EW: Ok, so I'm just going to do this formalization thing. I have begunrecording. So, my name is Erin Wilson and today is February 3rd and we are in Snell Hall room 444 with Roberta Hall. And we also have--
BG: My name is Briana Goodwin
DB: Dylan Bugden
EW: You can just say your name and date.
RH: My name is Roberta Hall and it is February 3rd.
EW: Again, bear with us this is a learning process.
RH: Do you do a few of them?
EW: Actually we only do one life history interview. That's what this one is. Wedo some other kind of qualitative methods stuff but this is our only interview. So, we do have this little formal introduction that we just have to read so it 1:00will be on the recording.
EW: So today we are conducting a life history interview for the purposes ofarchiving our interviewee's story in the Oregon State University library archives. Today we will interview Roberta Hall, professor emeritus of anthropology at Oregon State University. So, this conversation will be recorded and ultimately stored in the Oregon state university library archives. Secondly, as this is a life history interview some of these questions will be personal in nature. If at any time or for any reason you do not wish to answer a question please do not hesitate to say so or ask me to just move on to another question. It is not our intent to ask any invasive or uncomfortable questions in this interview. The main purpose of this interview is for you to tell your own story about your life as you have experienced it. No right or wrong way for you to do that. We only ask that you offer us this information if you are comfortable sharing. Ok. So we are just going to start talking about family, and kind of how 2:00you grew up, if you wouldn't mind shedding a little light on that. Maybe where you're from or--
RH: I was born in and grew up through high school anyway, in Fort Wayne,Indiana. My father was a flour miller. And at that time, well, flour, during my, let's see '30s perhaps, the large flour millers did in (that is, deliberately over-ran) small businesses like his family flour mill. They served an area all around our town and Fort Wayne is northeast but the sales people took goods all the way down into Kentucky so it was quite a wide area and they sold to bakeries, as well as individuals, in flour sacks, which are coming back. I just 3:00think it's too bad he didn't live to see it. To see the real food come back. It's really sad because during that period, I mean I was born in '39 so, during the post-war period there was a great move toward corporatization, and also TV came in. Somewhere along the way in the late '50s where we were, earlier some places, and later others, and um, and corporate food was pushed and so somewhere along the way in the '70s, early '70s they forced the mill to close, and it's really too bad because of the quality of the local food and service to the 4:00farmers as well as everything else. But anyway, so, during the depression his family did quite well, because everybody needs food and it was also very important during the war to have local food. Very important. And, so I have an older sister and two younger brothers.
RH: And I guess I was a salutatorian in my North Side high school class. Ienjoyed high school very much. There were 300 or so of us in the class. I did a lot of work with journalism and it offered me an opportunity to develop my writing skills. Which have turned out to be quite useful, as a student, because you have to take notes quickly and so forth and it's, it's just a skill like everything else, if you practice it it's easier. So, that was how I learned it. 5:00
EW: Ok. So, your relationship with your parents. Can you talk a little bit aboutthat? Maybe, how they encouraged you with your career path or--
RH: Well they didn't encourage me at all. Come on. This was the 50s, and to goto college yes they did, they did encourage me to go to college. That wasn't an issue at all.
EW: Did your brothers and sister go to college?
RH: Yea, they did. Yea, my next younger brother got a PhD in math, and my oneunder that did, studied economics, math and economics and then he decided "uh, I don't think I can do a big research project on my own so I think I'll go to law school" so he did. He's considerably younger. He was the baby and we all took 6:00care of him.
EW: So, this is just kind of a broad question. Maybe what, if you can name this,this is a hard one for me, your most vivid memory from childhood.
RH: Well, I don't have very many memories. From little childhood I had a verysmall bear, stuffed bear of course, a little guy that the kids in the neighborhood would like to take away from me and toss it and hide it, and tease me with it. So, that was a continual struggle but I always got him back. I've still got him. So it was, you know, it was kind of teasy and mean but it wasn't vicious.
EW: Definitely not like the bullying we had.
RH: Yea, fighting for that bear, ugh.
EW: Ok, and--7:00
RH: Oh, the other thing that was really, we were kind of, that I think was veryfortunate for us, my grandmother had come from a small town to the north and it's in an area with a lot of glacial made lakes. Have you all ever experienced those? They're wonderful and in Indiana you have them in the North, not in the Central and South because the last glacial advance stopped somewhere along in there. And, anyway, so she had a place at one of the lakes and I spent a lot of summers there. And, also, at camps sometimes, again, at different lakes, and being in that natural environment was really very important, and very nice. Yea, I think every kid should have that opportunity. 8:00
EW: Absolutely. Ok, so, I think we're going to start transitioning intoprofessional life. We're going to let Briana take over for a little bit so we all get a little practice here.
BG: So you mentioned in high school that's when you really took an interest injournalism, and in our research we saw that you ultimately got your degree in journalism. Can you talk to us a little bit about your college experience?
RH: Well let's see, I did, did I mention where I went to school first?
RH: I can't remember.
BG: You stopped at high school.
