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Dowling, Jr., John

Sandra Holyoak: This begins an interview with Mr. John J. Dowling, Jr. at Van Dyck Hall on May 17, 1997, with Mrs. Dowling in attendance. First of all Mr. Dowling, I would like to welcome you and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule this weekend to join us for this interview. I would like you to please, if you would, give us your current address in Tennessee.

John Dowling, Jr.: My present address in Tennessee is 1844 Asrock Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee, zip code 37914.

SSH: Thank you. One of the reasons that we were so excited to get you here today was, from the list of those who would be attending Reunion Weekend, there were several people with the name Dowling. Do you have a large family?

JD: No, not really, but, I know there's a mix-up, because I received name cards for people that don't belong to me at all, [laughter] and I was stopped two times in the last two days ... [by people] who wanted to know where the rest of the family happened to be.

SSH: Well, we expected you to bring a large family. [laughter] Well, let us begin the interview, first of all, by talking a little bit about your father and your mother, where they were born and their birth dates. First of all, can you tell me about your father?

JD: Well, my father, as I look back, was a good man, a hard worker, Irish background, very little education, a good family man, a good father, a good provider, and a person that encouraged us a lot.

SSH: Your father was of Irish background. Were your grandparents from Ireland?

JD: His mother and father were born in this country. They were local Irish. [laughter] ...

SSH: Where did your father go to school?

JD: My father went to a Catholic school in South Amboy. However, I don't think he went more than five or six years. He was raised in a family that didn't think education was that important, and, if you could work, deliver papers, or do anything, that's what you should be doing. They weren't education-oriented at all.

SSH: Was it a large family?

JD: He came from a large family. I think there were five children in the family, a large family.

SSH: He was working in South Amboy when you were born?

JD: He was working doing factory work. He worked in the Terra Cotta Factory, and, later on, he got work in the DuPont Film plant, and he spent most of his time working in the film plant factory, Parlin.

SSH: Now, your father was a Protestant?

JD: He was a Protestant, yes. He was a Protestant because he married a Protestant.

SSH: Oh, because he also was a Republican.

JD: Yes, yes.

SSH: Can you tell me about your mother?

JD: My mother was altogether different. She was the pusher in the family. Her mother and father were Danish, and they came over to this country after World War I, because Germany took over a piece of Denmark where they lived, and he refused to go into the German Army. So, rather than go into the German Army, they migrated to this country. ... They moved to the United States, and the first nights they were there, they moved to a house in South Amboy, and that house was an old house when they bought it, and that was around the turn of the century. That house is still in the family and family members still live there. ... They had a large family. They had five children, and my mother was very education-oriented, because her people didn't believe in education, and my mother ... wanted an education. So, for her children, they had to go to college. So, of the four children that were in my family, two of us came to Rutgers.

SSH: Can you tell us a little bit about your siblings?

JD: Well, my brother who came to Rutgers and graduated the year behind me, in the Class of 1943, he spent his entire working career out in Iowa, and he was a county agent, and he's retired from agriculture, also. ... My sister, Jean, she's still living in South Amboy and she's in the ... family home. She's married and has two children and I have another brother who died very early in life. He died at the age of fifty-four. ... He did not go to college. He was more interested in going to work and having an automobile, early. He had to have wheels. [laughter]

SSH: Did any family members have military careers?

JD: No, no, my mother's side of the family, no one was ever in the service. My father's side of the family, no one was ever in the service.

SSH: Also, none of your bothers?

JD: Well, when World War II came, my two brothers were in the service.

SSH: They were?

JD: Yeah, I was in the Air Corps. My brother, Robert, who is the former county agent, he was in the Naval Air Corps, and my brother, Carl, was a sailor, and he was on a landing craft, and he stormed the beach at Normandy on day one.

SSH: Well, can you tell me about growing up in South Amboy? Was it a very close-knit family?

JD: Oh, yes.

SSH: What about the community?

JD: Yes, well, you see, we were products of the Depression. I mean, nobody had any money, and the families, then, were very close. ... We played together and did everything together, so, families were very close in South Amboy. ... It's a small community. Everybody knew everyone else and you couldn't talk about anybody, because they were related to somebody else. [laughter] ... It was a nice place to grow up, though, very nice place to grow up.

SSH: During the Depression, your mother was a dress maker. Did she work outside of the home?

JD: She worked outside of the home, most of the time. She worked at a dress factory, but, during the Depression, there was very little work, and, very often, when she'd get a week's work, she might go to work, and work, maybe, half a day, and that was the way it went for several years.

SSH: Were you children left pretty much to do for yourselves?

JD: We were left pretty much to do for ourselves. We had a large piece of property. We called it a farm, but, it really wasn't that big. We always had two or three hundred chickens, so, we always had poultry and eggs, to sell or to eat, and we always had a large garden to raise vegetables. So, we did everything that was possible to put food on the table.

SSH: Did your father maintain employment throughout the Depression?

JD: No, he did not maintain employment. He was out of work for two, maybe three years, and, like a lot of families at that time, we were on relief. We received an order of groceries for which he had to work one day for the city in some fashion. ... That went on for a couple of years. The main source of income we had was what my mother was making in the dress factory, which, sometimes, was very little.

SSH: Now, how involved were you and your family in church or other activities?

JD: Well, we were involved. In those days, everybody was involved in church, everybody was involved in school, everybody was involved in Boy Scouts, 'cause, that was it. That was it. We didn't have the things that people have in 1997. That was our ... outlet.

SSH: What church did you go to?

JD: We went to the Episcopal church in South Amboy.

SSH: Did you serve as an alter boy?

JD: Oh, heavens, yes.

SSH: Well, you need to tell me these things.

JD: To begin with, as soon as you could hold a hymn book and could walk straight, my mother had us in the church choir. So, I was a boy soprano for many years. In fact, I was a good boy soprano. It was a typical Anglican church choir, with twenty boy sopranos, four ladies singing alto, four men singing tenor, four men singing bass, and a waiting list on the side for people to get in. It was a real good choir. ... What I learned about church music was wonderful. ... When I kinda lost my voice and could no longer be a soprano, I became an acolyte and I served as an acolyte for many years. In fact, I was the lay reader in the Episcopal church. In fact, I was the youngest licensed lay reader in the Episcopal church in the entire United States, at one time. Usually, lay readers are people in their 20s and 30s, but, at the time, I was only fourteen and I was serving as a lay reader. So, I thought that church experience was good for me.

