Jennings, Paul (Part 1)

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  • Interviewee: Jennings, Paul
  • PDF Interview
  • Date: February 23, 2000
  • Place: New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Interviewers:
    • Sandra Stewart Holyoak
    • Sean D. Harvey
    • Shaun Illingworth
  • Transcript Production Team:
    • G. Dorothy Sabatini
    • Dennis Duarte
    • Sean D. Harvey
    • Paul Jennings
    • Sandra Stewart Holyoak
  • Recommended Citation: Jennings, Paul Oral History Interview, February 23, 2000, by Sandra Stewart Holyoak and Sean D. Harvey and Shaun Illingworth, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
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Shaun Illingworth: This begins an interview with Dr. Paul Jennings on February 23, 2000, at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, with Shaun Illingworth …

Sean Harvey: Sean Harvey …

Sandra Stewart Holyoak: … and Sandra Holyoak.

SI: And we'd like to begin by thanking you, Dr. Jennings, for coming down here and giving us your time. We'd like to begin by asking you about your grandparents, beginning with your father's parents.

PBJ: Okay? My [grand]father was killed in an accident on either Burnet Street or Dennis Street, [in] New Brunswick, hit by a horse and wagon, when my father was maybe two or three or four or something like that. So, I didn't know him. My father's mother was, of course, widowed, and lived with her maiden sister. And her father, [who] was my father's grandfather, basically, raised my father and another cousin on Dennis Street in New Brunswick, basically, where the Hyatt parking lot is. My great-grandfather, who I didn't know, was a shoemaker. By shoemaker, I mean, he started from scratch. He wasn't a cobbler. He made shoes. And I've seen pictures, and in fact, I think I have a picture somewhere of the house they lived in on Dennis Street. They were of German decent, and, as they often did in those days, there was a cowhide nailed to the door. That was his sign, okay? And my father lived at the house, it had no indoor plumbing, in New Brunswick. My father was born in 1900, and he was raised there and graduated from, I'm on to my father, now. Do you want to continue that or do you want to talk about my mother's?

SI: Yes, your mother's …

PBJ: Okay. I didn't, basically, I knew both my grandmothers, okay? My mother's mother was born in Philadelphia. She was married and divorced. So, the man who I consider my grandfather was really my step-grandfather. And his name was Harry B. Weiss, W-E-I-S-S. He had an honorary doctorate from Rutgers University. He was an entomologist. He worked for the State Department of Agriculture. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania with a degree in entomology was quite well-known in the field, obviously, if you've got an honorary doctorate, you're quite well-known in the field. Probably his greatest claim to fame or infamy, if you want to call it that, was that he discovered the first Japanese beetle in the United States. It came in on a boat, which came into either New York or Newark, and they brought it to him to be identified. And he said, "Get that boat out of the harbor right away, because if one of these or two of these get in here, they are going to be a horrible pest. They come from Japan." Japan was bringing in something. Well, nobody ever paid any attention to people like that, when there was money involved and they unloaded the boat. And he spent a good bit of his career trying to eradicate Japanese beetles. In fact, my uncle, his son, his first job was working in the Japanese beetle business, if you will. So, I knew him. He was quite a guy. He was a very quiet man. He wrote hundreds of books on history, as a matter-of-fact. He had a little press, he had a press of his own. Past Times Press. In fact, I have a large set of, almost complete set of these, and they are a history of almost everything. Like gambling in New Jersey, colonial New Jersey, spas and baths and flooding in New Jersey. In fact, Ann Thomas has persuaded me to give them to the Rutgers Agriculture Museum, at some point in my life, when I get old, okay? So he was a most unusual guy. My grandmother, she stayed home. They had two children. One was my mother and one was my uncle, who was younger than my mother. And her career was not distinctive, except for raising two kids. And my mother was born in Philadelphia and my grandfather, my step-grandfather, worked there, and then he went to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. And then they moved to Highland Park when my mother, I guess, was in grammar school, somewhere along 1910 or '11 or '12, something like that. That's all I can think of to say about my grandparents, okay?

SI: How long has your father's side of the family been in New Brunswick?

PBJ: My father's ancestors, I think, came here from Germany in, somewhere along 1850 or '60. And the first one to come over here was named Christian Quad, Q-U-A-D. And they lived on Guilden Street. So, I don't know what he did, I don't much about the family before that. But anyway, my father's mother was of German decent. My father's father, named Jennings, was either English or Irish. He was born in this country. I don't know much about him.

SI: It sounds like there's German on both sides? Do you have any customs?

PBJ: Yes. My grandfather, my step-grandfather, my real grandfather's name, my grandmother divorced, was named Peanuts, Charlie Brown, that's why I remember it. Otherwise, I would never remember it, okay? But my, you know, divorce was a big thing in 18 whatever. So, I never knew this. My mother told me this, my grandmother never let on that my grandfather was not my true grandfather. I didn't care much. So, his name was Brown. My step-grandfather was Weiss. He was of German decent. My mother's mother's maiden name was Murdoch, M-U-R-D-O-C-H. And I did know my great-grandmother. In fact, I have a better story. 'Cause my great grandmother's name was Elena Murdoch. Her husband fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. And she was in Philadelphia when Lincoln's casket came through. She got down there very early to be in the front when Lincoln's casket went from New York to Washington. So, it makes you realize that either I'm very old or the country's very young, when I have talked to someone who saw Lincoln's casket. You know what I mean? It really brings you into focus. And she was born, I think, when Buchanan was President, which was not long after the country was founded. And they were, I think, they went way back. In fact, should I tell stories?

SSH: You bet. We'd love you to.

PBJ: When my mother was younger, she was dying to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. So, she asked her grandmother whether there was anybody involved in the American Revolution in her ancestry. And my grandmother was a feisty little woman, maybe five foot [tall]. She said, "I know exactly the information you want, but I won't give it to you, because the DAR are nothing but fighting old biddies." My mother, later on, found that she was right. So, she wouldn't. And finally, my mother did find out that our family had distinguished ourselves during the American Revolution by running a tavern in Philadelphia. And so, they go way back. I think they emigrated here from Scotland into Tuckerton, I believe, and then onto Philadelphia. But my grandmother died at, I think, was eighty-nine or ninety-one, something like that. My other grandmother died, my father's mother died at ninety-one. And so, my great-grandmother lived with my parents and me until she got senile, so that they had to put her in the Parker Home. So she died right in the Parker Home, right on Easton Avenue. So, we're New Brunswick people.

SI: Moving onto your father, what did he tell you about when he was growing up? Was it difficult growing up?

PBJ: Yes. My father, as I say, was born in 1900, lived on Dennis Street. New Brunswick was really quite small at that time. He belonged to the Episcopal Church, the Christ Church, and sang in the choir, which my wife and my mother could never understand, because he had a voice about like mine. But he sang, and even back in those days, they paid the kids who sang in the choir. So, that's one of the reasons he did it. He lived across the street and down the block from the Home News Building, which is the present Frog and the Peach. And he began delivering newspapers when he was eleven for the Home News, 'cause they had no money, since his father had died and his mother was raising two kids. So he began delivering papers. And that's how he got interested, really, I think, in journalism. And he ended up covering Rutgers sports when he was sixteen. He covered games when Paul Robeson played. He was in college with Homer Hazel, so he knew all the Rutgers' greats. I used to ask him, "Who was the better football player, Homer Hazel or Paul Robeson?" And being a true newspaperman he said, "About even. They did the different things, okay?" So, he, anyway he grew up in New Brunswick, went to Rutgers. I don't know how he managed it, financially. I really don't. He worked, you know, basically writing for the newspaper, for the Home News. Went to New Brunswick High School, graduated in 1919. My mother graduated from New Brunswick High School in 1919. They were classmates. And my mother was interested in writing and they really, the Home News, the New Brunswick Daily Home News, was, I think, cemented the relationship, because they both hung around down there. And my middle name is Boyd. I was named after Elmer B. Boyd, who was the publisher of the New Brunswick Home News. I mentioned [that] the other day [to a Home News reporter], [that Elmer Boyd] gave them [my parents] the plot in Highland Park [that] they built the first house on. So, [the] reporter said, "They don't do that anymore at the Home News." But anyway, so they really knew each other way back. And in those days, the students from Highland Park went to the New Brunswick High School. There was no Highland Park High School. In fact, I was the first class to enter Highland Park High School in 1939 or '38. So, anyway, my father, they both went to high school there and my father came to Rutgers and graduated in the Class of '24. My mother came to the New Jersey College for Women and was in the second class. She would never call it Douglass because, as she said, "I knew Mabel Douglass." She used to make some of the Douglass people very mad. She respected Mabel Douglass, but she said that she really thought that the name should remain the New Jersey College for Women, which is sort of interesting, because everyone thought they should change Rutgers back to the University of New Jersey or whatever. So they were both in college at the same time. And, actually, my mother graduated in '23, my father graduated in '24, because he took a year off when he was in high school during World War I, to farm the Wells Farm, which is where Rutgers Prep now is. And I believe he told me, and I've tried to check on it, but that Wells was the original Wells-Fargo family. And in fact, I was born in the Wells Building in Middlesex Hospital. His family was a wealthy family and my father farmed there most of the year. It took him five years to go through college. He was very modern, okay? What do you want next?

SSH: Well, I'd like to go back and just ask one question. We've interviewed women from NJC who graduated in the '40s, who talked about having to take journalism here at Rutgers. Did you mother also have to take her journalism classes here at Rutgers?

PBJ: No, she didn't take journalism. I don't even know what my mother majored in. I really don't. No, my father taught journalism. In fact, my father, it was the only place, he thought that some of his male students took journalism because it was the only place on the Rutgers campus where girls went, okay? And interestingly enough, he had good times and bad times, as far as the women are concerned, because for years, the outstanding journalism student was a woman. However, there was a period of time, right after World War II, which is what we're talking about, when, for about five or six years in a row, the best student was a male. So much so that Dean, I don't know, whoever was the dean at Douglass, called my father up, and basically asked him if he was gender discriminating. And my father said, "No, I'm not. The fact is that these male students won this award. Most of them were better at it, they were married, they very serious about a career and they worked harder than the traditional college girl," or the traditional college boy before that, okay? And he said the same thing, my father said [that] the most gratifying students he taught were the veterans after World War II, and when he taught, at times, he would teach courses at University College. And he said, "Anybody who works all day and takes the money they earn to go to school at night is a very serious student and most gratifying to teach." So, no, my mother, she enjoyed, and again, she was the first one, both my parents were the first ones in their family, really, to go to college. My grandfather, as I say, was my step-grandfather, and he went to Penn. Well, you want to hear more about Douglass or NJC?

SH: Actually, I have a question. How well did your mother know Mabel Douglass?

PBJ: Well, I think the class was so small that the dean knew everybody. You know, Mabel Douglass was an amazing woman to get that college started. I mean, you can imagine in 1918, she was able to convince the legislature to give money to establish a women's college, a state women's college, which was, so, she was a remarkable woman. Can I really tell a story?

SSH: Yes.

PBJ: My father knew Mabel Douglass well. Mabel Douglass, apparently, was a very well-endowed woman. And my father said [that] whenever Mabel Douglass wanted something out of a legislator, she would wear a low cut gown and bend over. So, that's what my father told these stories, you know, [to] those stoney-faced Douglass graduates, and they didn't think it was very funny. And when she was on campus, women could not leave the campus without white gloves and a hat. So, she said they were very, very proper women. They also had an interesting thing, I'm getting off on Douglass here, but you want to hear about it?

SSH: Yes, we want to hear about it.

PBJ: My mother would love to tell you. Jimmy Neilson, Eagleton Foundation, what's the, Woodlawn, yeah. When Jimmy Neilson lived at Woodlawn, he was a perennial bachelor, and he used to invite the Douglass girls to tea. My mother said it was very interesting that [he was] a gentlemen of the old school, and he loved to have his Douglass girls for tea. And my mother said that it was quite interesting, because in a state university, you don't expect to get the same type of amenities that you get at Smith or somewhere like that. But he provided that because these women would come on a rotational basis. They'd all get to spend a few afternoons having tea with Jimmy Neilson. And, so the other thing about Mabel Douglass my mother used to tell, [was that] she had a Brooklyn accent. And she used to say "goils" and so forth. But my mother did respect her, she really did, and she used to enjoy tweaking the Douglass flag-wavers wherever she went to anything. She lived to be eighty-eight, and so she didn't die that long ago. And anytime she went to anything, which she registered for, she'd cross out the "Douglass" on her badge and put "NJC." So, she waved the flag for NJC? Where do we go from now? I'm deviating.

SI: Did your father ever talk about the traditions at Rutgers?

PBJ: Not as much. I think my father worked so darn hard, I don't think he had much college life. Oh, yeah, he did talk about the fact that they burned the building down, the Crossed Keys Tavern in Rahway. I don't know what year it was, their junior year, I think, and they had a part at the Crossed Keys Tavern, and somehow the place got on fire and burned down. So, that's why their class symbol was Crossed Key. And he and Bayard Sathers were the ones who really persuaded the Rutgers Club to have a Crossed Keys Room. Bayard gave a lot of money to have that established. And they have the picture down there, and my father's in that picture and so forth. That's one of the few things that I remember. I don't know how it happened. It was accidental. They didn't set it on fire on purpose. They were not well thought of after that.

SSH: Did he talk about any fraternities or anything?

PBJ: No, he did not belong to a fraternity. In fact, he was anti-fraternity, as I am, okay? So, I think, [can I] jump ahead to that?

SSH: You may.

PBJ: Okay? When I was on campus here, there were very few fraternities. So it was not a big deal, 'cause of the war. But when I went to NYU Medical School, I did think about joining a fraternity. And I was really quite serious about it. And there were no housing or anything. It was just a get-together type thing. And then, one day, a guy came up to me, he was a member of a fraternity, and asked me if I knew whether a classmate of mine named Bruce Rothman was Jewish or not. I said, "I don't know." He said, "Well, we were wondering about that, because we don't know whether we ought to have him in our fraternity." So, I said, "You can have Bruce Rothman, but I'm done. I'm not going to have any part of you, if that's your …" NYU, mind you, of all places. It turned out that Bruce Rothman ended up president of the fraternity. So, obviously, he wasn't Jewish. But anyway, that's one of my concerns about fraternities, okay? I like to be able to choose who I can like and dislike. And I don't dislike, I can't think of anybody I dislike. But that has always bothered me about fraternities. So, my father really didn't have much, I don't think he had an awful lot of campus life. He was living home, and working nights, weekends and whatever. And he just went to school and got an education. And there was no journalism department. So, he didn't major in journalism, either. He helped to establish it several years [later], maybe two years after he graduated. And he worked pretty much on every paper in the state of New Jersey. I mean, he worked on the Trenton TimesThe Newark NewsThe Home NewsThe Elizabeth JournalThe Rahway Record, he worked everywhere. His major hobby was the history of journalism, and particularly the history of New Jersey newspapers. And all the material he had on that, are in Special Collection in the Rutgers library. When he died, I shipped it all out. He had a file this thick on every, county-by-county and newspaper-by-newspaper. So, there are all kinds of valuable information. Again, somebody will stumble over it and write a Ph.D. thesis on it, sometime.

