JL: All right. I know you were born in Vancouver, Washington in 1906.
JL: And I'm wondering how your family happened to have been there.Why were they in Vancouver?
LR: Well, they were early, on the Crawford side, they were very early pioneers.They came in, well, not as early as, after the Civil War they moved into a farm out there in that area.
JL: Why did they come to Vancouver though? Why Vancouver? Why notsomeplace else?
LR: Well, there was lots of good land out there. That's where the population...the Indians were still out there. There was a lot of fish and berries. It was a land of abundance there in those days. It still is. 00:01:00
JL: These were your great-grandparents?
LR: Yes, on the Crawford side. But the Raymond side went out there much earlier.They went around the Horn with Jason Lee, you know, the great Methodist. Well, you've got the histories. He went around there and my great-grandfather and great-grandmother were on that expedition. So they were really old. They had to go around the Horn, they were from New York, around the Horn to Honolulu. There was no cities or places on the Pacific Coast of the United States at that time. So, in order to get supplies and water, they had to... went to Honolulu then back into the Columbia River- to establish a mission, a Methodist 00:02:00mission. And my great-grandfather was a teacher for a while, then he got a farm and eventually had a big...quite a few head of dairy cattle.
JL: Well, now, do you have diaries or journals or is it all passed downorally, that you know these things?
LR: My wife is the one that could answer that. There's a lot of letters thatwere saved. So, that's in the Oregon Historical Society. So, a lot of that is...and I wish...my grandmother lived at Young's River on the north side of Astoria. She had a land claim there and I went there as a child in the early days. I was, I guess, well, about the age of 3 or 4. We moved from 00:03:00Vancouver. My father brought his family back to Astoria. He had been born at Astoria on the Young's River.
JL: So, how did your Mom and Dad meet each other then?
LR: My mother and father...I don't know how he...I never did hear of that. Hewas; in Vancouver, though, and married my mother and they moved down to Astoria on 'the Young's River side on the old land claim, and while my father was, you know, trying to get located in Astoria which was about 3 or 4 miles from the old homestead, we lived there.
JL: O.K... So, you moved from...he was in Vancouver. Then whydid they move to Astoria then?
LR: Well, he was, he thought he could get work there.
JL: What was he trying to work as?
LR: Well, he was in the wholesale, fruit and vegetable business. But the reason00:04:00we moved there, he moved there was we could...the old homestead had a two...It was a big house. My grandmother raised three boys and we were on the Young's River and my...I'll give you a little history of that. She had a Warf out there on the Young's River. From the homes to the house the property sloped down to the shore about 300 feet and then they had a wharf out there where boats could land. And I remember as a small child Indians would come down the Young's River with loads of elk meat. And they would put it on their back and carry it over to 00:05:00Astoria which was about 3 or 4 miles and sell it, then come back and take their boats and go back up the Young's River. Not only that but I remember another incident that's rather amusing. There was a Scotchman that took on an Indian woman as a wife. We called him the...I can't think of the name we called him. But anyway, this Scotchman would come down to my grandmother's landing about every two weeks and she'd give him a big piece of apple pie and a cup of coffee before he went over to Astoria to get his supplies. Then he'd come back and get another cup of coffee by the way. But he always bought a sack of candy 00:06:00but never gave it to anyone. I never had a piece of it nor my grandmother.
JL: You mean in Astoria, he'd buy a sack of candy...
LR: Then he'd hike over to the Young's River were about three or four... wherethe homestead was and my grandmother would give him, you know, the treat again. And at this particular time I had a young raccoon, pet raccoon, and that little devil, he'd steal my grandmother's cookies and I got the blame for it. And finally my grandma...I found him stealing the cookies, you know. He was, you know, these raccoons are very clever with their paws. Well this Scotchman, "Squawman" he would stop there to get his piece of pie. While he was sitting there, eating it, this piece of pie, this little raccoon would come up and put 00:07:00his hand in, unknown to the Scotchman, and pull out the candy. Then he'd scramble around and hide. Well, grandma and I had a hard time trying to keep from laughing. This went on. He never did get wise to this, you know. Well, finally the raccoon, an eagle blinded him in one eye and he became very mean so we had to kill him. But we had a lot of fun with this Scotchman. He never offered us a piece of candy even though he got coffee and... Anyway, these are some of the things I remember.
JL: Well, just out of curiosity how was he regarded because of himmarrying an Indian? Was that...
LR: Oh, well, a "Squawman" was not unusual in those days. You know there wasa shortage of women and there were quite a few men out there to fish and 00:08:00log and what have you. So, it wasn't unusual to marry a...The fact is, some of the Indian women were beautiful. They had, oh the complexion was...the fact is I had a prof in college who married an Indian. She was the most striking person that I've ever seen. She just had that peach blossom skin, you know, and was tall and slender- Some of the Indians were very attractive.
JL: Men that married Indian women weren't discriminated against?
LR: No, no. Indeed not. As a matter of fact, I think Oregonwas the first, one of the first states that established an Indian school, a college for Indians.
JL: Chemawa you mean?
LR: Yes, well, that was another. I think there was two or three schools. Butanyway, as a matter of fact, I went to college with an Indian. Of course he was 00:09:00a football player. He got a scholarship.
JL: What was the...what was the tribe that the Indians belonged to?
LR: Chinook, most of them. My grandmother went there, well, she was one of thefirst white persons in Washington called Oyster Bay. You can see it on the map. And she was the first, they were the first white family. The Indians gathered at Oyster Bay in the early spring when the salmon started to run. They had a big pow-wow which celebrated the arrival of the first salmon. They baked the salmon and each one had a piece of the salmon. Of course, the trouble is, by this time 00:10:00they also got a little alcohol with it and, you know, there were some accidents. My grandmother was only six years old. Of course, playing with the young Indian boys, one of them got, you know they got a little anxious with a stick. They cut my grandmother's forehead. Well, it bled. It looked awful I guess, you know, it didn't hurt her. It was a good thing her father wasn't there because it would've been tragic. But I'm telling you because it's an interesting story. Fifteen years later, my grandmother had moved over to the homestead on the Young's River back in Astoria and presenting himself at her door at the old homestead was an Indian. He asked her to come down to the landing, you know. He said, I'm the one 00:11:00that cut your head, you know. He had a guilty feeling. What he had done, he had carved out of a redwood log a canoe and he had lined it with shark's teeth. And he presented it to my grandmother, you know, as a gift.
JL: Because of feeling guilty as a child?
LR: He felt guilty, after fifteen years he remembered this. But that's not theend of the story. My grandmother gave me the canoe. During WWI, somebody got into the boathouse down there and stole my duck boat and the canoe. So, all I've got, I still have one of the shark's teeth that came off of this canoe. But the other interesting thing, it was carved out of a redwood log and the nearest 00:12:00redwood would be 800 miles south in northern California. So that log had drifted up and landed on the beach of Washington and this Indian had carved out this canoe from...
JL: That's incredible.
LR: Isn't that, you know this is actual things that I know about.
JL: Well, it sounds like, then your family, your grandmother's family hada good relationship with the Indians.
LR: Oh, she learned, you know, being there at six years, at the age of six, shelearned to speak "Siwaw" Chinook. Not only that, but once she got down to Astoria, there'd be a scarlet fever epidemic and the Indians trying to get rid of this fever, they'd go out and jump in the cold water. Of course it killed them, most of them. Well, she pleaded with them to stop and got blankets for 00:13:00them, you know. So it kept them alive. She could speak "Siwaw" Chinook as good as I can speak English.
JL: Was that encouraged by her parents? They wanted her to learn or justwas around them?
LR: Well, she had no alternative. There was no one else to play with except theIndians. There were no white people there, you know, in the Oyster Bay area at that time. So, she spoke per feet "Siwaw" or Chinook Indian.
JL: Would your family have been considered very tolerant? I mean, you hearstories all the time. People...
LR: Oh, my grandmother was very Sympatico person, you know. No one starvedaround her. You know, she always offered people food coming up and back and forth. Well, she was just a nice person.
JL: So this is something that she, by example, taught you then to be sympatico.
LR: Right. Right.00:14:00
JL: To others, no matter what.