RH: I was just talking to a colleague about it because her daughter I guess isgoing there too, is a graduate student, anyway, Duke University. I went there as a freshman. I like warm weather and that was a big attraction, and also you know, has high academic standards, but I didn't fit in to the southern culture. 9:00And as I was mentioning to my friend, for them at that time, now we're talking '57, you have to kind of think about what that might have been like, e.g., Sputnik. I remember standing -- there were two colleges at Duke, the women's college so called and the men's. And, the freshman women mostly are at the women's college after that , and there's a bus a mile or so and it keeps going. And I remember standing there and learning about Sputnik. It was that fall, '57. It electrified the country. But, southern women weren't supposed to pay attention to stuff like that, nah. I didn't fit in very well. So, I decided that 10:00summer after finishing out the year to return to Indiana, which is Indiana University in southern Indiana, is very well known for its journalism. It along with Missouri and Columbia, kind of the big three. And so I decided to study that, be a little more active. Not just academically but doing things.
BG: So, after, can you talk to us a little bit about after you graduated?
RH: Well, I had to get to graduation first. After two years I decided to, at IU,11:00to get married and we moved to Wyoming. My spouse had experience in Oregon working for his brother in law on a large farm in Eastern Oregon. He fell in love with Mt. Hood, determined to climb it, eventually wrote a book on mountain climbing in Oregon called "On Top of Oregon". But that was a lot later. Anyway, we didn't quite make it, we only made it to Wyoming. And I had a few credits to finish, not many because I had been a little bit to summer school the first year after leaving Duke. And also stayed in Bloomington through the second summer, my summer there, and took classes and worked at a book store a little bit and 12:00worked at the library, the journalism library when the real librarian was not there, Saturdays mainly. And did what we used to call the morgue. A morgue is where you cut out newspapers and you file them, maybe take three or four cause things are on both sides right? And you file them, now all of this is computerized and the morgue is no longer, but the morgue was a very valuable research tool in those days. And it served its purpose so that's, was a principal task to do that, and I also read proof.
We had a daily newspaper and it tried to compete with the local newspaper. Itwas fairly successful, I would say, sometimes. But anyway, he finished and he 13:00had taught me photography and that's how we became acquainted, through the tasks we were doing. And so we wanted, I wanted to go West, I had always wanted to go West and the outdoor life and that sort of thing. So, we, he got a job and we just took off for Rock Springs, Wyoming. Not the, if you've all, if any of you has been there you understand what it's like; well we got there during a serious depression. It was 1960 and it was a Union Pacific town that the railroad goes 14:00through there. Also highway 30, but Union Pacific no doubt made the town. Coal mining everywhere, you're probably quite familiar with, because you have resource interests with the mining, the dependence on mining that that particular state has of one sort or the other but the coal mines had just closed, because UP went for diesel. And miners were out of work. It was a very interesting experience. We were there three years and it was a very good place to learn how to get by with very little. And I appreciate that. It's come in handy. It's come in very handy. [15:00] And of course it was very cold. 6300 feet. High altitude desert. 15:00
RH: It's cold. But anyway, I was able to finish the degree. Over that period oftime had two daughters as well. And, did a little substitute teaching.
BG: Alright. And, what did your, how did your family feel about you movingacross the country?
RH: Who knows? I had never made a secret of wanting to go West. So it wasn't asurprise in that respect at all. It wasn't a surprise. Yea, but they thought it was a long way but if you and I look at a map today and we see where Indiana is and Wyoming is and here we are, way out at the actual Western periphery and you know it, it's an overnight on a UP and train, and that's all it is really. It's 16:00not that far.
BG: So, you made it to Wyoming and we know through our research that eventuallyyou made it to University of Oregon. So can you tell us how you ended up coming to Eugene and what motivated you to seek a further degree?
RH: Ok, well, along the way I had, one of the courses I took, there in RockSprings, Wyoming was anthropology. I hadn't had any before that. And so I got very interested in it and thought about it a lot. Then we moved back to Indiana for a year and then to Illinois and I worked actually as a librarian at this half-time job at a school of Nursing. An actual hospital school, one of the very last. And again an interesting situation because all the journals were talking 17:00about the transition. Got very interested in health. Always had been a bit interested but no opportunity to explore and of course when you're a librarian, particularly in those days, you get to read a lot. So, I actually thought about doing that and not doing anthropology but then, anyway, we decided "to heck with it" we're going to come west where we had intended to and head for Oregon, which we did in fall, late summer, fall '66. And my spouse found work in Salem at a newspaper. He had been working at a newspaper in Waukegan, Illinois, after graduate school. 18:00
So nonetheless I went to school in Eugene, had applied prior. I actually hadapplied at Northwestern while we were in Waukegan, was accepted, but wow, that's expensive. And it's a long commute and at that time you may be very interested to know, or maybe you know already, that University of Oregon encouraged graduate students from out of state. No difference in tuition there. And it was a hundred and thirty five dollars a quarter. It's unbelievable. It's the way things ought to be, really. I find it really disgusting what's happened to our system and partly because of the state's lack of funding and so forth I know. But there are a lot of pressures and we're not the only state that's done that. 19:00But it was a very welcoming time for graduate students from anywhere. And so that was, that was a good, good place to be and let's see, so, there was something else I was going to say about that, that topic too. Oh, yea, connecting it with Sputnik. After Sputnik how did the nation respond? Do you know? It responded by offering lots and lots of science fellowships. Money was dripping from everywhere. Now, I'm exaggerating of course but, but the particular department there, there were many fellowships and they were National 20:00Science Foundation I believe, but they were related to the country's response to Sputnik that was "we got to fix our educational system."
And that part of it, it's really rather laudatory. Some of the responses tochallenges these days are military rather than educational. But that was a response and so we had thirty or so in that entering graduate student class, actually. And I doubt that it's anything like that now, but it was also an expanding time for colleges to increase their numbers of faculty and so forth. Mind you, they didn't get paid very well, probably relatively less than now, but 21:00there are fewer, relatively speaking, jobs now and much more automation and so forth too. So things were different and perhaps a little friendlier actually in those days.