SSH: What was his major here at Rutgers?

PBJ: I guess, I think both of them just majored in "liberal arts," which is what people majored in, in those days. I don't think they, my mother may have majored in English. My mother taught one year. She taught at Roosevelt Junior High School. And, do you know the Lipman twins, who just died a year ago? Eddie Lipman was a trustee of Rutgers. The Lipman twins' father was Jacob Lipman, the first Dean of Agriculture.

And my mother taught them. She taught one year and she had the Lipman twins and she said they were hellers. They were bright as the dickens, but they were hellers. Jacob Lipman was the one who brought, who met Selman Waksman at Ellis Island and brought him home to live with him while he worked to get his degree and Ph.D. at Rutgers. So, that was, the Lipman family is a marvelous story. So, anyway, my mother used to kid the Lipman twins. And she was the only one, except maybe their mother, who could tell them apart. And as they got older, they just died, two years ago. They died within a month of one another. Incredible, incredible. And, I'm getting off on another story. When Eddie died, they both had kept a diary, from the time they were in high school. And when Eddie died, Danny made his last entry in his diary, and one month later he was dead. And he wasn't that ill. So, you know that twins thing, you really begin to wonder about the genetics of this. Okay, enough [of] the Lipmans. I'm supposed to be talking about the Jennings.

SSH: Can you tell us if your mother and father dated while they were at college?

PBJ: They dated. And they met, as I said, I think they mostly dated in the Home News office. I really think that was their big date. And they were married in 1924, I guess, when my father graduated from college. I was born in 1925. And my father, again, continued to work at the Home News. He worked, I think the last thing he wrote was the "One Hundred Year History of the Home News," that they asked him to do when he was about eighty or something like that. So, he did a lot of work at the Home News. In fact, my mother was at the Home News, another New Brunswick highlight, my mother was in the Home News office when the bodies of the Hall-Mills, Reverend Hall and Mrs. Mills were discovered. And Reverend Edward Wheeler Hall was my father's scoutmaster, okay? An Episcopalian rector. My father didn't go to that church but he belonged to Reverend Hall's scout troop. So, my mother was there and she asked Frank Deiner, of Deiner Park, okay, and she asked him if she could go out with him. And he said, "No, that's a horrible scene and you're too young." She was twenty-three, I think. "That's a horrible thing and you don't want to see it." But my mother had a journalistic instinct and she did want to see it, but he wouldn't let her go. Later, she was glad she didn't, 'cause it was apparently a horror. So their social life, I gather, was the Home News and journalism. My mother, then, raised me and when, I don't remember how old I was, somewhere around eleven, twelve, or thirteen [became], the Women's Editor, they called them Social Editors in those days. The Social Editor of the Home News had a fight with the publisher [who was] my godfather, Elmer Boyd, and she walked out in a huff. So, he called my mother and said, "Would you come over and temporarily fill in as the Society Editor for the Home News?" My mother said, "I don't know anything about editing. I can write, but I don't know anything about editing." So, my father spent all night teaching her how to edit. He gave her [a] one night course in journalism and how to be an editor. And she went over to do it for one week and she retired thirty-six years later. She was the longest editor of the Home News. She liked it. So, I was sort of, I was old enough, so it didn't matter. I was never home anyway. As a kid growing up in Highland Park, as a kid, I was into everything. Boy Scouts and playing sandlot football and baseball, whatever. And I'd leave in the morning and come home to eat lunch, tear back to school. I don't think I would be in the house fifteen minutes at noontime, because my closest friend lived right across [from] the high school and he had a Ping-Pong table on the porch. And we used to tear back to get on the table, winners stays on, you know, playing Ping-Pong. So, my mother decided I wasn't home, anyway, [so] she might as well work. It was fine, it worked out well. So, I guess I was one of the earliest "latch-key" children, okay? I didn't get home until after they got home.

SI: So you mother had planned on raising you from the beginning?

PBJ: She what?

SI: She had quit work and planned on raising you from the beginning.

PBJ: Oh, I don't think she would have worked. People, I mean, being a housewife was a noble profession in those days, okay? And I don't think she would have worked. But once she got into it, she loved it. And interestingly enough, the converse of this is when she retired. She retired, my father retired in 1966, in those days, it was before the, what I call the "Geezer Act," which says you couldn't discriminate against age, and he had to retire, he was asked to retire. And so, my mother decided that, "I don't want to work if he's not working." So, she retired at the same time. And neither of them wanted to retire. And my mother wasn't retired a day, when every woman's organization in the city began calling her and asking her to do publicity. She said, "Look, I wrote for money, I'm not going to write for free." And it was sort of funny, because she did everything. She just did no community service. She just said, "I'm retired." And my father, on the other hand, never stopped. I mean, he was into the restoration of Joyce Kilmer's birthplace, over on Kilmer Avenue, which used to be Codwise Avenue. And he was always into, he was always doing things. He was the city historian, for which, I think they paid him one thousand dollars a year. And then he got into a hassle with the Mayor John Lynch when they began tearing down Hiram Street, which of course, that section of New Brunswick was considered, before Williamsburg, as a restoration, and it just never came off. Because there were a lot of very old colonial buildings down there and my father battled with the city when they wanted to tear it all down. In fact, my father said it was an interesting group fighting for this. It was him, the pastor of the Dutch Reform Church, the Townclock Church, and the guy who ran the gay bar down on Nelson Street, and a bunch of "hippies." It was my father and the minister, in with these young guys who were fighting with the mayor and the city council to preserve this. In fact, I think the guy that ran the gay bar died of AIDS. I forget the name of the place. You guys are too young to know. But anyway, he was fighting those things until he died, really. He loved New Brunswick. Another interesting thing, getting into ethnicity, he said that when he was born, he was raised, Hiram Street ran this way to the river. And Dennis and Nelson and Burnet all ran this way. He said that the Albany Street side of Hiram Street was almost all people of German ethnicity. And the other side was almost all Jewish ethnicity. And he said, you know, proving that Germans and Jews could get along. Mr. Hitler changed that. And there were a lot of very well-known, old Jewish families that my parents knew very, very well. In fact, my mother and father were the only gentiles invited to Rabbi Keller's wedding, okay? So, they really knew a lot of the old families in New Brunswick, okay? Where do we go from here?

SSH: When did your father start teaching?

PBJ: He started teaching part-time, now they formed the Department of Journalism, I think in 1927, sometime before 1930, I know that. And they asked him if he would teach part-time. They hired one professor, Dr. Will. I don't remember his first name. And he had heard about my father working on all these papers, being a Rutgers graduate, and asked him if he would teach part-time. So he did for quite a number of years. He didn't really get into full-time teaching. Let's see, he retired in '66, I think he had been teaching for thirty-six years or something like that. So, his first few years, even then, he was just part-time. He was also editor and everything for theRahway Record, that's where he spent most of his time. He was like the only guy. It came out twice a week and he wrote the stories and edited it and did everything but publish, actually print it. And that was back when Clifford Case was running for the various offices in this town of Rahway. Clifford Case, he graduated from, he was in college the same time my father was. So, he knew him very well. He had great respect for him as a politician and as a person. So, anyway, he worked in the Rahway Record and worked part-time at Rutgers. I think he taught here, you know, journalism was not that big of a school. And I don't think it ever got a faculty any bigger than four or five. And he did get a Master's degree in history from Columbia. Went to school nights, he always, he worked. And he never got a Ph.D. because he couldn't afford the time. And also, I always thought he might, it's interesting, because he was such an excellent writer. I always thought he was dyslexic, because he had all kinds of problems with foreign languages. English, he was great, and to get a Ph.D. in the arts, you had to have speaking and writing knowledge of a foreign language. And the story goes, I forget what he was taking, Spanish, French. Professor Billetdoux, you don't remember Edmund Billetdoux, he was one of my earliest patients. And he was a grand old man of Rutgers. Billetdoux. And I was, my father was trying to pass his course to graduate. And finally he went and told Professor Billetdoux that I was on the way and he had to get out of college. So, Professor Billetdoux said, "Well, you're not much of a language scholar, but I'll pass you." So, that's how he got his degree, really. And to try to get a Ph.D. in the foreign language, he knew he'd be dead in the water. Which is a shame, because, even though he was there for the beginning of the journalism department, [there] was almost a de-emphasis, that's a way of putting it, which was a major mistake that the university made, but I'll get into that later. He never became the department chairman, but he was acting chairman about five times. Every time they were looking for somebody else, he was acting chairman. And Mason Gross pushed very hard to make him chair, but the faculty, you know, a department chair without a Ph.D. was not a no-no when he was in college, but, by that time, [it] was at that stage. But he was a full professor and so forth. And maybe he had less headaches. But anyway, in those days, he taught in Van Nest. His office was right over the front door of that. He could see everything on the campus. Everything went by him. And he often said that more business, the only men's room, even Queen's didn't have a men's room in those days, the only men's room was down in the bottom of the Geology building. My father said that more important business of the University was conducted in that men's room then in all of Queen's because that's where everybody met. And so he would, you know, look out that window and see everything that was going on, on the campus. And he loved that office.

SSH: Did they ever talk about their favorite stories that they covered as journalists?

PBJ: My father used to say that he paid off our mortgage because of Hadley Field, in the early days of aviation. And he would go out there and cover. And the first airmail flight in the United States took off from there and he covered that. Some guy, one of his favorite stories, a guy who, a plane landed and there was a guy hanging on the tail. The guy had flown from Detroit or someplace like that. In those days, they pushed the airplane to get them started. And this guy got caught up and he hung on. Now they didn't go very high, so the guy didn't freeze to death. And the pilot said the plane was acting funny. And when he got down, he says, "Where the hell did you come from?" The kid was hanging on the plane and the kid was scared to death and half frozen, "I was the guy who pushed your plane." It was coming from Detroit or Cleveland or something, so it was quite a flight, you know, with a kid hanging on the back of the airplane. So, he got a major headline with that story. And he got paid by the inch, you know. The journalist in those days had their stringers. Do you know what the word stringer means? They measured with a string. And my father had a lot of very well-known students. One of whom was Sonny Werblin, who graduated in '31, I think. And Sonny came into my father and said, "Professor Jennings, I have to tell you something I hate to tell you. I'm not going into journalism because my uncle runs something called the Music Corporation of America and he wants me to go to work with him." And my father said in 1931, "Sonny, if you've got a job, grab the job, because I'm not sure that I'm going …" And he and my father use to kid about that until the day Sonny died. And Sonny used to, my father would say, "How come I taught you so much and you're so rich," you know? And a similar story was Martin Agronsky. You know, Martin Agronsky, the World War II correspondent? Well, Marty came from Atlantic City and his parents were furriers. And Marty was a playboy and he was in the '30s, too. But he had lots of money. His parents were furriers in Atlantic City and he used to drive around the campus, typically, in a convertible filled with girls and the whole bit. And he didn't spend an awful lot of time studying. My father said he was as smart as a whip, very, very bright guy, but he didn't spend a lot of time studying. So, it got to be a situation where Marty was very, very marginal. In those days, you could negotiate with professors, apparently. You didn't in my day. And he came in and his parents came in and his parents said, "Marty has to graduate. You have to let him graduate." So, my father said, "Well, he really hasn't studied very hard." So they said, "He's going to come in the fur business with us and it doesn't matter." So, my father said, "Well, Marty, you're a great guy, and you can write like a fool, if you really put yourself to it. But, if you promise not to go into journalism and bring disrespect to our department, I'll graduate you." So, Martin Agronsky goes into World War II and they see [on his record], journalism graduate of Rutgers. They make him a war correspondent. He had solemnly sworn that he would never be a newspaperman, and he ends up one of the most famous newspapermen in the country. And he was such a good friend of my family, when my father and mother lived over on George Street, some nights, ten o'clock at night, there'd be a knock on the door. He would go and it would be Marty. Marty would say, "Hey, Ken and Viola, can I nap here a couple of hours? I'm on my way to Washington and I began to get sleepy on the Turnpike." So [they'd say], "Yeah, come on in." In the morning, he'd be gone with a note saying, "Thanks Vi." They had a great relationship with him. And I used to enjoy it as a kid at football games, because all these people used to come up to talk to my father. My father always sat in the same section and he would spend half the game with his ex-students coming by. Another one, Chang Lee, he was not Chinese but he covered, he married a Hawaiian princess, as a matter-of-fact. He wrote a book called Pacific, and he was a correspondent in the Pacific during World War II. So a lot of my father's students really did very, very well. My mother used to call him "Mr. Chips" because all these students used to come back. And half of them, he couldn't remember their names. But he had a great career. He loved teaching, he loved it. And he was very good at it, I'm sure. He used to argue with the fact, not just that Ph.D. thing, but he said, "Journalism is a trade school." When I, he used to get furious and argue with the dean at Douglass where, when they would say, "Oh, why don't you take English and then you can learn to write and then you could go work at a newspaper." My father would say, "Goddamm it, writing a news story is very different from writing an English composition. It's entirely different. And if you want to work at a newspaper, take journalism and I'll teach you how to run a newspaper." And so, as a consequence, he worked every summer at the Home News, rotating through the various editors' jobs when they went on vacation. So, when the semester ended, he went to the Home News and he'd be the sports editor, editorial writer, and news editor. He would say, "This is my continuing education in how to run a newspaper." And he retired just about in time, because during the time when students were unruly and so forth, and they began to argue with him about dress. And, of course, when I went to Rutgers you dressed like this [jacket and tie].

