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W. Waldo Ball Oral History History Interview, July 19, 1979

Oregon State University
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WB: Mrs. Lemon whom you mentioned a few minutes ago was chairman of the war ration board during the war in the city hall and so whenever I needed anything for my hospitalI'd just go up and she'd me anything that I wanted. A 100 stamps for a 100 gallons of gas or an

JL: [unintelligible]

WB: No problem at all. But she was one of the main ones. You know civilians ran that program during the war. The rationing.

JL: And Mrs. Lemon was the head of it? Yes?

WB: Yes. She was the head of it.

JL: Hmmm. That's interesting.

WB: I almost forgot that.

JL: That's interesting. Why did you move from Clatskanie to Corvallis?

WB: So our children could have a better chance for an education.

JL: They couldn't get a good one...

WB: The schools were better here, we thought.

JL: And that's the reason?

WB: That's the reason we came.

JL: It wasn't so much that you wanted to come back to the town you grew up in?

WB: No. No. And that's what brought my father and mother's family here too. Was because of the educational opportunities were better than they were in the 00:01:00Midwest where we lived.

JL: Why were the educational opportunities better here than...I also heard that in the east, also, that it was better here.

WB: Well, we've always had a good this is a land grand college and you there were six of us boys in our family. I was the oldest of six.

JL: Yes.

WB: And you could get more of a diversified type of education at Oregon State than you could most anyplace else except some place like Cornell or Nebraska or some land grant school, you know, and my father had a chance to get all this photographic work...

JL: That's right.

WB: ...start have his studio here. He was from a business standpoint and an educational standpoint it seemed propitious to the folks to move to Corvallis?

JL: Why did you go to Clatskanie in the first place?

WB: There was a doctor 15 years my senior who had had a partner and his partner 00:02:00took his life and was no longer there and he had an extensive practice. I think I told you in one of our interviews that our area was 55 miles long. It took me all day to go to make some of my calls and get back on the old plank roads that we had in those days out through the oaks. Sometimes my partner had gone horseback. Not after I got there, but, he had done that. He'd gone there in 1906 and so he found out about me through a mutual friend we both met and Dr. Short thought that Dr.Woodin this doctor Clatskanie and I would make a good pair and he recommended that Dr. Woodin interview me to see if I'd be interested in coming to Clatskanie and going in with him as a partner. And that one thing led to another and that's how I happened to go to Clatskanie.


JL: This was after you graduated from Medical School?

WB: That's when I was an intern, yes.

JL: An intern.

WB: And one afternoon late in my internship, perhaps along in April or May...

JL: That's 1923?

WB: ...'24.

JL: '24?

WB:I graduated in '23. Yes. That's medical. Dr. Woodin this gentleman with whom I was going to associated came up to the Multnomah County Hospital and said he had something to show me. And wanted to know if I would go out with him and he had a brand new automobile that he'd bought and he wanted me to have it. So that I could come down on weekends and take care of the practice so that he could get away because he'd been tied down there day after day and no relief, at all.

JL: Oh, my gosh.

WB: And he bought this car, a brand new Oldsmobile, and said I could pay for it any way I wanted to. It was mine and wanted to know if I'd like to have it.

JL: My gosh. That's quite an honor.

WB: Yes.

JL: So you would drive 55 miles...


WB: Yes. I'd drive down there and take care of the practice on weekends and then come back to the hospital on Monday morning. I got every other weekend off and so I was able to do that twice a month and gave him a little relief.

JL: And then you moved down there permanently?

WB: After I'd finished my internship we had our first baby. He was about a year old when we went down there. A year and a half old and we bought a home down there after we'd gotten settled. We didn't buy it first. We rented. Then we had bought a home and...

JL: When were you and Mrs. Ball married?

WB: 1921.

JL: And so your first son was born...

WB: In '22

JL: In '22.

WB: And we moved down there in '24. See, we lived in Portland for a year. We had a house there in Portland where she took care of the baby and I'd come home every other night and every other weekend.


JL: I see. And how large was Clatskanie at that time?

WB: About like it is now. About 800 people.

JL: Oh, and it just didn't have the educational facilities...

WB: No.

JL: ... that Corvallis had.

WB: And they were all Swedes and Finns which were all right. They were nice people but very few of any other ethnic group. They were just all Scandinavians and...

JL: Were they accepting of you?

WB: Oh, yes.

