The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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An Oral History of the Francois Gilfillan family

November 1, 2013 – 10:00a.m.

Video: “Remembering 'Doc': Francois A. Gilfillan through the Eyes of His Daughters” . November 10, 2013

Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.
Interviewers:  Anne Bahde, Trevor Sandgathe

2:23:07 - Abstract | Biography | Download Transcript (PDF)


Anne Bahde: We're going to do that again. [Laughs]

Ellen Johnson: Okay. Okay, fine, fine.

AB: My name is Anne Bahde and it is the first of November of 2013. I'm here with Trevor Sandgathe, and Ellen and Nan. We'll let them introduce themselves now.

EJ: My name is Ellen Gilfillan Johnson, and we've been invited to participate in this oral history because we grew up in Corvallis, and our father was very much part of Oregon State. And we're going to-

AB: Answer some questions.

EJ: [Laughs]

AB: And fill in some stories, and make sure that we have a good understanding of your childhood, and your dad.

Nan Jensen: Okay. I'm Nan Gilfillan Jensen, and lived here in Corvallis on 31st Street for many, many years. And we hope we can be of help in this regard.

AB: Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure you will be able to. Let's start by asking a little bit about your dad's early life. Can you tell us what you know about-?

NJ: Okay.

AB: -about his time growing up, his time before he came to Corvallis, his early years in Corvallis?

NJ: Okay. Well, I won't do all of that, I'll just start on the very early years. Dad was a first child of a very wise woman, and his dad worked for the railroad. And he was actually born in the Indian Territory of what became Oklahoma in years later. 1893, he was born. Ellen and I were talking about this, and we think maybe they lived-we don't know how long they lived on this Indian reservation, but maybe up to six years, we thought, maybe. But I don't know if that's-

EJ: About six years, by the time he was six, they moved from Oklahoma to Texas.

NJ: Texas, where Grandpa worked on the railroad in different towns. And Ellen can name the four towns they lived in in Texas.

EJ: My husband was stationed at Wichita Falls, and my parents came down and suddenly we realized we were right in his old haunts, you know, that was where he-

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: So, we got in the car one day, and we drove to Ringold, which is almost on the Oklahoma border.

AB: Huh.

EJ: And he lived there when he was five or six. And the story that he told-I think we heard it before, but when he was five or six, his father gave him a burro, a donkey. And one day, a cattle drive came through town. I mean, it sounds like [laughs], you know, cowboy days.

NJ: It was!

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: When they left, my, our dad went with them, on his donkey.

AB: On his burro! [Laughs]

EJ: Yeah, and his father was livid. I mean, suddenly he was missing, and his father had to go find him. And anyway, that was one of his stories. And he was, you know, penalized or chastised for his adventure. [Laughs]

AB: Mm-hm. And what were those six towns? That was Ringold?

NJ: Four towns.

EJ: So there was Ringold.

NJ: Yeah, that was Ringold.

EJ: And then not too long after that they moved to Bowie, which was south of that a little bit. And when dad took us to these towns, there were no roads when he lived there, so we had to go find the railroad station, and then he could orient himself to the town. So we went to the train station in Bowie, and it just happened there was a side car there. And he told the story about taking a bunch of kids and piling them on the sidecar, and then-

NJ: It's mechanical.

AB: Mm-hm. I've seen it in old movies. I didn't know they actually did that! [Laughs]

NJ: Right.

EJ: And they went up about a mile or so where there was a lake right beside the railroad, and they all went swimming.

AB: Oh, how wonderful!

EJ: And he got in trouble for that.

NJ: Didn't they skip school to do this?

EJ: I don't remember. I don't remember.

NJ: I think they skipped school to do that.

EJ: But that was the one that his father-

NJ: Yes.

EJ: -made him go to business school, in the summer.

NJ: Yeah, to go-in the summer. That was his punishment for taking this.

AB: Oh, well, that doesn't sound too bad a punishment. [Laughs]

EJ: Well, for a kid. [Laughs]

AB: Yeah, [laughs] it's probably-

NJ: Typing? [Laughs]

EJ: Anyway, in the summer along the line, the typewriter that we had, that we used all the way through college-

NJ: Growing up, growing up, yeah.

EJ: -dad had traded a cow for the typewriter.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: And I mean, it was this old, old thing.

AB: Wow!

NJ: Underwood, it was an Underwood.

EJ: You know, you see all of the-yeah, but you could see all of the mechanics of it, it had no nice cover or anything, but we used that.

NJ: But it worked.

EJ: It did.

NJ: Yeah. It was fine, it was fine.

AB: [0:04:59] Now, earlier you were talking about his ROTC service, and his early work with ROTC.

NJ: Right, right. Well, could I back up?

AB: Oh, please.

NJ: Since I'm such a chronological person, it's hard for me-

AB: [Laughs] I skipped some years in there.

NJ: Okay, at some point during his public school years, his mother went to the doctor and she wasn't feeling well. And the doctor told her that the hard water in that whole area of Texas and Oklahoma and that, was going to kill her, and she needed to move to, you know, get out of that whole area with the hard water. So it just happened that our grandfather had a sister up in Council Rock, Washington. And so Grandma, I think, Grandma took the young children, at that point.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: See, Dad was oldest, and there were seven or eight children.

EJ: Seven all together.

NJ: Seven all together.

AB: Oh.

NJ: And so Dad stayed, and I don't know how that worked out, but he wound up taking the older boys-they all happened to be older-

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: -and took another train. With Grandpa working for the railroad, you see, they could get passes, and so it they ended up in Castle Rock Washington. When Dad - did he stay, Ellen, to graduate high school? Did they stay a little bit? I think maybe they stayed out the year.

EJ: Well, Dad had gone into college one year by then.

NJ: Well, yeah, that's right. He went into what became SMU.

AB: Oh, okay.

NJ: For one year.

EJ: But it was in Fort Worth, so everybody says, well, that's not right, but it was a school that trained-

NJ: Became, you know, kind of like Oregon State started off in Philomath.

AB: Right, right.

NJ: And then, so they were up in Castle Rock, right on 99; not on 5, but what was 99 before that.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: And Dad took a test for the State of Washington and passed his test, so he got his teaching certificate. And we figured he was about 18 at that point, maybe 19, but I think 18, I think is what he was at that point. But he got a job teaching school at the Toutle River School, which was in, from Castle Rock. And he had to walk in to the school on-I think he went Sunday night, he walked in.

AB: Oh, my goodness.

NJ: I looked on the map. I think it was ten to twelve miles, you know, something like that.

AB: Oh, my goodness!

NJ: And then he stayed with the school board members, different ones during the week, and then walked out on Friday afternoon.

AB: Wow!

NJ: Back to his aunt's.

AB: Now, do you know what, around what year this would have been?

NJ: Let's see, I'd have to figure that out. About-

EJ: 1914, maybe?

AB: '14 or '15?

NJ: He graduated from Graham High School in '10, I think.

EJ: '09? Okay.

NJ: 1910. And then he had one year at what became SMU, so you know, whether it was '12 or '13.

AB: Somewhere around in there, in the teens.

NJ: Something in there. Because I know it was at that time he also had an experience going in to Mount St. Helens and getting snowed in. They went in to pick huckleberries and they got an unusual snow, and then got-four days before they could get out.

AB: Oh, my goodness!

NJ: Yeah, and that was about 1912, '11 or '12. So I think it was that time period.

EJ: But he got fired from his job, because he had a dance.

NJ: Allowed the kids to have a dance.

EJ: Allowed the kids to have a dance. Because they were trying to raise money for something, and so-

NJ: Library books. [Laughs]

EJ: Yeah, library books. And years and years later, the daughter or granddaughter of whoever it was came to Oregon State, and belonged to the same sorority we belonged to. It was her father or grandfather that had fired him.

AB: Oh, my goodness!

NJ: [Laughs]

AB: Small world.

NJ: But it was just, you know, dancing was taboo.

AB: Wow.

NJ: I mean, he had no idea that that was, you know, in their culture-

AB: Yeah.

NJ: -dancing wasn't allowed.

AB: Wow.

NJ: So he was fired. So in the meantime, his dad had gotten a job down near Coos Bay.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: Coal mining. And so he went down there and found a school, [laughs] another one on the river, the Coos River School, and luckily, I happened to be in Corvallis when they-Dad got an invitation to go down in 1970 for the razing of the school.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: [0:09:59] And so I had a daughter with me, I think she was about ten, so the three of us went down to Coos Bay for this, and then the opening of the new school.

AB: Wow.

NJ: And so it was fun. We actually-this Coos River School where Dad taught, there were no roads. And so to get to the school, you had to go on the boat. So we met the Smith's, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who owned the boat that took everybody to school and back.

AB: Wow.

EJ: You said they were in their 80s.

NJ: They were in their 80s, right, right, at that point.

EJ: But, it picked up all of the kids, but Dad had to supervise the kids on the boat. Well, Dad got seasick.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: Dad was not-

NJ: Boatsick, or-

EJ: Boatsick.

AB: Oh no!

EJ: [Laughs] Yeah, just on the river. So he only lasted a year. And that's when he chucked the teaching, and came back to Oregon State.

NJ: Not came back, just came.

EJ: Came.

NJ: Yeah, he had never been to Oregon State.

AB: For the first time.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: Came back to college.


EJ: Yeah.

NJ: OAC, right, right, right. And I have down two things that I remember Dad talking about at Oregon, in his undergraduate years. And one was the Barometer. He was on the Barometer staff. And I said, "Well, what did you do?" And he said that what he did was help with layout, and they'd have a spot, needed to have a filler, and so he would write poetry, or he would write something. [Laughs]

AB: Oh, how exciting. I've seen that.

NJ: You know, to put into the-yeah.

AB: I've seen that with these in the Barometer and wondered, how did they choose what went in there? It's him. [Laughs]

NJ: Well, Dad did it for a few years. I don't even know how long he was on the Barometer staff.

AB: Uh-huh.

NJ: But I do remember his-

AB: I'll track it down.

EJ: That was definitely something that he did.

NJ: Yeah, yeah. Because later when I was in school, he wrote an editorial on science and religion.

AB: Hm.

NJ: And I wish I-you know, I've got to get back into the archives and see if I can find that, because I remember being very impressed with it at the time. But did I save it? No, which I'm sorry about now.

AB: I'm sure we have it somewhere.

NJ: Yeah, yeah.

EJ: Well, and then he went-it was 1918 he graduated. The war was still on, and he went to New England to the Chemical Warfare.

AB: Service.

EJ: Yeah. And it was-they gassed dogs, and then they removed the livers and tested, you know, the effect on them.

AB: Wow.

NJ: The gas, you know, there was a lot of chemical warfare.

AB: Chemicals, yeah.

EJ: And it was real interesting because nobody in that unit ever got the flu, and the influenza was very-

AB: Right, 1918.

EJ: You know, way back-

NJ: At that time, yeah.

EJ: -at that time. But he swore that it was because when they got locked in the building, they had to gargle, and when they walked out for lunch they gargled, and back in again, and back out again. So four times a day, they gargled. Dad had the formula, and I still have the card that it's written on. Because when he came to Oregon State, I'm sure at first he made the stuff himself; he would go over to the chemistry building and, you know.

NJ: Yeah, I'm sure he did. I'm sure he did.

EJ: Make up his gargle. And when I got married, and I suppose, I guess it happened to the other three, I got a Clorox bottle that he had carefully gotten full of gargle.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: Well I didn't get one of those.

EJ: Didn't you?

NJ: No, no!

EJ: Yeah, Frank and I got one.

NJ: You're kidding!

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: What a nice wedding gift! [Laughs]

EJ: And I still have the 3-by-Dad put everything on 3-by-5 cards. I mean, his life was filling out 3-by-5 cards, I think. And it even had the formula, but it's all in chemical symbols, the formula for that. He made his own athlete's foot powder, and gargle. Anyway.

AB: Mm-hm. Did you ever use it? [Laughs]

NJ: Oh, the gargle we did use.

EJ: The gargle we did use.

NJ: Yes, it was in the bathroom, all of the bathrooms, you know, the two bathrooms.

AB: Yeah.

EJ: He swore that that's what kept his whole unit from getting the influenza.

AB: That's a pretty powerful endorsement. [Laughs]

NJ: There's another little story to that. When we were-and Ellen, I don't know if you were there or not. Maybe it was just Chick and me. But we were having dinner at noon. Dad always had dinner at noon. I think, so we were having dinner at noon, and Mother was serving liver and spinach, and whatever. And Dad sat down and looked at it. We didn't pay any attention. Pretty soon he said, "I have been a good role model for my children all of these years, and you know, I'm never going to eat any more liver. [0:15:00] May I please have a peanut butter sandwich?"

EJ: [Laughs]

NJ: [Laughs] And we were just, "What?" We were just shocked! It was a wonderful moment, though.

AB: Yeah, I'm sure, I'm sure.

NJ: It was a wonderful moment!

EJ: But I think we mostly had liver when Dad was out of town.

NJ: Well maybe. See, I never thought about it.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But Mother thought it was good for us, and she got calves' liver. You know, it was-.

EJ: Anyway.

AB: I can't blame him. [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, yeah, right, right, right. Okay, then I have that-here, let's see what I have.

EJ: Those were what sort of things we remember.

NJ: Yeah. Well, I have-and Dad then went from the chemical warfare when the war was over.

AB: Right.

NJ: Dad went into Yale to get his Ph.D. in chemistry, and had a lot of help in different ways. And one was he had some kind of a research assistantship or something.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: And had a major professor who kept him busy using his language abilities, doing research on different languages. Well, one day, I mean, he tested him pretty well, because Dad knew German well, and I don't know how well he knew French, really. But, he knew quite a few languages. And one day his professor gave him a challenge to do some research in Russian. He didn't know Russian, so he taught himself Russian. And, which was, worked out very well later in his life, at Oregon State, when Pearl Harbor happened and so forth.

AB: Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

NJ: And so Dad taught-he was the only one on campus who knew Russian, so he ended up teaching Russian.

AB: He had a long correspondence with someone in Russian?

EJ: Well.

NJ: Mrs. Rosenovsky. Yeah.

AB: I think so.

EJ: Well, that turned out, it was the Army program. And they brought young, mostly lieutenants in to learn either Russian or Chinese, and I mean, Dad was not in the language department at all. I mean, he was a scientist. But guess who gets the job?

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: And I think that was the same year that he was Acting President, Dean of the College of Science.

AB: Rough couple of years.

EJ: He had taken over the chairmanship of the Math Department because the math people were having some-

NJ: Problems.

EJ: -problems getting along, and then he was teaching Russian besides that. All on the dean's salary.