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

PBJ: I mean, my father would break his class if there was a news story breaking, and they'd all go. And he said, "If you going to look like a newspaperman or a newspaperwoman, you have to dress like this." And of course, it got to be. And my father, in the '70s, when students didn't respect age and experience and whatever. I think he might have, maybe he wouldn't, because he was a very affable guy and he was, everyone who took journalism said he was a great guy, a great teacher, but he was tough. I mean, he was absolutely intolerant of misspelled words. And he said, "You know, you've got to be able to spell if you want to write." And he always had a dictionary and he looked it up. And here's, sort of, maybe, the end of my father's discussion. My father died suddenly when he was eighty-four. The reason my mother suspected something [was wrong] was that he'd gone out and picked up the Home News, and she didn't hear any expletive. Because, usually, when he read the Home News, it was, "Who the hell wrote this story? Don't they know it's not Livingston Street, it's Livingston Avenue? If reporters went out and walked the beat like they used to, they'd know it was Livingston Avenue," and so forth. It was dead silence. He died in the chair, reading the paper. Which is ironic, that that's how he died. So, I saw him, I stopped in, it was the day, he died the day of Reagan's second swearing in. It was January 21st. The 20th was on a Sunday, so they actually did the swearing in on the 21st. It was a bitterly cold day, I stopped over to see if my parents needed anything. He had had a heart attack three years before, but his last words he said were, "Hey, Pete, remember the last date for getting your Atlantic Ten basketball playoff tickets is tomorrow. I hope you're going to send your money in." So, he was still going to all the games. Every game. He went to every football game, home and away, as I have done. I have not missed a [game at] Rutgers, I missed one home and away, since, I think, 1958, and that was the day Bo Jackson played against us. And I knew how that was going to turn out. And it wasn't as bad as last year. But anyway, in fact, my wife and I, last year, went to twenty-one basketball games in six days. The Big East Men's and Women's tournament. You know, they've meshed. You know, we all go to Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament. We go for five games Wednesday, four games Thursday, two games Friday and one game Saturday. Sort of like, Carl Dilatush and my wife and I go, so it's a pilgrimage. So I got indoctrinated early. My father talked football. He knew Homer Hazel quite well. In fact, I'm allowed to use, the reason I met Homer Hazel, back in the days when the Touchdown Club used to be at the Roger Smith Hotel, and Homer Hazel was a guest. You know, he was Rutgers' first Hall of Famer, and one of the first guys to make All-American in two positions and so forth. And he played in 1919. And then graduated, didn't graduate, left school, raised a family and came back and played in '24, and '25 or '23 and '24. So, my father and I are sitting outside the Roger Smith, and this huge guy comes out and bangs my father on the back and says, "Ken Jennings, you old son-of-a-bitch, you're still alive?" My father said, "Homer, you're older than I am. You were in college in 1918." So, they had this big discussion and I sat there thinking these guys, my father knew this guy pretty well. You know, they were joshing back and forth about things.

SSH: Well, could you tell us about the Touchdown Club and then what your mom did?

PBJ: Okay? My mother founded the Fanees, which, Julie Gross did not appreciate that name. But my mother had a way of naming things. She had an unbelievable, she called, for instance, the Johnson & Johnson tower, she called that, you know, that building, she called that "Pie in the Sky." She could, I mean, that's why she was such a good writer. She could just turn those things out over and over. You know, like that, she'd have a catchy name. Anyway, the Touchdown Club was a Rutgers booster club. And in those days it was, the president was called the referee. And my mother, I began to go to that when I first came back to New Brunswick to practice. And it was great and it was fun. They showed movies of the previous games, not unlike the coaches' luncheons of today. So, I was referee of the Touchdown Club in 1965, I think. Anyway, my mother was jealous of the fact that my father and I would both be talking about, "Hey, that was great at the Touchdown Club." So, she went to John Bateman and said, "John, why don't you have something like this for the women?" And John said, "Well, I'd love to do that." So, she said, "You know women sit there in the stands and they don't understand the fine points of the game quite like the men do, and you could teach about the game and you can show us the movies and so forth." Well, John being that kind of guy, he loved this. So, they formed this and my mother thought up the name, FAN-EES, for the women's club. Well, Julie Gross, Mason Gross' wife, called my mother, "Viola, I do not think that's a very distinguished name for a group of women." But it stuck. And she would, my mother and father got along very well with the Grosses, so it was sort of, in fact, the Grosses, when he was on faculty, he lived next to my uncle, my mother's brother. So, anyway, I'm still, I went to the huddle last night. In fact, the pre-game thing before the Georgetown game last night. So, we're still very much involved. My wife is a superb fan. She's still angry, not angry, she's still second guessing, of all people, C. Vivian Stringer, for not being three points ahead, not fouling in the last six and a half seconds, and she had a heated discussion with three or four people after the game, three of whom agreed with her, that we would have beaten Notre Dame if we fouled, instead of letting the girl take a three, make her go to the line and take two. Okay? But, both Stringer and Muffett McGraw, the Notre Dame women's coach, said they wouldn't do it. And Muffett agreed that she wouldn't do it. The odds of making a three, anyway, my wife goes into this. And you can see, she's a pretty good sports fan, when she second-guesses C. Vivian Stringer. I mean, man, at 400 grand a year. I said to her, "You don't make half that." Okay? Where do we go? I'm rambling.

SI: What kind of memories do you have of Mason Gross as an administrator?

PBJ: Oh, Mason Gross was, without a question, the best speaker I've ever known. Including, now, I didn't know Winston Churchill or Franklin D. Roosevelt, okay? I have heard Mason speak dozens of times and I heard him speak at widely diverse things. I was president, for years, of the Heart Association, the Middlesex County Heart Association. He came to a couple of the Heart Association dinners, and spoke at them. I've heard him speak at the, out here at …

SSH: Graduation?

PBJ: Oh, at various big things, you know. I've heard him speak at Touchdown Club banquets. I've heard him speak at basketball banquets. And this man could get up and he always knew when to quit. He'd quit, leaving you wishing he'd say more, which his two predecessors had not done, okay? And I love Ed Blaustien and I love Fran Lawrence. But they don't, Ed got better. I think Fran is so [into] waving the Rutgers flag that he wants to tell you every National Science, National Academy of Science Award and so forth. And, you know, after a while, you don't tell him I said that, but it's true. But Mason was the other way around. Mason would stop and everybody would say, "Oh, no, more, more." So, no matter what he was talking about. And, of course, he looked like a movie or Broadway college president. Striped tie, charcoal gray, rumpled coat, gray mustache, handsome, distinguished guy, and a great piano player. [I remember when] he was provost, he was at a party and he sat down behind the piano and began to play and sing and everybody gathered around. He was an amazing guy. And, of course, he was the end of the era, of faculty being president. He still taught philosophy while he was president. And that, I think, you know, the profile of college presidents changed with Dwight Eisenhower, I think. When Columbia hired Dwight Eisenhower, everybody said, "What the hell does he know about being a college president?" And the answer was [that] he ran an army. You know, he's an administrator, he knows how to run things. And the faculty teaches, he runs thing. And I think that was the beginning of a change of people. Now, all college presidents have academic credentials or they wouldn't be there. But I really think, it's like directors of athletics. Directors of athletics, in the good old days, were old football coaches who got a little addled, okay? And they made schedules, that was the big thing. Who do we play next year, you know? A schedule made one year in advance, it was very easy. And then, you know, Fred Grunninger really encompassed the first guy who started out with TV money, joining the league, all the huge business decisions that directors of athletics now have to make. Promotion. I mean Bob Mulcahey is a promotion guy. So, that changed, too. So, I think all, I think administration, and I wouldn't be surprised if department heads have changed. They probably have so much more administrative things to do with budget and so forth. There used to be that the senior guy was a department head. And he didn't have to, the budget wasn't big enough to worry about. People weren't dealing in billions, they were dealing in hundreds.

SSH: Well, let's leap back then to your childhood in Highland Park and talk about the Depression.

PBJ: Okay? Stu Kahn, do you know Stu Kahn? He died a couple of years ago. Stu was the Class of '43, a dentist. And Stu Kahn lived a block from me and used to always say, "You know, Highland Park is a great place to grow up." And it was. Everybody knew everybody. You'd walk down the street and you knew everybody. My wife still kids me, because I would know, if I drive though Highland Park, I'd know who lived in half the houses. And it's always whose house it was when I was a kid. I have a colleague [who is] a cardiologist whom I had lunch with today, named Jerry Rolnick, and Jerry Rolnick lives in the house that Ralph Voorhees grew up in, and that was actually the Zimmerli house. That was the "Zimmerli," okay? Professor Zimmerli lived there, another story, and I still call that the Zimmerli house. Everybody calls it the Zimmerli house. And Jerry Rolnick put a 90,000 dollar addition on it. He says, "I put a 90,000 dollar addition and it's still not the Rolnick house, it's the Zimmerli house." And he says, "Not only that, Ben Bucca lived there, in-between." But to go back to Highland Park, you know, I identify the houses that way. And I still kid Ralph about that. In fact, Ralph Voorhees lives in the Busch house, okay? You know, the people that lived in that house were named Busch. So, Ralph understands that. So, anyway, Highland Park was a close-knit community. Everybody knew each other and we played a lot of sandlot sports. I lived on North Seventh Avenue, Ralph Voorhees, to name some distinguished alumni, Ralph Voorhees, and John Heldrich lived down on the Manor, the so-called Livingston Manor, and Tony Marano, who used to broadcast the Rutgers game, went to St. Peter's School. And we used to play each other every Saturday. We had a little schedule of football and we would play what we called "The St. Peter's Sissies." They didn't call themselves that. And we would play the Janeways. And the Janeways were named because of the Janeways factory, which was Janeway and Carpender wallpaper factory. It was an old deserted factory with a field in front of that. By the way, the Carpender, which is the conference center, the Rutgers Conference Center, Carpender family. Okay? A death bed confession from Frank Deiner, okay? He covered it. And he said, "Remember the Pig Woman?" Did you read the story? The Pig Woman said, "Henry," and the big question was whether there were two Henrys, Henry Stevens and Henry Carpender. And Frank said, "They're both there." And that Henry Carpender, they were both tried and acquitted. And I'm getting off on a tangent, but Henry Carpender was at a party at the Rice estate, which is the first house on the right, if you go into Highland Park, where the YMHA is. And he was at a party there and the phone rang and he said, "I'll be right there." And he left. And Frank Deiner said he was an excellent shot. And he carried guns, had guns, and he used to shoot with the New Brunswick cops. And, as you know, they were both shot before her throat was slit. And Henry Stevens was acquitted because of the fact that he never owned a gun and didn't know how to fire a gun. But Henry Carpender did. So, there's your scoop for the day on who did the Hall/Mills, okay? And, okay, back to Highland Park. We used to play football. My mother used to come home early and we were playing under a streetlight and she'd drag me home. And we played baseball, and I played a lot of softball, all the way through medical school. I used to come home when I could to play in the softball league with Ralph Voorhees and John Heldrich and a guy named Bill Smith, who was a classmate of Heldrich and Voorhees, who ended up as vice president of sales at Becton Dickenson. And we've often joked about the net worth of that softball team in 1990, okay? 'Cause John was VP of J&J and Ralph made a few dollars selling stock, and the third baseman was Professor Keller's son, Henry Keller. I played shortstop, Ralph caught, the pitcher was a minister at the Methodist church next door. It was a very interesting group. So I played a lot of sandlot sports. I was never big enough to, I played JV football in Highland Park High School, under Bus Lepine, another Rutgers graduate who was in the Basketball Hall of Fame. In fact, when I got awarded the Hall of Distinguished Alumni here, I got a very nice note from Bus, who is now in his nineties, saying, you know, he was proud to know me and so forth. I was on the first football team he ever coached. Now Bus was a superb baseball player, a superb basketball player and he never played football. But he was a teacher at Hamilton school and they brought him over to coach football. He didn't know much more than we did. But the memory I have, we went out and we played our first game, I guess I was a junior in high school. We played at Dunellen. And Dunellen varsity had, we had beaten the Dunellen varsity that Saturday. And we played the "alleged" Dunellen JVs on Monday. Well, they played a lot of varsity kids and they killed us. They killed us 'cause they wanted to avenge, and we're coming home on the bus, and we're a bunch of kids and we're laughing and singing and joking and we get home and we get in the locker room. I still can see this. Bus comes in the locker room and he says, "When I lose a football game, I don't like a word spoken on the bus coming home." And I'm thinking to myself, "Hey, this is serious stuff. I thought this was a game." And now, I think of all that stuff that goes on in the NFL, but I still considered, "Hey, we had fun, you know." And on the way home, we joked and sang. Well, okay, if that's the way it is. And he went on to have twenty undefeated teams in Highland Park followed by the, in fact he and Jay Dakelman went back to back with undefeated teams in Highland Park as a football coach. But he was really a, he was also, baseball was his game. He played minor league baseball. Anyway, I did play. One of my, I think, one of my main regrets, this is going to sound funny, it's like me being old. One of my major regrets is that one of the things, many of the many things that was curtailed on the campus when I was at Rutgers, was lightweight football, 150 pound football. And I was just about 145 and I think I could have played, very well, lightweight football. But they didn't have lightweight football. And I didn't have the size or the courage to go out for the varsity, which was suspended anyway.

SSH: Can you tell us if there was someone at the high school that was really academically talented?

PBJ: Oh, my, yeah, yeah, yeah. The one of the teachers, you know, you always look back. The teacher I had, I won't say I disliked the teacher, I really, the toughest teacher was my Latin teacher. And I've often thought that teachers that you dislike or don't like well, often are the ones that you learn the most from. She was, she'd give you a vocabulary test every day. Ten Latin words. And the passing mark was 100. If you got nine out of the ten, you flunked and you came in after school. And her philosophy was that if you don't know the language, if you don't know the vocabulary, you don't know the language. So, some guys were like forty-seven tests behind. I mean, you know. But you soon learned, well, hell, you don't have to be awful bright to learn ten Latin words and spill them back to her. And that's a heck of a lot better than going back after school. And, of course, if you got too behind, you came in and you stayed and did the two tests. And it went on and on and on. And I think I learned from Miss Fileen, Ellen Fileen, I learned that you work hard and you do your thing and you do it on time and it served me well in the future. It's like the professor of biochemistry I had in medical school. Isadore Greenwald. He had those half-ass glasses, you know, that you looked over and so forth. Oh, he was a mean son-of-a-gun. He would get in the class and he'd ask a question like, in a high, squeaky voice, "Where does inulin come from?" And he'd call a name, he didn't know anybody. And you'd say, "I don't know, sir." And the next guy, "I don't know sir." "I don't know, sir." And then somebody would say something and he'd say, "Are you guessing?" Sort of like that Millionaire thing, "Is that your final answer?" And he would end up saying, his lesson that I learned, didn't sink in as a freshman in medical school, but he was telling you that as a physician, you don't guess. If you don't know, you get an opinion. And I remember we had, I mean, you'd study like hell for an exam and one of the questions was, "How many milliliters in a drinking glass?" You know, you'd memorize all these complicated, so he'd call you in after the exam and it was 250mm, as I recall and one guy put down ninety. So he said, in his high speaking voice, "You put down ninety. How come?" And he said, "Well, Dr. Greenwald, I think the only thing I had time for before I took the exam was a glass of orange juice, and I had a juice glass and I was thinking juice glass." Well, he said, "A couple of your colleagues must have had a shot of whisky, they put down 30cc." So, he really did have a sense of humor about it, but I was terrified of the man. I was nineteen. I was in medical school when I was nineteen. It was good and bad. One, I was not mature enough to really get as much as I should have gotten out of medical school. On the other hand, I was so young that I was too young and too dumb to be scared. I never thought of flunking out. I mean, I used to be amazed at guys who were thinking about flunking out. I never flunked anything, why would I flunk here? You know, and I didn't. But it's like being in the service, as were supposed to be talking about. They said that when they dropped the draft to eighteen, they made the point that the eighteen to twenty year olds were the best soldiers, 'cause they didn't think anything could happen to them. And I remember at a party at Ed Bloustein's house, when Bob Ochs retired. Remember Bob Ochs? It was after Ruth Ellen died. And Ed asked a group of us who were Bob's friends, Bob was a year ahead of me in Highland Park High School, to come to a party at his house. A stag party, a retirement party for Bob. And that was the year we had three alcohol deaths on campus. And I remember Bob saying, "Ed, if you think that those deaths are going to stop drinking on this campus, forget about it. These are eighteen, nineteen, and twenty year olds, and they don't think it can happen to them. When I was in the Marines, I would go over a hill, the guy on the left of me would be killed, the guy on the right of me would be killed, and I said, 'They're not going to kill me, I'm Ochs.'" He said, "I still wake up in the middle of the night thinking about that. You don't believe it can happened to you. The same way with college kids with drinking, they don't think it can happen to them." And, of course, he's 100 percent right. And Ed said, "Gee, I hate to think you're right, Bob." But he was.

