Rader, Sanford

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  • Interviewee: Rader, Sanford
  • PDF Interview
  • Date: April 11, 2008
  • Place: New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Interviewers:
    • Shaun Illingworth
    • Julia Hatzidais
  • Transcript Production Team:
    • Domingo Duarte
    • Mark Parkhurst
    • Alexander Ragucci
    • Jessica Ondusko
    • Shaun Illingworth
    • Sanford Rader
    • Sandra Stewart Holyoak
  • Recommended Citation: Rader, Sanford Oral History Interview, April 11, 2008, by Shaun Illingworth and Julia Hatzidais, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
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Shaun Illingworth:  This begins an interview with Colonel Sanford Rader on April 11, 2008, in New Brunswick,New Jersey, with Shaun Illingworth and ...

Julia Hatzidais:  ... Julia Hatzidais. 

SI:  Colonel Rader, thank you very much for coming in today.  To begin, could you tell us where and when you were born?

Sanford Rader:  I was born on August 3, 1931, in Newark, New Jersey.

SI:  What were your parents' names?

SR:  My mother's; do you want ... her maiden name as well?

SI:  Sure.

SR:  It was Lillian Adler, A-D-L-E-R, and my father was Otto Rader, R-A-D-E-R.

SI:  Was there any sort of immigration history on either side of the family?

SR:  ... My parents were born in the US.  My mother's parents came, or my grandparents came, to the US with one of the pogroms [violent, anti-Semitic riots] in Russia, in the, I was going to say last century, but it's not the last century anymore, the late 1800s, around the turn of the century, in 1900.  ... My father's parents came from Austria-Hungary, and I'm not sure what that's called now, ... since the Second World War it's been mixed up, somewhere about the same time, [at] the end of the nineteenth century, and my father was born in Newark.  My mother was born in New York. 

SI:  Do you know how your parents met?

RS:  The answer is no, [laughter] and, if I do, I don't remember.

SI:  Did you grow up knowing your grandparents who had immigrated to the US?

RS:  ... [As] I grew up, as far as my maternal grandparents, I was a lot closer to them, because there was a period of time, during the [Great] Depression, when we lived in my grandmother and grandfather's house.  ... I never knew my paternal grandmother.  I think she passed away either [when] I was very young or before I was born, but I did know my paternal grandfather.  ... I never lived with him, so, I was not nearly as close as I was with my maternal grandparents. 

SI:  Did they ever share with you any stories about what life was like in the old country?  For example, thispogrom, did they ever tell you what it was like to live through it?

RS:  ... At that time, it was a lot different than it is now.  Everybody had to speak English and the only time they spoke in their native tongue is when they didn't want us to understand.  ... They really never went into ... that background.  It's not like the Holocaust victims that we know now, who want to make sure that story stays.  I think those folks wanted to bury it, [thought that was for] the best, and, from that generation, it was always the same: this was a new country; they wanted to assimilate as soon as they could, to learn English and to be able to read English.  Then, as I indicated, the only time they spoke, and unfortunately, in their native tongue, or, in my case, it may have been Yiddish, was when they didn't want us to understand.  So, we really never got the background until we went to some formal religious schooling. 

SI:  They never tried to teach you their language.

SR:  No.

JH:  Did your mother speak their language? 

SR:  Again, ... my mother and father, probably, again, when they wanted to keep something from us as children ... [laughter]

JH:  However, they knew the native tongues.

SR:  They spoke [some]; I'm not sure they spoke very well, because that's the only time they would have ever spoken their [language], what they learned as children. 

JH:  Did religion play a large part in your upbringing?  Were any of your mother or father's family religious?

SR:  ... My grandparents were Orthodox Jewish.  My parents were not religious.  In those years, I guess, they tended towards Conservatism.  However, during the High Holy holidays for the Jewish religion, I went to the temple with my grandparents and my grandfather, and, at that [temple], in their orthodoxy, the women and the men were separated.  I guess ... there's a carryover; the Islamic people do it the same way.  ... In my experience, the men were on the first floor and the women were in the balcony, and they didn't sit together or pray together, and, as far as I understand about Orthodoxy, to today, that's still the same way. 

JH:  When you lived with your grandparents, did they want you to follow more of their customs, that you were not really used to, since you had not lived with them before, or was it the same?

SR:  ... Well, when I lived with them, I may have been five or six years old.  ... [laughter] I would not have really had any independence or independent customs.  ... We just grew up, you know, celebrated the Sabbath on the weekends and the High Holy Days, but I really had not known anything other than that.

SI:  Can you give us a description of the neighborhood that you grew up in?  What was it like?

SR:  It was an urban neighborhood.  My mother was one of eleven [children] and it was a pretty well mixed neighborhood.  At that time, ... one of my aunts married a guy across the street who was Italian and Catholic, and, at that time, you know, intermarriage was not as accepted as it is now, and she died in childbirth.  I may have been living there at the time, so, it had to be in the '30s, the mid-'30s.  ... That little boy was brought up by his paternal grandparents, that's the Italian side, went to parochial school.  ... Now, he's a priest.  Let's see, he's about ten years younger than I am and he's always been close to the family.  So, getting back to the type of neighborhood, it was pretty well mixed and everybody got along.  ... Of course, at that time, there were mixed neighborhoods and there were separate ethnic neighborhoods, but we were a pretty mixed neighborhood.  The ethnic neighborhoods were in different areas of Newark, and then, there were the ghettos as well.

SI:  Did your neighborhood have a name? 

SR:  Not in those years.  ... We're talking about when I lived with my grandparents; when, finally, ... the Depression kind of eased off and we moved, the neighborhood had a name.  It was the Vailsburg section in Newark, [an area encompassing the westernmost ward in the City of Newark, which was annexed to the city in 1905]. 

SI:  Can you tell us a little bit about how the Depression affected both your family and the neighborhood?

SR:  ... Again, you're talking about a period of time when I was five, six and seven years old, and, when you're that age and there's not very much, you don't know what you're missing or not missing.  ... I know my father went to work for the WPA [Works Progress Administration] and he was taking the trolley tracks out of the streets inNewark, when they were taking the trolley tracks out.  I don't even know if you folks know what trolleys are. [laughter] ... I knew, you know, we had food on the table and, at that age, I didn't have any fancy toys, but I'm not sure I missed them, either, because I was not of that age yet, where I would have known what I was missing.  So, it didn't affect it that way, but both parents were working parents, at that time, and you were living with grandparents.  Of course, I didn't realize that that was because of [the] Depression and that's how people had to go.  ... I realize, in later life, by looking back, I could see how ... my parents and that generation [lived, for example], ... they wouldn't have a credit card.  If they couldn't buy in cash, they wouldn't buy anything, and then, I saw how it affected that generation much more than those of us who maybe were children during the Depression, and then, we grew up and were able to get an education, but, like, if you couldn't buy a house for cash, they wouldn't buy a house and get a mortgage.  ... That whole generation, there are, obviously, exceptions, but the people grew up knowing that they didn't know where their next meal was coming from had that kind of frugal approach to everything.  Like, if I took my mother out to dinner, she always looked, even when I could afford it, [and] says, "Well, why are we spending this?" or, "Why are we doing that?"  So, that was how it affected me, but not as [much] growing up, as later, when I was an adult and I was then taking care of that generation, that I saw the impact that it had.

SI:  Do you recall, maybe with this hindsight, things that you would have to do to get by?  Some people talk about collecting coal wherever they could find it, doing a lot of chores, conserving things.  Do you remember any of that?

SR:  The answer was, at that age, there's not very much that I had to do.  I remember, around holiday time, we wanted toys.  We didn't have TV, so, we weren't exposed to that.  [laughter] ... Radio was the best that we had, other than newspapers, but I think I wanted a fire engine that you can step in and pedal and, instead of that, I got a little one that you can push around.  [laughter] That was, I guess, a disappointment that I had, at the age; what was this, in '31?  So, it had to be somewhere about ... four or five years old. 

SI:  You wrote on your survey that your father operated a gasoline station.

SR:  That was after the Depression years, coming out of the Depression.

SI:  Okay, that was after the WPA.  Do you know what he did before?

SR:  ... Yes, he was a bus driver and conductor.  At that time, ... Public Service [Corporation of New Jersey] used to operate our public transportation system, and the bus system and the trolley system.  He was a trolley operator, a bus operator, and then, a conductor.  ... Then, when the Depression came, and I'm not sure if they were a public utility then or a state agency or just a private company, but that's when there were reductions, and then, he went to work for the WPA, or wherever else they could work. 

SI:  Is that the only project you remember him working on, the trolley tracks?

SR:  Oh, well, ... you know, I didn't go with him, I don't know, but I remember, when we walked; ... you guys may not do that like we used to do, used to walk everyplace when we were kids.  [laughter] We used to walk to the movies.  ... The only time you went to the movies was, like, on a Saturday, and the men used to be working in the street, and I never saw him work, but my mother or my sister said, "That's where Dad works," you know.

SI:  You have an older sister.

SR:  She passed.  I had an older sister, yes. 

SI:  What was her name?

SR:  Elaine, E-L-A-I-N-E.  She's about eight-and-a-half years older or so.  In those years, when you're five and they're thirteen or fourteen, you know, there's not too much sibling rivalry or anything else, you know.  [laughter]

JH:  Can you tell us about your childhood, besides the Depression?  What kind of games did you play?  Did you have a lot of cousins, since your mom was one of eleven, to play with, or neighborhood children?  What would you do?

SR:  Yes.  Well, there are obviously lots of cousins and lots of neighborhood children.  The games, pretty much, [were like those] the kids play now, hide-and-seek; we used to do a lot of, I don't know if you guys would even know what I'm talking about, ... roller-skating, but you used to have skates with clips.  You used to clip them [on]. ... Everybody used to keep a key around their neck and, like, after school, [we] used to do a lot of skating, back and forth, on the sidewalks and used to know where all the smooth sidewalks were.  Hopscotch, we used to make everything on the sidewalk, or stickball on the streets, and then, in those years, there were lots.  After school, we used to go to lots and play ball, you know.  There was no Little League or no formal athletic or [other] activities for youngsters, the way my children had.  Of course, everybody was so busy working and you just went out and did your own [thing].  You got home from school and you went home and chose sides, with fingers, got a team together, and that's how we learned how to play ball, with very little adult supervision or parental intervention or supervision. 

SI:  Would you say that most of your friends were like yourself, second or third-generation Americans?  Were there any immigrant children? 

SR:  Yes.  Most of them were second-generation children.  ... I guess it was around the third grade or so that I met children who were recent immigrants to the US, Czechoslovakia, some of the Eastern European countries.  ... They were not Jewish children, at that point.  I guess they [the Jews] couldn't get out [of Europe], but they were from other Middle European countries.  No Asians; ... you didn't see Asians at all, as I recall.  The only place you saw an Asian [was] if you went to a Chinese restaurant. 

SI:  Obviously, you were just kids, so, you probably just talked about whatever kids talk about, games and such, but did they say anything about what was going on? 

SR:  In school? 

SI:  Yes. 

SR:  ... I'm thinking back; it would be about the third grade, maybe the second grade.  There's about two or three children and they were learning English, so, obviously, ... you knew that there was something different, and, at that age, you start recognizing a lot of things.  ... They may have been asked by the teacher where they were from, and then, we used to speak to them and help them as much as possible. 

SI:  Okay. 

SR:  And they were, generally, just normal students, but they had a little more difficult time, because they were just learning the language, and there were very few at that time, and that's just pre-Second World War and during the Second World War. 

SI:  None of them told you any stories about having to escape where they were from or about any oppression. 

SR:  Not in those years. 

SI:  Okay. 

SR:  And not at that age. 

SI:  Okay.  Going back to what you did as a child, were you involved in anything like the Boy Scouts or anything like that? 

SR:  Well, ... of course, once you're talking about Boy Scouts, you're talking about a little [later].  Well, I know the children, now, [are] going to Boy Scouts a lot earlier than we did, and I assume that's because the Boy Scouts have to dig deeper, because people just don't join [today].  I think, at that time, you had to be twelve to be a Boy Scout.  ... By the time you were twelve years old, yes, the answer is yes, I spent a couple of years in the Scouts.  ...

SI:  That was during World War II, when you were in the Boy Scouts. 

SR:  Let's see, [I was born in] '31 and World War [II], it started in 1939 and we became cognizant of it, and, you know, Pearl Harbor was, is, vivid in my ... recollection. 

SI:  Do you want to tell us where you were that day? 

SR:  Yes.  ... [As] I said, ... weekends were when you went to the movies, and I think my parents were living, we were living in our home, at that time.  Our home, it was an apartment, and I know we came back [from the movies] and my father said, "The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor."  Well, I had no idea where Pearl Harbor was. ... At those years, if it was made in Japan, it was supposed to be an inferior product, and that was the psyche that we grew up [with].  As a kid, at ten years old, [if] it's made in Japan, it's going to be cheap.  That's the way [we thought].  Whether that was so or not, I'm not sure, [laughter] but the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  ... Then, I saw it in the newspaper, and then, it was all over the radio, and I decided, "Well, I should be in the military and fight back," ... and then, from there, I started learning about the Holocaust.  ... That was sort of about the same age, where all that started coming through.  The only news we had was the newsreel between [films.  When] you used to go to movies, there were two movies that they used to have and they used to have the comics, with Dick Tracy and a whole lot of Bugs Bunny things, ... but there used to be a newsreel.  What you see on the news at six or seven o'clock tonight, the only thing we ever saw was on a Saturday, or whenever we went to the movies, between the two movies, and it was about ten cents, until a penny tax [was instituted], then, it was eleven cents to go to the movies, [laughter] ... was the newsreel.  ... Pearl Harbor, we saw the newsreel of what happened, and you people have seen that over and over again, [and we] started seeing bits and pieces about the Holocaust as well. 

SI:  Even before the camp liberations, there was some information coming out. 

SR:  Well, it was sort of coming back.  Some people escaped.  So, it was before, yes, before the end of the Second World War. 

SI:  You were not from a very religious family, but you had some access to the Jewish community, and then, also, these other communities.  Was it just the Jewish community that knew about it or was everybody aware of what was going on?  

SR:  ... Well, I'm not sure.  As a Jewish youngster, I'm not sure I put that together. 

SI:  Okay. 

SR:  That it was Jewish or anybody else; it was just an atrocity.  Obviously, Pearl Harbor had nothing to do with anti-Semitism or religion, ... at least, ostensibly, nothing to do with it. 

SI:  I am just curious, because we have interviewed people from the same general area and, if they were, say, Italian, they might not know about it until the end of the war, but, within the Jewish community, what was happening was more well-known and just more cared about. 

SR:  Well, yes, and it's possible it was spoken about and I just assimilated it or took it in and accepted it, and it stuck in my head, but I knew I wanted to go in the military. 

SI:  Before Pearl Harbor, had the war in Europe, or any international events, been discussed in your household? 

SR:  I'm not sure it's discussed in the household.  In school, we knew, and, again, a lot of it, I'm not sure where I learned a lot of it.  Through the newsreels and the movies, we saw the Germans bomb Poland and Russia, and I think that [it] was more the newsreel that we got on the Saturdays, rather than any discussions at home or in school, at that point. 

JH:  It says on your survey that your uncle and one of your cousins were in the war.  Your one cousin was in theBattle of the Bulge. 

SR:  Right. 

JH:  Did you or your family have any contact with them while they were overseas?  Once they came back, did they have stories to tell? 

SR:  ... Well, I'll take one at a time.  [laughter] ... That uncle is the only sibling that's still living, and I used to write to him and, as best they can, they wrote back.  ... He was in New Guinea and Guadalcanal.  ... They didn't say a whole lot then, except, you know, at that time, I was already thirteen or fourteen, I'm trying to [recall], so, I understood a lot more, and I used to read the papers every day and see what was happening.  There still wasn't any TV, ... at least not that we had.  It may have been in an experimental stage.  The cousin, who was probably, approximately, the same age as that uncle, ... my cousin married that guy.  They live in Monroe and I'm still pretty close to them.  I didn't know he was in the Battle of the Bulge until he came back, or maybe ... while the Battle of the Bulge was going on, I figured out where he was.  ... Now, what was the rest of your question?  Did we talk about it? 

JH:  Did you have contact with him as well while he was there? 

SR:  No, no.  ... I really didn't know him very well.  The cousin who he married was my sister's age and they got [married], that was the first wedding I ever went to, ... because he knew he was being shipped overseas and they got married right away and I guess they had a fairly large wedding, at a last minute notice.  So, I may have met him at the wedding, and maybe one other time.  So, I didn't know him [very well].  Again, if I was ten or eleven, he was nineteen or twenty, but the uncle, you know, he lived in the same house that I lived in when he was drafted. 

JH:  Once they came back, though, did they have any stories of what happened to them, or did they not want to talk about it? 

