Bowl bid?

HB: No, I'm not sure I went to the game. [laughs] But no, I do not remember the celebration. I remember a couple of other games – once where we beat them by fifty points – but I don't remember that game.

MD: So you went to the games that are home games?

HB: I didn't go to all the football games, no. And I don't remember that I went to any as a freshman, but I did afterwards; when I went back to school I did.

MD: Now you were – as all male students were – required to take ROTC military training your first two years. Now I see you were listed with military classes, so you're at Army ROTC for your first year?

HB: For both years I was ROTC; for both years, because it was required.

MD: And so how about that and the war footing? Did that change ROTC at all with the fact that now we're at war and you guys were training for that?

HB: It probably did. I remember in class one morning, our teacher was an Army officer and he was very sad because that day before is when the Philippines had surrendered, and that was a very bad day for the military. I remember that – how bad he felt because he had buddies over there.

MD: Well, I see that even though you were Army ROTC, you're a Naval officer. You ended up going to the V12 program, which was the Navy version of ROTC, at Purdue University, which is another Land Grant college.

HB: Yeah, that's right.

MD: So how did you apply for that? Why Navy?

HB: In the spring of 1942, I found out about the Navy V12 program. So I applied and was accepted, so I joined the Navy the spring of 1942. But then I finished up – that was my sophomore year I think, so that year. And then reported for duty at Purdue July 1st 1943.

MD: And so I noticed you still had agricultural classes.

HB: I still took – at Purdue it was kind of a holding pattern for Midshipmen's School. So I was there for one school year, and then majored in Ag. But after I joined, I had to take physics and math as required by V12, which I wouldn't have taken in Agriculture. So that was the only difference. At Purdue, I just took regular Ag classes.

MD: What was your impression of Purdue University?

HB: Oh a wonderful school. Wonderful school. I liked it.

MD: Different kind of winter?

HB: Hmm?

MD: Different kind of winter that you had to go through in Purdue, yeah?

HB: Cold! And we had snow in the winter time; very different, yes. I remember walking from one end of the campus down to the other end for a class at the Vet school, and boy it was cold when the wind was blowing. [laughs]

MD: So you graduated actually and got your commission – or you didn't graduate, but you got a commission into the Navy in 1943?

HB: No, I went into the Navy in 1943. I left Purdue in February, went to Asbury Park in New Jersey for a month or two, and then entered Midshipmen's School in at university, would have been about April 1944. And then I was there for four months in Midshipman's School.

MD: And when you got out of that, you came out as a Lieutenant JG, and so actually you can kind of move in to your World War II service because that is interesting. As a Navy officer, you were on what we call a landing craft or a landing ship. Tell us about your first ship.

HB: Landing Craft LSM 242. It was 200 feet long, 30 feet wide, and flat in the bottom. [laughs] But we had a crew of about fifty-five on board the ship. And that was – I spent over a year on board the LSM.


MD: And was that in the Pacific? It was all in the Pacific?

HB: Yeah. I joined – it was built on the coast but I wasn't assigned until I joined it in Palm Beach, California after Midshipmen's School.

MD: And what were your duties while you were on that particular vessel?

HB: Well, I was the gunnery officer, which didn't do very much because we had three guns. We had five officers, so my main job was standing duty officer of the deck or underway or wherever. So we went from California to the Hawaiian islands. We were there for a while and then picked up Marine tanks and took them for Iwo Jima for the landing on Iwo Jima.

MD: Now was that landing after the initial landing? Were you under fire at that time? Or had the beaches been secured?

HB: Well, they were firing. We hit the beach, we took the Marine tanks into the breach and landed on the beach in that midafternoon. And yeah, they were firing on the land, but nobody fired at us. We were lucky. So we discharged the tank that opened the front door and let the tanks go out and we left. [laughs] Then we backed off the reefs. But yeah, they were firing. I could still remember the sounds of the shells from the battleships go overhead. They had a screech to them that you could hear. It was pretty noisy. [laughs]

MD: So now you landed at Iwo Jima, any other islands did this particular ship support?

HB: Yes. After we landed, then we started hauling supplies back and forth from the ships offshore onto the shore. At first we also took wounded Marines from the shore out to the hospital ship. We did that for a few days, so we would be going back and forth.

