The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Leon Hubbard Oral History Interview

December 18, 2013 – 10:00a.m.

Video: “A Life in Oregon Agriculture” . December 18, 2013

Location: Hubbard residence, Keizer, Oregon.
Interviewer:  Chris Petersen

1:55:47 - Abstract | Biography | Download Transcript (PDF)


Chris Petersen: Okay, Leon, can you please state your name and today's date?

Leon Hubbard: My name is Leon Veril Hubbard.

CP: And today's date?

LH: And the date of birth?

CP: Today's date.

LH: Oh, today's date. What is it? This is the 17th day of December, 2013. [Laughs]

CP: Okay, so you were born in 1917?

LH: Right.

CP: Where were you born?

LH: Klamath Falls, Oregon.

CP: And you grew up in multiple different towns, right?

LH: Yes, within three months, they had me back into the home place at Sunnycrest, a mile and a half west of Newberg, and the address was Dundee, Oregon.

CP: And you spent some time in La Grande, too, correct, or outside of La Grande? La Grande, Oregon?

LH: Well, my father was a civil engineer, graduated from Oregon State, and several times we went where he was working and had summer time visits. That's the only time I was really in La Grande.

CP: You grew up mostly in rural areas in the 1920s?

LH: Yes. Oh, yeah.

CP: Can you give us a sense of what that was like, what it was like to be in rural Oregon in the 1920s?

LH: [Laughs] Well, one thing in thinking about this, that always took one bath a week. We didn't have a bath tub, or hot running water in the house, so we had a bath in the kitchen. And we didn't even have hot running water. Mother always made hot water in a tea kettle on the stove, and you poured it in the tub, and then you added whatever cold water you had to make it up. That was the way I had a bath clear up until I was 16. It might be interesting to know that my brother and I put the bathroom in the house at that date, and it's still there as far as I know. [Laughs]

CP: This is the house in Dundee?

LH: This is the house, yeah, at the community of Sunnycrest, which is about a mile or two miles from Dundee, and about a mile from Newberg. Now, all of us grew up and graduated from Newberg schools. Of course in father's time, it was only an eighth grade, and that was his education there.

CP: What was your parents' background?

LH: What was my parents'? My grandfather moved out to eastern Oregon in 1888. My father was born in Milton-Freewater in 1889, I think. And my mother grew from—came from a German background, and they moved from Kansas to Scholls, Oregon. Scholls had a store at the crossing of the Tualatin River, and had never been an organized city or anything, but was still recognized today as the Scholls area. Mother and father, of course, met at Corvallis, and they both graduated in 1912, both had four years of it. Mother had an interesting background. Why did she go to Corvallis? The reason why she went to Corvallis was her older brother James was a student there, and he had finished his four years of schooling, and then he could leave the campus and have his own home, or house. So he asked his favorite sister—he had six of them—if she would come down and be his housekeeper. [0:05:04] She agreed to do that. Now, I don't know what, but in a very short time, he seems to have left Corvallis and went to California, where he spent his lifetime. But mother stayed there and went to college.

CP: What did she study?

LH: She studied home economics, I think they call it. Now here's an interesting thing that you'll probably come to later. One thing she had in that was how to make a garden. That was a class, she used to tell us—how to make what we call a standard vegetable garden for the household. And one of the instructors of that was A.G.B. Bouquet. Interestingly enough, A.G.B. Bouquet was still there when I went to school in 1937. In fact, he gave me a job and allowed me to make my way through college there.

CP: Yeah, we'll talk about him a little bit later.

LH: Yeah.

CP: Did your father grow up on a farm in Milton-Freewater?

LH: No. No, my grandfather seemed to be generally running a thrashing crew. That's the thing they talked about. That country is, of course, wheat; it still is wheat, cereal. And at about, I can't be absolutely, but at about six years old, the whole family moved into the Sunnycrest area, this household that I grew up in. And grandfather worked on the railroad. His story was that, he had told that he could get a job on the railroad. He's in Kansas, I think, or somewhere like that, just married.

So he got a job on the railroad, and after a few months, the railroad went broke and he was abandoned to find his lifetime in eastern Oregon. Well, evidently he thought he would do better, maybe. I don't know why they came to the valley particularly, but they did, relatively soon. And here again, he went to the railroad people, but this time it's Southern Pacific in that area, and he became known as a railroad carpenter primarily, being one of the major builders on the railroad. Mostly I would say bridges rather than laying ties, or rail, you know. That okay?

CP: Yeah. So, what was your father's path to college, then?

LH: Say pardon, again?

CP: How did your father decide to go to college?

LH: I cannot give you an answer for that, to say directly what. Obviously, for a period of about four years or so, father just seemed to knock about. Then suddenly he decided, apparently, that his future would be better if he got some education. That's all I can answer. And he ended up going—and of course being a farmer attitude, position sort of thing, he assumed, went to the agricultural school.

CP: And studied civil engineering?

LH: Yes. There he did the major, and he got whatever they give, which at that time they called him a civil engineer. And really, it seemed like most of that, even in his lifetime, was surveying. I mean, it wasn't quite as general as we think of it nowadays. [0:10:00]

CP: So did they ever talk about college, going to the agricultural college? Did they ever talk about their experience there, or give you any sense of what that was like?

LH: Oh, they talked about it, but I'm just trying to think of something to really relate on that. The one thing that always interested me, which I didn't do when I was there, they seemed to have a lot of hiking, and I'm not—whether I should say classes, but they actually were on the river quite often, and they talked about climbing the mountain, what's the—?

CP: Marys Peak?

LH: Marys Peak. Yeah, mother was always talking about them being at Marys Peak. Well, I didn't get to be Marys Peak till I could drive up there. [Laughs] And as I say, it was always kind of interesting to me that as a student, we didn't talk about Kiger's Island, or Marys Peak, or so on. I guess I knew they were there because I had heard my mother and father talk about it, but we never went on them. I couldn't locate—I could have located Marys Peak, I think, because you can see that, but some of the other places, I wouldn't know where the heck they were.

CP: Do you know how they met in school?

LH: Not really, except, and we have quite a bit—except they seemed to go to Christian Endeavor, in other words that group, and they were often together. Now I mean, with a group of people, and that was the group that they seemed to be, to know school even, together.

CP: Did they ever talk about their classwork, or anybody who ever made an impression on them as a teacher, or anything like that?

LH: I'm not too sure how to answer that. One thing that's kind of interesting, my father also referred to quite a lot of contact to the Forestry group. In fact, several summers of his school, he didn't—he seemed to check certain forests and so on, and earned his way, presumably, to continuing his study and so on.

CP: So he had summer jobs working in the forests?

LH: Yes. Yes, I would say it that way. I can't really recall my mother ever saying anything about how she paid for her way, or who paid for her way, and what she did in the summer time.

CP: So she lived at this house that her brother owned?

LH: No, not very long, because she is always talking about the new—what was it, wall-to-wall? Yeah. It was just new, I think, all of that. And apparently, she spent four years in staying there, or very close to it. Now, there must have been some shove in this house business with her brother, but that didn't last very long for some reason.

CP: Do you know where your father lived?

