• Interviewee: Zinn, John
  • PDF Interview: zinn_john_part_2.pdf
  • Date: February 28, 2017
  • Place: New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Interviewers:
    • William Buie
    • Kathleen McCunny
  • Transcript Production Team:
    • Jesse Braddell
    • William Buie
  • Recommended Citation: Zinn, John G. Oral History Interview, February 28, 2017, by William Buie and Kathleen McCunny, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
  • Permission:

    Permission to quote from this transcript must be obtained from the Rutgers Oral History Archives. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

William Buie: This begins a second interview with William Buie and John Zinn and...

Kathleen McCunny: Kathleen McCunny.

WB: In New Brunswick, New Jersey. The date is February 28, 2017 and John, I guess we will pick up where we left off which I believe we were talking about your sophomore year.

John Zinn: Correct, yes.

WB: Getting ready to go into your junior year. We didn't want to focus too heavily on the basketball because we wanted to save that. So let's kind of recap your sophomore year, and then move into your...

JZ: Non-basketball wise?

WB: Right.

JZ: Okay, sophomore year academically was a year of finishing up general education requirements, which in those days pretty much took you two years. It was the humanities, second year of language, things like that and it was also my second year in the ROTC, Reserve Officers' Training Program. At the end of sophomore year, you had to make a decision whether you would go on to the third and fourth year. And once you made the commitment for the third or fourth year, you were obligated to go into the Army. At the end of the sophomore year, you could drop out and you had no obligation to serve. You were at risk of the draft, which was a very real risk in those days. That was the crucial decision you had to make in the spring of your sophomore year.

WB: Did that decision weigh heavily on you?

JZ: No, because it was a pretty obvious decision. If I didn't go ahead with becoming an officer, I was going to be drafted. As I said in the first interview, if I was going to be in the Army, I wanted to be an officer, not an enlisted man, so the decision was fairly obvious. So it was not a hard decision. I don't know the specifics, but pretty much everybody went that route.

WB: And at this point, you have now moved on from being a freshman manager to being a manager with the varsity team?

JZ: Correct. There were separate freshman and varsity teams then and once you were a sophomore, you became part of the varsity team and so I was one of the assistant managers. The senior manager or managers were the head managers and then everybody else were assistants.

WB: Talk to me about that, was that '65-'66?

JZ: That would be '65-'66, correct.

WB: Season?

JZ: Well, the year before, the '64-'65 team was a .500 team, a 12-12 win-loss record, which was the second .500 season or better in the last ten years, so that by itself was an accomplishment. All of that team returned for the next year, led by Bob Lloyd and Jim Valvano who were juniors that year, so there were increased expectations for the first time in a long time. [Editor's Note: Bob Lloyd played for Rutgers from 1964 to 1967. He then played in the American Basketball Association for two years. Jim Valvano played for Rutgers from 1964 to 1967. He then went on to become a college coach, coaching at Bucknell, Iona, and North Carolina State. He died in 1993 from cancer.] That team, early in the season, we played Princeton at Princeton and Rutgers had not beaten Princeton in twenty years. This was the first Rutgers team to beat Princeton in twenty years. Princeton was a thirty-point favorite, so it was a huge upset. I'm not sure I can say this calmly. When we came back on the bus, we were met by a crowd of students taking pictures and cheering. It's something I'll never forget. That was early in the season and the goal then was to make the NIT. The NCAA Tournament was much smaller and not anywhere near prestigious as it is today. The NIT was a very prestigious tournament. Only fourteen teams, all the games played at Madison Square Garden and for a local team, a local school, it was a big deal, and so that was the goal. The end of February, we played UConn here in a game that was very important to us. They were a very good team and we lost that game, so we were now, I think, 14-6, with three games left and we won the last three games. No, that game made us at 14-7. So we were 14-7 with three games to play. Lafayette and Lehigh on the road, which we won, and then Penn State at home and Penn State was going to the NIT already. So, they were a good team. We beat them. We beat them handily. The gym went crazy with chants of "NIT, NIT" which you don't hear anymore, but in the day, that was a big thing and we thought we had chance, but the next day we found out we had not gotten in. Villanova and NYU, two local schools with inferior records had gotten in and so that was a big disappointment. While we lost a couple of veteran players from that team who we would miss, we had Lloyd and Valvano coming back for their final years, plus we had a very good sophomore class. Freshman were not eligible. Then we had a very good sophomore class coming in for the '66-'67 team. Even though the end of the season was disappointing, the team won more games than any Rutgers team that had ever won in history and there was a lot of high expectations about what was going to happen in '66-'67.

WB: Do you know how the voting process worked?

JZ: There was a selection committee.

WB: Okay.

JZ: And they made their own decisions. It was a committee of coaches, local coaches, and they had total decision-making authority. What they tended to do, the way the NIT worked was, then all the games were played at the Garden. So how do you fill an 18,000-seat arena? You get local teams that will bring their own students and fans to play teams from throughout the country, so you create that kind of a competition. NYU and Villanova were basically .500 teams, they had lost as many games as they had won, but they had tradition, which we didn't have, and they brought big crowds, and so they got to play and we didn't. And they, in fact, did very well. NYU went all the way to the championship game, even though they were only a .500 team. So the committee's selections weren't criticized extensively except here at Rutgers. Everybody was very unhappy. We thought it was very unfair, but it was a totally arbitrary process. There was no rationale to it. Nothing was publicly said about the voting or anything like that.

WB: Okay, and if I remember correctly, you said that you were freshman manager, if you accomplished it in your job, there was an expectation that you could.

JZ: Right, move on.

WB: Move on to the senior team.

JZ: Right.

WB: Thinking back, how did you assess your performance as a first-year manager with the varsity team and how did the coaches assess you?

