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Carl Merryman Oral History Interview, May 30, 1979

Oregon State University
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Jennifer Lee: Carl, before we continue on with where we left off last time, I'd like to ask you a question about a person that you mentioned in the last interview. You mentioned a Delmer Goode as your Scout Master?

Carl Merryman: Yes.

JL: What do you remember about him?

CM: Well, he came here right after the end of World War I. He had been in the service over in France. And you want just my memory of him?

JL: Right. When you were in the scouts.

CM: Well, I shouldn't go into all these other details. I know a lot about him. But he has many facets. But my two brothers had joined his troop. He had organized it in the fall of 1919. October 14, 1919, and I was very much enamored with being a scout, but I was too young. I had two years to go yet before I 00:01:00could join and I joined the Wolf Club there.

JL: What's a wolf club?

CM: That was a forerunner of cubbing nowadays. But this was organized by a young fella here who is a student in electrical engineering and a smith and he was an assistant scout master of the troop. So I couldn't be with the troop so I was two years in this wolf club. And we did a lot of preliminary scouting. But just as soon as well I joined when I was 12 and joined in April of 1922, and Delmer was my father figure. My father had left in April that year. And so Delmer became one of my father figures. Herman Scott is another one. But scouting was a 00:02:00big part of my life. I really dug it, as the kids would say. My mother wouldn't let me join for a while and she insisted that I was starting high school, and she wanted to be sure I got off on the right foot. So she wouldn't let me join for 6 months. But I finally got in in April and I went right to town in it. I finished my class in a month and first class by the end of August, or by the 5th of August that year, so I was really cutting the swath in scouting, but Delmer was the leader and he was a very effective scout leader. He had had no experience in it, but he had a young fella from Toledo, Ohio, who was a first class scout back there and he transferred out here and he knew a lot about 00:03:00scouting and so Delmer developed a really fine program of scouting. I was just reading a letter the other day from one of the executives back in the '20s and he said he'd seen over 300 units functioning, and he hadn't seen anything to compare with Delmer's troop.

JL: What made his so exceptional?

CM: Well, he was an educator. He had been principal of a school before he got in the service, and he came out here to be the editor of publications. So he had a good classical background, a good liberal arts education. And was an educator himself and he has been educator through all these... up to, he's 90 years old a week ago. And he had the knack of understanding boys and things that he could find in literature and so on that were effective for leading boys he made use 00:04:00of. He organized a group of older fellows who became experienced in scouting and he called them and their troop instructors. Now they have what they call a junior leaders corps. They used to call it green bar units. But the national officers a long time realizing that these younger fellas before they became assistants at 18 could be effective in teaching scouting skills to the younger fellas. And it's through these experiences that I began to understand something about education, because scouting was designed to learn by doing. Instead of just reading about it you get involved in it, like 4-H students.


The same sort of thing. You do it, and the essence comes through various avenues to make its impression on your mind, not just through reading a book or something. Well, this is an aside, in my first year of teaching I had to teach 5 subjects. One of them was chemistry. And I discovered that I learned a whole lot more chemistry that year than I did when I had taken chemistry at university. So I just turned that around and I used that technique in my teaching here when I was teaching in Corvallis getting the young folks involved in investigating particular phases of the science they were studying and then helping others to understand it. Because when you get to wading into yourself and you try to 00:06:00convey to somebody else, then you really learn it. And this is something that he was aware of and practiced getting involved learning by doing. And he was a very... he was a leader for 11 years. For many years he was in the Acacia advisor here on the campus.

JL: Okay.

CM: He has written a 50-year history of Acacia and he is completing the 75th anniversary book on the history of Acacia for their 75th anniversary.

JL: I should look at that.

CM: So...

JL: Well, thank you.

CM: He was involved in scouting and in church, and he's been the chaplain of the 00:07:00tribe club ever since it was organized on this campus. They had a birthday party for him the other day over here at the MU. Every Thursday they have these. Every Thursday you had a little poem as an invocation for their day, and they turned the tables on him. They printed a little piece of stationary, oh about 4x7 and 6 in loose-leaf binders that was punched for binding. On the top it said to Delmer M. Goode on his 90th anniversary, tribe club, Oregon State University, and the date. And they passed these out. This was printed on very nice paper. And they passed these out to all the members and they were to come that day with some 00:08:00tribute to Delmer Goode. And then they presented all of them. Some of them knew they were free to read them if they wanted to. Some of them read them that day and then they presented him with all these in a beautiful leather-bound book.

JL: That's neat. That's very neat.

CM: That's something that he will treasure all of his days. He may not have too many left, but he'll certainly treasure it.

JL: Thank you. Okay. Let's see, we left off last time, and you had talked about World War I and your impressions of what you remember was happening in Corvallis.

CM: I mentioned the sham battles down there on the field. I thought of something else that very few people will recall now is that they used to play polo down there on that field. The men knew field artillery on campus, the instructors and 00:09:00staff members of the field artillery unit. Played polo down there. Major Beattie was the ringleader and that was a great lark for all of us kids to go down there and watch the polo games. Right on the shore of the river, right next to Mary's River right where the highway goes through out there.

JL: That's interesting.

CM: Yeah and so we got pretty well-versed in the vernacular of polo, and I can remember when one horse was so badly injured that they had to destroy it, and so they just dug a hole down there and the remains are still down there in that field. They buried a horse down there in the polo field. But there aren't very many people on the campus now who would remember polo being played here on the campus. And they used to have some students on the campus who were involved in 00:10:00it too, ROTC students.

JL: Hmmm. Moving on, let's see you went to high school here in Corvallis, too.

CM: Mm-hmm. Yes, mm-hmm.

JL: Corvallis High School.

CM: Right.

JL: Can you remember any professors or teachers that had a great influence on you?

CM: Well, Cora Hjertaas, I would guess. Now you'll have an awful time spelling her name. I might too. I think it's C-o-r-a, Cora, H-j-e-r-t-a-a-s. Her last name is now Stavig, S-t-a-a-v-i-g [Stavig]. There may be only one A; I'm not sure. But she and her sister were students here on the campus and they were both 00:11:00hired by the system here in Collier to start an English class that I had. She was a real good teacher and you understand how good a person she was when about 8 years ago she was selected nationally as the mother of the year.

JL: Why was she so exceptional?

CM: Well, she was a real fine personality. She understood English literature. She was also musically inclined. She had sung in St. Olaf's choir. You've heard of that I'm sure. Well, she was a student back there and her present husband, Mr. Stavig, was on the staff of university there. But she had a real appeal. She 00:12:00was a very lovely looking lady, and that didn't hurt one bit. She and her sister were phys ed [physical education] standouts here on the campus, and I used to sing in the chorus there at the junior high and she made a real contribution to the activities in the school and perfectly understandable why they would not be here too long. They would be too much in demand and certainly moved up quickly.