LH: No. No, I really don't know where. I don't remember him saying anything about where. He did not, didn't seem to be on campus sort of thing. I mean, it—

CP: Did they ever talk about any sort of social events or campus events besides this hiking that you mentioned? Or, campus traditions that were interesting? Did they go to sports activities or football games, that kind of thing?

LH: They didn't say—I can't remember them ever saying anything about athletic deals and so on like that, but I think in addition to all of that, too, I grew up with looking at Mother and Father's Orange.

CP: Really?

LH: In fact, yeah, that used to be one of the big old books that we—they only had. The next thing was National Geographic. [Laughs] But. [0:15:00]

CP: So you grew up a Beaver fan, then, the whole family?

LH: Well, oh yes, yes. Now, as far as the parents were concerned, but as I say, I never—other than mostly the family stuff, we didn't go to football games as I grew up or anything. In fact, I didn't even go when I was in college. I didn't have enough money to go! I stood back and put guys' coats in the [unclear], and so on, that went to game. [Laughs] Made my money that way to keep going, because I will say that my father and mother, they helped me, but I cannot remember any time they gave me money. I don't know what they did. You see, I had a brother—he died young—a brother that went there, and I don't even know how he financed his school, and so on. But.

CP: I'd like to talk a little bit about your childhood. What sorts of things did you do for fun when you were a kid? What sorts of things did you do for fun when you were a little boy, growing up?

LH: Well, you've got to remember the years, in other words, 1930 and so on, by 1930, my father was out of a job. The State of Oregon was bankrupt, so he came home and decided that in order to keep us all together, that he would milk a few cows. I was only about six or eight, but then it was just a very small group. He did that until 1933. And then they called him suddenly. "Today, you've got to come to work, right quick. Tomorrow, we want you on this job." So he says, "Leon, here's these cows and the milk route that I'm delivering to Newberg. They're yours; you've got to take care of them. Your mother will help you."

CP: How old were you when this happened?

LH: Sixteen. I didn't even have a driver's license. I had to go get a driver's license quick so I could deliver the milk in town. Of course, it was only a mile and a half away, and it was probably only 10 cars that went there from down that road that day [laughs], all day. But then, Newberg wasn't a very big place then, either.

CP: Yeah. So, I read that you used to drive your car to high school?

LH: Well, see, I'm halfway through, roughly, halfway through school, and I've got a milk route and I've got to go to school too, so most, much of the time, I delivered milk, which wasn't a tremendous job. But I delivered the milk, then went to school, of course, driving the car to school. And I swear, maybe it's timely, but I swear that I remember driving up to the school, and the only car there was mine.

CP: [Laughs]

LH: Was the one I brought there. Factual matter, one of the very important teachers at school at that time for me was Walter Leth, and Walter, he walked to school. Why? Because he had a house about five blocks away from the school. [Laughs] But I don't know how the other, you know—apparently, in my mind at least, the other teachers, they got some other way to get there, anyway. Because a lot of times, I can remember seeing my car sitting out there.

CP: You must have had to wake up real early.

LH: Well, I guess. I'm not sure that I would call it—of course, in the winter time, it was always dark, and so on.

CP: So you had to get up and milk the cows, then?

LH: Yeah, yeah. And one interesting thing that might even tell you about, again, I've made fun of the house with not too many things, but we did have electricity. [0:19:58] We got electricity in the place, as near as I can piece together, probably in 1924. See, this was quite a while, early in all of this. And so, like going out to milk the cows, we always had lights to turn on, and that sort of thing.

CP: Did you have appliances, or was it mostly lights? Did you have any appliances? Did you have a radio?

LH: We didn't have a radio until—I grew up, the first radio I had was a crystal set and earphones, and my folks used to yell at us kids because we were spending too much time playing with that cotton-picking thing! [Laughs]

CP: How about refrigeration?

LH: Beg your pardon?

CP: Refrigeration?

LH: Oh there was no such thing as. I don't know...

CP: Was it all fresh, that you would—?

LH: Yeah. But, as I say, back to my mother's—now, I'll have to remind you that mother was a home economist, and until way after I left home, mother always canned literally hundreds of everything. I mean, as I say, I grew up being fed out of the garden that mother was supposed to have been told how to grow. [Laughs] I don't know what her background was before. The nearest thing she ever talked about growing up was she hated to weed the onions. In the area around Scholls, there used to be a lot of onions. She used to tell how terrible it was having to, getting the weeds out of the onions. [Laughs] And I think that was the only vegetable they seemed to grow! [Laughs]

CP: Did you help in the garden, growing up?

LH: Oh, well, yes, but I mean, I'm not sure that that was much of a burden. It was kind of—sure. I mean.

CP: Big garden?

LH: It was always a pretty passable garden. And then some of the other things tended to fit into that on the little place. It was strawberries, blackcaps, those things that kind of semi-fit in the garden. And I know my mother used to—I can't remember what she did to the strawberries, didn't seem like we canned them, really. But, it was that sort of thing.

CP: The cows that you milked were not on your property, though. That was—?

LH: What?

CP: The cows that you milked were, they were not on your property, were they?

LH: Yes. They were in the barn that Father built, my father. After I was born in Klamath Falls, they came back to the home place, and between them and my grandfather, they decided that the young folks would have the place. And Grandpa and his—he had some children still at home—would move to Newberg, literally in town. So, but from the time I was a year old, from then on, I grew up out on little farm with the Dundee address. [Laughs] Yeah. But whenever we did anything, I mean, even bought groceries or anything, we always went to Newberg, see. But.

CP: Did you go to the movies?

LH: What?

CP: Movies? Was there a movie theater in Newberg?

LH: Oh, yes, but not very much, not really very much. I mean, we just didn't have any money. It was the Depression all of the time, clear up—now, the only time I began to get some money, when I ran the milk route, because I got a nickel for every quart that I sold. And I sold a cow now and—a few items like that, so. So, I kind of had a business. Now, back to Walter Leth, you see, my agricultural teacher. [0:25:01] Well, here's a kid that's really—that's doing what I'm trying to show some of the others how to do. Well, gosh, from there on, why, then by the time I was a senior in college, I was the state president of the Future Farmers of America.

CP: Mm-hm, yeah. Well, tell me about that. Tell me about your experience with FFA. It was very meaningful.

LH: Well, it was a big part of my life for a time. I mean, the first thing I did—and see, of course the FFA always went to Corvallis, and the first time I think I ever got to Corvallis was going with these kids from Newberg to the Future Farmers Convention, or as we called it, [unclear]. And so, but anyway, I became one of the—the state graded you as a state farmer, or whatever they called it, and I ended up being president. Well, one thing that happened from there on was I was given money enough to take a trip to meet other Future Farmers in eastern Oregon, primarily. Well, at that time I don't think it had much activity in La Grande, but it went up through to Imbler. We went to Wallowa Lake; that's the first time I ever saw Wallowa Lake. Anyway, come back, came back through Hood River, places I remember that I stood up as the president of Future Farmers. [Laughs]

CP: What sorts of activities do you remember enjoying through FFA? Activities?

LH: What activities?

CP: Yeah, with FFA.

LH: I'm not just sure how to answer that, exactly.

CP: As the president, you had certain types of duties, I assume.