LR: Well, my father, the whole family were just people that way, you know.I've had a lovely family.
JL: Well, you spent a lot of time with your grandmother then? You've mentionedher quite a bit.
LR: Yes, well I used to go out there in the summers and stay with mygrandmother. She had, she was alone then. Her boys had grown up and left so I stayed out there quite a bit, you know, in my younger days. Then I grew up and went to school and grammar school and high school in Astoria, Oregon.
JL: First of all, how many brothers and sisters do you have? Did you have?
LR: Well I have, well, I had a sister but she passed away. So myfamily has dottered out.
JL: Dottered out. O.K.. And was she a younger sister?
JL: And what was her name?00:15:00
JL: Helen. O.K... And when was she born?
LR: Well, about eight years after I was, so that...24.
JL: O.K... Eight years after you?
LR: Yes. She was eight years younger than I.
JL: O.K., well, I understand, Peter gave me some literature, thatyour father was a grocer.
LR: Yeah, he was in that type of business, mainly vegetables, and you know.There was a special name for it.
JL: So, explain to me his operation then. I thought it was a grocery storein the town of Astoria.
LR: No, he worked with another man in the wholesale fruit and vegetables. That's00:16:00what I was trying to think of.
JL: Oh, wholesale. Well, he didn't sell to the local...
LR: He - there was a period there where there was a kind of a recession andthings got tough. So, he decided to start a grocery store at that time and after two or three years it didn't work out so he went back to the wholesale business.
JL: So, he would drive in a truck to different towns to sell to other grocery stores?
LR: No, no. They all came down to...But he bought all their, all of thevegetables, you know. At that time the Chinese were the only ones that raised, they had great big vegetable farms, and my father bought...The Chinese thought he was God. They gave him presents, you know. 00:17:00
JL: Why is that?
JL: And invited him to marriages of their daughters. Well, you know,because he treated them. .. They appreciated the way he treated these Chinese people. Oh the Chinese, they were very intelligent people.
JL: It sounds like you had a very unusual family, very tolerant of theIndians and of the Chinese. Stories you hear certainly aren't like that, the relationships.
LR: Yes, as a matter of fact they were some of the smartestpeople that I remember, and the most gracious were Chinese. You know, there weren't many of them.
JL: So, can you create a picture? I'm not sure. You grew up in town or yougrew up on a farm? You spent summers...
LR: No, I grew up in town.
JL: Then summers with your grandmother?
LR: Well, I was out on the homestead. In my real younger days, after myfather got established, we lived in a frame house in Astoria from then on.
JL: O.K., what was the name of his wholesale business?00:18:00
LR: I think it was Chester Fish...no. I think it was Fisher. It waswell known in Astoria in those early days, but I, you know. It changed names over the period.
JL: Most of his produce was from the Chinese farmers then around the area?
LR: That's right, the lettuce, you know, the vegetables, fresh vegetables.
JL: Did you help out in the business when you got older?
LR: No, I was a turncoat. We used to...There was a man that went to the goldrush in Alaska that used to go out, my grandmother knew him, and when the gold rush came, he went up to the Klondike and he made his living by...He had a team 00:19:00of horses and he packed, you know, supplies into the Yukon with his two horses and he came out with a sack of nuggets thinking he could retire. Well, it almost lasted. He didn't have much before he died but...Bill Bell was his name. He was one of the old Alaskan Klondike men and he used to, my mother... Well he was a friend of the family but we would have him to dinner about every week or so. He appreciated it. He was an old timer by this time. I think that telling me about the gold rush days probably got me interested in geology and mining. So when I went out to college I went to the School of Mines. Oregon State had one of the 00:20:00few School of Mines in the United States. It was a very good school. As a matter of fact, we had to work in a mine before we were allowed to graduate, in other words to find out whether you are suitable.
JL: Excuse me. Before we get to that, can we finish with your childhood a littlebit more? Can I ask a few more questions?
LR: Well, O.K., why not?
JL: Because I do want to hear about the School of Mines but let'sjust finish with growing up. You had a fascinating childhood I think. Now, did your mother, was your mother employed in any way?
JL: Did she help with the business?
LR: She was a mother. Well, of course in those days she did all the sewing,the baking and cooking. She was quite busy.
JL: But she didn't help with your father's business?
JL: O.K. How much of your father's time and attention went to the business? Were00:21:00most of his hours spent that way or did he have leisure time?
LR: Yes, he had long hours in those days. But my father was talented when he wason the younger side of his manhood. He played in the Fife and Drum Corps you know. The Fourth of July in those early days was really an important day. He was a drummer and he could also play the flute. He was a very good drummer, of course, that was just one of these things you do when you're not doing something else.
JL: Did he teach you how to play these instruments?
LR: No. I was left-handed for one thing. Now, that doesn't help or effect the00:22:00drum. But on the mandolin or guitar which I wanted to learn to play, my teacher was right-handed and he got so frustrated with me. So, I never learned to play. I used to sing in a quartet. I'm getting off onto another story.
JL: When you were older you sang in a quartet?
LR: I played in a baseball game and we were semi-professional baseball players.And we used to get on a riverboat and go up on a Saturday night, go up the river and get off on one of those towns on the Columbia River. And the next day we would have lunch provided by the town. Oh, they went out of their way giving us a lunch. Then we'd play ball and get back on the boat and go back, you know. We had musicians. Our ball team had some very qualified musicians. One was a 00:23:00violinist that could qualify on any circuit. He was a marvelous violinist. Then we had a saxophone player and a piano player. The four of us sang. We'd get on one of these river boats and we'd entertain the passengers going up. The captains remembered that. When I had to go to college, I never paid my way when I went up. I got on that boat. They wouldn't take any fare from me because, I, you know, they remembered me from those early days of singing, entertaining the...Imagine playing baseball after singing until 2:00 in the morning, then getting up the next day trying to play baseball. 00:24:00
JL: You do that when you're younger I guess.
LR: Well, it makes a lot of difference.
JL: Were all these fellows from Astoria, then, the ones that played onthe baseball team?
LR: Yes, yes. We were semi-professional. Well, that was our entertainment,you know. It was a lot of fun, you know, because singing...It was just a marvelous group of fellows that liked what they were doing. It was a lot... I had a glorious youth, I tell you.
JL: I was going to ask what some of your hobbies and interests were. Itsounds like singing was one. And baseball. Were there others?
LR: Well, before that, actually the earliest thing I did as a boy, this was ingrammar school even, my father gave me...During WWI there was a shortage of furs, you know. The Russian furs couldn't come in. So the price of furs went way up. It became so attractive. I wanted to trap so my father bought me a half a 00:25:00dozen steel traps and I had to go from Astoria over to the Young's River. Or I had a boat at my grandmother's place. Then I'd have to row about a mile and a half and set up my traps. I wouldn't get out of school until 3:00. I'd have to go over the hill, a mile and a half by boat and pick up my trap, you know, look at the traps, and come back. It would usually get dark before I'd get home. My mother got worried at first. My father, he knew I was, you know, I knew my way around so that...That's the first thing I remember. And I got a lot of money. The amount of money I got for one fur bowled me over.
JL: What were you trapping?
LR: Well, muskrats and mink. So, in that period there was quite a demand for furs.00:26:00
JL: You were quite an entrepreneur then?
LR: Yes. That's some of the first things I remember doing as a young boy.
JL: What kind of things did you do with your father for entertainment?
LR: Oh, actually on weekends in the summer we'd go on long trips with the horseand buggy. We would go out and have picnics, you know, in some place about ten miles out of town in a nice picnic area. Or we'd go down when the clamming season was on, my father and I, I loved to dig clams in those early days. So that we would, of course that was all done in the season. Then later on as I got into high school, I started to work on the seining ground, you know. There were 00:27:00islands out on the Columbia River. When the river got low, when the tides were low, you could get out on those sands and we would get out there with horses, teams of horses. We had a net about a quarter of a mile long and a launch would take it out. The current would...it had to be done just right. With the horses, I drove a team of horses and we'd pull that net into a little circle. We'd catch, oh, sometimes we'd get seventy or eighty tons of salmon.
JL: And sell this?