SSH: When did you decide that you wanted to go to medical school, or that you wanted to be a doctor?

PBJ: I always wanted to, as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor. In fact, my mother tells me the thing she always heard me say I wanted to be is that I wanted to be a doctor, until I earned enough money to buy a fire engine so I could be a fireman. That's how early I wanted to be a doctor. And I don't know why. I enjoyed, I think the best toy I ever got in my life was a chemistry set. And I used to spend hours with the chemistry set. I was an avid reader as a kid and I just always thought I wanted to go into medicine. I never really knew why, I still don't know why. I'm not a bit sorry. I'm not one of these guys who say, a lot of my generation says, "Oh, boy, I'd never tell my kids to go into medicine." None of my kids did, but I never told them what to do. But I always wanted to go to medical school.

SSH: Was there any choice other than coming to Rutgers? Did you think of going anywhere else?

PBJ: No, there was absolutely no choice. I got a faculty scholarship. I could come to Rutgers free and there was no way my father and mother could pay for me to go to medical school if I went to any other school. So, it was never an option. I never thought about it. I mean, I graduated from high school in 1942, and the war, obviously, started when I was a senior in high school and the draft age, at that time, was twenty-one. And my father, I still remember my father, somewhere around May, said, "You're going to go to summer school." I said, "What do you mean I'm going to summer school? It's my last summer off." And he said, "You know, I think if you want to go to medical school, you better get going on your education as soon as you can, because they're going to drop that draft age, and if you want to go to medical school, try to get as much education as you can, before you go into the Army." So, I was out of high school, maybe a week, when I came here and took two courses that summer. Chemistry in the building across there, and scientific German, okay? And I got a one, which is an A, in German and a B in chemistry. And Professor Van Mater called me in and told me, I don't know why he told me this, "You're one percentage point away from getting an A." "Great, you had to tell me that." I understood it. But anyway, so I went here. Well, I entered June 1942, and I was in medical school July 1, 1944. So, one of the things I really wanted to tell you [about] was, okay, campus during the war. We went around the clock. I mean, I had an English class in Van Nest Hall at eight o'clock on New Year's morning. And there was one guy in the back row in a tuxedo, [who was] stoned. And the guy next to him kept trying to wake him up and the professor said, "Let him sleep. He's not going to understand anything I say anyway. He might just as well sleep. At least I'll mark him present." And in those days, by the way, being present was important. Three cuts and you were out. Three unexcused absences in any course was a flat flunk. It was, again, discipline, jacket and tie, there was a lot of discipline. And I thought that was useful, an important part of education. And the first year I was here, I went to summer school. And then I went to, you know, fall semester began and we were still on a semester system. And I went to fall semester, and that would be in '42. And in the spring semester, and believe it or not, I think I had a six-week break, which they switched over to the quarter system. And you went four twelve-week quarters with a week in between. So you could basically take two years in one year that way. And I worked at Johnson & Johnson during that six weeks, pasting boxes shut, a very important job. I made, I think, thirty-four dollars a week. Which, wow. My first paycheck, I bought my Rutgers ring, okay? Now, if my wife was here, she would now inject the fact that when we were going to be married, she told me that we've got to buy a wedding ring. I said, "Okay." I was, by that time, a resident in Atlantic City Hospital. She lived in New York, so I went to New York. She loves to tell this story, she'll tell you at the drop of a hat. I went to New York and she said, "I want that wedding ring." I said, "Fine, we'll buy that wedding ring." And then she says, "I would like to buy you a wedding ring." And she swears, to this day, I put my hand over my heart and said, "Oh, I have my Rutgers ring." And she said, "That should have been the key." And so, I've still got the same Rutgers ring and I never got a wedding ring. So she loves to tell that story. But anyway, she's a big Rutgers person, so …

SSH: How aware were you of the events in Europe leading to America's entry into the war?

PBJ: Well, I was well aware, of course, of the war. And, you know, I was, like, everybody knows where they were on Pearl Harbor day. I was playing bridge in the Dean of University College son's basement. Okay? Rex Miller. Norman C. Miller was the first Dean of the University College, brought here from Penn State. And I was playing bridge. In high school and college and through my internship, I used to play a lot bridge and I used to be good at it, reasonably good at it. I used to play bridge with Professor Rieman's daughter, another professor of chemistry and quantitative analysis. You talk about, he was tough. One day, I was sitting there and, again, to give you an idea of what Rutgers was like. I don't know, this guy next to me said something, and I still don't know what provoked this. This professor took a thing of keys, and flung it at this guy. And he ducked and it hit the chair. And I still don't know what he did. He did something. It's like a botany exam. I was taking a botany exam and I'm working away and all of a sudden Professor, I think his name was Roever, came over. The guy sitting next to me, he grabs the guy's paper, rips it out like that, rips it into shreds and then takes his crib sheets and rips them into shreds, and said, "Mister, you will never get into medical school. If you had any idea of being a doctor, anybody that cheats on an exam will not be a good doctor. And I will see to it that you never get into medical school." And boy, you talk about, nobody cheated for about ten years. Because, wow, I mean, you know, and yet, as I got, again, in just twenty-four months, I had an awful lot of experience. A professor of, a guy who probably, a faculty guy here who I had the most respect for and liked the most was a guy named James Leathem. And we had a small class, by this time, nobody was left in the college and we, maybe, had twelve or fifteen kids. I took cat anatomy. We dissected a cat. And he was a fun guy. He taught part-time here and part-time at Columbia Medical School. He would give you an exam, as an example, he'd give you a paper bag with a cat's bones in it. You'd put you hand in and, blindly, you'd have to identify the bone. Now, you know, some of them were easy. And you'd pull it out and you'd say, you know, "Fibula." You'd pull it out and [he'd say], "Right." And you got very good at it, and you really knew the bones. And his exams used to be interesting, because, by this time, most of the guys were the good students of pre-med and would do fine. I would say, if you looked at his grades of the sixteen kids or twelve kids in the class, all but two would have 100. Maybe a ninety, and then there would be two down, with sixteen or fourteen who, soon, would switch from pre-med into something else. You either did it or you didn't. Anatomy is anatomy, you either know it or you don't. I mean, there is no thought process in anatomy, no deductive reasoning in anatomy. It's rote memory, you learn anatomy. In fact, one of my colleagues in the practice of cardiology used to say that medical school was a trade school. He was a little snobbish, he had a Ph.D. and an MD, a Ph.D. in chemistry. And he wasn't wrong. You really learn medicine, in medical school you learned just that. You learned a trade, you honed it in your post-graduate training.

SH: Did you ever have Professor Gemeroy?

PBJ: No, I didn't. And unfortunately I didn't have Thurlow Nelson. I knew all Thurlow Nelson's kids because they were at Highland Park High School with me. But I never had him, I did have, he taught the year before. And the year I was there, he didn't, he taught upper-level courses, I guess. I think that was about the time that they were beginning to do research down in Bivale, New Jersey in his oyster research. And everybody who had him, loved him. I did have Dr. Boyden, professor of genetics. He was excellent. And as I say, Jim Leathem was a great guy. I used to see him, periodically. And the last time, unfortunately, the last time I saw him was on an elevator in St. Peter's, when he was dying of cancer. And, boy, that was a shock, finding him there. But, it was a, you know, college was go, go, go. They pretty well eliminated all extracurricular activities. The football team, one year, played Lehigh twice, Lafayette twice and Camp Kilmer, we played the Camp Kilmer football team. I think the next year, they didn't play at all. I did play some of the intramural basketball here. Then, basketball was no longer being played at a varsity level. And I played some intramural basketball. We had a biology, "the Biologs," the biology team, and we were no good, but we had a good time. And so, there was some extracurricular activity, but not much. I would take, every semester, I would take three lab courses. So, I would start, I went to school from eight to five everyday and eight to twelve on Saturday. So, you get a lot of education with that kind of schedule. So everybody says, "How could you go to school in two years? Well, it was not long after that that Hyman Rickover came out and made the point that our education system, to Congress people, that the Russians were getting ahead of us with Sputniks and so forth, because they were going to school year-round, and we weren't. And that's true, except for the fact that so many kids had to have time off to make money. And in Russia, in the communist system, they didn't have to make money. If you were assigned to be a college student, you know, you got a subsistence. You know, there's something to be said for both systems. But I never regretted the accelerated program. I really didn't. I loved every bit of it. There was not a course at Rutgers that I didn't like. Really. I had, well, there was one course that I think the professor had lost it. I think he did. He was furloughed the next year. That was qualitative analysis. That was my, I got two threes. Everything else was ones and twos in college. I got two threes in college. You always blame the professor. This one professor, I really think, in qualitative analysis, had lost it. And he, it was a difficult course and I just, nobody did well. The other course I got a three in was an English course. And I know why I got a three in English because the professor was a medium. He believed in making tables walk. And I sat in the front row and I did that. He used to tell us about his séances, and, you know, I'm a scientific major and I'm listening to this guy and I'm thinking, "Come on. Knock it off." So, I got a three in that course, which I deserved, because I didn't respect the professor. But other than that, in science I did very, very well.

SSH: Were you exempt from ROTC?

PBJ: Oh, that's another funny story. I was not exempt. I was, I did, here I am, seventy-five, and my last sick day was 1958. I went for a physical when I entered Rutgers and they told me I had a potential hernia, which, I guess, I still got, 'cause I still ain't got a hernia. And I know what happened. The day before, I was showing off, and I was in good shape in those days, and I let a 200-pound guy stand on my stomach. And I think what happened, was that my right inguinal ring gave a little bit. And so they said, "You can't take ROTC." So I was sort of disappointed, except for the fact that during that time when everybody else was out there drilling, I could get another chemistry course in, okay? And it was just, you know, I never had a hernia. I really think that's what it related to. So, I didn't take ROTC. I did take phys ed, and, as a matter-of-fact, phys ed was required, because of the war, and everybody had to be in shape. And I used to love phys ed. In fact, I used to, right out where the Commons is, was an outdoor track, a wooden track. And every time you cut a gym class, that was the only class that you could almost cut, if you cut a gym class, you had to run a mile. And I used to run guys' gym cuts off. I'd go say, "My name is Jim Jones," and I'd run five miles and the guy would buy me lunch or something. And I used to run guys' gym cuts off. And so I could, in those days, I could run, almost forever. And I had to make sure that a different guy was there, okay. As a matter-of-fact, Bernie Wefer was a track coach, and he used to ask me if I wanted to go out for track. And I'd say, "I don't want to go out for track." And he says, "You got legs like Greg Rice." You guys don't know who Greg Rice was. Greg Rice was a miler from Notre Dame who won the IC4A and ran the Olympics and whatever. He was just trying to get somebody to go out for track, 'cause there was nobody going out for track. And I couldn't have run competitively. I could just run. But I did have, one Saturday morning, one quarter, my first class was gym. And I walked from Highland Park, my family gave up their car during the war 'cause there was no gasoline, and I used to walk from North Seventh Avenue in Highland Park to College Avenue Gym for an eight o'clock class. And then I had no class after that, so I used to stay and play basketball for a couple of hours. And we had a crazy gym teacher named Wilfred Cann, I think his name was. He was a wrestling coach and he loved wrestling. Oh, man, this guy, he was a wrestling coach, and he used to, gym was always wrestling. And, you know, you wrestle for five minutes and you're done. I could play basketball for two hours, but I couldn't, I mean, if I wrestled for five minutes, I mean, hard, I would be [too] worn out to play basketball, which I really liked. So I had a wrestling partner that was killed in World War II as a matter-of-fact, named Burton Brower. And, no, his brother was killed in World War II. And he and I used to like to, not, not really like World-Wide Wrestling, but we used to fake it. We'd roll around and we'd grunt, trying to save our energy to play basketball. But I think the guy knew we were doing it, but we didn't want to wrestle hard. We liked basketball. So anyway, you couldn't, you could not cut class. And they were serious about that. I mean, you got a flat six, not even a five, not even an incomplete. You got a six. The marking in those days was one, two, three, four, and six. Five was incomplete. Five had to go to something else, or six, and you flunked. So, again, I didn't mind that. I liked school and I felt that that was what you were there for and I think that stayed with me in medical school, too. I never cut a class in medical school.

SSH: Was chapel still mandatory when you were in?

PBJ: Chapel was mandatory, right. And I might add, as a totally non-religious guy, my kids say I worship the great quarterback in the sky, and they're not wrong. My Sunday chapel was most interesting, because the speakers were people like Norman Thomas, head of the Socialist Party, who I voted for in 1948, when Dewey ran against Truman. I voted for Norman Thomas. As you can see, I'm a wild-eyed liberal as a physician, which I was, and 'cause Norman Thomas made more sense.