LH: Well, what we often did was—one thing we often did was conducting a meeting sort of thing. You got a chairman; you got these kinds of activities, and so on. And sometimes we played doing that job, see? And like when I would—say I went to Joseph, Oregon, and met the group there. What did they do? They called them all in and the guy up front says, "Look here, we've got a visitor," and all that sort of—all big boys. [Laughs]

CP: Well, you went on a couple of longer trips through FFA.

LH: What's that?

CP: You went on a couple of longer trips through FFA.

LH: Well, now, you see, from there now you're state president, okay. Your books and your projects, and so on, and your name goes to the national, or at that time it did, went to Kansas City Royal deal. Hubbard goes to that. Well, Hubbard's from the Wild West, so he becomes the western representative of the West Group.

CP: Yeah.

LH: So what does that do? That says you've got to go clear back to Washington, D.C., when we get these guys all together at one time. Well, this time I'd just finished high school, have graduated and haven't got much to do besides these sort of things, so how did I, I've often wondered. I know the fact that I got a Southern Pacific ticket to go to Washington, D.C. Now, Southern Pacific only went down the West Coast to New Orleans. And the East Coast were connections with other deals, but they could give you—so I took the trip down, and so that gave me a chance to see California. And met Uncle Jim that mother was supposed to work for, who was a professor a Davis. [0:30:07] He was there until he retired from that. And when he passed away, he gave his land and everything to Davis University, or whatever they called it.

CP: U.C.-Davis.

LH: Yeah. And today, the campus is all over his [laughs]—where I remember—I've seen this, so I remember walking over that when it was the chicken yard [laughs] of his land. Well, that's enough of that.

CP: You also became the master of the Sunnycrest Grange?

LH: Well, that was always—yes, I was, and it was just a little grange of, as I remember, probably couldn't have been over 30 people that come around in the community there, and Walter Leth was just a new teacher in Newberg, and he nearly always attended. And I got a sneaking hunch that probably he had a lot to do to say, "Well, Leon can do that," when the others didn't want to take any responsibility. It didn't really—as I remember, didn't really amount to a whole lot, except that I'll admit that we did have meetings pretty consistently. We may not have had in the summer time; I'm not sure.

CP: You were 18 years old?

LH: Yeah, yeah.

CP: The youngest one in the country, I think.

LH: Yeah. Yeah, and, oh, by that time, of course, I had some big tales to tell, you know. I'd been all over. [Laughs]

CP: [Laughs]

LH: Back to this business of going to Kansas City Royal, I made three different trips there. The nice thing about it, somebody was always giving you the money to do that. I didn't have to—don't ask me where it come from! [Laughs] But I even went back to the Kansas City Royal in my freshman year in college, because I remember, here they wanted, they said, "You're supposed to be there," these people said. And I just—it took me, almost a braver man than I was, to ask my professor, "Can I go there, be gone for a week or more?" And here we were only about the third week of a bonehead freshman at Oregon State.

CP: [Laughs]

LH: Well, as I remember, he didn't answer right away, quick, "Yes." But I said, "Well, we'll see." And so I did go, and I remember having to do some extra studying and so on, and catching up on things I had, because when I got to college, in agriculture college, we didn't study agriculture. We started studying such things as botany, and [laughs] chemistry, and stuff like that that we had never heard of! [Laughs]

CP: What did you think of Washington, D.C., when you saw it for the first time?

LH: Well, I was there in April, and it impressed me about the cherry trees they always talk about. That was a sight for me. I mean, I'd see cherry orchards, you know, and all of that, but somewhere. And we did go to, I don't remember now just exactly. I think it was—the third President, what was his name? The third President of the United States. [Laughs] Can't get his name.

Karen Hubbard: [Laughs] We'll get it.

CP: Adams? The third President of the US?

LH: Of the US, yeah.

CP: Jefferson?

LH: What?

CP: I'm not sure, Jefferson, Adams, one of those two.

LH: No, the guy that sent the fellows out to—

Gordon Hubbard: Oh, Lewis and Clark. He's talking about Lewis and Clark.

LH: Lewis and Clark. Who was that?

CP: I think it was Jefferson.

LH: Jefferson. That's what I'm trying—yeah, we went out to his place and saw that.

CP: Oh, Monticello.

LH: Monticello, that's it, yeah. I haven't got quite as good a memory as I always thought I had. [Laughs]

CP: So, after high school you got a job as a milk grader? [0:35:00]

LH: Yes. That was kind of a disappointment for everybody. This was in Lincoln County. And I'm a young guy, just knocking around. Didn't go to school right as I changed, or anything like that. And the man, I can't catch his name now, but it was county agent in Yamhill County, that's my home county, suggested that they were looking for a milk tester for herd improvement for Lincoln County, trying to set that up. And I didn't have anything else to do, and so on. And we had been shown how in our agriculture class, how we tested milk, and so on, to do this, so I seemed to—and I knew what to do. All he had to do was provide me with the equipment and so on, so, which they did.

And I—what the job was, was go from one dairy to another. So, you had to be there to this dairy when it started to milk in the afternoon or evening, and you weighed milk, and took a sample of each cow, and then did that same action in the morning, and that gives you the data of what—and you use that as an estimate of how much the cow was—and we had to weigh what she ate, and things like that. And then when you got through, which I usually could get my—and fill the books up for the given guy, and go on to the next one, sometime about noon or somewhere in there, so you had to know where you were going to the next one. So then you had about three or four hours to wonder what they do until they milked again. [Laughs]

I did that for about four or five months, but I found that they had—they had given me the list of the people that wanted to be in it, but after several of them, after they were there the first day, and they said, "Oh, that's kind of interesting, but I've got to pay for that. I don't think I want to do this." [Laughs] By at least, I'll say that by about the third month, I didn't hardly have enough to even justify doing the job.

CP: So the farmers had to pay for you to come?

LH: Yeah. I don't remember anything that didn't—nothing was in relation to anything we think of now. Nothing was very much, but to some it didn't—and these people, they were dreaming about being dairymen like dairymen are in Tillamook County. My evaluation, I didn't find any one of them that looked anything like I thought I could see when I went down to Tillamook County. So that just—I mean, the whole operation just died.

CP: Where did you live during this time period? Where did you live during this time period? When you were working this job, where were you living?

LH: I didn't follow that one.

CP: Where were you living when you were doing this job?

LH: Oh, from one, you stayed in individual dairies.

CP: So you would stay at peoples' houses?

LH: Yeah. That was part of it. They were to give me, well, room and board, you might say, for the day that you were there. Then you hopped to another one. Well, that wasn't always the greatest, because [unclear].

CP: Microphone fell off, here.

LH: Oh, okay. I know I'm a wiggler, I guess. [Laughs]

CP: There we go. So when did you first meet Hazel? Was it around this time?

LH: [Laughs] Yes. Oh yes, that's kind of the—Hazel, my wife, was born in Oklahoma. They lived on a relatively large farm, apparently. [0:39:59] And between family troubles and business troubles, and everything else, that blew up on them, and her mother found herself a widow. And she, Grandma, had grown up in Oregon. And she still had a sister, at least, out here. Hazel, my wife, was about 13 years old. So they came out here, and, boy, that was, well, 1933. Things were pretty tough, and the best thing they could find was picking strawberries, or picking prunes, or like that. And that was pretty tough, and Hazel was just starting high school. This is around McMinnville area, Amity and McMinnville.