SR:  ... My uncle, who was in New Guinea, really didn't want to talk about it very much, because he came back and he got married right away.  ... He had a fiancée and they were just happy that he got back.  ... By then, I was a junior or senior in high school.  I'm trying to remember wherever I was at the end of the Second World War, but the cousin, I spoke to him about the Battle of the Bulge, ... and he'll talk.  He knows I'm involved in the military, so, he keeps wanting to talk to me now. 

JH:  Did either of them going into the military inspire you?  I know you said you already kind of wanted to go, but did that inspire you more to want to be in it? 

SR:  No.  I don't think that was [a factor].  That had nothing to do with my reasons. 

SI:  Since you later went into the Air Force, did you particularly follow what the Army Air Corps was doing in World War II? 

SR:  Yes. 

SI:  Okay. 

SR:  Yes, I knew every airplane, what every one would do, kept real close tabs on the bombings in Europe and, ultimately, the dropping of the nuclear weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

SI:  Were you aware of any activities by the German-American Bund, before Pearl Harbor? 

SR:  See, I was not personally aware of that.  I guess I became aware.  I never had any personal involvement or any repercussions, personally, except, in Irvington, New Jersey, and in Union, New Jersey, I knew that that was sort of a hub of that activity, but I never saw any manifestation of it. 

SI:  Okay.  There were no marches or anything like that. 

SR:  Not that I recall. 

SI:  Okay.  How quickly after Pearl Harbor did changes on the home front set in?  Were there blackouts right away, Civil Defense-type activities? 

SR:  The blackouts may have been before, because the hostilities with Germany were [going on], that we were aware of, at least I was aware of it, as a youngster.  ... You read about U-boats and the Germans sinking American ships, etc., so, that was before Pearl Harbor, where there may have been blackouts before. 

SI:  Did you follow Lindbergh's career, and, also, his isolationism, later on? 

SR:  ... I knew that he made the flight, you know, he was the first person to fly the Atlantic individually, alone, [he] was a big hero.  I may have recalled some of the trial, the Lindbergh baby trial, the kidnap trial, just generally, because people must have spoken about it.  Of course, that was, like, the mid-'30s, so, I was too young to read the newspapers at that time.  Then, subsequently, leading up to the Second World War, ... and I'm trying to remember what I knew before and what I know now, but ... that he was, at least anecdotally, he was anti-Semitic, and I'm not sure that's true or not.  ... [In] anything I've read, I haven't seen too much about that.  I knew that he was pretty much an isolationist.  Again, that's probably by hindsight, I know that, because I would not have known, as a child, what that [isolationist] meant.  So, that's what I knew about Lindbergh, but he was a big hero, with theSpirit of St. Louis, yes.  Subsequently, I learned a lot more.  I read about everything there was to read about the Lindbergh trial, which is not Lindbergh himself, but there was a whole lot about he and his wife in there.  ... I knew, at a mature age, he was flying over in Europe, for the US. 

SI:  You were about ten or eleven when the war broke out.  Was that a fearful thing for you?  Was it exciting? How did you react to the fact that we were at war?

SR:  Oh, I think it was exciting, and, probably, I didn't know what frustration was ... then, but I was really frustrated, because there's nothing I could do, except, you know, learn as much as I could.

SI:  Did you get involved in any activities, such as scrap drives or buying war stamps?

SR:  The answer is yes, ... but I think every youngster did.  ... Cigarette smoking, we didn't know, ... we, at least I didn't know, it was bad for your health, and I don't think anybody thought about it at that time.  ... Cigarettes used to come in a pack and there was tin foil [in the pack].  Well, it ... was my job, ... when anybody in the family finished a pack of cigarettes, to scrape, take the tin foil off.  I don't even remember how we did that now.  We used to roll it up into the size of a baseball.  ... Like, we have recycling now, with tin cans and everything; well, we used to take that [the cigarette tin foil] to a special place, because they used that in the war effort.  Tin cans, I don't remember, but I think everything was in bottles then.  I don't remember drinking soda out of tin cans at all.  ... Savings bonds, you used to save ten cents a week towards the saving stamps, and then, [when] you got enough stamps, you turned it into a bond.  That used to be through school, as well as tin foil [collecting] there as well, and all those little [facets].  Food, they were rationing.  You know, depending on the size of the family, there were stamps, and that wasn't welfare stamps, at that time.  There's only so much you could buy.  So, a can of corn would have X amount of stamps, a pound of coffee would have another, sugar would have others.  ... The families had [to conserve].  This is during the Second World War, that I remember, as a youngster, and then, an early teenager, having to ration what we ate and what meat we had, because you only had so many stamps.  The same with gasoline; if you just used the car for pleasure, and gasoline was, like, seventeen cents a gallon, [laughter] ... you used to have an "A" sticker.  So, you only could buy so much gas a week, because it had to go to the war effort.  ... Then, if somebody worked in the shipyards, where my dad worked after the WPA, because, then, everybody was working in the war effort, there used to be, like, a "C" rationing [card].  So, you could get more gas to go back and forth to work, and those are the things that I recall.  You just grew up with it.  It was accepted. You didn't know that it was not the norm. 

SI:  Did your father work at the shipyards for the entire war? 

SR:  From the WPA, ... he may have then, after WPA, started his side-business, repairing cars, but, then, the war effort started and the shipyards were in Kearny, and other places, but I remember he worked in Kearny.  ... Of course, they were working many hours a week, and the more they worked, the more they made, and then, he started making money where it could be saved for him, ultimately, to buy the gas station/garage.  After the war, he started his own business. 

SI:  We were curious if he owned the gas station during the war and if he had to deal with rationing from that side.

SR:  No.  That was somewhere, I think, towards the end of the war.  ... Theoretically, at least to these folks, they were making big money when they worked in the shipyards, because there was overtime and these are people who may have gone from twenty cents an hour to five dollars an hour.  I'm not sure that's the numbers, but there was that kind of jump, ... because of the war, and that's probably why we came out of the Depression, unfortunately. They were able to put some money together. 

SI:  Did your father ever say what he did in the shipyards?  Was he a welder?

SR:  He was a welder and, I guess, a construction worker, where they bolted the boats together.  ... Then, I'm not sure what you folks know about what happened then, [but] asbestos was the product that they all used in the insulation of all the ships, because, in ships, there were fires and asbestos is fire resistant.  So, they ... all used this. They, the workers in the shipyards who were ... building these ships, were exposed to, probably, every deleterious material that there was, and [with] asbestos being the most prevalent.  Now, whether that had anything to do with my dad's death or not, I don't know.  He died at the age of fifty-six of a heart attack, and he was also a smoker. So, if that didn't happen, theoretically, he could have had asbestos disease later in life, like a lot of the workers became afflicted with, right to today.

SI:  Did your mother or sister do any kind of war work, or work outside the home?

SR:  My mother worked outside the home.  She worked in a bakery in Newark, some time part-time, some time full-time.  My sister, it was not fashionable for young ladies to go to college and she was a pretty bright girl.  She went to work for the State of New Jersey and she worked for the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, ... that office was in Newark at that time, as a secretary.  Ultimately, she advanced to, there was a Governor [Alfred E.] Driscoll, to one of his assistants.  ... She was also a bookkeeper.  ... After she got married, I think she left the state and worked part-time for some private industries. 

SI:  Do you remember Newark changing a lot?  Was there a large influx of new people to work in the war industries?  Was there more of a military presence in the city?

SR:  ... I don't remember Newark changing until the riots, in the early 60's, because I went to high school [inNewark] and the high school was pretty much the same group.  You know, we went [on together] from elementary school; some of us went to different high schools, but it was the same element.  There may have been more racial integration in the high school at that time.  I would say, from where I went to elementary school, [in] which there was probably de facto segregation, high school may have been fifteen to twenty percent minorities, very little Hispanic.  I'm talking about the minorities being black people.  ... That was because the high school was in the middle, so, it went from all schools to the high school.  ... Then, I went away to college in Indiana, and then, to the military, so, I didn't get back.  I really left Newark when I was about seventeen years old and didn't return until ... ten years later or so, and then, after law school, the riots occurred.  ... [Newark] turned around 180 percent [degrees].  It went from a vibrant city to a disaster, and you people are seeing, currently, that they're trying to come back, with the cultural center and sports arenas.  Whether that'll do it or not, I don't know. 

SI:  Can you tell us a little bit about your early education?  Where did you go to elementary and junior high school?

SR:  All right.  ... I lived, [I will] try and put this pictorially, on South Thirteenth Street.  I went to South SeventeenthStreet Elementary School.  Between where I lived and the school, there was Westside Park.  So, we used to walk across, go through the park.  ... At that time, [I] probably moved there [when] I was eight or nine years old, so, I was there until I finished elementary school, all the activities centered around the park.  So, we used to walk across the park and school was part of the park.  ... During recess, if you didn't go to the playground, you were in the park.  ... It was a general elementary school education.  It was pretty positive.  You know, some classes you didn't like, some teachers you didn't like, some teachers you liked, but I did above average.  ... It was during those years that, after school, as opposed to when I said we went out skating, ... when we were youngsters, and hopscotch and whatever else you did, ... we really got into [other things].  There was ice skating in the wintertime in the park. Summertime, you went out and you chose up the teams the same way.  There was still no, or little, parental guidance in those years and absolutely nothing like the Little League or what you have today.  ... There was the Boy Scouts that had, I guess, some structure to it.  Some of the church groups had such structure, but, if we wanted to play basketball or football or baseball, there was no adult [supervision], other than when you had your gym teachers.  ... By then, we still didn't have TV in those years.  ... TV, I guess it started becoming a household item when I was a junior or senior in high school, where maybe one-third of the households had a small TV.  ... So, you saw a little more sports on TV.  The newspaper ... and the radio [were] your primary source, and where you picked up all the news and what was happening in sports.  ... Also, at that time, Newark had a minor league AAA team, the Newark Bears.  ... When you were in grade school, I guess even in high school, [we] used to have something called the "Knothole Gang," you know, like, you stand outside the fence, look through a knothole [in the fence], except this was, you got, like, ten baseball games for a dollar.  So, it was ten cents a game and you used to have a little card.  They clipped it off.  ... My parents used to give me, like, twenty-five cents to go and the stadium was maybe five miles from the house, but what we used to do [was], ... that five miles, or whatever distance it was, we used to walk, because the car fare was a nickel.  ... For a nickel, you'd get a soda and, [for] a nickel, you'd get a hot dog.  So, we used to save that and get an extra soda and hot dog, by walking.  ... That's where I first saw Jackie Robinson, because he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, which was part of that same league, and that was all part of elementary school, you know.  It was all run through the schools. 

SI:  Which subjects did you find yourself gravitating towards in school?

SR:  ... I remember, I was chief of the, whatever they called the patrol.  I got to [be on] there.  ...

SI:  A safety patrol?

SR:  Yes, where you guarded the street corners.  They didn't hire outside guards.  The kids did it, and within whatever radius it was.  You had something they stuck on your arm.  ... They didn't have guards, you know, street guards then, that they hired.  They had the safety patrol, with the older children, boys and girls.  This was primarily boys then, did that [safety patrol], out for about a mile distance.  I don't recall anybody coming to school by bus in those years.  You all walked.  Even if it was a mile, you walked, or whatever distance it was, or else there was another school to go to.  ... I guess I gravitated towards the sciences.  ... I'm trying to figure out how they broke it down then, probably a lot of English, where there was some public speaking and expression, and social studies, not the math, though.  [laughter]

SI:  Were any of your school activities curtailed as a result of the war?

SR:  Not that I can recall. 

SI:  Okay. 

SR:  Not that I can recall.  I don't know, ... can you give me a hypothetical?

SI:  We often hear about how people, often outside of cities, could not travel for games because of the gas rationing, or how teachers were drafted.  Did any of this happen in Newark? 

SR:  No.  Well, let's see, probably less than fifty percent of the population had cars, so, ... you've got a different type of philosophy.  Public transportation, there was plenty of public transportation.  ... When we were in high school; let's see, elementary school, I told you, I walked from [home] to the park.  High school was a little further away, but there were no buses, no school buses, no yellow buses.  ... They used to have public transportation and, if you're a student, you got a book of tickets, let's say a dollar for a month, or whatever.  I don't remember what. So, we used to use that, and, again, if the weather was decent, or there were times when it wasn't working, or a snowstorm; ... school was never cancelled for a snowstorm.  I don't remember once where school was ever cancelled.  [If] the bus didn't come, we walked.  You know, you got there, school went on, ... I guess the teachers got there, or else the other teachers covered, but I don't remember school ever being cancelled for a snowstorm. ... Again, we were in Newark and ... the elementary schools were primarily within walking distance and the high schools were probably within walking distance, even if it was inconvenient.  So, I didn't recall [anything like that]. ... The war started in 1940, '41, so, I was ten years old.  It was over, then, I was fourteen or fifteen, ... and the athletics in schools and everything were close by.  ... The Newark Bears were the Yankee farm team.  So, I saw Phil Rizzuto; I don't even know if these names will [mean anything].  ... Yogi Berra, I saw him play for Newark. So, when we got older, those players that we watched in Newark then went up to the Yankees, and so, we became Yankees fans.  ... Ultimately, when TV finally blossomed, the minor league teams couldn't make it, so, they just went by the wayside.  ... The only two places I knew how to go to [in] New York by train were the Yankees Stadium and Ebbets Field.  Ebbets Field [is] where the Dodgers played.  ... With the PATH, we used to call it "theHudson tubes," we used to be able to take the bus to Penn Station in Newark, get on the tubes.  You go to where Penn Station is in New York.  The "D" train went to Yankee Stadium and there was another one that went to Ebbets Field.  So, I knew how to do that. 

SI:  Do you remember the historic year Jackie Robinson joined Major League Baseball?

SR:  Yes, that's vivid.

SI:  Was that surprising to people around Newark?

SR:  Well, again, I don't think I realized that baseball was not integrated until that was such a big thing.  That was 1947, let's see, '31, so, I was sixteen years old, and I'm not sure I really, fully, realized that baseball wasn't integrated, that the sports weren't integrated, ... because, at the lower levels, it was, until I saw, you know, all the news about Jackie Robinson going to the Dodgers and Branch Rickey, who was the general manager, and I'm not sure [if] he was the owner.  [Editor's Note: Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager in the postwar era, maneuvered to bring about Jackie Robinson's debut during the 1947 season, thus breaking Major League Baseball's "color barrier."]  ... It was, you know, legendary and revolutionary that they did such a thing.  ... At that point, I realized that, "Gee, it wasn't integrated," and I didn't realize the services were not integrated, the military services, until after the Second World War.  ... Whether I didn't observe it or whether we just didn't see it, I'm not sure, but it was [at] that point, ... and I remember that vividly, that it was an impact on me, that, "Yes, they're not integrated."  Of course, everything I've ever done before, even though minorities were really a minority, ... I never thought about it [as] things being segregated, and then, when I went in the military service, I really saw it. 

SI:  Even though it was after integration.  [Editor's Note: The interviewer was referring to President Harry S. Truman's desegregation of the US Armed Forces by executive order in 1948.]

SR:  Well, when I went in the military, because you were exposed to bus stations, you were exposed to theaters, ... and it says, "Drinking fountains, white only," and whatever, if I'm saying, "Black," I'm sure it didn't say, "Black," and bathrooms and everything else, not in the military itself, but you were exposed to the [segregation] as soon as you go South. 

JH:  When you saw Jackie Robinson play, was there anyone yelling or protesting?  I know that was a big problem when he was on the Dodgers.

SR:  Well, the answer was, I saw Jackie Robinson play for the Montreal Royals, that was the International League, and nobody said, "Peep," you know.  [laughter] That's why it never was a big deal, ... and there were other black players playing at that level, and maybe there weren't [many], but they were starting.  So, when he went to the Dodgers, by the time I went over to Ebbets Field, let's see, Willie Mays was already playing.  [Editor's Note: Willie Mays began playing for the New York Giants in May of 1951.]  There were a few others, and Larry Doby, he was from New Jersey, Paterson, New Jersey, and he was the first black player in the American League, for Cleveland, ... but I don't recall seeing that.  ... The only place I would have seen that would have been in New York, and I don't recall anybody saying anything in the stands or anything derogatory, but they went outside of this area.  ... In this area, I'm saying, you know, at least between Washington, DC, and Boston, ... you're probably insulated a lot from that type of segregated [policy] and prejudice, at least outwardly, you know.  Inwardly, I'm not sure. 

SI:  Since you became so involved in military aviation later, would you go to any military bases nearby, or NewarkAirport, to watch the planes or to be involved?

SR:  ... The answer was that there was no way to get there, and everybody was so busy.  By the time I was in high school, I think, when I started to drive, I used to go down to Newark Airport.  ... By then, I was seventeen, and a little older, and I used to look at the planes.  ... Newark Airport was a hell of a lot different than it is right now. 

SI:  What do you remember from the end of the war, V-E Day and V-J Day?