So anyway, it made it a pretty interesting place to be and I was able to find ita very comforting, good place to be. Spouse lived in Salem, I eventually, and the kids moved there also. He had to commute originally and then I did and found a research project in Marion County with the Russian Old Believers, which were a 22:00group of Russians that broke away in 1666 when the Russian Orthodox Church chose to develop some rituals more like the Eastern Christian church and that didn't sit well with the rural people. "No way. We're not going to do that. We're happy where we are, we're happy with our current practices." And so they became known as old ritualists or old believers and fled to the periphery of the empire, which is pretty big, even in those days. And eventually that led them to need to leave Russia, well some of them went to China, but then China did a revolution too. "Oh, dear. Now we've all got to be the same. Don't like that. Let's leave." 23:00And so they, many of them were settling in the '60s, 1960s, in Marion County, Oregon, where some of them still live. And some have left for Saskatchewan or Alaska or somewhere else more remote, but anyway. So, I was able to do biological anthropology with them and health, as well as work with the Marion County Health Department on some of these topics. Learned some Russian, and it was a very good experience.
EW: Do you still speak Russian?
RH: [Speaks Russian] I forgot. [Speaks Russian] I forgot much. Yea. [SpeaksRussian]. Yea, I speak only a little Russian. 24:00
EW: Oh, well that's pretty good.
RH: But that's what you need to learn first, because if you say [Russian} thegreeting, kind of like "good health to you" is what it is. Then you need to say, no. But it's a wonderful language, it's not that difficult. To speak it, mind you I was speaking with people who had little formal education and they didn't care. They were quite content with my bad grammar, or at least they were tolerating it. Let's say that. That's probably much more accurate and fair too, because that's probably what it really was but yea. Some of them had lived in Turkey, some in China, and the girls particularly didn't have formal education. 25:00Married young, so forth. So that was good.
BG: So you finished your dissertation. Do you want to talk to us about what youand your family did next?
RH: Well, I kind of hustled through the education, the graduate education, for awhole lot of reasons, and it worked out. And my major professor, I was pretty sure was going to leave. That was one among many things. And he did, at the end of that year. The spring of '70. And as you know that's kind of a wrenching thing. So, that was one of the reasons, and it was just a very tumultuous time 26:00in political history. You may be familiar with all of the stuff with the Vietnam War which most of us opposed very vehemently, most of us in Oregon or many of us. Certainly our Senator Wayne Morse represented that, and Hatfield as well. And anyway, so, my spouse said "you can't go anywhere except the Pacific Northwest." Not that I really wanted to. So I didn't look anywhere else, and a job opened up in Victoria B.C. and I was able to fit into it. I had the background. They had not had a biological anthropologist; it was a small 27:00department, expanding. It's doubled or tripled since I was there. It was probably 7500 students in the university when I was there, something like that. I've been back, I go back from time to time and it's a lot bigger.
But, anyway they didn't have a biological anthropologist at the time, and thatwas my preference but I liked the other stuff too, the health and some of the cultural and archeological, or should I say prehistory, it's more prehistory than archeology, which is really more of a method, it's using artifacts to learn about human behavior. Prehistory is always fascinating. The study of change, and people's adaptations over time. That's always, had always fascinated me. So 28:00anyway, so I was kind of specialist but generalist enough not frighten the other department members into thinking that I would just be over here in a little box and not interacting, because they didn't think that would have worked well and it probably wouldn't have. So anyway, we went and we were there four years.
BG: Did you find when you were working in academia, did you find any challengesthere due to gender or coming from another country?
RH: Oh, there were many, yes. There are always challenges. I think for mostpeople, here's the biggest challenge, you go through your college experience and you know each year you're a little farther up the hierarchy or you feel a little 29:00more comfortable. You know the ropes, etc. etc., right? Then you're a beginning assistant professor and you are crap. It's kind of all over again, not, not exactly -- you have a lot of, you have a lot of opportunities but still it's interesting that academia is very hierarchical and so you notice that. But, you know, that wasn't a terrible burden. Victoria was an interesting place. I wish I had been a little more systematic in paying attention to people's accents because we had people from all over the commonwealth. It was really fascinating in that respect. 30:00
At that time they were not prejudiced much against Americans but I'm sure thatafter expanding enough it got to be the point there was in the '70s, particularly there was in this country, and there as well, a very strong feeling that we need to include our own people as representative. At one point we were able to hire a pre-historian who was French-Canadian and that was considered by us, the other members of the faculty, as "Wow! This is great, you know. We got one." And he had just finished up studying at Cambridge also which wasn't a bad thing, but he was definitely a French-Canadian. There was a lot of conflict at that time with Quebec pulling away. In fact that very first fall we were there 31:00was when one of the ambassadors was found dead in a trunk in a car. It was quite exciting. It was quite interesting. We were just outsiders and Victoria is, interesting too because it's on an island, in part, have you been there?