SSH: Did you go clear through the Boy Scouts?

JD: Oh, I never got to be near the Eagle Scouter. My brother, Carl, was an Eagle Scout, ... and I was a Life Scout, and I had sixteen merit badges. Stayed in it till I was about seventeen, and then, you sort of outgrew it, ... [it] was kind of childish, and playful, and [I] just kind of stopped going.

SSH: Was your family involved in the packs or scout troops at all?

JD: No, no.

SSH: Now, when you were in high school, or even elementary school, was there a certain subject that you really enjoyed?

JD: I enjoyed mathematics. I enjoyed history. Mathematics, I guess we'll say, was my biggest excitement.

SSH: Did you go to Catholic high school?

JD: No, no, I went to public school. I graduated from Huffin High School in South Amboy.

SSH: What were your primary interests? I do not want to say hobbies, but, were you involved in sports or extracurricular activities?

JD: Extracurricular activities, I played baseball ... for two or three years when I was in high school. That was the main activity. ... I also served as president of my class all through high school. So, that was an activity that, during the school year, kept me ... quite busy.

SSH: Do you have any memories that you especially remember from your high school years, or incidents that you remember?

JD: No, nothing in particular, except that I had a great history teacher. Miss O'Conner was a gem and interesting. We took a tour of the Mediterranean last year, and we visited a lot of things that Kate O'Conner talked about in history, and I sure wished I [had] listened to her, because every time I would go to a new place, I would say, "Oh, God, I wish I could talk to Kate O'Conner today." [laughter] She was good. She was good, and that's why I enjoyed the trip so much, because I knew about everything they were trying to show me.

SSH: Did you go to Rutgers right out of high school?

JD: No, no, I didn't have any money.

SSH: What year did you go? What year did you graduate high school?

JD: I graduated from high school in 1937. It was my mother's desire that I go to college, and it was mine, also, but, there certainly was no money in the family, in those days, to do it, because my father had just recently gotten a job, and we had so many debts that had to be taken care of, so, I couldn't go to college. So, I didn't go to college until September of 1938. I was out of school for a year. That doesn't mean that I worked for a year. I didn't get no job until, I think, February or March. So, I only worked for about three months before I left my job and came to college. ... At that time, I was working at [the] DuPont Film Plant, and then, I came up here to Rutgers. That was a hard start, because I came up here with no money. They wouldn't let me in.
SSH: Really? Now, how was that?

JD: Well, I knew I could pay my term bill payments, and so, I came over to New Brunswick with thirty dollars, and I went up to the cashier, and presented my term bill, and presented him with my thirty dollars, and I said, "There, there's my first payment," and he said, "No, that's not enough money. ... You need thirty-eight dollars." Well, I couldn't get thirty-eight dollars and I said, "Well, there's no way I can get thirty-eight dollars." So, he said, "Take your term bill across the hallway here, and go in, and talk to the dean." ... I went in, and I talked to the dean, and the dean listened to me, and he said, "Young man, if you can't get thirty-eight dollars by five o'clock this afternoon, you might as well go home and forget college, because college is not for you." So, I went back to the cashier, and told him what had been said, and he said, "I'll tell you what you do. Go down to the end of the hall, in that door, he's the comptroller of the university. Don't even knock, walk right in. He's in there. Just walk right in," and I did, and I told him my story, and he took my thirty dollars, and took the bill, and he said, "Young man, as far as the university is concerned, this bill is paid," and he shoved it in the back of his desk, and he said, "I don't care when you get the money, but, when you get it, come in here, and take it out of my desk, and go pay it. ... This bill is paid." ... It was several months before I took that bill out of his desk, and he left his desk open, he left his door open, and when I went in and took it out, he wasn't even there. I left a note on his desk thanking him, and I went, and I paid my bill. ... The first class I had was in Van Dyck Hall, in the Physics building. Professor Helyar was the professor, and at the end of the hour, Dr. Lippman, who was the dean of the college, came in to welcome us. ... After class, he stood at the door, and shook hands with everyone, and said, "Welcome, have a good career," and then, I knew I belonged.

SSH: That is a great story. [laughter] Do you remember the dean's name who gave you such a hard time?

JD: I do, but, I'm not gonna tell you. [laughter]

SSH: Did you live on campus?

JD: No, I commuted from South Amboy. ... We had an old car, by that time, and when we didn't have the old car, we came by bus, and we could ride from South Amboy to New Brunswick ... for ten cents. ... I had to live at home.

SSH: Now, you said your brother had come before you?

JD: No, he was a year behind me.

SSH: A year behind you. Did he have any similar experiences when he came?

JD: No. When he came, he had enough money to pay his term bill in term and I had enough money. ... My father was working, my mother was working, our chickens were laying eggs in the backyard, and I was peddling eggs everyday, and I was setting up pins in the bowling alleys to make fifty or sixty cents at night time. ... We scraped enough money to keep going.

SSH: What did you do to earn money?

JD: That's how we did it. ... Well, I had a good deal at the DuPont Film plant and I'm very thankful for them. When I left DuPont to come to college as a freshman, I had only worked there for three or four months. ... The fellah, the man that was the plant supervisor, was a golfer and he played golf with Professor Keller, who taught economics. ... So, the plant supervisor knew that this young guy quit a job to go to Rutgers to get an education, and he thought that was a noble venture, and lo and behold, in my second term, I took a course in economics, and I was assigned to Professor Keller's room. ... The first day, I walked in, and he called roll, and he read off my name, and he says, "Dowling, are you the Dowling who worked at the DuPont Film Plant and quit to come to college?" and I said, "Yeah, that was me," and then, he told me the story about how he knew about it, 'cause he played with the plant supervisor out at the Metuchen Country Club, he said every week. ... He said, "Let me tell you something. When this term is over and you want that job back at DuPont, you tell me and the job is yours." So, when it came to the end of the term, I spoke to Professor Keller, and I said, "You told me that you would speak on my behalf for a job." ... He said, "Okay, I'll take care of that." ... Within a week, I got a telephone call to come to work, anytime I was ready, just come to work. ... That's the way it was every summer after that. I just had an inside track. I just would call the personnel manager and say, "I'm ready to come to work, is there work for me?" and I got a job every time. That's how I got through college. I thank DuPont.

SSH: Now, why did you pick Rutgers? Was it the distance from South Amboy?

JD: ... From South Amboy, ... Rutgers is the greatest place to be. I always felt that way. If you were gonna go to college, you go to Rutgers. If you were gonna go to college, you go to Rutgers. That's why I [came here].