MD: Yeah, because that particular battle went on for quite a while.

HB: About a month, yeah. We were sitting on the beach when they put the flag up on Suribachi, so I saw that flag flying up there. That was a great thing when we saw the flag flying. [laughs]

MD: That's incredible. So from that ship, you were assigned as the commanding officer of a smaller infantry landing ship called an LCI, and it was LCI #417. So you were a commanding officer.

HB: Yeah, for just a few months in Sing Pao, China. After the war ended I came back to the states, but I was not married, didn't have many points, so I was sent back out to China after the war. And so I was in Sing Pao assigned to an LCI, so I was only commanding officer for three or four months, as we were decommissioning it and turning it over to the Chinese nationalists who were fighting at that time with the communists. So we turned the ship over to them.

MD: Oh. And so you left it there and so you came back to the United States.

HB: And as soon as I had enough points, then I came back and was discharged in August of 1946.

MD: So when the war ended, August of 1945, kind of describe those feelings and the feelings of your fellow sailors.

HB: We were on our way back. We had been down to the Ross Islands for some supplies down there on our way back to Pearl Harbor, and we were still underway between there and Pearl Harbor when the war ended. And it was a great feeling. We actually broke out the beer, our skipper had his beer hidden down way down below, nobody knew about that; they weren't supposed to know about that. But those of us who didn't bring beer, we had Pepsi-Colas. So we celebrated in the well deck to winning the war. It was a great feeling, I'm telling you that.

MD: Well, you know they call it the Greatest Generation for a good reason. So did you serve or did you run into any fellow Oregon State College?

HB: Did you what?

MD: Did you run into, in your time in the Pacific, any fellow Oregon State College folks at all?

HB: Not that I remember no. I'm sure I didn't.


MD: Yeah, because that happens. We have a lot of stories of guys meeting in a foxhole and they were both Oregon State Beavers in the middle of battle.

HB: I remember – well, my brother was in the Navy on Tinian. When we were in Tinian he was in the Navy Air Force and I went on shore looking for him, but he had left by the time I got there. But that was my brother, nobody from Oregon State that I remember.

MD: So when you came back to the United States, you're discharged from the military and so you decided you wanted to finish up your college education.

HB: There was no question. [laughs] And so I got back in August, school started in September, and I was on campus ready to start back to school in September, yeah.

MD: So you came back at a very, very interesting time in OSC history. The returning vets kind of swelled the college with people and, so do you remember what it was like having the crowds of people trying to register, so many veterans on campus? Was it a different campus than when you were there pre-war?

HB: Yeah, I'm sure it was. One of the things was that the veterans, a lot of them smoked, so the no smoking rule on campus went out of the windows. They started smoking on campus. I suppose the class before, I can't remember too much because I had the advantage that I had two years, so I wasn't coming on something new. And it was different, I suppose, but I don't remember too much about – I didn't think too much about that.

MD: Yeah, but at that time you were a senior.

HB: Yeah I was a senior because I got in a year at Purdue.

MD: Yeah and so you were coming back as a senior finishing your final year.

HB: Right, but then I graduated. But there was a lot of courses I wanted to take, so I stayed one more year. So I actually went to Oregon State for four years.

MD: Now are those classes after you graduated – we'll get back to the graduation – were those graduate level classes?

HB: Most of them were not, no. I wasn't working for my master's, I just wanted to take these classes. So most of them were probably not. I didn't get any graduate classes that I remember, because I was not trying to get a master's in.


HB: Yeah at OSC, right.

MD: Well I always like to ask people about their feelings upon commencement and when you finally got that degree and all that you went through in the war, starting in '41. Was it a feeling of finally making it when you went through commencement at OSC?

HB: Probably, but I don't remember it. I'm sure it did, but I don't remember it.

MD: Now soon after – we'll move into another area which is kind of important to the college – soon after, you applied to be an Extension Service agent and started with Oregon State Extension right after college. Did you have any time in-between or?

HB: Well, I never applied for a job in my life. [laughs] And so when I was in my senior year and after graduating, I worked for seed certification for the Farm Crops department. I had been working for the Farm Crops department during school, and summers I worked on an Experiment Station. And so they asked me if I liked it. And so I did seed certification for two summers going out around the state inspecting fields of grain, clover and grass seed for certification. But there were three of us who did that.