NJ: Right.

AB: I see. That's incredible.

EJ: Never any-

AB: Extras. That's too bad.

EJ: -extra for, you know.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: I remember, in fact, not even for parts of the job of the presidency. In May, when all of the honoraries had their initiation, installation-

NJ: Banquet.

EJ: -meeting, yeah, they must have [unclear]. Dad has invited all of them; he paid for his own meal. And that wiped out our mother's budget for-

AB: Of course it did.

EJ: -the whole month of May.

NJ: Food for June! [Laughs]

AB: A different time, yeah.

NJ: A different time. Exactly, a different time.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: And we were going to go to the Rose Bowl in 1942 because my mother's family had all moved to southern California, so it was going to be inexpensive for us to all go. But then when Pearl Harbor happened, it was changed to-

NJ: Durham.

EJ: -Durham, North Carolina. But my dad didn't go. I mean, he would have had to pay his own way. The president of the college was not, you know-

AB: Wow! Not these days.

NJ: Yeah. No, not these days. It's different.

EJ: Because on the radio, they mentioned him, and he was down in the basement.

NJ: [Laughs] He was putting wood in the furnace, and we had this radio with - probably started here and went up to here. And there was a heat vent right behind there, so it was wonderful to sit under that.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: And I was guilty of sitting under there. But I can remember that one, when they mentioned Dad's name. I can remember we all-

EJ: All ran downstairs and-

NJ: We all said, "Dad, they're talking about you!"

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: "What are you doing putting wood in the furnace?" [Laughs]

EJ: [Laughs] And while my dad came from real humble beginnings, he always said his best teacher was his mother, that she taught him more than anybody.

AB: Uh-huh. Yeah.

NJ: She was a very wise woman.

AB: It sounds like it.

NJ: [0:20:00] She was just - she was.

EJ: But going back to Yale, one of the things he did, one of the jobs - I mean, it's like he was - like work study, only it wasn't formal at that time. There were all of these chemicals, and the labels had come off. And so he was to test them and identify all of them. Well, he had got all of them done but one, and he just couldn't figure out what it was. And he went around and asked people there if they had any knowledge of what it might be. And he was about ready to-

NJ: Quit it.

EJ: -[unclear], or something, and the janitor came in and told him it was TNT. [Laughs]

AB: Oh, God!

NJ: I don't remember that story. [Laughs]

EJ: Yeah. Well, no.

AB: Something you want to label pretty properly, and efficiently.

NJ: But along those lines, one of the things Dad did, and I learned this from my godmother, who knew Dad at Yale, and she said something about that he, "You should have known your dad when he was a young, single male, didn't have all of that responsibility, because he-," she said he was just so much fun, you know, to get out and - we did experience that when we went camping.

Trevor Sandgathe: Mm, mm-hm.

NJ: We'd get in the car and just head toward Mount St. Helens or someplace, and Dad would start singing these crazy songs. [Laughs] I mean, he could - did let down. It was another side of him that we only saw when he got away from too many responsibilities.

AB: Do you think he enjoyed his academic and administrative work?

NJ: Oh, he loved it!

EJ: He was married to Oregon State.

NJ: Yeah. Yes, yes.

EJ: I mean, there was no - he never took all of his vacations. He never complained about the way he was treated, you know.

AB: Yeah.

EJ: It was mother that said, "How are we going to, you know, live?"

AB: [Laughs] We need a food budget. [Laughs]

NJ: Yes, right, right.

EJ: When he retired, the PERS system started just a few years before he retired. So he - and I know Dr. Strand was in the same boat, retired on $80-some dollars a month.

NJ: They didn't make any - they were supposed to retire at half salary.

AB: Wow!

NJ: And, nothing.

AB: Oh, my goodness.

NJ: Yeah, somebody committed suicide. I mean, it was really tragic.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: It was the state legislature that one day - I mean, they didn't understand, I don't think.

AB: No.

NJ: Why they wouldn't understand the repercussions of that is-

AB: It's incredible.

NJ: Yeah, it's hard to believe. It really was.

AB: I'd like-

NJ: Yeah. I have one more fun story.

AB: Please, please.

NJ: And that was when Dad was working in this chemical lab at Yale, and he had to go in early, 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning - this is what I learned from my godmother - and clean the chemistry lab. And I don't know what he was trying to do, but he got up kind of in the attic, because you can put some things up there. And he found these things in the attic, and he realized what they were. Hiram Bingham, who was a professor at Yale, but a lot of other things-

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: -had gone to Machu Picchu and brought back all of these artifacts. Yes, about 1910, I think he had brought them back.

AB: Oh, gosh!

NJ: And, interestingly enough, they had an agreement just a few years ago, and Yale gave them all back.

AB: Wow!

NJ: But Dad knew what they were. As soon as he found them, he knew what they were.

EJ: But part of his - that was part of his work-study thing, though, was that he-

NJ: cleaned.

EJ: -cleaned. I mean, he uncrated them, identified them, and, you know.

AB: What a student job. [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, right. [Laughs]

NJ: You know, that's another piece that I always-

EJ: And he never got to Machu Picchu, which was really too bad.

AB: Yes.

NJ: Along with a lot of other places.

AB: That's too bad. That's too bad.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TS: So, while your father was at Yale, he worked for - he had an internship or something like that, with Calco Chemical Company?

NJ: Well, yes. That's what I have, yes.

TS: Oh, okay, wonderful.

NJ: That's what he did just after he got his Ph.D. He went to Bound Brook, New Jersey and worked for them.

TS: Mm-hm.

NJ: That's all I know. He kind of paid them back, because they had-

TS: A scholarship, is that right?

NJ: A scholarship, or something. Yes, that's right. Yeah. And then, how long he worked, I don't know. I would say - I don't know if it was less than a year. And then in August, in '22, he returned to Oregon State by way of Crater Lake. [Laughs] We have a wonderful picture of him on the snow, you know, August 24th I think it was, or 22nd. [0:25:03] And he had a picture that he made August 24th in stones or pumice, or whatever, you see, and put it on the snow. Yeah. And then there's a picture of him in his bathing suit, standing down by the lake.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: Yes.

EJ: We all dipped in.

NJ: Oh yes, well, we had - when Chick and I went - you probably went a different time than I did.

EJ: Oh no, we all went, but he did the date in-

NJ: Oh, did he do that? He didn't do that for - oh. You must have gone a different - because I went with Beverly.

EJ: No, you were there. Well, this was-

NJ: And Chick, and Dad.

EJ: This was the whole family, but you were just a little tiny - you know, you weren't very old.

NJ: Oh, I remember, yeah, three-and-a-half.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: I do remember.

EJ: That's when you could take a boat and go to-

NJ: Yes. We went over - well, see I can tell you what we ate at the top of Wizard Island.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: I bet you could, yeah. [Laughs]

NJ: Green grapes.

AB: Wow! [Laughs]

NJ: But no, really, what I remember about that trip, we stayed in the lodge, and I do have a picture of this, the large, kind of lodge-like bedroom. And we walked down, and we got on the boat, and we went over to Wizard Island, and then we climbed up.

AB: Wow!

NJ: And I was three-and-a-half, I think. That's what I remember. And Chick was the one who was home.

EJ: Oh yeah, that time.

NJ: And Dad was so proud of me. And of course, I couldn't do anything but walk back down and get on the boat, and then walk up the rim again.

AB: Oh, my goodness.

NJ: But I remember how proud he was. See, and I was number three. So, you know, you don't get a lot of kudos when you're number three. [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: [Laughs]

NJ: But I do remember that.

EJ: Well, you didn't as number two either, but nobody's got the perfect childhood.

NJ: Yes. [Laughs]

AB: Do you have any other memorable family trips? I mean, you must have gone on a lot of camping trips. Do you have others?

EJ: His favorite place to go, besides Mount St. Helens, was in the Cascades, and we went up to, oh, a little resort that had a lake.

NJ: Oh, Lake Creek Lodge.

EJ: Lake Creek Lodge, yeah.

NJ: It's still there, Ellen.

AB: Oh, wow.

EJ: Yeah. And we went there and stayed, and we went several years. And the last year, we stayed in a cabin that had no electricity. Well, my mother was just panicky because we were carrying around these lanterns, you know, that if they went over-

NJ: Kerosene, or something.

EJ: And one of the things that we - well, we swam in this little, there was a little lake, which was not very deep. Anyway, but we rented horses, and I remember Dad and Mom would take Chick and Nan.

NJ: Oh, I think they had the reins, you know, because we were little. [Laughs]

EJ: Yeah. But anyway, then after that was all over, well, Mary Louise and I and Dad-

NJ: Yes, yes.

EJ: -took the horses, and we actually, up at the head of the-

NJ: Head of the Metolius-

EJ: -Metolius-

NJ: -River.

EJ: -we went right across with the horses.

NJ: Where the water comes out of the ground.

AB: My gosh.

EJ: And the fish were spawning, I mean, were all up there, and the horses were having a hard time walking across the river because of the number of fish.

AB: Wow, wow!

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: This was a little bit of a division, you see, the older two, and then the younger two. Yes.

AB: I see.

NJ: Chick and I used to think that they get all of the privilege.

EJ: Well-

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: They got to go and do all of those things that we were too young to do.

EJ: You know, and I think this happens in all families, but you know, Mother and Dad read to Mary Louise and me more than they read to you.

NJ: Well, they didn't have enough time.

EJ: Because they didn't have enough time.

NJ: Yeah. Because I think Chick was born the year that Dad became dean of science.

AB: That's quite a year. [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, so.

EJ: And Mother was typically the wife.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: I mean, she was as bright as Dad, and as educated as Dad. I mean, she didn't know as many languages, but when it came to physics and math, she probably knew more than he did.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

EJ: And poor thing, they got married, and they moved into this neighborhood where most of the women were either taught in home ec., or were home ec. majors married to, you know, somebody.

NJ: And mother didn't know how to boil water.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: Which is interesting. She was a first child. I was going to - when we get to that.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: But I was going to tell you that just the little bit here. [0:30:00] I figured it was 1927 when Dad was back at OAC here, and he stopped in at a friend's apartment and was going to ask her to a movie. Evidently, this is what they used to do is have a movie - they went to the movies, and then had a dance.

AB: Hm.

NJ: So he went to ask her, and she said that she already had a date. So he turned to the roommate, and our parents had met, finally.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: [Laughs] But it was fun, to kind of have that little piece, you know. And I think what Dad said to Mother was, "Well, gentlemen prefer blondes anyway."

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: That's what Mother said he said, and I thought, "You were blonde?" I had never thought of Mother as having been blonde, but.

EJ: Well, yeah, but.

NJ: That's what Mother said he actually said, so.

EJ: And they had a wonderful honeymoon. They were married in August in a Russian Orthodox Church in Seattle; they eloped, and then went on to Victoria. I mean, the thing that Mother remembered most about that was the Empress Hotel. So they didn't get to go back every year, but they went back many, many times.

AB: Wow.

EJ: And they took one of us at least once.

NJ: I've never been to the Empress Hotel, dear. [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: Well, I'm sorry for you. [Laughs]

NJ: Chick's never been to the Empress Hotel, either.

EJ: You're kidding?

NJ: Gasoline rationing.

EJ: Oh, that's right.

AB: Oh, right, right.

NJ: During World War II.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: Yeah.

AB: Can you tell us a little bit more about your memories during World War II, in Corvallis with your parents, and growing up?

EJ: Well I tell you, when we went back to - after my parents died, when we went back to go through the house, because they threw away nothing, we found balls of aluminum foil.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: [Laughs] That were saved off - you know, that they hadn't gotten into the war effort yet. I can remember we used to collapse tin cans and stamped on them. And I can remember going around in a wagon, collecting these things.

NJ: And we only got so much sugar.

EJ: Yeah! [Laughs]

NJ: Mother liked to bake cakes, and so she'd bake a cake, and what I remember is Mary Louise. Because what would happen is that this cake would get cut into 12 pieces, ultimately, and she said, "I'll have my two now," while it's fresh! [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: [Laughs]

NJ: I think of that more than, I wasn't so aware of the meat, and you know, even the gasoline and the tires. Not so much.

EJ: Right.

AB: Children are interested in sugar. [Laughs]

NJ: That's right. Exactly, exactly.

EJ: Well, we had only one relative who was in the war, and that was Dad's brother, who was just younger than him, had a son.

AB: Hm.

EJ: And during World War I, Dad and Herbert were the only two in the family who were in that war.

NJ: In that war.

EJ: But, and Herbert had become addicted to medication, after injuries and so on, and left his family, and he had this one son. So Dad sort of mentored Gordon, and brought him to Oregon State, and got him in the FIJI House. And then it was somewhere during his freshman year, Gordon said, you know, "Uncle Arch, I don't think I'm going to stay and do this. I think I'll go and enlist." And this was the summer of 1941.

AB: Wow!

EJ: So he was well into the Navy at the time of the war. Well, he went through a cadet program and was commissioned, and flew all the - almost all of the campaigns in the Pacific.

AB: Wow!

EJ: He was shot down once, but other than that, we weren't - we had no other personal, you know, connection to the war itself.

AB: Mm-hm, Mm-hm.

EJ: Just because we didn't have any other relatives except Gordon.

AB: Right, right.

NJ: Who were in it, yeah, yeah. That's true. And you know, we always thought that living on 31st Street, well, it was a utopian life. I mean, [laughs] in many, many ways. We had neighborhood kids much the same ages, and we, you know, had after-dinner-

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: -streetlight games. [Laughs] You know, all of that kind of thing. And we really - you know, I mean, I'm sure we didn't realize at the time, [0:35:03] but it didn't take too long for us to realize what a great-

AB: It was perfect.

NJ: Yes. And we knew other families so well. If someone was going to take their kids and go out to - what was the name of the little place out here where we went swimming, and they had-?

EJ: Oh, Avery Park.

NJ: No, beyond. On the Marys River, though, there was a little place-

EJ: Oh, Glattley's Grove?

NJ: Glattley's Grove. That was it.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Yes, yes. And then if this family was going, they'd fill their car with the other kids, you know, and that kind of thing.

AB: Close community.

NJ: It was wonderful. I mean, yeah, it really was.

EJ: But one of the games we played was softball, and it was a workout thing. And I was a little kid, and there were these high school boys, and they're playing. Well, you know, I got up and it was three strikes and you're out, and then you'd just go out to the outfield!

NJ: [Laughs]

EJ: Did that for two evenings! [Laughs] But I didn't leave. I didn't even complain.

NJ: No. And our parents, our mothers probably, mostly, had a whistle system. We were two long; that was our whistle. That means that we were supposed to come home.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: When you heard the two long whistles.