LR: So this was exciting. You'd have to get into, well, before you'd hold thenet up, you couldn't let it get in the sand. These fish were going and all. You'd have to grab them and throw them into the boat that was there for catching fish to take them to the cannery. So I had an interest in fishing. 00:28:00
JL: Diverse I think. You did this as a job? You were hired by thecannery to do this?
LR: No. The seining people. There were two or three people, men, that were, knewtheir business, you know. And they owned the nets. They'd hire boys in high school. Well, they had two or three men that knew. How to, that gave the orders, but I drove a team of horses. Not only that, but we stayed out there for about six weeks during this period of unique times when the tides were low, when the fish you could get on the seining ground. We lived on the, well, there was a barn and a house and a bunkhouse and a cookhouse on piles so when the tide came 00:29:00up, you know, we were on top of the water. When it went down we could get out with the horses for about, you know, when the tide was turning for about two or three hours we could work off the sand. But that period, you could only do it when the fish were running. But we were, this was one of the major fishing ports in the United States, probably in the world. This was.. we caught lots of fish.
JL: Sounds like it. Just out of curiosity, did you ever see theIndians fishing on the Columbia? Did you see that much at Celilo Falls?
LR: Much later, well later. As a matter of fact, jumping ahead a little bit, Iwent to school with an Indian, a full blooded Indian. He is a big fellow. He got 00:30:00a football scholarship, which was ... he still had a good brain. He did pretty good on grades. And when he got out of Oregon State he couldn't get a job. You know, he was an Indian, so he decided, well, if I can't, if I have to be an Indian, I'm going to be a real Indian. He went up to those falls you were talking about and he decided he would make his money out of fisherman, people who were going up there to fish. He hired two or three Indians to be with him, and they built platforms out there so that fisherman could get out there. He made a lot of money out of this.
JL: I'll bet he did.
LR: He did. But he was bright, and he was...So that my school pal was afisherman out there.
JL: Excuse me.
JL: I'm interested. I know you are an artist and a painter. You00:31:00have beautiful paintings in the exhibit here.
LR: Thank you.
JL: Were you exposed to art when you were very young?
JL: Tell me how that happened. Your skill came out I guess.
LR: Well, it's in the genes. Going way back I had some artists, you know. Onewas in France, David, was part of my family inheritance so that...My father was a good artist. He could take a piece of paper and without taking the pen off, make a marvelous scene. You know, he just had that, well, he had that Spencerian touch, you know as far as, you know, he was a beautiful writer. I mean his writing was beautiful.
JL: Would he draw frequently?
LR: No, at that time music and art had no place in life. You had to spend all00:32:00your time making a living. And I was never given any training in art. When I started to travel in different parts of the world, I couldn't resist sketching. I would make sketches of things that made an impression on me, send it home to my wife and the kids. When I got home on a rainy day I'd paint some of these scenes. So I ended up painting about three hundred paintings like some of those you've seen. But, unfortunately, I threw the sketches away. Some of the sketches were better than the paintings. Well, anyway, when I started to paint, I realized, you know, there are things you can learn about painting, that are 00:33:00helpful. And I was told to go to see an artist. I started out with pastels because, you know, it's the easiest way to, in a short time, to get them out you know, and so forth.
JL: This was when you were an adult?
LR: Yes. I went to her. She was a well-known artist. I sat down and had twosessions with her. She said, "I can't teach you anything." That was my training, you know.
JL: My! That was because you had advanced by yourself.
LR: Well, she told me how to hold the pastel. But she said I can't teach you topaint. You have the instinct to paint. So that's it.
JL: So it only, your instinct to paint came out when you were anadult? Not as a child then?
LR: Right, right. Well, I wouldn't say that exactly. I was, in high school, I00:34:00was editor of the annual paper and I did the artwork. So, I guess you could say that I did some of the artwork for the high school things. But I never had any training in art. I just always had the yen to sketch things that made an impression. I sent hundreds of sketches home and unfortunately, I threw them away after I painted them or they disappeared anyway.
JL: Well, while you were growing up, while you were young, who wasparticularly influential in your life?
LR: Well, I mentioned this fellow from the Klondike.
JL: Tell us more about him.
LR: Well, he was an old timer. I don't know. He was white-haired and he'd been00:35:00in the Klondike. He would tell his stories of, you know, his Klondike days.
JL: Was this when you were a teenager or younger?
LR: Yes, well I was in high school and Mother and Father, they liked him. Youknow, he was a friend. He was alone so they'd invite him to dinner every weekend or so, so he became a very close family friend. Bo, I think this had a great influence on me to, you know, getting into mining.
JL: Can you remember any of the stories he told you? Was he on theChilcoot Trail?
LR: I wish, you know, I had recorded, not only his stories, but stories mygrandmother told. She had some real stories. She came across the plains in a 00:36:00covered wagon. And they got out there and Indians surrounded the wagons. They were friendly Indians. One of the Indians challenged my grandfather to a shooting match. They went off thirty paces and put up a stick, split the stick, and put a feather in the top of the stick. The Indian was supposed to use his bow and arrow, and my grandfather was supposed to use his rifle. The prize was my grandmother. Of course, my grandfather thought he, they were kidding. He didn't realize what he was doing. Well, my grandfather lost. Well, they had an awful time persuading that Indian that he couldn't take my grandmother. Now there's a...that's a true story.
JL: Did your grandmother tell that?
LR: Oh, yes. She's the one that learned Chinook language and was00:37:00a friend of the Indians all her life.
JL: Did you know your grandfather then?
LR: No, no. He died before I was old enough to know what was going on.
JL: How about your other side, your grandparents on the other side? Didyou get to know them?
LR: Yes. My grandfather Crawford, he was a big, tall...He was a very energeticfellow and he loved to dance and sing. He played the harmonica. All these old dances, he'd call, what do you call them? Square dances?
JL: The caller?
LR: Yes, he would call the dances and everybody liked him. He had a lot...Iremember he must have been 80, well in his eighties and he was still doing this.
JL: So, you have music on both sides of your family.
LR: Yes, well, fortunately I've got some grandchildren now that are really00:38:00learning. I never learned to read notes even though I sang. You know, I just remembered. Once you played the song, I knew it, you know.
JL: That's wonderful. Well, was your mother as tolerant of theChinese and the Native Americans as you grandmother and father were?
LR: I think so. Oh yes.
JL: She would allow you to play with Chinese kids?
LR: Oh, yes. As a matter of fact, we knew a Chinese couple that came to thehouse a couple of times. They had two daughters, Chinese girls, and they went to dental school and became dentists. It shows, you know, 00:39:00what these people can do if they set their mind to it.
JL: Successful. What did your father want for you when you grew up? What werehis goals for you.
LR: He never influenced me one way or another. They just let me find outwhat I wanted to do.
JL: So, he didn't say, you should go into mining engineeringor sciences?
LR: No, he never mentioned it.
JL: He didn't want you to take over the business?
LR: No, he had no interest in trying to guide me. He said, "You find outwhat you want to do," which I appreciate. How about your mother? Did she have some goals for you? One way or the other? No.
JL: How was education viewed by your mother and father? Did they encourage youto go to college or was education important? 00:40:00
LR: Oh, they were very happy that I went off to college. Of course, things werevery tough. I made enough money in the summer. I had jobs that I got about $600 during the summer which was enough to put me through school for one year until the Depression came. I went up to college and after about two months my bank went broke in Astoria. I lost what money I had. So, I had to get a job. I wanted to stay in school. Well, I did get a loan, you know. That helped, but it wasn't enough so, what I did, I was a pretty good carpenter. I could paint a little bit. I contracted making the scenery for the plays that they put on at the college. Well, I had an awful experience with my first stage work, you 00:41:00know. We had great big squares of canvas that had to be painted, the background, you know, had to be sized before you could paint them. Well, I didn't have enough experience to realize that once you size this thing, it shrinks. These darn panels. One day before the play and I had these panels, were all Scrooged. Well, finally I had to brace them. Finally, about an hour before the show came on, we got the scenery up. Then, the next year I made my $600 and put it in another bank, and that went broke. So, this time I took a contract to make drafting tables for the Oregon State mechanical drafting department. These were 00:42:00pretty high and they had chests of drawers, for your drawings, and a top so you could draft on. And I made all those. Of course I had a machine shop there, but, you know, I had to work in the evenings. It was a hard going, I tell you.