But her mother couldn't provide for her, so they farmed Hazel out to somebody who had smaller children, and this girl was supposed to halfway look after those kids, and you can go to school, and such. Well, she never did really like that very well. So someway or other, she got connected with people at, or outside of Newberg. That is, they considered Newberg was there, but it was not in the town. So they took her for the same thing. And Hazel was real bright redhead. Attracted the eye of my brother because they were riding on the same school bus. And he had a date or two. And then Christmas time comes along, and the people where Hazel was living were very good to her, so they let her have a party. She didn't have enough men, so in due time they finally decided that brother, he isn't doing anything; he can come. Well, that was the mistake that my brother did.

KH: [Laughs]

LH: Because I don't think the girl talked to my brother after that. [Laughs] My mother didn't like that very well, either. "You took Kenneth's girlfriend away from him." It took at least a couple of months before [laughs] it quieted down. That's too much gossip. [Laughs]

CP: So, at some point not long after, you went to Corvallis, is that correct?

LH: Well, it's a little more than that, a little bit more. I got involved enough with Hazel, that I traded one of the heifers I'd been raising for my dairy project here for a ring. And so she wore that wedding ring that says, "This girl is accounted for." [Laughs] And the day she graduated, even. But we had—it was then, I think back, but neither one of us knew what we were really talking about, so we kind of fiddled around, if you want to say. And for part of the time, well, yeah, one of these trips to Washington, D.C., that kind of confused several months, or it wasn't quite that long, but some period of time.

And so the one thing I had got out of my dairy deal, and so on, I had enough money that I bought a new Model A Ford. And that stayed with me for quite a long time. [0:45:01] But so I had a car, so that spent a lot of time for Hazel and I. [Laughs] Then I decided I had gotten far enough along in life that I realized that, "Man, you're just diddling along and don't care if you have got a girl, and all of that." So I said, "What the Sam Hill am I to do?" So I literally filled my suitcase, put it in the car, and started driving down Highway 99W. Well, you know, if you go very far, why you're suddenly running into Corvallis. And by this time, even though the car was running and everything, I was willing to stop. You know, I think I'll look up old A.G.B. Bouquet. He used to come out to the home place there, mother and father's connection, and so on.

And I was fortunate enough that when I knocked on his door, the guy was in there! And, well, I remember just about as much as I'm talking here. About the first thing he said was, "Leon, what are you doing? What are you here for?" And school was out only a week or so, but there were very few students around, or anything like that. And I said, "Well, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm looking for a job." And he says, "Well, I tell you, the kid that I thought I had working in the gardens decided he wouldn't take it, so I'm looking for somebody. You can take that job if you—." "Hm, sure."

So, first thing I've got to do, I'd better find me a bed. [Laughs] I did find that. I said, "As soon as I get me a place to stay, and so on, I'll be out to work tomorrow." So, that happened. And I worked there all that summer, and then Bouquet says, "Well, we've just about done everything in our gardens, and school's going to start in a week or two, and I really don't have any more work for you." Well, what do I do?

In the meantime there, my very close friend Ben Newell showed up, and he had heard—I don't know how he got it, but he had heard that Leon was there in Corvallis. So, he was coming back through from, on a trip that he had made, and looked me up. "Well, what are you doing?" "Nothing." [Laughs] I said, "Well, where are you going to stay?" "I don't know where I'm going to stay." "Well, I guess you can sleep in the same bed tonight, but." I had a room with a bed. [Laughs] And so anyway, I went to work and he stayed there. When I come back that afternoon or anything, "Well, what are you going to do?" "Well, you said that the lady that gave jobs, or helped the students find work, might help you. So I went over and talked to her, and she says, 'Yes,' or in due time, she says, 'Yes. I'm not up-to-date on it right now because of all of this confusion of people coming out and everything, but you can stay tonight downstairs,'" in her place.

So he stayed there that night, and by the next day or two, with his contact there, she had found a place for him to batch in the basement [0:50:03], down in this—and by that time, we both had decided, "Well, we haven't got anything to do; we might as well start to school." So, Oregon State wasn't quite Oregon State University now, either, because all they did is, that I know, we went up and knocked on the guy that—"Well, have you graduated from high school?" "Yeah." "Where did you go?" "Newberg, yeah." "Okay, well, come here and start taking tests." [Laughs] So we suddenly are going to school. That's that much story.

CP: Uh-huh.

LH: But you don't forget the girl with the ring.

CP: Right.

KH: [Laughs]

CP: She's still there. Tell me about—

LH: Well, for two years, we batched down there.

CP: Yeah. Tell me a little bit more about Bouquet.

LH: Huh?

CP: Tell me a little bit more about A.G.B. Bouquet.

LH: Well, [laughs] well, I have to put this all together. What happened—so I finished this first year working for him, and we had trials and things, when I weighed tomatoes, and I ran irrigation deals and stuff that everybody was using in there. And so then, the next summer I did the same thing come the next summer. So to talk about [unclear], you have to talk about Hazel. We decided that this is enough. We're going to get married; to heck with this school business or anything else. And I says to Bouquet, says, "I want to get married, or I'm planning to get married real soon, and I'm planning to get married on the same day my mother and father got—that's the 30th of June." He said, "No, you can't do that. I'm going to be gone, and you can't leave. And so, who?" "Okay. When can I be gone?" Well, I remember he said, a little while, he said, "Probably the first week or so in June, I can leave you off."

So I got married on the 11th of June, which I think of you check back was a Saturday, or Sunday; [laughs] I'm not sure when. But anyway, I did that, and Hazel and her woman that she'd been living with for a couple of years, they'd already rented a house and fixed it up. And during that time, they, of course, they wouldn't leave me have a car on campus, so Hazel had the car, and she used it to get enough money to rent the house for us to live in. And [laughs] yeah, well, I don't know whether you want all of this baloney or not, but [laughs] so of course she drives down to Corvallis to see me, and driving.

And Mother was always sending us canned stuff for us bachelors down there, so we had to send the empty jars back. Hazel put the jars in the back seat, and they rattled the whole time. Well, they were driving her nuts, the rattling. She come into Rickreall over here, and she decided she was going to change that. She turned around like this, and run into the light pole on Rickreall and turned all of the electricity off on the [laughs]—it isn't much bigger right now than it was, but I think that was about the only pole! [Laughs]

But I'm not sure what you, back to Bouquet. Incidentally, it's kind of interesting; I never took a college class from him. [0:55:00] In fact, I supposedly was, during my deal here was I was graduated in farm crops. They were a little more positive then over the years in some of these things. But you see, old Bouquet and I kind of had an unusual situation. Years later, when he completely left the college—I don't understand; this was well after he was no longer doing, we gave him a goodbye welcome right here in Salem that I and one of the other county agents then, Rasmussen, set that up for him on that there. But it was always kind of this sort of deal as far—it wasn't much to do with even his vegetable work or stuff like there, other than kind of incidental.

CP: So what was the campus like back then?

LH: Well, how do I answer that?

CP: What kind of an impression did it make on you?

LH: What's that?

CP: What was your impression of the campus?