SR:  ... Well, I probably remember during the war a lot more.  I remember the invasion of Europe, Normandy, that day.  It was all over the papers and I remember, in the high school, we used to get the paper and read it ... on the bus on the way to school, what the invasion was, what we were losing, and I don't think we had any idea of how close we came to being defeated on the invasion of Normandy until years later, how touch-and-go it was and how weather was such a thing.  On the Victory in Europe, that came slower, because there was the bombing, the constant bombings and constant news.  So, we knew that was a matter of time.  ... Gradually, the news was back that, you know, Germany, ... and the Axis, that had been Germany and Italy, were defeated and it's just a question of when they would give up.  Now, whether we knew what happened to Hitler, and whether that's even true to this day, I'm not sure, with the bunker.  ... We knew that, sooner or later, the Germans were going to give up, because, in leading up to it, they were meeting, before President Roosevelt died, there were meetings with Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin.  ... Stalin was a hero to the US at that time.  We had no idea of how, I guess, immoral he was.  So, he was a hero right up to the end of the war, and then, during the Cold War, we started getting the other side.  ... Then, after Roosevelt died, then, when Truman was President, there were some more meetings, in North Africa, figuring out how they're going to divide up Europe.  So, that was the end of that war.  There was some celebration, but that, we knew, was coming.  I mean, it was clear that that was coming, but we had the problem with the Pacific, and that ended overnight.  There were the two bombs within weeks of each other, and then, that was the end, and then, there was a lot of celebration.  ... Then, the war was over, because the troops in Europewere going to go to the Pacific and we knew that those invasions, the way the Japanese were suicidal in their defense, that would have cost millions of troops.  So, that's when the celebrations occurred, and nobody knew about nuclear weapons until they happened.  It's amazing, that I'm not sure, in our atmosphere today, with the news media and how things leak out, that it could have been done, but it was done then.  ... The first thing we knew is that we dropped a bomb that devastated a whole city, and then, when that didn't work, there was another one.  ... Then, there were the celebrations that I can recall, and nobody thought about the collateral damage, in those years, and what that bomb did to the population and the devastation of, you know, the Japanese cities.  ... As a youngster, I said, "Well, we finally got even, you know, with [them for] Pearl Harbor." 

SI:  On V-J Day, was it the kind of scene in Newark that we are familiar with from New York?  Did a lot of people come to the center of Newark?

SR:  All right, well, let's see, not in the center of Newark.  Let's see, 1945, so, I was fourteen years old, I didn't go to New York, but I don't remember that type of activity in Newark.  ... Everybody celebrated.  The war was over.  We knew our relatives would be coming back. 

SI:  Did a lot of young men and women from your neighborhood go into the service?

SR:  ... Everybody had somebody that; everybody, oh, I guess I'm generalizing, but almost everybody we knew had somebody in the family [in service], because we had the draft.  So, they got drafted.  Whether they wanted to go or not, they went.

SI:  How involved was the community when somebody would be lost or come back wounded?  Did the community come together to support the families?

SR:  Yes.  I may have been too young to remember that.  ... I'm sure there's someone, you know, family of my friends or who I was in school with, [who] were lost, but the answer was, it wasn't like it is now. 

SI:  That you would not know if someone was lost necessarily?

SR:  Well, I didn't know, or it made no impact on me, in those years.

SI:  Can you tell us a little bit about your high school years?  You went to Central High School. 

SR:  That's correct, and, obviously, by the name, it was right in the central point of Newark.  ... It was only a few blocks from Rutgers Law School.  ... I went to that high, [Central High School]; I could have gone to one of two schools.  One was Westside, the other was [Central], but my immediate clique went to Central, so, we went to Central.  ... We were four-year schools then.  The elementary school was eight years, and then, high school was four years.  There may have been some parts of the city that had a junior high, because they joined; the only reason I know that [is that] when we were second-year students, or sophomores in high school, we got different people that came in, even though, in sports, they were able to go to play on a freshman team in high school from the junior high.  So, that was my first recollection that we had some ... elementary schools that were not eight-year schools, but ... it was the same friends.  ... I participated in several of the activities.  I played some baseball and football, because, [the] same group that we played with in the parks, disorganized, we finally got to where we had a chance to become part of organized teams, ... which was different, and [involved] discipline, and, now, we're subject to discipline and training for the first time.  ... [I] became friendly with a few of the teachers and high school, I guess, was multi-discipline.  You had to do shop as well as languages, ... but I guess I realized that I headed towards the sciences, to some extent, same thing I had the interest in in elementary school, a little more concentrated, because, by the time you were ... a junior and senior in high school, you start doing what you wanted to do, pick out a few more electives that you wanted.  ... I didn't know about the military at that time.  I was still interested in what I was going to do, and it was there that one of the high school instructors started talking to me about going out to the Midwest to college, because he thought he [could] get me a scholarship, and I don't know what more I could tell you about that.  ... We were the Group IV, Group IV is the biggest schools, state champions in basketball and football for a couple of years when I was there.  I don't recall any drugs at all in high school.  Best that would happen is, after the prom, maybe, we went to New York, where you could drink at the age of eighteen then, but I don't recall anybody being drunk, any of that type of activity [or] any real racial problems, and I'm sure there's some undercurrent, but there was nothing, at least obvious, racially, and it was pretty calm.

SI:  Was there any kind of gang-type activity at the time?

SR:  The answer is none that I'm aware of.  ... [There] may have been a breakdown, ethnically, I guess.  When you talked [at] lunchtime, ... I remember some of the Italian guys saying, "Well, we have meatballs and spaghetti every night," because, you know, we still were not a wealthy community.  So, ethnically, we spoke about foods, but we also visited with each other's families.

SI:  Was there any anti-Semitism that you recall?

SR:  The answer is not that I observed, but my name never lent itself [to outward identification], ... and the people I knew knew me.  So, if there was, it certainly was not to my face, and, with my name, ... it never came out directly. There are other folks, who had names like Cohen or whatever, who experienced things that I did not experience. 

SI:  Before this teacher started talking to you about going to college in the Midwest, had you thought that you would go to college?

SR:  I'd never thought about it very much, because my father had a business and there was no one in my family in there.  Like I said, there were eleven siblings of my mother and my father had four and there were, like, twenty-five cousins, first cousins, on one side, about ten on the other, and nobody had been to college yet, and I [would] just assume "you're going into your parents' business."

JH:  Was education important to your family?  Were you expected to do well, or was it just that you were going to finish high school and work in your family business?

SR:  Just going to finish high school.  "You're going to finish high school, and you'd better not get in trouble." [laughter] ... There, [it] was never the teacher's fault, it was never the school's fault.  [If you] came back and said, "Well, so-and-so," that was unheard of.  It was always our fault.  Even if it wasn't, it was our fault.  For next time, you got a swat on the behind.  "If it's not for this time, it's for next time."  [laughter]

SI:  You talked about how, during the war, Stalin and the Russians were seen as allies and heroes, but, then, the Cold War changed that.  Do you remember how that came out, when you started thinking of the Russians and Communism as a threat? 

SR:  Well, it came out ... how the Russians, ... the Stalinists, let me start being a little more specific, persecuted the Polish, persecuted other Western [Eastern] Europeans.  ... Well, we knew, from the pogroms in the prior century, ... that they persecuted the Jews, but they persecuted their own.  We know that Stalin murdered his [people].  It came out.  Well, whether it came out in school or how I learned it, I guess we were already learning about how Stalin murdered his rivals.  If we take the current [2008 Presidential campaign as an example], McCain, Clinton, Obama, then, [you would] figure McCain would have Clinton and Obama eliminated.  ... So, either I studied that; now, how much I'm giving you is hindsight of things I learned in college or otherwise, I'm not sure, but I knew, before then, at least from newspapers and at least the radio, and, by then, there was some TV, what had happened.  ... Then, Stalin's daughter [Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva], she bolted on him and came to the US and exposed a lot of what happened as well.  So, I think all that, if one tried to learn a little more about it and ... was involved with it, it was a total picture of how bad it was. 

SI:  You remember, at least before you went away to college, starting to think that Russia was a threat.

SR:  Before I went to college?  Let's see, probably not; ... I graduated from high school in 1949.  Then, Germanywas split up into the British section, the US section, the Russian section.  I don't think the Berlin Wall had gone up yet.  [Editor's Note: The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961.]  I think it was just [that] we were just starting to learn how bad things were.

SI:  That was the year that they detonated their first nuclear weapon, 1949.

SR:  Who detonated?

SI:  The Russians.

SR:  I don't really recall what the first year was.

SI:  Did it cause any fear or panic among the people?

SR:  ... Well, yes, I think we were apprehensive, but, you know, I think, we think, that some of Franklin D. Roosevelt's colleagues in the left wing of the Democratic Party contributed to that, but I'm not sure.  I don't know if you've [learned this], there was an Alger Hiss.  ... From what I've read, there was enough cooperation between [them].  Of course, ... they didn't realize how Stalin was or ... that he was evil, if that's the word.  When they were cooperating, there was more a Socialist/Communist philosophy that those folks ... thought was good for the USand the world. 

SI:  In the 1930s and 1940s, what did your family think of Franklin Roosevelt?

SR:  He was God.  [laughter]

SI:  A lot of people say that.

SR:  ... And I was kind of a revolutionary, because I was exposed to a few books.  There was a writer, I guess you can [say] he was a lot more erudite and academic than Rush Limbaugh, that I was exposed to in high school, the teachers gave me the books to read, who really was anti-Roosevelt.  So, I was reading both parts and, when I tried to speak to the family, they figured I was some kind of wacko, that I didn't think that Roosevelt and that whole group were the next coming of Jesus or Moses, [laughter] but that's the answer to your question, that he was ... God.  I asked some of the people, trying to give you an analogy, maybe, Bill Clinton, a lot of the folks really worshipped Bill Clinton.  I'm not sure what's happening to him now.  ... [He] should learn to keep his mouth shut, but I think there's a group of people in the Democratic Party, or that liberal wing, that really thought he was next to God. 

SI:  Clinton or Roosevelt?

SR:  Bill Clinton.  Well, I'm talking about; I was trying to give you an analogy.  I'm not sure it works, because ...Roosevelt was not subject to the same scrutiny that we have with our current politicians, where, if they go to the bathroom, I guess, there's a video camera someplace.

SI:  Tell us about going out to Butler University.  What was it like to leave Newark, where you had grown up, and go to this whole new area?

SR:  ... Well, I didn't know I was going to go until a few weeks before, and my parents were not involved in that whole process.  I think, about ten days before I was going out to Indiana, I told my mother and father that I'm going to college in Indianapolis, Indiana.  They said, "Why?" you know.  [I] said, "Well, I got some help and I want to go to school away.  We'll see how that is," and they didn't have any idea that I was going to go until, like, ten days before I was going.  I was never there before.  Your folks didn't take you out to visit schools and were not involved in the whole process, you know.  We did it all on our own in those years.  ... I had a little money, so, I worked out something and I got on a bus down by Penn Station in Newark.  All I had was a duffle bag, and I didn't know where I was going, either.  I didn't know where I was going to live and I took the bus out to Butler, and then, I didn't know how to get to the campus.  ... I took a trolley, they still had trolleys there, and I got to the dean of men.  That's the only thing I knew, and I said, "Well, I'm here; where do I go?" you know, [laughter] and he pointed and he says, "Well, that professor is a professor of religion."  They had a seminary; now, that is no longer on campus.  I'm not sure, ... do we have our school of religion at Rutgers still operating, or is that [gone]?  ...

SI:  I think it was separated when Rutgers became the State University of New Jersey. 

SR:  Yes, all right.  Well, Butler did the same thing.  When I was there, it was still part of the university, something theological seminary, Christian Theological Seminary.  Now, they're at a sort of parallel campus, but he said, "That professor, he's a professor of religion.  He just [bought a house]," and it was a new house, "he has some rooms." So, I walked over there and I got a room.  ... Then, the procedure's the same.  You have orientation and go through everything, but I knew I had to work, so, I landed a job.  Well, one of the other roomers in the house was in the school of religion and he had a whole network of jobs that he did.  ... I did some landscaping with him, and then, there was, like, a student center and they needed somebody to be a soda jerk.  ... I don't know if you know what that is.  At that time, you used to have a counter and you're sort of behind the counter.  ... Also, when I was working there, then, I had to bus the tables, because ... I'd say about seventy percent of the students smoked at that time and you had to constantly clean.  So, I started working and went down and tried out for the football team and matriculated, and then, met people, as I went along, and, after midyear, ... I started getting involved in one of the fraternities that had formed, ... because there were no dorms at Butler, at that time.  Now, there are, and, if you didn't live in one of the rooming houses, then, you were part of the fraternities, and this fraternity didn't have a house yet.  ... There were a couple of houses down from where I was living and one came up for sale.  So, I got involved with the fraternity and, somehow, some of the alums got involved ... and I got involved in negotiating to buy that house, all at the age of seventeen or eighteen, whatever.  ... Then, one of the guys who I lived with at the rooming house, [the] rooming house, it was upstairs, the professor lived downstairs and there were, like, four rooms upstairs.  He had a girlfriend that was in one of the sororities and he worked as a waiter in a sorority.  Well, his partner got sick or something.  He says, "C'mon, you can start.  You can come over here.  We can work in a sorority house."  It was the Delta Gamma sorority house.  I don't know if they're on campus here or not.

JH:  I do not think we have Delta Gamma here.

SR:  Well, whatever, that was it.  ... I worked over at the Delta Gamma sorority house and you got paid five dollars a week, but ... you could eat your meals there, and that was, when I say waiter, you're a waiter, dishwasher, you know, did everything, and [I] stayed there for three years.  I was in that job for three years, three-and-a-half years, and I still keep in contact with several of the girls that were in the sorority house.  One just died.  ... Then, when I got to campus, there was Air Force ROTC.  ... Korea had not started.  There might have still been a draft.  ... I guess you still have to sign up for the Selective Service, ... but there was Air Force ROTC, and I must have read that in the catalog, so, I knew that was interesting to me, and more interesting, at that point, was, if you made it to Senior ROTC, you started getting paid, whatever it was.  ... I was interested in it and that was an additional incentive, because I was on a pretty tight budget, and I joined ROTC about; let's see, when Korea broke out, in 1950, '51, then, we were in ROTC.  [Editor's Note: The Korean War began on June 25, 1950.]  Then, everybody wanted to get in ROTC, because ... we were not going to be drafted, because we had our commitment after graduation.  ... At that point, it became a premium to be in ROTC and there was only X amount of spaces.  So, that's how I got involved with ROTC, and our; I'm trying to remember what they call the guy now.  We used to call him professor of air science and tactics.  ... He was there for my two years ... when I was [in] the first part of ROTC, and then, he left, but, then, I progressed up the ranks to one of the advanced positions in ROTC.  ... I knew, at that point, because Korea was going strong, that, when I graduated from college, I was going into the Air Force and I was going to go to flight school.  ... I became involved in pretty much all aspects of Midwestern life, which was a lot different than being in the Metropolitan area, because I saw that there were conservatives there, that I didn't experience when I was growing up here, except when I started reading in high school and started learning that there's two sides to our political spectrum and that it's not all black and white, the way, as I grew up as a youngster, I was led to believe.

SI:  Was that through fellow students?

SR:  Where, at Indiana? 

SI:  Yes, at Butler.

SR:  Well, a combination of everything, you know, the faculty, students, just intellectual curiosity, being involved.  I became a Young Republican.  I worked on, it was [Senator] Robert A. Taft, ... his campaign, lost.  I think he was in the primary where Eisenhower won, ... but it was just the overall intellectual experience.  ... Militarily, I was probably, I would have considered myself a hawk in those years, but I think that all relates back to Pearl Harborand, probably, the Holocaust.

JH:  Going back just a little bit, how did you decide to go to school in Indiana?  Was there a reason that you picked Butler?

SR:  Well, the high school instructor got me a scholarship, and he said, "You can get away from all these propaganda mongers in New York.  It'd be good for you," and I didn't know any better, you know.  The only thing I knew about Indianapolis was the Indianapolis 500.  Of course, it was a hell of a lot of different.  There was no professional football team, there was no professional basketball team.  You know, now, Peyton Manning, [the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts at the time of the interview], that was far away; there wasn't anything professional in Indianapolis, except the Indianapolis 500 race. 

SI:  Was it more of an industrial town?  Were there a lot of mills around there?

SR:  No, not compared, not compared; that area of Indiana, if that's in your mental [image], that's up around theChicago area.

SI:  Like Gary?

SR:  Gary and Hammond and closer to Notre Dame.  South Bend is closer to that area.  No, Indianapolis is right in the center of the state, and there's some manufacturing.  Eli Lilly, a big pharmaceutical company, is there, but, compared to what we had here, it was rural.  I mean, Indianapolis is a big city now, but, at that time, the population was probably less than five hundred thousand. 

SI:  How big was Butler at the time you were there?

SR:  Well, it was about the same size it is now, about forty-five hundred to five thousand.