SSH: Was there anything specific you looked at? Did you know anything about the programs here?

JD: Not too much. I knew they had a College of Agriculture. I knew where it was. I had driven around the campus quite often. I knew they had short courses in agriculture, so, I knew it was agriculture oriented, and that's what I wanted to do. So, there was no doubt in my mind that this was the place I had to come.

SSH: Now, while you were here, were you involved in any activities or the fraternities?

JD: Well, ... oh, no, fraternities, I couldn't afford that. ... I belonged to the animal science club and I belonged to the poultry science club. I served as president of the poultry science club during my senior year. They were the only two, really, campus activities, those two science clubs, because I had to go home and work. I had to go home and peddle eggs, and I had to go home and do this, so, I really didn't have too much time to do other things, other than study.

SSH: Did you experiment with your own flock at home?

JD: No, ... we don't do that, that's foolish. [laughter]

SSH: While you were here at Rutgers, did you continue in your pursuits as a lay reader?

JD: Well, I continued as a lay reader all through, until, ... really, [I] left home and went to war.

SSH: Would you go to church at home or were you here?

JD: ... I was always home for weekends. ...

SSH: We get a lot of stories about chapel.

JD: Yeah. Well, I was excused from chapel because I didn't live on campus. [laughter]

SSH: Now, you graduated in 1942. Can you tell us how you became aware of the circumstances in Europe and how the war was approaching?

JD: Well, see, that was no problem. Everybody read the paper and we were all well read. We knew what was going on in Europe and we just knew that the country was about ready to go to war. There was no doubt in our minds.

SSH: Were there discussions for or against the war?

JD: No, not on the College of Agriculture, that I know of. ... We just knew that there was a war going on. When we'd get out of college, that's where we would go.

SSH: When you graduated in the spring, did you have plans at that point?

JD: No, I had no plans because I had to go right into the service. In South Amboy, in those days, every town had a draft board, and the draft board had to have so many bodies, and my draft board was after me, but, I appeared before the draft board, and told them I was going to college, and I would be out of college sometime in May, and I asked permission to continue, and they granted that request, because they were getting enough bodies, anyway. They were meeting the quotas very easily. So, they met their quota very easy, and, as soon as I was out of college, I notified them that, "I'm out of college now and if you want me on the list, then, I'm gonna go."

SSH: How long had you been involved in the ROTC program here?

JD: I just had two years, my freshman and sophomore year. I didn't take no Advanced ROTC. I wasn't interested in advanced infantry, if you want to know the truth. [laughter]

SSH: Now, did you go to football games? What kind of social life did you have here?

JD: Yeah, I went to football games. Ruth went to a few football games with me, but, I didn't go to too many football games, they being on Saturdays, and Saturdays were work days. If you got a chance to work in the grocery store, or something like that, you worked. So, I didn't go to too many football games, although we did go to a few.

SSH: Were there any other parts of the social life of the university that you were involved in?

JD: Well, no, not really.

SSH: Did the Ag School campus have dances and the kinds of things that we read about in the Targum?

JD: There were dances in the gym. I think there were four or five dances in the gym and Ruth and I would attend probably about half of them. They had the Military Ball and several dances like that, as I recall. They would bring in big bands from outside. ... We did go to those dances.

SSH: Now, the Ruth that we are talking about, could that be Mrs. Dowling?

JD: That sure is, that sure is.

SSH: Can you tell us where you met Mrs. Dowling?

JD: I have no trouble with that at all. My brother brought her home. [laughter] That's where I met her, Bobby brought her home. (Laughs)

SSH: Can you tell me how you met her?

JD: I really met her at a dance. My brother brought her to a dance at a church. The Episcopal church had dances almost once a month and they would be small dances, maybe about one hundred people and a three or four piece orchestra. ... Bobby brought this girl, and I danced with her once, and I said, "That's her." That's where I met her.

SSH: Was she a student at the college?

JD: No, she was in high school. I was in college at the time. ... She was a senior in high school.

SSH: Now, we have followed you through 1942 and you were going to be drafted. What did you do then?

JD: Well, when 1943 came and I knew I would be ending up in Europe someplace before too long, I wrote to her. I was at Wilmington, North Carolina at the time, and I wrote to her, and said, "Listen, ... we'd better get married before I go overseas," and she agreed. Of course, she wanted to get married before I went into the service, but, I wasn't sure what my future was. I didn't have any money. It was just difficult, but, she agreed and she came down by train from New York, from South Amboy rather, to Wilmington, North Carolina. She got there early in the morning, she went and had a blood test before noon, and we were married that afternoon.

SSH: Where did you get married?

JD: We got married in Grace Episcopal Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, a very, very old church. I think it's the oldest operating Episcopal Church in the United States, way, way back.

SSH: Do you know who your attendants were?

JD: Yes, I do. Two GIs, one served as bridesmaid and one as best man. ... Private Harris and Private Geib and ... we're still in contact with Geib, who refers to himself as "bridesmaid." [laughter]

SSH: Where were they from?

JD: They were from my base in Wilmington, North Carolina. They were just fellahs I worked with every day and I asked if they would come into town. If they would stand with us while we got married, I'd take them out to dinner. So, I took them out to dinner. It ... cost $1.75 per plate and they thought I was over splurging.

SSH: Backing up, were you hinting that, possibly, Mrs. Dowling proposed, when you said she wanted to get married first? [laughter]

JD: No, no, we talked about getting married lots of times. No, no, we were on the same wavelength.

SSH: Did you have a choice of what branch of the service you went into?

JD: No.

SSH: So, where did you enlist?

JD: I enlisted in Newark, New Jersey at the Armory. That's where I had my physical and we were enlisted and sworn in. We were given two weeks to go home, to clean up any projects we had. ... I think it was on the ... 16th of June, I had to appear at the railroad station in South Amboy, where they would put us on a special car, and people from all around got on that car, and took it to Newark, and unhooked it, and put it on another train, and took us down to Fort Dix. We had no idea what branch of the service we were going into. It just so happens that, when we got there, they were filling up Air Corps spaces, and I just got assigned into the Air Corps, just like that. No request, didn't ask anybody anything, just the luck of the draw, if you call it luck.

SSH: You were not in the infantry?

JD: No, I was not in the infantry.

SSH: From Fort Dix, where did you report?