JL: Was she personally involved with her students? Did she get to know a lot of her students?

CM: Yes, yes. Well, outside of school we had operettas and that sort of thing.

JL: Did you have much contact with the university, with the campus here? Did you go to musical programs on campus while you were in high school?


CM: No. I was involved with people on the campus primarily through scouting. I was so zealous to work on various kinds of merit badges and we had to seek out the people who would be the examiners in these merit badges ourselves. Nowadays they provided boys with a list of people. But I'd find out if this person would be okay through my scout master, through Delmer, and then I'd go see the man and see if he'd be willing to help me.

JL: Who were some of the people that you chose?

CM: Ralph Coleman, Coleman Field, for athletics merit badge. W. J. Gilmore, who, Gilmore Hall over here for our mechanics. I went in to get an automobile-ing merit badge from him. That sort of thing.

JL: I see.


CM: Horsemanship, we used to go up to the horse barns were right behind what's now the Women's Building. That's where they had all the field artillery horses in there and go out there for horsemanship merit badge.

JL: So most of your spare time was taken up with scouting activities?

CM: Yes.

JL: What kind of activities did you do around Corvallis? I know that you went to McDonald Forest and camped around where the flume was, but did you have any other activities like at Silk Creek or Tampico area?

CM: No. We had hikes up to Green Peak, that's south out near Alpine, and trips 00:15:00up to Marys Peak. I can remember climbing Marys Peak 7 different times one summer. And that's when you hiked from the bottom. No road up there. I presume I've climbed it at least 50 times.

JL: Is that right?

CM: From the bottom. Sometimes in the snow. Sometimes on the north trail, which is very slick. Slipped on top a number of times. Those were in the days when there wasn't much haze in the horizon and you could see from Mt. Shasta to Mt. Rainier. There are very few times you can do that now. But we used to do a lot of hiking out in that area.

JL: Did you go to any of the athletic events on campus here?

CM: Well, we used to go to baseball games because you didn't have to pay anything.

JL: So anything you had to pay for you didn't...

CM: No, no, this was... my two brothers were supporting the family then, and 00:16:00whatever money we earned we could use, but I never heard of an allowance. None of us ever had had any such a thing so I didn't understand that when that came in [laughs].

JL: [Giggles] Do any games stand out in your mind, like between the University down in Eugene? Do you remember any of those games?

CM: You may have heard of this from some of the other people who have been recorded. J.R.N. Bell, who was a minister here in Corvallis, for whom Bell Field was named, used to always lead a parade down there to the Willamette River and 00:17:00he would throw his derby in the river whenever Oregon State would win a football game from Oregon.

JL: What river?

CM: Willamette River.

JL: Oh, Willamette River.

CM: That was quite a publicity student, I'm sure. But he was a very portly gentleman, and as I remember him wearing a derby he would make quite the appearance on the streets. But every time that they'd win a game from Oregon he would lead a parade down the river.

JL: All the way...

CM: From the campus. Well, he lived close to 9th Street. I think it was right on 9th Street. And this was in the days when the lady of the fountain was there in what's now the alleyway off of 9th. And there was a sidewalk on either side instead of the street going up through there now, and they would come together behind the lady of the fountain and go up the middle path through the lower campus. But I think they would gather there at the lady of the fountain and lead 00:18:00this parade down to the river. I never saw him do it, but I had seen him a number of times and knew him and I can remember very well when they built the stadium at Bell Field. I was in the third grade then, and I couldn't keep my mind on my reading in school because of all the riveting that was going on up here in the girders of the Bell Field. That was quite something when they...

JL: He'd threw his derby in the water?

CM: He threw his derby in the river.

JL: Then would he get another derby? Or would someone fish....

CM: [Laughs] No they don't. I suppose if somebody might've been interested in going out and recovering it for a souvenir, but I don't think he ever thought of getting it back.

JL: You mentioned the lady of the fountain.

CM: Yes.

JL: What do you remember about the feelings toward the lady? Was she respected 00:19:00or was that?

CM: Yes. And she was always a target for the students at University of Oregon and finally there were a lot of depredations, arms torn or something like that. It was a metal, cast metal statue, and suffered a lot of damage and finally disappeared. I suppose it's some alumni somewhere who know where the remains are but it's never been disclosed of course. Finally the base of the fountain was removed from the, I guess from the...

JL: But it was a target for the U of O students when they came up...

CM: To paint it or something of that kind.

JL: Do you remember the fires?

CM: The bonfires?

JL: The bonfires?

CM: Oh, yes, yes, indeed. In these days of recycling, that would have been a horrible event now. Because I think the stores downtown used to stack up all the 00:20:00cardboard boxes, the packing boxes that came in.

And the wooden crates and so on that were around shipments were saved. Then all the freshman would have a day off on Friday out of school to... and you had to help build it. You had to get your [Rook] Bible stamped. After the bonfire was built. And if you skipped out, didn't appear, didn't have a stamp in your [Rook] Bible, then you went to Beaver Knights and took a wackin'.

JL: What's that mean?

CM: The Beaver Knights were the enforcers on the campus for campus traditions. 00:21:00Did anybody tell you about the green hats that the boys, the freshman always wore and the girls wore green ribbons? And if you're ever caught without them, you were called to the Beaver Knight Court down in the armory and they'd line up with their paddles and you went through the line.

JL: Girls too?

CM: Well, they were taken care of by the Talons. But the boys were taken care of by the Beaver Knights.

JL: Was this going on when you were a student here too?

CM: Oh yes, yes. I got paddled once [laughs].

JL: And all the freshman respected this, huh?

CM: Well, no. I don't suppose all of them did but if they were a shenanigan, work a shenanigan I expect there were some clandestine rubber stamps and so on that were made so you could get your [Rook] Bible stamped but that was the proof that you were a participant was these stamps and dates in your Rook Bible. The 00:22:00Rook Bible had all the campus traditions printed in it. And you received it during freshman week and you're supposed to live by that until the end of your freshman year.

JL: [Laughs] Did you ever work before you started at the college?

CM: Oh my, yes. We were involved, well, I suppose probably the first thing that we did as kids was put in wood for people. Stove wood.

JL: Where would you find your wood?

CM: Well, people would have their firewood stacked out in the parking on the curbing and so on and then we would take a wheelbarrow and haul it in for them and stack it in the basement or in the garage or wherever they wanted it stacked.

JL: Where had the wood come from?

CM: The wood came from anywhere around here. The slab wood from the mill down on the river, or oak wood that was cut by somebody and stacked, or people would buy old railroad ties and I would say there're probably at least 4 different outfits 00:23:00that went around town sawing the wood in your front yard. You'd usually get cord wood that was 4' length. And the cord would be 8' long and 4' wide and they'd stack it up 4' high to make a cord. You might get 5 cords out there and then this would all have to be sawed. Either 12" or 16" lengths for your stove, whatever it would take. Because a lot of people were cooking with wood ranges then. Lots of wood sheds out behind houses. So this would've had to be hauled from the curbing back and stacked up in the wood shed or in the basement, if they had a basement. Wherever they had provisions for keeping the wood dry. That's some of the first jobs that I had, but we were always scrounging around for things to do.