JZ: Basically, the way it worked was as an assistant manager you had certain responsibilities during games, keeping statistics, doing some of the various jobs, and then the way practices worked was that one manager had to be at every practice. You didn't have to be at every practice, so what you had to do was meet those responsibilities and I met them. I was there when I was supposed to be there. I did what I was supposed to do to the best of my ability. I had formed a good relationship with Coach Foster as a freshman because we did things for the varsity, even as a freshman. He liked me. He felt I was competent and I was satisfied with how I performed. I did the things that I was supposed to do. [Editor's Note: Bill Foster was the Head Coach of Rutgers Basketball from 1964 to 1971. He went on to coach at Duke, South Carolina, and Northwestern. He lived from 1929 to 2016.]

WB: Your sophomore year ends, what do you do that summer? Do you get a job?

JZ: That summer I got a job working in a book warehouse in Wayne, New Jersey, where I lived. Just a warehouse job.

WB: I always like to ask, what did you do with your money?

JZ: Sorry?

WB: What did you do with your money?

JZ: My parents paid tuition and room and board, so I put it away for other expenses during the year. I was making a dollar twenty-five an hour, so there wasn't a lot of money to put away.

WB: Did you have a bank account?

JZ: Yes, I had a savings account, yes.

WB: Okay and tell me about your junior year, non-basketball first, and then we will get to basketball.

JZ: The other thing I should've mentioned about sophomore year. Sophomore year was also when you declared a major.

WB: Okay.

JZ: So I had declared business management as my major. Having fulfilled all the general education requirements, I had to then fulfill the business requirements. The biggest requirement was you had to take business management, it wasn't called that, but it was a business management course that was six credits each semester. That was the only six-credit course, I think, that existed in the college in those days. It met four times a week for seventy-five minutes a class period. The teachers weren't exactly the most spellbinding lecturers and it was dry material, but that was the academic focus. Then ROTC became more serious. The way it worked was the first semester it was a three-credit course which met twice a week for seventy-five minutes. You took kind of an academic course and then drill, which met eight Wednesdays in the fall and eight Wednesdays in the spring. Now, instead of just marching around Buccleuch Park learning how to march, you were carrying an M1 rifle. You were learning how to do certain things. The idea was it was supposed to prepare you for summer camp which took place between your junior and senior year. It was a six-week, quasi-basic training experience in Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania and the drill experiences were supposed to prepare you for that. They really didn't. I don't know if that was our fault or the instructor's fault. I wasn't prepared. So that was basically the non-basketball stuff. I guess I had a few more general education requirements to wrap up and the business management courses and ROTC. I was living in a dorm. I never was in a fraternity. So that was basically what we did. [Editor's Note: Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania opened in 1931 and is still in operation today.]

WB: Are you continuing to follow what is happening in Vietnam? Or are you now in the college bubble?

JZ: We certainly followed it. We certainly were aware of it. You couldn't not be aware of it.

WB: Right.

JZ: It was always a hot topic on campus, but through even through my senior year in '68, those who outright opposed the war were still the minority. Then, fall of my senior year, the Students for a Democratic Society took over the ROTC building as a protest and the majority of the students were opposed to their protest. Not that they wanted to go to the war and fight in Vietnam, but they really didn't identify with those students or that point of view. [Editor's Note: Students for a Democratic Society was a radical student group that existed in the 1960s. It disbanded in 1969.]

WB: So would you characterize the anti-war faction as small, insignificant?

JZ: Small and vocal.

WB: Okay.

JZ: I wouldn't say it was insignificant, but it was small. It was definitely a minority.

WB: Okay. Did any of your professors speak out either in class, that you were aware of, or outside of class?

JZ: Not in my classes. I'm trying to remember. It was the end of my second semester of my freshman year or my sophomore year. I think it was the freshman year. They had the teach-in. I don't remember if we talked about this the last time or not. Eugene Genovese, who was an American History professor, at the teach-in, said that, "Unlike many of you, I am not opposed to the impending community victory in Vietnam. I welcome it." That became an issue in the gubernatorial election in the fall of '65. So, that was my sophomore year. Wayne Dumont, who was the Republican candidate, ran on the issue that the university should fire Genovese, which the university refused to do, saying he had the right of free speech to say that. Hughes was the incumbent, and Dumont was defeated hands down. I think we talked about this the last time. He wasn't the instructor, but he spoke in our class and we were told beforehand that we had to treat him with respect. That we were not to belittle him or anything because of his outspoken views. None of my other teachers said anything about Vietnam. ROTC was taught by career Army officers who were stationed on campus here. They talked about military topics. They talked about what you would do as an officer. They didn't talk about Vietnam that much. I'm not even sure if they had all been there. They never voiced any political opinions. [Editor's Note: Eugene Genovese lived from 1930 to 2012. He was a history professor at Rutgers from 1963 to 1967. On April 23, 1965, at a teach-in, he stated, "I do not fear or regret the impending Vietcong victory in Vietnam. I welcome it." In the Gubernatorial Election of New Jersey in 1965, Wayne Dumont lost to incumbent Richard Hughes. Dumont had called for the dismissal of Genovese.]

WB: Well, let's talk about '67-'68 basketball season.

JZ: '66-'67.

WB: '66-'67.