And then at the first year back to school after I graduated after that, and it is a primary summertime job, they didn't have any work for me to do during the wintertime. But they asked me if I would be interested in 4-H Extension agent in Columbia County – St. Helens. And I said yes. And so that's how I became an Extension agent. I didn't apply. They asked me if I'd be interested, and I one-upped them and visited, and I said yes.

MD: Well your story is a lot like Andy Landforce. When he came back from the war, basically they were enveloping a lot of the returning vets into the new Extension Service, and so you were just one of the many vets that became Extension agents because they were OSU graduates.

HB: Yeah, I suppose. I don't remember that. I do remember that when it came springtime for seed certification they asked me if I'd come back for seed certification for that summer, and I decided no, I liked Extension, I would stay with 4-H, and I'm awful glad I did.


MD: Well yeah, it was such a long career with that. That's one of the things I'm really interested in; your time in Extension was basically after the war cleared up into the end of the 1970s, 1980s. So you span a long time of the Extension Service and the different things they did and the different counties, and I want to kind of focus on your Extension career. Where did you start, and where did you end up kind of thing?

HB: Yeah, I started in Columbia County, in St. Helens, as a 4-H agent. I was there for six years, and then they asked me if I'd like to go to Clackamas County – Oregon City is the seat of Clackamas County – and I said ok. And so I was in Clackamas County then for eighteen years. Then I became area agent for Portland for about one year, for the Portland area. And then I became an Extension agent in Multnomah County, and that's where I ended my Extension career. I was in Multnomah County for eight years, Clackamas probably for eighteen, so thirty years all together.

MD: Yeah, well one of the things I always like is you were around Extension back in the days when some of what we consider to be the greats of OSC were there. Do you have any memories of people like Frank Ballard?

HB: Oh yeah. Frank Ballard was the director when I first – I remember him very well. And then of course I remember most of directors since then. When I was working for seed certification, I was all over the eastern part of the state and all the counties there, and I met the Agricultural Extension agent. I would go into the county and report to the County Extension office and they would take me out to the fields to be inspected. And so when I joined Extension, going to the annual conference in December every year, I knew most of the chairmen and agents from eastern Oregon, the old timers. Some of them had been there maybe thirty, thirty-five years, and I had been with them in their counties, so that was wonderful to know them. I'd have to stop and think of the names of some of the old timers that were early agents. They retired soon after that, but I got to know the old timers; wonderful.

MD: Now one of the people that we're interested in at this time, because of Clackamas County's 100th anniversary coming up, is one of their famous agents who is -

HB: John Inskeep.

MD: John Inskeep. You remember him?

HB: I worked with him for four or five years before he retired. Oh, I remember John. He was an institution. He was well-known throughout the state.

MD: Yeah, because Merrily Enquist, who was another Clackamas person, I just talked to her recently and she talked about he always had his dog with him. Even in the office, he had this retriever apparently that was right by his side all the time. You remember his dog?

HB: No I don't. I've forgotten; if he had a dog I've forgotten.

MD: Now when you were at Clackamas, where was the county office at that time?

HB: It was downstairs in the post office, which is down on the very south end of Main Street in the old post office building right next to the published paper. And then the publishers bought that building and converted that post office into their head offices. And so the federal government built a new federal building up on the hill. And so I went up there, and was up there when we opened up that new building up on the hill.

MD: Yeah, so you were in some of the formative years of Clackamas Extension. What were some of the programs that you were involved with as far as what you guys worked with the farmers and worked with 4-H? Do you remember some of the things you did?

HB: Well, I was a 4-H agent so I worked almost one-hundred percent 4-H. Clackamas County, we have a wonderful camping program, we have the first 4-H horse program in the state of Oregon. I remember, well, we had wonderful 4-H leaders in Clackamas County. Had a good program because of the 4-H leaders.


MD: Yeah, we're going to be doing some interviews coming up with some of the people from your era so I'm sure they'll remember you. Now when you moved to Multnomah County, were you an agent or were you in charge of the office there at Multnomah County?