EW: It's so beautiful
RH: You do feel a bit protected from the mainland activity. There's that, thatsense of it. And a little bit smaller distances certainly than Vancouver, which is a massive, metropolitan area. Anyway, so that was when I, there is a major museum there. It used to be called the Provincial Museum, now they call it the Royal British Columbian Museum, but to me it's the BCPM. I worked there a lot 32:00with skeletal collections and archaeological collections. It was just beginning to blossom, and nobody had looked at any of this material. I went to sites that my students were working and excavating. That first summer, '71 it would have been, and that was great, to understand the native cultures, which were very, very impressive before contact and in early contact. It's very fancy, you know British Colombia has all those Fjords. You guys know this very well, you're marine biologists-estuaries and bays are where all the resources are, and of 33:00course that's where large populations are, and wealth, a lot of wealth, and a lot of people. So that was an interesting experience, and being on the coast, and working with all that; it was something that I hadn't worked with very much in Oregon, just because it didn't come up. That was very, very interesting. I was there four years. It wasn't so good for my spouse though, and he wasn't able to work full time. You can give a contract to an American, that's O.k., he can 34:00write something, that's fine, he can work for two months, that's great, but we don't hire them if we can. You hire British Colombians, then other Canadians, then other common wealth, if possible. You know, it's like Salem, the center of a state government, and Victoria is too-it's very much a government town, that's what it is.
So anyways, that was not such a great thing. In those days, on an island, youare fairly isolated. 3 flights a day, and ferries, which had a habit of striking 35:00from time to time. It's a different country, and a very interesting country, a lot of great things. One of the neatest things we did was we went to found the Canadian Association of Physical Anthropologist. We met in Banff. I think it was in the middle of those 4 years there. I took a bunch of students, my family, and a couple of faculty, well one was a faculty and one was a wife because Banff was great for skiing. We all boarded a train in Vancouver and went to Banff, a good way to get around. It was January or February, one of the two, very snowy. It 36:00was the very first, it was the founding meeting of that association, that was great. It was a small group, but at every national meeting, the Canadian group would get together and do something, and it was very nice to be part of a smaller unit within a larger unit, as you'll probably find out when you start doing that. Academics look forward to the annual meetings, at least in 37:00anthropology you do, sometimes some regional ones as well, but the annual meetings are kind of what you work toward, having something to say, something to do, the people you make contact with. In the 70s, we didn't have Internet and mail is slow, but people actually read their real mail in those days, I will say that. When faxes and emails came, some people just couldn't be bothered to read their real mail, and I always thought that was weird. It was a good time.
BG: We know that you eventually made it Oregon State University, can you talkabout your decision to come back, and your experience of transitioning back to Oregon. 38:00
RH: My husband actually came back 6 months before I did because he got a jobhere in Corvallis itself, and I didn't feel that I should actually leave until the end of the year, and I didn't want to. So it would have been May, I think. I regret that we left before my daughters had finished their school year. Now in Canada, at least in British Colombia, the school year goes through almost to the end of June. It's more or less a 10-month deal, which is wonderful if you are a parent and an academic because you have an 8-month year; you are done in mid 39:00April, sometimes in early April. The other thing about it is you start in early September, unlike here, so you have that time to get your work done. In our case, our physical meetings tend to be in early April and in Canada, at least in those days, we had a 13 week term, which is not as short as here and not as long as a semester, and 2 weeks for review and for exams. If you're going to be gone or at meetings or something, you simply get a proctor, which is very simple because the university is much more hierarchical, in a sense, and everything is thought about and it will do it for you. In the US, it's every person for him or 40:00herself, scrambling to make the best of a situation and sometimes you have a really super situation, better than the other, but it's a bit more standard and there's something to be said for that.
Anyhow, we came in May as I recall. I had written to the department here andmade contact, and again, it's not emails, it's long mails, and it's a week and a half in Canada in those days because you have customs as well as everything else. But it's ok because you know that's the way the process works. If you 41:00expected it to be instantaneous, it would be a bummer. But you get used to it, like grocers didn't used to be open on Sunday, and we got along just fine, thank you. Once they started to change, people's tempers changed too. So anyway, I think that first year I taught part-time in the department, then a job opened up and I applied for it, and I was almost full-time the next year and so forth. So that would have been, let me think, '74, '75 I guess, would be the year that I worked in the skeletal lab and some teaching in biological anthropology 42:00exclusively that year, and then the next year did some more things, and eventually began to develop the field, what has traditionally be called medical anthropology. It should be called anthropology of health, but that isn't what it's called. It's called medical anthropology even though it isn't just medicine and hospitals at all, it's really the ecology of health, whether you're talking 3 million years ago for human ancestors or the transition to farming 10,000 years ago, which raises very new health and biological concerns because of the 43:00lifestyle and environment change. Anyway, so I started doing that, and in '76, I believe it was, in the fall, the department got a phone call from the Coquille Indian tribe, which wasn't an official tribe at that time. They had been terminated, that is to say their official relationship with the Federal government had been terminated in the 50s, but they wanted to become a real entity, officially recognized entity again. Some skeletons along the Coquille River were being eroded out, and they needed people to come and help them 44:00excavate them properly, and study them, and figure out a little more about the pre-history of their people, which because of the turmoil on the coast ever since the 1800s, they had lost and been relocated to the Siletz area, and mixed up with other people who spoke different languages and lost a lot of that information. So they invited us to come. I went, and a few other advanced archaeology graduate students also went, my daughter Nancy went, and we had a great time. I'm still working with them--to this day, I am still working with them. 45:00