JD: Well, I was at Fort Dix probably for about a week and I went from Fort Dix down to Miami Beach, Florida. I had my basic training on the boardwalk of Miami Beach. I lived royally, in a big hotel, and I stayed there for six or seven weeks, and then, it was time to get assigned, and, in those days, they were filling up the big radio school in Madison, Wisconsin. So, everybody with a certain IQ, Madison. So, we had no choice. No matter what you wanted to do, you went to radio school, which wasn't too bad. Then, after I finished radio school, then, they were filling up a radar school down in Boca Raton, Florida. So, I went to Boca Raton, Florida and I became a radar mechanic, which was a good deal. It was very complicated work, it was very dinghy work, it was very testy work. Radar, in those days, was in its infancy. It's not at all like what we've got today, and only those that really had certain expertise were kept in the program, and it was said that the country that had the best radar would win the war, and I kinda believed it. ... So, I became a radar mechanic.

SSH: That was when you were transferred back up to North Carolina?

JD: Well, from radar school, I was assigned to the Twenty-Second Anti-Submarine Patrol, which, already, was flying combat missions out of Wilmington, North Carolina. So, I just was put on a train, and went up to Wilmington, North Carolina, and we started flying combat missions right out of Wilmington, North Carolina, flying up and down the Atlantic coast. I was a radar mechanic, but, I flew as an operator, occasionally, looking for submarines, ... a lot of what we were doing, looking for submarines.

SSH: Did Mrs. Dowling get to see you at any time when you were in North Carolina?

JD: Yeah, we were together for two weeks, big deal. In two weeks, she went back home, and I moved from there, almost immediately, up to Bangor, Maine, and then, from Bangor, Maine, a few days later, we flew to Gander Lake, Newfoundland, and then, we flew over to England. We were together two weeks.

SSH: Now, where in England did you end up?

JD: I spent most of my time in the Midlands, ... in that section. However, when I first went over, I was stationed way down in southern England, almost way down to Land's End, at a place called Devon, ... and we were flying anti-submarine patrols out of southern England. ...

SSH: You mean your radar training put you on to a plane rather than on the ground?

JD: ... They put ... [me] on the equipment on the plane, yeah, that's right.

SSH: Now, did Mrs. Dowling come back to your family or her family?

JD: Her family. Her family lived in the same town. We just lived about four or five blocks apart in South Amboy, so, when she returned, after we got married, she went back home to her mother's.

SSH: Now, was Mrs. Dowling working at that time?

JD: Yes, she was. She was making good money. She was a ... space distributor for the Pennsylvania Railroad. She had a fairly neat job. A space distributor, in those days, was a pretty good job, because anybody that traveled traveled by train, and what she would do, as a space distributor, she would distribute the seats, the specialized seats, the Pullmans, the upper berths, lower berths, all that kind of stuff, ... all around the country. ... You wanted to go anyplace, you had to see one of those girls. ... So, that's what she'd while I was overseas.

SSH: I have to ask Mrs. Dowling, did you ever consider going to college, or to Rutgers, or another university at all?

RD: No, I didn't, no, I really didn't. I got this job and liked it. ...

SSH: You said you were doing anti-submarine flights off the southern coast of England daily, then, you went back into the Midlands?

JD: We stayed in southern England until the Navy got enough airplanes into southern England to take over all of the anti-submarine patrols for that part of the Atlantic, and when that happened, we were not needed anymore, because they wanted us for another job. And so, they moved us up to the Midlands and assigned our outfit to the OSS, Office of Strategic Services, which had to do with sabotage work behind enemy lines, and there were two bases in England that did that. One base was our base at Alconbury and another base that the British just called "Base X." ... That's where the work was done, and I feel that's the important thing that we did during the war, because we were involved for about a year and a half in working with the French Underground, supplying people behind enemy lines for sabotage ventures, and, when a man was behind enemy lines, he had to be supplied with equipment, bombs, ammunition, guns, everything, and so, we would drop supplies to him on predetermined, pre-designated signals, most of which were these radar things that we talked about. ... We would drop equipment to all of those people and it was a very interesting type of thing. The people that did this work were called Joes. The man going behind enemy lines, he didn't want anybody to know who he was, and so, everybody was Joe. ... There was a hole cut in the bottom of this great, big B-24 airplane, and it was covered with just a plain piece of plywood, and that we called the Joe Hole. ... We would get to where the person was to do his sabotage, blow up a building, blow up a bridge, blow up an ammunition dump, or something like that, and would take that off, and he would fall out the Joe Hole and parachute to the ground. Now, mind you that this is done from the big B-24 bomber flying at high speed, flying at low altitude, and flying in the dead of night. One airplane to a target, no protection, no guns, no armor plate, just an airplane flying as fast as it goes. So, it was quite hazardous to drop people out in that fashion, but, they did it.

SSH: Now, you dropped a Joe and his equipment.

JD: We would drop the Joe and his equipment, but, we could never drop enough, because the airplane was flying so fast that we covered too much territory, and you wouldn't dare make a second run, because, then, the people would know, so, you had to come back another time to surprise them. So, we would come back again, and drop whatever he would need, and we flew all over France, Belgium, Holland, up into Norway. [It was] a different angle on different things, very different. ...

SSH: What can you tell me about the men and the equipment that you were involved with back then?

JD: Well, the men, surprisingly enough, many of the men were prisoners out of jails in the United States, and they traded their freedom for a chance to serve the country in this fashion, and so, a lot of those people that dropped out, volunteered for this kind of work, were people that were in jail for very serious crimes.

SSH: How did they get their training?

JD: ... There was a place, in northern England, that did that particular thing. In fact, we visited it a couple of years ago.

SSH: Now, were the Joes from the United States?

JD: Most of them were from the United States, although many were from the country where we dropped. You'd take a guy from France who escaped the country, and he would volunteer, or we'd get word to him, and he would come back to do a certain job, but, most of them were Yankees, Americans, at least that we had.

SSH: Now, they would have to be fluent in the language of the country in which they were dropped?

JD: Not necessarily, not necessarily. It's a good thing if they were, but, even if you're fluent, they can tell by the accent, and so forth, that you're faking. So, it didn't necessarily mean they had to be fluent. All they had to do was keep their mouth shut.

SSH: Did you ever take the same person?

JD: Oh, yeah, and it would surprise you. You'd go to the mess hall at six o'clock in the morning, and you'd see a guy sitting in the mess hall that you'd dropped out a couple of weeks ago, and he would have to be picked up by a man in an airplane. We had people with real small, fast airplanes that could land on a very small field, and they would locate such an field, and he would land, and wouldn't even stop the airplane, and the man would run out of the woods, and jump in the airplane, and come home. ... In the morning, he'd be sitting there eating his corn flakes and eggs and you'd wonder how he got back.