----------------------------------- END SIDE TWO, TAPE ONE --------------------------------

PBJ: Prior to World War II, they used to say, being [that] this is a Dutch Reform College, they used to sing, "The Dutch company, the best company that ever came over from old Germany," at football games. They used to sing that. And Robert Clarkson Clothier, the president of Rutgers, decided [that] the allusion to Germany was not appropriate, even though it was a Dutch company and so forth. And so, he banned the song and the students couldn't sing it. So, I still remember Norman Thomas up on Kirkpatrick Chapel, talking about racial and religious and ethnic prejudice, and he turned to President Clothier and he said, "And when college presidents ban silly little ditties because they contain an offensive word, this is the extreme." And Clothier got as red as a beet. But that was Norman Thomas and he would have been a great president. He was just ahead of his time. I mean, he was way ahead of his time. His brother, by the way, was my professor of syphilogy at NYU. He was six feet, seven inches, and Norman Thomas was, of course, the preacher at a church in Manhattan, I guess. His brother Evan Thomas was one of the world's leading experts on syphilis. And he was a huge, tall, thin guy, and he was amazing, because he, this was before penicillin, 'cause this was a killer. And I can still see him with a young black woman and he's trying to get her to give him the names of her sexual contacts, which was to try and trace it. And here's this tall, white-haired guy with fingers about this long, and he's saying, "Now, honey, this is important." And finally she did, and he just had, and I was thinking to myself, that he has Norman Thomas', his brother's power of persuasion. Norman Thomas spoke at, when I was in my second year of medical school, at NYU Medical School, and I still remember him saying, "I admire what you gentlemen are doing. I admire that you're going into a noble profession. My brother is in that profession, but do you realize that if," penicillin had come out by that time, "that if we don't invent a single drug, humanity will go on. But if we don't learn to live with each other, humanity may die." And I thought, "Wow, this guy's talking big time." And he was absolutely right. Of course, how many years later, the world [still] can't get along with each other. So, I had great respect. And that was in chapel. William Lyons Phelps, the president of Yale, was a speaker. The chapel speakers were not, they couldn't, even then, you couldn't bring too many real religious people. They did bring in Father Gannon, president of Fordham, who was very good. But they were not religious things, but you had to go to chapel. I think you had to go to half of them during a semester. But I enjoyed it, I really did. 'Cause they were not, there was very little, there was a choir up there or a glee club or somebody singing, maybe they sang a hymn or two, I don't know. But the whole thrust was intellectual not religion. And, as you notice, I separate those two, okay? So, anyway, no, chapel was good. Then we had, as a freshman, we had chapel everyday at noon. And that's when Dean Metzger warned us, that there were loose women. "There's a war on, the soldiers are out of town and there are loose women parading the streets of New Brunswick. And I'm sure that no Rutgers man would be interested in anything like that." Well, nobody laughed, but I still remember that. But that chapel was sort of, you'd stop in for ten or fifteen minutes. By the way, Sonny Werblin had every job on campus, and one of his jobs, my uncle was in his class, and he remembered that Sonny Werblin had a job, taking attendance in chapel. Any job on the campus, Sonny took. So it wasn't an accident [that] he got rich. And he was a stringer for every paper. Finally the journalism, he had such a monopoly that they had to, my father had to dole it out to some other guys. But Sonny was writing for the New York Post, and, at that time, there were like seven newspapers in New York, and he wrote for all of them. And my friend Wally Moreland, who was head of PR here, at that time, worked for the Ag school. And he said, "Of all the stringers at Rutgers, Sonny Werblin as a student would call me once a week and said, 'Wally, do you have any stories for me?'" You know, if a guy gets to be a big, important entrepreneur, he was that when he was eighteen. They were half-asleep, and wouldn't take the story, even if it meant so much an inch. But Sonny was everyday, every week, he'd call. But I enjoyed, I didn't enjoy noon chapel. That was sort of dull. Sunday chapel I enjoyed.

SI: Do you remember any controversy about the Targum closing down for the war?

PBJ: No. The only controversy that I remember is when Harry Kranz, a classmate of mine, and Bela Rieger, a classmate of mine, got in a fistfight. Harry Kranz was the sports editor of the Targum and, you know Harry?

SI: We've got his interview.

PBJ: Well, Harry ended up [being the] top guy in the AFL/CIO. Harry was very liberal when he was on campus. Still is. Anyway, he wrote something in the paper. Bela Rieger was the fullback who ended up a psychiatrist, which I can never believe, in Long Island. And Harry Kranz wrote something about questioning his manhood, if you will. Bela Reiger almost killed him, you know. Caught him on campus and beat him up and so forth. So the Targum had its things. But I don't remember much. As I say, I knew an awful lot of the managing editors of the Targum, 'cause my father would bring them home. My mother had the journalism department for dinner, three or four times a semester. So, I knew a lot of these guys. And, as I've told a number of people who I knew, almost all managing editors of the Targum ended up very well known and very successful, whether they were newspapermen or not. The best newspaperman in the world, allegedly and written as such, was a Rutgers graduate of the Class of '28 and he was named Sam Blackman. Sam Blackman covered the Lindbergh trial. He was a very good friend of my parents. He was only twenty-seven when he covered the Lindbergh trial and his superior got the Pulitzer Prize, but Sam did all the work. That always happens. And he was written up in the front pages of the papers as the only newspaperman never to make a mistake. Well, he laughed at that. But he was that well-thought of. And I pushed very hard to get him in the Hall of Distinguished Alumni, which he got in a couple of years ago. And he was the most modest man in the world. He was not a journalism graduate, I don't know if he was a journalism graduate, his wife was a journalism graduate. But Sam and my father, they were great. Sam lived to be in his nineties. And there's a tape, which they still have over at Winants, which I've got to get back. Sam Blackman, at age ninety or ninety-one, was being interviewed by Jane Pauley, on comparing the Lindbergh trial with the O.J. Simpson trial. And it's a very interesting tape. And being the kind of a newspaperman that he was, like my father about Homer Hazel and Paul Robeson, he never said [that] it was the trial of the century. But he pointed out the similarities. In the Lindbergh trial, you had Hitler marching. And Richard Hauptmann was German. And so there's an ethnic element. You had the selling of little souvenirs ladders, which I didn't know, outside the Flemington court house. And there was a lot of similarity, he said, between the two cases. And I might add, he thought [that] both were guilty. And in fact, he covered the Lindbergh trial, he went to Lindbergh's house the night the baby was taken. He covered the entire trial, the entire case and was a legal witness at the execution, which was a horror, he said. He knew he did it, but he said, to watch a man be put to death, was an absolute horror. Especially when you were intimate, you talked to the guy everyday. And in fact, he had to go to two executions first. Basic training, okay, he had to go to two executions, first, to get hardened to it, because he was one of the legal witnesses, and they couldn't have him faint. So, the guards, you know, horrible. It was horrible. But he said it was absolutely, no question. The day he died, there was no question that he did it. So, anyway I got you the goods on the Lindbergh trial and the Hall/Mills trial.

SI: Are there any other trials that you want to mention?

PBJ: Actually one of the things that I do, one of my many, many things that I do now, I take courses and teach courses at Rutgers Academy of Lifelong Learning. And there's a course over there called "Great Trials," which is run by a man named Bill Roufberg, who was a retired public school teacher from Princeton. And he goes into all these trials and I told him both these things, okay. And he gives a marvelous course. Okay, where are we? Rutgers.

SSH: We're still at Rutgers.

PBJ: Are we at World War II yet?

SSH: We're getting there. Well, first, we'd like to go back and ask the question about your family and talk about the Depression and FDR?

PBJ: The Depression and what?

SSH: The Depression and your family's opinions of FDR and his policies?

PBJ: Okay, I was somewhat aware of the Depression. I know my father was close to losing his job at Rutgers, because there was nobody taking journalism. Fortunately, he had newspaper jobs, too. And, fortunately, Earl Reed Silvers got him a job in public relations here, to keep him on the payroll. So, I was sort of aware of that. My parents didn't talk much about, probably, I think my father made about 2,100 dollars a year, or something like that, as a Rutgers professor in the '30s. But that was what you could live on. So, I wasn't aware of an awful lot of hardships. Highland Park was, even then, a relatively, I won't say affluent community, but it was, well, there were no blacks, I don't think. There were two black kids in my class in Highland Park High School. One was named Jennings, as a matter-of-fact. No, there was not much poverty in Highland Park, even during the Depression. I mean, real poverty. I do remember seeing garbage pickers. You know, people coming down and picking through our garbage and so forth. I do remember that. I was aware of it, but, you know, I wasn't reading newspapers that much or whatever. I really wasn't as aware as I should have been. As far as, what was your second question?

SSH: FDR. What did they think of FDR and his policies?

PBJ: Oh, FDR. Well, my father, my parents were registered Republicans. I'm a registered Republican. I voted for Norman Thomas. I haven't voted for a Republican for a long time. But I'm still a registered Republican. Yeah, I have, I have. I'm a, as I say, I voted for Norman Thomas in my first election, when Dewey ran against Truman. And why was I mad at Truman? Because, you know, Truman is a very civil rights guy. But Truman threw Paul Robeson out of his office when he went there about supporting the anti-lynching bill in Mississippi. He said, "You're way ahead of your time, Mr. Robeson." Okay? So he wasn't. A Henry Rutgers Scholar thesis by Jerry Rolnick's son, on the treatment of Paul Robeson by the press, okay. A great document, you all ought to read it. David Levering Lewis was his mentor. So I was not a big Truman man and I didn't think much of Dewy. I'll get back to your question. My second, another election was when Goldwater, who'd Goldwater run against? Anyway, I wrote in Jacob Javits and Clifford Case as president and vice president. So, I'm a Case/Javits Republican, not a right-wing Republican, okay? Anyway, my father was, his attitude about FDR, I think he had respect for him. But his comments, I remember, were that he was a spellbinding speaker. And my father would say that if you listened to him on the radio, and then, the next day, read the text of his speech in the New York Times, you'd often find [that] he didn't say a hell of a lot, but he said it really well. And I remember Barry Farber went on the radio one time, on WOR, and said it was interesting [that who] he considered the three greatest orators in the history of the world, all lived at the same time, Roosevelt, Churchill and Hitler. Well, people began to call up like crazy, "What do you mean Hitler?" [He'd say], "My name is Barry Farber. I'm Jewish. I'm not a Hitler lover, but if he could turn ten million people into burning Jews, he had to be an unbelievable speaker." And all three of those were living at the same time. Anyway, that was my father's feeling. I, the guy who lived for seventy-five of the hundred years of the twentieth century, I think FDR was, by far, the best president. And I say that in retrospect. I had that reinforced by going to my third or fourth visit to Campobello this past summer. We have a house in Maine, so it's only about an hour's drive to Campobello. And if you look at the things that FDR did, it's absolutely unbelievable. I mean, the Securities and Exchange Commission. I mean, not just his social things. But the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. All of these things were his ideas. And, of course, the criticism of Roosevelt, at the time, was that they weren't all his ideas. He had a brain trust. He called it his "Harvard Brain Trust." Hell, there's nothing wrong with that. You know, I mean, there are some presidents, whose names will go unmentioned, who damm well could have used a Brain Trust or two, you know. I mean, I found nothing wrong with that. So, anyway, I have much more respect for Roosevelt. I didn't realize it as a kid. But of course, I'm collecting a social security check. That helps, too. But, really, when you stop to think about it, I mean, he was way ahead of his time with, again, with social reform. I know, he probably had a bad day at Yalta. But nonetheless, he did, in retrospect, I think, it was interesting that, that thing that just came out this week, Abraham Lincoln, one, Roosevelt, two. Did you see that?

SSH: No.

PBJ: A panel has evaluated all the presidents in history. Abraham Lincoln was number one and Roosevelt was number two, George Washington was three. Truman was up there. Anyway, I went down to the last, and Buchanan was the worst, apparently. But anyway, I don't think my parents ever voted for Roosevelt, maybe they did. But I remember as a kid, on my first trip to Maine, we went to the movies. This was probably in 1936. In those days, Maine was Republican, you know. As Maine goes, so goes Vermont. And they had a newsreel and they showed an election campaign, I guess, Landon, maybe, and they showed Roosevelt, and the whole theater booed. And we were walking down the street, afterwards, and my mother said, "You know, I just think that's terrible, to boo the President of the United States. And I don't care whether you like the man or not, he's the President of the United States." And some Maine guy behind us said, "Lady, if you don't like it, go the hell home." So that's, [let's] fast forward. The night Nixon resigned, we were in Maine and went to a "bean supper," as they say in Maine. And we had a lot of discussion about Nixon, he hadn't resigned yet. And somebody was saying unkind things about our President, and this Rock Ribbed, Maine woman said what my mother had said, "He is still our President." Well, an hour later, he wasn't. We got home and turned on the television and watched his resignation. But it's sort of, Maine people say what's on their mind. It's an interesting state. Anyway, I think my father understood Roosevelt and appreciated him. But I think, as I say, I think, I don't know if they ever voted for him or not. But I have a friend who didn't speak to me for an hour after I say that I think Roosevelt was the greatest President. She lives down in Hilton Head now. And she, oh, she went to Campobello with us and she just stalked around, furious. She's Rock Ribbed Republican. So, okay? Where do we go? Rutgers, World War II? Let me tell you a little bit about, I really would like to talk, 'cause I think it's pertinent to World War II. I came here, I was eighteen. I was here, we started out with 525, I think, something like that, in the Class of '46. I ended up in the Class of '45, because of that summer, okay? Well, that, and another thing. I guess it was in the spring of '43, the draft age dropped from twenty-one to eighteen. And immediately, we were all told that we could get deferred, but the most patriotic thing we could do was to continue with our education and go to medical school. So we filled out a form and so forth. And there was a great controversy. Anyway, a year after I entered Rutgers, and they were, at that time, exempting, from military service was exempting pre-meds, pre-dents, pre-vets, engineers and pre-thelogs, guys going to be ministers, okay? And by spring of '43, immediately after, the draft age was lowered, they knocked the engineers out. So the class dropped in half, almost. Guys went into the service, guys were drafted. Then they came out and they said [that] you had to be in medical school, in order to be draft deferred, but you had to be in medical school by July 1, 1944, which is where I was. And this was a crazy situation because the medical schools began to accelerate, too. And the member of Congress who set that date as the deferment, was at a Midwestern medical school, where they had gotten a little more out-of-kilter than the Eastern medical schools, and they were admitting a class in July. So, all of a sudden, they said you had to be in medical school by July 1st. I was accepted in medical school on October 1st. Well, Dean Rapplyea of the Columbia Medical School became almost hysterical, because there were no medical students entering any of the eastern schools. They were all on the October thing. So they fudged. They didn't have room for us in the anatomy lab, but they admitted us as medical students on July 1, 1944. And I took one course at the medical school on a Saturday morning on the history of medicine. And I went, the rest of the week, to NYU, downtown, which I didn't enjoy, because if I'd stayed here, number one, I would have been Phi Beta Kappa, because I would have had enough credits to be Phi Beta Kappa. Number two, I knew the faculty and the courses I wanted to take. And I took physical chemistry and municipal government at NYU. And I got an A in municipal government and a B in physical chemistry. So I actually had, in two years and three months, I had general chemistry, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, biochemistry, and physical chemistry. I had five chemistry courses. So then we started medical school in October and we got back on track. And I was, the mail came, I think I had fifty-three draft cards. I'd be classified 1-A and then I'd be classified 2-A. Then I'd be 1-A and then 2-A. One memorable day, in those days, the mail came twice a day, the mailman brought me a 1-A card in the morning mail and a 2-A in the afternoon mail. My draft status changed in a couple of hours, okay? Anyway, there were a lot of guys in medical school with me who were in the service programs, ASTP programs and so forth. Well, the war ended, obviously, when we were in medical school, and they stopped accelerating. So actually, I would have been twenty-one when I graduated, if we kept going at the accelerated program. So, we had a brief respite in there and I was guess I was twenty-two. But I really did get, basically, four years of medical school. The first two years were in an eighteen-month period and then they decelerated. I was in Times Square on VJ night. We wandered down there. It was wild. That's why I've never been there on New Year's Eve. They said that was like five times the people that have been there on New Year's Eve, so I figured I've seen it all. My crazy son went there on New Year's Eve Y2K. But anyway, he's from Seattle and doesn't know any better. So anyway, my draft status kept changing and I fully expected to go into the service as soon as I got out of medical school, and all of a sudden, they didn't want doctors. They were chasing doctors out because doctors were officers and they were earning more money. This is what I thought was the most interesting thing I'd have to say about World War II. They absolutely threw everybody out, all the physicians out of the Army or Navy or whatever. That was in 1948, '49. Well, June 25th or whatever it was, the Korean War began. And now they had no doctors. So now they were going crazy, so they instituted a Doctors' Draft. There was a discussion whether it was discriminatory, whether you could do this. Well, they did it. I wonder if you could do that now, I really do. And they did it. And it was right, because, for me, it was right because I should be, I should have gone into the service. And it was fine. But there were other guys who had fought in combat for three years, got out of the service, used their GI Bill, went to medical school and now are redrafted as doctors.