We did a lot of different projects, a lot of different publications on a lot ofdifferent topics: the skeletal of course, the biological and now the ecological analysis of animals in their site, the reason they are there, their middens. Their middens have a lot of shell in them, and shells contribute alkalinity to the very acid, coastal soils, and so bones preserve, not perfectly, but pretty darn well. Without that, we would know zip about some of the animals that 46:00frequented the coast in those days, in those years. So that's been a lot of fun. So we did that, and of course oral history stories, and just all kinds of linguistics. I had people help me. I brought in a lot of experts that could do things I couldn't do, soil people for example, to study soils. I didn't know anything about soil chemistry. I brought in archaeologists to do certain parts of the survey, and of course, if you have material that you can actually date, you have to send that off to a lab, and so it's like being the contact person 47:00for a whole lot of different activities. We did a lot of interviewing with the elders. The first real project on the ground after that initial couple of weekends in '76 tried various things to get some financing for it, but they were not a recognized tribe as far as Federal status; they had no money to hire anybody. Eventually we found the Center for Field Research, which is associated with Earthwatch, they (Earthwatch) do a lot of marine research, or help people 48:00do it I should say, help investigators do it. In 1978, we had our first Earthwatch project. Actually our best time was before Labor Day until school started here, because by then, because of Labor Day, the Coquille Indian parents had to be home because the kids were in school, and fall anyway was the best weather time on the coast in my opinion, you can camp out and stuff. So that's what we did. In the summer of '79, we followed up with a little study of legends 49:00and folk stories that people said they wanted recorded, and tall tales and reminiscences. So we got some equipment, borrowed from our media department, huge reel-by-reel tapes that produced something much less perfect than that little guy right there (our recorder). There were elders, older people, who might not be around too many more years, and it was important to move on it. As soon as we could, we did, and it worked out pretty well. I did a little bit of work with that. 50:00
Just this past year, well starting a year ago Christmas actually, that wouldhave been Christmas of 2012, there was a party for a retiring Culture Chairmen at the Coquille tribe, and I went to the party with some other people here, and I got to talking with people, and I realized that I needed to find those old reel-to-reel tapes. Since I've been making radio shows, I knew something about the technology, and I needed to take them and make them really preservable, updated. That took actually quite a few months, I mean I'm working on it off and 51:00on of course, not sitting down working on it straight through. We had a lot of tales and it was possible to improve those old tapes and to put them into digital form so that the Coquille tribe today can have those stories of their ancestors speaking, telling stories and also reminiscing, it's kind of a combination of both. That was something that I should have done much earlier of course, but time got away, and I'm glad that we did that. I feel much better having those completed. So that was in '79 that we made them, and in '80 we went back and did a lot more oral histories and a little bit of surveying of former 52:00lands owned by Coquille families, allotments they were called, and that's a whole other story. So we've also done a lot of archaeology with the tribe, and they work very well with it. In the early days, we were just friendly. You didn't have contracts. Contracts? You didn't trust people? Of course you trust people! (laughter) That isn't like that anymore. Things are very formal these days. But we were all friends. I am very fortunate to be of a time where we worked together as friends and co-researchers, and it's very rare that people 53:00have that opportunity. They were survivors. They had both European and native ancestors. Those that didn't perished, in the coastal tribes. The coastal tribes were very hard hit by disease of course, and then by being rounded up in the 1850s and moved to reservations elsewhere and put with a variety of people, and given very few resources to eat. So a lot of the Coquille tribe, and some of the others in the area, are descended from native women who married outside men and 54:00did not have to go to the reservation for that reason. If they were married to an immigrant, in one case it was an immigrant who probably didn't have papers either; it didn't matter, he had the right color skin and background, and he was a great supporter of the tribe. Many of these immigrant men were great supporters of their native wives, in part because they left their families in Germany, or Switzerland, Canada or wherever, so what relatives did they have but the families of the women they married. So it's not all of the ancestors because there is at least one couple of native people who were exclusively south coast 55:00people, another one who married a man from Klamath tribe and so forth.
But a lot of the populations are those of blended families, European-basedcultures and native cultures. They are in the place of their ancestors, and they remember a lot about it, and have a lot of experiences and a lot of respect for their lands. That's who they are, and why it has to be that way. So that's the group we worked with, and it was very good to have them as collaborators all 56:00those many years. So that was one of things that I was able to do. It's interesting. I suspect that most of the people that you will be talking to will have come across an interesting project or research project, kind of by chance while being at a place where that particular skill is needed, and being able to offer it and then discover that there's more that can be done here. It would be hard to, it would be hard to program one's expectations around, but I know of other people who have similarly fallen into something that needed doing at the 57:00time they were working on a related topic and then developed it further. That just happened to be what was available to us.
BG: Can you talk to us a little bit about sort of the dynamics on campus, andthe changes you've seen at Oregon State during your tenure here?
RH: Wow--what changes. Well of course recently, which I'm not an expert on atall, the change in the structure of the colleges and departments. It's changed tremendously I think more quite recently here over the last, what, 5 years I suspect than the whole time before that. Some departments, we tease about it, we 58:00have absolutely no idea the current name of the department is. I worked with museum studies, it lasted for 10 years, an interdisciplinary Masters in museum studies, and we worked with the fabric artist in the school of Home Economics a great deal, and that department had craft people, fiber artists, apparel designers, re-shuffled with different names it seemed like almost every year sometimes, I'm exaggerating of course. But some of them are more malleable than others.