LH: For one thing, it was always a kind of a pleasant park-like attitude, talking about the campus sort of thing. This was, of course, before the war, even, and incidentally, Hazel and I were one of 27 couples who were the only ones who were married, period. I mean, that's kind of interesting, because five years later, 45 to 50 percent of them were the boys coming back, and they were married, and they were having a heck of a time to find places for them and everything else, you know. But that's, leading this up, the kind that's always kind of interesting of course was the number of different things. There's the Trysting Tree, and Waldo Hall, and those kind of things; Mother and Dad talked about that. You know, so in some ways it was kind of like, your feeling of campus was kind of like, well, that's where Mother and Dad went to school. I don't know just how to answer that.

CP: So, tell me more about the Trysting Tree.

LH: Well, I don't know now what it was, but at the time my mother and father were there, this was supposed to be, was quite a relating place for the kids, the partner meetings, and so on like that. And it was more talk about the Trysting Tree than about anything else. But it was even there, well, quite a while. I don't know whether they have one yet or not, or do they? Did you used to—?

CP: It's still there, yeah.

LH: Do they still have something like that? I mean, it was kind of a—

CP: So, it wasn't as big of a deal—

LH: No.

CP: —while you were in school?

LH: Yeah, it wasn't a great deal, but partly because Mother and Father said, "We used to," either go, or see some of the others that there went to the Trysting Tree. Well, that meant, said something. [Laughs] I don't know what.

CP: Did you have to wear a freshman cap, a freshman beanie?

LH: Yes, yes. I've forgotten exactly the details of that, but we were boneheaded for the freshman year, and so on. Now, I never ever did take any part in any of the different groups. [1:00:00] I knew quite a few of the kids that were in AGR, you know. In fact, there was one or two that I had gotten acquainted, for instance, way back up in Joseph when I was FFA. But that was kind of typical; he only had one term and he couldn't keep his grades up, or wouldn't keep it, I don't know which, and he never came back after that period.

CP: As far as the academic experience, how did that go?

LH: How's that?

CP: How did the classwork go for you? Did you enjoy the classes? Were there classes that made an impact on you? Did you enjoy being a college student?

LH: What's that?

CP: Did you enjoy being a college student? Did you enjoy being a college student?

LH: [Laughs] Yes, I think so. I know it wasn't something, I'm not sure that I'm following you, or what, really quite.

CP: I'm interested in your experience in the classes, on the academic side of going to school. Was there anything that stands out as memorable, memorable classes or memorable teachers?

LH: Well, I remember a teacher, the main, or the one that was in charge, or whatever, the position of the Ag students was Hyslop. We all more or less knew him, and I was trying to think of his assistant, who was a redheaded man. In fact, he even suggested after I was out—left, graduated and everything, he even suggested that that might be—there might be a job in Gresham with General Foods that you would be interested in. But I can't remember his name now, anymore. I don't remember that.

CP: How about Helen Gilkey?

LH: Oh yeah, Helen Gilkey. See, I got real interested in Botany. In fact, I'm not sure that I didn't end up with more credits in Botany and that type of thing than I did in Agriculture. You would have to go back and look at that to find it out. But nevertheless, I graduated; I got it in Ag. [Laughs]

CP: Yeah, you started out, and you focused in Dairy, and then you moved towards Botany.

LH: No. In fact, I started out, I did; I registered to be a Dairy student. And I think, I'm not sure when, but somewhere really very soon, I changed that entirely. No. But by the time I had such things as Botany and Plant Identification, and a few of these other kinds of things, I knew I wasn't interested in Dairy anymore. And so I lost that quite quickly, really.

CP: And Helen Gilkey was part of this?

LH: Well, sure. She was in the Botany Department, I think, then. In fact, I collected—I had one class, I think it was her class, I was supposed to get 100 different wildflower families, which I did, and she kept my book! [Laughs] I thought it was pretty good, too. And incidentally, I'll say this, most of the time my good friend Hazel was right with me when we collected those. And we walked all over the hills of Corvallis and Benton County, [laughs] and that's one thing I remember.

CP: Yeah.

LH: Yeah, I always kind, of all of the different ones, Gilkey was kind of one that I still remember.

CP: Yeah. So, my understanding is that your finances were very tight during college? Not much money.

LH: Well, I thought so, yeah. And you see, the thing that I think of, I'll represent like this—I have said, and I'm not sure that this is absolutely right, but at least I will claim for my last year, that for a term, one of the three terms [1:05:00], you paid 35 dollars, but you could put 5 dollars down, and pay for it as you got it. So help me, I did that. Unfortunately on this, you see, so back to Bouquet, I worked for him for two years.

Then on the third year, here I am married with my wife down there, and thinking that I've got to have more money and everything, for everything. And my father, who is working for the state at that time at Roseburg, he says, "I think if you come down here after school I can get you a job." So that summer, I worked not with him really, but with the same group and everything. Also, that summer we realized my wife's pregnant. Well, at least I didn't plan those things, and I don't think my wife did, but you just do the best you can.

The other incident I've told them—while I was working with my father's group, one carpenter, not a railroad carpenter, but one carpenter that was in the contract there kind of took a liking to me. And he says, "Hey, do you know whether you're going to go to school or not? Or, why don't you come, and in five years I can teach you to be a top-notch carpenter." Well, I did think of it about three minutes, something like that, but, no, no, I'm going to finish my school now that I'm—in fact by that time, right at that instant, I didn't know that Hazel was pregnant again, or again.

And so, we went through and finished. Well, which I do have there, because it made a real difference with me. By January of that one, Hazel has twins prematurely, and only one was alive; the other one I saw alive. Yeah. And I had to get school ready, I had to—and they told me, because those babies were alive enough, that you got to bury them. Where the heck do you bury babies at Corvallis, even? [Laughs]

CP: Yeah.

LH: Incidentally, this was supposed to be in the new—it was the new hospital, which is not even a hospital now. It's up on the hill; the building's still there. [Laughs] Well anyway, we did live through that, and I did graduate. And then, well, with this pregnancy and so on, this is the first time I did borrow some money. I had to meet all of this, so I ended up with 500 bucks, owing to the—I don't remember, some kind of a deal at Oregon State there. And of course, you're a student, so you hope you've got a job.

Well, I can remember the guy calling me in, and I—what was it? It was the men's deal, whatever they call it at that time. But he says, "I think we've got a job for you. They want a agronomist at Moro Experiment Station." Oh, hot dog! That's exactly what I'm supposed to, because I have taken all of the plant breeding, and anything related to that that I could get here. So I went to Moro as an agronomist, a junior agronomist. I think that's about the first time that word really got into my life. [1:10:01] But so we moved up there.

CP: Small community, Moro.

LH: Huh?

CP: Very small community.

LH: Oh, yes. It is yet. In fact, it's smaller now than it was when we were there. [Laughs] When we lived—well, and that kind of got—well of course, oh that, well, that's where I got bombed. I supposed I think maybe she said something.

CP: Can you tell us that story?

LH: But, you know, there's wind that used to blow up there, and I'd sit hours, and open my books and so on, about the breeding work, and so on, that I was starting after a month or two of kind of getting a—and seeing what they had at the Experiment Station, and all of that sort of thing. And by that time, of course, I got there in June, and December 9th of that year they blew Pearl Harbor apart. Well, that next summer, they had a training people on airplanes at Pendleton. They used to fly back and forth. Well, then, I'm sure that those kids are driving those things, seeing some stupid doing something out like that.