AB: And other families had-?

NJ: And they had different ones, yeah.

EJ: But the Seiberts had a good whistle, without a whistle.

NJ: Oh, yeah. [Laughs]

EJ: I was always so impressed!

NJ: That's probably true, yeah, yeah, yeah. But even the parents were, you know, the adults were close. We had university or college people on either side of us. So what they did in order to have a group in, because the houses were big enough for a fair number, was they went together and bought these chairs. And I don't know how many each one - I think Mother and Dad had twelve, didn't they, of those rawhide-bottom chairs? And then the Goodes had maybe six or something. And when you were going to have a big group, you see, you'd just go next door, because these were on the two sides of us, and you'd go next door and borrow as many chairs, because they all looked alike.

AB: Wow, wow!

NJ: It was that kind of community, yeah.

TS: Was this Delmer Goode?

NJ: Yes it was. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TS: So, were he and your father fairly close?

NJ: No, I wouldn't say that particularly. Mrs. Goode was probably-

EJ: She was more communicative.

NJ: She was a gardener.

EJ: Yeah.

TS: Okay.

AB: Ah.

NJ: And Dad was a gardener, definitely a gardener.

AB: We wanted to ask about that. That's not really reflected a lot in the collections. We wanted to ask about his gardening.

NJ: Okay, yes, yes.

AB: Please talk about that story.

NJ: Well, but anyway, so I think yes, it was Mrs. Goode that did the gardening. He didn't do any gardening at all.

EJ: Their son was in my grade, and I got my childhood nickname from Kirby Goode, because he couldn't pronounce Ellen, and it somehow came out Anna.

NJ: She's still Anna. [Laughs]

EJ: I'm Anna to anybody that knew me before, you know, before I started school, I think, but nobody else.

AB: Oh wow, that's cool.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: And that was because of Kirby, anyway.

AB: Now, did he have the Japanese garden there?

NJ: Dad built the Japanese - I mean, had it built.

EJ: That was just an amazing thing. We didn't realize how-

NJ: No, we didn't.

EJ: I don't know whether you ever saw it.

NJ: In the '30s, he built it.

AB: Just a picture.

EJ: He had the man that built all the sidewalks out there, H. H. Heckendorf, build it.

NJ: Yes, yes.

EJ: Was his - he built it. He built the pool.

NJ: Yeah, he did the actual building of the pool. But Dad designed it, because it's designed - it's called a Heart Pool, which means that you can't see it - you can't see everything in someone else's heart.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: You can see part of it, and another time you might see another piece, but you don't see.

AB: That's lovely.

NJ: So it was very built just to his specifications to make it a heart pool.

EJ: And all of the stones are in a certain place, I mean different types. Anyway, and before World War II, the royal gardener from Kyoto, Japan, came, and I think he was giving a lecture or something at the University of Oregon. But somehow Dad contacted him and asked him to come and appraise - tell Dad was what right or wrong about his Japanese garden.

AB: Wow.

EJ: It was so scientifically done. And so the man came. I don't remember him. This was too early for me to remember.

NJ: Mm-hm.

EJ: [0:39:59] But anyway, the garden was all right, except that the bridge over this one arm of the pool had a railing on both sides. And if there had been a temple behind it, then that would have been right, but because there was no temple behind it, it shouldn't have the railing.

AB: Huh.

EJ: And Dad said, "Well, I really knew that, but I have four little girls, and if they go-." [Laughs]

NJ: And I fell over the railing once, and into the water. [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: So you can imagine how many times we would have fallen if the railings hadn't been there.

EJ: But Dad used to go, and he went to meetings out of town. He would often come back with these little Asian costume things. You know, little tops and bottoms, or something.

NJ: Japanese, very Japanese looking.

EJ: Yeah, and sometimes even he would get some paper parasols. And we'd get all dressed up, and then we would walk across, through the garden in these little outfits, and he would take colored movies. We lost the movies somewhere.

AB: Oh, too bad.

NJ: I don't know; I have no idea. Yeah, because he had weeping Japanese cherry trees placed in the right places, and then during, when they bloomed in march, he'd spotlighted them, the whole-

EJ: Floodlight.

NJ: Floodlighted, yes, you know, down, so it was just a gorgeous scene during blossom time.

AB: Wow, what a good yard to grow up in.

NJ: Yes, yes, true.

EJ: That part of Corvallis had been an orchard, so there were lots of fruit trees. We had a cherry tree, a plum tree, and a pear tree. They took the plum out, but Dad grafted onto both the cherry tree and the pear, himself. I mean, he put the grafts on. So we had three kinds of cherries, and two or three kinds of pears.

NJ: Or three, or four or five. Yeah. He had several kinds.

EJ: He loved Magnolias. He had been in Florida for two years, and he fell in love with these subtropical-type, semi-tropical-type plants. So we had five different magnolias, including the grandiflora, which is the evergreen one with the big leaves and the beautiful white flowers.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: And he was the first one in Corvallis that had one of those.

AB: I was just about to ask. I see them everywhere, and I was just wondering, was he responsible?

NJ: Right, and the irony is that it died the year Dad died.

AB: Oh, oh.

EJ: It died that year.

NJ: Which, you know-

EJ: That tree was there for 52 years, almost. And he had a ladder up the tree that he just left there year ‘round, because he could go up and with a long - anyway, picked flowers. And he would bring them to the secretaries, and people on campus.

NJ: And our house smelled like that smell, because there's always one in the house, you know, in the summertime.

EJ: The lemony smell.

NJ: That fragrance, yeah.

AB: Gorgeous.

EJ: And neither Nan nor I were there for their 40th wedding anniversary.

NJ: Correct.

EJ: But they picked a lot of those, and had them all over the room.

AB: Oh, beautiful.

EJ: It was sort of our family flower.

NJ: Yes.

EJ: Mary Louise has a magnolia.

NJ: Uh-huh.

EJ: Chick has a magnolia.

NJ: I don't. I don't live in the right places. [Laughs]

EJ: Yeah. And we have a grandiflora. So that's sort of a family-

AB: Tradition.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: My son, when he was little, he came to the folks and he saw them, and he says, "Oh, it looks like a missile flower."

NJ: Yes.

EJ: Anyway, this is my son who now is a rocket scientist.

NJ: A rocket scientist. [Laughs]

EJ: So anyway, but it was funny that he would it that when he was like three or four.

AB: Rocket flower. [Laughs]

EJ: Yeah.

AB: Now, your family must have had a great emphasis on education. Can you talk about your dad and your education?

NJ: Well, Ellen, you do a good monologue on this.

EJ: We went from high school to college just like most people go from the first grade to the second grade. Fortunately, I think we were all - nobody rebelled from that. I mean, I rebelled about a lot of things, the second child.

NJ: I questioned. I did question going, and Mother said, "Well, if you don't want to go to college, you can get a job." Well, that did it. [Laughs] I don't know what I was thinking. I was just - maybe I was just rebelling a little, you know.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: Also, you knew you were going to marry Bob as soon as he finished college, so.

NJ: Yes, Right.

EJ: So.

NJ: ROTC, he had to finish ROTC piece, yeah, that was it

EJ: So, you, I mean, you-

NJ: [0:45:00] I know. I mean, I loved learning, so I can't imagine that I didn't want to go!

EJ: I think that was - and Mary Louise mentioned that - after Mother died, we took their ashes and combined them, and we went up on top of Marys Peak, and talked about the folks, had a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread and some cheese, I think. And we just sat there on the top of the hill, and talked about our life, and our parents.

NJ: And the things they'd given to us, you know, that you don't realize when you're little.

AB: Right, like education. Yeah.

EJ: And one thing we were talking about was what the folks, you know, what we - and Marie said curiosity, and she's 82, 3?

NJ: Three.

EJ: Three? And she's still going to school, and now she's having a little memory problem, but she's taking these classes!

NJ: She's taking courses! [Laughs] She's always taking two courses.

EJ: Yeah. She took a lot more - she's the only one of us that took a foreign language. Dad didn't let us take a foreign language in high school, because he thought that the teachers would not have the proper pronunciation.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: But we had to take Latin. So Mary Louise is the only one that, after all of that, and she took French.

NJ: Yes.

EJ: So she's stuck with taking French again, you know, at 80, but well before that. But Dad's ability for language-

AB: That's incredible.

EJ: None of us-

NJ: None of us got it. None of us got it.

AB: Too bad! [Laughs] It's pretty-

NJ: Which was, I was frustrated, because I was trying to learn Russian, and everyone else in the class had had a Russian grandmother, I swear. [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs] No fair.

NJ: But I just don't have the facility. I just didn't get that gene, you know, that - it was very frustrating.

EJ: I think that one of Mary Louise's children did, because-

NJ: Well, I don't know, but Joan learned Mandarin.

EJ: Well, and Swedish.

NJ: Yes, and Swedish.

EJ: And Spanish.

NJ: Yeah, she got it somehow, through the-

EJ: Yes.

NJ: Because I don't think her dad has it.

EJ: That was Mary Louise's oldest child.

NJ: Oldest child. I don't think he got it. But his daughter did.

EJ: Not Mary Louise's - it's her granddaughter. She's in-

NJ: Beijing.

EJ: -in Beijing, in the embassy.

AB: Oh, wow. Now, didn't your dad try to learn Japanese at one point, and said it wasn't for him? [Laughs]

NJ: Oh, he did. He did! He did, he did. He did.

EJ: We had lots of Japanese books, some beautiful books, garden books.

NJ: He learned the caricatures as well.

AB: Oh, wow, that's cool.

EJ: Well, but when he was 70 or so, he went and enrolled in a class on phonetic Japanese, I think it was. But he had lots of books, and his little - he called it his bomb shelter, but it's where he kept all of his books, and it was filled with it. That was another hobby of his. On the door were the-

NJ: Yeah, the caricatures.

AB: Caricatures?

EJ: -the caricatures for, "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think."

AB: Oh, wow!

NJ: [Laughs] And he could have learned that lesson. He needed to take that to heart.

EJ: Well, but he did enjoy himself. He had so many hobbies. He collected paisley shawls, from Paisley. He collected little fairy lamps with the candles. Yeah, yeah.

AB: Yeah.

EJ: With at least four parts to them. They have a top, and a cup - anyway, and collected British antique silver, and he collected books. And then he had the garden interest. The Victory garden. I want to tell you about that.

AB: Oh, please!

NJ: Back to the war.

EJ: The World War had started, World War II had started, and the block that was right - we looked out the front door to a block that had houses on one side, but on the other side of the alley was just-

AB: Was a lot?

EJ: Yes. And the man who owned the lot allowed people to have a garden.

AB: Wow.

EJ: So I don't know how that one got plowed, or much about it, but Dad went down to the feed store and he bought every variety of vegetable seed. So, not only did we have potatoes, carrots, beets, beans, lima beans.

NJ: The usual ones.

EJ: But we had salsify, and kohlrabi.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: Salsify was the one!

EJ: All of these. Anyway, mother made soup out of these.

NJ: Yeah, salsify soup, oh!

EJ: Anyway, when he went over to pick the peas, he took the old-fashion laundry basket. [0:50:03]

NJ: He started with something smaller than that.

EJ: That's right, and then they took it.

NJ: Then they came back for the laundry basket.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: But I think we had five laundry baskets full of peas-

AB: Oh, wow.

EJ: -to pick in one day, and process. Then the next year, he somehow had talked the university into letting him plow a field that belonged to the university. It was really just a block from the house, or so.

AB: Do you remember where it was?

NJ: Yeah, on Jackson Street.

EJ: Off Jackson Street, and past 31st, between 31st and 32nd.

NJ: Between 31st and 32nd.

EJ: But he went to somebody, and borrowed a horse from the university. And I don't know where he got the hand plow, but he plowed it by hand. A 100-by-200-

NJ: Now, Ellen remembers these dimensions. I can't believe this! [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: Because in the garden we had, it wasn't big enough to do things like corn.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

EJ: And-

NJ: Potatoes.

EJ: So he planted, I think it was, twelve 200-foot rows of corn, and eight rows of potatoes. Anyway, well, I don't know what happened to the potatoes. Maybe they didn't do that well.

NJ: I don't even remember the potatoes.

EJ: Well, the corn.

NJ: The corn! We were overwhelmed with corn.

EJ: They had to go down and rent another locker down at the dairy.

NJ: Yeah. That was before home freezers, you see.

AB: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

NJ: So we had lockers then. Meadowland Dairy.

EJ: Meadowland Dairy, yeah, had lockers. Anyway, I don't know how long that corn lasted.

NJ: I don't know. It went forever.

EJ: We didn't leave any on the cob. Because we [unclear]. We cut all of it off.

NJ: He dried some, if you remember.

EJ: Yeah, that's right, he did.

NJ: Instead of just freezing it, he dried it.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: I mean, we weren't going to starve! [Laughs]

EJ: Anyway, and I don't think he knew what he was doing. As a kid, he'd hoed cotton. I know he said he had hoed cotton for ten cents an hour, so he made a dollar a day if he stayed.

NJ: But Ellen got the green thumb.

AB: I was going to ask: who's the collector, who's the gardener. [Laughs]

NJ: She's the one who - yeah. Chick is the collector; Chick is definitely the collector. Ellen got the green thumb. I mean, I remember the day that the deer ate all of your-

EJ: Oh, yeah.

NJ: -what were they around your island?

EJ: Grape hyacinth.

NJ: Grape hyacinths, and I think you told me 2,000, or something. Ellen didn't put in a few grape hyacinth! She's just like Dad.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: Yeah, but they multiply.

NJ: Okay, okay, maybe they did. But I just thought, "Ellen!" She still is planting vegetables. She can't stop. [Laughs]

EJ: Well, I joined the master gardeners, so that I could do it right.

NJ: Yeah.

AB: Yeah, yeah. I want to talk a little bit about your time at OSC. Can you give us some of your memories of being here in college?

NJ: Oh, in college. Now see, it's interesting.

AB: Or as children. I mean, did you come to campus?

NJ: My memories as a child - I mean, I wrote down all of the things that I can remember doing. I mean, I think I was so busy when I was a student that I really don't have a lot of memories of it, in a way.

AB: Right, right.

NJ: Doesn't that sound crazy?

AB: No, I understand.