JL: Even thought you weren't...

WB:I had a good practice there and I enjoyed it very much and sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't have been better if I just stayed there because I we enjoyed it. Mrs. Ball didn't particularly like it because she thought there were better places for our children to go to school than there. She wasn't satisfied with the school system.

JL: Did they speak their language? Their native language?

WB: No. They spoke English.

JL: Spoke English.

WB: But they were almost, I would say, 75% of them were Scandinavians and many Finns. Fishermen, you know. They were fishing people and logging people.


JL: That's what most of them did? Logging and fishing?

WB: Oh, yes. They all did. Yes. They were all either fishermen or loggers.

JL: Were they very clannish?

WB: Yes. They had their own clubs and churches and societies and all and, of course, there were some others in with them, but they were predominantly they were Scandinavian.

JL: What kind of celebrations did they have?

WB: Oh, they liked to play baseball and they made quite a fetish out of 4th of July and, as I say, they had their own social groups and own fraternities. I mean like beneficial fraternities. Insurance companies and things like that and they were very nice neighbors and nice people. I know.

JL: What was the typical ailment they had?


WB: Well I think things that kept me busiest were injuries and obstetrical cases. Many babies and many accidents in the woods and fractures and...

JL: Hard way to make a living.

WB: Yes. The first year I made $3,400.00.

JL: Oh, no. (Chuckle)

WB: I took in that. (Chuckle)

JL: A doctor, yet. Hmmm. What was in your thinking when you moved to Corvallis? Did you know....

WB: Yes. I had in mind...

JL: ... what to expect?

WB: I had. No. I didn't. I was mistaken. I had in mind coming and I thought that at the time I'd like to practice pediatrics. So I went back to St. Louis and took a very intensive course in pediatrics under one of the best men in the 00:08:00world. In pediatrics.

JL: Who was that?

WB: Dr. (pause) hand me his textbook over there. I'll think of it in a minute. You asked me a question. (Chuckle) Right? [Unintelligible] I'll think of it in a minute. We went back and I was going to specialize. When I came here I was going to specialize in pediatrics.

JL: How long were you there?

WB: Six weeks.

JL: O.K.

WB: And I went up to the Mayo Clinic and the University of Iowa and took some postgraduate work. Post graduate work in pediatrics too. And then when I came here I thought I would be college oriented in my practice. I thought my practice would be predominately college people.

JL: Why is that?


WB: Well, because there's so many faculty here and so many students. And I didn't find that to be true at all. I found it my practice consisted of tradespeople and workers out in the farmers and people out in the woods and not much different than Clatskanie except that they're all Americans. Different ethnic groups. But I was disillusioned because I though I'd have to adapt my practice to college people and that wasn't true. I had my share of college practice but it wasn't a predominant thing in my work, like I had thought it would be when I decided to come here.

JL: And that's what you hoped too?

WB: Not particularly. I didn't hope to but I thought there would be an adjustment and then I was somewhat surprised that I didn't have to adjust to the change.

JL: Where were the faculty and students going?

WB: Oh, mostly to Portland or Salem or someplace like that and it was divided up 00:10:00among all the other doctors. Seven of us and we each got our share. But I didn't break into that like I did into the common populace. The ordinary folks in the trades and the farmers. Lumbering and things like that. Otherwise it was a very fine experience.

JL: Hmmm. That is surprising. I would think a lot of the university people would need medical help.

WB: They did and for years I did all the fractures and surgeries for the student health service. I did hundreds upon hundreds of appendectomies and tonsillectomies and fracture cases and everything having to do with the students health.


JL: When was this?

WB: From the time I came here until, oh, ten years ago, well, 20 years ago. No, 15 years ago. For about the first 25 years I was here in Corvallis.

JL: Including your clinic you did this?

WB: Yes.

JL: You were a busy man.

WB: I was.

JL: Hmmm. How did the depression affect the city. Affect the medical profession also.

WB: Well, of course, I came here after the depression, see.

JL: You came in '36? Is that correct?

WB: And it was pretty well over by that time. Two or three years after '36, you see, but between '36 and '40 it was tapering off. The depression was pretty well and then, of course, when the war came along why there was no such thing as depression. Everything was double geared then, you know, and so I didn't 00:12:00experience the depression here. It was only in Clatskanie I experienced it.

JL: How was your radical profession affected by the depression?