One of them, at least once—at least to me it happened twice—but once, the first time, why of course, I was very interested. I'd heard those things. And wow! Boy, I pert near went to China! [Laughs] That got so bad, doing that to other tractors and stuff like that, that, oh, it made newspapers up in that country, and so on. They really tied into the military. You've just got to stop those kids doing that, because they were always buzzing in and kind of, anything. [Laughs] And of course, they blame little planes now, but it looked like toys that they were flying, even! [Laughs]

CP: Were you in ROTC?

LH: What?

CP: Were you in ROTC at Oregon State?

LH: No. My excuse, whether it's entirely right or not—I was so close, and I think that I registered for draft and so on, I was already married. So, as far as my—I had no military, because the accommodation of everything, I was always in a 4 position. Even I worked at the Experiment Station up there for about two and a half years, or something like that. And then got kind of, well, you know, the war has kind of messed up everybody. And for working there, I got 118 dollars, 1800 dollars a year. And you see, married and everything, it would be nice if you would get a little more than that, somewhere.

And they were going to start another branch experiment station over on Ontario, eastern Ontario. Well, they asked the people down there, "Here's this little guy up in Moro. Why don't you think about him? He can do that job." Well, they said no. So that kind of discouraged me right there, a little bit. And I don't know whether it was the same time or not, but I say, I went to this professor down here, and he says, "Say, I heard of a job you might be interested in," and that's General Foods wanted to start agricultural effort. I'm not sure whether he mentioned research or something, but anyway, he says that. Oh, hot dog! That's at Hillsboro. At least it isn't like eastern Oregon! So I went down there, listened to him, and, "Well, how much are you paying for this?" "3600 dollars a year." That's twice what I'm getting! [1:15:00] It took me about 20 minutes to decide, yeah, I'll do that.

CP: Uh-huh.

LH: So from there on, I never became an agronomist. [Laughs] So changed, changed—

CP: So, what was the new job then, at General Foods?

LH: What's that?

CP: What was your new job at General Foods?

LH: At General Foods? Well, it was a dream on their part that they were going to start a western division of their agricultural research. Now, they had had a little bit, or some kind of start over in New York State, for instance. So when I got really straightened out from then, I became kind of a leg to the people in New York. About the second or third—about the second year or so after I am out here at Hillsboro, they're making me come back there to meet the advisor, the developer at Albany, New York. So I think I went there three or four times.

By this time, of course, I've got my—but I had a heck of a time getting my wife from up there, down here. I mean, I'm not going to tell you that story, but by this time the war has jammed up everything. This was just danged near you couldn't even find a box to live in! I mean, it was that serious. But finally, finally, in fact she had to stay in Moro, for instance, from April until either July first, or sometime in August, before I could find a place at Hillsboro that I could live. Now I've got a baby even, and a son. At that time, to even have a place, it was kind of a headache for a while there, before we finally found a place that we could alight there.

CP: What else do you remember about the war years in Hillsboro?

LH: What?

CP: What else do you remember about the war years in Hillsboro?

LH: Well, I don't know as I have much to say about it except that I remember being rationed on a different, lots of things, you know, most everything, for instance. One thing I did that when I did get halfway, a bit, managed to rent a place and stay and have a reasonable place in Hillsboro. I raised rabbits, for instance, and so rabbits to the butcher, and so on. Which, gosh, I don't think you could find anybody doing that kind of thing this day and age, even! [Laughs]

And so well, we moved in Hillsboro three or four times, around to different places. And then finally we managed to get ourselves enough to where we could get a down payment on a new house. And as I remember, it was built square, absolutely square, had four rooms. [Laughs] By this time, I had three kids. [Laughs] Well, before we got through there, but anyway. As I say, I stayed there, for—well, we related this, and going frequently back to December meeting, or November-December meeting to New York state.

CP: Would you take the train to those meetings, or would you fly?

LH: As I remember, I took the train, I think twice, which meant that you went from Portland to Chicago, and then you had to change again to get—it was a damn nuisance sort of thing, in doing that. Then the later days, then we did fly, I mean, going back there. I flew back into, I think—yeah, because I always had to go from Chicago on to New York straight, on the train. But I know that I few into Chicago; then you had to make the airport change to make those combinations, but.

CP: Was that your first time on an airplane?

LH: What? [1:20:00]

CP: Was that your first time on an airplane?

LH: That was, yeah. Yeah, that was, yeah, the first time that that ever.

CP: How was it?

LH: Oh, I don't know. I loved to fly. I mean, I thought I had—and my brother that we haven't talked about, also an OAC, he graduated. He started his school, to Corvallis a year ahead, then he got discouraged and dropped out, and tried to join, and did join, the Army, to fly. They washed him out. Says, "We don't need flyers well enough yet. And you're too nervous." That's what he said they told him. So he come back to Corvallis. And I noticed on his last deals that he's at home in Corvallis, to Dundee for his grades, were that he had a class where he got all As in flying! Well, that boy, my brother, as soon as he got graduated, I know that I'm not just sure what happened, but he went to Seattle and he worked for Boeing. He worked for Boeing for 29 years, and his health went bad. But the thing it was kind of interesting, because then when they got to the place where they were scrounging for Army and soldiers, and airplanes and everything, he had a dismiss [laughs], and he didn't have to even consider it.

CP: So there was a class in flying?

LH: What's that?

CP: There was a class in flying at Oregon State?

LH: What's that? Well, according to his grade, it must have been. Or now, I don't know what, just what they did.

CP: Was he in ROTC?

LH: What?

CP: He wasn't in ROTC?

LH: He was not in ROTC. And you started asking about me. Now, mine was kind of different. I did apply to go out in ROTC, but as soon as they read that you're married, which of course I had, they wouldn't consider me at all. I'm not sure that another year later or so they probably; maybe they would have. But that was all of that confusion of time and everything. So, and back to then, by the time I get to General Foods, why, I know that several times I was told by the people there, personnel people in General Foods at Hillsboro, that we've asked that you be deferred because we think you're an important job. [Laughs] Even I have to stretch it a little bit to say that, but.

CP: Yeah, you were deemed important to the war effort.

LH: Yeah, and certainly, and I'll have to admit it, probably was more important than all that. If they had drafted me, all I could be was in the rear ranks of the Army somewhere, you know.

CP: So what was being produced by General Foods under your watch? What were they growing?

LH: What?

CP: What were they growing at General Foods that you were in charge of? It was an agricultural job?

LH: Well, doing this for General Foods, it was Bird's Eye Division of General Foods. It was the title of it. I did grow different crops, supposedly tested some, of which we deliberately took them and froze them to see if it would be something that they, on all their business, would consider. And even to the place that I set up an imagination of an Experiment Station farm that they ran, or rented. [1:25:00] And we took a corner off that we set up, and I remember we set out.

One deal, I remember, was direct side, addressing beans, for instance—is this the right amount, and so on. Had to duplicate that and calculate it, whether one made more or less, and all of that kind of thing. And then they got wild enough, and I think that's good enough, see—that, "We ought to have something like that down in California. You're in charge of it. You go and set that up." Well, I did, after a fashion. It was kind of a Mickey Mouse sort of a deal, as far as I'm concerned, but it got their approvement sort of thing.

CP: Where was this?

LH: Santa Ana. You know where Santa Ana is?