SSH: Really?

PBJ: You know, "Hey, guys, I did my thing." I remember a guy, his name was Brown Larrose. He and I were in the public health service in Atlanta. And this guy had three, he'd been in the Army four years and he had three years of combat in the South Pacific and they drafted him. So he, he was a nice guy from New Orleans. His father was a doctor in New Orleans. And he had a nice drawl and could tell great jokes. The best joke teller I've ever known. But he didn't think it was a bit funny that he was in the service again.

But I remember, all of a sudden, they passed a law, somewhere along the line, that if you had had previous service, you didn't have to serve. You could be immediately discharged. I remember him coming in, "I'm out of here! I'm out of here!" And believe it or not, the head of the whole United States Public Health Service called him up and said, "You're not leaving now, are you?" And he says, "You're dammed right I am." He says, "That's not patriotic." And he says, "You're telling me about patriotism, sir?" he says, "I'm out of here." "Well, we can't stop you." He tried to make him feel like, and you know, this guy was saying some things I can't say here. And he took off. We went to visit him a few times in New Orleans. And he practiced medicine down there. And another story. I was, when the Korean War broke out, I was a first year resident in Atlantic City Hospital. And I had a first year intern, a very bright guy. He graduated number three in his class from Temple Medical School. And this guy had worked his way up in the Marine Corps to be a colonel, which is almost impossible to do. And he was considered the best artillery guy in the entire Marine Corps. He could lay the shell on an island a millions miles away, that kind of guy. Somewhere, two weeks into his internship, I was the chief resident, I guess, at that time. He comes in and says, "Dr. Jennings, I'm resigning my internship." I said, "Gene, what the hell are you talking about? You're resigning your internship?" He said, "I found out my battalion is going to Korea and I commanded that battalion and I can't let them go without me." And his wife comes in and she's in tears, he had a brand-new baby. And she says, "Gene, you're out of your mind, you're a doctor, you're starting your internship." And, "No, no. I'm going to go." So, I was there when he called the Commandant of the Marine Corps. You know, "Joe," or whatever the guy's first name was. He knew the Commandant of the Marine Corps like, you know, "Joe. This is Gene. I want to rejoin, I want to head my unit going over there." And this is the funny story of all, he said, "You're now a doctor." He says, "Yeah." He says, "If you come back in the Marines, you come back in as lieutenant, junior grade, because you're a physician, at the lowest rank. He says, "I'm a colonel. I can shoot guns." He says, "Now that you have an MD, you're demoted from colonel to lieutenant, junior grade." So his wife is saying, "Hooray," and he stayed and practiced pediatrics. He probably is still practicing pediatrics in Atlantic City. But this guy, it showed how the Marines felt. I mean this guy was going to go back in there. I mean, "I'm going in there." And really if they'd let him, he would have gone back. He would have quit his whole damn medical career and gone into Korea and shoot guns.

SSH: What kind of basic training did they have for you if you were in the physicians' draft?

PBJ: What kind of what?

SSH: What kind of basic training or military training?

PBJ: No, I didn't have any. I went into the public health service and I, by this time, I was a physician. I'd finished two years of residency. I interned in New York, at Fordham Hospital. That's where I met my wife. She was a lab technician there. And I went to Atlantic City for two years of residency. They had a very, very good residency program in those days. And so I decided, you know, I really want to do medicine if I go into the service, so I applied for the United States Public Health Service. And that, in those days, was considered a branch of, in fact, I still get fifty bucks off my tax bill because I'm a veteran, okay? It was, the United States Public Health Service, like the Merchant Marine, was a Uniformed Service until the war, World War II, when they were declared a military service because their coast guard cutters were getting shot at by German subs like everybody else. And that still persisted. So I was still, in fact, they ended that when I was in the service. So halfway through, I mean, there's a lot I want to tell you about the way the laws worked. All of a sudden, I got discharged from military service. But not discharged from the Public Health Service, 'cause the Congress decided that no longer, the Coast Guard would not be involved in the Korean War. So they demilitarized, I still have a discharge, an honorable discharge, from the United States Public Health Service, but I couldn't go home. I was still in, I was now in a Uniformed Service, instead of military service. It made no difference at all, of course, but I enjoyed it. The prison was an interesting experience. I didn't get a choice. You get assigned. I was still in Atlantic City when I found out where I was going to go. You could go, the things that were the most, probably the most medical, were the prison service or the Indian service, on the Indian reservations. But they were also the ones that most people didn't like, 'cause you had to work hard. And the Indian reservations were not the nicest places to live, nor was the federal prison. But I enjoyed it. And I learned a lot.

SSH: Were you married at this time?

PBJ: I was married. Yeah, we got married when I was in Atlantic City. Fiftieth wedding anniversary, guess what I'm going to do on my fiftieth wedding anniversary? Celebrate my fifty-fifth Rutgers reunion. May 20th, okay? My wife said, "I could see it coming."

Anyway, we lived in Atlanta. We had our first son born in Atlanta. I had some very famous patients, like Frank Costello. And I saw Frank Costello every Friday. And he was a delightful man. And you know, we had a, there was a prison hierarchy. He had it made. I mean, all the inmates were hands off, you know. But he came in every Friday. And I would have to, once a month, I would have to call his doctor in Mt. Sinai Hospital. He had heart disease. And the federal government was scared to death that this guy was going to die in prison and then he'd become a martyr. So they wanted to get his term over, his sentence done and out of there, which we were able to do. That's why I had to see him every Friday. But he was okay. And I was also, and this came up at my Great Trials course last week, on the Alger Hiss case, there was also, in the federal prison at that time, a lot of people who were involved in the espionage and the, Rosenbergs and so forth, Klaus Fuchs, Isadore Brothman, I forget, there were four or five of them. And I remember having nice intellectual discussions with Isadore Brothman. Isadore Brothman was a physicist at Columbia and he published in nuclear research. And they slapped him in the federal prison for it. And he argued intellectual freedom and he argued that military secrets, that nothing, no science belongs to the nation. It belongs to the world. But the United States government didn't see it that way, especially when he was giving away half of the atomic bomb, which he was involved in. He didn't invent it, but he did a lot of the basic research. And, you know, a lot of the inmates were Georgia rednecks like John Rocker, you know. Not much fun to talk to. This guy, I could talk to for an hour because he was very bright and very intelligent. And I could see his viewpoint, even though I disagreed with him. I thought the government had a right to censor during a war, when your very existence was at stake. But I could see, as a pure scientist, this guy felt very strongly that what he was, the research he was doing did not belong to the United States. It belonged to the world. And he wasn't anti-patriotic. He was not pro-Russia, he wasn't pro anything. He thought the world should be a perfect world, okay? So that was sort of fun, meeting and talking to a guy like that. I met the guy who did the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. He was never convicted of it, but all the inmates said, "He's the guy." And he was a little Italian guy who sat on the edge of the bed, (he had terrible emphysema), smoking rope cigars. And I don't think the guy weighed 120 pounds. He looked like the most harmless guy in the world, like you could blow him over with a feather. But he was hired by Al Capone to come in and blow away a bunch of people in a garage, people he didn't know, never saw. You know, his day's work, okay? And he was a terribly sick man and I used to see him a lot and so forth. I never asked if he did it, because he would have said, "No." The inmates said he did. So it was sort of an interesting, there were two parts of my medical career that I think were interesting from a social standpoint. One was riding the ambulance in the Bronx. And I'll tell you, you really see society when you ride the ambulance in the Bronx. I mean, you know, I remember a night we went to a house of prostitution. There was a poor old guy, the guy was renting a room on the top floor, he died of pneumonia. He wasn't quite dead when we took him out, but he was dead within an hour. And here I am, I remember, when we got the call, the ambulance driver says, "Hey, Doc, you're going to love this place." He knew the address. "You're going to love this place." "What do you mean I'm going to love this?" "You wait, you wait, you're going to love this place." So we go in, and there's all these women, all over the place. And I walked up three flights to get this poor guy, put him on the stretcher and bring him down. There were women making all kinds of remarks. It was an interesting social experience. And the one night I was riding, I went down and watched with the ambulance driver. You know, if you're an arrogant type of guy, like a lot in my profession are, you don't get anywhere. Ambulance drivers and nurses are the ones that make your life, and you treat them with great respect and you'll get a lot further. Well, the ambulance driver, one night when I was riding the ambulance [at] about two o'clock in the morning, says, "Hey, Doc I want to take you someplace." I said, "Where do you want to take me?" He says, "Come with me." So we're driving, he stops the ambulance, pulls it over, we get out, we go down in the subway and it was the central headquarters for the whole subway. It was like playing with electric trains. There were people down there like the air traffic control guys. And there's all these subway cars (electronic) and all the whole, the whole New York subway system. You can see, a car would come up close to another one and the yellow light would go on and another one, they'd pull ahead, the green light would go on, they'd get too close and the red light went on. And I was there about a half-hour, it was just so fascinating. So it was a great social experience. Riding the ambulance was not great medical experience, it was a great social experience. The federal prison, we had a 100-bed hospital. And there were a lot of medical experiences, too. You accept the fact that you have ten percent of the population in the sick-line, everyday. So anyway, so much for that. Let me think if I can think of anything else about the draft, because that was most interesting. The Doctors' Draft was probably an illegal act, but it was a justified act. And it was because of the military being so impetuous in discharging everybody. And then when they, now it's like, "All you guys get out of here," and then, "Oh, my God, all you guys come back," without stopping to think that some of these guys had served three, four, five years during the war. And now, because they're doctors, they're discriminated against. You know, but they did correct it after a time. Another social injustice, which I have to mention, is when I was in the federal prison in Atlanta, there were a number of inmates who were sentenced to life in prison, who had been sentenced to death, for rape. And they were black men who had sexual intercourse with white women. And they'd done it in Germany, where it was not thought that unhighly of, it would go before a court-martial with, if they got a court-martial with Southern officers, they were sentenced to death. And I talked to some of these guys and they said, "You know, when the judge puts his gavel down and you're sentenced to die," he says, "it's not one of your better days," okay? And everybody says that they're not really going to kill you, but he says, "You don't know that." And they universally commuted all those sentences to life in prison, which was not really great, either. But slowly but surely, they were going through all of them and letting them out of prison. I know one guy [that] I talked to said, "You know, I was living with this German girl, a beautiful blond-haired girl," when he was with the Army occupation in Germany after the war. "And then I got tired of her and found another girl. And she accused me of rape." He laughed, "I lived with her for two years, or a year and a half or something. Yeah, I had sex with her as often as I could. But hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Once I left her, she accused me of rape. Bang, death." So it was sort of an interesting thing to reflect on about our social justice system. But they were all doing four and five years when they were still talking about whether they would let them out or not. So that was one of the uncomfortable things I saw in the prison. Anyway, the thing I most wanted to emphasis was the craziness of the deferment system and the draft system, including specifically, the Doctors' Draft. I knew an awful lot of people who I met who knew, were drafted, even though they had a lot of service time in. And they did, as I say, it's sort of like the life in prison, they found out about it, but like Brown Larrose. I guess, he was there six or eight months before they thought, "Hey, this guy doesn't really belong in the service, he served his time."

SSH: Did you experience any prejudice by not serving in the military?

PBJ: I had, that's interesting. I had, I think I received one hate letter. And I don't know who it came from. I think it was one of my mother's acquaintances, I don't know. But I forget what it was, "Why aren't you in the service and so forth?" But I really, I really did believe that I was doing the right thing. You know, everybody said [that] they need doctors more than they need foot soldiers. And if the war goes on for a lot of years, and we fully expected, you know, nobody expected Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we really expected the war, when I was a third year medical student, I was fully convinced that I would finish medical school and intern in the service and then spend the rest of the war, but the war ended abruptly, and so that was it. But I really felt, at the time, and I still feel that it was the patriotic thing to do.