JL: This was in 1929 and 1930?
JL: Oh, I can imagine.
LR: I did, of course, I was young, but I realized I would get awfully tired. Notonly that, but I felt that I didn't have the leisure to be part of the social life of the college, although I don't think I missed too much.
JL: Well, going back to before you went to college, you were, how old, you00:43:00were a teenager when WW I broke out?
JL: Can you tell me how that affected you and your family, if at all? Well,there were shortages. I remember that.
JL: Did it affect your father's business particularly?
LR: No. I don't remember. We still had to eat. As a matter of fact, the WWIbrought prosperity to Astoria. They were logging spruce timber at that time, and you know they made airplanes. The first airplane was made of spruce. I can 00:44:00remember that. You know, of course, I was a carpenter. As a matter of fact I worked in a boat shop one summer and learned to inlay the red and white cedar decks on navy launches. I became a pretty good carpenter. So, I remember the demand for spruce to make airplanes during the world war, toward the end anyway. I'm just trying to think of what else might have happened.
JL: You must have known a lot of loggers then.
LR: Oh, I worked in the log cab. I worked in one of the old time loggingcompanies, Chester Fisher. It was south of Saddle Mountain. I was in high school then and I would sit out there. I never worked in logging camp before. 00:45:00They took me out into the woods where these great big donkey engines...They had great big boilers, you know, and these were steam driven donkeys. They took me out to where they had one of these great big boilers, and it had to be fired to run a pump-to-pump water to all the donkeys. It was just like your heart. You couldn't operate without this pump. So they put me out on this pump. There was an eight-foot diameter spruce log there on the ground. I had to cut one four-foot length of that, slice of that log each day, and split it to fire this pump. They gave me a saw that was eleven feet long. You can imagine a little 00:46:00fellow with this big saw that was wiggly to get started. But once you got it in there, why, and I managed to cut one of these off every day. But I had a wonderful time in the logging camp. Of course, logging camps in those days had to have the best cooks in the world. Oh, did they! Of course, working outdoors all day you had an appetite.
JL: This was in high school that you worked?
JL: In the summer, you mean?
LR: Yes, in the summer. I made enough to put me through college.
JL: Where did you learn your carpentry skills? Who did you learn them from?
LR: Well, I worked in a boat shop, a boat yard in Astoria. Iguess that's where I learned it. 00:47:00
JL: Well you have a strong work ethic. Was that from your father?
LR: Well, you had to, you know, you had to work in those early days. There wasno time for anything else. I don't remember that we had, I'm talking about we, the people, the population that I knew, and I knew a lot of people there, old timers in Astoria, you didn't have a lot of time for book reading, reading books. We had no entertainment. I think once or twice a year they had a troop come there to perform and that sort of thing. But we didn't have the entertainment that you have nowadays. So, we just worked. 00:48:00Of course, people, you had strong friends or deep friendships. You'd have meals with one another, and that sort of thing, so that the friendship was very deep.
JL: I imagine. Out of curiosity, was one of the groups that came andentertained in Astoria the DeMoss family?
LR: I don't remember.
JL: Do you remember?
LR: I used to go down and help the fellow put up the scenery. I think that'swhere I got some of my carpentry... you know, I learned. I knew how to construct these things before my catastrophe occurred, you know, the bank going broke. I knew something of how to make the scenery for a play, that sort of thing. 00:49:00
JL: You worked with your hands a lot?
JL: Picked up skills as you took different jobs?
LR: Yes, it's surprising how an accumulation of things are helpful.
JL: Well, was it just assumed that when you finished high school you wouldgo to college, or could you have worked if you wanted to? Or did everyone assume you would go to college?
LR: At that time the proportion of kids going to college was not very high.
JL: So why did you go then?
LR: Well, I wanted to be a mining engineer.
JL: And the only person that ever told you about it was this Bell?
LR: Well, he interested me in mining. I just got the...I found outthere was a School of Mines at Oregon State. That's where I went.
JL: He wasn't an engineer. He was a prospector.
LR: No, he had never been educated.00:50:00
JL: How did you know there was such a thing as an engineer in mining? It's a lot different.
LR: Well, I don't know.
JL: Did you know you were going to be an engineer when you started school?
LR: Yes. We had a separate building and a separate School of Mines. We had oneof the finest Schools of Mines in the United States at that time. We had metallurgical equipment in the basement, you know. We had geologists. We had all the equipment you needed for fire as saying. When we left school, we had a job the next day. Not only that but we sent, from our school, we sent young engineers all over the world, mainly South America, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and 00:51:00places like that.
JL: Did you know that, when you went into mining engineering that you wouldtravel? Was that important to you?
LR: Well, I think probably that had something to do with it, although I'm notconscious of it. Oh, but I forgot to tell you. When I was in Astoria, I had boats till WWI. Somebody broke into the boat house and my grandmother's homestead and stole my boats. But I'd always had boats and I used to go out fishing with the patrollers, you know, the fishermen in Astoria until I started to work on the seining grounds. Well, you either went into 00:52:00logging...There were two industries that supplied the only work in Astoria, they were logging and fishing. But a lot of our fish boats...You couldn't fish on Sunday, so on Saturday night... (We lived up on a ridge in Astoria where we could look out to the bar of the lower Columbia) and Saturday night, hundreds and hundreds of those f joshing boats would come in across the bar, would sail, you know they had small sails to give a little more energy than the gasoline engine. Not the gas engines, it was diesel. So I practically grew up in a boat. Then eventually I got an assignment to look for energy, coal, in 00:53:00Alaska. This was before they had done any drilling for oil, way before, twenty or thirty years before oil was developed. So I went all over Alaska. I don't think there is a place in Alaska where I haven't been.
JL: Well, did you eat fish a lot as a child then, since you were fishing all thetime? Did you eat fish a lot as a child?
LR: Oh, I loved fish. Yes. I've been with my tongue out till I gotout here and had some salmon, Royal Chinook salmon. Of course the Steelhead and the Silvers... I love fish.
JL: So your mother prepared fish quite a bit?
LR: Oh, yes.
JL: What about hunting? I understand you hunted also.
LR: Well, I used to go...my father was a very good duck hunter. We would go out00:54:00and down the river, in the marshes, and hunt ducks during the season when they're flying. It was a fairly short season. But we brought home, I think there was a quota on ducks, 25, or something. But we almost always got our quota. Mother would... we would got home and pick them, and clean them. Then we'd have duck dinners and invite a lot of friends in. So in the winter time we almost lived on duck. Another thing that they had in those days, the salmon canneries, 00:55:00they would only use the main flesh of the fish, but the gill, there is a little clump of me at underneath their gill. It's very oily. It's the most delicious part of the salmon. They would cut that out and they would salt it, so if people wanted to buy it, they could buy these salmon cheeks and salt them in little barrels. You'd boil with potatoes and they were delicious. So that was another treat we had. You could go down, they almost threw them away, you know. They had to get rid of them.
JL: How important was religion in your life as you were growing up?
LR: We lived so far away from, I guess I had to walk about a mile to the00:56:00Methodist Church, or maybe more. I remember the first session I went to church, they had a Scottish, new Scottish minister. I couldn't understand him. He had a brogue that was a mile long. He was a nice fellow, but it was not convenient for me to go to church or for the family. We had no transportation. We had no automobile. There were buggies and horses in those days. You just walked up and down the hills in Astoria.
JL: But was religion important in your family? Was that practiced?00:57:00
LR: Not until I got married. My wife is a deep Lutheran. Of course, the FinnishLutherans...I used to go with a girl that was a Lutheran, a Finnish girl. They had, I forget what they called the dinners on Saturday night, so you'd go up and dance afterwards. They'd have a big dinner. I went up mainly for the dinner, I think. But that's the only Lutheran, that's the only real church...Distances were great. We didn't have automobiles at that time. We certainly didn't have a horse and buggy. When we needed a horse and buggy, we'd hire it to go out on a camping trip or what have you.