JL: That was in junior high school, or high school?


CM: Grade school.

JL: Grade school?

CM: Yeah, sure. Well, there are 5 houses over here on Arnold Way that I earned money in putting on lath when I was 9 years old. Jack Berry used to be in charge of the lathing for these contractors and we would get a job helping him and we got 25 cents a bunch for putting on 50 lath for plastering the walls. And I could manage to get 4 bunches on in a day because he gave me the nice, easy sections, where you didn't have to cut any ends to make them fit around doors or windows or anything like that. I'd just have the 4' lengths where the studdings would jibe and put up 6 and then jog over to the next one and put up 6 and jog back and put up 6.

And then of course he did all the sealings as well, so I didn't have any of the 00:25:00hard work, but gee, I was only 9 years old anyway, so I couldn't do a great deal. But we used to put on lath and make money. That was my first savings account was putting on lath. Those houses are still occupied over there on Arnold Way. I helped to put on the cloth for papering walls with a Tac-hammer, where you tack the cloth on and then they put the paste on the paper and stick it on the cloth to paper walls. Used to put on shingles. I can remember Canterbury House over here on Arnold Way and Monroe, we were shingling that house when it was built. My brother had a nice, probably new, shingling hatchet, 00:26:00and we stopped for the weekend on Saturday after we finished at 5:00 and he ditched his hatchet in the wall of the building that was being built and on Sunday we were quarantined. My dad had smallpox and we were quarantined for six weeks. Of course, by the time we got out of quarantined the house was much further along and his hatchet is still probably over there in the wall of that house.

JL: Oh no! [Laughs].

CM: [Laughs].

JL: Where did most of the kids, the high school kids, congregate?

CM: Well, right behind the depot was a little refreshment stand. And Hulda 00:27:00Holstrom used to work in there and that's where kids would go at lunchtime, I suppose, if they were buying a lunch. I can't recall. I guess kids brought lunches in the school. There were a lot of students that came in from the outlying areas on the farms and so on and surely they must have brought their lunches. But we always went back home for lunch so I never saw the kids eating lunch in school because we had 10 minutes to get home and then eat lunch and then 10 minutes to get back.

JL: What kind of things would they do during their leisure time?

CM: Well, I wasn't involved with them very much. I was off on my own track so I can't really answer that. I don't recall. We used to put in just as much time as we possibly could working.

JL: Where else... you were mentioning that you had worked?

CM: We used to thin apples out west of town. It's on the west side of 53rd now, 00:28:00but we used to ride out there on bikes or walk and at 25 cents an hour for thinning apples. It was right after school was out. The apples were just coming on, you had to thin them out. There were bunches so the single apples on the stem would grow much larger and more of the sap and the nutrients from the ground would be concentrated in fewer apples to make a better yield. We'd walk out there and work 10 hours a day and then walk back home in the summertime. That was in June and early July, and then in the fall we'd pick apples out there. And that was a time when people would get their wood supplies in too, when the wood had been dried and you could put it in the basements and there 00:29:00wouldn't be too much seasoning going on. It would be dry enough to put inside. So we were busy most of the time in the summer time at whatever jobs we could find.

JL: Do you have any recollection at how Corvallis was growing and changing with more cars coming in and more industry, more stores being built? Do you have any impression of that before you started here at the college? Or how the city was changing?

CM: There was some growth in the city for sure. One way you can find out how it happened is to go around and read the dates in the sidewalks. In those days when they poured the concrete they weren't ashamed of what they were doing and the contractor would put his name and the date in the sidewalks and I can remember 00:30:00W.S. Burnap and W.L. Read back in the 1920s they were two of them and then Herman Heuckendorff...

JL: Just a minute [recording cuts off]. Okay, go ahead.

CM: So in those times you could trace a great deal of history of course in the dates that were right in the sidewalks. They'd tell you when that area was built up.

JL: Do you remember it as a child?

CM: As a child there weren't very many sidewalks.

JL: The changes that were happening.

CM: It was mostly gravel roads or mud roads and wooden sidewalks, plank sidewalks. Some of them were lengthwise and later on some were crosswise. But Western Avenue used to be called B Street, and I can recall horses and buggies getting stuck in the mud on what is now Western Avenue, a paved street 30' wide. 00:31:00At that time that was the western extremity of the community right out there on 11th Street and 13th and most of the people who came into town came in with a horse and buggy.

JL: Was anything happening on the river?

CM: I can remember steamboat traffic on the river. I remember going down to see the steamboats come in there just to the south of what's now the Willamette Bridge. Of course at that time there was only one bridge. In fact, I can remember when they were building that. And before that certainly there was, I don't remember a ferry, but I'm sure there was one there. But there used to be a good bit of freight traffic up this far on the Willamette River. And I've heard 00:32:00that there was traffic on up into the Eugene area, but I can't vouch for that because the river it has some real shallows in it. But most of the business area was concentrated right down on 1st and 2nd Street. 2nd Street was called Main Street and there were a few outlying groceries. Eventually there was 11th Street Grocery over on Van Buren and Red [?] Foods had a grocery eventually up where the depot used to be on 9th and Washington, and these little neighborhood grocery stores catered to the people right around in the neighborhood. Ed Fader had one out on the south 3rd. Later on he built a whole motel in that area.


JL: You mentioned that a lot of houses were being built.

CM: Well, comparatively speaking. I don't suppose the growth of the community was phenomenal at all in those early years, and there might have been a bit of a spurt after World War I. But of course there was another dull period during the depression. But in my grade school days there were just three elementary schools and they had been provided in their turn at the edge, the growing edge of the 00:34:00community. First the old Central School, the first one down on what is now the upper portion of Central Park, and then what was later called the North School as it grew out further northward into the west. And then I suppose about 1915, something like that, the South School was built and that was earlier than that later became the Roosevelt School and the North School became Franklin School. But they've always built schools out on the growing edge and that's been the pattern all these years. And the trend has always been North and West.


But there has been some growth out south of Mary's River. It used to be very sparse out there. Practically nothing beyond the milleries. The area right around the old fisher's mill was the primary spot for dwellings out there, and I'm guessing that those people probably were employed at the mill. We used to hike out there to get homemade butter from Mr. Summers. But I don't think he worked at the mill.

JL: Where was this mill?

CM: Well, it's on the Crystal Lake Drive, out past Evans toward the Crystal Lake Cemetery. I can remember that side walk because it was built up about 5' above 00:36:00the ground, so that you could get by without getting wet because there was overflow from the river and so on and they used to had to have a walkway above the land in order certain times of year to get to their homes.