SI:  Were a lot of your classmates World War II guys who had come back on the GI Bill?

SR:  The answer is yes.  ... I'd say about a third of the students were GI Bill people, who I got to know pretty well.  There was one who was, like, the editor of the; what's the school paper here, the Targum?  That's theCollegian there.  He was blind.  He had a grenade blow up in his face, and [was] disfigured, and I became pretty friendly with him.  He got a seeing-eye dog later on, but he pretty well got around with his cane and the assistance of others. 

SI:  Do you think the presence of the GIs affected the overall academic experience?

SR:  Yes, yes, because I think they brought a perspective of, you know, suffering around the world, their experiences.  ... I had that experience when I went to law school, where I was on the other end of the spectrum.  ... You know, you had people like me, I think I was seventeen when I graduated from high school, so, [when] I was there, I was just eighteen, and then, you had the veterans [who] came back from those experiences, who were twenty-three or twenty-four.  ... We were all in class together and we worked together, played ball together.  So, I think it was a very positive experience. 

SI:  Can you tell us a little bit more about the development of your exposure to conservative thought and how it affected your thinking and beliefs at Butler?

SR:  Well, ... from the military point of view, [it] was that, plus, I guess, what I was exposed to as a youngster, plus what I saw was going on in Korea, that I thought that we had to have a strong military position in the world.  Also, I thought that there was too much welfare at that time and people were not willing to really work if they could get it, handouts or government aid.  So, from that aspect, I thought we should probably be a little more fiscally conservative, and I tried to express those views to whoever I could. 

SI:  Were there any particular professors that you recall that guided you along?

SR:  I think there were both ways.  Some, I had battles with, and there were liberal, progressive, and conservative professors, probably more conservative faculty ... in that academic atmosphere than there would be at Rutgers, or here on the East Coast, but, still, you know, there's academic freedom and people could express themselves. 

SI:  Were there any particular events during that time that stood out and reinforced your beliefs, for instance, anything happening in Europe or the Cold War?

SR:  ... Let's see; well, I can go back to high school.  I think Sputnik really was a shock to me, because we had no; well, we, when I say [we], at least as a high school student, member of the general public, we had no idea that the Russians had those advances and were that far advanced.  ... I'm not sure; that was probably later on, though, [Editor's Note: Sputnik I was launched by the USSR on October 4, 1957] but I think, whenever that was, ... that reinforced my thinking that we had to stay strong and put a whole lot into that program.  ... Then, Kennedy was elected, ... you know, so, I'm not sure what year that was, whether I was in college or out by then.  [Editor's Note: John F. Kennedy became President in 1961.]  ... So, that was certainly something that affected me, or at least one of those events that ... sticks in my mind.  The development of the atomic weapons by Russia and their threats; Khrushchev banging on the table at the UN, I think, fortified my thinking and that type of event.  [Editor's Note: During a speech to the United Nations in October 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe on his desk to make a point during a debate.]

SI:  When you were in college, did you still find that there were a lot of people saying that we could get along with the Russians, that Communism was not a threat?

SR:  Yes, and afterwards.  ... I think an analogy would be what we're doing with Iran at the present time.  ... Well, Khrushchev was as nutty as, at least outwardly, in his verbalization, as [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. So, if I can create that kind of analogy, that was the type of feeling, and some people in the diplomatic arena thought, "You can deal with them," and others say, "No way," you know. 

SI:  What attracted you to working on the Taft campaign, as opposed to the Eisenhower campaign? 

SR:  ... I guess I'd met Taft and I thought he made a lot of sense in how he wanted to run government, and I wasn't sure our war hero would be a good President.  ... I may have thought he might have been a little too old at that time.  I don't remember how old he was, but we're talking fifty years ago.  ... [Editor's Note: Eisenhower was sixty-three years old when elected President.]

SI:  Ultimately, what did you think of Eisenhower as President?

SR:  He was okay.  I think we could have won the [Korean War], did a lot better in Korea.  I think Eisenhower felt that he just wanted to get us out.  At least that was the political position of the people that were behind him.  ... I thought Truman was not a good President. 

SI:  Because of his foreign policy or domestic policy, or both?

SR:  Well, primarily, his foreign policy, ... because he fired [General Douglas] MacArthur and I felt that was a mistake.  Of course, I was already in the Air Force, in Strategic Air Command, and I know we could have finished it off, and politically, I guess, it was not acceptable to that party.

SI:  Can you tell me a little more about Air Force ROTC training?  Was it mostly classroom work?  What did they focus on?

SR:  ... Well, the answer is not mostly classroom work.  ... Probably one-third of the time was spent in military protocol, marching, learning military procedure, [we] used to have parades, like they do at West Point, like once a month, and preparing for those, physical fitness.  Then, one-third would have been classroom work, would have been learning the weather, a course in weather, a course in navigation, military protocol, status of forces agreements, where we were, it may have been in Portugal or the Azores, and demeanor.  ... You had to be a gentleman and an officer, how to pull a chair out for a lady, ladies always go first, and to that nitty-gritty point.  ... One of the most difficult things I had in class, whatever, the first class, where the teachers, ... they were military instructors, just as they are now at Rutgers, [the instructors] ask questions and, if you say, "Yeah," ... and sat down, ... you had to stand up.  If you're called on, [you] had to stand and you didn't say, "Yeah," you say, "Yes, sir," and, "No, sir," "Yes, ma'am," and, "No, ma'am."  ... I was a kid from Newark, so, ... that was a shock, you know.  It took me all of a month-and-a-half, two months, before you learn that that's the way it is, and none for the worse of it.  ... So, that's pretty generally [what we learned], and ... there's a lot of history of the Air Force.  The Air Force became autonomous, I don't even know if you folks know that, in 1947.  Before that, it was the Army Air Corps. When I started in ROTC, we wore, like, the Eisenhower uniforms, with brown shoes.  Well, it's the black-shoe Air Force, then, by the time we got to the second, or the junior and senior year, we got blue uniforms and that was the black-shoe Air Force then and we became integrated.  So, one of the courses was that [ROTC training], and I don't remember whether it was two hours a week or three hours a week.  ... The credit was in lieu of gym or physical education.  Do you still have to take gym at Rutgers? 

SI:  No. 

SR:  Well, that was a requirement and I'm not sure [for] how long.  ... So, that filled that requirement, and I think it was a four-year requirement.  ... Later, it may have been health or whatever it was, but that was a requirement.  ... At that time, freshmen had to take gym, ... or that particular area was a requirement for four years. 

SI:  It was not like being in a land-grant college, or was it a land-grant college?

SR:  No, no, this was voluntary.  I said that, when Korea broke out, everybody was banging at the door.  Land-grant, it's required for the first two years, and then, it's voluntary thereafter.

SI:  Was it a large unit, even though it was voluntary?

SR:  ... Let's see, my ROTC graduating class, fifty or sixty.  So, we probably started out with about a hundred, so, in the whole, four hundred, maybe, in the whole unit, but it was limited, because [of], first of all, the school size, and then, the Korean War started and they could only absorb so many more. 

SI:  Did you get to do any flying?

SR:  ... The basic ground work and class work in flying was during the four-year term.  The flying came in, there was summer camp and you went to summer camp, either one or two years, and the base where you did summer camp was at an airbase where they had an ROTC program as close to where you were going to be that summer. Well, mine was McGuire Air Force Base, down by Fort Dix.  ... That's where I did the summer camp and that's where we started being exposed to flying, because flying was always expensive and we were able to do it at the expense of the government.  ... We had tents that we lived in.  It was next to the big gym down at McGuire, and, again, I'm talking about fifty-some-odd years ago, so, McGuire was a lot smaller than it is now.  ... I remember the first time we were there.  The jets start taking off and we thought somebody was going to crash right into our tent. We all jumped out of our [beds], got under our bunks, but we were that close to the flight line and that's where I started, I was getting flying training, and that was only part of it.  ... Again, [we] had to do, in those years, if you were a cadet, you had to do KP [kitchen police duty].  We'd peel potatoes with a potato peeler and worked in the kitchen.  That was all part of, maybe, one day during the whole tour, where everybody had to [do that].  You had to march from one place to the other, in formation, have parades, learn the protocol, the chain of command, from the bottom up.  So, it was that type of thing, and then, ... physical activity.  We were right next to the gym, so, we'd have basketball teams.  Some of the guys from West Point [who] wanted to go in the Air Force were with us.  So, it was pretty well integrated.  I guess we were about two hundred, two hundred-and-fifty cadets.  First place I ever ... was able to buy a drink was outside the gate at Fort Dix, ... after the first week.  They served [us]; they didn't care how old you were, you know.  I think most of us were under twenty-one at that time. 

SI:  What type of aircraft did you train on? 

SR:  ... Well, at McGuire, they had, in those years, it was the F-94.  That was an air defense jet and with two people.  There was the pilot and the weapons officer.  ... They were interceptor airplanes and that was one of the wings at McGuire.  Then, they also had transport planes.  So, we got involved in those.  ... That was introductory. ... We were there a month, but it gave you, you know, a flavor of what it was all about, if one was going to go into flying. 

JH:  Did you like the base that you were on, as a first time experience?

SR:  Yes.  ... The [first] time I was at that base, before being assigned to summer camp there, was when my uncle, who was in New Guinea, was at Fort Dix, when they were drafted in 1940 or '41.  Then, this was ten years later, because this was about, ... when I was at the base, 1950 or '51.  We went down to see him off, because they were inducted down at Fort Dix and he [then] went to basic training in Kansas, before they went over to the Pacific.  So, that's the one time I had been on the base before.  So, it was a base, you know, we kind of knew, from class work in ROTC, what we were getting into.  I mean, it wasn't any big surprises.  ... There was no abuse or anything like that, but you're expected to be able to stand at attention and, when you're spoken to, stand up and speak like a human and not say, "Yes," "No," blah, blah, you know.  ... That's good training for no matter what discipline you go in.

SI:  They were not particularly hard on the cadets.  They did not run you extra hard.

SR:  Well, that was all part of it, you know, but I don't think anyone did not know what they were getting into and it was accepted.  I think, probably, if it was before [the] first year of college and before you were sort of indoctrinated, you probably would have felt that you were being abused a little bit, but there's no type of physical abuse or anything like that, but you were being trained as officers to go to war.

SI:  At that point, had they broken people up into, "You are going to be pilots; you are going to be navigators," or was it all general?

SR:  No, not yet.  Well, that becomes a physical fitness thing as well, you know.  So, at that point, the answer is no. 

SI:  Did you always want to be a pilot?

SR:  Well, I kind of assumed that I thought that's what I wanted to do.

SI:  What was your major at Butler?

SR:  Well, I thought, as a civilian, I thought I wanted to be an accountant, but it didn't take me long, in two basic accounting courses, to know that I wasn't going to be able to [do that].  ... I didn't have the patience to work with numbers like that, and then, I had a combined business/liberal arts degree, a lot of economics, ... some statistics, and, you know, a lot of constitutional [courses].  Then, I got into a few constitutional classes, had one course with the president of the university.  By then, I guess it was the senior year, he taught that senior class, government and business, where he was right on; what he said then is applicable today.  So, [I had] that combination, but, all the time, knowing that we were going to go into the Air Force, or, ... in that case, it was the Air Force, as soon as we graduated and be off to training, and then, Korea.  So, that was sort of on the back burner, knowing that, what was going to happen when we graduated and what we were being trained for. 

SI:  Were you disappointed at all that the war ended in Korea before you got over there?

SR:  Well, it really did end before I got over there.

SI:  Yes, that is what I meant.  Were you disappointed that you did not have the chance to go over?

SR:  Well, I went into Strategic Air Command.  So, we were flying with nuclear weapons all the time and we were in Alaska with nuclear weapons and, under MacArthur, we thought we were going to drop them on Red China, over the Yalu River, when he was fired.  Were we disappointed?  I guess we were ready to do it, but we also knew the repercussions, but we also, at least some of us thought that we could end it, the problem with China, in 1951, not experience what we're experiencing now in 2008. 

SI:  When you were in ROTC at Butler, did you also know that you were going to be in Strategic Air Command?

SR:  No. 

SI:  Okay.

SR:  No.  I didn't know that until we finished the primary flight training, and then, it depends on where they needed the people in training.  If it was going to be in ... F-16s or F-15s, they weren't in existence then, but it was F-86s and Phantom jets, at that time.  ... If they needed, say they needed five hundred people, ten percent may have been needed at one place, twenty percent another place.  So, then, you were designated where to go, and then, once it was decided, ... [for] our class, they needed people in Strategic Air Command, because we had the Cold War with Russia, and China was developing, Korea was going on.  So, we were pretty much designated for Strategic Air Command, under the command of Curtis LeMay.  I don't know if that name means anything to you.  He ran for Vice-President [with Presidential candidate George Wallace, in 1968], and I guess, after he got out of the military. ... Then, we were assigned there, and then, we knew, at that point, ... some of us were assigned to B-36s and some to B-47s.  [The] B-52 had not yet arrived, and we knew where those bases were, and then, based on your standing in your class, you could get the choice of your base.  So, once you knew where your base was, you picked that.  If you picked the West Coast or some bases, you knew you were going to go to Guam; picked some of the other bases, you knew you were going to be in Europe and North Africa.  So, at that time, we kind of picked where we knew we were going to end up going, which didn't always happen, because you could have been in, where my base was, in Limestone, Maine, but I still went over to Guam and still went to Alaska.  ... That's pretty much how it worked, depends on where the personnel were needed and you had to fill those slots, and, at that time, SAC needed the people, or LeMay had a bigger fist than everybody else. 

SI:  Since you were the Distinguished Military Graduate, did that mean you could pick wherever you wanted to go?

SR:  No, that just gave you the right to become a regular officer, if you so chose.

SI:  Okay, but you chose to go in the Reserves instead.

SR:  Well, ... we were all in the Reserves.  You were in the Reserves, but, if you wanted to apply to become a regular, then, that would have given you the right to be appointed.  Of course, at that time, my family; ... when did I get married?  Whatever it was, well, I was married by the time I was in SAC.  My wife didn't like that at all, because ... we may have taken off and didn't come back for three months, and [I had] told her, "We're coming right back."  So, I got out and, at that time, when I got out of service, I didn't know what I wanted to do, but law school was the next step, because the medical school would have taken some more [education].  I [would have] had to go back and pick up a few more science credits and I was about twenty-five years old already.  ... So, I didn't want to do that.  ... I applied to law school.  I remember, I flew back from North Africa to ... take my LSATs at Colby College, up in Maine.  I flew all night.  I walked in and that's when I got the impact that I was the old guy, with all the college juniors and seniors taking their tests.  [laughter] I looked around and I felt like I was a thousand years old, and I hadn't done any previous studying or anything.  I got off a plane in Maine and we drove for about eight hours to Colby College and I took the test. 

SI:  You must have done well.

SR:  ... [laughter] Well, I don't even remember what the numbers were there, but, I remember, I applied; I know, now, they apply to a lot more law schools than we applied to, apply to a lot more colleges as well, but I applied to Harvard, Columbia, Rutgers and Stanford.  I was not accepted at Harvard.  ... My wife was an only child and her family was here.  ... I would have wanted to go out to Palo Alto, but she was the only child, ... and Columbia was expensive, compared to Rutgers, and I had the GI Bill, which was not as lucrative as the Second World War GI Bill, but, you know, it was still there.  ... If it wasn't for that, ... I'm not sure if I could have gone, but that's where I went.  So, that was how I got to law school.  Given my druthers, I probably would have stayed in the Air Force, but I ... chose both worlds and stayed in the Reserves. 

SI:  Is there anything you want to say about your time at Butler before we dive into your active duty career?

SR:  Oh, I think those years, probably, pretty well molded my entire career, the educational part of it, the social, and liberal and conservative thinking that I came out with, and I've stayed involved.  I have to go back for meetings next weekend. 

JH:  When you graduated, did you graduate with any special honors or decorations from the Air Force or from the university itself?

SR:  Well, I was Distinguished Military Graduate, and there's one other award that I got. 

SI:  Did they have an Arnold Air Society there?

SR:  Yes, yes.  I was in the Arnold Air Society.  I was an officer.  I don't remember how that worked.  ...

SI:  What do you remember about your commissioning ceremony?

SR:  ... I remember, it was probably as important to me as graduating, and, also, when I got my wings.

SI:  Those are two separate things, getting commissioned and getting your wings.

SR:  Well, I didn't go to flight school before I was commissioned.  That was afterwards.  Yes, so, it was definitely two separate things.  ... I've been involved with the ROTC [at Rutgers].  There's a joint ROTC commissioning exercise here, Air Force and Army.  I don't know if you know that, and I've been involved in that for the last several years, and the students at Princeton do their ROTC training here, for both the Army and the Air Force, and I think New Jersey Institute of Technology, which, when I went to high school, was right next-door to my high school.  [It] was Newark College of Engineering then.  They get their commissioning, ROTC program, here as well.  ... Pretty much, the commissioning exercise and graduation are, I guess, within ten days of each other.  I think it was like that at Butler as well.  Of course, you're asking me about fifty years ago, but, pretty much, the same thing. 