WB: Well, I can answer you best by stating that when I left Clatskanie after 12 years I had $34,000.00 on the books and my home and my office and all my office equipment and I sold of it for $7,500.00. My home, my office, all my equipment, and all my accounts receivable and the doctor who bought it had no money and he paid me $7,500.00 over a period of six years, at $100.00 a month with no interest. Good deal. (Chuckle) For him.

JL: You had to do it that way, huh? I imagine that you were much counselor, 00:13:00also, during this time. Were you not?

WB: That's true. You're...

JL: As much as a medical doctor.

WB: ...you struck a very important point. I was a counselor in many ways and have been all through the years and still am. You see, people seem to respect me and

counseling is still a very important and active part of my work.

JL: How do you feel about that?

WB: Well I can summarize it in just a few words. When I started 58 years ago I knew something about the human mind and something about psychiatry and a little smattering of many things that I've long since forgotten and realize that I know very little about the human mind and I have a very, what shall I say, lack of 00:14:00ability that that in many ways that I didn't use to have. I realize my limitations. I think more today than I ever have.

JL: You mean your limitations in counseling people?

WB: Yes, and in treating people. You've heard me say when I first met you that if four or five great excursions of man are very much the same relative position as they were when I started. Arthritis, the common cold, heart disease, cancer and there hasn't been much change over the years. We have to still treat those things much as we did when I started. With about the same morbidity and 00:15:00the same mortality. In spite of our improved technique in coronary by passes and valve replacements and the things that are being done today. The morbidity and the mortality is just about the same as it was at that time. Now, I'm not underrating my profession because we've made much progress. But, we're still confronted with much the same, in many instances, much the same problems as we were when I started 58 years ago.

JL: That's discouraging.

WB: Well, we know nothing more. What do I do if you come to me with a cold? I might be able to if you have a bad sinus infection give you some penicillin, but otherwise I'm just going to give you aspirin and tell you to go to bed and take plenty of fluids. Or, if you have arthritis I'm going to give you something like a salicylate which is still used or some drug that was used at that time. 00:16:00And if you come to me with a cancer of the lip I'm going to remove it like I did then. I mean, there's been no much change in treating cancer. We treat some forms of cancer with chemotherapy and we have ability to handle some cases of cancer we couldn't handle in those days, but over all we're just about the same position we were then. If we could get at it surgically we treated it surgically and if we could get at it medically we'd treat it medically and we're still doing it. But we've made marked improvement in many aspects. I'm not a pessimist. Don't misunderstand me. We've made marked improvement in anesthesiology, chemotherapy, antibiotics, blood dis [unintelligible] and those things, but, we still lack...


JL: Had you ever considered being a psychiatrist?

WB: No.

JL: Not interested?

WB: No. Psychiatry for the most part, and I'm saying this conscientiously and seriously and I wouldn't say this to everybody but psychiatry is a exercise in futility in many, many, cases.

JL: Hmmm. Why is that?

WB: Well, people have to be receptive to you and what you're trying to do for them and many people just are not and many psychiatric cases are a result of drugs. Abuse. And If a person isn't motivated to do something about it in their own hearts and humbly come to you and ask for help, admitting they can't handle it, you're lost before you start.


JL: What percentage of your medical practice, would you say, is counseling or psychiatry?

WB: 50.

JL: Oh, I thought so. (Chuckle) So really all doctors are part psychiatrist?

WB: Sometimes it just takes a pat on the back or a little package of pills with a few words of encouragement people go on their way rejoicing. 60 percent of the people that come in that door would be just as well off if they didn't come through the door. Actually, if somebody else took care of them or they took care of themselves and just use ordinary judgement. Many of the people that come to me don't need and I'm very reluctant to give people drugs or exploit people just 00:19:00because they need help. I like to help people but I realize my limitations.

JL: Why do you think people like to be sick? Or...

WB: Oh, they read so much about cholesterol and anemia and family relations and these things that they just are just looking for a crutch. Just looking for an out or a reason or motivation for what they how they feel and what they do. They're looking for something to sustain them in their convictions and to help them be motivated to do something. But unless they do it themselves it's like people who this fad of overweight and how people, you know, that you hear so 00:20:00much about most anybody the average person can if they just reduce the amount of food they take they could loose weight. But they need somebody to encourage them and somebody to give them something that they can get their hands into to help and that's why they come and the common cold the same that's an example of what we're talking about patients come through the door and they want help. If they just do nothing except just limit their diet and take plenty of fluids tomorrow they'd be better if they hadn't been better probably been better if they hadn't seen me. Just naturally because they just so we are limited with what we can do.