JL: What effect did the Depression, starting in 1929, have on Corvallis?

CM: Well, it seems to me that it took quite a while for them to make their presence known because I suppose the only, or the one particular industry that might've been affected was the lumber mill. And if there was a decline in home 00:37:00building it of course would've had effect on the lumber mill. There was, I suppose, within about a year quite an effect on the campus.

JL: Tell me about that.

CM: There was some real hard times because the enrollment dropped off and there were consequent adjustments in the staffing to accommodate that change.

JL: You started in 1930, is that correct?

CM: '29. I started in...

JL: 1929.

CM: I started in September '29, about three weeks before the Wall Street crash but I didn't... it didn't make any impression on me in the newspaper whatsoever then. I wasn't aware of that. I was so involved in getting started in school that it didn't even impress me.

JL: Did it not affect your financial situation some?


CM: It affected a whole lot of people. There was quite a drop but the people who could come were well taken care of because they had an oversized staff for a while and they were very anxious to keep the students who were on the campus, to keep them coming. I still have difficulty reconciling the fact that here we was, as family of 8, and my two older brothers were supporting the family, and two of us, my younger sister and I started school in the fall of '29. Any time a family 00:39:00is providing for two students to go to college at the same time means a good bit of sacrificing, and my two older brothers did that.

JL: Did you have any opportunity for a student loan?

CM: Well, I was fortunate because in scouting I had made a good record and completed my eagle rank and in my first year I received a Harmon Award scholarship of which there were 48 in the United States each year.

JL: Tell me about that.

CM: The scouting organization was organized into 12 regions, and each region out of each region 4 eagle scouts were chosen to receive $100 scholarships, and I 00:40:00was fortunate to be one of those in 1930.

But more importantly you were enabled to borrow without any security whatsoever from the Harmon Foundation whatever you needed to finish your schooling with the understanding that it would be repaid after your graduation. There was no security except your reputation as a scout. So that was a real boost for me. So that enabled me to go on. There were a number of students on the campus who dropped out during the depression because of their family difficulties and then 00:41:00they would come back and some of them took 5, 6, 7 years to complete their degrees.

JL: You started college when you were 20 years old.

CM: Yes.

JL: Did you graduate from high school when you were 18?

CM: No, I finished when I was 16. I finished in 1922. But I stayed out for 3 years. I had no idea of going to college.

JL: You finished high school in 1922?

CM: Yes. 1926, pardon me. I started in '22 and finished in '26.

JL: Alright.

CM: I was 16 then and I had no idea of going on to school. But then I got excited about it, aeronautics after Lindy flew the Atlantic, and I was able to get some work that I could save some money on...


JL: Where did you work?

CM: I worked at a photo shop for a while down on Madison, Lynn's Photo Shop.

JL: Lynn's Photo Shop?

CM: Lynn's, L-y-n-n, yeah. Lynn's photo shop. And then through scouting I got a job at Sunny Brook Dairy, and I earned my first year of school at Oregon State working for Sunny Brook.

JL: What did you do at Lynn's Photo Shop?

CM: Well, it was a photo and gift shop, and my particular job was to go around to his various outlets in the city and pick up the films in the morning at 9:00 and develop the film and then in the afternoon would print the pictures and then deliver them back to, well, the co-op on the campus here, the book store was one of the outlets and deliver these films in the afternoon.


JL: You developed them yourself?

CM: We developed films and he taught me how to develop and print and so on.

JL: Can you tell me that process that you developed...?

CM: He had some vitreous tanks there in the basement and they were about 3' deep. Developer and acid rinse and hypo and wash water. Then they were hung up to dry, either roll film or cut film. After they were dry they were printed in the dark room on Azo paper or Velox. Then were developed and were developed on a hypo and so on and then in a washer to rinse off all the chemicals and dried on 00:44:00photo tight plates to give a glossy finish unless people wanted a matte finish. So that was the main job. He had to do a little clerking up in the gift shop as well. He had a line of selling Sheefer [?] pins and that was another responsibility but it was primarily the photo finishing that I was doing.

JL: How would you get around to the stores to pick up the film?

CM: On my bike.

JL: Oh.

CM: Well, something very interesting happened in that time and that's something that I thought I should tell about. It might not have been mentioned in any of the other recordings. The time that the chemistry building burned.

It's the building next to pharmacy, which is education hall now. I understand 00:45:00prior to be it being a chemistry building it was the Ag [agriculture] building. Before the agriculture building was built on the top of the knoll. One afternoon during that time I guess the time when I was clerking, working for Bob Lynn, something happened up in the chemistry building, and the whole works went up in flames except for the stonework shell. But I've never seen such a lurid array of colorful flames in my life as were on display that day with all the various kinds of chemicals that were involved, because you use flame color as a test for 00:46:00lots of chemicals, and we certainly had all of them that day. Everything imaginable. Every color of the rainbow. Every hue of prism. It was a horrible fire. You can imagine with all the flammables that were involved in the chemistry building.

JL: What year was this?

CM: I'm guess this would be 1927. I'm not sure of that. That's just a guess.

JL: So you graduated from high school when you were 16 and didn't know whether you were going to go on to college or not?

CM: No. I don't think any of us had any idea that we'd go on to school.

JL: What were you thinking that you'd do?

CM: I probably would've worked in construction because I'd helped to build 00:47:00houses already. I'd taken industrial arts in high school and I might've gotten a job in one of the mills to do cabinet work or work with a contractor or something of that kind.

JL: What did Delmer Goode encourage you to do?

CM: There was no special suggestion from him particularly. The only thing that he was encouraging the boys to do was to fan out in the merit badge program as much as possible to get as many doors open into opportunities you could. He called that vocational skirmishing, and it was an opportunity to meet people in these various vocations and also to get a preview of what was involved by the 00:48:00requirements that were included in the merit badge from that subject. I went through a good many of those so had quite a lot of exposure to different kinds of opportunity.

JL: You mentioned that you also work for Sunny Brook Dairy. What did you do for them?

CM: Yes. That's an interesting sideline because it stems to my scouting experience, too. I'd helped to put on a scouting program at the Lion's Club new luncheon and afterward one of the lions came up to me, Rodger Mills, wanted to know if I want to work for him. He said he needed a truck driver. Well, I didn't know how to drive. None of us had cars. None of us anticipated owning an automobile. I never even thought of driving an automobile. Well, I had a good 00:49:00friend who was driving a delivery truck here in town delivering groceries, Ralph Atwood. I didn't want that to stand in my way for any other opportunities, so I asked Ralph if he would teach me how to drive if I would helped deliver groceries for him. So he agreed and I learned to drive with Ralph, and I helped ship groceries house to house for him. So then I went back to Rodger Mills and I got a job driving truck. Used to pick up bulk milk from the farms north and south of town, which would take from 6:00 in the morning until around noon.