JL: Well, I know later on in life, you spent some time in the Holy Lands00:58:00exploring around. I though that might have something to do with your upbringing.
LR: Yes, I had the fortune, good fortune of traveling in the Old Testament areasof the upper Tigress River. I didn't have too much time to see the old, you know, the old, well, they've been opened up by archaeologists, but not very much. Borne of these things had been in huge mounds. The adobe structures over the many years had disintegrated. The adobe in it had slumped down so you had a great big, two or three football fields, an area on top with about a 60-foot bank. I used to have my lunch, sandwich, when I went by one of these Old 00:59:00Testament sites, and I'd go up and look in these little rills left by the rain you know, and pick up antiques. I filled my pocket with these things. They weren't interested. You know, to take them out of the country, I'd show them, and they'd say, "Junk!" So I could've taken anything you can imagine out of there.
JL: That's something. Well, you're a great story teller. I'm wondering if thatwas a tradition in your family. Was someone in your family or some friends...Did you learn that skill from somebody?
LR: No, I wish I had listened to my grandmother telling stories of theearly days and the lower Columbia River. She had a marvelous memory. But, it's too late. 01:00:00
JL: Were politics important in your family?
LR: No, politics...As a matter of fact, even now, I haven't too much respect forpolitics. The people I've known in politics have been discouraging representations of the...You know what I mean. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't have it. It's a different breed, and I just don't like it, is all.
JL: Did you get the travel bug from somebody when you were youngother that this Bell? Did you travel a lot?
LR: Actually, when I got out of school, I got a job with a very old engineering01:01:00firm. It was called Ford, Bacon, and Davis.
JL: This was after college?
LR: Yes. I became the chief mining engineer. All jobs that had to do with miningor foundations, I had something to do with it. But we were given assignments all over the world, so I had a marvelous chance. I've been to practically all the old Mayan, Incan habitat sites in South America. I've been to most of the Old Testament sites on the upper Tigress River. I opened up the King Solomon Mine. That was exciting. We found out that the mine was much older, 01:02:00about 1,500 years older than King Solomon. In front of my camp there was this pile of sand, about ten feet high and about sixty feet long. I knew there was something. The wind had blown it. I knew there was something in there. As a matter of fact I found some artifacts around it. I sent to Haifa and asked the archaeologist...
JL: Go ahead.
LR: We were...?
JL: King Solomon's Mine.
LR: King Solomon's Mine. In front of my camp was this pile of sand. I sent up toHaifa, and asked the Israeli geologists, archaeologists to come down and open it up. At that same time, they found the Dead Sea Scrolls. Well, of course, my 01:03:00project was forgotten. Well, to make a long story short, eight years later they came down and excavated that site. They found an old temple under the sand. You see, in those old days, a temple was not necessarily a building structure. It was a pile of stones about the size of this room, just like a foundation of a barn or what have you. They had poles up, a tent. The temple was a tent. But they found eight or ten thousand artifacts in this thing. Of course, they found out that one of the pharaohs, the Egyptians, Seti the First had come in there to 01:04:00mine this copper ore, which was green. It was mostly malachite and azurite. Most of it was green. They needed it, the Egyptians used it for eye shades for the women. This was way back, you know. Not only that, but they used it for coloring tile, so that the Egyptians had been mining in this Negev 1,500 years before King Solomon. King Solomon was about 900 B.C. so that, you see, it's ancient.
JL: Well, going back to when you were younger, did you travel much whenyou were young? When you were with your family in Astoria?
LR: No, really not.
JL: Did you long to see other parts of the world?01:05:00
LR: Well, I became a lookout on the mountain peaks out in back of Astoria tomake money in the summer.
JL: You had so many jobs! How did you have time for anything else?
LR: Well, a lookout job, these lookouts were run by logging companies that ownedthe timberland. It wasn't forest service and they didn't have any forest service in those days. I would be up on Saddle Mountain, say for instance, and stay there during the summer fire season. I made enough money to, you know, go to school. So, these jobs, I spent four or five summers spread over a period of 01:06:00time on the lookouts there-
JL: Did you stay overnight there?
LR: Oh, yes. I had to go down once a week and get supplies at a logging camp andpack them up on the mountain. The last stretch was about 1,000 feet. Someplaces it was all four. So I became, I had good shoulders. I think it added to my life.
JL: Your parents must have encouraged independence, because it sounds like youspent a lot of time away from home.
LR: Oh, yes. You said it.
JL: If there was a fire, how did you contact the lumber company?
LR: Telephone. We had a telephone to a boss. Somebody was on that telephone 24hours. That boss would call the other lookout and we'd take sights on it, and give him the angle. And giving that angle, he had the exact location of the 01:07:00smoke. That's how they found, we found several fires, or the smokes.
JL: Lightning fires?
JL: Were you by yourself up there?
LR: Oh, yes. There was just enough room for a bed and a stove. That's about all.
JL: Was reading important to you then? Did you get a Lot of reading done?
LR: Yes. Although I almost lived by the sun, you know. Sun up, I got up and mademy breakfast. I had to be on, as long as you could see, so I didn't have too much spare time.
JL: O.K. So, in 1924 you decided to go...No. What year did youstart at OAC? 01:08:00
LR: 1926. I graduated in 1930. Four years.
JL: That's right. Well, I was figuring, if you were born in 1906, wereyou older than the average student?
LR: Yes, well, one thing, when I graduated from high school, I wasin between. In other words, I went to high school another half a period. That's where I lost a year then.
JL: You went to high school an extra period? Why was that?
LR: Well, because I graduated. . . They had two terms. I graduated in between.College was on and I couldn't register till...[Comment from daughter?]
JL: That's true, too. So, you traveled down to Corvallis; you had such a rich01:09:00life in Astoria. Wasn't this boring?
LR: I was never bored. I don't recall ever being bored. I was always active.
JL: What were your impressions of Corvallis and OAC? Do you remember?
LR: Well, of course I was getting acquainted with new profs. It was a newadventure. It was exciting because we had teachers that you admired. I think that made it easy for us. I don't recall anything at Oregon State at that School of Mines that stands out except we had lab work and metallurgical work. Then in the summer we had to go out and work in the mines.
JL: That was a requirement that you go?01:10:00
LR: Yes, that was a requirement.
JL: What mines did you go to?
LR: Well, I went to Idaho, to a mine, a rich silver mine in Idaho.
JL: Where was it? Do you remember?
LR: It later became a famous ski resort. I can't remember the name of it Iremember I went to McCall, Idaho, at the end of the school term, in June, early June. There was still snow. We had to leave our gear there for the mailman to pick up on the dog sled. We had to hike into the mine. It took about four or five hours.
JL: Would that be Sun Valley?01:11:00
LR: They call it Sun Valley now. We didn't know it was Sun Valley in thosedays. I can't remember the mine but I remember the mine itself. It was in a big shear zone. The ore was very rich. I think it was 200 ounces of silver to a ton of ore. But in the tunnel, you had to have a ditch. There was quite a stream of water. Of course if the tunnel ever caved and you got behind it, you had problems. So we had to put up raises so that, you know, you could get out in case of the tunnel caving. I remember drilling in the face of that tunnel. I had a pal that was from the University of Washington. He was a crew, you know, he 01:12:00rode on the crew. He was a big, tall fellow which helped out for me. But he and I ran the drill in the face of this tunnel.
JL: Literally, you were doing the drilling?
LR: We did the drilling and the shoveling. We had a cave -in in that thing andwater started to build up. Of course they found out about it because there were no cars corning out. The boss got a crew and they started to dig the pile of debris down so that...We had water about up to our waist here. But there was water squirting out of this face, cold Water- You wore a slicker but it didn't do any good. We were wet for about seven or eight hours. I liked the work. Of course, I was so hungry after the end of the day. We had an Irish woman 01:13:00that was a cook. She was a motherly type. She just made everybody happy in the cookhouse. She was a good cook, too. So we had a very interesting...
JL: What year of school were you in when this happened?
LR: I was in the junior year.
JL: Junior year? O.K. That didn't deter you? Didn't that scare you being in that water?
LR: Oh, no.
JL: You thought you'd be rescued?
LR: That mine holds the same weight of timber, to keep it timbered we had polesset that big around, back to back with great big twelve by twelve...