JZ: Going into junior year, the expectations are very high. You have Bob Lloyd who most people are considering a potential all-American. Jim Valvano, not as well known then, as he is now, but an outstanding player. The best sophomore class that Rutgers had ever had, with some height, which we never had previously. Expectations were very high.
We go up to Yale to play Yale in a scrimmage thinking very highly of ourselves and the scrimmage was an unmitigated disaster. We play very poorly. It's just a nightmare. And two things come out of that. I learned two things about basketball that I've never forgotten. One is the value of experience. Instead of having a team made up of juniors and seniors, this was a team made up of seniors and sophomores. And the sophomores, who have never played in a varsity game before, didn't know where they were supposed to be, what they were supposed to do, and that was a major adjustment. And the other thing that I learned, that I've never forgotten, is that as tempting as it may be, you never play three big men in a basketball game at the same time because they slow the game down too much. That's what Coach Foster did in the Yale game and he learned from it because he never tried it again that season. The player sizes are all relative because the players were much smaller then, but from that point forward, we played with three starters who were no bigger than 6'1", 6'2", and two who were 6'6", 6'7", and we were a much better team. That was in November, and the adjustment was made. The season always started on December 1st. We played Penn in the Palestra. Rutgers had only beaten Penn once and had never won in the Palestra. [Editor's Note: The Palestra is the gymnasium of the University of Pennsylvania. It opened in 1927.] I don't know how familiar you are with the Palestra. The Palestra is University of Pennsylvania's gymnasium, but it probably seats seven to eight thousand. It's a storied college basketball facility. At the time, the big thing in Philadelphia was the Big Five, Penn, Saint Joe's, Villanova, La Salle, and Temple. It was not a conference, but it was an informal arrangement and they played many doubleheaders at the Palestra. The Philadelphia schools played their home games at the Palestra and they would play doubleheaders, and the second game of the opening doubleheader was Rutgers at Penn. Penn was not as good as they had been, but they were favored. We went down there and won. We were like a twelve-point underdog and we won by twelve points, and the season was off to a good start. We won our next four games and were 5-0. Next we were scheduled to play in Madison Square Garden, appearing on the big stage for the first time because playing in the Garden was the ultimate place to play in college basketball in those days. This is the old Garden, Eighth Avenue, 51st Street. One of the most decrepit, old, disgusting buildings that you can imagine, but it was magic once the lights were dimmed. It was just a magic atmosphere. They only played eight doubleheaders there in the course of a season. NYU played most of their home games there. NYU was a Division I program in those days, although they are only a Division III program today. With NYU playing in eight of the sixteen games, there weren't that many opportunities to play at Madison Square Garden. We played the University Missouri. Coach Foster had to travel to Indiana to scout them because they didn't play in the east. We played them in the first game of a double header and got off to a horrible start. Came back. Took the lead. They caught us. Valvano missed a shot at the buzzer that would've won the game. The game went into overtime and in overtime, for whatever reason, we dominated, won by ten points and had made an impression. This is the fiftieth anniversary of that season and I've done a blog primarily for the players on that team with newspaper articles and other memorabilia on the fiftieth anniversary of each game. I was looking at newspaper articles on the internet for the Missouri game. The game was covered across the country because that's how big a deal the Garden was that all the wire services picked up those games. Newspapers in Spokane, Washington headlining Rutgers beating Missouri in Madison Square Garden. It was a big lift to win that game. We won seven straight games to start the season. Lost to Georgetown at home right before Christmas. Won another road game. Split a Christmas tournament and then we had played eleven games between December 1st and December 28th. After that we didn't play again for four weeks because exams came right after Christmas and no games were played during exam period. Exams lasted two weeks and we didn't play any games during that period. Beginning at the end of January through the first weekend of March, we played the remaining fifteen games. We played a lot of games in a short period of time. Came back, played Fordham at the College Avenue Gym, beat them badly, big crowd. Every game but two was sold out, a capacity of 2,800, which doesn't seem like a lot today, but it was then. The student body was a little over 6,000. There was a tremendous energy for that game because I think everybody wanted to know what was going to happen now. We had the good start. We had this long layoff, so what's going to happen. We beat Fordham badly. We went to Lafayette; beat them badly. Then we played Princeton on a Monday night at Rutgers. Princeton was ranked number five in the nation. It was a big game and we just got embarrassed. We should've realized that at the time, Princeton had not forgotten what had happened the year before. They were a very good team, and they didn't take us for granted, and they just blew us out. It was embarrassing, but we had no time to feel sorry for ourselves, because three days later, we go back to Madison Square Garden. This time to play NYU and while NYU wasn't as good as they had been the year before, they're still a team to contend with. They have a player named Mal Graham who was a star player and we're coming off this awful loss, so what's going to happen. [Editor's Note: Mal Graham played for NYU from 1964 to 1967. He then played for the Boston Celtics from 1967 to 1969. He is now a judge in Massachusetts.] Well, it wasn't the most, it wasn't a thing of beauty, but we won the game. Bob Lloyd went nineteen for nineteen from the foul line which tied the Madison Square Garden record for foul shots made in a game and put him at something like forty-some in a row where. He had been at that point a year previously and missed, and now he's within striking distance of the NCAA record. That was a Thursday night. Saturday we go to Bucknell, play Bucknell, and he breaks the NCAA foul shooting record at that game and we win the game by two points. We've played all these games in a hurry and then we get a week off. We play at Lehigh without having really worried much about Lehigh. Lehigh and Lafayette and Rutgers were, at that point, similar sized schools, but they're not as athletically competitive. Lehigh is coached by a relatively unknown coach by the name of Pete Carrell who will go on to become a legendary coach at Princeton. One of the controversies in college basketball that emerged that season was how the teams that were overmatched tried to slow the game down. There's no shot clock, so the team does not have to shoot within a prescribed period of time and it becomes very controversial. Lehigh plays that way against us. Lloyd stretches his foul shooting record to sixty consecutive foul shots and then he misses. The game comes down to a tie score 43-43 with three minutes left. Lehigh gets the ball and they run three minutes off the clock, take a shot as time expires, and make it and win the game. That night, it seems like this horrible, devastating experience, but a