Our department, it was Anthropology when I came. It had broken from Sociology a59:00few years prior, I think, and it didn't change for all those many years. It pretty much had the same aspect --that it would be a general anthropology major. There would be two archaeologists usually, 3 or 4 cultural people, maybe one and half biological and a linguist or two. It hadn't really changed much all those many years, but some of the others did. And now, of course everything is, 'I can't speak to it.'(laughter) I formally sort of retired at the end of 2003, and theses new changes have happened since that time. We hadn't, Anthropology hadn't moved place, it's been in the same place for all those years. Mind you, there 60:00used to be a Radiation Department at one half of Waldo, and you didn't go in or out of those doors; that's the north side, the north half of Waldo, and the south half, we used, on the second floor. When those doors were opened, and the other group was removed, and I hope, cleared of all the remnants of radiation, we still felt a little spooky about it for a while. I mean, what were these guys doing in here? Eventually we got over that, and you can enter the building now on the north end from Jefferson, and then everybody in the departments left, and 61:00of course made everyone scramble and bid for all that opened space. It became open season on claiming it, and I think everyone did get his share, or its share I should say because they are entities, certainly not gendered. It got spread around and grew. We've been pretty stable.
Now the rest of the university, many of us have noticed it often goes throughthis mission statement concept, and mission statements are puzzled over, and committees meet, and maybe the words change, but I don't think there has been a change. We all kind of think, 'what's going on here? Why are we wasting time on it?' Then of course there was a period, some years ago, when it was decided that 62:00we were going to semesters, like the rest of the world, right? Everybody revised their curriculum; that took a lot of effort too. Then the legislature said, 'no we don't like that. We don't want to do that. We need those young people to work on the farms in September. We can't have them going to school.' Of course, many of us agreed that anyone who does field research, September is the best month. So, we didn't get much argument on that end, and yet with the extra break, having 3 terms instead of 2, it does make it a little harder on students applying for work in summer. I'm sure there is probably a bit of resentment 63:00about that amongst the student population, but anyway. That was a change that didn't really happen, but some of the re-thinking of the courses did last beyond that curriculum change that was supposed to be semester oriented, but then we took the new concepts in the semester framework and re-worked them so they were again quarter, 10-week term things. I'm sure it's still a, something that faculty still argue about, would we better off with a longer term, or is 10 weeks enough. There are of course pros and cons on either side.
But of course then there's expansion - the general size. That has no doubt made64:00an impact and now the conflict with the community about where those students are being housed and where are we going to house other people who want to live in the community particularly small, younger families and very modest incomes. It's a major problem for the university I think, now that I've been out with people in the community more. I do see some issues out there that some people at the university are working on and I hope they can smooth that over because it would be sad to see the relationships break down over this issue. Anyhow, what other changes. Jiminy. Push for more graduate programs. That has certainly happened 65:00during this time period. In Anthropology we didn't used to have any possibility of a doctoral. Now there is that possibility. It's much less used than the masters possibility. That is still, I believe, the bulk of the graduate education. There's less hours of teaching that faculty do now in terms of we used to teach. I believe it was averaging 8 hours a quarter. We did that in a little bit of sleight of hand. I'm not remembering exactly how it went. Oh, we had a five hour or three hour option for certain intro courses. The five hour 66:00involving more practicum. And that five plus another three credit course got people to 8, so they were really doing only two subject matter courses. That was our little bit of sleight of hand. Which of course the Dean saw through it. It wasn't really deceptive. Not very difficult. But, yeah, the course load - many much larger classes and more use of video. Used to be you would order a film. Maybe it will come, maybe it won't. Maybe the equipment won't work. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. So in a sense there's a little more stability in that way. Whether that's good or bad I don't know. Um, what other changes? What 67:00kind of topics do you want to think about there? You all have had experience and better experience than I have more recent too.
BG: Well we were interested in sort of what came to the top of your mind so that's.
RH: Oh. Well, yeah. Alright. I actually haven't been thinking about this verymuch lately. Fortunately, I guess. Um, it was a lot of stability in our particular department through those years that I was here. That isn't now. If you started 10 or 20 years before me there was a lot of change because a lot of departments in liberal arts really only were born about 10, 20 years before I 68:00was here at this college. Liberal arts was really a very much service set of departments. In other words providing things that a person needed to get a degree such as some writing experience, a little basic literature, a little basic history, but not to really concentrate on. And that had already changed by the time I got here. It had developed. Mind you we had almost no female faculty when I came. I was the first regular female person in my department. A few individuals had been hired to teach an occasional course. [70:00] And in the college as a whole I don't know if there were any at all, really. Um, maybe in 69:00the languages. And we had one in psychology who was considered the assistant dean. She was an assistant professor I believe at the time, but they had begun to feel a need to have some women in some aspect of leadership role.
BG: How was that experience for you being one of the first female faculty on staff?