SI:  How quickly did you go on active duty? 

SR:  Let's see, I think graduation was, like; first, well, we went to school a lot more than you guys go to [school], than the students go [now].  I'm not sure.  You a Rutgers graduate?

SI:  Yes.

SR:  All right.  You guys go to school ... a lot less than we did.  I mean, every time I talk to somebody, they've got some kind of break or they're in-between something.  I mean, we started on Labor Day and didn't finish the first semester until after the Christmas break, and that was the only break, and then, we started a few days later, there may have been a spring break, and went into the middle of June.  So, our commission and graduation was, like, from the beginning of June to the middle of June, but Butler is the same way now, with the breaks and the number of days.  ... You've got to have a lot less days than we did in school.  I never sat down and figured it out, but it's got to be. 

SI:  People are a lot more flexible with their schedules, too. 

SR:  Right.

SI:  Most people take Friday off.  [laughter] Your next station was Ellington Field.

SR:  Ellington Air Force Base.  ... The [NASA Johnson] Space Center is down in that area now, but, at that time, that was outside of Houston and that was the first training base. 

SI:  Was that the beginning of flight school?

SR:  That was the beginning of flight school, right.

SI:  What do you remember about your time there?

SR:  ... You know, we were already prepared for it, so, it was just learning and doing class work and learning advanced navigation and advanced aerodynamics, and then, going into a cockpit and doing the work.  ... It was hot.  ... I think it was August, and Houston, Texas, is brutal.  ... I remember, the first week or second week we were there, one of the mechanics, we were ready to go into the planes or waiting for something, he said, "Watch this."  The guy, he got some butter or margarine, put it on the wing, cracked an egg and fried it right on the wing of the airplane.  [laughter]

JH:  Did any other people from your ROTC class go with you or was this a brand-new group of people you were training with?

SR:  Primarily, a brand-new group of people.  There may have been one or two.  ... We ended up in different flights, or however they broke it down, but ... this was people from the whole country and different schools. 

SI:  Were you on special trainer aircraft or were they the aircraft that you would actually be flying?

SR:  No, you're [on] special training aircraft.  The multi-engine were DC-3s.  They were, like, the first TWA transport planes, and then, single aircraft were Cessna 152s or Piper 180s.  They're just dual-seat aircraft.  So, that's what you trained in, from there to the DC-3, and then, there was another two-engine plane, I'm not sure what the civilian designation was, that the airlines were using.  ... Then, once you got through there, then, the next step came; where were you going to go?  ... I was really picking places, at that point, rather than [the other way around], and Mather [Air Force Base] was my next training base, in Sacramento, California.  Well, Sacramento is between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.  So, there's downtime; it's like going to college, you know, when you're in flight school.  ... It's no different.  It's just like being in school, only you're in the military and you've got that discipline, but we're already officers, so, we've been through all the abuse, and so, it was a question of, I knew, if we were going to be in Sacramento, that was near Lake Tahoe and we'd be going across the country, or San Francisco.  So, I picked that base and that's the base where we trained to either go into B-36s or B-47s.  ... The airplanes there that we trained in were the plane that you would know as the B-29, that dropped the nuclear weapon, but there was an advanced version of that, [the B-50 Superfortress], where they beefed up the engines, were bigger engines, and they can fly faster and longer.  ... Then, on weekends, one weekend, we were able to go to San Francisco and saw those sights, and then, I first learned how to ski at Lake Tahoe, during those years.  ... From Sacramento, you can see the Rockies and the snowcaps in the middle of the summer. 

SI:  Were you training primarily to be a pilot? 

SR:  You were cross trained to be a pilot, navigator and engineer, because we ... were being trained to fly for twenty-five hours at a time.

SI:  So that you would be able to do each job.

SR:  So, we had to be able to be [in each position], were trained for each job. 

SI:  How did you feel about going into Strategic Air Command, as opposed to becoming a fighter pilot or something else?

SR:  ... Well, I knew a lot about Curt LeMay, at that point.  So, I knew I wanted to serve under him, because he was a commander of the Eighth Air Force.  [Editor's Note:  General LeMay commanded the Eighth Air Force's 305th Bomb Group and, later, its Fourth Bomb Wing/Third Bomb Division.]  ... In Europe, he designed the mass bombing raids and we know him from when he was commander of SAC and, before that, he was the brains, not the scientific brains, but the brains and the planner [as 20th Air Force commander] for Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and Paul Tibbets, who was the lead pilot, just passed away.

SI:  Yes, just a couple of months ago, [on November 1, 2007]. 

SR:  Yes.

SI:  It might be a little early to ask this, but, in all the periods of LeMay's career, anyone who I have interviewed who served under him has talked about how, even when he was at the very top and they were at the very bottom, his sense of having to train a lot and [of] being very strict permeated the whole organization.  Did you, in fact, find that?

SR:  Yes.  ... I just had one personal contact with General LeMay.  ... At that time, I was stationed at Loring Air Force Base, in Limestone, Maine, and I'll give you a vignette about when I arrived there, but part of training is, you have to do simulator training.  You people do the same thing on video games now, [laughter] but we didn't have video games.  Maybe it was a little more complicated, but not too much more.  [laughter] That's why our guys were so good.  ... Our simulator that we had to train on was down in Fort Worth, Texas, [in the] General Dynamics plant.  Now, they have them at the bases, the simulators, but the only simulator was down at Fort Worth, so, we used to have to fly down there, and then, do the simulator training.  ... When you're in a simulator, ... you're pretty well involved and there's noise coming in and ... [they] put you on what you would think is an actual bomb run.  ... They say, "There's a fighter at nine o'clock and somebody's coming in at ten o'clock.  One engine's burning and this engine was just shot."  So, you've got all that going on and you're trying to do the job, and that's the purpose of a simulator, to see how you react to combat and any type of problem that may occur.  ... I remember, I was getting ready to go on a bomb run; in a B-36, there was a crew of about sixteen.  Well, in a simulator, there's only a few of you in there, but it's all coming in from the outside, on the speaker and whatever tape they put in.  ... Then, I remember, one of the crew members in the back, and, to get from the front of the airplane to the back, there used to be a tunnel that they had to ride in, ... but one of them in the back said that one of the engines is smoking or on fire, and I said, "Just keep your eye on it," and then, he came back, "And it's still smoking."  I said, "Well, shut the fuck up.  We're going into this bomb run," and I may have said a few other choice words, or whatever I may have said, because you really think you're doing it, and then, there's only one thing; you go in and do the job and get out. So, when that was complete, or we crashed or got it done or whatever, we got out and you're sweating, because you're up there and you really think you're doing it.  ... [I] walk down, and then, General LeMay was down observing this whole thing, he says, "Who used the profanity?"  [laughter] Well, I had three other guys with me, so, "I said it."  I stand at attention.  He comes up, with his cigar in his hand.  He shouldn't have had a cigar, but I said, "I did it, sir."  He said, "Good job."  [laughter] ... That was the end of it, but, when I got my first duty base, or where we [were] first assigned to a crew, [it] was in Limestone, or it became Loring Air Force Base.  ... [Charles J.] Loring, [Jr.], was a military officer who died during the Second World War and he was from Maine and from that area.  ... Just like [Thomas Buchanan] McGuire, [Jr.], who was from South Jersey and he flew the P-38.  ... In the middle of McGuire, you've got a big P-38.  I don't know if you've ever been on McGuire.

SI:  No, I have not seen it.

SR:  A P-38's a two-engine fighter that was widely used in the Pacific.  Well, when I got to Loring, first thing you do when you go in the military, I'm not sure what you do when you're hired as a professor, but ... the commander gives you an interview or introduction and tells you that they expect you to be whatever they expect you to be and, [if you have] any problems, to talk to him.  ... I had to wait a few minutes and I was sitting, and, in any military base, you've got the base commander, you've got the chain of command, right up to the President, in pictures.  That changes, obviously, periodically.  So, I looked at the picture and I said, "Gee."  One of them, I knew, I mean, other than Eisenhower.  He may have been President, or I probably knew the Secretary of Defense, or at least recognized him, ... but the one I said, "That's familiar," now, just as I was putting that through my mind, he said, "The Colonel will see you now."  I walked in and the commander was my ROTC commander the first two years atButler.  His name was Colonel (Tarter?) and he had a heart attack while we were up there.  ... You know, once we introduced ourselves, I said, "You're not going to recognize me," but he says, "Well, did you go to school in theMidwest?"  I said, "Yes, sir."  ... You know, we were small enough, I guess, ... in my class, a hundred, so, there's 250 people in the program, and he was associate [professor], probably taught one of the classes I had, and he didn't ... recognize the name, but everybody in the Air Force, you all carry around a nameplate.  I say, "Yes, you were my teacher at Butler."  ... Then, he starts processing, and then, we got to talking about that and he said, "Well," he says, "that's probably good and bad."  He says, "It's bad because you're going to get all the tough jobs. It's good because, [if] you perform, you'll be promoted and you'll be a star."  So, I said, "Well;" you know, I didn't know if it was bullshit or not, ... but that's the way it worked.  He put me on one of the toughest crews.  Then, in SAC, if your crews did a good job, you got promoted, spot promotions.  So, I was promoted to captain, like, within a short period of time, and that lasted, you know, until you changed crews or changes [were made], but I got the spot promotion, lasted until I got off active duty, but he had the heart attack while I was there and he had to be relieved from active duty.  ... They were put under all kinds of stress at that time.  ... If you took a plane or you had a plane that had to go off, because, in those years, we were armed with nuclear weapons, and we had to be some place at some time, we had one plane that had a city in Russia or China; another base had ... another plane doing the same thing.  So, [they] might have ten different planes, all doing the same thing, but, ... if they didn't get off, that screwed up the whole system.  So, those commanders were [under] all kinds of pressure.  So, if there's something wrong with the airplane, it'd better be something really wrong, if you didn't take off.

SI:  Let me just pause for a second.


JH:  While you were part of SAC, what kind of missions did you actually have?

SR:  ... Each crew was assigned a target, in the event we had to really go.  Now, we may have taken off from the base we had in Maine and we had that target.  So, we had to be in the air, and then, we used to fly for, like, twenty-five hours; could have been twenty-two, could have been thirty.  So, we were ready, if the whistle blew, to go to that target.  So, then, there were times when ... the whole base, or all the airplanes, went to a base inEngland.  That's called temporary duty and we were assigned, we were at that base, for three months.  Then, we operated out of that base, doing pretty much the same thing.  So, the missions, there was a city that we knew about, that we trained for, that we had radar pictures of, and I knew it as well as I knew New Brunswick.  ... We knew where we were going to be, ... but that city changed, like, from month to month, I'm not sure that's the period, and then, we would get another city or another area or another factory or another base.  ... [When] we took off, the mission was to stay in the air and be ready to go to that city.  ... Then, there's [when] we had to go to Alaska, and that was one of the first missions, didn't know if we were actually going to be involved in dropping a weapon or not.  ... We were geared to drop nuclear weapons, not conventional weapons.  ... Out of Alaska, we'd have the same thing, except, then, it was on the command of LeMay and MacArthur.  MacArthur was the Supreme Commander.  So, those missions were in the air.  There was a city.  It could have been any place, but that's the city you studied and what we also knew, as a crew, [was] that if there was an actual [bombing mission], and you never knew ... whether you were going, [or not].  There was an alert, whether we were going or not, and you're always called back at the last [possible] time.  ... There's the movie, that was pretty accurate.  ... I'm trying to remember who was in it, but where the guy who went out on the bomb [was depicted, Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove].  He was in a B-57.  Up to that point, it was relatively accurate in what went on.  ...

SI:  Was it Fail-Safe?

SR:  Fail-Safe, I think that was it.  Was that George [C.] Scott?

SI:  There was Dr. Strangelove and Fail-Safe, which was more realistic, while Dr. Strangelove was more of a satire.  [Editor's Note: George C. Scott appeared in Dr. Strangelove.]

SR:  Right.  I don't remember which one, but the concept was fairly accurate.  We were up there and you didn't know, and then, if we got the alert, you really went; never got to the point where we armed the nuclear weapon. You always stopped before then and there were people who were cross trained [in] what to do and, fortunately, we never had to do that. 

JH:  This may be more political, but was the idea of MAD around, Mutually Assured Destruction?  Did you know, say, if you had to drop a bomb, that, possibly, one might be dropped on even, not the US, but close by? 

SR:  Yes, and we also planned that, if that happened, we knew where we were going to go in Africa and bailout. Whatever we would have done; ... if I didn't have a crew, I'd have never survived, but you always, you know, you got people from the South [laughter] and from other areas, they could survive anyplace.  ... There was always survivor training, where you went and you were dropped off.  Well, the survival training we went to is outsideReno, Nevada, and I always made sure I had guys who knew how to use guns and could hunt and do everything else with me, and, fortunately, we're never captured and these guys kept me alive.  They would have followed me any place, but ... they were the ones [with survival skills], I mean, because I never hunted, and I guess I did some fishing.  I couldn't catch anything to stay alive, and we were given side weapons.  I never even put bullets in mine.  I don't know what I would have done with it. 

SI:  You had a different target each time.

SR:  Well, like, for about a month at a time, and my recollection's hazy, but for some period of time, because we never knew if somebody might talk.  So, that target was always changed, and whatever target we had, then, another crew, at Travis Air Force Base in California, could pick up, somebody else would pick up.  So, we always had aircraft in the air with that target, you had submarines armed with nuclear weapons with that target, we had the silos home with that target, and then, we had the vessels afloat with that target.  So, that was the deterrent.  It doesn't help with the Islamic Jihadists.

SI:  How close did you fly to the Soviet Union or Soviet air space?

SR:  Pretty close, over Europe, over Africa, over the Mid-East, Alaska, but we would go, you know, over the North Pole.  It'd be the shortest way to get there.

SI:  Would you ever fly close enough that they would send out fighters to observe you or shadow you?

SR:  On a couple of times, I think, we observed some defense aircraft.  The French were a pain in the neck, because they had a lot of bravado.  They used to like to come around and do their stunts.

SI:  Was that when you were flying over France or were they French units deployed elsewhere?

SR:  May not have been.  You know, they were flying around.  It may not have been over France, no. 

JH:  While you were in the United Kingdom, you said you were there for three months, did you have any time off to travel while you were there?

SR:  Yes.  ... Well, I guess I was there on, like, two or three tours, about ninety days each.  ... All the time, we've got the wives and children, everybody, ... back home, and one of them, we thought we were just going out for one mission, [we] ended up being gone for that ninety-day period, but you always brought stuff with you, in that event. ... Our base was Upper Heyford, and maybe fifty miles from London, and, yes, there's downtime.  ... If you fly for twenty-five hours, then, you ... come back and there's a day off, and then, you're debriefed, and then, there's a couple of days in-between, that we used to take the trains, and the same trains; have you ever been [in] England?

JH:  Yes, I have.

SR:  Oh, you know the trains where you all sit, like they are in the movies?  ... We were in London once, I remember, and we came back and we didn't make the right stop, to take; we had to change someplace to get from the train in London to get back to Upper Heyford, and we ended up [in] Bath, England.

JH:  My gosh, that is a little far.  I have been there.

SR:  Yes, and ... this was in November and it was cold, cold and nasty, and there's no hotels open, nothing.  That's a resort community, and there's three of us, myself, I guess maybe four of us.  ... The railroad station had a wood fire burning.  So, we got there, and then, whoever was there, whatever they call their stationmaster, said he has to lock up.  We had to leave.  I said, "We're not leaving."  [laughter] He says, "You have to leave."  I said, "We're not leaving."  ... Well, that was great for the American image.  [laughter] So, he didn't know what to do.  He said, "Well, I'll call the bobbies," or whatever the guy says, the constable.  I said, "Yes, call him.  We're not leaving, unless you carry us out."  So, he left it open, and then, we somehow scrounged up wood to keep the fire going and we got the train back the next morning, and, somehow, called to say we're going to be AWOL for a few hours. 

JH:  Did you get to fly anywhere else, like over to France or anything like that, to visit, or just in England?

SR:  No.  We sort of got an airplane and flew over to France, probably weren't supposed to, but we did. [laughter] Well, not a big bomber, but ...

JH:  Just a small plane.

SI:  What was it like to fly the B-36?

SR:  I don't know how to explain it.  [laughter] Have you ever flown, [where you] get controls of anything?

SI:  No.  Was it a difficult plane to fly?  Was it easy to fly?

SR:  Well, it didn't respond; well, did you ever pilot a boat, a motorboat or a sailboat or anything?

SI:  Yes.