few days later, it was kind of like almost a compliment that that was the only way they could beat us was to hold the ball. Coach Foster, in his newspaper interviews, gives a kind of measured opinion about, "I'm not sure that's the right way to play, but they won, so you really can't take anything away from them. That's not why we lost." Three days later we go down to Navy, beat Navy badly. Come back to Rutgers and I can't understand how this ever happened. There were very few conferences, in the East, so the schedules are made up by the schools. They're not made up by an outside party. Somehow, we're scheduled to play three games in four days--Friday, Saturday and Monday--all at home. Friday night we play Army. Army is coached by a coach also then not relatively well known by the name of Bobby Knight, who goes on to be a very historic and controversial coach at Indiana. He's very young, he's in his twenties, but he's very successful at Army and unfortunately, the same thing happens. They beat us very badly, and it's very embarrassing and some of the students really get down on us. The newspaper accounts the next day have headlines like "NIT Hopes Dimmed." Reporters are saying to Coach Foster, "It doesn't seem like you have much of a chance now." I can remember him saying a few days later, "I said to them, 'It's too early to make that determination.'" Well, we have no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have a game the next night. First game that there's not a capacity crowd. We play the University of Delaware; beat them badly. Day off on Sunday, come back and play Gettysburg, beat them even worse. We scored 95 points in beating Delaware on Saturday night and then scored 108 points in beating Gettysburg on Monday night. No three-point shot, no shot clock, and score all these points. At that point, we were 16-5 and our next game is at the University of Connecticut on Thursday. This is almost a year to the day of the loss to them that really sealed our not getting into the NIT in 1966. But that day also is the day that the first NIT bids are announced. They didn't announce all of them on the same day. There was no "Selection Sunday" like there is today. There are twenty-three NCAA bids nationwide, not 68, like there are today. Most of them are reserved for conference champions, so the NCAA didn't give a lot of them out that first day, but they give them out in the New York-Metropolitan area because there are no conferences in the New York-Metropolitan area. The NIT, there are fourteen bids, so there's only 37 bids for let's say, 300 schools playing Division I basketball. Of the fourteen NIT bids, two of them are reserved for the runners-up in the ACC and the Big 8, so there are only twelve bids that are available. Some of the NIT bids were going to be announced that day while we're on a bus to Storrs, Connecticut to play the University of Connecticut. This would be unthinkable today, but in those days, we travelled on game day and we didn't stay overnight very often. Storrs had to have been four hours from here by bus. So we would bus up in the morning, stopped at a hotel in Willimantic, Connecticut for a couple hours, where they reserved some rooms where the players could rest, play the game, and then take the bus back. The hotel was one of the most decrepit buildings I had ever been in my life. I was grateful we didn't stay overnight there. We got there. I didn't see all of this firsthand, because I wasn't the first one off the bus, but Coach Foster was always the first one off the bus because he was in the first seat on the bus. And so he goes into the lobby of the hotel and on his way to the restroom, he sees a sign, it says, "Rutgers NIT." He thought it was just a good luck sign and at this point he had had it with, "Are you going to get in? Are you not going to get in?" He just goes on to the restroom. He finishes in the restroom and he starts to think about, "What did that sign say? I better get back out there." It was a sign of congratulations that Rutgers had gotten into the NIT. The athletic department had gotten the call. They had called the Connecticut State Police and they were supposed to stop the bus and the police couldn't find the bus and so then the athletic department called the hotel and the hotel made up the sign. I was one of the last ones into the lobby, at which point everybody is going crazy. The pressure was off and we're in. We go to Storrs to play the game. The locker rooms in the Connecticut gym, which is not the gym they play in today, the locker rooms were side by side. I'm standing outside the Rutgers locker room. We wore blazers that said "Rutgers Basketball" on the pocket, so everybody knew who we were. I'm standing outside the Rutgers locker room and a bunch of Connecticut players come by to go into their locker room and they say, "Did you get in?" And I said, "Yes." Not only did they say congratulations, they say, "We really wanted you to get in a year ago when we played you down at Rutgers, but we had to play our best game and try to win." That was an incredibly nice thing for them to say. They didn't have to say that. The game was kind of an anti-climax. We played very poorly in the first half, came back in the second half, Connecticut had a star player named Wes Bialosuknia. [Editor's Note: Wes Bialosuknia played for Connecticut Basketball from 1964 to 1967. He played three years in the ABA.] He went crazy in the first half. Bob Lloyd went crazy in the second half. It was a close game, but they won. But at that point nobody, no one was really that upset about it. As the bus pulled off of Route 18 to go towards the gym, it must have been three o'clock in the morning, Coach Foster said, "Fellas, today is the day. We lost the battle, but we won the war." I'm sorry this is very emotional. We have three games left. Lafayette and Lehigh at home, and then Penn State on the road. Lafayette who we had beaten by over thirty points at Lafayette decided they would play the slow-down game and they do so, even though they're behind. They try to play that way in the Rutgers gym with 2,800 Rutgers fans booing them the entire game. Coach Foster's comments after the game are far less measured. "This is not basketball. This is not the way you're supposed to play basketball. People who played admission did not pay to see that travesty." Travesty is my word, but he's quoted in the paper as saying, "People didn't pay to see that." That's not basketball and he said, "Get ready for the same thing Wednesday night when Lehigh comes in." The other thing I should say about the Lafayette game. Bob Lloyd had long since scored his 1,000th point, which was a milestone as a junior. Valvano scored his 1,000th point in the Lafayette game. So you've got two players on the same team who have scored more than a thousand points, which was very unique. We play Lehigh at home. They try the same thing. It's a closer game, but we play better and we win. Lloyd, Valvano, and Doug Clark, who was the other senior on that team, were honored after the game. We go to Penn State and we beat Penn State handedly. We finished the regular season 19-6 and we're off to the NIT. In the NIT, in the first round, we are scheduled to play Utah State. Utah State is ranked sixteenth in the nation. They had been invited to the NCAA, but they had declined because one of their players would have been ineligible because he was a junior college transfer and they wanted to have all their players, so they decided to play in the NIT. Back when it was still being speculated about whether we were going to be invited or not, a newspaper writer said, "Rutgers would probably bring 2,000 fans." Coach Foster kind of tongue and cheek said, "Well, we'll bring 5,000." The story on campus and I have no way of knowing whether this was true or