Then in the school year I would drive the truck delivering milk to all the 00:50:00fraternities and sororities around the campus. In the summertime when those organizations weren't functioning, I would deliver ice to people who had ice boxes as refrigerators.

JL: How was that made?

CM: They had ice cans down there. Had small 100-pound ones. If they needed more than that, we would buy it from one of the other creameries or we would drive to Albany to get ice when there was a real demand for ice. In that day, the larger creameries had 400-pound blocks of ice that had to be... you'd leave it whole 00:51:00until you got to Corvallis and then chipped it into smaller sections for delivery to people's homes.

JL: How much did it cost?

CM: A cent a pound then.

JL: What?

CM: A cent a pound.

JL: A cent a pound! [Giggles].

CM: Mm-hmm.

JL: And you delivered it to all the houses that...?

CM: Deliver to the houses. I always made a real study of the... that's when stop streets were coming into vogue. Each delivery of the ice involved a different routing every day. In order to avoid as many stop streets as possible and make it with the least amount of driving, you take the whole sheet of requests for ice and arrange them in a geographical manner which would enable you to make the 00:52:00deliveries as quickly as possible so the ice wouldn't be melting. It was melting all the time it was on the vehicle to make the ice deliveries as fast as possible with the least amount of gasoline and the least amount of stopping. So it was a little exercise in getting acquainted with the city, but of course it's a different situation today [laughs].

JL: What kind of truck did you drive?

CM: Oh they were, most of them were Dodges.

JL: Considering the times, how much was gas a gallon?

CM: I can't say because we had a gas pump there at Sunny Brook, and I didn't buy any gas personally so I don't know [laughs].

JL: So finally because of the fact that you got the scholarship from the Harmon 00:53:00foundation you were able to go to college.

CM: Well, I had started the school with this money that I'd earned at Sunny Brook, but during that first year I received the scholarship and then was able to borrow in addition.

JL: And you intended to study aeronautics?

CM: I registered in mechanical engineering and intended to take the aeronautical option.

JL: What do you remember about personalities on campus? That is, administrators. Did you know the president at the time?

CM: I knew who Dr. Kerr was, yes.

JL: Had he ever, had you ever gone to a lecture that he presented or had any contact with him?

CM: Well, while we were in school I can remember his presiding at convocations and at graduation ceremonies.

JL: What was the feeling towards the man?


CM: Well, there was a great deal of respect for him, certainly. And there was an air of aloofness in a way, and yet I still remember that seeing him in the barber shop over on Monroe street every morning when I would go by he was there in the barber shop being shaved, I presume. And I wondered about him being seen by all the people going on to school while he was there in the barber shop. That didn't affect him at all, so I guess it was alright. He lived right close by there right behind what is now the mechanical engineering building.

JL: Did you participate in any of the student activities on campus?


CM: Yes. I was on the staff of the Tech[nical] Record, that was the engineering magazine that came out about 4, 5 times a year. I sang in Paul Petri's Glee Club. Engineers were not encouraged to participate in activities because you were expected to stay on the engineering corner of the campus and they anticipated that you'd be busy enough with your engineering curriculum to provide few hours for extracurricular activities.

JL: Was there esprit de corps_ among the mechanical engineering students?


CM: Well they had their organizations. They had the ASME and then their honoraries and so on and so on. They had competitions in the Tech[nical] Record for technical papers and are much more widespread now than they were then. I know that. They had prizes each year for student competition.

JL: I know the School of Forestry every Wednesday they wore red ties and they had activities in their forestry club and so forth. Was there that kind of fellowship among the students in....?

CM: No, not particularly. The automotive engineers had an organization, and each 00:57:00of the various engineering groups, civil engineers, electrical engineers, chemical engineers had their specific organizations. So in the school of engineering there were quite a few competing areas. So there was no overall engineering esprit that I recall. But there was quite a feeling of engineers sticking together on their corner of the campus. It wasn't exactly not getting affected by guilt by association idea but there was that feeling that you shouldn't be too involved with other people on the campus. I had a terrific time getting permission to do some of the things that I wanted to do.

JL: Like what?


CM: Some courses that I wanted to take that weren't in the school of engineering.

JL: Like what kind of courses?

CM: I wanted to take mental hygiene. Engineering was a pretty tight curriculum. If you took the last two years of ROTC for commission you would have no elect-what do you call them?

JL: Electives?

CM: No electives whatsoever. I wanted to take German. We did have one econ [economics] course, one sociology course, and one history course and that was about our exposure to various. But I wanted some of these other things and I 00:59:00finally changed over after 3 years of engineering and changed into the School of Science and used all my engineering credits as elective and majored in mathematics because I had a good bit of that already and took a minor in education so I could teach if need be.

JL: Do you remember any of the politics that was going on in education in Oregon? There was a reorganization of the...

CM: Yes, I remember when the unification took place, which I think was in '33. And this was as a result, I am quite sure, of the depression, was they felt that there were courses that were being taught at both University of Oregon and 01:00:00Oregon State College that might well be taught on only one of the campuses in order to save money.

So after a real struggle, the unification took place, and, after a more bitter struggle, Dr. Kerr was chosen the first chancellor because he...

JL: Do you remember that?

CM: I remember. I don't remember too many of the particulars, because it didn't particularly involve me. I wasn't of that stripe, that I had no feelings against the University of Oregon personally, and so I didn't let that bother me.

JL: What about the anxiety some faculty members felt? Do you remember that?

CM: Well, it was a real stirring up. Because this unification meant that some of 01:01:00the people would have to move to the other campus. Some of them who were here in Corvallis would have to move to Eugene and some who were in Eugene would have to move to Corvallis. And there're people who had been long-settled in their homes and on the campuses [break in recording]. I'll get this out because I need to leave about 3:30. Some of the people with whom I was to be involved became staff members here on campus in Corvallis. Dr. Earl Packard became the Dean of the School of Science here and he had been in geology at the University of Oregon. Dr. Edmund Milne came from the campus of Eugene to be the head of the Department 01:02:00of Mathematics and of course he was my major professor.

JL: What were their feel-do you remember them talking about this?

CM: I don't remember that they ever expressed any personal feelings about it. But I was very grateful to those two men for the counseling I had in the school of science, and I never heard any utterances from either one of them in that regard.

JL: What about the two years when the college didn't have a president. Do you remember that period? Between '32 and '34.

CM: Was that when Dr. Gilfillan was acting?

JL: No.

CM: Well, I can't recall.

JL: Kerr became chancellor and then in '34 Peavy became president.


CM: Yes. And then there was I think Frank Ballard was following him. But I don't remember the period particularly when they were without a president here.

JL: Were you pretty typical as a student, that is, really unaware of the politics of the whole situation?