RH: Well, as I told some of my colleagues once, and I don't think theyunderstood this, each of the men - you could talk to them one by one. Fine. No problem. You get a bunch of them in a room and you're the only female - you're not there. That's just the way it is. It's not that anybody wants it to be that 70:00way. It just happens. But you get a dynamic of let's say two or three females in four five or six. It's okay. It's fine. It's just a matter of not being a single individual. Or the other way around. It's the same thing. Um, in other words, it doesn't have to be 50/50 but it can't be only one and everybody else to make a dynamic --- it's just something that develops that nobody intends perhaps, but the dynamic isn't very good if you get diverse individuals of whether it's gender or something else. I often felt sometimes because I am a biological 71:00anthropologist -- my main love of course is Darwin and human evolution. Come on, who wouldn't love it? But, in the health related aspects and the ecological situation of health but when there's really not much interest among the rest of the faculty it's somewhat isolating and being a relatively small department that dynamic plays out. Mind you, academic groups are always fractious. In Canada the story always was that University of Toronto they're everybody at everybody's throats, in the Anthropology section anyway, and there you had the subgroups clustering separate from each other and academics are not easy to get along with. 72:00
And I don't think that OSU is different or outstanding in one way or the otherin that respect. We sometimes get along very well and sometimes don't, but as far as the change in the male-female and bringing in other populations I mean we have lots of people I think of East Indian decent on campus. Various Asian groups in in different areas. Right now our department is situated with Ethnic Studies and they have always worked to have various groups represented. The thing I don't personally get about the way the college is structured - now they 73:00have these groups all of them together but I don't know if they interact. Like Language is in there but do the Language people really interact with the Anthro and the Ethnic Studies? I haven't seen any evidence of it so why are they all together? Just for ease of administrative purposes. The machines sort you more easily that way or something. In the old days we used to have secretaries who typed things for you and answered phones for you and all that. Of course those don't exist and when it was typing when you used type writers. Ah, this is an interesting gender phenomenon I noticed in my department anyway. It may not be 74:00general. I'm not claiming it is. You had women typists but once you start doing that on the computer it's the men who are experts. They jump in with both feet, or both hands I should say, and love it. And you go to them to learn how to do it - at least in the beginning. And now of course we all do it. Every faculty member is his own or her own typist. Pretty much so and computer and doing all of that processing yourself and in fact your skills in teaching are to a large extent dependent on that. On your being able to do that.
Right now and for the last five years I have co-taught a class with RichardClinton, also emeritus in political science, in the fall in Honors. We both had 75:00taught some Honors courses previously and we're doing a class that's kind of a primer you might say, an academic primer in sustainability. It's called 'From Malthus (that's Thomas Malthus) to Sustainability' and we read Malthus, we read Darwin, we read Paul Ehrlich but his book is not about population, it's about what agriculture did to change the face of societies and how people adapt and succeed if they become sustainable and die out if they don't. Cultures maybe individuals within it as well. And then some environmental economists at the end 76:00of that so we...Malthus recognized that growth is a bad thing. People didn't like him because he told the truth as he saw it and they honestly didn't believe it. They honestly believed that things were going to keep getting better and better and better and bigger and bigger and bigger and that was the 18th century and that was sort of where we were at. So we read that and we read a bunch of other things and in our class, to get back to the technology thing, we really don't use power point. We don't use Powerpoint. We actually read papers and we write little papers and we talk about the writing in the papers and the concepts and it's a discussion. But it's just a two credit colloquium and it's very small 77:00and so you can do that style with that, but this is rather exceptional for courses around the campus, which mostly depend on screen computer and power point or some other devices. So that's really a major change I think.
BG: So I'd like to do a quick time check I think we're probably at-
DB: So we've been going at almost an hour and a half so if you want to move onto the next question.
RH: Oh my.
BG: Do you have a little more time for more questions?
BG: Is that alright. Okay. Is that okay with the interviewers?
EW: Yeah, absolutely. Super interesting.
BG: Alright. So you mentioned that you retired in 2003, correct? And as you toldus you have a healthcare forum that's a radio show so can you talk to us a 78:00little bit about how you got involved in this after your retirement and maybe any other activities you've been doing since you retired.
RH: Oh my well, we'll just talk about that. Yeah, I have gotten more involvedwith the local community. I go to the sustainability coalition meetings and I'm on the transportation action team and that is one of the things that's fairly recent. But as far as the forum, the health discussion. I've always liked radio. When we lived in Waukegan we were fortunate to be able to hear WFMT, and hear Studs Turkel. You may know his name. I hope you know his name. A very famous radio guy. Deceased now, but that was in mid-60s. But I've always like radio and 79:00so I was a member of a little progressive anti-war group. And one of the people in it - this is after leaving full time work. I always say it that way because I still do some research in various sorts and other things. But it's really quite different. Anyway, one of the guys in the group was an electronics technician on campus here in physics and he was kind of thinking of transitioning to his own retirement and he had a lot of electronics equipment and liked to play around with broadcasting and taping music - musical productions and so forth. He said 'Well, if any of you wants to learn how to do this and you have some good use to 80:00put it to I'll teach you'. I was the only one that took him up on it.
So we went to his studio and he was the sound engineer. I said I want to do aradio program on health and KBOO radio, a large community station in Portland that reaches down in our area here and out toward the Gorge as well. Has a repeater in Hood River I think. Um, might be a place we could we could do that. So, you know I worked with people in health here a lot. I worked as I say back at the nursing school health issues, worked with Marion County Health Department, I worked with Natives, I worked with the Indian Health Service on a 81:00few research projects, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and Tribes on a couple of health projects. I lived in Canada also shortly after they got universal healthcare and of course, like almost everybody else, I favor that and think it's stupid we don't have it so we can-- I'm working with Mid-Valley Healthcare Advocates on that topic right now. Very active with that group. So we just went to studio and invited different people in and we did interviews and then he helped me edit for a long time and then finally I got on my own. And this man has since moved to Cottage Grove so I gotta be on my own. Although I call him my electronics wizard and once in a while send him a question by email 82:00cause I'm not an electronics wizard by any means. If the equipment weren't so user friendly I wouldn't be doing it. So that's how it got started. I've done about 70 of 'em now and mostly on health. Occasionally other things. Usually half hour long. A friend of mine is a musician and put out a CD record and she composed a little of it. And Joe and I listened to it and we said this part would be a great theme and I asked her permission she said yes so we could do it. We have her theme. Original theme from Laurie Childers' music and I think that's kinda nice. And so I do that and edit of course. Let the individual, or 83:00sometimes pair or various people who are being interviewed, see it and if they have misspoken or don't like something we take it out, fix it. That's happened at least half a dozen times. Not always. And yeah so it's been a lot of fun and it course it harkens also back to my journalism training and having a spouse very interested in that aspect of it.