NJ: But one of the things that I did, which I am so glad I did, was go home and fix Dad's dinner. Mother went back to teaching, and so Dad started out eating at the Tea Room at the MU.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: And then I think he ate at the Electric Lunch because that was close; that was down on Monroe Street. And then Mother asked me if I would come home and fix his dinner. She usually had it in such a way that it didn't take a long time. I couldn't, you know, because we didn't have that much time, you know, at noon. But it was a wonderful time with Dad.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: We did the scramble, and the Oregonian, and you know, this kind of thing. And I learned a lot about him, just because I didn't have very much one-on-one time with him.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: So it turned out to be a wonderful, you know - but I remember these earlier days. I mean, we all went to nursery school, and I can remember - I mean, I have pictures in my mind. Ellen and Mary Louise went to the old nursery school.

EJ: [0:54:59] It was somewhere behind the chemistry building where some engineering buildings are.

NJ: Now.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: And the president's house wasn't too far.

EJ: Right. The president's house was in there, too.

NJ: In that area.

EJ: It was in that, and then it moved out to Orchard Street.

NJ: And then Orchard Street.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: And I don't know; is it still there? I don't think it is.

AB: I'm not sure. I'm not sure.

NJ: It was on Orchard and 26th.

AB: For the school, no. No, I think it's over here now, yeah.

NJ: Okay. Well, this was a wonderful little nursery school. I mean, I have these memories of - first of all, I was a good eater.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: And so I was moved from different tables to be a good example.

EJ: Well, we all did that, except Chick. Chick is the only one that didn't.

NJ: Was that right? Did we all do that?

EJ: Mm-hm.

NJ: Okay.

EJ: Because you had a symbol that was yours, so if you were a bluebird, then there's a hook to, you know, to hang your coat with a bluebird on it.

AB: Right, right.

EJ: And I think you had a little place to put things.

NJ: Yes, a little cubby. A little cubby, yeah.

EJ: And your chair at the table, to eat, had that bluebird. But we got moved around, because we were such good eaters.

NJ: We were good eaters.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, and but I do remember - I remember the naps; we had to lie down. Well, I never napped.

AB: Not a good napper? [Laughs]

NJ: I never - I don't think I ever fell asleep!

NJ: I was not a napper, you know? But I had to lie there, you know.

AB: Uh-huh.

NJ: But I can remember playing; we had a wonderful jungle gym somebody made. You know, it wasn't purchased and put together like you do today, but someone had made it. And I remember, it was a wonderful jungle gym out there. And you know, I just loved nursery school.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: Yeah, I really - I don't know what you remember?

EJ: And then, we did not go to kindergarten. You did.

NJ: I did. I went to kindergarten.

EJ: With my parents, it was private; you had to pay, as a school. I wanted to go because they had graham crackers and milk.

NJ: [Laughs] We were very food-oriented.

AB: Sounds good. Take me there. [Laughs]

EJ: [Laughs] But Mother said we didn't need to go, so.

NJ: Well, I went. And I think it's because all of the neighborhood kids were starting to go, you know. Yeah, that's what - and then we all took swimming lessons at the Women's Building.

AB: Oh.

NJ: That pool? I don't know if you know that pool and that? Well, we loved it so. I mean, we took every year, no matter whether we knew how to swim or not, until junior lifesaving came up, and then we took that. But I mean, I think I was in that 10:20 swimmer's class forever.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: But it wasn't just the swimming. Somehow or another - and Ellen experienced this same thing - we would go over maybe at 9 o'clock or something, and we played games.

EJ: Well, we played jacks.

NJ: Yeah. And we walked around the Women's Building on the ledge.

EJ: On the ledge. Yeah. Yeah.

AB: [Laughs] I don't know if that's a good idea for kids.

NJ: Well, we didn't fall off. I guess, because-[laughs].

EJ: There were places where there were other doors, and it was - I don't remember whether we had to get off or not, but my best friend was Barbara Mumford, and Barbara Mumford could outrun any boy in school until about our senior year in high school. It's too bad she wasn't there, but the women [unclear].

NJ: Didn't pursue her athletic ability.

EJ: But she was very athletic, and she, being my best friend, I had to do all of these things. We climbed every tree in the neighborhood, and the ones I couldn't get up, she would either push me up or pull me up.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: She took lessons, swimming lessons, so she was with you?

EJ: Yeah, right.

NJ: Okay, okay. Like Bobsy was with me.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: I mean, we did everything together. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: But it was the whole process of going to the swimming, and playing these games, and it became - and then another thing we did was when they redid the sidewalks in front of the MU, that was the place to roller skate.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: So we would roller skate over.

AB: Wow! Up and down in front, or around?

NJ: All of those. Yeah, all of those.

EJ: We did these things that maybe if there were enough people, you'd go this way, and then you go this way, and we did sort of a little routine.

NJ: Yes, but that was the thing. We always had to ask Mother, of course, so she would know where we were, but the MU was the place to roller skate.

AB: That sounds like fun. [Laughs]

EJ: But the MU was also the place to water lawns, and all of us [1:00:00] - when I watered lawns, it was like high school, you weren't old enough to get a real job.

NJ: Real job. Yeah, yeah, right. [Laughs]

EJ: But for 66 cents an hour, you know, you could go - you went in your shorts and picked up a-

NJ: A wooden wheelbarrow kind of thing.

EJ: Well, a cart.

NJ: Cart, okay, okay.

EJ: I don't know; it had big wheels, like a covered wagon or something.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

EJ: And you rolled that cart to [unclear].

NJ: 8 o'clock in the morning.

EJ: It was full of sprinklers. And then-

NJ: And hoses. They came and brought the hoses.

EJ: They brought the hoses in a pickup truck, and they just left them here and there, and young men unrolled the hose, attached the sprinkler, and turned it on. And when you got all through with that, we were supposed to hand water, and then soak. The professor who was actually, you know, must have been in landscaping, decided that we should pick all of the old flowers off the rhododendrons. Well, at the time, well, and still, the rhododendrons are all over.

AB: That's a lot of rhododendrons, though.

NJ: Well they were smaller, though. [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs] That's true.

EJ: But anyway, what we really wanted to do was go to the-

NJ: Ice cream store. [Laughs]

EJ: -or the coffee shoppe, or talk to guys.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: It was a wonderful job, even though we earned 66 cents an hour.

AB: And you both did it?

NJ: We all did it.

AB: All did it?

NJ: All four of us did that. Yeah, yeah.

EJ: I mean, I had some friends whose fathers were not connected with the university that got jobs also, but you applied.

AB: Yeah, yeah.

NJ: But I think we each did it for three summers.

EJ: Mm-hm.

AB: Wow.

NJ: Because as soon as Ellen was through, then I started, you see. I don't think we ever worked the same summer.

EJ: No. We didn't. And then we graduated from that to lifeguarding at the city pool, and Mary Louise [unclear]-

NJ: Mary Louise and Jim Dunn started that when they built the pool.

EJ: Yeah. Right. And then I did it three years.

NJ: Yeah. They said the city sent them out to-

EJ: And then you did three years, and then Chick.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But then I came back and did it.

EJ: Oh, did you?

NJ: Yeah, I did.

EJ: But I thought my little sisters were really, you know, very good, and didn't do bad things.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: But I recently found out that while they were working at the pool, they would close it, and everybody would go home, and they would go back and climb over the fence and swim.

NJ: We figured out - oh, we were terrible! We figured how often and when - at 10 after, the police came.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: So we had that figured out. But now, we lifeguarded. See, those of us who were working there felt responsible. And so we did lifeguard. You know, we didn't just let everybody-

EJ: It was after hours.

NJ: After, yeah, we did lifeguard.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: But I wondered sometimes if Dad knew we did that or not, because we would be on our bicycles, and off we went. I don't know what he knew.

AB: You would come home a little wet. [Laughs]

EJ: I don't know, with the Interstate on 26th and I think, College Way, or something, on the northwest corner, there used to be a formal garden there.

AB: Mm.

EJ: They had privet hedges, and flowers. Well, one year, I think I was a junior or a senior in high school, and I was in charge of the decorations for the Mothers' Tea at the high school. And I always had these-

NJ: Ellen was the decorator.

EJ: We got little kids' swimming pools and filled them with water, and then we sort of put moss on them, so they didn't look like a swimming pool. But we needed some flowers. So I had noticed that the formal garden's daffodils were in full bloom. So I had a little help, but we picked - came up at night, and picked 12 dozen daffodils. Now, you couldn't even tell that they were gone.

NJ: [Laughs] Nobody knew.

EJ: Nobody knew. But the other thing that we did-

AB: Midnight gardening is what I call that. [Laughs]

NJ: Yes, yes, night gardening.

EJ: Well, and the other thing was, Mother had a little crèche, and things that she put on the mantle at Christmas time. She loves long-needle pine. And long-needle pine was not very available here, except behind the women's building.

NJ: And we knew it was there.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: Dad was writing his papers; I don't know if he knew what was going on or not.

NJ: Oh, where did he think that long-needle pine came from?

EJ: Well, anyway, so we would wait ‘til it was dark.

NJ: Now, we would have to - we pruned.

EJ: We pruned, yeah.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: We did not just-

AB: [1:04:59] Responsible midnight gardeners.

NJ: Responsible, absolutely! That was the word, by the way, above our kitchen table.

AB: What word?

NJ: Responsibility.

EJ: Responsibility.

AB: Responsibility, interesting.

EJ: We could spell it, and we knew what it meant.

NJ: Yes. R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y.

EJ: By the time we were six, we all knew that word. There were four other words, but responsibility was the big one.

NJ: Well, it was there first.

EJ: Yes.

NJ: And then Dad added some more.

EJ: There was judgment.

AB: What were they?

NJ: Judgment, cooperation-

EJ: There's one or two more. Judgment was real important.

NJ: Cooperation was important. What else would they - there's another C one.

EJ: Mm-hm. Control?

NJ: Control, maybe? I don't know.

EJ: Yeah. I think maybe that was it, yeah.

NJ: I don't know. Was it control?

AB: And they were above the-?

NJ: Kitchen table.

AB: The kitchen table, so you would read it every day.

EJ: Permanent.

NJ: Yeah, they were there for years, years, years.

EJ: Our kitchen was small.

NJ: Very small.

EJ: And there was a table there, and there were benches, so we pulled the table-

NJ: Dad made the benches.

EJ: -out from the wall, and two people sat on that bench, and two people, you know, [unclear].

NJ: And then as we got smaller, you see, the table went against the wall, and that's when I-

EJ: After we left.

NJ: After you and Mary Louise left, right, right, right.

EJ: Our college days, we all went to Oregon State. There was not much of a choice. And when we were born, Dad took out some kind of - I mean, he paid, he put in seven dollars a month for each of us, for 20 years.

AB: Wow.

EJ: And that paid, you know, for a lot of our education.

AB: Right.

EJ: If we wanted to live on campus, which people didn't do in those days-

AB: No.

EJ: -I mean, you didn't go live in a dorm.

NJ: My friends did, especially those who were not connected with the university.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: They tended to come. Yeah, they all did.

EJ: But we had no choice about going to school. I would have loved to have gone to Stanford. I mean, I just, you know, probably - I don't know whether I could have gotten in, but.

NJ: You could have gotten in.

EJ: But I mean, Dad just didn't have that kind of money. His salary was never more than $20,000. Now, I realize that was a long time ago.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: Yeah, but if you realized how little we paid, you know.

AB: And compared it to today.

NJ: Compared to today, we paid $55 a term.

EJ: I started at $45.

NJ: You started at 45. I paid 55, yeah.

EJ: But I came back in 1975, when my husband retired from the military service, and got a master's degree, and it was $319 a quarter.

NJ: Oh, was it really? What a shock! [Laughs]

EJ: I mean, no, I think we thought it was pretty reasonable.

NJ: You knew, okay.

AB: What year was that?

EJ: 1975. I'm the only one that came back to school here, of the four.

NJ: Yeah, yeah. I got mine at Syracuse, yeah.

EJ: Mary Louise - I mean, she went to school; she's still going.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: But I'm the only one that came back. But we all majored in science.

AB: I was going to ask, was there a choice about that?

NJ: Well, I tried not to major in science. You know, here were these two sisters ahead of me, and so I was in home ec., until I found out that in order to do nutrition, which is what I wanted, I had to take all of these textiles, and fabric, and sewing. Well, Ellen and Chick were the seamstress, not me.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: So I changed to elementary ed. Okay, so I got into elementary ed., and I thought, "I'm not going to get an education this way." The only course that I really remembered was the Math 13X, where they were trying to teach us about different base numbers. Well, I think out of the 30-some people in the course, about three of us got the picture about base numbers. And so I got out, and got into the School of Science.

EJ: It was the most liberal - I mean, it had the fewest requirements, General Science.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: Because the liberal arts, at that time, was only a two-year program.

NJ: Lower division.

EJ: Yeah. So, a lot of people were in science just because they could get more, right - I mean, I did - for some reason, did a teaching major in biology, and a teaching minor in physical science.

AB: Oh.

EJ: So I was, you know-

NJ: You were really in. [1:09:59] Yeah, and I did, see, I did science and social science.

EJ: Yeah, and Mary Louise did science and English.

NJ: But the State of New York certified me in history, because it said Natural History of Oregon.

EJ: [Laughs] Is that right?

NJ: So I always thought that was wonderful! [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: Well, my sophomore year I decided to rebel, and I went to the University of Utah for a term.

AB: Oh.

EJ: Which really kind of screws up your sequencing of courses. So in fact, I started out as a PE minor, but when I came back, I thought, they wanted 57 hours, you know, for a minor, so I changed to physical science, which was not my thing, but anyway, I did it. But you know, I can see why Dad read constantly, to try to keep up on a few things, because I learned about DNA in my child's 7th grade science book. You know, for a biology major? You know. Those things were just being discovered, but they certainly hadn't gotten to-

AB: Didn't make it into the curriculum yet?

EJ: Yeah.

AB: Do you have any memories of dances, or events?

NJ: Oh, I can remember, yes, dances at the MU, you know. But we had our high school dances sometimes at the MU, so, you know, there was a little - yeah, there was a little. And then Gill Coliseum, we had dances there, I remember. But you know, I went with the same young man from the 7th grade on. [Laughs]

AB: Wow!

NJ: So I mean, I don't have those kinds of experiences of dating a lot of different people.

AB: Right.

EJ: But the Sig Eps had a wonderful pajama-

NJ: Oh, yes, they had the Fireman's Ball.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: And they had a fire escape. I don't know if they still do that at the Sig Ep house, but they had a - you wore pajamas, and then you got into the dance by going down the fire escape, which was a big chute that took you through a window, into the house. [Laughs]

AB: Wow!

NJ: Yeah, yeah. That was a fun dance. Yeah, yeah, anyway. But I went - we had a lot of dances in high school.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: I mean, we probably had-

EJ: Well, there were a lot of rally dances.

NJ: No, but if you look back at all of the organizations that had formal dances?