HB: At first I wasn't, but then I became chairman agent at Multnomah County, so I was that for a few years before I retired. I was also chairman in Clackamas County for the last year or so I was there.

MD: So you were basically the head of the county.

HB: Yeah. [laughs]

MD: Yeah, because one of the things I'm really interested in is how Extension related to the community and the things that Extension did to help both the farmers as well as the kids coming up. And you were talking about the 4-H programs, when you were chairman, did they have the Experiment Station there at that time?

HB: Oh yeah. The Experiment Station was another branch. We cooperated, but they were another branch of Oregon State University.

MD: And some of their research was used to help the farmers, because I see a lot of flax farming. There's also in the valley there by Canby, there's huge nurseries and things like that. Did Extension work with those?

HB: Oh yeah. Not so much with Clackamas County when I was there, because it was fairly new industry at that point but it was developing. But when I was in Multnomah County we had one of the agents that his job was working with the nurseries, that was his main job.

MD: Yeah, because it still is today a huge agricultural nursery within the state.

HB: Nurseries are one of the largest industries right now, yes.

MD: So one of the things also is how did your training and college coursework at Oregon State College relate to how you did your job as an Extension agent?

HB: Well that's a tough question. [laughs] I suppose it did. In school we had to take speech and we had to take journalism. Both of those were very helpful because – journalism particularly – because we had to do a lot of writing news stories. So they were helpful. And then, sure, the other courses were – those are the two that I remember being especially helpful.

MD: Yeah. Now all during this time, I'm assuming that you were raising a family and meeting a wife; what's the story there?

HB: Well, I met my wife when I came back from the Navy. Went back on campus when school started that fall, and I walked in to the Westby Foundation office at the Methodist Church, and I met her then. She had me in the office, although we didn't get married for quite a while. But we got married then the first year I was in St. Helens, and we had our first two children in St. Helens and then our next two children in Oregon City. And so my kids grew up in 4-H. [laughs]

MD: Yeah. They just basically were enveloped right into the 4-H program.

HB: Oh yes. Very much so.

MD: Now did you live – when you guys settled in these places – on agricultural land? Or did you just live in town?

HB: I lived in town. I lived in town over in Oregon City. We had two acres, so it was fair sized lot.

MD: Yeah, kind of a gentleman's farm.

HB: And I always had a garden. I always had a garden, ever since I was a kid.

MD: So do you have any other special memories of Extension and your time and the people you met?

HB: Oh, very definitely. I met some wonderful 4-H leaders. The 4-H leaders, we have a few here, and I call them angels, because I just have all kinds of respect for 4-H leaders. And Clackamas County had wonderful 4-H leaders.

MD: They influence a lot of young high school and grade school kids over the years. Do you have any contact or do you have any – some of the 4-H kids that you were involved with, do they still-?

HB: Well, it used to be that if somebody was calling me Mr. Black, then I knew that they were in 4-H. But I retired in 1980, and those kids now are all grandparents of ones that were in. So I do see them every once in a while. A couple of 4-H leaders, I've been to is funerals, so.


MD: Now when you retired, did you continue to be active with the Extension program? I mean, did you stay on and still do things with Extension?

HB: Well, not really. A couple of things, I used to go down to the state 4-H center near Salem and volunteer. Joe Meyers and I organized work parties, so I did that. I became a master gardener, so that was an Extension program. So I did stay involved some, yes.

MD: Once an Extension always –

HB: Right. But I didn't try to admit in any of the 4-H fairs, I left that alone.

MD: When you were growing up in Creswell as a child, were you involved in 4-H?

HB: Very little. We had a 4-H health club in school, and I was in a camp cookery club. Those are the only 4-H Extension I had then. I wasn't aware of the other programs that they had. They weren't -

MD: They weren't big at Creswell.

HB: Creswell was not really very much involved in 4-H.

MD: But early on you had exposure to the Extension service and OSU, and it's kind of stuck with you throughout your life I guess.

HB: I missed that.

MD: Well, Extension has been part of your life from back when you were a kid.