SSH: Now, did they have a rank like the rest of the military?

JD: ... Most of them had a little higher rank, but, they didn't display it. They wouldn't display it.

SSH: Were they dressed in military uniforms?

JD: They were dressed like the country they were dropping into, so they could blend in with the crowd. ... We had one fellow aboard by the name of (Bamburg?), who was about six foot six, great, big, husky fellah, and he did what he was supposed to do, and his instructions were, "If you lose track of where you are and you lose track of your contact," which was always some kind of French Underground people, "walk towards the coast," and he walked towards the coast, and I don't know how long he walked, but, he walked all the way to the ocean, and nobody stopped him. ... He was a great, big, husky guy and he just kept on walking, paid no attention to nobody, and he was finally picked up, and he was put on a boat, and he was brought home. ... He was there eating his corn flakes and eggs in the morning.

SSH: Do you know of any of the targets that were hit?

JD: No, no, no, we would deliver everything, ... guns, ammunition, all kinds of food stuffs. I remember, one night, we were getting this airplane ready to load, and I broke a package, and out rolled an egg. Here we had a two million dollar airplane delivering eggs, but, it was an important commodity. ... So, we'd be there for quite a long time, until the American Army got well ... into France, over into Germany, Denmark. That kind of activity was no longer needed.

SSH: Now, on a base like this, were you strictly there for the OSS, or were there other services included with this?

JD: Strictly there for that. The other permanent players ... on the base had instructions not to go near that airplane, don't even go in it. ... We had guards on every one of our airplanes. Even the permanent parties, even the base commander, was not permitted to see what was in any of our airplanes. They were just for us. ...

SSH: Do you remember any of the men or have any contact with any of the men you served with?

JD: Well, the bridesmaid is the only one that I have contact with and I might see him next week.

SSH: When you were in the States being trained for radar duty, or in Devon on anti-sub patrol, did you have any idea that there existed such an operation?

JD: No, ... we thought we were gonna to go over there, and drop bombs, and then, we just all had a meeting, and our commander ... just told us what was happening, and what we were asked to do, and what we would do. ... That was that.

SSH: Before you went to the station at Devon, in Wilmington, did you ever encounter any German submarines?

JD: No, we never saw one. ...

SSH: Now, to go back to the base, and to the security and everything that surrounded this base, were you barracked differently than the other men?

JD: No, no, same mess hall, same Red Cross club, same barracks. In fact, we'd go from one barracks to another. ... Everybody kept their mouths' shut, they didn't talk about anything that was on the airplane or what they were doing.

SSH: What about your mail?

JD: It was highly censored, highly censored. For instance, I couldn't write her and tell her that I was in Kettering, for instance. That would mean it was located, and if I did say that, it would be cut out. She'd get a letter with holes in it. [laughter]

SSH: Did you get mail on a regular basis?

JD: Regular basis, oh, yeah.

SSH: How did you find that the training you received prepared you for this service?

JD: Well, I don't know. The training was on equipment that was very primitive, compared to what I used when I got over in England. The set in England was called, ... you'd have a name for everything. They'd invade a country, they'd have a name for it, we had a set called the Mickey, and it was a very complicated, very high frequency, very sensitive, ... and you just had to learn it. We just had to learn it. You just put it up on the test bench and just fool around with it till you knew how to work it. ... Of course, that was in the airplane and you had to know it when you got in the airplane.

SSH: Did your group interact with the English? Were you integrated at all with the other men when you were going into another country?

JD: The British that flew out of what they called Base X, they flew to different targets than what we flew to. ... They flew into France, and Germany, and all those other places, but, there were so many targets that we needed planes from both bases, but, we never cooperated, both flew to the same target.

SSH: Kettering was a U.S. base and Base X was English.

JD: That's right, that's right.

SSH: Now, how were your interactions with the English people in the countryside where you were stationed?

JD: Gee, nothing unusual. Nothing unusual that they did, anyway.

SSH: You basically had your own community on the base.

JD: Oh, yeah, oh, yeah. Yeah. They didn't know what was going on. We were just flying airplanes, so, going out on a raid. That's all it was doing. ...

SSH: Did you get a chance to look around at all when you were there?

JD: Oh, yeah.

SSH: What did you do on leave?

JD: Oh, shucks, I had a good deal on my leave. I had a friend in South Amboy whose name was (Wortley?), Robert (Wortley?). His grandfather migrated to the United States from England and he [had] a brother in England who stayed there. So, he had a family in England and the other (Wortley?) had a family in the United States. As soon I got over in England, a friend of Ruth and ours, John (Wortley?), says, "Hey, I have a cousin right outside of London," and so, he sent me the name and address, and he sent the (Wortley's?) in London the name and address of this guy, and so, as soon as I got that, I looked them up. And so, every time I went away from the base, I went to London, and I got on the Piccadilly Line, went out to Sunbury Park, got on the bus, got off at (Aylesbury?), went and visited the (Wortley's?). I had a home away from home, really. ... It was a nice little family, little, bitty house. Little, bitty apartment, really, with three little girls, only one going to school. ... So, I had a nice place to visit. ...

SSH: Where you there during an air raid?

JD: Oh, a lot of times we were there for air raids. You just (shimmied?) out of the way, get in out of the way. I was in London when they dropped the V-2 bombs and they had the pilotless aircraft and that kind of stuff. ... The lights would go out. Well, the lights were out all the time over there and the sirens would blow. You'd run down in the subway, really ... 'cause that's where most of the people would be, but, it didn't happen too often. ...

SSH: Did you bring anything to the (Wortley's?) that they appreciated and needed?

JD: Oh, sure, sure, sure. We used to get rations and rations would be a pack of cigarettes a day. Depending upon how much candy they had, a couple of bars of candy. Depending upon how much gum the PX had, you might get a couple of packs of gum or two, and they had some crummy, very poor cookies that they used to give us, and nobody liked 'em, but, they'd give those cookies. ... We had twelve people in the barracks and I said, "Anything you don't want, give it to me. I'll take it to the (Wortley's?) to give it to these little kids." So, whenever I went to (Wortley's?), I was loaded down with candies, cookies, all that kind of stuff. ... Whenever you go away from the base, you're entitled to the food that you would have eaten had you had stayed on. So, they would permit you to carry a little food with you, like a small can of beans, or a can of corn, or a little package of tea. ... I'd get a little bit of that to help them. I know she was thrilled to death. One time, they gave me a three pound can, a tin can, of corned beef. I'm telling you, they were thrilled, 'cause they didn't get much meat in those days. They lived on mostly apples and bread. ... I had a place to go and I never went empty-handed.