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: And so with four girls, we had a formal closet.

AB: All dresses.

NJ: And so we remade them, you know?

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: And all that.

EJ: And shared them.

NJ: And shared them, exactly. Yeah.

AB: What was it like? We're going back a little bit, but I meant to ask you, what was it like to have your dad be the President of OSC? How did that affect you? What were your-?

EJ: You know, it's so matter of fact, kind of. He was very busy; he was such a perfectionist!

NJ: Mm-hm.

EJ: That he wanted - that he stressed over this. Frank and I were - Frank was stationed in El Paso, Texas, when we got married, and Dad came through there. He would go into land grant meetings, and at that time, you could fly, but he would take the train, and that way he could go visit places. He went back to Ninnekah, the town he was born - he walked ten miles because there's no transportation.

NJ: You're kidding! Did he really?

EJ: Mm-hm.

NJ: I didn't know that. I didn't know that.

EJ: But one time he came through, and he got off the train, and he said that they had stopped in Del Rio or somewhere along the border, and he bought six tamales, and he'd just eaten them. And I thought, My God, he'll be in the hospital!

NJ: Because he had such trouble with-

EJ: With - yeah, but there was no stress, because he wasn't-

NJ: That was the way it was camping.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: He could eat anything! I mean, that's - I had to go home and fix him dinner at noon because he couldn't digest it at night.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: But camping, he could eat anything! It was amazing.

AB: [Laughs] All about the setting.

NJ: Yep, that's right. Yep, yeah.

TS: Your father was involved in a lot of - it was just a very sort of turbulent time here at the university.

EJ: Yes.

TS: With the pressure between the U of O and-

NJ: Yes, yes, the '30s.

TS: -the college.

EJ: Mm-hm, mm-hm. Yeah, the rivalry was, yeah.

TS: Yeah, the '30s, and then it sort of continued out. Do you remember, did your father ever talk much about that, or did you get a sense of what was happening?

NJ: [1:15:00] Yes. I mean, I think we were aware of the stress. But I wasn't born until '35, so I don't remember specifically.

EJ: I remember.

NJ: But that lingered.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: That tension lingered. But you go ahead, because you have a different view on this.

EJ: Well, I remember when Dr. Ballard had a heart attack, and he was - I mean, he stayed on as president for a while before he actually resigned. But he and my dad drove up to Portland to a state board meeting. And as soon as they parked, he turned to Dad, and he said, "I'm resigning, and recommending that you be interim president." Dad didn't want the job, but I mean, he accepted it.

AB: Responsibility.

NJ: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

EJ: Well, because you're so far from students.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

EJ: Because he was still teaching, or advising, pre-med students. I didn't know this until recently; Dad would have loved to have been a physician, but he couldn't stand blood.

NJ: Yeah, the surgery he couldn't do.

AB: How interesting!

EJ: So he went into the pharmacy business. But it was really important to him that the pre-med students get a good education here, and be properly advised. And it was sort of - he was competitive too, because lots of years, Oregon State would send more kids to medical school than Oregon did, and that pleased him a lot.

AB: He must have loved that. [Laughs]

EJ: Yes, he did. It was sometime in the '30s. I think it was about the year I was born, about 1932 or something, there was a big upheaval, and they sent-

NJ: Well, it was a budget thing, you know, for the depression. You know, it didn't seem reasonable that they should have these two universities as close as they were, relatively, teaching the same thing. So, that was - yeah.

EJ: Yeah. At one point, they voted - the state board voted to eliminate the College of Science at Oregon State.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: And I don't know how - but it was the University of Oregon that had contacted the state board people. But anyway, [laughs] and I don't know whether that was the same meeting that-

NJ: Oh, I have no idea.

EJ: It was in that same period of time.

NJ: I think it was earlier, Ellen. I think it was earlier.

EJ: But it never came to fruition, but it was a real scare, because Dad did a lot for the university. I don't know how - I think he was quite involved in the honors program. Research has always been bigger at Oregon State, and I think he had a lot to do with that. I mean, right now, I think the research coming out of Oregon State is just incredible! My mother - she knew that there would never be a building named after him, because buildings were being named; it had gone from the people who gave their life to the people who gave their money, and this wasn't going to happen for him. They did name that auditorium after him. But she wanted to do something that his name would never be forgotten. So she started this endowment, and then this F. A. Gilfillan Award, which, I mean, just shocked us when we found out. The deans all say this: it's the most prestigious award in the College of Science, which is really - I mean, she would be ecstatic.

AB: Tickled.

EJ: That it's going so well.

NJ: Yes, yes, yes. That's very true.

EJ: That was - that was real important to her.

AB: Yeah.

EJ: But I used to come to - the awards were announced at the college faculty meeting in the fall, which I guess they still are. We're not invited to that anymore, because it's just college business. Most of it's introducing new faculty, and lots of things like that. And we come in the spring when that person gives a lecture about what they're doing. [1:19:59] We do come to - I mean, I've missed a few, but we come to a lot of those, and I used to sit there and think, "You know, it's too bad these people never knew my dad."

AB: Yeah.

EJ: But now I sit there and think, "It's too bad Dad never knew these people."

NJ: [Laughs] Mm-hm.

EJ: Their accomplishments, and their - look at Jane Lubchenco. These people are all nationally known in their field. I mean, they're just amazing!

AB: How gratifying.

NJ: Yeah. It is; it's very gratifying.

EJ: Yeah, it made me really proud of Oregon State. And I think that Dad had a lot to do with - you know, he knew Linus Pauling. Linus Pauling stayed at our house.

AB: Can you tell us the story? [Laughs]

EJ: Well, I was so young, I don't really remember. But the college, or the chemistry building, Gilbert Hall-?

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: Okay. That was, Dad designed the things over the door.

NJ: The chemical symbols.

AB: He did?

NJ: Mm-hm.

AB: Oh, I love that building!

EJ: My husband hates it, because when he was a student, that was his study, or work-study, was to go clean the building, the chemistry building. But anyway, when it was completed, Dad wrote to Linus Pauling and asked him if he would come up for the dedication. Well, at that time, you don't put people up in a hotel; you put them up in a home.

AB: Yeah.

EJ: And our home had six bedrooms upstairs, but a guest bedroom downstairs. So it was very convenient, and they had their own private bath. And you know, it was easy to have somebody. And I don't really remember him, except that I know that the folks gave them a key to the house, because Linus Pauling and his wife were very social, and they knew a lot of people. And so the time that they were here - and I don't know how many days it was - they would go out at night, and were going to dinner at other peoples' house, and going to other things that my folks might not be going to. And Barbara Mumford and I were - I think it was Campfire Girls, or something. Anyway, we were making these old bookcase things that had dowels with, you know, with three dowels, and then wood at the end, that books could sit in. And Linus Pauling saw them, and said, "That's what children should be doing."

NJ: [Laughs]

EJ: I mean, because we were sort of - I mean, we didn't have a pattern. We were sort of-

NJ: Kind of doing it on your own.

EJ: Yeah, mm-hm.

NJ: Yeah, yeah.

EJ: Anyway, I remember that. Now, that's about as much as I remember about the Paulings.

NJ: Well, then Chick, our youngest sister, was in the Friends of the Library.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: And I don't exactly remember if she had different jobs in there. But anyway, she got Linus Pauling to come up for a meeting, and give a talk, and so forth.

AB: Really?

EJ: Is that right?

NJ: Yes, yes. And what I remember is the decorations. She is like Ellen.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: She had all of these little books on all the tables. I mean, I wasn't even here. I was on the East Coast, but I saw pictures of them. But she - yeah, she got him to come and do a - now, I don't know when that was. In the '70s, maybe? I'm not sure.

EJ: That's probably about the time that she was doing it.

NJ: That kind of thing. I think so. I think so.

EJ: Well, I hosted Margaret Bourke-White.

NJ: Yes.

EJ: -when she came. But that was something that the college, or I think the MU, I think, probably your friend Johnson.

NJ: Mrs. Leone Johnson, yes.

EJ: Leone.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: They brought people in to speak.

NJ: Uh-huh.

EJ: And anyway, I volunteered to escort her.

NJ: Well, that's good. I'm glad to hear that, because I had this friend who was a year older, that was like Barbara Mumford for Ellen, Bobsy Johnson, whose mother was head of activities at the MU. And, bless her heart, she died this year. But I have just gone through all my correspondence from year one, and so many of her letters refer to something that happened at our house. I mean, she was wonderful at that! And one of them was, well, I think it's when I wrote to her the Christmas after I got the job to do the Margaret Bourke-White papers, at Syracuse, and she wrote back immediately, [1:25:00] saying, "Do I remember Margaret Bourke-White? She filled the room!" But Bobsy was there probably, maybe more than once when she was there, but she was there for one of these fashion shows that she did with the saris, and so forth.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: But I mean, she was so taken with her! She said, "I've never met a stronger woman-

AB: Wow.

NJ: -than Margaret Bourke-White was." I mean, that was the way Bobsy saw it, you know. So it was so interesting to me that she would refer to that so often, yeah.

AB: Can you talk about your dad's relationship with Margaret Bourke-White?

EJ: He met her at a party in the east, out at Bound Brook.

NJ: Yes, right after Margaret's father had died.

EJ: Okay. Anyway, this girl picked up five darts and threw them at the target, and hit the bull's eye with all of them. And I think she was 16; she was quite young.

NJ: Maybe 17.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Maybe 17, because she had started college.

EJ: Had she?

NJ: Yeah, and then she had to quit because her father died. I mean, she went to seven different universities.

EJ: Well, you know more about Margaret than I do.

NJ: Yeah, that's right.

EJ: Except that when she came, she'd come in a taxi, and there'd be five hat boxes, and practically a trunk.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: And then one time she came, it was in the winter time, and that room was on the north side of the house.

NJ: The guest room. The guest room.

EJ: And she looked at it, at the bed, and she said, "About five more blankets will probably-." Well, Mother had to strip blankets off our bed.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: We had two - I think we had two Hudson Bay blankets on our bed. We slept - you know, it's a wonder that we-

NJ: We didn't sleep with much heat upstairs.

EJ: Well, I guess that was it, but anyway. But she had been somewhere it was cold.

NJ: She'd been up to Mount Hood.

EJ: No, but she had been to some country.

NJ: Timberline Lodge? Oh, okay, okay.

EJ: Some country, I think it was.

NJ: Okay, right.

EJ: You know, because she travelled everywhere. I have a picture of a Russian nursery school, children, that she did. And she sent it to my parents when I was born; that's why I got it.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: But you know, she went everywhere, and met everybody.

AB: Yeah.

EJ: I mean, she knew Mahatma Gandhi, she knew-

AB: Right.

EJ: -Patton. She knew everybody.

NJ: But she was 17, see, when Dad met her, and Dad was 20-more like - I think they were 11 years apart. So I think Dad was 28, I figure, when they met at this party.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: And he went over to meet her, and became kind of a family friend.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: Mrs. White sent, accidentally sent a box to Dad that was supposed to go somewhere else. She was trying to send Dad books, but it turned out it was a lot of other things. But there were some books in there, you know. And then when I corresponded with Margaret's brother Roger, he told me - because he was going to try to get to Syracuse while I was there. I invited him to something; they were going to be out of the country, you know, and they didn't live very close.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: But he was going to try to get there, but I never - he said, "I never met your father, Gill." It was Gill.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: That was the name that they used in those days. "But I heard so much about him from everybody in the family." [Laughs]

EJ: He wrote to Mrs. Bourke-White.

NJ: He did, Mrs. White. It was only Margaret who used the Bourke.

EJ: Used the Bourke? Oh.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, used the Bourke-White. It was her maiden name, her mother's maiden name.

AB: Oh, I see.

NJ: And she added it because, you know, Margaret White doesn't quite ring, you know?

AB: But you remember Margaret Bourke-White!

NJ: That's right, exactly, exactly. She knew that. She was a very wise lady.

EJ: Every book that she wrote, she sent a copy to Dad, so we had autographed books.

NJ: Mm-hm. But I have a letter that I will put in the archives. My husband and I have been discussing this. Is this fair to her? You know, that does describe - it's a hand-written letter. And my husband was quite taken that she would write this. But indicating, when Dad got married, you know, "I hope you're very happy." [1:30:01] I mean, you could just tell.

AB: Yeah, yeah.

NJ: That there was something definitely there, you know, but their age difference was-

EJ: Our mother was a saint. I mean, she came, as I say, with a taxi, with all of these clothes and all of this, and expected to be treated like a queen. On one of them, she had just gotten back from Japan, and she had all of these notes, and she asked Dad to hire a - you know, somebody from the pool. You know, at the university, they would sign up to do-

NJ: Translations.

AB: Yeah, yeah.

EJ: Well, temporary work.

NJ: Oh, oh.

EJ: And so, they get back in the den, and she would start talking, and anyway, pretty soon this woman comes out with her hair just - you know, it was crazy. And she'd say, "Doc, I need another one." You know, I mean, she just went through help like-

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: Right, right. She was very demanding, of herself and of everybody around her. Mm-hm, mm-hm.

AB: Wow. What a presence to have in the house! [Laughs]

NJ: Yes, right.

EJ: Well, we just adored her! And she would put on a sari and she'd come out and model, and we just thought she was - and can you imagine our mother putting up with it?

AB: Sounds like a saint! [Laughs]

NJ: She was a saint.

EJ: And then, often, they would have sort of a reception in the evening, and Dad would take Margaret out for dinner while Mother got the house ready, got these four little girls all dressed up in patent leather shoes, and going-to-church dresses, because we got - we always got to greet the guests at the door. And then Dad and Margaret would come back from dinner, you know, and Mother just - everything Dad did, she thought was wonderful.

AB: Yeah, yeah.

NJ: Mm-hm, mm-hm. It's very true.

AB: Devoted.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Very devoted. Yes, that was a word that Bob used. I asked my husband about words to describe my parents. Loyal and devoted were the two that Bob came up with, yeah, you know.

EJ: Well, he threw her for a loop the day they got, when they got married. They eloped, and they went to Seattle, and this priest in this-

NJ: Russian Orthodox Church.

EJ: -Russian Church was - now Dad said he was working at Boeing. I'm not sure that Boeing was around. But anyway, he had a job, so they had to wait until he got off his job for the wedding. But it was, it must have been the afternoon. They were hotter than blazes, in August-

NJ: 3rd, 4th.

EJ: -3rd.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: I always get mixed up with Larry Doughty's birthday. 3rd.

NJ: No, no. Betty Scheidler's birthday! [Laughs]

EJ: Oh, well, anyway, it was hot. And this Russian ceremony went on for three hours.