LR: Yes, and they hold as much timber in as the weight of the ore coming out.01:14:00But it was rich, so it paid more. But the mine had its own sawmill and in order to get in there, as I say, we had to hike in over the snow to get into the mine. What they did, they had a sawmill that produced a lot of shavings, sawdust. They used that to make a big refrigerator for the summer, you know. We put our food in this refrigerator. Well, it was a real experience because I became a very good timber man. I had to learn everything miners were supposed to do. To be a boss, you had to know 01:15:00what had to be done. So that I had every experience, you could think of, drilling, blasting.
JL: You mean during these internships you did, you did all jobs then?
JL: What did you like particularly about mining engineering?
LR: Well, actually, after I'd had this course in underground mining, I found outexploration was the most exciting. I joined this engineering firm in New York. We took on assignments to find ore bodies or to take old mines and put mills in and get started again. So I went all over South America. I went to every mine in Bolivia for instance, practically, all the old tin mines. Some in Peru, so that 01:16:00I had a vast experience in Mexico. So I had a vast experience in going out and opening up old mines and getting them rehabilitated.
JL: That was your specialty?
LR: Yes, our firm, of course they were construction, but I was onlya small part of the firm. They were big. They made dams and power plants. They were a big construction firm. The mining part was almost small.
JL: Did you learn this skill at OAC? Did you learnhow to rehabilitate old mines while you were at school or did you learn that on the job?
LR: No, on the job. Well, I had taken, actually I specialized in mining01:17:00economics so that I knew how much it cost to put a mill in, how to set up a mine, how much it would cost, equipment. You know, I was a consulting engineer.
JL: Let's go back to college years. Tell me, now, your classes Iunderstand, the mining classes were fairly small. There weren't many students in it.
LR: No, there weren't. Right.
JL: Were there women that were also there?
LR: One or two women.
JL: I saw a picture.
LR: They were in geology. As a matter of fact, I taught geology and mineralogyat Oregon State for one year. In my class was a brown eyed girl, and I married her.
JL: I read about that. That's right. So, tell me about some of your miningengineer teachers, some that stand out in your mind. 01:18:00
LR: Well there was one fellow who I called Livingston. He was a geologyinstructor. He came from a very old family in New York and he was kind of, he wasn't exciting. He was just, it just came out, when he talked, you could just listen to him for hours. He knew his stuff. So he was an outstanding man. Then, a professor, what's his, Batcheller. There's a building named after Professor Batcheller in Oregon State now - the Batcheller Hall. He was in charge of the school when I left. The school shut down about three or four years after I left. We had a metallurgist; I think Banes was his name. We had some 01:19:00very good, practical men. Oh, and the dean when I first went there, the dean had run a professional, commercial asseyors office. Of course, asseying was an important part of mining. You had to be able to take old ore and find out what was in it, the precious metals and other metals, and how to get them out and that sort of thing. He'd had a lot of experience in that type of thing. So we had men that had come up from the industry. They knew what they were doing.
JL: That's right. They worked in the fields.
LR: When we got out of school, we got a job right away, you know. Many went toSouth America, Chile, especially Chile in the big copper mines.
JL: What kind of relationship was formed between the teachers and students?01:20:00
LR: Well, it was informal, I would say. Yes. Well, not only that. We went out onexpeditions, I'd guess you call it. In order to graduate we had to go out and work in a mine. But not only that, before we worked in a mine, we went out in the summer for two weeks. They had a summer camp. We had to learn to survey with a transit underground in a mine.
JL: Where did you go?
LR: Well, we went to a mine in Idaho.
JL: Oh, you went there for two weeks, and also worked a summer there?
LR: Well, in one case yes. But that was later.
JL: Where else did you take field trips around here?
LR: Well, we went to Eastern Oregon, the Diatomite Mines. Have you ever heard01:21:00of Diatomite? Well, we went out there. We were guests of a man that's shown in a picture that you hung on the wall down there, Bartlett, I think was his name. He was our host. Bo, the whole School of Mines, well, I think the juniors and seniors went out there to this Diatomite mine. You know there weren't many mines in Oregon. Oregon was devoid of mines really.
JL: It took a while to get anywhere that you went obviously.
LR: Coeur D'Alene in Idaho was the nearest big mines unless you went toAlaska. There weren't very many mines in Alaska, one gold mine up there in Ketchikan I think. Yes. So that there weren't very many mines.
JL: So from the very beginning when you started, when you were 19 or 20 years01:22:00old, you had in your mine that you wanted to be a mining engineer and never deviated from that the whole time?
JL: It was exactly what you expected then?
LR: Right. Actually, I was in professional mining for 48 years or so. So,I really had a long stretch of it. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.
JL: Aren't you fortunate? Most of us don't know what we want to do at that age.
LR: Well, that's unfortunate because I know, I see a lot of young people thatget out of school, and they still don't know what they want to do. I feel sorry for them because, you know, if you don't have something, some objective, why it's a disadvantage.
JL: Why are you different from a lot of us that don't have those objectives?
LR: I don't know.
JL: What do you attribute that to?01:23:00
LR: I think. I came from a family that were bold in their living habits. Youknow, pioneers, they had to solve problems on their own. I think that's part of your training. I know in some mines in South America where I had to go, especially during the World War, you couldn't get spare parts. We had a couple of jeeps that we had to use because the mint was spread out, you know. When we ran out of, it took the red tape in government trying to get imports of spare parts, it was a two year project. So what we did is we'd go up to the old 01:24:00dumps where the junk collectors had thrown a lot of metal out there, and scrounge around and find metal that we could use to make in the machine shop parts for the jeep. But in doing this, I found they were mashing up these Cantarows. You know the Cantarow You have? They were mashing those things up. Some of them were two and three hundred years old. I just couldn't take it, so I bought up all these things from the junk dealer. I think I paid about eight dollars apiece for these Cantarows but I stopped them hammering them, you know smashing them. They were melting them down to make coffin handles. I gave three or four of them away. Some of them were shaped beautifully. 01:25:00
JL: Did you learn this at OSC that you would have to prepare, makeparts for jeeps, and make your own...?
LR: Well, you had to... we had a fellow that drove the jeep that was a clevermechanic - he was more clever than I was. But we had a machine- shop available, you know, not too far away. All the mines to be self-sufficient had to have a machine shop.
JL: Well, did the professors at OAC prepare you for international kind ofmining, or was it more...?
LR: No, they gave you the basics. From then on, you were on your own.
JL: So you felt like you were adequately prepared?
LR: Oh, yes. They gave me basic training and just good sense, horse sense.
JL: I'm curious about, if you ever had another professor on campus, J.B. Horner?01:26:00
LR: I knew him. I never took a course under him, history course under Horner?Mother... did you ever take a class under Horner? Anyway, I knew him.
JL: There's a lot of mythology about him, a lot of stories about him. I'dwondered if you ever...
LR: Oh, he was a character. But you see I was in the School of Mines. We wereseparate, so I never had a chance to...Well I had to take accounting, so I did get to another school.
[Question from Mrs. Raymond?]
JL: Did you ever have a course under Horner?
JL: Oh, I was just curious. There are a lot of stories that people tell about him.
LR: She graduated two years after I did, not because she wasstupid but because she had to make a living. 01:27:00
MR: It was thedepression so I worked and went to school, and took my first two years at Oregon... whatever they call it.
LR: She was in my class in geology and mineralogy. I don't think shelearned anything, but.
JL: She got a husband instead.
MR: Well, you knew he had his two years at M.I.T. and then came back.
JL: Yes, I read that. We haven't gotten to there in this oral history yet. Iwould like you to tell me how the depression effected your schooling. You obviously were there right when it was beginning? 01:28:00
LR: We'll, I mentioned that I had trouble staying in school for lack of moneybecause the banks went broke on me. I think that's the main fact.
JL: Then, the college hired people like you to work for them.
LR: Sure, they were very good about that. Maybe they made work, although, in thecase of the things that I did, they needed. So, the parts for the theatrical course, the mechanical drawing desks were needed.
JL: How did you know how to build those? Was that a knack that you had inthe genes also?