not, there were three big social weekends on campus at Rutgers in those days. One of them was JP, or Junior Prom weekend, which was early in March. This is an all-male school. Supposedly, the student organizers of Junior Prom weekend contacted people at Madison Square Garden and said, "If you put us in the late game on Saturday night, we'll guarantee that Rutgers will bring a big crowd." Whether that happened or not, we played in the late game on Saturday night. The university alone sold 6,000 tickets. That's the size of the student body. So, I'm getting a little ahead of myself there though. Before every game, four hours before every game, we had a pre-game meal. In New Brunswick, we had it in a restaurant that no longer exists. On the road, we would have it at different restaurants. For the NIT, three of our four pre-game meals were at the 21 Club, which was at the time and still is today one of the most prestigious restaurants in New York City. The reason that we had it there was because it was owned by the Kreindler Brothers and one of them was a Rutgers graduate, and they invited us to have our pre-game meals there. The first time we were there was before the Utah State game. They took us on a tour of the club. The 21 Club was in a building that during Prohibition was a speakeasy. They showed us around the basement and this blank concrete wall. And then they take a coat hanger and they stick it in a small hole in the wall and the wall opens up and that's where all the illegal liquor was kept. They told us stories like that and they gave us commemorative coins and things like that. That was kind of cool. So, then, as I say, we're the nine o'clock game. The atmosphere kind of builds for the nine o'clock game. Not everybody's there for the first game, but the Rutgers band is there. In the day, there was a cheer. It was done pretty much throughout college athletics. It wasn't unique to Rutgers, but the way it would be go for this game, was people would be yelling, "Go Rutgers, beat Utah." And they would just chant it over and over again, in unison. It was the kind of thing you only did at home. Well, that night the students did it there. You're in this arena filled with 18,000 people and you can't hear anything because so many people are doing this chant. The atmosphere was just electric. We're playing this team that's ranked 16th in the nation and we have not done well against teams that were nationally ranked. Not many people thought we were going to win that game. It developed into a very close, back and forth game. Thirteen ties, thirteen lead changes over the course of the game. Neither team was able to take charge. They are much bigger than we are physically. They had 6'9", 6'10" guys. Bob Greacen and Rick Harley, who are 6'7" and 6'6", are basically holding them even on rebounds. Total rebounds for both teams are about even. Lloyd is on his way to scoring forty points. Again, no three-point shot, no thirty-second clock. We're ahead 76-74 and foul one of their players with about thirty seconds left. He makes the first foul shot, misses the second, Lloyd somehow comes down with the ball. He was certainly not one of our biggest players. Then there's thirty seconds of our trying to hold on to the ball and they're trying to foul us. It's basically Lloyd and Valvano passing the ball back and forth. It was crazy, helter-skelter and finally with one second left one of the Utah State players fouls Lloyd. He's the leading foul shooter in the country and I didn't see this live, but I saw it later in a film of the game. He realizes we're one point ahead and there's one second left. He takes the ball and throws it up towards the roof of the Garden, almost hits the speakers at the top of the Garden. Lloyd goes to the foul line. Two shots. Leading foul shooter in the country. If he makes both of them, the game is over. There's no three point shot. Misses the first foul shot. So, there's one second left, what now? He makes the second one. One second left, we're two points ahead. Utah State tries something teams continue to do today. When the ball is inbounded the clock starts when the ball touches a player in bounds. So, what they do is they roll the ball inbounds. Utah State rolled the ball in bounds. The problem was they just stood there and watched it and Valvano, ran up, grabbed it. The minute he grabbed it, the game was over. Leonard Loppett wrote it in the New York Times, "And the Rutgers people let their delirium have its head." I've been fortunate enough to be in my share of emotional locker rooms, but nothing like that. It was the first time Rutgers had ever beaten a nationally ranked team on a huge stage and there were headlines throughout the country about that one. I know I didn't sleep much that night. We come back to Rutgers on Sunday. We've advanced to the next round to play the University of New Mexico. They're ranked 13th in the nation, so it's not getting easier. They're bigger physically. They have a player by the name of Mel Daniels who will ultimately go into the Basketball Hall of Fame. We also face another reality, that no one had really thought about because Saturday night was going to be the end of it. The next week is the week of mid-semester exams and the week after that is spring break. So guys and it was all guys, have exams scheduled for Tuesday night when the game is going to take place and there are also exams scheduled for Wednesday, the day after the game. What's going to happen? People started contacting the professors, I think, thinking the professors were going to say, "It's your problem." What happened instead was the professors reorganized the exam schedule. Now that might not seem like much today, that might be a standard kind of thing that would happen today, but at that time it was unprecedented. I had my business management class on Monday and we were supposed to have our mid-semester exam on Wednesday, and the problem was that anybody who wanted to go to the game on Tuesday, and everybody wanted to go, was how are you going to study for the exam? So, we got into class on Monday and one of the guys brought it up. I thought the instructor didn't pay any attention to this kind of thing. The student said to him, "Could you move the exam to Thursday from Wednesday?" The teacher looked at him and said, "I want the team to do well. What if they win Tuesday night?" The guys in the class said, "We'll take the exam Thursday if they win Tuesday night." But the even bigger story was a physics professor whose exam was scheduled for the time of the game, and not only did he move the exam up, but the university was arranging buses to take students to New York City. He made damn sure the buses were there and waiting for the students as soon as the exam was over. So this time Rutgers sells 5,000 tickets, not as many as the first game, but again, the biggest crowd there. We play New Mexico. This is the first game of the double-header. New Mexico is a much bigger team. Again, Mel Daniels, a star player. Coach Foster designs a 1-2-2 zone to use against New Mexico which will bottle up the big guys inside to make their guards beat us and their guards weren't capable of beating us. It was not a high scoring game. Lloyd did not have a big scoring game, but we took control of the game in the second half. We had a substantial lead. With two minutes to go we had a fourteen-point lead which was a big lead in those days. It got sloppy at the end and they cut the lead to five, but we won. We won again. We had our pre-game meal, again, at the 21 Club. We met Lynda Bird Johnson who, LBJ was president then, so it was a big deal. Going into the game, Valvano was sick. He had some kind of a stomach virus and Dick Stewart, who was one of our other starters, had found out that his father had suffered a stroke that