AB: Oh, good lord! [Laughs]

EJ: And, I mean, they have crowns.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: Now, these that are in the pictures - Mary Louise made those for the anniversary.

AB: I was going to say.

NJ: Yeah, she went over to a Russian Orthodox Church in San Francisco to find out what they should look like, and so forth.

AB: Oh, I see.

NJ: We had the candles from their wedding.

AB: Oh, wow.

NJ: Yeah, for this one.

AB: That's a nice tradition.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: Anyway, so they were crowned. And then there was a mass, of course. And Mother was a teetotaler. I mean, Mother never drank, and it wasn't for religious reasons; it was just a personal preference.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: Most faculty at Oregon State did not drink at that time. None of my friends' parents drank alcohol.

NJ: No. You know, when that changed it all was, they belonged to a bridge club, a couples bridge club, potluck; 55 years, I think something like that, they belonged to this. And when Mrs. Jones, I.R. Jones' wife, found that she had cancer, and in those days, you just, you know, you died of cancer, mostly. But they wanted to have the bridge group one more time. And they lived out on Harrison by then. They had lived on Arnold Way; they lived out on Harrison by then. And they served wine for this. I mean, this was a real change!

EJ: Now, Dad made a lot of liqueurs. [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, he did.

EJ: What was the best one?

NJ: Raspberry.

EJ: Raspberry, I think it was. But he made, oh jeez! Quince. [Laughs]

NJ: All kinds, all kinds. You name it, he made it. Yeah.

EJ: And Dad had a couple of things that he made. [1:35:01] He made candy.

NJ: Christmas. Oh, Christmas candy! His whole den was full because he didn't heat it. It was, especially in December, when he was making candy. And he would put them on top of the books - trays of it! But he made divinity, and all kinds of chocolate-covered you name it. Nuts, and-

AB: [Laughs] Did he have a sweet tooth?

NJ: No, you know, he just - this is where Ellen gets her doing everything grandly, you know. It is, it is.

EJ: But one thing he made was, we called them rocks, they were oatmeal cookies.

NJ: They are called rocks! I mean, I found out - I met somebody who knew about rocks, and they were called rocks, El. [Laughs]

EJ: When he went into the kitchen and did these things, which wasn't frequent, but a few times a year these things happened, it was like being in a chemistry lab. I mean, he measured things to the last, you know.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

EJ: Just like you were-

NJ: Doing in a chemistry lab, yeah. [Laughs]

AB: Scientists make good cooks. [Laughs]

EJ: Yeah. But he certainly didn't cook meals that or anything like that. When they entertained, and especially that year that he was president, Mother entertained all of these different groups.

NJ: Yes, departments, and all of the faculty and their spouses. And they each had-

AB: For dinner parties?

NJ: For dinner, for dinner, and there was no catering or, you know-

AB: She was the catering?

NJ: She was the cateress.

AB: Wow.

NJ: For all, and they'd do - you name it, whatever: Geology, and Math, and Biology, and Chemistry, and Physics.

EJ: Yeah, that was the deanship, but when he was president, he had, he did-

NJ: Oh, when he was president. It was when he was the dean. In '38, when Chick was born. [Laughs] Before the baby, mother was-[laughs] jeez!

EJ: Their dining room table seated 22 people.

AB: Oh, my gosh. [Laughs]

EJ: I have the table.

NJ: Now, I could never have seated 22 people around there.

EJ: It was so wide that you could seat two people at the end.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: Not with armchairs, but they had those little mahogany chairs.

NJ: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Two would go there.

EJ: Two at - and then the ladder-back chairs were at the other end. And then, nine on each side. And Dad would go out in the garden just before, you know, and pick maidenhair fern and lay it on the table, and then just lay camellias on the table, without - not in water.

NJ: No vase, or anything, yeah.

EJ: No, and just cover the whole table with it. It was beautiful.

AB: It sounds beautiful.

EJ: I mean, he loved to share his flowers!

AB: Yeah, yeah.

NJ: And the silver.

AB: Did the silver come out for these dinner parties?

EJ: He loved the silver, and he loved the dishes. He always got out the Spode dishes. They were going to have a set of dishes and silverware for each daughter they had. Well, they didn't expect to have four daughters, so they had two sets of silverware, two sets, and then they quit.

NJ: Dad wanted all boys, and got all girls; bless his heart.

EJ: He loved the dishes. Not these kitchen dishes, but-

AB: The ceremony of having a fully set table?

NJ: Yes, yes, right, right, right. He did enjoy that.

AB: Wow.

EJ: How are we doing?

AB: We're at 11 o'clock, and this has been amazing to hear so much. Trevor's going to go for lunch, and we can continue talking for a little while, if you'd like, while he's gone.

NJ: Okay, sure. There are a few things I have in mind that I'd like to-

AB: I think he's got a few more-

NJ: -that we hadn't.

AB: I'd like to hear them, yeah.

NJ: Yeah, yeah.

AB: So, let us know if you need anything, and we'll be in the Wilson Room in about half an hour, or 45 minutes.

TS: Excellent. See you soon.

AB: Okay. So, please, please fill in your details.

NJ: Oh, well, I was thinking of the JESSI Program. I don't know how much-?

AB: Yes, I want to know about the JESSI Program. A lot of his papers here, deal with his work with JESSI and we're fascinated by them.

NJ: Okay, well, you probably know more than I do, then. [Laughs]

EJ: I mean, he started it, and then he got the engineering people into it too. But, you know what his mother's name was?

AB: What?

EJ: Jessie.

AB: Jessie, of course! [Laughs]

NJ: [Laughs]

EJ: And, so he managed to get those words so that he could-

NJ: Use.

AB: Wow, he did that on purpose?

NJ: Yes, yes.

EJ: Oh, yeah, I'm sure he did. Junior Engineering and Science Summer Institute.

NJ: Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep.

EJ: Anyway.

NJ: But I remember it. [1:39:59] I think it was probably during the time that I was feeding him, and also I was at college. So I was around a bit. But I remember his - I mean, he loved the idea of doing this. And I think he got some corporate money, you know, that would be in too, because he didn't want just the top, wealthier students.

AB: Right, right.

NJ: He wanted the good students, whether they had the money to come or not.

AB: Money or not, yeah.

NJ: Yeah, kind of thing. And you know, I don't remember a huge amount about it, except I think he thought it was very successful.

AB: It sounds like it was, I mean.

NJ: And when you think of what colleges are doing today, it's right in the mode.

EJ: Yeah. Well, yeah, sixth grade girls?

NJ: Yeah, yeah, that's for math.

EJ: For math and science, yeah.

NJ: And math.

AB: He must have been very proud of that program.

NJ: Well, he never showed - he was never proud, I mean, he never showed being proud of anything.

EJ: No, he didn't.

NJ: He was a very humble person, really, a very humble person.

EJ: One of his philosophies, I guess you'd say, was to learn something from everybody you meet.

AB: That's a good piece of advice.

NJ: Yes.

EJ: Yeah. And so, you know, with four daughters? Now, Nan dated the same guy all the time, but the rest of us-

NJ: Ellen had more boyfriends than anybody else!

EJ: But if I wasn't ready to go on a date when that person arrived, Dad was probably the person that answered the door, and he would have that kid engaged in a conversation. If I was ten minutes late, I might as well not have the date, because Dad could get them interested in things, but Dad would learn something from them.

AB: From them.

EJ: And you know, it could be how to do something with a muffler, or how to, you know, or-

NJ: Whatever.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: Whatever that kid knew, Dad would find something that Dad didn't know, and learn from him.

AB: It sounds like he had an incredible ability to connect with anyone, not just people on his own level.

NJ: He really tried to; he made an effort to do that. Yes, he did.

AB: Yeah.

EJ: Another instance that I remember was a man, who was a farmer, brought his son to Oregon State in the summer time, and they somehow got to the Dean of Men's office, and the Dean of Men looked at the kid's transcript, and he said, "Son, I suggest that you just go home and learn to be a good farmer."

AB: Hm.

EJ: Well, the kid wanted to be a doctor. And somehow, he got down to Dad's office; I don't know the connection. But anyway, Dad told the kid, "Learning and getting where you want to go is about," what was it, "98 percent perspiration, and 2 percent, you know."

NJ: What you bring to it.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: And so when Dad retired, this man wrote a letter. He had been the President of the American Medical Association in the state of Washington.

AB: Oh gosh, wow!

EJ: So, he had come to Oregon State, gone through, and did what he wanted to do. If his father hadn't taken him down and met Dad, the kid would have been a farmer.

AB: Farmer.

EJ: Or anyway, we don't know exactly, but anyway. But this kid was so appreciative of what - Dad giving him the opportunity, you know.

AB: All of that influence. He's very influential.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: Well, and Dad's favorite phrase that was up in his office was "Think." It would come up, you know, at other places, but that was the first place I saw it.

NJ: Oh, is that right?

EJ: Yeah. That and the Alcoholic Anonymous-

AB: The prayer.

EJ: Prayer, mm-hm.

NJ: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

AB: In fact, I think I saw it on a Christmas card.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Did you? Did you really?

AB: I want to say that. Give me the courage to know what I can change, and-

NJ: Yes, yes, yes.

AB: I think I saw that on a Christmas card.

NJ: Could be. I'd forgotten about that. See, I don't have these.

EJ: Okay, see.

NJ: In my book, because, you know, these are-

EJ: Okay, Dad did this. You know, he was not an artist, but he certainly-

NJ: Yeah, I mean, look at that!

AB: I think he missed a calling.

EJ: He did the calligraphy on that, and he didn't do calligraphy.

NJ: No, he never learned to do-[laughs].

AB: He learned it for the Christmas card.

EJ: I have this framed, in the original of that.

AB: [1:45:00] That's wonderful, that's wonderful.

NJ: Oh, okay. Well, what I have is a draft of their wedding certificate.

EJ: Oh, do you?

NJ: You know, Chick got the wedding certificate.

EJ: Yeah, right.

NJ: But I have a draft that he did. And I mean, it was rolled up in the basement. You know, and I had it framed! But it's just amazing, what he could do on a draft.

AB: What he set his mind to, he was going to accomplish.

NJ: Yes, right.

EJ: Just going through and looking at the series of his Christmas cards, the different languages, and the different subjects.

AB: I think I saw a Chinook one.

EJ: Pardon?

AB: I think there was one in Chinook.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: Yeah, yeah.

NJ: Well, he knew the Lord's Prayer in Chinook, I think.

AB: He worked it into a Christmas card beautifully.

EJ: And another language he spoke that was sort of [unclear] was Scotch Gaelic.

AB: That's incredible! Before it was really, you know, known.

NJ: Right.

EJ: There was some man that lived out on Highland Way, out toward Crescent Valley High School that had come from Scotland, and spoke Gaelic.

AB: Oh, wow.

EJ: Dad didn't have time.

NJ: No, no he didn't.

EJ: But occasionally, he would get together with that man.

NJ: That man.

AB: He learned from him?

EJ: Well, yes, and to just be able to speak it, you know.

AB: Wow.

EJ: Because he loved languages.

NJ: Yes, and I have a granddaughter who is ready to graduate from college in linguistics.

AB: Oh, wonderful!

NJ: Isn't that great?

AB: So, she got it?

NJ: Yeah, Laura, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

AB: That's wonderful.

NJ: And she just loves it! She never thought of it until she went to college, and then she took - I don't even know why she took a linguistics class. I don't know if someone-

AB: But that was her match?

NJ: Oh, she's just crazy about it!

EJ: And Dad had a set of dictionaries, which I think we put in the Goodwill - well, the estate sale, whatever. Anyway, fifteen-volume Oxford dictionaries. And he used to take one of those out and just sit down and read. He loved to know where the words came from.

AB: Etymology, yeah.

EJ: Yeah.

AB: Yeah. It seems like he just collected them. He almost collected languages the way he collected silver. [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, right. He did almost collect languages.

EJ: Well, and the Sumerian. You know, he bought those clay tablets.

AB: Yes.

EJ: And, you know, they're not - he couldn't afford the really great ones. But I think a lot of them he had were a farmer-

NJ: Yes, recording.

EJ: -recording the crops. But there were one or two that had something more interesting than that. He divided up these four ways, and then I don't remember exactly.

NJ: Oh, I think mine's all about his farm, definitely farm. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: Anyway, the university would like to have those.

NJ: Oh, really?

EJ: Unless your kids want them.

AB: We would love to have them in Special Collections. [Laughs]

NJ: Okay. Well see, I didn't even think of that, to tell you the truth.

AB: It's early writing.

NJ: Yeah.

AB: It demonstrates not only his-

NJ: Well I may have to give them to Laura, though, because her brother got a Bernard Malamud signed book, so. [Laughs]

AB: What a gift that would be for her! Incredible.

EJ: I think I was the only one that had Bernard Malamud for an instructor.

NJ: You are. You are.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: I think you are the only one who had him.

EJ: An amazing person.

NJ: I used to see him walking on Arnold Way a lot.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: But I never-

AB: And you conversed? I mean, you knew him?

NJ: I didn't know him. I never took a course from him.

EJ: I had him for freshman English.

AB: Wow!

NJ: Yeah. Can you imagine freshman English from Bernard?

AB: Goodness!

EJ: Well, it was really crazy, because it was an honors class, and we didn't take Writing 121. We skipped that, and just got the other two. So we did a fall term, and there were about 30 students in the class. And he was just an amazing instructor.

AB: I can imagine.

EJ: And the first thing he said was, "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen," or students, or whatever. He said, "My name is Bernard Malamud. I am not a teacher; I'm an author, but the world doesn't know it yet."

NJ: How do you like that. [Laughs]

AB: How do you respond to that, because students, "But I need a teacher!" [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, right. [Laughs]

EJ: I mean, I was taking 5-credit Zoo, and 4-credit Chemistry, and I don't know what else, but I spent more time writing a 500-word theme to get a decent grade from him than I spent on any of those other courses. [1:50:00] The first thing we wrote, which was, like, the first day, he had us write something. Mine came back with a D over a C. One was for content and the other was for form. [Laughs] Well anyway, he was tough.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: But when you turned a paper in, when you got it back, he had written almost as much as you had, criticizing this, and telling you, "This was a great sentence," or you know, "You did the-"

AB: He was too a teacher. [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah. [Laughs]

EJ: Yes, yes he definitely was.

NJ: He just didn't know it yet.

EJ: He was writing The Natural.

AB: Yeah? At the time?

EJ: At the time, yes. And he told us he was writing, that's what he was writing.

NJ: Oh, and did he tell? And that was interesting, living in Corvallis during that time. Now, you know, we were gone from home, but we got a lot of the repercussions of that book.