SSH: Did you find that you were able to keep in contact with them after the war?

JD: I didn't keep in contact, but, my mother did for quite a long time. My mother felt kind of close to them, because of what they did for her son, you know. ... I wrote to them a couple of times, but, ... I just kind of got out of the habit.

-------------------------------------END OF TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE-------------------------------------

JD: [One thing] that always intrigued me was the fact that, at night time, just before they were to take off on a mission, most of the Joes would go to the edge of the taxi-way and pick up some mud, or dirt, or grit, and put it in their mouth, and rub it all around their teeth, and all around their mouth, and they said they did that in order to make their face, their mouth, look dirty and soiled, because, if they got picked up immediately, if anyone saw that they had clean, bright, shiny teeth, they would know that they were just not a native walking down the street. Most people didn't have toothpaste to clean their teeth, and so, that's what they would do as a protection.

SSH: Did you notice any differences in the Joes you dropped in France as opposed to the ones you dropped in Scandinavia?

JD: No, none at all, none at all. By the way, some of those Joes are females.

SSH: Could you tell me a little bit more about them?

JD: All I know is that some of them were females. They always kept the females in a truck until it was about ready to get on the airplane, and then, they would run them into the airplane and we could tell they were females.

SSH: Were there any conversations then?

JD: Not at all.

SSH: Okay.

JD: Not at all.

SSH: Now, when they were eating in the mess halls, the people that you had dropped a few weeks before, were they kept separate from everyone else?

JD: They were only kept separate if they had not been debriefed. If they had been debriefed, then, they could do anything they wanted to, but, when they did anything they wanted to, they never said a word about where they were, or what they did, or anything at all, not a word. It was just like they were part of the party and we had enough sense not to talk to them about it. That's the way it went.

SSH: On the base, were there any social activities?

JD: Well, we had a Red Cross club where you could go get tea and crumpets at high time and, maybe, once a month, they would have an orchestra for music. Quite a few fellahs on the base were show oriented and would put on a show with banjoes, and dances, and stuff like that, but, I was always on a small base and I never got that big stuff like Spike Jones, and the City Slickers, and Paul Wyman. They only played London, and Glasgow, and the Palladium. They didn't play where we were. ... We got the little USO guy, (coming along telling us?), [laughter] that's what we got.

SSH: I know you did not fly everyday ...

JD: No. ... Well, the mechanical work took every day. It's surprising. ... You could tune up a set, and work it, and just turn your back around, and go back the next day, and turn around, it wouldn't work right. So, it was ... constant maintenance and that was seven days a week. We never had a day off. The only time you had a day off was, once a month, you got a forty-eight hour pass, and if things were rough and you had a lot of missions, you didn't get the forty-eight hour pass. ... We worked all the time. ...

SSH: How much time did you have before you were supposed to take off?

JD: Well, you knew a day ahead what [the] plans [were], to get ready.

SSH: You knew?

JD: Yeah, and the pilots knew a day ahead to get ready. As far as the Joes were concerned, they were being briefed on what they were doing. We'd know nothing at all about that. They were in rooms by themselves and they were told what was going to happen.

SSH: Were there any incidents at the base that stand out in your mind?

JD: No.

SSH: That were different?

JD: No, ... everything was done according to the book, and we had enough sense not ... to try to rock the boat, and everybody was happy.

SSH: Were there any Rutgers people around that you knew of?

JD: No, there was no Rutgers people, just one person from New Brunswick. I can't think of his name, only one person from New Brunswick, but, no Rutgers. I didn't run into a Rutgers person at all. My whole two and a half years in England, I didn't see a Rutgers person.

SSH: Now, what rank were you while you were there?

JD: I was a tech sergeant, tech sergeant.

SSH: Did you ever consider going to Officers Candidate School?

JD: Oh, I applied all the time, but, when I was coming along, they needed bodies for things, and officer's training, you didn't do officers training, we got a war to win. ... They had to fill up this school, fill up that school, we got to fly submarine patrols, we need people to do it. So, we didn't get a chance to go, none of us did. One time, we all took a test for Officer's Training School, and there was fourteen people in the radar section, and of the twenty-five people on the base who took the test, twelve of them passed the test, and they were [the] twelve in the radar section, and the chief of the radar section says, "No way, end it," nobody went. ... So, we knew what was going on and we ... put up with that.

SSH: Did you stay in England your whole time overseas?

JD: I stayed in England the entire time. That was fortunate.

SSH: On your pre-interview survey, you talked about being in combat over Germany. Did you do missions over Germany?

JD: Oh, when we no longer ... had to drop Joes, we supplied stuff to the French Underground. Then, we flew combat missions just like everyone else, and then, ... our aircraft was fitted out to drop bombs, and the people in the airplane wore flak suits, and everything else.

SSH: Was this in addition to your OSS work?

JD: No, no, no, when you outfitted the planes to carry bombs, it's entirely different from what we did previously. We were eliminated from the OSS program entirely. We were not needed at all anymore, and so, then, we just dropped bombs, and we were just told where the bombs had to go, and we didn't do that too long, 'cause the war ended. ...

SSH: When you were flying missions over Germany, did any incidents occur that stand out in your mind?

JD: No, we never had a problem at all. We never had an airplane come back with a hole in it, a bullet hole, or anything like that. ...

SSH: When were you sent home and what were your orders then?

JD: ... The war ended in May and I came home to this country. We immediately were reassigned to the Pacific, and our orders were to come home, take a thirty day leave, and go out to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and we'd reassemble, and go out to the Pacific. So, the war ended in Europe in May, May 8th, and I was home sometime during the summer, I don't remember when it was, and I was home on my thirty day leave when the Japanese surrendered.

SSH: What are your thoughts on the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

JD: The atomic bomb? I thought it was a good thing, and I was never a lover of Harry Truman, but, he had to make that decision, and I give him credit for doing it, because he saved an awful lot of a lot of lives, even though it was a horrible thing to happen to those people. ...

SSH: Now, you said you were on your thirty day leave. Did you have to report back?