day. I remember the word in the hotel being that no one is to say a word of this to anybody. Coach Foster obviously knew about Valvano being sick. He did not know about Stewart's father. The word within the team was you were not to breathe a word of this to anybody. "We don't want any excuses. We lose. We lose. We're not having any excuses built in." And I remember seeing Valvano five minutes before the team took the floor, walking across the locker room, looking like he was death warmed over and I said, "How do you feel?" He said, "Not good," but somehow, he managed it. Dick Stewart told Coach Foster as soon as the game was over that his father had had a stroke. Coach Foster's wife had driven their car to New York for the game and Coach Foster gave Dick Stewart his car. He lived in Massachusetts. Gave him his car to go home to see his father. We won that game, so that brings us now to the semi-finals. Our reward for making it to the semi-finals is we get to play Southern Illinois. Southern Illinois is the number one small college team in the country. They're a small college, yet they have 22,000 students, which is three times the size of Rutgers. They also have a player by the name of Walt Frazier who goes on to be a Hall of Fame player in the NBA. We now have this business management exam on Thursday. Then, what am I going to do now? My problem was the exam was scheduled after the team was supposed to leave. What am I going to do? So, somehow, I got the instructor on the phone and he said, "Okay, come into my office Thursday morning and you can take the exam before the rest of the class and just promise me that you're not going to tell anybody what's on the exam." Of course, I promised. I'm in his office, taking the exam, and his office was in Winants Hall, which in those days it was offices, and it's not as nice as it [is] today. Winants Hall, you probably know, was the first dorm at Rutgers, and in the mid-'60s it was kind of like a rabbit warren of old offices. John Daniels was his name and he shared an office with the senior instructor in business management, a man by the name of Sydney Simon. I never had him, but he had to be one of the most self-absorbed people I had ever seen. So, I'm in their office taking the exam and Simon comes in, and the instructor says to him, "This is one of our basketball managers. He's taking the exam now because of the big game tonight." And Simon's reaction is, "Oh, yes, I've heard of basketball and I know that they have a team here." I didn't say anything. Daniels was, I think, so shocked. He said, "Not only do they play it. They play it very well." So, we go back to New York. We go to the 21 Club again. We are again playing in the second game. After the New Mexico game, I asked one of the officials at the Garden what time were we going to play on Thursday night. And he said, "It depends on who wins the second game." Because the second game featured Providence who had Jimmy Walker, who was an All-American. Of all the senior players that year, he was the top ranked player and so if they won, they were going to be the second game. Well, they lost in overtime. We were the Cinderella Team, so we were now the top story. We played Southern Illinois in the second game. Southern Illinois starts out the game in a man-to-man defense and they have Walt Frazier guard Bob Lloyd. In ten minutes, Frazier fouls Lloyd three times and he's in major foul trouble. So, they have to go from a man-to-man to a zone defense and any time a team played zone against us, we thought they were in a lot of trouble. Valvano is on fire. He makes eight straight shots. He basically scored a point a minute in the first half. We led by twelve at one point and led by eight points at half time. Shot sixty percent in the first half. We were usually not such a good first half team. We always played much better in the second half. I don't know what the players were thinking, but I'm thinking, "We always play better in the second half. We always kill a zone. We're in really good shape here." Sports teach you in the end, nothing is ever certain because Southern Illinois plays a different kind of zone. They bottled up Lloyd and Valvano. They tied the game in a matter of minutes. Then it becomes a back and forth game. They jump out to a four-point lead. We score and cut it to a two-point lead. They score and make it a four-point lead again. We come down. We don't score. They come down, they don't score, and it goes back and forth, a four-two-point differential. Then, finally, about four minutes to go we catch them. We tie the game. Here's our chance. Well, everything goes wrong for us in the last four minutes and they outscored us maybe fourteen to four, and they win the game 79 to 70. The dream is over. The typical headline was, "Clock strikes midnight for Cinderella team." It was a Cinderella story and it ended the way Cinderella stories often end. There was a newspaper called the World Herald Tribune, which was originally the Herald Tribune, that was on its last legs as the World Herald Tribune. [Editor's Note: The Herald Tribune ceased publication in 1966 and became the International Herald Tribune which has since become The New York Times International Edition.] One of their sports writers was Bob Fendell, who was a Rutgers graduate. He covered the game, and his headline for his article was, "Everybody died for Rutgers in the second half," which is a takeoff on an old Rutgers saying, "Nobody ever died for dear old Rutgers." Well, everybody did die for Rutgers in the second half of that game. So, the dream is over. We still have one game to play. They played a consolation game in those days. Saturday at noon we played Marshall, the other loser in the semi-finals. The game is a back and forth game in the first half. In the second half, we pulled away and we won the game going away. I forget what the exact score was. It's Lloyd and Valvano's final game, college game. Lloyd scores 44 points. Tops his first game. I've never forgotten this. Coach Foster took him and Valvano, and all the starters out of the game with about a minute, minute-and-a-half to go. I knew how many points he had, but I didn't know the cumulative number. John Condon was the public-address announcer at the Garden, and he had the perfect voice for it, and when Lloyd came out of the game, he announced, "Bobby Lloyd scored 44 points, giving him 129 points for four games, a new record for this tournament." At which point, the student section erupts in chants of, "MVP, MVP," but unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Southern Illinois wins the tournament and Walt Frazier becomes the MVP which was announced to at least some boos, primarily from Rutgers people. So that was the season. The team got multiple awards and one of the most important was the Schoenfeld Award. I was surprised to learn the award is still given today. It's given by the College Basketball Officials (referees) Association. It's given, not to a player, not to a team, but to the school that demonstrates the best combination of spirit and sportsmanship, and the 1967 award was given to Rutgers. That was a kind of fitting culmination to the season. I don't know what students' attitudes are today towards the university, but when I was here, there was a lot of cynicism about the university. Students generally didn't take pride in the school. The 1967 NIT generated a broad-based sense of pride that permeated the university. It wasn't just the team. It was everybody. I think it could be argued that those eight days were the most exciting days in the history of Rutgers athletics. There are other events that are greater accomplishments, but they happed either in one day or over a season. This happened over the course of a week and Rutgers was constantly in the media in a positive way.