EJ: The book that he wrote.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: About Corvallis.

NJ: Corvallis, yes, yeah. That was interesting to hear about.

EJ: Well, he turned the - I mean, the people went bizarre trying to figure out who was who.

NJ: Yeah, The Natural is that the one my grandson got.

EJ: That's the one with the baseball theme.

NJ: Yes.

AB: Did your Dad make an appearance in The Natural, do you think?

NJ: No.

AB: He didn't? Okay.

NJ: No, no, no, no.

EJ: It wasn't The Natural, it was-

NJ: It was something about life. What was the name of that book? Oh.

AB: I should know it too, ladies, I'm sorry.

NJ: Yeah, it's something - it's something about this life.

EJ: Life, yeah.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: Something.

EJ: And it talks about coming out from-

NJ: Yes, and this experience that he had of coming to Corvallis.

EJ: But, of course, that's when he - because he was married and had a couple of kids. He lived right there on Arnold Way; we saw him a lot.

NJ: Mm-hm. We saw him a lot. You know, I don't know if he lived on Arnold Way, but did he?

EJ: They did at first, and then he moved somewhere else.

NJ: Oh, okay. Moved up to the 30's up there?

EJ: Yeah. I think they did.

NJ: Yeah, I think so. I think that's right.

EJ: But I mean, he was a great instructor.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: But what a slave driver!

AB: Did you get an A?

EJ: Finally.

AB: Good! [Laughs]

NJ: See, Ellen would do that, you see.

AB: Work at it.

NJ: She would work at that, and that was what she needed, was that motivation.

EJ: Well, in grade school, to get into that class, an honors class-

NJ: Right.

EJ: -all you needed, I mean, you didn't need to know how to write; it was that you knew grammar, and you know-

NJ: Right, right.

EJ: So, I didn't learn how to write anything in high school. I mean, nobody critiqued your writing.

NJ: Well, I had Mrs. Smith. Did you? Was she there? She probably wasn't there yet.

EJ: I think I had her.

NJ: Did you?

EJ: I don't know.

NJ: Well, you would remember if you had her, because she did a lot with writing. She did a lot with short stories and everything.

EJ: Okay. Well then, maybe I didn't.

NJ: She was the only one who ever taught me how to write.

EJ: And we had to write a long paper in this class with Bernard Malamud, and for some reason, I picked Russian education.

NJ: Oh, my gosh, Ellen.

AB: Ouch. You didn't make it easy on yourself.

EJ: Well, I didn't know anything about Russian. It was after that that he wrote the-

NJ: Well, he's Jewish. Probably his ancestors came from Russia.

EJ: Well, see, I didn't know that, or I wouldn't have done it. Well, I mean, I used to go down to the library and I had to sign my name to get the magazines, because they weren't out, because of Communism and all of that.

AB: Mm-hm, interesting.

NJ: Oh, oh, oh, oh, yes, yes, yes, that's a whole other-

AB: Interesting, yeah.

NJ: -part of Oregon State.

EJ: Yeah, it was hard to research that. But I thought it was something he wouldn't know anything about it. Then he came out with The Fixer.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: Yeah, which was about Russia. [Laughs]

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: And I was floored, because I-

NJ: Yeah, yeah.

EJ: You know, I took a class from Dad once.

NJ: Yes, I did, too.

EJ: Did you?

NJ: History of Science.

EJ: Mm-hm.

NJ: I did it too, yeah, yeah.

AB: Did you? How exciting.

EJ: And actually, it was a graduate course.

AB: I didn't know he taught History of Science.

NJ: Yeah, yes he did.

EJ: Oh, it was - I mean, that's when I found out the breadth of his knowledge.

NJ: Of his - that's true, yes.

AB: Do you think that his work in the history of science led to our current Ph.D. program in the history of science?

NJ: I have no idea.

AB: Because I know that one broke off from the College of Science, so.

EJ: You know, he had some mentors, because a guy named Humphreys - was that his name?

NJ: Yeah, Humphreys, you're right. Yeah.

EJ: He's up at Evergreen?

NJ: Maybe. Maybe that's right. I think I did hear that.

EJ: He was in a Ph.D. program here, and Dad was his mentor, really.

NJ: Well, he helped, assisted, in my biology class.

EJ: Is that right?

NJ: [1:55:00] Yes, yes, yes, yes, he did.

EJ: I think it was Don? Was that the name?

NJ: Yes, I think that's right. That's absolutely right!

EJ: And he borrowed that book, the Hernandez book that I gave to Oregon State.

NJ: Oh, okay.

EJ: And did a-

AB: A paper on it?

EJ: Paper on it, yeah. Because he took a lot of pictures, and I think some of that stuff was in the book.

AB: I think we have that paper in the file that we keep on him, [unclear].

EJ: But anyway, he was in that same class. But it was interesting because, I mean, he just went through, chronologically, the history of science.

NJ: Mm. Okay.

EJ: And then at the end you had to write a paper.

NJ: Oh, I'm sure I had.

AB: You both took the History of Science class?

NJ: Yeah, our senior - my senior year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: Because I wrote a paper on the history of optics.

AB: Oh, wow! [Laughs]

NJ: I don't have any idea what I wrote. No idea.

EJ: I don't have a copy of it.

AB: That's too bad.

NJ: Oh, that's too bad.

EJ: I didn't anticipate that sort of stuff. I mean, to me, it wasn't very-

NJ: Yeah.

AB: What did you think of him as a teacher?

EJ: I was just flabbergasted at what he knew! Because at home, he did not push us.

NJ: Yeah, he didn't. He didn't push us.

EJ: He led by example.

AB: Right.

NJ: But he did pay us.

EJ: Yes, he did.

NJ: In grade school, and maybe in high school, too.

EJ: All the way through.

NJ: Not in college.

EJ: If you got straight As, you got a dollar.

NJ: A dollar, right. Then it started going up, and then pretty soon you were paying dad. I don't know that that ever happened.

EJ: Oh, yes it did.

NJ: Did it?

EJ: He did it in 5th grade. The teacher that came was new, or maybe it was 6th grade, but anyway.

NJ: Mrs. Schulke was-

EJ: I borrowed 50 cents.

NJ: Oh.

EJ: You know, ahead, and then I got the report card and I got 5 X's.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: And that meant I owed him a dollar and a quarter. So now I'm $1.75-

NJ: No, only a quarter. Oh, now, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: In those days, that took a long time. I mean, allowance was 25 cents a week.

NJ: I don't know what it was; I don't really remember. Dad kept books for us. We didn't have checking accounts, in high school, even.

AB: Account books?

NJ: Yeah, yeah. But we had money with him. We picked beans during the war, and so that was how we got started earning money.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: And I found out - this is a good story on Dad. I earned - the first year, I would just go when Mother was going to supervise the bean field; you know, the mothers went to supervise. And so I went once a week. So I think I earned about seven dollars that August, from just going with Mother once a week, and I bought myself a pair of wooden shoes.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: That's what I wanted to spend the money on. Well, years later, I found out - here's the book. I had an account with Dad. He paid for those wooden shoes, and put my seven dollars in this account.

AB: Aw!

EJ: Is that right?

NJ: Yes. [Laughs]

EJ: I don't think he did that for me. But if you borrowed money, you paid interest too.

AB: And he held you to it? Responsibility?

EJ: Mm-hm. Because by the end, I didn't like - I did not like to baby-sit, so most of the money that I earned was in the summer.

AB: Uh-huh.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: And by about April or May, I'm running out of funds. So I would borrow. But if I borrowed, then I paid interest.

NJ: See, I don't think I ever borrowed.

EJ: Well, you were probably tighter than I was.

NJ: I was tight, I think. I still am.

EJ: Yeah. Daddy - Dad was the one that was Scottish.

AB: Thrift?

EJ: But mother was the one that was Scotch.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, Scotch. [Laughs]

EJ: I mean, she ran the finances at home, and as a kid-

NJ: Once in a while we had to get on the bus with some cash and take it down to the bank, because Mother had overdrawn.

EJ: Overdrawn. Yeah, she overdraw a few times.

NJ: [Laughs] I have one more thing that I wanted to say before, because I don't think too many people who retired from Oregon State at age 70 had their mother at their retirement.

AB: Oh, are you serious? Oh, my goodness.

NJ: Yeah, yeah.

AB: Wow!

NJ: And he was very close to that mother, and very loyal to her. He used to write to her on a regular basis, communicate with her, go down-

EJ: He sent money to her.

NJ: I'm sure he did. I'm sure he did. I'm sure he did.

AB: [2:00:01] I hate to interrupt. He's just said they're out of pumpkin soup. [Laughs]

NJ: [Laughs] Well, that's important.

EJ: I'll do the sandwich. Nan, aren't you going to get a sandwich?

NJ: Yeah, I'm getting a turkey club.

EJ: Yeah, that sounds great.

AB: Okay. If you wouldn't mind, I'll just message him so he'll know-

NJ: Go right ahead.

AB: -and he can have our lunch waiting upstairs.

EJ: See, that pumpkin soup probably is good. Have you ever eaten pumpkin soup?

NJ: No. Somehow I can - butternut squash soup; I think I could eat that, but pumpkin soup I'm not sure I'd like it.

EJ: Oh, it is good

NJ: It's good, huh? Okay, well, I'll try it sometime.

AB: And, hang on one second.

NJ: Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead.

AB: For me. Okay. I want to make sure that we have it upstairs and ready. So, can you tell me a little bit more about your mother?

NJ: Yes.

AB: She's a little absent in the collection.

NJ: Yeah, I have quite a few-

EJ: Well, that's typical. Mother would, when we had-

AB: Mm-hm. Supporting.

EJ: -a family get-together, you know, the magnolias - Dad; everything was Dad. Dad had so many hobbies.

NJ: But Mother directed that.

AB: [Laughs]

EJ: Yes, she did. But when Mother was 82, and she had cancer, and we knew she was not going to be around long, we decided to have a big family dinner. And Chick, who is really the seamstress, made a stuffed animal - I mean, a stuffed fabric goose for the table.

NJ: Oh, oh, yes.

EJ: And did you bring things, or was that afterwards that you went to Sleepy Eye?

NJ: [Sighs] I don't remember.

EJ: We had a Sleepy Eye mug. Chick had a Sleepy Eye mug.

NJ: Well, I sent Sleepy Eye tiles, and maybe a mug; I can't remember. Mother was born in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.

AB: Okay, okay.

NJ: Which was so appropriate, we always thought, because she was always tired.

AB: [Laughs] She was always tired?

EJ: Oh, yeah.

NJ: She was always tired, yeah. She had great energy, but you know, she would just work, work, work, work, work. And then in the evening she started fading.

AB: Oh, and had to turn in early?

NJ: No, she didn't ever turn in early. But what Mother did was she - and I inherited it - is when I get sleepy, my eyes start watering. And Mother had the same; I got that from Mother. But I could always tell when she was really tired, because - you know, in the evening.

AB: Yeah, yeah.

EJ: She darned socks. She ironed everything. There were a couple of times when we had some help; she had some help.

NJ: Yeah, Mrs. White. There was a Mrs. White that-

EJ: Whitehead.

NJ: Whitehead. Okay, you're right.

EJ: Yes. Oh yeah, and she was Christian Scientist, and so it was always - the folks always worried that if one of us got hurt, that she wouldn't mind-[laughs]

AB: She won't look after you? [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, which she wouldn't. But she did have some help, but never enough.

EJ: Libby was one.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: And there were young women that came in and did a little cleaning, and maybe some ironing, or something. But this - these were very infrequent.

NJ: Mm-hm.

EJ: She'd have them just at a time right after - because after she was born, she had surgery.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: And so she was in bed for a couple of weeks.

AB: Oh, wow.

EJ: And I think she had some help at that time. But her mother never came down to help.

NJ: No, no, from Portland. Yeah.

AB: Wow. So she was nearby?

NJ: Well, yes, they were. They moved to Oregon after the World's Fair. Some family members from Minnesota came out to Portland and loved it. So they got the whole family. So mother moved to Portland when she was two.

EJ: When she was two, yeah.

AB: Wow.

NJ: So, and then she went to Washington High School.

AB: Okay. That's where Linus Pauling - Linus Pauling went there.

NJ: And then graduated - yes.

EJ: She was actually there, I think, when Linus Pauling was, and also James Beard.

NJ: Yeah, James Beard.

AB: That's incredible. [Laughs]

NJ: Yeah, yeah. It must have been a big high school, because, yeah. Let's see.

AB: Right, yeah.

EJ: She was 16 when she graduated.

NJ: Yeah, so her parents sent her to business school.

AB: Wow.

NJ: And she did that without complaint.

EJ: And then she worked for the Portland Chamber of Commerce for a while.

NJ: Yes, right, and then found out that a girl in the neighborhood was going to Reed College. And this girl said, "Well, you could go." I mean, insinuating that you have what it takes to.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: And so her parents were not thrilled with that idea, but they relented and let her go, and she majored in math and physics.

EJ: And while she was there, [2:04:59] she questioned her Catholicism. Her father went to church every day of his life. Not every Sunday, but every day. I mean, so he was very, very Catholic.

AB: Very strict Catholic. Wow.

EJ: And anyway, she began to see other things in the world.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: And told her parents that she was not going to be Catholic anymore. So that happened before-

NJ: Oh, I don't know if she ever - I don't know that she told them.

EJ: Oh, I think she did.

NJ: Before she eloped with Dad?

EJ: Oh, yes.

NJ: You think so?

EJ: Because, then Dad said he would not be married in the Catholic Church.

NJ: Because of - we'd have to go to Catholic schools, and they were very poor in Corvallis.

AB: Right, right. What religion was he raised in?

NJ: Well-

AB: Or, none?

EJ: When he was in Bowie, Texas, in the fourth grade, he went around to all of the churches, and he picked the Episcopal Church as having the best music.

AB: [Laughs] After my own heart.

EJ: So the whole family became Episcopalian.

NJ: [Laughs] I don't remember that!

EJ: And we went to the Episcopal Church. Father Neville was very popular in Corvallis, and he asked Dad to help come down to trim the shrubs, but he never asked him to come to church.

NJ: No, he was wonderful in that way. They met at Rotary on Thursdays.

AB: Oh, okay, yeah.

EJ: And they were good friends, and they had great respect for each other.

NJ: Yes, and they shared a birthday.

AB: Oh!

NJ: That was another little piece.

EJ: But there were three families in the neighborhood: Gilfillans-

NJ: Dimmicks.

EJ: Dimmicks, and Orteman.

NJ: Oh, yeah.