JL: After all your experience and your practice do you think you know people better than others?

WB: Yes, I'm sure I do. You see surgery was a big part of my work for many years 00:21:00and that was a very rewarding thing when you can make a diagnosis and remove the problem. But that isn't the majority of any most people unless you're board certified surgeon and do nothing but surgery that isn't the thing that you do more than anything else. But, that in itself is very satisfactory because you get the results ordinarily. You know what you're doing and I did a fair amount of that. Probably more than most people.

JL: Had the medical school the U. of 0. Medical School prepared you for that aspect of the medicine? The counseling aspect?

WB: Not at all. And they didn't prepare me for some of the things that were most important in my practice either. Hardly any mention made of rectal diseases 00:22:00and common things like we see like boils and carbuncles and we don't see so many of those things now like we used to. But we weren't trained in some of the most prevalent things that we were confronted with in practice were left out entirely. My only contact in Medical School were visits to the State Hospital where doctors would illustrate and demonstrate certain types of mental aberrations. But people weren't given an intensive course in psychiatry.

JL: Has that changed?

WB: I'm sure it has, yes.

JL: Hmmm.

WB: You see, medicine in my time as a student was just emerging from the twilight zone into the modern art as well as a science of medicine. See, 00:23:00medicine is not just a science. It's a combination of the art and science. The things that you and I have been talking about are the art of medicine, as our last remarks have been having to do with the art of medicine. Now we come back to the science of medicine and that's the things that you do like surgery and eye, ear and throat where you just treat the condition and not the patient. But there is the I've always felt that the there's a very definite combination of the two. One is as important as the other.

JL: When you moved from Clatskanie to Corvallis in '36 can you remember what changes in Corvallis stood out most in your mind from when you had left there? Left here in what 1919? Is that right?


WB: I left here in 1917.

JL: 1917.

WB: Well, there was a resurgence of building and development after World War I which occurred from '17 to '19 much like the one that followed World War II except that World War II was much broader in scope and much more extensive in amount but there were those changes. For instance, when we came to Corvallis we were just emerging out of the depression and the government had started the savings and loans and they started stimulated in that started to stimulate building. So people could borrow from savings and loans and build a house and we bought what was known as the model home in Corvallis when we came here. It was 00:25:00on 8th and Jefferson and at that time it was supposed to be that and we bought it and rented it before we came to Dean of Agriculture and he lived in it for several months before we came here and so there were those changes. There were people were building and they'd gotten away from burning wood. When I was a boy everybody burned wood and in their stoves and in their furnaces and oil was emerging and the automobile was emerging. The automobile was very uncommon when I was a boy. There were very few automobiles. Some of the very wealthy people had them but most people didn't. And you asked what changes there were. There was the change of the railroad which was a predominant thing at the 00:26:00beginning of this century or the last of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Then the automobiles came in and that was the dominating economic factor. So we've run in cycles, you see. The railroads were post civil war to the turn of the century. The railroads were EVERYTHING and then from then on why the automobile began to and they took over. The railroads disappeared. The steamers were taken off the river. When I left for the war the steamers were taken off the river, Wien I left for the war the steamers were coming up the river. When I came back they weren't so those changes were the ones that...

JL: What about in the medical profession? You mentioned that you had known a couple of doctors before you left for the war. Can you make any comments on how the medical profession changed in Corvallis from when you left to when you came back?

WB: Yes. These doctors who were being graduated from the Medical School's 00:27:00were very much better prepared to practice medicine than the doctors had been before.

JL: In what ways?

WB: Well, because we had some secondary Medical Schools. We had Medical Schools when I about the turn of the century when you could just buy a license to practice med [unintelligible]. You didn't have to go to school. Maybe go to school for six weeks and get a diploma.

JL: Some of the doctors...

WB: And that was all changed about the time I entered the medical profession. It was impossible. They had a big turn over of the requirements in the standardization of Medical Schools. These secondary Medical Schools were all out from then on and, of course, they don't exist today. But they were very prevalent in those days. There were doctors practicing in Corvallis that maybe go back to St. Louis for a few months and come back with a diploma.