CP: Southern California.

LH: Down out there.

CP: Yeah.

LH: Yeah. Now it's all full of houses. In fact, the land that we had I'm sure has got houses on it. It's been a long time since I've been back there, but now we're getting down to about 1949, '50. The whole thing was kind of not what I really wanted to do, and so I got to dreaming about doing my own farming. [Laughs]

CP: And you did.

LH: And unfortunately, I found a way to do that.

CP: [Laughs] Why do you say unfortunately?

LH: Well, because my farming was based on selling the products particularly strawberries, which had been a long-time business in Oregon. And I can tell you as sharp as this, the last season that I—and I really lucked out in getting out of it, but the last season I had 75 tons of strawberries that I called the kids from Beaverton to Banks, and paid them 5 cents a pound to pick them, and sold it for 7.

CP: Yeah. Prices [unclear]—

LH: But by this time, I had just about killed my redheaded wife, running my farm and stuff that I was doing, and you can believe this or not, but in fact, I've said a lot of times that I was bankrupt. I really wasn't bankrupt, because I had already—in between the times that I was planting trees out in the forest to feed my kids during the week, I went to my banker, and it began to look like that they could finance me for next year.

When my wife says, a knock on the door, and she opened the door and she said, "Oh, that's Mr. Bichou [?]." Between us going in various places, Bichou was the manager of Gresham Berry Growers. And, "What are you doing?" Well, she said he kind of stumbled, he said, "Well, I was thinking; we've got a job that we've got to hire over in Gresham Berry Growers, and we wondered if Leon would be interested in it. She said, "I don't know. We never talked." [Laughs] "I don't know whether he is"—so they visited and Bradley went home. I come home, as I say, that night from planting trees out in the burn, out in the mountains and beyond, way out from Banks there. Well, we talked about it [1:29:59], and the best I had been able to show on my efforts, I had made what I could call about $6000 a year for a couple of years.

CP: And this was mostly strawberries?

LH: Huh?

CP: This was mostly strawberries?

LH: Mostly strawberries, but I had green beans; I had sweet corn, those things. Most of those things didn't seem to make any money, period.

CP: And you would sell these to the canners?

LH: Yeah. Yeah. And so I finally caught up with Bichou about this other. He says—well I, of course I had, "What will it pay? "Well, I think we can pay you six thousand bucks a year."

CP: [Laughs]

LH: [Laughs, snaps fingers] And then I'm thinking about, cripes, I had two boys, one boy that was 8 and one boy that was 10, and a redheaded wife, and they were just about worked their back end off, all of us. Maybe I'd better try this other one. [Laughs]

CP: So you sold the farm and you moved to Gresham?

LH: So I went to Gresham, yeah.

CP: Yeah.

LH: And all that did was gradually die. Built houses all over. By the time I got the Gresham Berry Growers, they didn't have—the berry business was less than one third of their dollar value that they had. It was all vegetables, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower. I mean, it was so far away from truly being berry grower! [Laughs]

CP: But they changed their name at some point, right? United Flavorpac?

LH: What's that?

CP: United Flavorpac?

LH: Well, that was the name, the trademark name, that way back Gresham Berry Growers had. So they had Westpac was another one, and Flavorpac, and several. Those were trademark names that they developed probably by 1930, or something like that, and as they carried on.

CP: So you stayed with this company for quite a long time?

LH: Well, I stayed with Gresham Berry Growers or such, well, until it went broke, if you want to be unkind about it, but I mean, 14 years, I think. And see, then that was taken over by Stayton Canning, so honestly, Stayton Canning Company said to me, they said that, "We'll give you a job of being a field man," out here at their main line, or right up, just out here from Keizer. And so, well, at least in between, I had been making places, trying to make—and I had at least three different places that said—now I'm 55 years old—"You're too advanced for what—." [Laughs] They didn't want an old man.

So, of course I didn't have much choice about staying with Stayton Canning Company, but I lived, as I say, I did have, I think by actual months it was 10 years and 6 months. But you know, in those days, which, I get the impression at least, when you got to be 65, you were expected to retire—not asked. I felt like that I was practically said, "You were supposed to get out here." I really wasn't—in one sense, I'll say I really wasn't ready to quite admit that I wanted, but the general attitude with everything is you're supposed to. [1:35:02] So as I say, that's where I stopped being, you might say, a cannery or a field man.

Now, the job between what I did down, here as a job, was quite different from what I really did at Gresham Berry Growers. At Gresham Berry Growers, I don't know whether you'll like my idea, but my job was babysitting the members. Now, what did I do? I worried about whether they were using the right fertilizers or using the—I was a whole lot more worried about, "Are you going to sell your place or not sell it? Because if you're going to sell your pace, you're not going to have any [unclear], because they were building houses out all around that country. And because, for at least 10 or more of those, where did I keep that cannery running? I come down to the valley. Got it right out here; got it at Mount Angel. I even went to Longview, Washington, and got crops to come in, to keep that there, because it, not that I could see it as, but I can sure see it and think of it now, as I say, but it was just dying, too.

Because, well, as an example, when I first got there, I saw the records that said they had 900 members. By the time I was there, why, the list that they had listed 600 of them. By the time—within another three or four years, they didn't have 200 even, members. Now, what were you doing when you were out over here? These guys, they signed a paper technically saying they were members, but they didn't do that. They were just growing their crops to get us to pay them for it.

CP: Uh-huh. But the job at Stayton was different?

LH: Huh?

CP: The job at Stayton was different than?

LH: Yeah, you see, what Norpac Foods, that you have around now, this really has a history that they are cooperatives. The cooperative effort was the producers trying to sell their crops, you see, way back in 1900 and '14, and '10, and '20, and so on. And they finally ended up with seven different groups. There were two or three in Idaho. There were three down here in Salem. There was one at Newberg. And those things all just finally, now, like this, to where now there's only one. And even the food processing business, there is no cannery here in the Salem area, period. When I went to work up there, there were 52 places you could sell under that kind of a combination. Today, you can't do anything except go to Norpac Foods.

CP: Huh.

LH: I don't know whether—can you listen to me further? I don't mind. [Laughs] Am I telling you anything you want on some of this stuff?

CP: Yeah, definitely, definitely. So, I want to understand what you did at the Stayton job, what was your—?

LH: What was that?

CP: What job did you have with the Stayton Company?

LH: With Stayton?

CP: With Stayton, yeah. You said it was different from Gresham Foods.

LH: Well, that was strictly what we called a field man. Now, that sort of thing developed over this time, too. You see, I was really doing lots of fieldwork, or fieldwork even to answer the same questions, but not really implied the same way as then when I get down here, we just went out to individual places and specifically talked about this field [1:40:02], period, and whether you've got the right amount of seed on it, or the right amount of fertilizer, or whatever, as opposed to kind of babysitting everything else. Up here, I worried about those guys and those problems, but I always had to worry about whether he had Picker Series Beans, even, and stuff like that. [Laughs] It was just different. I mean, but of course, we were always talking to agricultural people, some of them with not very much brains! [Laughs] But I mean, that's who a farmer is or was.