And I often think back to when we were in journalism school we had two sides. Abroadcast and a writing. Broadcaster used to complain about bee bop news journalism. My god I think he would turn over in his grave if he saw a lot of the crap that we listen to these days or see on TV but fortunately I don't have 84:00to do that. I can just, you know, talk and make sense with people and probe what they do in their specialties whether... As I mentioned a recent one has to do with our environmental health sciences center. I interviewed their Director of their outreach and engagement core about what they're doing and I learned a lot. I learn a lot from this. I like to know something about the subject matter that I'm talking to someone about but not everything because you can't fake it when you're excited about something. And I get excited sometimes and I think that's fair. So, don't know everything but you have to know something. 85:00
Anyway that's just kind of what I developed as a concept. I like to interactwith the individuals and to try to find out what I think someone in the audience might want to know that isn't immediately apparent. Cause that's what it's all about. It's for other folks, not for me obviously, although I benefit. That's just been a lot of fun. I mean, we've had little disasters where you lose a file or it's corrupted because something technologically in the system doesn't work. It happens. The little device you have there - I've noticed that is wonderful because the battery lasts a very long time and not every piece of equipment is like that.
EW: That is true.
RH: So you know, because I just operate mostly on my own although often times my86:00husband will make a photograph because we usually put a photograph on the radio website of the individual. They like that. Um, I mean the radio station. But I'm mostly on my own and it's hard to look at two things at once - both engage in the conversation and keep a handle on the technology. It's almost foolproof these days but mm, nope, not foolproof. Never. So anyways that's one of the things that I like to do but it's a different world from university and I understand people who when you're working at the university you have almost all 87:00of your time committed. You have very little wiggle room in my opinion, my experience, and when you do have that then you explore other things and you find out wow, there's a world out there. It's interesting.
BG: So, we have just a couple more questions. But one just sort of bigoverarching question. What do you see as your greatest accomplishment?
RH: I don't think I can say that. I don't know. I mean, the longest term one hasbeen the work with Coquille and that's been very rewarding but some other things are much shorter term. And of course you know you have a certain number of students you're still in touch with and of course that you could say that's always going to be the best or the biggest accomplishment. I get together for 88:00lunch from time to time with a former graduate student friend from my graduate student days and one of my students who's teaching at a nearby university. The three of us have made a habit of getting together every few months. Uh, we usually meet at a halfway point in Monmouth or Independence. Somewhere like that. Um, and those are very rewarding - those sorts of things. Things of that sort.
I'm still working on a breathing study. I worked on it and it isn't over. Ihaven't given up, but if it were fully successful I would say it's the best. But it isn't there yet. And I worked with the tribe and a whole bunch of other 89:00people on the early peopling of the Americas with a colleague who is now in our department. Helped with that and now he's taken off from that and developed it further. That was kind of a breakthrough because we took a different approach to understanding the issues of what that long range immigration, migration really, would be like. You know there's just lots of little things that... And there are disappointments. I sometimes find myself kicking myself for some students who didn't finish. Those are big disappointments. Probably the biggest that some of them did not finish their masters degree and could have. And then you know some 90:00of them just flowered and you can't predict at the beginning. At least I'm not able to. I wasn't able to predict what would work out and what wouldn't and there are going to be disappointments and I feel bad about them. The ones that get away.
BG: And so finally, now that we've been talking about your life and you've beenreflecting on your experiences for us. We're just curious how the interview has effect you or how it felt to talk about and reminisce about all of these memories.
RH: Well, it's been fun actually. You know as you get older you find thatsometimes you wake up and you're reliving something from a long time ago and that happens. Didn't used to happen. Don't think it ever used to happen until 10 91:00or 15 years ago perhaps. Happens occasionally and you get used to telling people about places you've been. I just mentioned I'd been speaking with a colleague about my going to Duke University because it came up in the conversation that her daughter is there now. So it just came up and very easy - no problem. So, it doesn't bother me. Sometimes speaking about very difficult experiences does bother me later. I was part of a group that has for a few years talked with some Corvallis High School history class about what it was like during the Vietnam years here and it brought up some really difficult memories for all of us that I 92:00think we all felt uncomfortable for a week after, maybe more. But that isn't what we did today. Not at all.
BG: Are there any final thoughts that you want to leave us with or anything thatcame to mind that you didn't have a chance to say before?
RH: Well, the one little clue, little suggestion, I guess. And it doesn't applyhere. You're fine because I'm used to doing this stuff. But I've found with working with for instance the Native elders and various other people on their life history that sometimes they would say to me, almost every time actually, 'I can't remember about that. I don't remember anything. I don't have anything to 93:00say. I don't have anything to say'. And you know, if you start in with talking about legends or ancestors then you start to go back in time and talk about really concrete things about where they live and get very very very concrete with them. I did that pretty well, actually, in starting out because you knew the basics from your reading. But that sometimes will trigger a memory in people who say they don't have anything to say or don't know anything and you don't push but you just sort of construct a scenery and let their minds go back into 94:00that faraway place and it works. So, yeah, but mostly just being gentle like you all are is of course the most important thing.
BG: Well thank you so much. We really appreciate you taking the time to sit downwith us.