LR: Well, I didn't make the design. The design was made by a man that taught,01:29:00you know, industrial arts in a high school there. He designed this thing. The school adopted them. They were very practical. I was able to use their machine shop.
JL: You knew how to build from working in the boat house before. I see. What didyou do for entertainment when you were at OAC?
LR: Well, I went to dances occasionally and football games, andbasketball games.
Mrs. Raymond: You had your fraternity.
LR: Yes, I lived at a fraternity. We didn't have much entertainment therethough. It was pretty serious business, you know. We had to study. I had a 01:30:00roommate that was a brilliant fellow, but he had good habits of study. In fact, he checked the design on the Golden Gate Bridge so you can see he was a pretty bright fellow.
JL: You were president of the Miner's Club, too.
LR: That's right.
JL: What activities did the Miner's Club...was that an informal group of students?
LR: Well, we made field trips. We had speakers. We played footballor tried to play. You know, we had some entertainment of that sort.
JL: How many fellows were in the Mining School?
LR: Well, I think there were about 25 in the class that graduated.
JL: No women?
LR: Yes, well, there were no women that graduated. There was a girl, a nice01:31:00looking girl from Central Oregon. Her father was a wealthy rancher and she was going to take up geology. But she fell in love with somebody there on the campus and she disappeared.
JL: Not a mining engineer?
LR: No, she didn't become a geologist. We had one other girl that didn't lastlong, so that we essentially had no women.
JL: There was no discrimination against women going in that field?It's not a traditional field for women.
LR: Right, well, the jobs we went to were not women's jobs. You know, the miningwas pretty rough stuff in South America. You went down there, you get in a mine with eight or nine hundred miners, you had to know what to do and how to show 01:32:00them how to do it. Oh, I had experiences that I wouldn't want to go over really. They had strikes. The government set the wages. We wanted to increase the amount of... Tin was very important during WWII because you needed tin to make white metal for bearings for airplanes- This was at a time when we were building airplanes for Britain. That was the early stage. There was a great demand for tin. So I was sent down there to increase the production of these tin mines. Of course, we were offered advice from people that didn't know anything about a mine, or handling men. We were being criticized because we didn't give them the right tools, we didn't give them enough money. Of course, the trouble 01:33:00is the government controlled the amount of money. If we raised wages in the mine, they had to raise the wages of every place else in the country. They wouldn't allow this so that we had some problems.
JL: Were the mines owned by American companies?
LR: Yes, most of them were. For instance, I realized that these miners had usedtheir tools till they had just worn them out. As a demand for the production rose, we needed new tools. So, we bought them new tools. Do you know what happened? These beautiful new tools...
LR: Then we raised the wages quite a bit. What did they do? They'd work aboutthree months and have enough money to go home. You know, they lived off 01:34:00in the Andes some place. They made enough money, you know, why did they...They quit the mines so we lost men by raising the wages.
JL: Were most of the miners Indian or Mestizos?
LR: There were half-breeds and, yes, natives. But they were good people.
JL: So, what did you do then?
LR: Well, the thing is that we just had a problem of increasing theefficiency in the mine. It's a long story.
JL: I'm just wondering. I lived in Latin America also. It's very difficultfor an American to go down there and work. Their whole work ethic and values are different.
LR: Oh, sure.
JL: How did you manage working with that?
LR: I had a pretty good idea of what I was up against. I think the thing that01:35:00saved me, I showed respect for these miners. You know, they had a tough job to do and I was on their side. When they needed something, a bunkhouse or someplace else, I saw that they got a square deal. I was their hero. I don't know how else to put it, so that they respected me. I had no trouble with directing them underground. But I had to go to some mines that were under duress because they were striking and having violence.
JL: That was in Bolivia?
LR: Yes. And one mine, some of these violent strikers, you know,there's just a few in the element that had that violent streak, they 01:36:00would drop drill steel down as the hoist was bringing up men from underground. So I got that solved. I brought in the President and told him that the strike leader was in their political party. I said you better do something about it or I'm going to go on the radio and blame you for the death of these...Boy that scared the life out of him.
JL: Did you know Spanish?
LR: Well, I know enough of it to get by.
JL: I have a question about why you never used, why did you never usea camera?
LR: Well, because I like to sketch and paint. A camera, I didn'twant to bother with a camera. I made sketches all my life. Unfortunately, I've thrown most of them away. I wish I hadn't because some of my sketches were 01:37:00better than my painting. But I've got, I'll bet at home I've got 150, oh, I've got about 300 paintings, about 150 of them are on the mining. I've painted over the years from sketches. So we can keep in some kind of an order, chronological order, you graduated in 1930 just at the beginning of the depression. I went back to M.I.T. for two years.
JL: Why did you decide to get further schooling?
LR: Well that's very...I decided to be a mining geologist. In other words Idecided that mining engineering alone was not enough for what I wanted. I wanted a course in very good geology. So I went up to M.I.T. who had the outstanding professor in geology, and in ore dressing at that time.
JL: Did someone encourage you to do that? Why did you want to pursue geology?01:38:00
LR: I think one of my Profs encouraged me, Batcheller.
JL: Batcheller? What was your goal then? What did you want to do that youneeded more geology for?
JL: Well, I just wanted to get...I didn't think that I was trained enough to doa good job. I don't know whether I was thinking of teaching because I was doing teaching part-time. I liked to teach. I like young people. But I decided I didn't know enough about the practical side of my subject to do a good job of teaching. So I left teaching and never got back. I kind of regret it because I liked teaching as well. At M.I.T. I taught. I was an assistant instructor, but I 01:39:00taught. The interesting thing is in my class at M.I.T. we had two Russian soldiers. They were about thirty, you know, they were older than the classes they were in. They wore their uniforms. They were having trouble with the English language. I felt sorry for them so I arranged to eat lunch where they ate lunch, you know, a rooming house. So that I sat down and could talk with them. Well, to make a long story short, by the end of the year, one fellow just couldn't make it. I flunked him. Oh, boy, did I have trouble. The AMTOG which was a Russian trade organization in New York City came up to M.I.T., came into my office, and they said, "you will be a big man some day in Russia if 01:40:00you pass this fellow." Well, words to that effect. I told him, "Well, we don't do it that way in this country." Well, they went to the president of the college, to Condon, and I knew the family, the president, and his wife. He called me over, and I told him this one fellow just doesn't have it. He backed me up completely so, I never became a big man in Russia. Talk about brazen, you know. The interesting thing is, to follow up here; this fellow that I flunked was disgraced as far as they're concerned. What the AMTOG did, this Russian trade organization, they paid $500 a month for a construction firm to hire this 01:41:00fellow during the summer, just to observe, to be on a construction job, to see what was going on. That's how they saved his face.
JL: Was he somebody political that they had to?
LR: You know, when I was eating with them in this rooming house, I asked himhow they got their scholarship. They said, "Oh, my father is a big politico." They were very frank about it. They didn't cover it up.
JL: How did you afford to go to M.I.T.? How could you afford it?
LR: Well, I had a scholarship part-time, and I had worked summers. I made goodmoney in the summer. Then I was an instructor. I got a little money being an instructor in mineralogy or geology.
JL: Well that's interesting. It was so important to you to get the educationthat you were willing to give up working. 01:42:00
LR: The thing is that I knew that I didn't have a rounded out background ineducation to teach, for instance.
JL: So, did this round it out then, this two years at M.I.T.?
LR: Yes. I had two men that were outstanding professors, the type that you wouldstand up and salute. You know, you just admired them, that type of man that were gracious and bright. I would never change that for anything.
JL: Well, during all your schooling, did you ever have any courses or talk toanybody about anthropology or archaeology, which became important to you in later life?
LR: No, well, the thing is that I started to travel around as a consultingengineer. I went to the Upper Tigress River to examine a sulfur deposit, for instance. I went through all the Old Testament sites up on that area.
JL: This was later though. This wasn't before you started.01:43:00
LR: That's when I started to get interested in archaeology. Of course, I was inSouth America. I went to some of those old Inca/Maya sites. So, in opening up the- King Solomon's mine, I became interested in archaeology. I went back. I quit mining completely at the age of 67, went back to college. In our back yard, I took up archaeology. I've been digging ever since. I've been digging in a historical archaeological site that's probably the most important one in the United States. On the Hudson, the Raque Dig, it's called. It's a French Huguenot 01:44:00that arrived there, one of the first tenant farmer of Phillip's Manor. So that goes back to all the periods of our history.