---------------------------------- END TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE ---------------------------------

PBJ: I'll make it short. Ready to go? I guess it was 19, it had to be 1943, the ASTP. Do you know what that stands for? I don't remember. But anyway, and the ASTP, really they saved Rutgers, because the campus was down to nobody, and they took over the College Avenue Gym, that was a mess hall. They lived in the dormitories and they took courses. And some of them were very good students. I mean, the Army, I don't think was that discriminating. They didn't have SATs or whatever. And they took a reasonably intelligent guy and said, "We're going to send you to college." And I got a dollar an hour for instructing the Army in physics. And in our fiftieth reunion, I was doing, well, let me tell you how I graduated in '45. I finished Rutgers in '44 and I had like a one point-something average. I forget. A one point eight or something like that. And I went into medical school and I had like three-quarter of enough credits, I think, maybe, for a degree, but I went to medical school, and along about the spring of '45, I got a letter from Rutgers saying, "Would you like to have a Bachelors' degree from Rutgers?" Why not? So they said, "We've decided to allow you to use the first year of medical school as additional credits and give you a degree." Well, when we got here, we knew what they were doing. They were trying to fill Kirkpatrick Chapel, 'cause there was nobody graduating. We went to a commencement, and, mind you, there were a lot of medical students, a lot of guys like me, who were there, and the Class of '45 graduated, had the commencement in Kirkpatrick Chapel, and it was maybe three-quarters full, which included the graduates, the faculty, the speakers, the parents and whatever. And if it hadn't been for us, I don't think they would have had the ceremony. It would have been ridiculous. And I had a good friend, Julius J. Cohen, he went to Rutgers. And JJ was an orphan who worked his way through school. He did everything while he was here. And at our commencement, he was a classmate at NYU Medical School. And his summer job was driving a Good Humor truck. Remember the Good Humor trucks? We have our commencement and he comes in his Good Humor truck, parks his Good Humor truck right in front of Kirkpatrick Chapel. He gets out of his Good Humor truck, puts on his cap and gown, he goes in and gets his degree. He runs out before anyone, takes off his gown and is selling Good Humor to the people coming out. I mean, this guy was an entrepreneur. I mean, he made more than any Good Humor man. Good Humor told him, he made more money as a Good Humor than anybody they ever had. JJ ended up as Professor and Chairman of Medicine and Physiology at Rochester Medical School. So he was not a dumb guy. But that's how the Class of '45, anyway, I was looking at theTargums. We decided to each take a period of time for our fiftieth reunion, and I took the fall of '43. And it was, it is a really interesting thing, to get those Targums out, because you could just see the war sweep over the Rutgers campus. The first September issues were about football games, dances, you know, the usual college stuff. And then all of a sudden, there is registration for the draft and you registered by your last initials of your name. It went right through Christmas and New Year's and so forth. And all of a sudden, you can see, "Oh, oh, hey, there's a war going on." And then the biggest thing was, we were playing the University of Vermont in football, and they're going to have (shades of Texas A&M), they were going to have a bonfire. And they were told they couldn't have a bonfire, because of bombing (blackouts), because you couldn't build a fire. And, man, talk about student protest. "What do you mean we can't have a bonfire?" You know, they really weren't that aware that guys were getting killed out there. Because they were doing campus, then all of a sudden, they moved the spring dances to the fall because most of us weren't going to be here in the spring. And you could see, from September to December, war descended on the Rutgers campus. I sat in the Rutgers library for about four hours just reading this, because it was so interesting about how the reality caught up with the Rutgers students. Then there was a rumor in November, I think, of '44, no '43, that the military was going to take over Rutgers and make it a military school. And Robert Clarkson Clothier was in favor of this, because it would economically save the university. Well, this was merely the ASTP coming. I mean, that's how it turned out. But the rumor was, "Oh, my God, we're going to be a military school. We don't want to be a military school." You know, the Targum editorial. So it was sort of an interesting sort of thing. And then by the next spring, it got down to, when I left, when the pre-meds left, the pre-meds, pre-vets and pre-dents left, there was nothing left but the pre-theologs and the 4-Fs. And that made the, then there was only a few hundred people here. And Selman Waksman, Wally Morland was head of, he was the head of, he was a good friend of my father's, graduate of the University of Connecticut and he was in charge of public relations for the AG school. And when the war came, they began to furlough professors because they didn't have any classes. And Wally knew he was on to a big discovery. So he went to Clothier and said, "Don't furlough Dr. Waksman. He is going to bring fame to this university." Clothier said, "Wally, nobody's taking soil microbiology. What's he going to teach?" He said, "Just keep him on the payroll and let him do research." He said, "We can't afford to do that." The big discussion, Wally finally persuaded him, you know. Two years later, three years later, he's a Nobel Laureate, okay? And Wally told me, Harvard, Yale were waiting like this, you know. Cornell was really the biggest AG school in the country. I mean, he would have had a job in an hour if Rutgers would have let him go. So that's another story that Wally told me and told my father. So it's interesting that Waksman was that close to being furloughed. They were going to be given a leave of absence, but you know, there's a war on in 1943, '44, If you're given a leave of absence, you're not going to sit around and do nothing. You're going to find another job. And of course, the more richly endowed colleges were going around, gathering up the great minds of the country. And they did, they did. They could economically survive the war. Rutgers couldn't have, 'cause we were not a full-fledged state university then. So I think the ASTP may have been the economic salvation of Rutgers. It gave faculty somebody to teach. Okay?

SSH: When did you decide to specialize in cardiology? It was not well known then.

PBJ: When I, during my internship. Believe it or not, I once wanted to be a psychiatrist. I can't believe that. I also wanted to be, in medical school I wanted to be a neurologist. And somewhere along, I wanted to be a psychiatrist, but that passed. And I was associated with a man who was a resident in Fordham Hospital. And he had been in World War II. That was another interesting thing about my internship and residency. I was very often, as a resident, I was often over, supervising people who were five, six, seven, ten years older than I, 'cause they'd been in the service, and came back and went on to post-graduate training, like this fella, this Marine guy. And anyway, this guy had been stationed in Alaska. And he did two things in Alaska, he read Paul Dudley White's book on cardiology 100 times, or something like that, and he learned to shoot pool. And he did not look like a pool player. I mean, I still remember a famous night, where some guy thought he was a hotshot pool player and began to play this guy for money and this guy, you know, a little guy with glasses and very well spoken, very intellectual, oh, he killed him. I mean, he played pool in Alaska. He said, "I played pool eight hours a day. I was stationed in Alaska. Alaska wasn't in the war, but there I was." So he was interested in cardiology and he used to grab me and take me on rounds to look at heart patients. And that's why, and I followed him. He took a fellowship in cardiology in Pennsylvania Hospital and I took a fellowship at the same place. You know, unbelievable temper. In fact, he died, quite young, of a stroke, which doesn't surprise me. He broke, I would guess, he broke six or eight telephones at Fordham Hospital. Because if somebody didn't answer, boom, he smash it to bits. You know, what a temper, but a very, very bright guy. He got me interested in cardiology. And so, I went to Atlantic City Hospital for my residency in medicine and went to Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia for my cardiology training. That was after I got out of the Public Health Service. And I actually got a stipend from the, I went to, I picked a great hospital to go to. It was a great hospital, the Pennsylvania Hospital, the oldest hospital in the country, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1750. There's a wall around it. There are those who say that the wall was to protect the nurses. There are others who say that Benjamin Franklin "lost a step" and the wall was to keep the nurses close so that they could catch him. But anyway, and of course, Benjamin Franklin was quite a womanizer. He was my father's hero, okay? And so, it was a great, old hospital. Really, it was a nice place. Benjamin Franklin endowed a cookie jar for the house staff, which he kept perpetually full of cookies and stuff like that. It had a really rich tradition. And I'm a tradition guy. So anyway, I got interested in cardiology and trained there. After, I started to say, Pennsylvania Hospital was the last hospital in the country to pay interns. The stipend was zero. When I went in as a cardiology fellow and the stipend was still zero. But I was able to get a 3,600 dollars-a-year grant from the American Heart Association, no, from the United States Public Health Service, which was a big help, because, by that time, I had a wife and a child. And 3,600 dollars doesn't sound like much, but it's an awful lot more than zero, I'll tell you. So we survived, okay? Anything else?

SSH: Could you tell us about your experiences since Pennsylvania Hospital?

PBJ: Okay. Well, I finished at Pennsylvania Hospital, I came back here to practice cardiology. I joined a woman, actually, I started practicing alone. I was going to practice with this woman, Estelle Kleiber, who was the first cardiologist in the City of New Brunswick, whose husband was my father's classmate at Rutgers. He was a ceramist. And I was going to practice with her and then she decided to semi-retire, and I wanted to take my year of training and, of course, the Public Health Service for two years, sort of put me a little out of sync. So I started, and then she came across the street one day and said, "You wouldn't join me in practice, I'll join you." So, she was a spectacular woman, an absolutely spectacular woman. She had, I'll tell you how bright she was. She was the first woman, cardiology woman fellow at Bellevue Hospital on the Cornell medical service in the early '30s. Do you know what chance there was in the early '30s for a woman to be selected as, you know? I mean, that's how bright she was. Cary Eggleston said, who is an internationally known cardiologist, "Estelle was just spectacular." The three cardiologists were Norm Reitman, Estelle and I. And Estelle was sort of half-retired. She'd moved up to a lake near Morristown. And so I practiced cardiology. And I slowly but surely got more and more into teaching and administration and I finally went full time at St. Peter's, I forget when. Somewhere in the '80s, I guess, or late '70s. I worked one-quarter time, half-time and three-quarter and, finally, I gave up my office and ended my full-time practice. And medicine's changed. I mean, most of the people who I meet, say, "Boy, are you lucky to be out of it." And I tried to get out of it and retired, I guess, ten years ago. But I still work ten hours a week at St. Peter's. And every time I try to retire, my second successor, the guy once removed, an intern under me years ago, Indian, absolutely brilliant, the most brilliant physician in history, as far as I'm concerned. It's the guy who right now is chief of St. Peter's. Dave Nochimson, who's Frank Lautenberg's cousin, who was chief of obstetrics there, just retired, said that pound for pound Nayan is the best doctor in the world. So anyway, he keeps me around. I keep saying, every year, twice a year, I try to quit. He says, "No." I say, "What am I going to do?" He says, "Just stay there so I can talk to you, that's enough." And actually, right now, I'm working on, he wants to make a museum on the medical floor over there. So, I'm pulling out relics of, I found a picture today of the first graduating class of Rutgers Medical School, which was a two year class. And it had the pictures of all of them, sixteen of them, and where they went. Three to Harvard, two to Stanford. That two-year medical school that Rutgers had, that first and second class were spectacular. Now you say, "Why? Because we were brilliant teachers?" No. Because, if you're selecting a class and only picking sixteen, you can get pretty bright people. When you've got a faculty with only sixteen kids to teach, they get a great education. So we had, one year, the valedictorian, Harvard Medical School, the valedictorian at Mt. Sinai Medical School had been two of the sixteen kids that went to Rutgers Medical School. So it was sort of, it was a major setback, when they took the medical school away from Rutgers. It was a major setback. It was really political, Governor Cahill wanted to save Seton Hall Medical School, which was going, it was millions of dollars in debt. So he conceived the idea of combining Rutgers Medical School and Seton Medical School under one umbrella called the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. And I remember talking at a spring game, a spring football game was when this happened. I was talking to Mason Gross and saying what a tragedy it was. And Mason agreed it was a tragedy. But he said, "Pete, I have to tell you, it's a hell of an economic relief. Medical school is a big loser." And he said, "There's going to be this piece of pie for education. Now, when Rutgers University was Rutgers Medical School, it will get a piece this big. If they take away the medical school, it may only go this way." And he said, "We'll get a bigger piece of the pie because they have to put that piece over there." I said, "Well, that's one way to look at it." And he said, "I'm not in favor of it, but I just want you to know that there is a positive side, from the economic standpoint." But it was a major setback for the medical school. I mean, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is an excellent school. But there was a period in there when it was a major setback. All the faculty left, the dean left. In fact, if I ever get time, if I get old, I'm going to write a history of the medical school as it really happened. I just looked at some, … I was looking through the history of some of the, I got some letters that [were] written back and forth. They almost burn up, because it was a battle. I mean, it was a battle among the State, among the medical school, which was a part of Rutgers, [and] the two local hospitals. You know, it was a major battle. An interesting battle, but major. But I'd do it over again. I enjoyed medicine. And I, you know, I know what the guys complain of, I sat for lunch last week talking to Jerry Rolnick and John Matuska, who is the CEO of St. Peter's, talking about, "Oh, my God, are you lucky to be out of this and so forth." I mean, Jerry's legitimate gripe was that, now, he calls Rite Aid Pharmacy, and he's supposed to give a prescription to an answer machine. And he refused to do that. He says, "I want to talk to a pharmacist. What's your defense if it screws up somewhere?" But he said that's the way it's getting. And HMOs call up and say, "Why are you giving this patient this?" And he says, "'Cause it works." And they say, "Don't you know this drug is cheaper?" And he'll say, "Look, this patient's been on this medication for six years, the blood pressure is perfectly controlled. I have no doubt that maybe the other medication may do it, too, the cheaper one. But I'm not going to, it's not broke, and I don't care if it costs you more money." But he says [that] you're constantly in that kind of hassle. And that will straighten out, too. I mean, I'm a, again, as I told you a little while ago, I'm a liberal. I've been in favor of medical care for everybody. I don't quite know how it will happen. It's a monumental problem. Hillary thought she could solve it. I'm a registered Republican. Hillary thought she could resolve it in about an hour and a half. And then she found out that, and I've been in medicine all my life and there's no way I could set up a system, 'cause there's so many complexities. Example, when I started as chief of medicine at St. Peter's, I had one secretary and me. Now, there's a bevy of beauties, I mean they're all over the place. And they're all working. And they're all busy, because we've created this huge paper empire. That, you know, is the reason I'm still working was because of the bi-annual reapplication. Well, when I first went on the staff of the two hospitals, you joined the staff. They looked at your credentials and they put you on the staff. And if you didn't screw up, you stayed on the staff. Somewhere along the line, they started looking at your credentials every two years. So you had to fill out a bi-annual reapplication. The first bi-annual reapplications were about half the sheet of paper. You know, "What-have-you-done-for-me-lately" type of thing. And I would sort through them as the chairman, and in ten minutes, I'd have the job done. Slowly but surely, this has become like a fifteen page document, listing all your malpractice things, all your CME, whether your competent in CPR. All these things are useful, but you know, every two years, these guys have to fill these things out to say the same thing. So, one of my jobs, every two years, is to do this, to go through these things. And I said, "No." But Chairman Nayan Kothari said, "Suppose I got your old secretary back." I said, "No, Rose won't come back. She loves retirement." I was eating lunch, I eat a lot of lunches at St. Peter's, and he comes back and he says, "Rose will be in on Monday morning." I said, "Nayan, how in the hell did you persuade Rose to come back part-time?" He said, "I'm her doctor." I said, "You threatened to withhold medical care to get her?" Well, she's back, she's happy, she works three days a week. And I couldn't have done it, I wouldn't have done it. I wouldn't have dreamt of taking that, if I … We're now up to 400 people in the department of medicine. When I went on the staff of St. Peter's, it was like forty-five total. And to go over those things that first year was a nightmare. But Rose and I worked together for about, I don't know. She's a great secretary. I'll give you an example. Thirty-one years without a sickday, neither of us, okay? She never took a sickday. So anyway, that's where I am. Anything else?

SSH: Before Sean has to leave, do you have any questions?

SH: Well, you started working in cardiology when it was really just starting out. What was it like building that practice from the ground up and what were some of the things you discovered along the way?