JL: Hmmm. Can you give me any specific examples of how it was done before? And 00:28:00when you came back?

WB: Well, people were doing surgery before I left here. They were incompetent to do it. Most doctors had peer review from the time I went into it. In other words the older men were watching what these younger people were doing and had some control over irregular practice. The cults and those things were moving out and the legitimate doctors were moving in so there's been a big revolution in medical education and medical practice and they were very few specialists in those days when I started. Eye, ear and throat were about the only ones. And...

JL: What was that?

WB: Eye, ear, nose and throat.

JL: Oh. O.K.

WB: Specialists. Ear, nose and throat specialists and then along came the 00:29:00pediatricians and the orthopedists and the anesthesiologists. When I started just anybody could give a anesthetic. A woman maybe. Somebody that wasn't even a nurse could give the anesthetics. So they've improved the standard of medical training and the standards of medical practice and if you didn't conform to those standards you couldn't get a license to practice.

JL: You had known Dr. Pernot and Dr. Johnson. Was that his name?

WB: Yes. Johnson, Pernot and Cathy and. There was a whole coterie of doctors.

JL: So they weren't as trained as you were?

WB: Some of them were but there were some who weren't. There were some I wouldn't say they were charlatans I would say they were just victims of the times they I don't think they. I think they would have preferred to have been good doctors but there were reasons why they couldn't. Maybe financially or 00:30:00otherwise and they just took the shortcuts. Went to secondary schools and got a diploma and started to practice and maybe some of them would start over to Brownsville. Numerous doctors in Corvallis started Brownsville. Then they'd practice there a year or two and then they'd move into Corvallis.

JL: What significant event caused the medical profession to get more professional?

WB: O.K. there was a investigation in the medical profession to get more comparable to the huge investigation in insurance about the turn of the century and it was called the........ tsk....tsk... that's slipped my mind too. But, anyway it had to do with the thing that you and I were talking about. To raise the standards of medical profession because they knew that this condition couldn't exist. There was too much jeopardy to be the most benefit to people and 00:31:00so they did something about it and they change the whole system of medical education. ...too many of the schools so they combined them.

JL: Say that again. What...

WB: Oregon used to have two Medical Schools. One at Willamette and one in Portland. And they were combined into one just before I started Medical School and they were in an old house, the Medical School was in an old residence in Portland. And my class was the first class to emerge as a from the modern Medical School. The new buildings were built up at Markam hill at the Elk Science Center in Portland and my class was the first class to graduate from the 00:32:00modern buildings and the modern techniques of medical education and then I was also, as I told you I think the first time I met you, I was one of the first five interns in the in the County Hospital.

JL: Hmmm. County Hospital in Portland?

WB: Yes, Multnomah County Hospital.

JL: I didn't know that.

WB: So my class was unique in being the first, that's a picture of them there on the wall there, that was the first class in the modern Medical School and they are all gone but me. I'm the only one left. Those men are all gone.

JL: Is that right? There's some women in there I noticed.

WB: They're all gone too.

JL: How does that make you feel?

WB: Unless I talk to somebody like you, I don't even think about it. I'm doing my thing and I never think about it. I don't feel much different than I ever did and I just go to work in the morning and quit when I feel like it.


JL: You sort of become callous towards death now because of all that you've seen?

WB: Well, my dear I how I feel. Now you've asked me a question and you read that expose, with that picture of me that you took that I handed you that day, and that will give you my philosophy. I'm not ready to die but if The Lord wants to take me tomorrow that's O.K. with me. I don't want to leave my family. I'd rather be here but then and I know there's lots of things that I should have done and many things I shouldn't have done but I don't really feel in my own heart I have any apologies or any to make to anybody. I think I have, without being egotistical or anything, I think I've let me put it this way. I don't think I've been a discredit to the my profession and I think I've done more good than harm.


JL: That's admirable. (Chuckle) I wanted to ask when your sons were born and what their names are?

WB: Phillip was the first one. He's the one that went down in the war. He was born in '22. James was born in '24. Whitney was born in '26.

JL: I bet it was very difficult for you and your wife to send you son off to World War II?

WB: Yes. Well, they were all three in World War II.

JL: All three of them.

WB: All three in the air force.

JL: Did that have something to do with why you were so receptive to men at Camp Adair?