CM: Well, I was certainly unaware of student politics. I didn't have anything to do with that area on the campus and I have heard things since that I have no recollection of that were occurring while I was a student on campus.

JL: What were you involved with?

CM: Well I was involved with a good bit of scouting. I was a scout master while in my career. And that took a lot of my weekends. I always figured that it took about 13 hours a week of my time as a scout leader, and that meant a good many 01:04:00weekends out on trips with the fellows, and some of the games that I would've liked to have gone to. Football games and so on which I was entitled to go to with my student body ticket that I didn't get to go to. Like the day that our men played Southern California. I missed that entirely. So that took a good bit of my time.

JL: You were scout master to boys in Corvallis? CM: Yes.

JL: Did you try to emulate what Delmer Goode had taught you?

CM: Well, I'd been his assistant for 3 years and when he resigned we went for quite a while without a scout master and two of us who were on the campus were functioning as assistants, Homer Ludd and myself, and so then when I became 21 01:05:00and was eligible to be scout master and was already doing the job, I finally acquiesced to the pleas of the troop committee and registered. And from then on from my birthday when I was in 1930 I was scout master for 11 years.

JL: What kind of things did you do with your students? Or with your scouts?

CM: Well, the summer of '29, for example, this was right after Lindy's [Charles Lindbergh] flight and I was interested, that's before I had registered on the campus, but there was a campaign across the United States for communities to have painted on a broad flat surface, if it could be found, the name of the 01:06:00community and the distance to the nearest air field and an arrow pointed to north. This was a national campaign, and it intrigued me and I went to some people who were involved, and Mr. Walters who was downtown who was on the board for the airport north of town and talked to him and we raised some money through the Kiwanis Club and got a sign painter to work out the plans, got permission from Colonel Richmond to paint a sign on the top of the armory which is now the McAlexander Fieldhouse and we painted a sign 28' by 180' on the roof of the 01:07:00building with letters 20' high and an arrow pointing north and another arrow pointing one mile to the airport. And the scouts spent up to 20 hours a piece up there painting that sign in the evenings after in the summertime after they worked during the day. I'm sure we couldn't've gotten up there during the daytime because the metal would've been too hot. But we spent a good many nights up there painting that sign.

JL: That's interesting.

CM: Delmer Goode was always very much concerned that the fellows would be involved in some kind of community service one way or another and this had become a tradition, that the fellows would undertake various types of civic good turns.


JL: What other good turns did they do?

CM: One year they worked out a plan with the chief of police, Charles Devon, and surveyed the whole community to find out how many people had trees on their property that were hanging too low over the sidewalk. And the boys went around with 8' poles and then we'd graph sheets and made a report for each of these homes and gave each one of the families a notice of it and a duplicate copy to the chief of police so that they could keep track of these people so people who would go along wouldn't catch their umbrellas on the trees or have their glasses knocked off by trees or shrubbery sticking out too far over the sidewalks. There 01:09:00is a stipulation in the city code indicating that the sidewalks need to be clear on each side from the edge of the sidewalk up to 8' above the sidewalk, and it's a pretty difficult sort of thing to enforce, so this was an effort to involve the citizens of the community to improve the looks of the city.

JL: So that's the kind of activity that you encouraged?

CM: Yes.

JL: I see. Did you want to be a pilot? Is that why you went into aeronautics?

CM: No. I wanted to be an engineer, to build engines and that sort of thing. I was building an airplane at the time, two of us had bought a fuselage from a 01:10:00fella in Salem, and we were coating the wings and the tail surfaces and so on but right at that time in 1928 I think it was the Department of Commerce came out with a stipulation that all private airplanes had to be registered with the Department of Commerce and the number would be assigned to the airplane after it had been inspected and found duly airworthy.

And we weren't at all sure that we would qualify, so before we got very far we put a stop to that rather than get too much involved and spend a lot of money in those depression days. Well, that was pre-depression, actually. I think we probably spent $90 on that thing. It had the shape of an airplane fuselage but that was about all. We had the wing spires and we coated the tail surfaces with 01:11:00fabric, but that was about the extent of it. Finally had it hauled away to the junk man [laughs].

JL: [Laughs].

CM: A real disappointment.

JL: So the reason you got out of aeronautical engineering was because you wanted to take more electives? Is that right?

CM: That was primarily it. I became concerned also that engineering was leading me into a field for considering people in the mass rather than people as individuals. If you were working in refrigeration you'd be producing mass refrigeration units, or if you were building bridges you would be building something that was catering to the mass rather than to people as individuals. 01:12:00And this is another one of my concerns that really bothered me. That was one of the prime reasons why I changed over into mathematics and later on was teaching.

JL: That's why you chose to teach? Because it was dealing with individuals?

CM: Mm-hmm. And because I had been involved in scouting and felt that I had some attributes that would help me to teach.

JL: Did you date much when you were going to OAC?

CM: No. No I didn't. I was involved in the engineering part of it and scouting and I didn't do any dating.

JL: Did you belong to any of the literary clubs?


CM: No. I sang in the Glee Club and that was about the extent of it. I didn't get into any dramatics. I belonged to Group X, which was rather a unique kind of an organization. Strange to say the people who influenced me the most during my years at Oregon State were Fred Miobe, the Westminster student minister; Earnest W. Warrington, who was the head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion; and O.R. Chambers, who was the head of the Psychology Department. A number of us who were involved on the Y Cabinet and some others became very much interested 01:14:00in a discussion of philosophy of life, and we had a couple of philosophy of life conferences on the campus and brought in some people from off the campus for those affairs. And we became more and more interested in digging deeper, but we couldn't find much time to include it in our schedules. So we finally decided that we would meet at 6:00 on Tuesday mornings. All of us had that time free. So we would meet on the campus at 6:00 and have our discussions for an hour. We 01:15:00decided that we would not have any membership roles. We could come as long as we felt it was filling a need for us individually and feel free to drop out of it when it no longer filled a particular need that we had.

JL: How many people were involved?

CM: There were about 12 of us. We paid no dues. We elected no officers. We were not interested in perpetuating Group X as an organization. We just wanted it to fulfill a need that we felt we had and if we didn't have any other functions, electing officers for any other reasons at all, then we felt that when it no longer served this function it would cease to function. And for about a year and a half we met.

JL: And this included this Fred Marrow and Worthington and Chambers.


CM: And included Bud Ricki. You've heard of Forest Ricki and Mary Ricki who I'm sure who... Mary Ricki went on to great things. Well, Bud was in that group X. Bryan Miller. I can remember quite a few of the fellows in that outfit.

JL: And they were all interested in the philosophy of life?

CM: They're interested into delving into what we ought to hold to closest to us.

JL: Was that not unusual for students...

CM: Yes.

JL: ...to be interested in that?

CM: We thought it was. Yes, we thought it was.