SR:  Well, it did not [respond quickly], so, you've got to think ahead.  It did not respond, like, immediately, not like a car, where you're going to make a left turn.  So, you had to constantly [plan ahead], compared to a jet or a small jet or a small plane, where you got an almost immediate reaction, ... [it] takes a little more time.  ... Our crew went to B-52 training ... because the B-52s were being phased in.  So, we're talking about 1955 or 1956.  That's when those planes went on line.  We're now in 2008; they're still our primary strategic aircraft.  So, you know where we are in terms of obsolescence, but, in any event, we were in B-52 training and that was more responsive, even though it's a big aircraft.  ... I guess it'd be like driving a tractor trailer, compared to driving a T-Bird or a Mustang. 

SI:  Flying for twenty-five hours to thirty hours, how did that work?

SR:  Well, the crews, you had double crews.  ... You learned how to sleep upside down and downside up, but there were a couple of bunks and you slept a couple hours and flew a couple hours and got used to it.  ... There were two bunks there, ... but I learned to sleep sideways, ... there's not all that much room, and my feet up in the air, for a few hours at a time.  ... We used to ... order lunches and dinners, and I think we ... had the first experimental microwaves, and they looked like, again, I don't know if you guys would know, you know, the old refrigerators, there used to be a compartment for ice cubes?  ... That's what the microwave looked like, one of those compartments, but it had a door and it was the radio operator's job, he was the microwave cook, and we didn't call them "microwaves."  We just called them frozen food warmers, or whatever we called them, but they were microwaves.  ... We used to have frozen dinners.  Then, he'd put them in, push the button and they were breakfast, lunch and dinner, ... if you wanted something hot, but, with each dinner or lunch, you used to get a small pack of cigarettes, Lucky Strike.  That's the only time I ever smoked, was, like, on those long flights, because at least you had something in your hand.  That tended to keep you awake a little bit. 

SI:  Was it difficult to stay awake and fight off fatigue?

SR:  ... After awhile, but, as soon as that happened, you had to get somebody to take over, because you could not afford to doze off. 

SI:  Mechanically, did you find the plane to be reliable?

SR:  Well, I think, on the B-36, ... that's a ten-engine plane, four pushers, that means the engines are in the back, and four jets, we never came back with all ten engines operating.  There was always a malfunction somewhere along the line. 

SI:  Were there any close calls, where you were not sure if you were going to make it back? 

SR:  Not really, because you're not thinking [of the possibilities]; well, you're thinking about resolving the problem. You had ten engines.  We had one flight back, we had ... to shut a couple of engines down, but there was enough fuel and we didn't [crash].  The reason a B-36 was so reliable [was] because we could fly without [refueling].  We didn't have midair refueling then, like we do now, because that was the only plane that could be up that long and have that range without being refueled. 

SI:  You were also in Africa. 

SR:  North.

SI:  North Africa.

SR:  One of our bases was, yes, outside of Casablanca.  ... That was a TDY [temporary duty] base, just like we had to be in England for three months.  Sometimes, we were there for three months, and we were able to get around North Africa. 

JH:  Were you able to travel around there or was it too dangerous at the time?

SR:  No, we could travel around.  ... We'd use civilian clothes, but they knew we were Americans.

SI:  Were the people, either in England or Africa, generally accepting of the American presence there?

SR:  Pretty much.  Well, I think, as a business proposition, it was advantageous to them, to have the Americans come in.  We'd spend money.  ... Other than the confrontation I had with that stationmaster, ... we were trained to be polite, you know, not [be] the "ugly American," except when it came to preservation.  I wasn't going to have three or four guys out in the cold rain.  So, I may have been a little obnoxious then, but you try.  You know, that's isolated.

SI:  Was there any of the hostility towards the deployment of nuclear forces that we would see later on in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s?

SR:  I'm not sure the public really knew about it.  Like, within the last year, I think it came out that one of our B-52s had a nuclear weapon on it and there was big news about it.  Well, I don't know what the hell the people expect, you know.  There's probably a lot more than just that one flying around, if we're going to keep the nation safe.  You know, that doesn't mean you're going to go out and just drop it.  ... I'm not privy to that anymore, so, I don't know what's going on.  You know, you only have knowledge of what you're entitled to have knowledge to, because you can speak too much if you know too much, but I was amazed that there was that kind of reaction. Amazed; I wasn't amazed.  I mean, I was disappointed. 

SI:  In training, were there any accidents or close calls?

SR:  What kind of accidents, nuclear accidents?

SI:  No, not nuclear, just regular aircraft accidents.

SR:  ... The day I signed in at Limestone, Maine, we lost a B-36.  ... Well, when I got up there, it was about fifty below zero and [there was] a big snowstorm.  ... I guess they weren't able to move the snow banks around enough and a jet pod clipped one of the snow banks and exploded and we lost the whole airplane and the crew, but there were a couple of other type accidents like that, not necessarily there, but in a couple other places, that I was involved in, nothing to me, personally.  The closest we came were airplane malfunctions, ... but we were trained [in] what to do.  That's why you go to simulator training, because, those emergencies, you, hopefully, have been through.  I never saw an emergency that was not sort of predictable, or that, probably, if I was sitting at home and it happened, I'd be all upset, but, when you've got the adrenalin flowing, you just worry about that particular emergency when it happens; just like trying a case.  You know, things come up and you've got to be able to handle it as you go along. 

SI:  Did you always have the same crew?

SR:  At that time, in SAC, the answer is yes.  Well, once in awhile, if somebody's on leave or a problem happened, you'd have a different crew member, but, primarily, it was you flew with the same crew.  It's not necessarily like that now. 

SI:  Did you become pretty close with your crew?

SR:  Yes.  Well, ... if you went away for three months, you know, with those people, you know who the bridge players were, you know who the Scrabble players were, and you know who the smokers were.  ... We're talking about smoking; I guess, the great majority of people were smokers then.  I was never a smoker, except ... for those isolated occurrences, but most people were.

SI:  You could smoke in the plane.

SR:  Yes. 

SI:  I guess it was pressurized.

SR:  Yes.

SI:  Therefore, temperature was not really a problem.

SR:  Not ordinarily.  ... If we went above forty thousand feet, then, we had to put on oxygen masks, because, in the event there's decompression, then, [you are prepared], and you've already been through training, ... in a chamber, where you know ... what lack of oxygen does.  Like, even in ROTC, I think, when we went to summer camp, we were in that chamber.  They give you a piece of paper and say, "Keep signing your name," and then, they keep reducing or putting it up higher or reducing the amount of oxygen.  Then, no matter what you do, by the time you're on the bottom line, you can see it's incomprehensible, ... just to show you that no matter how strong you are or whatever you think, that lack of oxygen is going to take its toll.  So, there's certain requirements.  At a certain point, you put on oxygen, even if the plane's pressurized, because all it takes is one bullet ... or one cannon shot and you're depressurized.  The only other emergency, that I was involved in, [was], we had a young maintenance crewman who; the big landing gear that you land on, that's hydraulic and it's a mixture of oil and air, where there's supposed to be air up to a certain pressure.  They mix it, so [that], when you land, there's sort of a cushion.  ... This kid wasn't paying attention.  He was doing the nose landing gear and he blew the airplane off the landing gear.  ... I don't know what he was doing.  ... He may have lost a leg, but, when he did that, the front of the plane crashed on the [runway].  It was on the ground.  He was doing maintenance, ... crashed on the runway.  So, they looked for a volunteer crew, this is the middle of the winter, to take the airplane back to the manufacturer, because they had to do a complete check, and check everything, and then, recondition the airplane.  So, my crew said, "Well, let's volunteer, because, if we go down to Fort Worth, we'll be stuck there a couple days.  We can play golf."  That's where I learned [to play golf].  I had never played golf before the Air Force, either, just like I never skied before the Air Force.  So, we ferried the plane down and we stayed low, and our navigator looked like Liberace.  He was an Italian guy with gray, wavy hair and he didn't have anything to do, because we were low enough where we can see where we're going and had all the navigation systems.  So, we were sleeping, and then, out of the side of the plane, there was like a [Colonel Rader bangs on the table] banging on the side.  So, I told the other pilot, I said, "You take over.  Let me see if I can figure out what the problem is," and the hatches on that plane are round, and around the hatches there's like a gasket or a grommet; you know what I'm talking about?  ... What happened? That broke loose.  So, I took it out, and then, there was nothing [holding it in].  I put a parachute on first, before I took it out, and, when I took it out, there's a big gush of air and the guy who was sleeping, who looked like Liberace, he thought that I was getting ready to jump out.  [laughter] He thought there's [an emergency].  So, he jumped behind me; he's going to push me.  [laughter] ... I said, "Here, put this down.  I'm going to pull this back," but he really thought there was an emergency, because he'd just woke up, and he was about ready to throw me out of the airplane and jump out himself.  I never had to bail out of a plane and, by the time we got to training, that was not part of the training, because too many of the crew people would jump, wherever it was, like, from a two-story building [a jump tower], they were breaking ankles and spraining [them] and they were back in the infirmary.  So, it became medically improvident [laughter] ... to teach these guys how to jump out of airplanes, for something that may occur never or once in awhile. 

SI:  Among your crew, or among men at the officers' club, did you talk about the larger significance of what you were doing?  Did you ever talk about what the results of your missions would be?

SR:  Repercussions would be?  Well, we knew the end result; what the repercussions would be, ... we didn't know.  Well, nobody knows, or knew, because, you know, there was a deterrent.  So, philosophically, we were a deterrent, although, you know, we didn't feel that we were going to attack preemptively, like we did in Iraq, or, hopefully, we're a little more careful. 

SI:  Yes.  That was always the policy, that we would be responding, not the first strike.

SR:  Well, in an airplane, we weren't setting the policy, but, emotionally and philosophically, you know, most of us were mature enough, ... [we] will have gotten to that point, to understand exactly what we were doing. 

JH:  Towards the end of your active service duty, it says on your resume that you were promoted to lieutenant.


SR:  Yes.  What I didn't put in there [was] about the spot promotions.  I don't know, did I put in there about Colonel (Tarter?), my first commander, being from Butler?

JH:  No. 

SR:  All right, well, I probably wasn't ... thinking; that's why you have these interviews.  [laughter] ... After eighteen months, and I'm not sure what the time is now, you're commissioned as a second lieutenant, that's the gold bar; after eighteen months, you're automatically, unless you've done something bad [laughter] or you got in some difficulty and there's a black flag on your file, [you were] automatically promoted to first lieutenant.  ... When I would have gotten off active duty, I would have gone back to first lieutenant from my spot promotion as captain, because that's only while you're in that job and you're still on that crew that has gotten the accolades, ... [for] lack of any better term, or has done the job better than anybody else, and that's called the (selective?) lead crew.  ... Then, I would have gone back to first lieutenant status, when I went off active duty. 

JH:  Did these promotions affect your career at all?  Obviously, you moved up, but did it change what you were doing at all, the kind of missions that you were given?

SR:  No, affects pay.  [laughter]

JH:  When did you actually end your active duty tour?

SR:  August of 1956. 

JH:  Did you have a chance to continue?  Would you have stayed in if you could have?

SR:  ... Well, if ... it wasn't for family and the reasons that I expressed when applying to law school, ... well, who knows?  What if? but, looking back, if I was not married and I didn't have those other responsibilities, or at least feel I had those responsibilities, I probably would have applied for the regular commission and stayed in. 

SI:  Were you only trained in the B-52?  Did you ever fly any missions in the B-52?

SR:  ... The plane came on the base; I went on a couple.  For my last couple of missions, I was in a B-52. 

SI:  Did that really change the mission itself?

SR:  The mission? no.

SI:  Could you fly from further out?

SR:  Well, the B-52, we then had the capability of midair refueling.  ... Jets use a lot more gasoline than conventional aircraft. 

SI:  Were the missions the same length?

SR:  Time-wise, sure.  Well, you take the B-1 missions, from their bases in Missouri, not the B-1, the B-2s, those guys, and gals, flew roundtrip from Missouri to Iraq and back, with midair refueling, and they fly a lot faster than the B-36 or the B-52, but, still, they're flying from the middle of Missouri to Iraq and back on the same mission.  Now, they don't have the crew that we had, but they fly a lot faster, so, they're not up in the air as long.

SI:  Given that timeframe, would you have to do a midair refueling?

SR:  When I was on [the] B-52? 

SI:  Yes.

SR:  We didn't do any.  ... We were still in the training phase on the B-52s, just putting them online and we're just getting them on the base. 

SI:  Did you train on how to do that?

SR:  What's that?

SI:  Did you train how to take fuel in midair?

SR:  Yes.  ... Well, that's what McGuire's doing, not only that, but, you know, we've refined it to almost a science now.  They were the beginning stages.  The B-47s, that's the four-engine bomber, that I guess some of the Reserve and National Guard units are still flying the B-47s, ... and I'm trying to remember what the aircraft was, ... it was a conventional aircraft, were the first, really, and some of the fighters, were doing the refueling subsequent to Korea and before Vietnam.  ... The problem there was [that] the refueling aircraft, I think it was the [C]-130 [that was] converted to a refueler, they were too slow for the jets.  So, the jets had to slow down and the conventional aircraft had to be at maximum performance, in order to connect, until we got the KC-135, which is jets, and, now, the planes we have, ... it's a science.  ... They can just about do it with their eyes closed. 

SI:  As a pilot, did you find it difficult to pull this off?

SR:  Well, it's difficult both ways, but it's a question of training, you know, because, once it's pretty close in, it's like a suction, but ... you're pretty close, you know, and you're going 450, five hundred miles an hour.  [It] doesn't look like you're going that fast when you see it from the ground, ... but it doesn't take too much error to cause a problem, and the guys and gals that are doing it now [are] really good.

SI:  At any time during your flying missions, was there anything that you found particularly nerve-racking, some part of the mission that you did not particularly like?

SR:  Well, the length of the missions, yes.  The natural requirements of body functions was always a problem.  You sort of geared your daily activities, before a mission, to that, because it was the job of the guy, or; well, we didn't have girls then.  [laughter] So, who[ever] filled up the can cleaned it when you landed, even if you were a general. ... When you're up that long, the length of the missions, ... it's boring.  You know, you're looking at instruments.  ... You figure, mentally, that you're just not going to be doing anything, even [though], in the back of the mind, you know that it could be an emergency or the bell could be rung.  ... That, you have to keep in the back of your mind, but, even the people today, you know, they're flying the missions and they're pretty boring. 

SI:  You mentioned that, when you were going through the South, that was when you first saw the system of segregation.  What do you recall about that?  Was it shocking to you?

SR:  ... Yes.  Well, I'm not shocked.  Shocking may be a strong word.  ... Let's see, I went on active duty, I told you, my first active duty base was Ellington Air Force Base, outside of Houston.  The drill was orientation, medical exams; basically, it's a two-week period.  For this part of the country, I would think from the Missouri to theAtlantic, [it] was Sampson Air Force Base.  That's outside of Syracuse and that was a Navy station during the Second World War.  My brother-in-law did his basic training, he was in the Navy during the Second World War, at Sampson Air Force Base.  It was a Navy station then.  Now, it's closed, I think, and [was] just like a college campus, ... but we did our orientation up there.  ... I didn't have a car in those times, so, I guess I flew fromNewark Airport up to Syracuse, and then, somehow, I guess the military got us from Syracuse Airport to the base, but there were people from all over the country [with] my status.  Some drove.  I met ... and I got friendly with a couple of [guys].  One was a guy, when I was at Butler, one of the teams ... in our athletic conference was Miami of Ohio and this guy's from Miami of Ohio, and then, a few others, we got together and he had a car.  Now, not everybody had cars, but we ended up going to the same place, Ellington.  So, we decided, well, we would drive together and share the driving from Sampson to Houston.  ... My father died when I was a senior in college ... and the unveiling of his [grave]stone was the weekend before I was going down to Ellington.  So, ... I had to come back for that, and then, the plane to go back to Syracuse was delayed.  We even had delays then.  So, I, like, got it in the middle of the night, but whatever, I hooked up with the few guys that I met.  I had never known them before, but, then, we drove from Syracuse to Houston.  ... Wherever we stopped, I remember going to the bathroom or a water fountain and I saw, "Negroes Only," or, "White only," and ... that was the first time.  ... I went to school in Indianapolis, Indiana, and that's not a hotbed of liberalism, ... but that was the first time I saw that, and I guess it took me aback.  Shocked? you know, ... by then, I'd been around enough to know we had a lot of segregation, all over, but that was the first [time I saw it].  I don't know if you two have ever seen that.  ...

SI:  In pictures, yes.

SR:  ... You know, take me back fifty years or so, and so, that's what I saw, ... and then, water fountains were the same way.  So, shocked, I'm not sure it was shock, but it certainly boggled the intellect. 

SI:  The Air Force had been the first service to integrate.  I think they integrated even before Truman's order.

SR:  ... You know that, or are you asking me?

SI:  No, I am saying it.

SR:  I don't know that.  [laughter]

SI:  I was just curious if there were a lot of African-Americans in the service when you were there.