WB: Well, I wanted to ask about the kind of emotional state of the team. So much is happening so quickly, as you just said, as a team, as a coaching staff. Do you really have a moment to take it all in or is it just, "We need to be prepared. We need to play. We know the fans are out here cheering."

JZ: It's the coaches who don't have a chance to take it all in, because they've got to do the work in planning for the next game. One of the huge differences between then and now is that there were only two coaches. Bill Foster was a varsity coach and Dick Lloyd was the freshman coach. The freshman season was over, so Dick could help, but Coach Foster did most of the work. He did the scouting, the game planning and all that kind of thing. So he didn't have any time to reflect on it. Yes, I think the players and, certainly, the managers did, but it was Saturday to Tuesday. We had two days. We came back Sunday. We didn't practice Sunday. Monday the practice would have been very short at that time of year. At that point in the season it would've been working just on what we're going to do against this team. ... We played Tuesday. We stayed overnight in New York Tuesday night. We came back Wednesday morning. We must have practiced Wednesday afternoon, although, I don't remember it. We went back on Thursday, and then we stayed in New York City Thursday through Saturday. We didn't come back after the game on Thursday. Yes, I think we all got caught up in the excitement.

WB: I just have one more basketball specific question, and then I will throw it to Kathleen.

KM: Oh, okay.

WB: You mentioned this style that Lafayette and Lehigh had played different times.

JZ: Right.

WB: This possession.

JZ: Right.

WB: The purpose of that, you know a team can outscore you, so you want to limit the number of possessions that they have.

JZ: Right.

WB: What style did Rutgers play during that season?

JZ: The standard style of Eastern basketball. Some teams played what you call a high paced, a fast style, fast paced style. We never played like that. Coach Foster didn't like that style. We played a basic half-court offense where we worked for a good shot and when we got a good shot, we took it. We didn't hold for a specific amount of time. I'm glad you asked that though because that slow down style became a very controversial issue that season. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was then Lou Alcindor, was a sophomore at UCLA, so it was his first year of playing varsity basketball. He could dunk the ball, which very few players could do. Some teams held the ball against them. The rules committee that season, they outlawed the dunk, which was only reinstated maybe fifteen years later. They didn't install the shot clock; that came later. But they also changed some of the rules to make it harder for teams to hold the ball. I think what got people frustrated was when teams would just, on the extreme occasions, they would hold the ball an entire half. The shot clock was the ultimate solution to that problem.

WB: At that point, it's barely even basketball if you just hold the ball.

JZ: Yes, it's absurd.

WB: Yes.

JZ: Yes, nobody is paying to seen that.

WB: Kathleen, did you have a question you wanted to introduce yet?

KM: I guess I wanted to go back to your major a little bit.

JZ: Sure.

KM: Business management was your major, correct?

JZ: Right.

KM: How do you feel that prepared you for the world after school and what made you choose your major?

JZ: Well, the second question we talked about a lot in the first interview.

KM: Okay.

JZ: Because my parents felt that that's what I should go into and I gave in. I don't know that I believed that, but I respected their opinion and I went with it. It's hard to answer the question whether it prepared me because I went from college to graduate school of business to the two years in the Army.

KM: Right.

JZ: The Army prepared me for a business career than any course. I don't what the curriculum is like here now in terms of business, but then it was too theoretical. What did people do in the business world? I never really understood that. It wasn't a business course, but I took a money and banking course when I was a senior here, and then I worked in a bank for eleven years. The course in money and banking was all about how the Federal Reserve controls the money supply and those kinds of things. When you work at a bank that's not what you're involved in. Unless you're the president, but I was a commercial lending officer. It didn't really prepare you, but I don't think that's a criticism of the school. My bias or my feeling is that if it were my decision, I don't know if colleges should offer a business major. I think the purpose of college is to learn to think critically, to write effectively, to speak effectively, and you can do that in any one of a number of majors. Businesses are far better off hiring people who know how to think critically, who took art history, than they are somebody who took four semesters of accounting and have no idea what it is that they're studying.

WB: Were there opportunities for internships as an undergrad?

JZ: No, no, if there were I wasn't aware of it. It's not like it is today. When my son was in college, he wanted to go into sports journalism and it was pretty much expected that you had to get an internship for which you don't get paid, the parents ended up funding the expense. I just looked at it as an additional cost of college, but there was nothing like that then.

KM: So did you feel unprepared going into the business world?

JZ: I can't answer that because my experience as an officer in the Army taught me a lot about responsibility. I think college helped prepare me for being responsible and to think critically. I certainly learned how to think critically here. Above all, I learned how to be responsible for myself. One of the things we talked about in the first interview was that I failed my first semester of calculus because I had an attitude that they won't fail you. Well, they did. I learned from that that no one else was going to take care of me. That was one of the most valuable lessons you can learn. It's not the way you want to learn it, but that was enhanced in the Army.

WB: Maybe this is a good time to move forward and talk about some of your experience in the Army and what you took from that going forward.

JZ: Sure.

WB: But before we do, the school year ends the summer of '67. Nationally, but specifically in New Jersey, there is a lot intense.

JZ: Right.

WB: Political action going on famously, riots, rebellion going on in Newark, also in Plainfield. [Editor's Note: The Newark riots lasted from July 12 to July 17, 1967. They began after the police arrested an African-American cab driver and rumors spread that he had been killed in custody. The riots resulted in over two dozen deaths, over seven hundred injuries, fifteen hundred arrests and property damage exceeding ten million dollars. The Plainfield riots, also called the Plainfield Rebellion, occurred from July 14 to July 17, 1967, and resulted in over one hundred arrests, ten gun violence injuries and the death of white police officer John Gleason. Gleason was killed by a mob after shooting a young African-American man on the third day of the crisis. That same day, civilians seized arms from a local munitions factory. The National Guard was then deployed to the city and a truce was negotiated on July 18th.]

JZ: Right.

WB: A lot of stuff going on. Were you aware of that? What did you think about it? Just your reaction at that time?

JZ: Can we stop for just a minute?

WB: Of course.

JZ: I just need


WB: Yes, so the summer of '67.

JZ: Yes, I was oblivious to that because I had other things on my mind. The period when the riots took place, I was in ROTC summer camp in Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.

WB: Okay.