PBJ: Well, I began, it was difficult early. I used to take, believe it or not, I used to take calls at night for the Physicians Exchange, anywhere. I mean, I went to pronounce a guy dead in Jamesburg one morning, I got hopelessly lost. It was an old sandy back road. And, of course, you never get paid for pronouncing people dead. But somebody has to do it. So, I really took calls. I would take anything. I would go out. I did insurance exams. Of course, I was trying to restrict my practice to cardiology, because if you don't restrict to the practice of cardiology, now you're a competitor in general medicine. So you don't get referrals from the general medicine people. So I supplemented my income by doing almost anything. But there was a period of time, probably in the '60s, when there really was a shortage of doctors, and, at that time, the practice built so rapidly, that you couldn't keep track of it. And there were only two of us at that time, 'cause Estelle had retired. And Norm Reitman, you must remember Norm? Okay, Norm and I, we were always talking about our "vicious competition." We had offices across the street from each other. I would see my patients going up his walk, and he'd see his patients coming up my walk. We'd meet at the hospital and say, "Hey, I see that you got Mrs. So-and-So. Yeah, good luck. She doesn't pay her bills, by the way." Anyway, it was easy after a while. I mean, but there was a, and then, again, on the health care scene, when I first practiced, I would guess, only twenty-five or thirty percent of my patients had any kind of insurance. And I'm known as a therapeutic nihilist, I had antibiotics once in my life. I took two aspirin a couple of weeks ago. It was the first aspirins that I've taken in three years, of any kind. It didn't do any good so I didn't take anymore. I remember the days when patients would come in to see me and they'd have their hospital bill with them. "Dr. Jennings, you ordered a gall bladder series. You wanted to see if I had heart disease. Why did you X-ray my gall bladder, that cost me forty-five dollars?" "Well, Mrs. Jones, you had pain right in a place that could be stomach, heart or gall bladder. And if we could rule out gall stones, it would be of value." "Oh, okay. Now, about this?" And they went, item by item. So you had to justify, and that's what they have to do, if they ever get universal health care, is find a way to justify what you do. But once everybody got health insurance, they didn't care. I mean, you could order, I mean, now, on one order sheet, you could easily order 10,000 dollars worth of stuff. You know, three MRIs. And nobody cared, because it's not coming out of their pocket. And that's why I don't know the answer. And Hillary didn't have it either. But there's got to be a way of justifying. The system of having the insurance company call you up on everything is no good, either. The last few years that I was seeing patients at St. Peter's, I'd have a patient admitted with a heart attack. The guy is critical, I'm not sure he's going to be alive in an hour. I got a call from the insurance company. "How long is Mr. Smith going to be in the hospital, do you estimate?" "I'm hoping he'll be alive by tomorrow morning." "Well, if he is alive, are you going to do a cardiac cauterization and is he going to need by-pass surgery?" I said, "You know, I'm facing a problem right now as to whether he's going be alive or not." In a way, I would turn them off. I don't get nasty very often. I would say, "I know, it would be to your economic advantage if he dies tonight." "Oh, no, no, no," boom, they'd hang up. But they were really thinking that. So that I, there's got to be a way to do it. But there are so many things that have raised the cost of health care that nobody thinks of. They think it might be a form of malpractice, which is true. My malpractice premium, the first year I was in practice, was thirty-seven dollars a year. And when I left, and I didn't do cardiac caths anymore, I was doing non-invasives and stuff, it was still like six thousand dollars. My closest friend in medical school at Rutgers [was a member of the] Class of '45. Sev was an obstetrician and he retired because, when his malpractice premium became 35,000 dollars a year. That's 35,000 dollars off the top, before you, you know, he said, "I'm going to have to charge so much for deliveries that it's immoral." And you can talk to people of what [it costs to have] babies delivered in the '50s and '60s compared to a delivery today. And that's why, again, doctors end up doing sonograms and all these other things, because they want to do high-ticket items because they almost have to. So it's a very, very complex economic scene. And I don't know how it's going to get solved. But it's got to be solved, because it's immoral to have, I don't know, how many thousands of people [go] without medical insurance? Politicians throw numbers back and forth, according to who they want to impress. But there are an awful lot of people who don't have medical insurance. The in-betweens are the ones that are in trouble. The indigent get good care at clinics, they really do. I worked, I've probably seen more non-paying customers in my life. Well, that's probably an exaggeration. But I did an awful lot of it. I worked in clinics every week of my life and I didn't get paid for seeing any patients in years. And they get good care, they get good care. If you haven't got a dime, you get good care. At both these two hospitals, the clinics are excellent. The downtown clinics are excellent, Chandler and all those kinds of places. And of course, the people with money and with good insurance get good care. There's a segment of population in there, somewhere between, that really get shortchanged. They really do, and it's not fair. They don't, you know, it gets to be, "Do I go to the doctor or do I eat?" And that's a decision that nobody should have to make. But I wish I could solve it. But I don't how it's going to get solved, okay? I got to quit. Anything else?

SSH: We just had one question about how did St. Peter's become St. Peter's University Hospital?

PBJ: Well, it's done as much teaching as Middlesex, as I call it. And so, it's been involved in education from day one, from the very beginning. In fact, there was a time when its education program was significantly better than Middlesex. In fact, when Middlesex, the reason St. Peter's, and the reason I became a St. Peter's guy, remember, I was chief of cardiology in Middlesex when I was thirty, okay? 'Cause I succeeded Estelle Kleiber. And a major mistake they made, which was one of Mason Gross' errors, was when they closed the nursing school at Middlesex. And that was by the persuasion of Dean Stonesby, who was the dean of the newly founded Rutgers College of Nursing in Newark. And she persuaded Mason Gross that the future of nursing was not diploma schools, but baccalaureate schools, which was absolutely right. But they closed the school, and the nursing care at Middlesex Hospital became deplorable. Absolutely deplorable. And St. Peter's was much better, 'cause St. Peter's had two sources of unpaid help. One was the senior nursing students and the other were the nuns, okay? The senior nursing students and the nuns, [if] you say, "You will work Christmas Day?" "Yes, ma'am." Okay? You say that to Middlesex, "Like hell I will." And it was a fact of life. And I remember, you know, Seymour Lifschutz? Seymour was the best internist in town. Seymour told it like it was. And when they closed the College of Nursing at Middlesex Hospital, the CEO was named John Berrow, and Seymour and I were both on the executive committee of the medical dental staff. And Seymour said, "This is what Hyman Rickover was talking about, the importance of education." And he said, "John, you have closed the College of Nursing, you have committed an unnatural act." I mean, he used a term that was just devastating. But that was Seymour. He could speak like that. But anyway, then, of course, so they'd been involved in education. And I asked John Matuska, "What the heck are you calling yourself St. Peter's University Hospital for?" And he said, "Well, we're now in a competition and people believe that a University hospital is better than a non-university hospital, so we have to add our name. And they're going to sue, but they won't win because nobody wrote into the UMDNJ constitution that you couldn't do this." I think it's probably in there now. But nobody said you couldn't. So they call themselves University Hospital. And there's no question in my mind that they'll merge. And they had the whole merger done, when some, the two hospitals were completely merged, I mean, in everything but signing the papers. When they had to get the, why they didn't do this first, instead of last, is beyond me. They had to get the Pope's approval, literally. And a Cardinal, remember the College of Cardinals, or whatever they call them in Germany, was a real right-wing Cardinal. And he said, "I would rather have no hospital in New Brunswick then have it merge with a non-Catholic infidel hospital. And the whole thing went down the drain. But they got a lot closer. And it's going to happen. Everybody says it going to happen. They might have to wait for that guy to die or whatever. But I mean it's, why is it so important? Because the insurance companies can whipsaw the two hospitals. In other words, "How much do you charge to deliver babies? Oh, okay. John, how much do you charge to deliver?" You know, they can't do that in Plainfield and they can't do that in Perth Amboy, they can't do that in Rahway, they can't do that in Elizabeth, 'cause [there's] only one hospital, okay? So, if they become one hospital they can't do it in New Brunswick. I mean, they're fighting United Health Care, now, in Middlesex, Robert Wood Johnson. That will straighten itself out, but you know, it's a war. It's the whole field of medicine and what's gotten to be the economics of it. In fact, I taught a course in the Academy of Lifelong Learning on the economic situation of medicine, which is one of my many hobbies. Yesterday, I found out I'm getting sued, by the way. I'm chairman of the Piscataway Historic Preservation Commission and I'm being sued for trying to keep Selman Waksman's house from being bulldozed. I don't think I'll lose, but …

SSH: I know you've been very involved in the historic River Road dispute?

PBJ: Yeah, I like, my father was a historian and I, well, again, I think it's because I grew up here. And all the stuff I've told you today is scratching the surface of all the things I could think of, that went, because I live here. And you know, you can't save, there's more money in development than there is in preservation. But there's more money in development than there is in farming. My friend Carl Dilatush, whom I know you must know, every time we're out riding, he says, "Oh, there goes another farm." 'Cause he's an AG graduate. "Oh, there goes another farm. What's New Jersey going to come to? They'll rue the day." And they will. But can you blame a farmer if he gets offered six million bucks? I mean, farming's hard work. You know, and some guy comes along, "I'll give you six million bucks for your acreage." Wow, and they take it. So, I don't know the answer to that one either. Christy Whitman is trying to preserve it and I admire her for that. But strangely enough, she was lauded by an Audubon person at a meeting I went to at a Frenchman Bay Conservancy in Maine. For the fact that Maine, with its ten zillion miles of open space, "We ought to take a page out of Christy Whitman's book and try to preserve this land, 'cause we've still got it. We can preserve it now. They're fighting to get it back." I thought that was very interesting. And I talked to her afterwards about it. But she was very, it was very interesting that the Audubon Society of Maine was so supportive of our governor.

SI: I had another question I wanted to ask before. Did you or your father know anything about the Hauptman case at NJC?

PBJ: No. The only thing I know about it was when I read Dick McCormick's thing on it, which was very interesting. I think Professor Hauptman, yeah, (the Newburg guy [Bergel?]). I think he was in the German department when I took, I took one summer, two semesters and one summer of scientific German. And I think he may have been in the department then. I didn't have him. I had two other guys. And I, you know, you had to have a language requirement and I took it right away, while I still had high school German. So I took it right away and got it out of the way. And I enjoyed it. But no, I don't, as I say, all I know is what Dick McCormick wrote. There's a man, an unbelievable guy. When I was running the Fourth of July celebration in 1990 for Piscataway. You know, George Washington celebrated Independence Day in 1778 in Piscataway and New Brunswick. And he was living in Ross Hall. And I knew about it. So, I asked Dick if he had any information. Well, he sent me, and I just looked at it this morning as a matter-of-fact, a couple pages of the history, and how General Washington had lined the troops up and they marched across the Landing bridge, they put thirteen cannons on this side of the river, equally spaced. And then he shot one cannon at a time. Shot off artillery and gave, he had a copy of General Washington's orders, okay? He gave me a copy of General Washington's [orders], and they shot off thirteen cannons, there's a French word for "rifle fire," and gave three huzzahs for independence. Last sentence, "the general issued a double ration, the men will receive a double ration of rum," okay? So, I said, "That guy knew how to handle the troops." Right? A double ration of rum. But Dick, you know, he goes through his files and comes out with a copy of General Washington's orders. Marvelous. The guy is just, when he dies, there'll be a huge lost to this University. Absolutely huge.

SSH: What about being on the Board of Trustees for twenty years? What was that like?

PBJ: I love it. I insult my colleagues when I say it, but when I went on the board, and being a Trustee Emeritus, I'm on for life. When I went on the Board of Trustees, I was flattered. I thought it was great. But what I found was that it was so interesting, the people that you meet. You meet, you know, doctors think that they're smart. But doctors are very narrow people, mostly. They're really very narrow. I enjoy eating with my friend Jerry Rolnick, a few guys, okay? But they, you know, all most do is sit and, "Oh, I can't make a buck anymore." You know what I mean? And these guys are driving Mercedes. And, you know, they expect people to feel sorry for them 'cause they work hard. Well, hell, they're making big bucks. Nobody is going to feel sorry for somebody like that. But they have a paranoia, the medical expects, "Oh, a poor doctor." And they used to do that. They used to be on a pedestal and say, "Oh, the poor doctor." Now they don't. Like my wife says, her father was a doctor, "Doctors are just like a plumber or electrician." Oh, doctors' wives become hysterical when she says that. "They're just like electrician and plumber and they go do their job. And they're trained to it, and they do." But anyway, they are narrow. And when I got on the trustees of Rutgers, I met very intelligent people, many of them much brighter than my doctor friends. And much more varied in their conversations. Much more interesting things to, I learned something [at] every meeting. Every meeting I go to, I learn something. I sit in awe at the students, I absolutely do, okay. At a Rutgers College meeting this week, three Henry Rutgers Scholars. And one young woman, I didn't understand her. She was talking about the use of the sheath of the olfactory nerve for spinal cord regeneration. She's working with Dr. Wise Young on spinal cord regeneration. Now, I'm an MD and I'm struggling and I'm looking around the table at Floyd Bragg, Carl Dilatush, how can they have any idea of, at least I knew what the membrane was, okay? And I knew what the olfactory nerve was and so forth. But this girl is unbelievable. I mean, the research she's doing. And she's going to medical school and she'll be a great doctor. And the other girl gave a talk on, her Henry Rutgers thesis was comparing the facial expression of infants with chimpanzees. Which you say, you know, "Get out of here." But it was extremely interesting, the fact that you could, by its facial expression, you could tell whether it's happy or unhappy or whatever. And she looked at chimpanzees to see the evolution and so forth. And you know, so it's very stimulating to be around very bright people. It makes you feel very humble, but you learn something absolutely everyday. The engineer, I don't know anything about engineering. And this dean of engineering is a hotshot, I'll tell you. He is great. And he knows all the things that are going to happen in engineering. I didn't understand half of it. He was using initials, you know. IT, information technology, I found out what that meant, you know, hours into the program. But you know, doctors do that, too. In fact, there's a joke about the fact that you know the abbreviations of your section of medicine. Like, I was crazy, one time, when FTT, that's a pediatric expression, "Failure To Thrive," okay? And they were talking about FTT. I said, "You know, in cardiology they use congenital heart disease." The pediatrician kept saying, "FTT," failure to thrive. So, you know, you get used to a set of initials and abbreviations and, but I find it very fascinating. And I was very, very flattered when I became Trustee Emeritus, because as Ed Lipman said, "Does that mean I'm here for life? Man, am I happy." And I do, I go to an awful lot of meetings. I go to probably three or four a week during the academic season. But I missed one yesterday morning in Newark because I had the Class of '45, I'm a fund-raiser for the Class of 45's fifty-fifth reunion.

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

Edited 8/6/00 Dennis Duarte

Edited 8/8/00 Sandra Stewart Holyoak

Edited 8/17/00 Sean D. Harvey

Edited 2/22/01 Dr. Paul Jennings

Edited 3/17/01 Kathryn Tracy