CP: So, in retirement, I know that fuchsias became a—

LH: Well, yeah, I don't know where that fits in in all of it, except when I got back—I'm retired. Oh, say, one thing, I mean. I'll tell you how—you know something that I have not heard of before or since, but when I retired, they give me a retirement. What did they do? They ended up giving me and my wife a trip to the Caribbean. And the other little wrinkle to it was that the bill was all made out, and the boat that I was to go on. All I had to do was get to Miami, Florida. I did have to, supposedly. Well, I got that one day. Two days later, the guy that had gotten it for me, came to say, "I've got some more money that can go with you." Well, there was enough there that it paid our way to Miami! [Laughs] Now, that was pretty flattering to me, as far as I'm concerned.

Because I don't know, they talked, my people that I had been, to do that. But then we started talking about, but then there's this flower business. Of course, I've always enjoyed growing anything. And [laughs] I never, ever grew any kind of a plant that had two different flower types without hybridizing them, for one thing. [Laughs] Anyway, now when we got the Stayton Canning Company, it became a lot more appropriate to move down here. In fact, within a year they disposed of all of the facilities, even the property that was Gresham Berry Growers up there. So, that's when we moved then down here to Keizer.

And the wife had gotten kind of interested in going to the Fairgrounds and volunteering over there. So, [laughs] I remember, she said, "You've got to do something. You're driving me made being around here all of the time!" [Laughs] So, I went over the Fairground, and looked around. And what I discovered was about 25 baskets of fuchsias that somebody after the deal had stuck in their greenhouse over there. And I remember, shoot, this was about February, or March, somewhere in there. Well, I got to digging around in their greenhouses that they had, and discovered these fuchsias. They were already sprouting, and so on. They looked pretty miserable. Well, again, they are alive. I hate to throw them away.

So I try to whittle them up enough, and by golly, by the time—this is by middle of June and so on, they were looking pretty good. So I kept watering them. So we had quite a display [laughs] of those same darn things. [1:45:02] Well, anyway, and from that, I kept. So then I began to—well, my mother was growing, growing fuchsias. My mother was always—she was great in playing with garden books inside, and flowers, and everything else. So, I knew what the flower was the instant I saw it and all that sort of thing. And then it kind of grew on me, just because. So, so, I took the parts of those, and I said, "What the Sam Hill am I going to—how am I going to keep those till next year?" Or, I just hate to throw them away. They're growing. So, there was a couple of places alongside one of the buildings over there with about as wide as this room here, and so on. So I dug the darned things out of the ground up, and stuck them in here. [Laughs] Clipped them almost down to just this teeny thing. By golly, we had a light winter and everything next year. Oh, everybody comes to the fair and says, "Oh, look at those!" [Laughs]

CP: [Laughs]

LH: Yeah. Well, they kind of grew from there on. Then I began to get sort of interested in fuchsia as a variety, and learned about the American Fuchsia Society and their record, you know, stuff like that. So then I began to just plain specifically collect specific [unclear]. And of course, as I say, doesn't do you any harm to do that, so I made my own flower. And I got one that didn't look too bad, and looked a little—and seemed to be different from anything else, so we registered that! [Laughs] So, I am a fuchsia grower. They don't take very much brains. [Laughs]

CP: I understand you have a garden dedicated to you on the Salem—

LH: What was that?

CP: You have a garden dedicated to you in the Salem capital mall. Is that correct?

LH: What?

CP: The capital mall, in Salem, you have a garden dedicated to you? Am I correct about that?

LH: Well, I planted. After a period of time, it got to be this was kind of a burden having all of these different—and they had some land next to the capital ground that I got acquainted with, somebody telling me that they got, that you could plant—you can have that if you want to plant. So another man in the fuchsia club that we kind of had, he had a regular nursery, had other things besides that, but he had quite a number, too. So we just plain spaded up the garden down all right, and we planted a garden there. Well, it did look nice, particularly a year or two. Man, we really had quite a garden there! And I got a letter from the Governor saying, "Man, that's a wonderful thing." Well, yeah, all we did was do a little work. Anybody could have done it. The next thing I know, why, they had a post down there, saying, Leon Hubbard's Garden, or some damn thing.

KH: [Laughs]

LH: [Laughs] And in fact, I went by there here earlier this spring and looked at it. There's a few of those same darn plants still out there!

KH: [Laughs]

LH: It does surprise—it really surprised me from the business of fuchsia, period, that they are there. I mean, that's just not to be expected. I mean. [Laughs]

CP: Well, the last question I have for you is if you just have any thoughts on the impact that Oregon State has made on your life?

LH: What's that?

CP: The impact that Oregon State University has made on your life?

LH: Well, huh. The university has always been in my life. [1:50:01] That's an answer I would say, partly from my father and mother connection, too. But I was just thinking, when I knew you were coming, you know, I was thinking, "Where was I when Kennedy was shot? At Corvallis." Now, right now, I don't know what—but that was some kind of a connection for being there. I mean, that's just kind of a way out for me of being there. It was always in that position.

It's only been, I'll say the last, well, maybe—yeah, I can say probably 20 years of being here that it's gotten so I've gotten so old that I can't even get there. But you bet your life that I look up and hear all of the football deals today. I can't sit and watch football today. All I want to do is, what's the answer? Who wins, and that sort of thing. [Laughs] That's about all I can say for that question, I mean. And the thing that we haven't said, you see, Mother and Father went there. All of their children went there. My one child that got even close to that kind of thing went there for two years, but had to go on because of a change, and he actually graduated in the higher 10 percent of his class.

In fact, I've got to brag about that boy a little bit. He spent one year at the University of Vienna, in Austria. Now, you don't run into very many people with that. Where is he now? He has married a Norwegian girl; he has a Canadian passport to come down here and see me, even. [Laughs] But that's another story completely, but it gets to be quite a story.

In fact, still, one of the proudest things is that—what would it be if I figured it out? What—12, no, yeah about 18 months ago, I went to Norway and visited, and saw my great, great grandchild. Yeah, she'll be all Norwegian. And I'm no more Norwegian than you'll ever imagine. I can't understand a word of it, but I have three grandsons that are in Norway. And people ask me, "How did you get all of that?" Do you know how I did it? My youngest daughter, she married a Norwegian sailor. Well, yeah, I guess he was supposed to be a sailor. In due time, he takes her home to see him and she decides not to come home. Now there's a whole damn bunch of them. [Laughs] In fact, I was really kind of, just to be in—she will have been in Norway for 40 years by about July of this year.

CP: Hm.

LH: I mean, time itself is kind of interesting. Sure, she's been back here a number of times. She's been here with her family when they were younger, and so on. She had three boys. And of course, they're all grown. One of them is a grandfather. [Laughs]

CP: Well, thank you Leon. This has been a lot of fun for me. I appreciate you sharing with us.

LH: Well, I hope I haven't just filled you with too much b.s.

CP: No, it's been great.

LH: But I'll have to admit that I can't do much better than sit and think about it anymore.

CP: Yeah. [1:55:00] Well, we appreciate you sharing.

LH: In fact, if you've got any way of improving the situation, in another two weeks here, you see, as soon as you get to the new year, I can officially claim to be 97 years old. Now, my legs don't work very good. They've been very obstinate on me. They replaced my hips. They replaced part of my back. They gave me a pacemaker. They won't even let me die! [Laughs] [All Laugh]

GH: You wore out the first one.

KH: He's had to get the second one. [1:55:47]


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