EJ: And, so it was G.O.D.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: Oh, gee Ellen, I never thought of that! [Laughs]

EJ: Didn't you really?

NJ: No. I don't remember that.

EJ: Anyway, and so, you know, when it was G week, our folks would-

NJ: Drive.

EJ: -take the carpool. Drive, you know, the three. Because the Episcopal Church at that time was downtown.

NJ: Down on 7th and-

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: Jefferson.

NJ: Jefferson, mm-hm.

EJ: And then the next week it would be the Orteman's, and the next week it would be the Dimmick's.

NJ: I don't remember that as well as you do.

EJ: See, but the parents didn't ever go to church except when we were baptized, married, and confirmed, I think.

NJ: Probably. Probably. You're probably right.

AB: And how did your mom's family take that?

NJ: Well, they never said - what they did on this elopement is they went up, and they parked the car out in front of the house.

TS: Mm-hm.

NJ: But didn't go in. Then they went on up to Seattle, got married, and had their honeymoon, evidently, which included, I didn't get that - climbing Mount St. Helens.

AB: Oh. [Laughs] Great honeymoon!

EJ: Yeah. My Mother - he bought boots for her. She didn't even have any of this stuff.

AB: Oh, my goodness.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: I mean, she really got indoctrinated.

NJ: Yes, and her favorite thing about that was it was: it was one foot forward and two feet back, in all of that pumice.

EJ: [Laughs] Yes!

NJ: That was Mother. That's what she had to say about climbing Mount St. Helens. [Laughs]

EJ: Mother was not an outdoor girl.

AB: But a good sport.

EJ: Mother did not like - yeah, a very good sport.

NJ: But she had played lacrosse, and I don't know what else, at Reed College, because she had to.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

EJ: But, I mean, she was not clumsy or anything like that.

NJ: No, but she wore a house dress the first time we went camping. I do remember that.

EJ: She had one pair of slacks that was a blue-

NJ: Yes.

EJ: -rayon-looking-

NJ: Yes.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Yeah, yep, yeah.

EJ: And that was the only pair of pants she ever owned.

NJ: Well, no, she owned some more later.

EJ: Oh, that's right, later. Yeah.

NJ: Yeah, Chick got her into it, yeah. But this is the reason that - did you get the pic - the reason they had to go to a Russian Orthodox Church is that Dad figured out, you see. He didn't want to upset the family.

AB: Right.

NJ: And they could recognize the marriage, and then we were all baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church. That means baptized and confirmed.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: In the Russian church, so they could recognize that. I mean, that was-

AB: That was close enough. [Laughs]

NJ: So then they stopped on the way back, and it was - I guess they probably contacted them somehow, or something. I don't remember that piece.

AB: Right, right.

NJ: But they were greeted happily, I think.

AB: Oh, good.

NJ: They liked Dad. They'd met him.

EJ: Well, you couldn't help but feel like he would be a wonderful husband.

AB: And father, I'm sure.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: But when my mother went down to - because my grandfather was very ill; I mean, he was dying. [2:10:00] He looked at her, and he said, "I hope your children go to heaven." And this was just a - I mean, it was such an awful thing for her!

AB: Wow.

EJ: She had one brother, Glenn, who was a confidant of Howard Hughes. I mean, he ran the Hughes Aircraft.

AB: Oh, wow.

EJ: And he had divorced. I mean, he went off with Howard Hughes for three months to the East Coast, and finally, his wife said, "Enough is enough," and so she left. And so he had been divorced and then married again. Another - one of her sisters was divorced. I think her husband was maybe an alcoholic; I'm not sure.

NJ: I don't know.

EJ: And married again. But my mother and one of her other sisters, you know, did what you're supposed to do, as far as: you get married and you're loyal to one man.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: Mm-hm, mm-hm. I don't know, but Grandpa was such a Catholic. I don't know what he could see. You know?

AB: Yeah.

NJ: I don't know.

EJ: But they accepted-

NJ: They seemed to accept Dad, of course. Yeah.

EJ: Yeah.

AB: Good, good.

NJ: We didn't get into the Glenn piece, which-

AB: Yeah, that was a brother?

NJ: This was a brother who was just - who was number two. Mother was number one, and Glenn was number two. And it was an interesting part, I think, of Mother's character, and personality, and so forth. Glenn was very good with his hands - very good with his hands. And he had built boats. He built a car, and then got, I think, Goodyear Tire; now maybe Goodyear Tire isn't that old - but to sponsor a trip around the United States. And they had signs, Goodyear Tire signs, on the car.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

EJ: Oh, is that right?

NJ: Yeah. Yeah, and so Mother took him. And Mother had been teaching in a private school in Portland, but she told them she didn't think she'd be back. So they started in Portland, and went down, and went to southern California, and watched part of UCLA campus being put together, you know, bringing in trees, and all of that.

AB: Wow. Wow!

NJ: Then they went across the South, and I don't know how they ever made it, because there weren't signs, and some of the roads were dirt roads.

EJ: Well, they talked about how they'd be driving through Alabama or - and there was no road. And one place they had, it was hot; it was the summer. In Arizona, they had to take planks and put them, you know.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: On the sand.

NJ: Oh, see, I don't remember that. Okay. Well, anyway, they got up to Cambridge, Massachusetts, which had - MIT had the only aeronautical engineering program in the country.

AB: Oh, oh. That was the destination. [Laughs]

NJ: That was the destination. Mother got him enrolled, and got an apartment and got a job.

AB: Wow!

NJ: But Glenn didn't last. Yeah.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: The part I remember, I mean, I remember, his transcript had not come. He'd come to Oregon State for a year, but he quit because there were no aeronautical engineering.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: He wasn't - I don't know. See, I don't-

EJ: All through high school, she tried to get him to take Latin.

NJ: Yes.

EJ: And she tried to get him to take more math. And Glenn was not a student.

NJ: Yes, and you know, she just couldn't accept that.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: And so, then he did go back to Oregon State, and Oregon State claimed him for a while, even though he didn't graduate. I'm sure he didn't graduate. I don't know if he lasted. I don't know. Who knows? But Mother was - that was very hard on her.

AB: Oh, yeah.

NJ: And they raced back from Massachusetts so Mother could take this teaching job at the school. [Laughs]

AB: Wow!

EJ: Yeah. But they were very close. I mean, everything that Glenn did that was good, he would call Mother and tell her.

NJ: He wanted approval.

EJ: He wanted - yeah.

NJ: See, he had this talent. I mean, he really designed the Spruce Goose.

AB: This is incredible news! I mean, I can't believe I'm hearing this. [Laughs]

NJ: Well, I mean, he-

EJ: I can remember when he came through Oregon and stopped to visit, and he was on his way to Canada to find wood to buy, to build it.

NJ: Oh.

EJ: Because originally, I think they thought they were going to build something with metal. But the government said, "No, all metal goes for the war effort."

NJ: [2:14:59] Oh, yeah.

AB: So he was the one with the wood?

EJ: And so you know, you-

NJ: Have to do it with wood.

EJ: So they built it, yeah. And it's not-

NJ: Spruce. It's not spruce.

EJ: It's not spruce at all.

NJ: No.

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: It isn't spruce, but it is a light wood.

AB: Wow.

EJ: I think it was birch. I can't remember.

NJ: Well, anyway, in the movie - I don't know if you saw it?

AB: I haven't seen it.

NJ:The Aviator. Well, in the movie, Glenn is portrayed in the airplane, with Howard, when Howard took the Spruce Goose up.

AB: Oh, cool.

NJ: But the reality is, he would not be in a plane. Howard would not be in a plane with anybody else who had a plane license.

AB: Okay. That makes sense.

EJ: So, there were 40 technicians on board, or something, but none of them were-

NJ: Had licenses.

EJ: But Howard was talking to Glenn on the radio.

NJ: Yes, but see, in the movie, he's in the-

EJ: Right.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: -in the cabin.

AB: What a fascinating side part of, you know, of the trajectory for your family history.

EJ: Well, I remember when he called and told Mother that Howard - he thought Howard would marry Katherine Hepburn.

NJ: Oh, that was close!

EJ: Well, it was close.

NJ: Yeah.

AB: Well, ladies, we're running out of time.

NJ: Yes, we're running out of time.

AB: Is there anything else that you'd like to wrap up with? I mean, we could do this again sometime, because we've got enough, I'm sure, enough memories that-

NJ: Well, the only other thing I had in mind was, and it's just a little piece, when I was feeding Daddy for lunches, he came home one day so excited. And he'd either had - I thought he'd had, actually, a caller in his office, but it may have been a caller on the telephone, from Wayne Burt.

AB: Mm-hm, mm-hm.

NJ: Who was up teaching at the University of Washington. And he said to Dad, "I have a grant, but I need - I would love to start oceanography at Oregon State. I need a desk, a telephone, and a chair."

EJ: And a title. [Laughs]

NJ: Oh, yes. And Dad came home; he was just thrilled!

AB: That's so exciting.

NJ: I mean, he was just so excited, he could hardly stand it.

AB: That's wonderful.

EJ: Well, he had gone to the University of Oregon, and they turned him down.

AB: Wow, lucky for us.

NJ: Yes. Well, he wanted to get back to Oregon.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: And the Burt's were at this 40th anniversary party.

AB: Okay.

NJ: There were very few people there.

AB: Invited.

NJ: Yeah. I don't think the Strands were there, were they? I can't understand why they weren't there, but.

EJ: The 40th would have been in, let's see, 1928 to 40 would be '68. We were in Spain.

NJ: Yeah. I didn't get here either.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: But, so it's hard for me to know, but I think the Burt's, well, or maybe they were at the - I don't know.

EJ: Well, and the whole thing that-

NJ: That was the 50th. That was the 50th.

EJ: The 50th we had at Chick's house.

NJ: That's what I'm talking about. The ones with the hats on.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: That one. That's the one the Burt's were at. And Dad's sister Jean came.

AB: Mm-hm.

NJ: But there were very few people, because Dad was really into his Alzheimer's at that point.

AB: I see.

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: So, we didn't make a big-

EJ: That's why they did the 40th-

NJ: Yeah, early.

EJ: Nan and Mary Louise.

NJ: No, not me. Chick.

EJ: I mean, Chick and Mary Louise.

AB: That was 19 - what date?

EJ: That would have been 1968.

AB: '68.

NJ: Yeah. And this was '78. See, he was - he had actually had a diagnosis in '77.

AB: Wow. Okay, hm.

NJ: So, yeah.

EJ: Oh.

AB: We could talk for three more hours again.

EJ: I think at lunch we ought to talk about Anne.

NJ: [Laughs]

AB: I don't think so. Let me stop this, ladies.

AB: Thank you so much, by the way.

NJ: Oh, yeah.

AB: It's just a - I feel as a kindred spirit with your father, I'm getting to know him through his rare books collection.

EJ: Well, he was amazing.

AB: I admire him so much, and it's just - it's so lovely to hear these.

EJ: Well, we used to go to Newport, and we'd go to Coos Bay quite a bit, and our grandmother lived in Coos Bay. But Dad said when he first came to Corvallis, and his parents were in Coos Bay, he had to take five ferries to get down there. So it took two days.

NJ: Oh, before the bridges.

EJ: Because you had the ferry. The bridges weren't built.

NJ: All of the bridges weren't built yet, until-


NJ: Yeah, CCC and whatever, yeah, yeah.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: And so he had to wait for the ferry at five different-

NJ: Oh, dear.

EJ: You could go through these logging roads, but it was hard.

NJ: Oh, yeah. Way out of the way.

EJ: So he had to just go to Newport and then, but then you had to ferry five bridges. Yeah.

NJ: Oh, my gosh.

AB: Well, he was dedicated.

NJ: He was that. He was that.

EJ: [2:20:00] Yeah. His Japanese garden was just - and one thing we didn't tell about that is Dad offered to buy each of us a Japanese lantern. He had imported two when he did his-

NJ: One traditional and one he designed, that went out in front, that we left there.

AB: Oh, my goodness.

NJ: He designed it. I've seen the design.

EJ: Well anyway, there was one that would like the stairs to the front.

NJ: Yes, but he designed that one for that spot.

AB: Wow.

NJ: Yeah.

EJ: But anyway, he wrote and ordered these two, and I don't know how he ordered them, because things were really - I mean, Japanese. I'm sure you could - I don't know where he got that translated, or how he did it. But anyway, he knew how much they cost, but he didn't know how much the freight was going to be, because they weigh, one of these weighs-

NJ: A thousand pounds.

EJ: -a thousand pounds.

NJ: About a thousand pounds.

AB: Good Lord!

EJ: Anyway, so he wrote and said, "If there's any money left, will you send me bamboo poles?"

NJ: [Laughs] For gardening.

EJ: Well, after the folks died, and we were clearing out the house-

NJ: And the garage.

EJ: -and the garage, we got up in the attic of the garage, there were bamboo poles forever!

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: I hope you got them, Ellen.

EJ: No, we all-

NJ: I didn't get very many. I didn't take very many.

NJ: That was my choice, I'm sure, because, I mean, what would I have done with them?

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: And I've often wished I had a few more.

EJ: Well, I mean, I've had to buy bamboo poles since then.

NJ: Did you? Oh, did you?

EJ: Yeah.

NJ: Oh.

EJ: But, I mean, they were the five-foot ones that were about like this.

AB: Mm-hm.

EJ: And there were-

NJ: The little ones.

EJ: -green ones like this.

NJ: Little ones. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

EJ: But there were just thousands of them!

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: They had a few bamboo poles.

EJ: [Laughs] But I gave my lantern to Kay Perrigo.

NJ: I know you did, and, you know, I have been thinking.

EJ: But mine was not one of the originals, because-

NJ: Mine is the original, in the garden. And they gave it to me because Dad came to visit; my husband was a graduate student in Seattle, and we had a baby. And he must have been thinking about these Japanese lanterns, and he looked at me, and I had diapers hanging, you know?

AB: [Laughs]

NJ: And he said, "You know, I don't think you need a Japanese lantern right now. I think maybe a dryer would help."

EJ: [Laughs]

AB: Did you get the dryer?

NJ: So, I got the dryer. Well, I got the dryer, and then when we divvied up at the - what did we call it?

EJ: The grab.

NJ: The grab, yeah.

EJ: Which it wasn't. It was so organized. Chick was asked to teach a class at Linn-Benton.

NJ: [Laughs]

EJ: On how to - you know.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: How to do it.

AB: Yeah.

NJ: We should have written a book. We should have written a book.

AB: I'm sure.

NJ: Anyway.

AB: Ladies, thank you so much. I cannot thank you enough for this. [2:22:52]


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