SR:  The air crews, not, because, and the same thing with any education, you know, ... those on the air crews, at that time, had to have at least two years college and they're more out of ROTC.  We all had graduated.  So, that was, again, a de facto type thing, ... but, on the maintenance and in the other [units], military police, ... it was pretty well integrated, yes.  ... In flight school and other things, there'd be a small minority, you know.  I'm trying to think, you know, there are obviously a couple of minorities, some Asians, but there was just de facto segregation.  ... It was the education system.  I don't know how many minorities went to college, and then, you figured out, from there, they had to go into ROTC, and so, it was just a mirror of society.  ... To answer your question, I didn't know if the Air Force; of course, the Air Force was not a separate entity until 1947.  You see, this is sixty years. [laughter] ... So, I'm not sure, it would have been the Army Air Force, but I don't know whether it was; I think it was Eisenhower who gave the integration order.

SI:  I think it was Truman, in 1948.

SR:  Well, I'm not about ready to debate that.

SI:  Is there anything you would like to say about your active duty tour before we talk about Rutgers Law School? 

SR:  Not any more than we've discussed.  If something comes up, I'll tell you, ... other than the fact that that's what I wanted to do and I was proud to do it.  ... I did stay in the Reserves and I'm not sure what I put in there, but ... I was just selected as [a representative] to Headquarters, Air Force, as the Air Force Retiree Council Representative for the Northeast, which would give me responsibility for retirees, veterans and survivors of the present conflict in the Northeast.  If not, I'll send you [a copy].  I just got that letter. 

SI:  I do not think that is in here [among the documents Colonel Rader shared with the interviewers].

SR:  I probably have it in the car; I'll give you a copy of it.  ... They asked me about it and I said, "Well, if you do it, I'll do it."  ... That tour starts on July 1st, for four years.  So, we'll die with, "Six churning and four burning."  That's the B-36, we called them; the propellers turn and churn and the jets burn. 

SI:  What was it like to go from military life back to civilian life, especially back to a collegiate atmosphere?

SR:  Well, we started law school; ... I was not alone.  ... I just told you, my role was role reversal.  When I was a freshman at Butler, I had the veterans who were about my age.  When I got to Rutgers Law, we got the; can you still go to law school after your junior [year], or do you have to have four years of college?

JH:  You have to have four, unless you graduate early. 

SR:  All right.  ... There was a combined program where [you could], because we had a lot of folks out of RutgersCollege and Rutgers-Newark who had a combined program.  Once they finished their first year of law school, then, they got their bachelor's.  Now, I wasn't sure if that's still [the case].  So, we walked in.  So, I had the juniors, who were just going to be seniors in college, a lot of the seniors, so, you know, they were twenty and twenty-one. Then, you had ... we "old guys," who were twenty-five and twenty-six by then, and [it was] the same thing I experienced, except, in law school, the people in school were a little older.  They weren't seventeen or eighteen. They were in their twenties or twenty-one, and then, there were obviously adults who went back to school.  So, I would say, there, I guess, we started a class in law school [with] maybe about a hundred ... in the first-year orientation.  By the end of the first week, it was down to about seventy-five.  I guess it wasn't what everybody thought it would be, and then, out of that, maybe a third were veterans, maybe a little less.  ... Nobody ever asked me, so, I never put the numbers together, but people I know and I'm friendly with, and you've probably interviewed a couple of them, were in the same position I was in, and the subsequent classes, subsequent two classes, were the same.  So, it wasn't any big shock or anything.  ... Being in the Air Force and doing what I was doing, you had to study and you had to be constantly up-to-speed in what you were doing.  It was a different type of learning atmosphere.  It's more Socratic, you know.  It wasn't a teaching-type thing, like you would have in college, but my last couple of years at Butler, I think, was a lot of the same, in the business and some of the constitutional or poli-science courses.  ... They still were taking attendance in law school, at that time, and they took attendance of everybody.  The veterans, ... you know, we were on the GI Bill, so, there was a reason, you had to report to it, but everybody had to; the professors still took attendance.  I don't think they even take attendance in college now, do they?

JH:  It depends on the professor. 

SR:  Does it?  Yes.  ... The only exam is the final exam.  There's nothing [else].  ... Whatever you do, if you don't score in the final exam, that's it.  So, that was somewhat different, but it was ... different for everybody, not just because I came out of the military service, and I think ... the people out of college had a certain amount of respect for what we did, and then, after a month or two, you're all the same.  You know, you eat lunch with each other, you're involved with each other, breakdown to study groups, because the only way [to study is] to quiz each other. You don't get tests, so, you've got to do it with each other in law school, if you're thinking about it.  ... It so happened, my study group, we were four, and I guess you broke down into your contemporaries, and we were four veterans.  Two have since died and the one name I'm going to give you guys, who I'm going to bring to the dinner, his wife just passed away in the fall and he went to Rutgers College as well as was my law school classmate.  Well, he may be one that it's just a little too soon.  I still think he's still in mourning now, but ... this is the first time I've been able to get him out to something, and it's early and it's a brunch.  So, it's more a catharsis for him, as well as getting another participant.

SI:  Did you have to work as well, while you were in law school, or did you just go to school?

SR:  ... I worked as well and, in those years, it's no longer; you're from Pennsylvania. 

JH:  Yes.

SR:  I don't really know what the rules are in Pennsylvania.  I don't even know what they are in New Jersey anymore, but, when I was in law school, and, in order to take the bar exam, there was a mandatory nine-month clerkship, and, if you didn't have that clerkship, you couldn't take the bar.  So, I was doing it in-between, like, [and] you worked; I made more working in Delta Gamma House than I made [then].  Of course, it was forced labor, you know, but, no, the people I worked with, I ultimately started practicing with.  They were fair.  So, I did that and I was working in a law office, because, you know, I didn't do anything related to law or academics, other than what I expressed and what was necessary at the Air Force, and there was a lot.  At least I was disciplined to study and [well]-disciplined, because we had to do the same thing, but ... I didn't know anything about the law.  ... I didn't think too much about being a lawyer in college, you know, as much as anything else.  You know, you're exposed to everything.  I knew I didn't want to be an accountant.  ... So, that's about, you know, what happened. ... When Macy's Menlo Park Shopping Center [opened]; are you familiar with that?  I mean, you're close enough, but, between Philadelphia and here, there's many shopping centers.  That [Menlo Park Mall had] just opened when I was in law school.  ... That was one of the bigger malls they had just opened, and, at that time, Macy's was a place called Bamberger's, which was a big store in Newark when I was a kid.  ... It was Bamberger's when it opened at Menlo Park, and they advertised, I guess it was [in] the paper, for part-time positions, night positions and weekends, and they were looking for a night manager of their men's department.  So, I got magazines,Esquire, [laughter] and I looked at all the magazines and memorized the names of everything and I went and applied, got that job.  So, I worked there evenings and on weekends while I was in law school, and prior to passing the bar exam, and then, I worked at the law office, where I ultimately became a partner, at the same time.

JH:  Were you made to sign a waiver in law school that you would not work over X amount of hours?  I know now that some, not all, law schools make their students sign a waiver saying they are not going to work over a certain number of hours.

SR:  No, there was nothing.  I never signed anything.  They would have had a hard time having a veteran sign something like that.  In fact, I walked out of orientation.  The assistant dean was, you know, talking about the majesty of the law, and the World Series used to be around Labor Day.  ... If you're a baseball fan at all, you know Sandy Koufax refused to pitch on one Yom Kippur day.  [Editor's Note: Sandy Koufax, a celebrated Jewish-American athlete who pitched for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1966, refused to pitch during one of the games of the 1965 World Series because it coincided with Yom Kippur.]  ... The Yankees were playing the Dodgers in the World Series [in 1956] and we were in this orientation, and this professor was really on a plane of the majesty of the law, and [said], "It has to be your total life."  I walked out, ... because I wasn't ready to be there yet; I'm not sure I'm ready to be there now, but, in any event, and I knew the World Series [was on].  ... There's a bar on Central Avenue in Newark, and that's right where the Rutgers campus is.  ... So, I walked out, and I went to that bar to watch the game.  ... They played in the afternoons at that time.  Then, the next thing I knew is, I saw another guy, about my contemporary, walked in and sat down.  He didn't know I was going there. So, I said, "Were you in that class?"  He says, "Yes, I couldn't handle that anymore."  ... So, I introduced my[self], we introduced [ourselves], never saw him before, and he was from Woodbridge, and we watched the ballgame.  ... He ended up being part of this study group, and he passed away about ten years ago, but his son is presently one of the people in my law firm, because, when he died, I dissolved my firm and had his son come in, and we got a bunch of young kids, [younger lawyers in the firm].  ... We never were able to get together, we could never afford it, at that time, but, now, I have his son with me.  So, that's a little vignette out of law school.  That's a continuation from the first week of law school to now.  ... Our kids were born about the same time and they were raised together. 

JH:  When you were in law school, did they grade on a curve, like they do now, where there are only a certain amount of "As" and a certain amount of "Bs?"

SR:  I have no idea how they graded.

JH:  Did you find it really competitive?  I know, now, that in study groups, sometimes, students hide their notes, or do not want to be cooperative, because they want the best grade.

SR:  No, none of that. 

JH:  Everybody kind of worked together.

SR:  ... I'm not sure how they graded.  [Does] the name Sylvia Pressler ... mean anything to you, as a future lawyer?  ... She started law school before me, and then, she got married.  Her husband was in the Army.  So, she went [off with him], but she came back into our class, and she just retired as one of our Superior Court judges, but she sat next to me.  Well, you sat in alphabetical [order], Pressler, Rader, you know.  So, somehow, I guess, that's why we sat next to each other all [through law school], because it was easier for professors to figure out who was who.  ... She's a genius.  Sylvia's on another plane all together.  ... Her husband practiced, he was more on my level, [laughter] but, listen, as long as they got along.  ... She was always in the academic world.  She clerked for a judge, and then, she started writing with one of the primary authors in New Jersey law, then, ... she had to practice law somehow, so, I guess she did that, and then, as soon as she was able to, she was appointed to the bench.  ... She and I were always friends, and she was a nail biter.  ... In class, you know, I used to be able to see her peripherally.  I used to take her hand and take it away from her mouth.  ... Even at her level, and I would think, intellectually, she may have been the brightest, but I don't know that, but, ... if you got an eighty, that was, like, the top. 

JH:  Okay.

SR:  If you got an [eighty], ... everybody who got through was between seventy and eighty.  I don't really know how the hell they got to that.  Below seventy, you didn't make it.  So, I don't think there was a curve.  I think, ... if we started [with], I said about a hundred people, we lost a batch in the beginning, I think we graduated less than sixty, and there may have been more that started, and graduated less than sixty, but, amongst the students, it wasn't competitive; well, not that kind of competition.  You know, we really didn't care where we were, because you've got about a third that were veterans and really didn't care, you know.  They wanted to do well, they wanted to get through, and go out and get good jobs.  ... There's others; some were public policy-orientated and some were private [practice-oriented].  ... I stayed in the Reserves, so, I got called in for the Cuban Crisis and I got called in for one of the wars in Israel.  I think Cuba occurred while I was in law school, but I was called [to active duty], and the professors, there's not much they could say about it, yes, and they didn't really care.  ... Everything was by numbers, so, I don't know how the hell they read the booklets, because, ... even when I took the bar exam, it was all essay.  Now, there's some multiple choice.  I can't read my writing, I don't know how the bar examiner [was supposed to read it].  ... Now, everybody's got their laptops, and so, you guys, they can at least read what you put down. 

SI:  What did you find yourself gravitating towards in law school, in terms of a specialty?

SR:  ... I thought I'd be interested in tax work, and I probably did more in my electives with taxes [than anything else].  Of course, when I got out of law school, I didn't have any clients that had any tax problems.  In the firm I was with, we were a pretty general practice, did criminal work, at that time, some personal injury, real estate, there were foreclosures, and [we] got involved in doing some environmental work, represented some of the industries, and we had industry then, the refineries in the Woodbridge-Sewaren area, along the Raritan.  None of them are there anymore.  I think Chevron and Hess are the only ones that are still in existence, and Hess is the only one refining oil, and I got involved in that.  ... Then, ultimately, there were a lot of lawsuits as a result of asbestos and deleterious substances, and I started representing some of the major refineries, and that's how I ended up gravitating to that [specialty].  It's the clients that dictated what I did, not what I wanted, and that stays the same, you know.  As the practice changes, you grow with the clients.

JH:  While you were in law school in Newark, you were living with your wife at the time.

SR:  Yes. 

JH:  Was your family still living in Newark at the time, or had they moved out of the city?  Were you around them?

SR:  Most of the family had moved out of Newark by then.

JH:  Where had they moved to by this time?

SR:  In, pretty much, the suburbs, throughout the area.  After the riots, ... like, all my cousins, everything, they were out of Newark.  ... That's unfortunate that that happened, and it's not only Newark, it happened [in] all the other cities like Newark, and there was that void.  Now, that's my hindsight, you know.  While it was going on, and, ... after high school, I never went back to Newark.  [Editor's Note: A variety of racial, economic and political factors contributed to the outbreak of the 1967 Newark riots, sparked when a black cab driver was arrested for tailgating a police car and was rumored to have been killed while in police custody.  The riots lasted six days, resulting in twenty-six dead, hundreds injured and thousands of arrests.]

SI:  Can you tell us a little bit about your Reserve career?  We noticed that you started doing judge advocate general work.

SR:  Yes, let me take the break now.


SI:  Tell us about your career.

SR:  I just gave you the postscript for it already, but go ahead.

SI:  You listed on this resume the different units you were with, doing JAG work, but what stands out in your memory about your commitments as a JAG officer?

SR:  Let's see, well, the JAG didn't start until about 1984.  ... What do I have there? 

SI:  [Reading from Colonel Rader's resume], "1962, Judge Advocate General Area Representative."

SR:  Okay, that was ... right after law school.  All right, ... well, the Reserves, first of all, I was not attached to any unit in law school.  I was still part of the Strategic Air Command.  Then, I was recalled a couple of times in law school, and right after, [for] one of the wars in Israel, we had to get ready for, and then, when was Cuba?  Let's see, Kennedy was elected. 

SI:  The Missile Crisis?

SR:  Yes.

SI:  1962, October of 1962.

SR:  Yes, I had to go in for that.  That was after law school.  That's about four to six months, but I was appointed judge advocate area representative, was not assigned to any particular unit, for any military [service member] who had legal problems in your geographical area.  ... If you're on that list, they were referred to the judge advocate general area representative, and that's how we handled it.  So, they would call me, and they would come to my office, and then, I was appointed the area representative supervisor, or I don't remember what it was called.  So, I had about, I guess, six to ten people in the Metropolitan area, including maybe Philadelphia and New York.  We did that, but that was out of the confines of our offices.  ... Then, I used to have to give reports on those people. Then, I was assigned to McGuire, at that time, to the, maybe, JAG office there, and also one of the Reserve flying units, because I was still flying.  At that time, you could still do it.  Somewhere in the mid to late '70s, they didn't want you to ... have a primary specialty code, as you only could have one, so, [either] be a lawyer or a flyer.  Well, by then, [I] had a law office, I figured, "Well, I'd better [choose to be a lawyer]."  At that time, I went into the JAG and was relieved from flight status, and that was with the 438th Air Mobility Wing, down at McGuire Air Force Base.  ... We had picked up, at that time, the air refueling squadrons, which were under Strategic Air Command when I was on active duty, and that's throughout the Air Force, not only at McGuire.  So, they became part of the Air Mobility Command, which was, well, I'm not sure, which was the Military Air Transport Service when I was in the Air Force on active duty, and then, we had the transports down at McGuire, and probably were the primary support for Vietnam, right up through Desert Storm, to the present conflict, in terms of air mobility.  [Editor's Note:Operation Desert Storm is the code-name of the military action to expel the Iraqi Army from Kuwait during 1991. The present conflict refers to the Global War on Terror and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being waged in the early twenty-first century.]  That means transports, ... men, women, equipment, and, also, the air refueling responsibility.  So, if the President, or Vice-President, or Secretary of State, go out on an airplane, we have to be alerted, because we have to be able to have ... a gas station upstairs to be able to support them in the event of any problem.  ... Then, as part of the JAG Corps, I got involved in that integration, as well as taking on the JAG responsibilities.  ... Then, I was promoted right along, through all this time, maybe because I was also rated [as] being a flyer, flight officer and flight crew [member], ... as well as an attorney.  I probably got them a little faster, because, I guess, they review everything.  If you're just a lawyer, you go slower, just a pilot, go slower.  I guess the both together meant something, and then, when I was promoted to the rank of colonel, ... I went from the Air Mobility Wing, which is, you've got the aircraft that you're responsible for on that, and the base, at that particular installation, that was McGuire, to [the] 21st Air Force.  21st Air Force has the responsibility, at that time, well, at that time, up until about two years ago, had the responsibility for all troop equipment, air mobility, as well as air refueling, from the Mississippi to Iran.  ... Then, when I was a full colonel, I was promoted in to become the Reserve component and complement of the JAG of 21st Air Force.  So, in the event [that] there was full mobility, then, I'd have to take over that job in one of the air forces, because there'd be additional ones created.  ... [I] stayed in that job until 1984, when I theoretically retired, and then, worked with some veterans and retiree groups, as well as the state bar, in forming [the] Military Law and Veterans' Affairs Committee.  When Desert Storm broke out, and, again, I was called back in to complement, ... myself and several others, the active duty component in the Desert Storm Operation, and that was over, ... we established; there was a retiree office at McGuire Air Force Base ... that I'm involved in, where we have, in this area, probably thirteen to fifteen thousand retiree veterans who have to be looked after, supported, that we do out of McGuire.  ... Then, based on that, there is a Retiree Council at Headquarters, Air Force, that supervises the retiree offices throughout the United States, and there's, like, ten or twelve areas involved in the US and the world, in terms of the Retiree Council, and the Northeast is one of those areas, and that's what I was just selected to take over or be that representative from Headquarters, Air Force, ... for the Northeast area.  That's the general overview.  With respect to particulars, I don't know what you want to go into. 