JL: Also, this was during the period when there was a transition. The liberal arts was going down to the U of O, so that was doubly not reinforced.

CM: In fact, we invited one of the men from the University of Oregon campus to 01:17:00come up here to help us in one of those programs, and I was chagrined that people were critical of us because John Castia came up from the University of Oregon to speak at one of these sessions. I thought that was narrow-minded.

JL: Who was critical?

CM: Well, I shouldn't say. But I was surprised.

JL: Probably the administration.

CM: No, no, no, no. we were not an official kind of thing at all. So we never had any dealings with student administrative avenues. We just met here. We were students on the campus and we met I think in the MU and we would go to eat afterwards. But it was a worthwhile thing.

JL: Did this have an effect on your...?

CM: I'm sure it had an effect on us individually. Yes.

JL: So you graduated in 1934 in mathematics?


CM: '34, mm-hmm. I was tapering off. I had missed a freshman third term because of the flu so I was irregular in engineering in all my span courses where you run in a series of 3 for the year. So I had 8 terms in engineering, and then I had to stay for another year. My sister finished in '33 but I finished in '34, but I had only 6 hours my spring term of '34. I was completing two years of German, three years of German, and so I took an additional graduate course in mathematics and German, but I was working almost full-time at two different jobs.

JL: Doing what?

CM: I worked at the Railway Express Agency as a truck driver and baggage man, 01:19:00and I worked at Howell's Studio in the darkroom print.

JL: Howell's?

CM: Howell's Studio. Yes.

JL: In Corvallis?

CM: Yes. Mm-hmm. I worked at both of those places.

JL: Did you use this money to support your family also?

CM: I wasn't making a great deal of a contribution to the family at that time. I'd intended to do that as soon as I was graduated. That was my intent, that I would be able to take my turn with a college education I should be better able to help out. But the last 4 of us did go with Oregon State, and I had my turn later on at helping out.

JL: You found a job after you graduated then?


CM: Not soon. It took a while.

JL: What did you teach?

CM: This was, no, I was interested in whatever I could find. I had a job as a draftsman, a planning aide for the federal government from '33 to '35. That was from '35 to '37 and then I began teaching in '37.

JL: This was in Lebanon, is that right?

CM: The first year in Lebanon.

JL: And then you moved back to Corvallis?

CM: Then I came back to Corvallis and taught here for four years.

JL: Taught at Corvallis High?

CM: Junior high.

JL: Junior high. Tell me about that. How had students changed since you had gone to junior high school there?

CM: Well, I'd done my practice teaching there in the old separate school building when it was a junior high. And I'd gone to high school in the brick 01:21:00building where I was later teaching. But my experiences were primarily plus in most respects there, teaching in the junior high. I was teaching 8th grade mathematics, 9th grade science. This was the first course that students would have in a science field at that time in the public schools. They have exposure to it even in the grade schools now, very early in the grade schools. At that time 9th grade science was the first inkling that students had of science. And this is where I put in practice of learning by doing. We finally got the course 01:22:00organized so instead of just having one texts we had a number of texts, we had a number of other sources for information because for instance mathematics for the day title on a textbook had been published about 15 years before we were using it, and science was just beginning to explode, and it was very difficult to keep science texts up to date.

Well our classes, we had three classes in science, and they were organized so that each student was a special investigator. It took a little time to develop this and we finally got it approved by the principal, and we even had as set of tables built so that people could sit at them. You find them in this building now and you can put two of them together and make a hexagon. Well, we had them 01:23:00almost the same size but they weren't a hexagon. They were a rectangle. They were a long rectangle where you could put two of them together so a group can gather around them. They had chairs for them so we can arrange the room in whatever mode seemed most adaptable to the unit that was being studied. And we started this whole introduction off with trying to help young folks to understand what science was. It was trying to find out how, and a few occasions why, but mostly how. I used to try to intrigue them with asking them if they'd ever run up against something that they couldn't find an answer for and wondered 01:24:00about and had never found an answer for. So about the third day their assignment was to bring in at least 5 questions that they didn't have any answer for. And then we'd go from there. So they'd bring these questions in: why does the sap go up in a tree against gravity? I can remember somebody: why is red, red? What makes glue stick? What happens when you strike a match?

JL: Were they very popular classes?

CM: Why does rubber stretch? Well, they came up with all kinds of questions, and 01:25:00then we would read them in class and we'd try to find out where we would go to find answers to these things, and pretty soon someone would say, well, this is a stupid way to do this.

Why don't we sort these questions out? This was of course what we intended to happen, but it was coming from them. This didn't make sense to take these questions one at a time. They'd begin to get the idea of a curriculum. Then we divided them up, tried to arrange them so they fitted into some kind of category and then we began to, well, now how are we going to find out about these things. Is there any one of these that should come before any others? Is there any particular place to start? And well, obviously, starting with the universe. That 01:26:00was the first place to begin. Include the universe and then the galaxies and finally the solar system and that used to be one unit. The solar system.

JL: And you learned this technique from Delmer Goode? CM: I learned this technique in scouting from learning by doing. And sometimes it was a bedlam in those classes, but everybody was going to have a chance to make a presentation to the class. Everybody was going to have a chance to write a review of the whole unit. A summary of it. But each one was responsible for a particular portion. They didn't all study the same thing. Each one was a special investigator for a particular area and that person was responsible to the rest of the group for that particular part of the unit. It taught them to work together and individually. It got over this hump that so many people have of 01:27:00individual differences. Each one would make his contribution. They learned how to speak before their peers. They developed a technique.

JL: What grade was this again?

CM: Ninth graders.

JL: Ninth grade.

CM: They worked out the way in which they should give a report. The name. They started immediately to take notes. They found out they were going to have to start taking notes, because they hadn't studied it. Only one person had studied it. So they had to get this information down. They learned that it's necessary to have definitions of words that somebody was using that they didn't know. So they developed what we called a word list, which is a vocabulary list at the end of the chapter. These things were all coming from them.


JL: I see. I wanted to ask you, did you know George W. Peavy?

CM: Yes, indeed. Yes, indeed.

JL: In what respect?

CM: Well, his son was a member of the troop, and we had a very close-knit relationship with all the troop members and their families.

JL: What was his name?

CM: Robert.

JL: Yeah, he was...

CM: He's teaching up in Eastern Oregon now.

JL: He was your contemporary?

CM: He was a contemporary, yes.

JL: What kind of a person was Robert Peavy?

CM: I don't remember too much about him. He was a little bit behind me in classes, I recall, with high school. I was never in any of the classes that he was in.

JL: But you knew...

CM: I knew who he was.

JL: You knew his father, too.

CM: I knew his father, yes. We used to have some scouting sessions out in the Peavy Arboretum in the log cabin and I have some pictures of him out there.


JL: Was this when you were the scout master that you had your meetings at the Peavy...?

CM: Assistant and a scout master. Yes. These were training sessions.