JD: Yes, I had to report back, because you just had to follow orders. I mean, you don't change your orders just because the war ended. You had orders to go to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. ... The war is over, [I] had to go all the way out to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and then, they told me to go home.

SSH: How long were you in Sioux Falls?

JD: Oh, I guess a couple of weeks. Couple of weeks before ... they got around to the paperwork to get our whole [unit] through coming on back. I think I got back, I think, some time in September. ... It must have been in September.

SSH: What did you do when you came back?

JD: Well, when I came back, of course, I renewed my wedding. [laughter] ... When I got out, I telephoned Ruth that I'd be getting out of Fort Dix, I'd meet her in Trenton at the railroad station. I'll take a bus as far as the station, and so, I went to the station and I waited for her. It was in the early evening, and she pulled up into the parking lot, and I saw her, and I dropped my duffel bag, and I ran across the platform ... to where she was, and I opened the car door, I jumped in, and I grabbed her, and I hugged her, and I created so much passion with that kiss that her earrings melted and fell right off. ... We still have the earrings, and we never glued them back together again, and I can never kiss like that again. [laughter] Well, when I got back from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, I came up to ... Rutgers, and walked around, and visited. ... I went up to the Poultry Building at the College of Agriculture, it was the College of Agriculture in those days, to see Professor Thompson, and I spent a couple of hours just chatting, telling him exactly what I told you, and he says, "Hey, if a job materializes here, are you interested in a job?" I had no job, so, I said, "Yeah." He said, "I can pay you $50 a week." It sounded like a lot of money. I said, "I'll take the job, if it materializes." So, a couple of days later, he called me and said that they were putting on a program of institutional, on-the-job training where they're giving veterans ten to twelve week courses in agriculture, ... short courses, and "We need people to teach," and I said, "I'll do that." ... So, that temporary assignment lasted for thirty-nine years. I stayed at Cook College for thirty-nine years. I was a professor when I retired.

SSH: Did you go on to any post-degree work?

JD: No, I had felt that I had all of the education I wanted, not all I needed, but, all I wanted. Thompson said, "John, you can make a good career out of it, just the way you are, if you're interested," and I did. ...

SSH: Did you join any associations, like the Professors Association?

JD: No, I didn't, no, I didn't. Suppose I should have, but, I didn't.

SSH: Now that you and Mrs. Dowling are back together again, is she still working for the railroad?

JD: No, when we came home, 1945, our son was born in 1946, in June of 1946, so, she left her job then and she [has] never worked since. She stayed home, we had two children, and she was a ... family person.

SSH: What other activities had you been in your thirty-nine years as a professor here?

JD: Thirty-nine years?

SSH: Yeah, I want to know about what you have done outside of the university in those thirty-nine years.

JD: Well, for quite a lot of time, we did quite a lot of church work, and when our children were small, she did a lot of work like the Girl Scouts. She was a den mother when our kids were growing and you'd be surprised how much time that takes. ... She got quite involved in church work, and she was leader of a women's organization for a couple of years, and she was a volunteer in what used to be Middlesex General Hospital and it's now (RD Wood?). She was a volunteer in the hospital for, oh, many years, oh, until we moved away. ... We played golf a little bit and I guess that's it. We like to go fishing, surf fishing.

SSH: Did your son and daughter come to Rutgers?

JD: Nope, nope. ... My son went to Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. Our daughter went to Salem College in Salem, West Virginia. I don't know why, but, that's where they went and I feel that they both got a good education. ... They're both successful and they're working. My son's an ordained minister. Our daughter teaches school in West Virginia. She's got more credits than she really needs. They told her, if she gets any more credits, that'll qualify her for her Ph.D. Then, she gotta go to administration and Elaine says, "No way, I don't want to be an administrator. I'm happy in the classroom." She wants the same classroom.

SSH: Is your son a minister close to where you are?

JD: No, he's not serving a church at the moment. At the moment, he's teaching school. He's teaching history. ... In college, he was a history major and he kinda likes that.

SSH: Can you tell about the changes at Rutgers, first as a student, and then, as a college professor, in your thirty-nine years here?

JD: ... Yeah, there's been a lot of changes. ... I don't know where you get the money to build all these buildings. I just walked around here, out of the College of Agriculture, out of Cook College, and see all of these new buildings, and all of the new equipment, and ... I don't know where the money is coming from to pay for it, but, I guess it's paid for. I haven't been too familiar with the programs, though, since I retired. You know, when I retired, I walked away. That was the end of that career. I cleaned out my office, glad to do it. Ruth cried. She was more sentimental about it than me and I was just glad to get out of there. ... I got boxes and boxes of lecture notes, and a whole bunch of other stuff, in our spare room and I promised myself that I would read it. It's been there for ten years and I haven't even looked at it. So, as far as this career is concerned, that ended it. So, I don't know what changes have taken place in the programs here at the college.

SSH: As a professor, did you see what the GI Bill did for the student body?

JD: Oh, yeah, I think it was a good deal. ... There was a lot of people who would not have gotten to college if they didn't get that kind of support. They came out of the service, they didn't have a lot of money, they didn't have jobs, they just didn't have it. They were almost as bad as me in 1938.

SSH: You were a professor. There were probably men in these classes the same age as you were.

JD: There were, there were. A lot of them were older. ... See, I started in 1945 and I was only twenty-five. A lot of the guys came out of the service in their thirties. A lot of them were older, but, that didn't bother [me].

SSH: Have you kept in contact with any of your students?

JD: No, ... not at all. You know, they go through so fast, and you have so many of them, and I reached a point where I stopped remembering names, even. I just couldn't remember names. It was just impossible. You knew them while you had them and when they were gone, they were gone.

SSH: What kind of research were you involved with?

JD: I was involved, mostly, in poultry genetics and poultry nutrition, those [two areas]. ... I had a little bit to do with the seeing-eye dog. Dr. Mitchell, who has recently passed away, he was a geneticist, and he and I did a little work with the Seeing-Eye up in Morristown, New Jersey, some of the genetic work there. ... They had a research farm. I mean a breeding farm. John (Wrigley?) who was a Rutgers graduate of the Class of 1943, Animal Sciences, [was] in charge of the breeding farm.

SSH: What did you find with the seeing-eye dog?