WB: I suspect it may have been. Yes. Because I'd been in the war and Mrs. Ball had and we knew the implications of the war and what it meant and we were fully sympathetic with the problems people had in the service. And when our two boys came back from the war we spent the next year almost exclusively getting them 00:35:00back into civil life.

JL: What kind of things were hard for them to adapt to?

WB: Well, they'd been flying airplanes all over the world and they had to get their feet on the ground and get an education and make a living and make homes for themselves and or at least think about it. They didn't do it immediately but our first marriage was in '47 and the second one in '49 and then the children started coming in '50.

JL: Who was married in '47?

WB: Jim and Joyce. They went up to Sun Valley. The second one and then the third one, Whitney, was born in '49 and they had the first baby, Peter. He's 29 now and he was born in '50. And they have five children. And there only daughter had the baby I told you about and the son and his wife had one day before yesterday 00:36:00out in Coos Bay.

JL: They all three joined the air force?

WB: Yes.

JL: Why is that?

WB: I've never known. I've wondered why because their mother was in the army and I was in the navy and I just. Of course, it seemed to be the thing to do in those days. They were all cadets. They were all good normal physically so they were able to do it and they were all very patriotic as our family has always been and like their father and mother. So, they just all went into the air force. It seemed to be the thing to do. It was a very popular thing, you know. The air force was you felt very fortunate to be able to get into it because you had to be in perfect physical condition to make it.

JL: Had they gone to O.S.C.?

WB: Yes. They'd all been students there, yes. One of them finished high school in three years on this accelerated program and he got an appointment to 00:37:00Annapolis but he'd already gone into the air force so he couldn't accept his appointment. But, they'd all had at least a year or two of college. A couple of years of college before they went in.

JL: You mentioned one time that your mother had encouraged you to become a doctor and that really what she wanted you to be. Did you also encourage your sons into a particular profession?

WB: No. I never tried to influence them at all. I would encourage them if they had a interest in a certain thing but I didn't try to influence them. And the reason I didn't I feel I in my profession that you must have the same motivation in medicine that you do in the clergy if you're going to be a success and I didn't feel that any one of the three was particularly motivated and I think that their only aspiration to be a doctor was because their father was a doctor. I don't think that they were personally motivated and so I never encouraged them.


JL: What kind of qualities exactly are you talking about?

WB: Well, you must be prepared to sacrifice many of the things that most people think constitute good living. It isn't real pleasant to get out of bed at two o'clock in the morning and make a call for some kid with the croup when it would be just as well to do in the morning, but you do it because the mother thinks she needs you. So, unless you can accept those responsibilities and do it graciously you'd better find some other profession because there is no glory in medicine and there's no money to be made in medicine compared with the amount that you'd make if you devoted the same amount of time in some business. If I worked like I did like I was telling you about awhile ago where I was seeing 100 patients a day...

JL: You were seeing a 100 patients a day?

WB: Yes. 75 to 100. Didn't you hear me say that awhile ago?


JL: You mean during the war years?

WB: Yes.

JL: Ohh.

WB: ...you have to be motivated in what you're doing or you couldn't even do it. You don't do it just because somebody else does it or because there's a lot of money to be made in it because there isn't. If I devoted the same amount of time to banking that I have "'devoted to my profession I could have been a millionaire today and I'm not down grading the medical profession. There's money to be made in medicine. There's money to be made in anything if you want work, but it isn't big money and it isn't easy money. So if you don't like it you'd better leave it alone. I have many people come to me and want to know, doctor I'm thinking about studying medicine. What do you think about it. Tell them just what I'm telling you. If you want to sacrifice some of the things that you would as a family man if you want to get married and have a family and spend time with your children, do the things that most people think 00:40:00constitutes good living, you'd better get into something else. If that's the only thing that you're thinking about or if you're thinking about a certain amount of glamour or dollars in connection with medicine, you'd better forget it because it ain't so.

JL: Do you wish that some doctor had talked to you and told you what it was all about before you...

WB: Well, I was so dedicated to it I don't think I would have listened. I admired doctors. I had an admiration for our old family doctors. This little town I went to in May I told you about it, you know in Nebraska back where I used to live. Used to have three doctors when I was there and when I went back this time in May there weren't any.

JL: No doctors, yes?

WB: No. A town of about 1,000 people. No doctors. Of course, there are other towns around where the doctors come in. They'd be 12 or 15 miles away. Like going to Albany. Something like that. But no doctors in this little town. There 00:41:00was three when I was there. How they made a living I don't know. Shipping.

