The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Ted Cox Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Tiah Edmunson-Morton.

June 7, 2016


“From Sierra Leone to Downtown Corvallis”  June 7, 2016  Location: Cox residence, Corvallis, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Cox discusses his family background and upbringing, including his birth in Oregon, his family's relocation to California, his parents' lines of work, and his experiences as a student and athlete in high school and college. He then describes the circumstances by which he applied to the Peace Corps and reflects on his training and teaching experience in Sierra Leone. From there, he recalls being offered the position of national track and field coach in British Honduras (present-day Belize) and comments on his work training athletes, setting up the infrastructure for competitions, and conducting fitness testing while in the country.

Cox next recalls his enrollment in graduate studies at Oregon State University, noting in particular the strength of the university's Physical Education curriculum and faculty at the time. He likewise recounts the two years that he spent as head women's volleyball coach at OSU during the infancy of Title IX, and shares the details of his master's thesis on fitness testing in Belize and the United States.

The session then turns its attention to Cox's purchase of the Old World Deli and the early years of the deli's operation, including Cox's decision to diversify into the sale of homebrewing equipment. In recalling this time period, Cox comments on the broadening of his own beer education, the evolution of beer culture in Corvallis, the founding of Oregon Trail Brewing, and the early activities of the Heart of the Valley Homebrewers. He concludes these remarks by sharing his perspective on the current state of the south end of downtown Corvallis, an area that he has called home for nearly forty years.

The interview concludes with a recitation on the history of brewing in Corvallis, dating back to the mid-1800s.