JL: Wonderful. Well, going back to M.I.T., you spent twoyears there. What was your particular interest? What was your Masters thesis on?
JL: Did you do a thesis?
LR: I wrote a thesis, yes, on the physiography of Oregon. I made thefirst physiographic map of Oregon.
JL: We have a copy of that.
LR: You have a copy, yes. I described the type of Geology we found underneaththe surface in these areas. 01:45:00
JL: So, what did you think of living in the East? Did you like that? Or did youprefer the West?
LR: Well, I liked it. I was busy for one thing. I stayed with an elderly womanthat had been a singing instructor for the Boston symphony or something. She was a very talented woman, musically speaking. Two of us young fellows were going to M.I.T. in graduate work. One was a little Italian fellow. He had a wonderful voice. One Saturday, we didn't have anything to do so 01:46:00we went down and saw this piano in her room. We asked her to play. We got out our shade, and he and I started to sing. From then on, she just loved to play for us so that we would, every Saturday morning, we'd have two hours of singing. She was a marvelous...Not only that, but she didn't raise our rent. As a matter of fact, for lunch, I had a graham cracker and an apple. I couldn't afford a real good lunch. So, you can see that I was living on a thin margin, but 01:47:00it didn't do me any harm. Anyway, I had, staying with this woman, she played the piano, we had a marvelous reception there. Of course, I had a chance to go into Boston and see the art, which intrigued me. As a matter of fact, my professor had been on that Gobi Desert stint of, I can't think of the fellow's name, one of the first Americans to go into the Gobi Desert. He married a woman in Boston that was a textile expert. She taught textile, whatever it is. They went to Japan. She was given the assignment to go to Japan and China and collect some of the best textiles she could get. Of course this was at the 01:48:00time when you could get these things. So she collected for the Boston Museum there. Practically all their textiles she collected. When I got married, she gave me a beautiful textile from Japan, you know, one of these hand-made things.
JL: Wasn't it hard to study the Oregon geology being at M.I.T.? Is thatwhat I understand you did for your thesis?
LR: In order to make this map, of course, I traveled all over Oregon.
JL: While you were a student?
LR: I was studying the physiography of Oregon. Then I decided to make thisphysiographic map.
JL: Even though you were studying in the East. Did you take a few tripsback from the East?
LR: Well, in the summer time I came back. I had to work in the summer time.01:49:00
JL: Well, did you long to come back to Oregon then afterleaving M.I.T?
LR: Let's see. I got a job with a mining company in northern California.
JL: I thought you taught at O.A.C. first?
LR: Well I taught for a year.
JL: That's when you met your wife?
JL: What class was it exactly? Beginning geology?
LR: Mineralogy and geology, historical geology. That's what class shewas in.
JL: Did she graduate in geology also then?
LR: No, she graduated in teaching I think, social sciences.
JL: That was an elective kind of thing.
LR: Yes. She's been a good cook. That's where she took her courses in, Idon't know what they call them, but it was nutrition and that sort of thing.
JL: Home economics.01:50:00
LR: She has a very good concept of what's good for the human body and what'snot. So I've been very well fed, properly fed for the last 55 years.
JL: What was the date of your wedding?
LR: Oh, gee. Fifty-five years ago.
JL: O.K. We'll figure that out. How did you get your first job, and what didyou choose that company?
LR: Well, a man that I knew, a classmate at the School of Mines needed anassistant mining engineer for a mine, in one of the last old copper mines in northern California. So I went down there- They had a great big underground mine on one side of the mountain and mined pyrite for making sulfuric acid.
JL: Is this Iron Mountain?01:51:00
LR: Yes, Iron Mountain. On the other side, we had copper gossan, gold andcopper. So I became the assistant mine superintendent there. Of course, when I started out, I had to deal with the surveying and that sort of thing, make the maps, all the things that a mining engineer has to do.
JL: Was that a lucrative job for 1932, 1933?
LR: I would say that our standard of living during the depression was as high.We ate well. We had a very good living...and we raised three children.
JL: So the depression really didn't affect you much?
LR: We didn't know there was such a thing, really. We knew.
JL: Except for when you were in school?01:52:00
LR: Right. We were fortunate enough to get a job that was good paying. It didn'tfluctuate, you know. The mine went right on.
JL: Where did your family live while you were mining in California at Iron Mountain?
LR: Well, when I got married there were no houses. They were all taken up exceptup on what we call the open quarry. They had a big bank in front of it, the quarry. Part way down the quarry was an old house of one of the old mining camp houses. Alongside of it was a head frame that they used for hoisting 01:53:00in the early days. I pleaded with the manager to give us this house. The blasting in the quarry up here had shot a boulder about this big through the roof of the house and through the floor. I wasn't sure my wife would want to live there, but we went there. We fixed it up. We had a nice home till we got a home on the safe side of the canyon. I wasn't afraid of the blasting. Of course, when they blasted in the pit, they gave my wife warning and she had to go down and go on the other side of the canyon. But I wasn't afraid of the blasting so much as my wife was a nut on astronomy. She'd take a flashlight and go up the catwalk of this head frame, and go up about sixty feet off the ground to study the stars with the book. I was afraid she'd fall off of the thing.
JL: Were any of your children born during those years atIron Mountain? 01:54:00
LR: Oh yes. Two of them were.
JL: Do you remember the years? Should I ask your wife again?
LR: No, you'll have to ask her. My older daughter is in her forties. I have ason who is in his early forties. He's the middle one. He's with IBM. He's got a third dimension brain. The fact is they won't let him retire even though he's been with them right from the first because he knows more about the business than anyone else in the company. They won't let him retire.
JL: Where is he?01:55:00
LR: In Peekskill. It's the headquarters. He's been in charge of the computerdevelopment and design for thirty-five years. I think he inherited some of my...you know, geologists have to have a pretty good third dimension feeling about things to visualize structure underground. I think he's inherited that- He graduated from Princeton. At that time he had one of the first French computers. He'd learned to use it. I think that helped get him a job with IBM. Of course, from then on, they encouraged him. Every month they'd give him a rug or...We used to kid him about the tactics to keep him on the job.
JL: Did you start sketching then when you were on Iron Mountain?01:56:00
LR: Yes. I made some pictures of Iron Mountain. I don't know where they are. Istarted to explore mines for them but the war came on. England couldn't send any money to the United States so that we couldn't put any money in the mines. That ended my mine exploration.
JL: That was a British owned company?
LR: Yes. They were one of the oldest mining companies in Britain. They hadowned, in Spain, one of the huge pyritic ore bodies known in geology as 01:57:00outstanding for its immensity. The one in Iron Mountain was almost as large, the pyrite part of it. So the company was interested in that type of thing. They had a smelter out here in San Francisco. The first smelter was made by this company, so they were old timers.
JL: I think we should quit right now because we've almost been going fortwo hours. I don't want to exhaust you. You've led an amazing life. Your childhood was amazingly rich. I know your adult life was. It's interesting to me that you didn't follow in your parent's footsteps at all. You got as far away from the grocery business as possible. Have you ever reflected on that?
LR: No. No, I think it was just a gradual thing.
JL: Was your father a businessman? Was he pretty successful at that?01:58:00
LR: No, we had depressions. Astoria was kind of a backwash. It never grew. Wethought at first it was going to be a big seaport. The ships went on up to Portland. The logging industry went kaput. So it was kind of a depressive area.
JL: Even when the depression was over, it still stayed depressed?
JL: Would you call yourself a businessman at all?
LR: No, I was a consulting mining engineer, but I've had some jobsall over the world, real jobs.
JL: Maybe the next time we get together, we can hear about that part of it.
LR: I've got a cabinet full of reports that will fill all theseshelves on mines. 01:59:00
JL: I will bet you do. Amazing. How about if we come back later or you come tothe museum or something, and continue on.
LR: I'm coming Wednesday?
JL: Next Thursday.