JL: What do you remember of George Peavy? What stands out in your mind?

CM: Well, he's a real down-to-earth guy, and he was very outspoken. I had the impression that he was very much respected. I think he was a real leader on the campus. He was a real leader in the field of forestry, certainly. Everybody's aware of that.

JL: Did he participate in this scout troop much?

CM: No, never was involved with the troop per se. but we had programs that the 01:30:00parents were invited to come to. We had a carnival sort of evening with a money-raising affair, and parents would be coming to those occasions and I'm sure he might've been involved in some of those but I don't remember particularly.

JL: Would you call his family a close-knit family? Did you get an impression?

CM: I knew who the older brother was, Darwin, but I didn't know him particularly; I didn't know him personally. As far as they're being close-knit at all, I wouldn't know about that. I knew Mrs. Peavy, I knew who she was. I never had any dealings with Mrs. Peavy, but we knew who she was. The minister of the church, the man who was responsible for getting that troop organized, and asking Delmer to be the leader lived right across the street from the Peavy's, 01:31:00right here on 23rd.

JL: I see. I understand Peavy was a very busy man.

CM: Yes. I would assume that he was. Anybody who was involved in forestry in Oregon is bound to be a busy man.

JL: Then he became president.

CM: And I think it was a good regime.

JL: What makes you say that?

CM: Well, it was just the impression that I had.

JL: Did his son have leadership qualities like Peavy did?

CM: Well, I don't remember Robert after high school so I... I know he's teaching in Eastern Oregon. That's all I know.

JL: Was he a small man, is he a small man also, Robert?

CM: You mean physically?

JL: Like Peavy?

CM: Average, I would say. I don't know him as an adult.


JL: What do you remember of Peavy Arboretum? How has it changed?

CM: Well, I'm sure it's expanded. Well, no, I'm confusing with McDonald Forest here. But I can remember the old log cabin. I was looking at pictures of that the other day. The one that burned. And I would say that my impression is that log cabin was much more fitting for a forestry school get-together area than the present building is. It doesn't seem to represent [recording cuts off].

JL: Alright.

CM: Finally digress and go back quite a few years ago to a time when I was 01:33:00probably 10 or 11. M.M. Long had a sporting goods store down on 2nd Street just off of Jefferson or Madison. And one of the large areas of his business was cycling. He had a repair shop in the back where bicycles were repaired and he sold bicycles. At that time I'm sure it was the only place that you could buy a bicycle in Corvallis, and there were a lot of bicycles sold because cycling was quite a mode of transportation. And M.M. Long used to sponsor some bicycle races. These bicycle races were over the dirt and gravel roads and they ended up right in front of his business. It was a good way to advertise of course. In addition to that M.M. Long used to have a money scramble. This was a 2-story 01:34:00building and then when all the kids were gathered out in front of his store he would go up into the second floor of the building and I think it was out of the dentist's office, Dr. Taylor's office, he had a bag of coins and he would reach into this bag of coins, in which there were a few quarters perhaps more dimes, quite a few more nickels, and a whole lot of pennies and the street was not yet paved. And he'd take a few of these coins out and throw them out to the bottle [?] kids, all boys I think. I can't remember seeing any girls there. We'd scramble in the gravel for these coins. And maybe he'd have 8 or 10 hands full that he would throw out for this big coin scramble out in the front of his 01:35:00store. There aren't a great many people who will recall those experiences, but it was...

JL: Why would he do that?

CM: We had no idea then. We were 10 of course and getting as many of the coins as we could. But I'm sure he was using this as an advertising medium to get kids to gather in front of his store, and it might have been quite effective. I presume it was [laughs].

JL: [Laughs] Oh no. That's interesting.

CM: But when the McDonald Forest became...

JL: ... McDonald room.

CM: Well, McDonald established his room to accommodate the really expensive 01:36:00books of the library, a permanent comfortable room in which these books could be used. And I was never in the room until 1975, I guess it was. Something like that. I didn't, I think a room had been provided in the old library. But when the new, the W.J. Kerr library, was built a proper McDonald room was incorporated in the planning for that building and exists over there now.

JL: Do you remember when the lands were acquired? The McDonald acreage?


CM: No I don't. I don't.

JL: Hmm. [break in recording] Start again. Tell me about the fires.

CM: I think the most disastrous fire was the Rickert's [?] garage fire down on 2nd and Van Buren. That, I can't remember the date on that, that was a horrible conflagration. Was very threatening because a lot of the burning materials were lifted up in what people now call a kind of a fires storm. The wind currents were transporting these burning embers southward into areas that would make other buildings vulnerable. So it was a real scramble that day. They couldn't 01:38:00save the Rickert's [?] Garage, but...

JL: When was this?

CM: I was saying I can't remember the date of it.

JL: Generally, what date?

CM: I would judge it was in the early '30s I'm guessing. I don't know. But the one that I remember earlier than that was the livery stable that burned downtown. That was in the '20s as I recall between Jefferson and Adams on 3rd Street, on the east side of 3rd Street. And it burned a good portion of that block, at least on the west side of that block. The livery stable of course would be very vulnerable to fire. But those were two really threatening fires to the business district of Corvallis.

JL: What was the fire department like that put out the livery-.

CM: Well, Corvallis had a very proficient volunteer fire department headed by 01:39:00Tom Graham. And Tom was a real organizer. He was a druggist in town, but he had a real knack for organization and competition. They used to have contests of various kinds, hose carts. One of my earliest recollections is a hose cart right around the corner from where we lived that had 5' wheels on them and wheel of hose and people pulled it to wherever the fire was. But those days they used to have races with hose carts. People would come from various communities around Corvallis and they probably would go from Corvallis to other communities as well for these events.


And they would have contests trying to force another team to give up. They were two teams with nozzles on their hoses competing against one another, squirting the water at each other trying to make one give up. And various kinds of races. But Tom was such a proficient fire chief that he was the national president of volunteer fire department organizations. Very much respected. I have always thought that at his funeral there was a greater number of people at that funeral in Corvallis than at any funeral I have ever attended. A very much honored man. A very fine fire chief, and it is carried on. The tradition has carried on. But 01:41:00in Tom's days there were only a couple of paid fireman, and the rest were all volunteers. They had a tower out behind the old fire building on 4th and Madison and what people get into in the way of repelling on mountains and so on these days, they were doing then out of sheer practice to be able to get people out of burning buildings using escalier ladders and ropes to just jump out and come down. It was a large snap hook fastened to their safety belts. The sort of thing that repellers use today only they use a carabineer, a very small loop rather than these massive snap belt loops. But these fellas, there was a lark for them. 01:42:00They had a lot of fun training to be firemen, and Tom catered to that and it was a very sportive kind of activity, and it meant a great deal to the safety of the people of Corvallis to have them so trained. Yeah. I expect I better go.