JL: [unintelligible] you had an opportunity in Seattle, I remember.

WB: Yes.

JL: Do you have any regrets?

WB: No. I wouldn't change the experiences I've had nor the life I've lived for anything I've ever known or ever seen.

JL: I bet it was very difficult on your family? Your wife?

WB: That's one of the things I'm talking about. The sacrifices you have to make to be a doctor with your family life and your life style. Those things like that because you can't live like other people do.

JL: What kind of entertainment did you do as a family before the war years? With your three sons.

WB: Oh, we'd take trips to Canada and we'd go up to eastern Oregon camping and we'd go to the mountains and go up on the sound or up Seattle. We always did 00:42:00things together.

JL: Any one particular experience? Memorable.

WB: No. I don't think so. We had relatives in Iowa. We used to like to go back there where Mrs. Ball sister lives. Her husband was also a doctor and we were always very close with my family and her family and we just did things together.

JL: I bet it was difficult to get away?

WB: Yes. It was.

JL: How did the war affect Oregon State? Could you see it?

WB: Oh, yes. It was all around us. We had to make emergency housing and emergency classrooms. Quanset huts all over the place and...

JL: On campus?

WB: Oh, yes. They were everywhere.

JL: Did you spend much time on campus, at all?


WB: Well, just in the health service is all. Taking care of the health service.

JL: Where was you clinic located?

WB: In the Ball Building on 3rd and Jefferson.

JL: Oh, O.K. Peavey was mayor, I guess, in the late'40's...

WB: And president of the school.

JL: What did he do as mayor? Do you remember?

WB: He was a very competent and efficient and mayor. He was one of the better ones.

JL: Can you remember any significant decision he made?

WB: He was a master at handling men. He got the most out of everybody. We didn't have any such thing as a city manager then. He and his counselor had to do the whole thing and his ability was picking the right man for the right place and then just delegating authority and let him go ahead. He was really an administrator.


JL: What about women?

WB: Women weren't in the picture in those days like they are now.

JL: Did he have a...

WB: I don't think he had an aversion to women. I think if the right woman was available, with proper training and background, I don't think he'd made any discrimination against women. But women just weren't emerging like you're living in an era of equal rights and it should be that way and it's becoming that way all over the world and that's the way it should be. But it was just beginning. Hadn't even begun then.

JL: Did you know Mrs. Peavy?

WB: Very well.

JL: What kind of a woman was she?

WB: She was just a quiet homey type. But she had they had two boys and just real nice neighbors and friends and real nice people.

JL: Someone said she was eccentric?

WB: I don't remember that characteristic of her. I didn't know her perhaps that well but they were neighbors and friends. I don't remember that part. She 00:45:00may have been.

JL: Did they do outdoor things as a family? Was he much of a family man?

WB: No. I don't think he was. No.

JL: Hmmm.

WB; He was dedicated to forestry and anything that he went into. We were on the board of the Red Cross for years. See during the war Mrs. Ball and I worked on the Red Cross. Maybe five years every week why we'd draw blood, you know, and she would take the blood pressures and the hemoglobin and the various things and take the histories and it was up to me to see that the blood was taken and gotten back to Portland. And they weren't fractionating it like they do now so we had to be very careful with hepatitis and things like that, you know. So, I'd 00:46:00almost forgotten that phase. That was another one of our activities. (Chuckle)

JL: Gosh, very good.

WB: I don't know how I did it. I wouldn't even think about it if I wasn't talking to you about it.

JL: I guess that's a good trait to always look forward instead of look back.

WB: And then I can't tell you how many times I've come down at night to examine a drunken driver. Police would always call me when they'd get a drunken driver to test them to see if they should be put in the "pokey". Sometimes rather embarrassing, you know, you get one of your neighbor's friends or neighbor's children or something, you know.

JL: (Chuckle)

WB: Or a doctor's son.

JL: Oh, oh. (Chuckle) Yes. I'm sure you have to be very...

WB: So we had the...

JL: ...tight mouthed.

WB: ...whole gamut of human emotions and reactions and it's been very rewarding and it's been beautiful.


JL: Do you think that's helped you in your life? In guiding your life?

WB: I'm sure it has. Is our boy out there? (Called to nurse in the reception room) I'll see him then.

JL: Oh, dear. O.K.