HB: Well, I didn't really know what 4-H was but I remembered that Keener, who was a 4-H agent in Lane County, he came out and talked to our school once about 4-H. I still remember him, but I didn't really know what Extension was then. I was a very naïve little kid. [laughs]

MD: So one of the things that I always like to catch up with our interviews and our Beaver alumni is your family life and what kids are doing now and grandchildren and things like that. So after retirement, did you continue being a grandpa? Or what was retirement like?

HB: [laughs] Well, it's been a long time. But as I said, we had a couple of acres in Oregon City, so I had a big garden, that was my main thing I did. I didn't get really too involved in others things. I've always been involved in church, and that's primarily it.

MD: That was your retirement. Did you travel at all?

HB: Oh yes, we did a lot of travel, my wife and I. After the kids were out of college, we did a lot of travelling. And I had some wonderful, wonderful trips all over the world with Ruth.

MD: Now your kids, you have four, did they end up going to Oregon State?

HB: Would you believe that three of them graduated from the University of Oregon? [laughs] One of them graduated from Linfield, two of them – both daughters – went to Oregon State, one for two years and one for a term. But three of them graduated from the University of Oregon. But I didn't care. [laughs]

MD: And so how about grandkids?

HB: Not very many. My kids haven't done very well about that. I have two grandchildren, four step grandchildren, six grandchildren all together, and three great grandchildren. But they're all grandchildren as far as I'm concerned.

MD: Are they in the area here? Or are they spread out?

HB: No they're in the area. My daughter that has two of the grandchildren; well she has all three of them actually, brings them for lunch. When they were first born, once a month, but now they're in school so they don't get here as often. But they get here during vacation time. My other daughter comes for lunch once every week. She's very, very good about that. My sons, I see them fairly often. They'll all be here this Saturday night.

MD: Yeah. So basically, they're all staying in Oregon. They're not spread across the nation?

HB: Three in the Portland area, one in Eugene. So I'm lucky; very lucky.

MD: So your special interests basically revolve around gardening and master gardeners. And church, which church?

HB: Methodist church, I'm a Methodist. [laughs]

MD: So how's life today? How are you doing basically?

HB: I'm doing great. I am so glad I live here in Willamette View. Wonderful people live here, and so I feel very, very fortunate in where I live and with my family. I've had a wonderful life. [laughs]


MD: Well, is there anything in our time here that we haven't covered that you think is important that we should add to this interview?

HB: I think I just said it. [laughs] I've had a wonderful life.

MD: Yeah we hear that – I enjoy hearing that from some of our alumni. So one of the things I always like to do is allow the Beaver that I'm interviewing to impart a bit of wisdom to the Beaver Nation, because everybody is going to see this, about your time and how you feel about being an alumni of Oregon State and what it means to you.

HB: Well, I always said the number one smartest thing I ever did was marry my wife which I met at Oregon State. But I have to say that the smartest thing was going to college, because if I hadn't gone to college I wouldn't have met my wife. So going to college opened up a whole new life for me. So the smartest thing I ever did – I was one of the first people from Creswell to ever even go to college, it was very unusual then. So going to college, meeting my wife, those were the two smartest things I ever did. My wife really influenced my life a great deal. I was very, very lucky; we were married for almost sixty-two years.

MD: Wow! Now the other thing is since the Clackamas County Extension is celebrating their hundredth anniversary coming up in 2017, you want to wish them a happy birthday and say what it was like to be part of the Clackamas County Extension family?

HB: Clackamas County. Of course I was there longer than any place else, and so I have more memories there, but all the wonderful people I worked with – we had over 3,000 4-H members when I left Clackamas County. This is the first county in Oregon to reach 3,000 members. We had a great camping program; in a few years over 400 kids would go to 4-H camp every year at Camp Colton. So I worked with many wonderful people – 4-H members and 4-H leaders. I'll always remember them.

MD: Lots of great memories.

HB: Really. I could start naming names of the people who were so good.

MD: Well Harold, on behalf of the Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Program, this has been indeed an honor to meet with you today. Especially on this auspicious 75th anniversary of both Pearl Harbor and OSU's Rose Bowl victory, and you were there. So it's always special to meet with our alumni, but you're kind of a special one because you've seen it all. So on behalf of us we would like to thank you for your participation and we appreciate your time.

HB: And I thank you. You brought back some wonderful memories.



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