SI:  For these retiree groups, when you talk about serving their needs, is it mostly in the legal sense?

SR:  No, this is not in a legal capacity.  This ... could be legal, [but] the biggest problem is medical, because ... the veterans' population just mirrors civilian society, in all phases.  Medical care is extremely expensive and not available, and it's a lot political.  The Second World War veterans, Korean veterans, they were promised [medical care], and it's not in writing any place, but it's anecdotally, and I guess more than anecdotally, in newspapers, congressional hearings, that, "We're going to take care of all your medical needs."  ... That's one of the reasons why you should join the military, if you're not drafted, because your pay is less, your advancements ... can't be quite as great, but you're going to have the fringe benefits of military care and care in your old age, etc.  ... That was not being addressed until there's the medical; am I giving you stuff you don't know? 

SI:  Please, continue.

SR:  ... Congress got involved, with a lot of input from Reserve groups, retiree groups, veterans' groups, into passing legislation, five years ago, maybe four years ago, I don't remember the exact dates, the TRICARE.  ... There are several TRICARE programs; the TRICARE program for retirees is TRICARE for Life, and that's a program, and there's other TRICARE programs for those on active duty, for those who retired from twenty years or thirty years of military service, but have not yet reached the age of Social Security, which is sixty-two. TRICARE for Life only is triggered upon age sixty-two, where this Medicare becomes prime, TRICARE is secondary, and we have to integrate all that with the thirteen thousand people in this area, as well as their military burial and all those issues, what their dependents are entitled to, what they can do in terms of wills and living wills, powers of attorney.  That gets into the legal framework.  Those all come under the responsibility of the various retiree offices in the nation.  I happen to be a lawyer, so, you know, I'm the only lawyer that's attached to this area, as far as I know.  There may be others. 

SI:  Your work involves more than the legal issues.

SR:  Well, I can take the legal issues without sending them over to the legal office, with another, you know, set of red tape and forms to fill out.  So, that just happens to be because I'm a lawyer.  So, I can facilitate it a little more, but those issues come up, and then, I stay involved with the legal office in McGuire, because they don't know the other side of it.  So, in my position with the state bar association, on the Legal Committee, I can liaison between the New Jersey Bar Association and the JAG offices, which has nothing to do with the retiree office, but I can integrate them all.  So, I get a, pretty much, total picture of what's going on.

JH:  Is that one of the reasons why you got involved with the New Jersey Bar Association, or was that for other reasons as well?

SR:  Probably for other reasons; ... they didn't have that when I got involved.  ... I thought it was necessary, especially when a lot of the problems came to me in my private office, and I thought we should have a Legal and Veterans' Affairs Committee, because, as soon as a soldier gets in trouble and they're from New Jersey, if they don't know where to go, they call the bar association.  Then, the bar association knows that some of us were involved in the military and they'd call those involved in the military, and we took on [the case] or we spoke to the people, generally, or, if it was up in South Jersey, I called the lawyer I knew in South Jersey, or, if it's in Pennsylvania, called somebody I knew in Philadelphia, but the New Jersey problems were [ours].  The people called the bar association and said, "Hey, we've got this problem, what do we do?" and so, [the] bar association reaches out.  So, we've now got a committee.  I guess we started [in] the late '70s or early '80s, I guess, but I got involved with the bar association; it's a good union, you know.  If you're involved in something, you know, sometimes, there are issues that [we need collective action to deal with].  That's why we have labor unions.  ... We're lobbyists for the lawyers, that's all, and the judges.

SI:  What kind of activities were you doing during Desert Storm?  You said you were complementing the active duty component.

SR:  Oh, at that time, we had to bring in a bunch of Reservists, retirees, National Guard, and we would give them orientation on where they're going.  ... Basically, it's what we're doing now.  You have pre-employment issues, you have post-employment issues.  You have problems with employment, you know; under the law, you know, employers don't have too much of a choice, as long as the soldiers comply with the law and ... there's proper notification, [they have to be reemployed upon their return].  So, we have all those issues on employment; all those issues on personal affairs; is there a will?  Is there power of attorney?  Is there a living will?  Suppose we have a soldier who's in Saudi Arabia, has three children and the wife dies; is there a guardian that's available?  ... These are legal issues, but not legal issues; they're people issues, and we have to make sure [they are ready].  Now that we have the planes available for these people, and we are deploying, within the next three to four months, three thousand soldiers.  When I say soldier, I'm talking about male, female, National Guard, Reservists, out of New Jersey, that are being deployed to Iraq within the next three months.  Now, we just had a day-long seminar at the Law Center on Saturday, the 5th, [the Seventh Annual Military Law Symposium, held at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 2008], where we were discussing those issues and we brought non-military lawyers in, so [that] they're ready for the various problems that may occur, in all sectors.  The employment is probably a big problem; family is the other big problem, what to do.  Then, we got a husband and wife who are both in the military, you know.  We're trying to work out some type of legislative scheme where they can't be recalled at the same time.  ... They meet in the military and get married, you know.  The fraternization, most people, you know, meet at work or in some type of social activity, in the normal course of things.  So, I don't know, various companies have fraternization policies, but it's probably the healthiest place to meet for a long-term relationship, rather than the gin mill down in the middle of New Brunswick.  [laughter]

SI:  Do you find that the outside organizations that you work with, like employers, are receptive to what you are trying to get them to do, or do they resist?

SR:  Well, it's a gray area.  They can't really resist, because that's the law, just like New Jersey passed the Family Leave Act, I think the Governor [Jon Corzine] signed it this week, and that affects, you know, small employers, but, you know, that's balancing the interests of social policy and business.  So, some resist, some don't, and that has to be explained.  There's a whole organization that's devoted strictly for reconciling those issues, and they had, like, six or seven representatives at our seminar on Saturday.  ... They've got some title, but it's pretty much service representatives for service people and their employers, and that ... could extend for years and they have to give the job back, as long as the soldier properly notifies the employer [as to] when they're coming back and that they're ready to be reemployed within X amount of days. 

SI:  Going back to the period between when you graduated law school and when you retired ...

SR:  Retired from what?

SI:  From the Reserves, in 1984. 

SR:  Okay.

SI:  When you were doing the judge advocate general work, were you trying cases or were you just helping soldiers deal with legal issues?

SR:  Well, ... at one stage, at the base level, [I] tried cases, did investigations and provided legal services, because there aren't enough military lawyers to do that.  So, the Reserves, in addition to trying cases; during that period of time, let's say, there was a shortage of jail space in New Jersey.  ... I was aware of that, because, in my capacity down at McGuire, there was a whole new confinement facility that opened, state of the art, better than any state prison New Jersey had, you know, [built by] the federal government, ... and it was primarily for AWOLs; [it was] during Vietnam that it was built.  Well, by the time it was finished, Vietnam was over with.  ... The commander ofFort Dix, they gave a tour to some of us senior officers who were also involved in the legal profession of the facility.  Well, the facility, and I don't remember the numbers now, let's assume it was built for 250 inmates, when we went through it, and it has a big gym, big courtyard, with all types of physical health facilities, exercise room, etc., there were four inmates in that whole facility.  ... It's the type of facility [where] you went in, push buttons to get through the first barrier, went into the second barrier, where you could be searched or whatever, push another set of buttons; New Jersey had nothing like that, and there was a shortage of space in New Jersey.  Bill Bradley was the Senator at that time, and I knew there was a shortage of space from being involved in the legal profession. So, I got a hold of Bill Bradley, and then, we went on another tour of that facility.  ... We got together with Bill Bradley, the confinement facility commander at Fort Dix, and I represented [the] New Jersey Bar Association, as well as the people at McGuire, and we worked out a lease arrangement where the state prison system of New Jersey was able to utilize the Fort Dix confinement facility [the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution] as a state prison.  I think they're still utilizing it.  ... Now, the problem was, it was during, it may have been the First World War or the Second World War, as precedent, that was done in another state.  Then, when it came time where it was needed by the military, the state would not move out.  So, that's why there was resistance up through the Pentagon, but we worked out something where it worked, and we never faced that issue, yet, but I think it's pretty tight that the state would move out.  How do you move the state out?  I don't know.  We'll bring the Army in, [laughter] but that was worked out during that period of time.  So, that was one of the things that we did that was fairly constructive, basically because we had New Jersey lawyers involved with ... the JAG offices and we were there and able to work it out.  ... There's still a shortage of prison facilities, but that's a big social issue that, you know, we don't have to address that here. 

SI:  Do you have any more questions?

JH:  What kind of cases do you deal with at your law firm, as a civilian?  What kind of clients do you have, bigger clients?  I know, on your resume, you said that you deal with some larger companies.

SR:  All right, ... well, we'll separate; you're talking about what I do, not what the law firm does. 

JH:  Yes, what you do.

SR:  I still represent larger industries, who are no longer here, but the litigation is still here, with reference to environmental issues.  I also represent the Town of Woodbridge, City of Perth Amboy, with respect to some of those environmental issues.  ... American Smelting and Refining was one of the companies we represented, now known as Asarco, and are presently in bankruptcy, about ready to come out, but the litigation still persists, and we still have those cases that we're involved with.  As one gets older, and, fortunately, stays healthy, ... unfortunately, you see contemporaries pass away and go on; when you're a relatively young lawyer and you know a lot of people, they want wills and things, [so], you do those.  Then, as time goes by, they're updated, and then, as time goes by, unfortunately, they pass away.  So, what was, [at] one time, a small part of what I do [that] has expanded into a larger part, because with the demise of people comes a lot of issues, and that seems to be the direction, unfortunately, that I'm going to more and more.  ... Then, you get a reputation and you get people that you didn't have anything to do with earlier in life ... [in] the early part of my practice.  So, that's one of the things.  The environmental issues, I assume, will be in existence for a long time. 

JH:  Why did you dissolve your first law firm that you were a partner in?

SR:  ... There's a specific reason.  Well, number one, the partners were slowing down.  ... That's ten years ago, well, more than ten years, 1995.  A couple had passed away, ... another one was ill, and they were slowing down. About that time, I told you, the guy I met the first day of law school, he died about that time, about a year before. His son, who is now my associate and the name partner on the stationary, because I want to pull my name back as much as possible, ... was with a law firm that went broke.  He was with the prosecutor's office, and then, went with that law firm, and that happened about the time, ... or shortly after, his dad died.  ... The firm that his dad had, apparently, and I did not get into personal issues; if I did, this is one of the things that would be personal, I wouldn't be talking about it, but I just accepted that there was a problem and I knew the people at that law firm and I knew my friend, and I'm obviously close to the family.  So, when he didn't know what to do, I told him, "I'm going to dissolve my law firm and he should come to Perth Amboy," because we were in Perth Amboy then, and he had an associate with him, because I had the companies we spoke about and we had contacts with Perth Amboy, he had contacts with Woodbridge, and he's in his early forties now, so, that's ten years ago, ... or longer.  So, I said, "We'll get started, I'll stay with you a little while, until I retire, [laughter] whenever that happens."  So, that was the impetus for that.  If (Jim Nolan?) hadn't died ... and he didn't have to go out on his own, I probably would not have done anything, but I felt ... I was not ready to slow down, and it's good, because I'm around young blood all the time. [laughter]

SI:  One last thing I wanted to ask you about was your work concerning the September 11th victims.

SR:  Yes.  ... It appears that they're trying to reconstitute that.  I only know what I read in the paper; I haven't gotten anything official yet.  Yes, the Victims' Compensation Fund, I tried three of those cases, for victims.  One was, well, they're all interesting, they all have their own stories, but the one gentleman that I think is interesting [is] because that could have been a gray area.  He worked for one of the financial companies, right across from theWorld Trade Center, and he's also an emergency medical technician, if that's the right term, ... and he worked with the first aid squad in his community in New Jersey.  ... The planes crashed and he ran down from [his office].  He was not in the World Trade Center, he was across the street, but he ran down and he saw somebody walking away who was obviously wounded and got that person [treated], brought him up to where he could hand him off to somebody else, medically.  ... He could have turned around and went home, well, or attempted to go home, because they were right by the river, but, then, he looked back, and he saw, the towers hadn't come down yet, ... other people he thought needed help.  Then, he went into the bottom of one of the towers, and I don't remember which one, and was helping people medically and to stabilize other wounded people.  ... Then, he was helping one gentleman when the tower collapsed, and he was right in the main level, and then, ... when it all happened, he said he looked around, then, there were some people who were more injured.  ... The ones he was with, he couldn't even locate.  He didn't [get hurt]; he may have gotten a scratch, but he started getting other people out and bringing them to, you know, a triage, wherever they were, and stabilizing them.  ... Then, I guess, he worked all day, right into the middle of the night.  ... He finally, he lived in the Hightstown area, and he finally got home.  He may have had [some injuries], he had some scrapes and wounds, but, the next day, he couldn't breathe and he was coughing, and then, he tried to go back to work, but the employer didn't go back right away.  So, as a result of that, he lost his job, not that he was fired, ... they didn't need anybody, and then, they switched and he worked in Jersey City with him awhile, but, then, the company just lost a lot of business, as a result of 9/11, and he kept having medical problems.  ... Then, the Victims' Compensation Fund was created and he filed with the fund; he didn't come to me. ... Then, the way that worked, there were people like me who volunteered to represent those folks, and he was one [that I represented].  ... The legal issue was, although he was not in the building, and, technically, he was not a fireman or an EMT that was there as an EMT, ... there's a legal question as to whether he would be entitled to compensation, but we prevailed on that, and then, he got some award, he and his wife.  We testified before these hearing officers in a couple of buildings in the city.  ... Other than that, I represented a dependent of somebody who died, and then, another person.  ... It was miraculous how some people got out, but they were right involved.  This gentleman was across the street, which was a little different twist.  Now, whether they were adequately compensated or not, ... that's for somebody [of] a different pay grade to decide, but I understand, because of the reoccurrences, and, now, dormant conditions, like those with the shipyard workers who were exposed to asbestos and those who were exposed in the industries that I represent, [that] are manifesting the illness, there may be a reinstitution of that Victims' Compensation Fund.  That's [not] easy to do.  They need money from someplace, and nobody, unfortunately, has funds. 

SI:  Is there anything else you would like to add for the record now?

SR:  No.  I'll give you that recent letter I just got.

SI:  Yes, that would be good.  I think this resume ends just before that. 

SR:  ... Yes, I'm not sure I said ... I knew I was being considered or not in that.  In fact, a lot of that came out of what I had to have in the submission to them.  That's why I had it all available, other than the questions you guys asked about maiden names and things [on the pre-interview survey].  I really had to think back. 

SI:  Thank you very much for all your time, and your service to our country.

SR:  Oh, you're welcome. 

SI:  Thank you.

SR:  ... Yes, I'm not sure, well, [are] both you folks going to be there for that dinner, [the Rutgers Living History Society Annual Meeting in May 2008]?

SI:  Yes.

SR:  Well, I'll see you there.  I'll bring Peter and we'll see how he's doing, just a close friend I'm trying to get back on his feet, who was not a JAG in the military either, and he spent a lot of time in Germany, and, if you're going to be a lawyer, he has an interesting career.  ... After law school, I think he may have gone to work with the National Labor Relations Board.  He was ... a real liberal, compared to me.  [laughter] ... Then, he went back to IndianaUniversity and got his master's in labor law.  After he got his master's in labor law; I don't know if this has to be on the record or not.  Well, it may be interesting. 

SI:  For now, I will stop the tape.  ...

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

Reviewed by Mark Parkhurst 3/3/09

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Reviewed by Shaun Illingworth 12/9/09

Reviewed by Sandra Stewart Holyoak 1/18/10

Reviewed by Sanford Rader 7/6/10