JD: Well, most of the things ... that we were looking for was dogs that had high intelligence. Dogs that had the ability to move around real quick. ... As pups, you would look for that kind of movement early and kind of separate them out as those dogs that you thought would make [the] best [seeing-eye dogs]. ... Only, at that time, I don't know, probably a third of them ever got to be seeing-eye dogs, wasn't too [many]. ... Also, seeing-eye dogs are smart. They think. ... If a man takes a dog, he's going down to buy a package of tobacco, and he goes the same route everyday, the dog knows where he's going. The dog don't want to take a short cut across the corner. He'll just ... take a country cut to the store, then, the man gets disoriented. You can't have that. You can't have too smart of a dog. Dogs do think, ... but, I was mostly involved in poultry egg production, egg quality. I had a big deal with egg quality for quite a few years and nutrition. Toward the end of my career, I didn't do too much research, 'cause I was the faculty coordinator for all of the large animal research for the whole university. So, anybody that wanted large animals could only do so through me. ... If you wanted pigs, you had to see John, if you wanted horses, you saw John, if you wanted dairy cows, you had to see John. So, that's what I did toward the end of my career. That was nicer. ... I was only required to supply animals for other people's work.

SSH: Now, how did you acquire these animals?

JD: Most of them, we bred our own. ... Some we bought, but, then, when you buy them, you don't know what you're getting. You could get it to look good, but, you don't know the genetic background and you didn't know the history of it. So, when we could, we bred our own.

SSH: Did you and Mrs. Dowling live on campus?

JD: No, we lived in South Amboy and we lived for fifteen years on the turkey research farm down in South Jersey. I spent fifteen years on a turkey farm. That's where our children were little.

SSH: Oh, really?

JD: Yeah.

SSH: What was your research then?

JD: Research down there was ... strictly genetics. We were breeding a rapid growing, small-bodied, buff-colored turkey. See, turkeys are great, big things and the idea was that, if you had a smaller turkey, you could use that more often than at the holiday season. So, that was the thrust of that particular program.

SSH: These projects, do you know where the funding came from? Was it from the state?

JD: Most of it was from the state. ...

SSH: There were no private corporations or benefactors?

JD: No, ... way back in those days, who had that kind of money? ...

SSH: Before we end the interview, I need to ask you, why did you pick Tennessee?

JD: We picked Tennessee for two reasons. First of all, we were familiar with the place, and second, our son was living there.

SSH: That was why you were familiar with it?

JD: Well, he went to Maryville College, which was in Tennessee, so, we'd been going down there once, maybe twice, a year, taking some things down, and visiting him, and picking him up, and bringing things back. So, we were familiar with the area. We got to know a few people, and then, he married, and so, we knew her family, and we got a few friends through that, and up in this area, our taxes were getting pretty high, and, well, we had no family. Her parents had passed away, Ruth's parents were gone, and my parents were gone. So, we thought, "Gee, why stay here?" So, we just took a gamble and went.

SSH: Did you do this right after your retirement then?

JD: No, it took a year. I retired in '84, we moved in '85. ... We just kind of thought about it for a whole year, but, then, all of a sudden, we got pushed into it real quick, because we went down to visit, and John said, "I want to show you a house." So, we looked at this house and it was a nice house, real nice house. The price was right, and I walked through it, and I said, "Ruth, can you fix this house up and make it look pretty?" and she said, "Sure, I sure could fix this house up." So, we put a thousand dollars deposit on that house on a Friday. Saturday, we drove all the way home from Knoxville, Tennessee. We put our house up for sale at six o'clock Saturday night. At ten o'clock Sunday morning, it was sold. So, we had to make a decision real quick. We were kind of forced into it, because we did not have a full binder on our house in Tennessee, we only had a thousand dollars on it to show, "Yeah, we're interested, we're interested." It wasn't a full binder. We sold our house and the price was more than we expected. We sold it at a good time, and so, we moved.

SSH: Before we end, would you like to add anything?

JD: No.

SSH: Mrs. Dowling, do you have anything else?

RD: No, just from having to live with him all of those years, fifty-four years. ...

JD: Yes, fifty-four years, next month. ... Yeah, that's a good thing. We're both in pretty good health. It bothers us that we're getting advanced in years, but, you can't stop that. ...

RD: I still like New Jersey. I'm a New Jersey girl all the way. ...

SSH: Is there anything I did not ask you that I should have?

JD: No, I can't think of anything.

SSH: All right, well, again, I thank you both for taking time out of your busy schedules.

JD: Well, it was fun.

SSH: Okay, thank you.

SSH: This ends an interview with Mr. John J. Dowling, Jr.

[Tape Paused]

JD: I think I should elaborate a little bit. Ruth and I took a tour of England and Scotland three or four years ago, and one of the stops, way up in Northern Scotland, was at a place, a military base, where they trained people to drop out of airplanes at low altitude but fast moving airplanes. ... This is the area where the Joes were trained and it was quite hazardous, because many of the Joes, in their training, would become injured in such a fashion that they could no longer continue, but, there was a training opportunity for them. ... Another point, just a word about the Joes over on the Continent during the war, when we dropped food and supplies to the French Underground or the Joes, we were referred to as a pathfinder airplane. Well, some time ago, the minister of our church, in giving a sermon, told about his father's experience during the war, and he was trapped behind enemy lines, and he was thankful that there was a setup in such a fashion that they could drop supplies and food for him, and some of his other buddies, who were trapped behind enemy lines. ... When I left the church that day, I said to Chris, "Hey, Chris, I'm the guy that dropped that food to your father," and he immediately said, "Hey, were you a pathfinder?" I said, "Yes." He says, "Well, I'll be."

SSH: Thank you for the interview.

[Tape Paused]

JD: Let me add one more thing. I think that my generation of people lived during the most exciting times in the history of the world. Some of it was tragic, but, it was extremely exciting. I think that I lived in the worst of times and I also lived in the best of times. All of us were products of the Depression. Therefore, we all know how it is to suffer. During the Depression years, in the '30s, there was little work. There was little of anything. People were poor. That was the worst of times, everybody suffered. Then, when we got back on our feet, we were involved in a world war and our generation had to fight a world war, that was the worst of times. However, in 1945 and onward came the best of times for my generation. Anybody who wanted to work, there was work. Anybody who wanted a career, there was a career. There was bridges to build, houses to build, roads to build, work all over. We lived in the best of times. If you just look around at people in my age bracket, you will see a successful individual, and, in their old age, I'll bet they're all happy, just like me.

-----------------------------------------END OF INTERVIEW--------------------------------------------

Reviewed by Shaun Illingworth 9/25/99
Reviewed by Sandra Stewart Holyoak 10/1/99
Reviewed by John Dowling, Jr. 2/00

 

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