JZ: I had no access to television, newspapers, or radio or anything like that. I heard about the riots that's the extent of it. I shouldn't say that, it was more than that. In Newark, in New Jersey, the National Guard was called out because of the riots. In Detroit, they called out the Army, the 82nd Airborne. I believe it was the 82nd Airborne and we had 82nd Airborne troops in Indiantown Gap, so I don't remember if any of them were called in there or not. I don't know if it was the 101st or 82nd. I think it was 101st Airborne that was called into Detroit because the National Guard couldn't maintain peace, so they had to bring in the Army. So we were aware of it, but that experience at Indiantown Gap was such that I didn't have time or energy to think much of anything else. [Editor's Note: In July of 1967, riots occurred in Detroit, Michigan. Governor George Romney called in the Michigan National Guard. President Lyndon Johnson sent the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.]

WB: Well, can you tell us about that experience?

JZ: Yes, that was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. The only time in my life that I was ever homesick. I was never homesick when I was in Vietnam, but I was homesick there. I should've learned from Coach Foster the importance of taking everything that you do seriously. I learned it about basketball and about academics, but I didn't learn it about ROTC. So, I went to summer camp with the attitude that this is six weeks, let's just get through one day at a time, and you're just there to serve time. That's a horrible attitude. Trust me. You can't get by in the military like that or at least not as an officer. I learned that lesson in those six weeks, but I was miserable. I was unhappy. It was not basic training, but it was pretty close. It was physically demanding. It's emotionally challenging. There's a lot of stress to it, it was difficult and I had a bad attitude about it. If you're in a stressful situation with a bad attitude, that leads to a bad experience. And I'll be honest, I did very poorly and when I came back, there was a question about whether I'll be allowed to continue in ROTC or not. One of the first things that happened when I came back for senior year was the ROTC officers called me in and we had a hearing. I wasn't as honest about it as I am now. I put some of the blame on other people, but I said I want a second chance and they gave me a second chance and I did satisfactorily. And then one of the officers at the end of senior year said, "You've come a long way and I'm proud of what you've accomplished." I'm not going to suggest I was a distinguished military graduate. I certainly wasn't, but I had shown that I was responsible enough to be commissioned at second lieutenant in the Army. But I was not focused on the riots or any of that, other than that it was happening.

WB: Did you have any lingering disappointment related to the basketball season that kind of affected your attitude?

JZ: What affected my attitude was that, because I was part of that special basketball experience, I felt I didn't have to worry about this other mundane stuff. These other guys are doing the ROTC stuff, but they don't have basketball to fall back on. It was a bad attitude. I'm a strong believer in what sports can do for people, but it's like anything else. It can do bad things for people and that was part of the attitude that I got caught up in.

WB: Going into your senior year, had you already made the decision that you were going to go to graduate school?

JZ: No, that happened during the year. It happened because the alternative was to go into the Army right away. If you went into graduate school, the Army would let you go to graduate school, and then, start your tour of duty. It was a six-year obligation, two years active duty and four years in the Reserves. The idea at that point, what everybody was doing was playing for time as far as Vietnam was concerned. If I went to graduate school for two years, I was sure I wasn't going to go to Vietnam. There was no question that we'd be out of Vietnam by the summer of 1970 and so that was the reason.

WB: Talk to me about your senior year and graduate school.

JZ: Well, senior year was finally the time you get to take some courses you wanted to take because most of the major and general education requirements were fulfilled. So, I took a couple history courses. It was during that academic year that Rutgers, for the first time, introduced pass/fail courses. I was able to take two courses pass/fail. That was a big deal then. I took a lighter academic load because I had met all my requirements. So academics, it wasn't hard. At the end of four years, you knew your way around. You knew what you had to do and what you didn't have to do and so you did what you had to do. My grades were better too. I think there's something in that, that you learn how to set priorities. Basketball was fun, but the team was nowhere near as good. I was just reminiscing with somebody about this the other day. We thought we had a chance at the NIT. We thought we were going to be one of those .500 teams that because we drew so many people that we were going to be invited, but we weren't. We finished the season at 14 and 10 which wasn't a terrible season. We were an average team. The '69 team even had a better regular season record than the '67 team. But we were a player or two shy in '68. It was kind of a bittersweet year because you know that this is the last time. You know it's ending and that was hard to deal with.

WB: Hard to deal with in what way?

JZ: Hard to accept that being part of Rutgers basketball was about to end. How could I stay actively involved in sports? If there was a way, I couldn't figure it out, and for the most part I tried not to think about it. In the end, there was nothing I could do about it.

WB: So during the year, you were not thinking about it?

JZ: Towards the close of the season, I was very conscious of it coming to an end. I was very conscious of my last home game and the last game of the season. They make much more of senior night today. They did that for Lloyd and Valvano because they were so special, but it wasn't a regular practice. The other thing I should mention about being a senior manager is that you had different responsibilities. When you're a senior manager, you're in charge of the other managers. What gets lost sometimes is that college athletics is or should be a practical opportunity to have some real responsibility. Today in college basketball today, the official score keeper is an adult who gets paid to do it. In the '60s, the senior home manager was the official score keeper and his scorebook was the official score book. It's a lot of responsibility to give to a twenty-one-year-old, but it was part of what college athletics was about. I remember an away game where one of our players fouled out of the game and he insisted it was only his fourth foul and Steve Weinstein, my co-senior manager, who was the score keeper said, "No, no, it's five." Coach Foster said, "Okay, Steve, I accept it." Steve said later how much it meant to him that coach accepted his word. Another responsibility was to prepare the other managers to take your place by giving them some responsibility where they could make some mistakes that wouldn't do any damage. So, it was all part of the process. I hope it's still like that today.

WB: I want to talk about your decision to apply for graduate school and your decision to pursue business was largely due to your parents.

JZ: Sure, right.

WB: How did they feel about graduate school?

JZ: I don't ever remember them ever expressing an opinion about it, but I know my mother, in particular, was very concerned about me going to Vietnam. She had to deal with my father being overseas in World War II and to now deal with the same concern for her son, it really bothered her. So if it was going to defer going into the Army, they were for that.

WB: How did you find graduate school? Hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

JZ: Well, I didn't find it hard. I went to Rutgers Business School in Newark, which meant I was living at home which was an adjustment. Commuting was an adjustment. It wasn't the same as college. I didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much. To tell you the truth, I think they put more emphasis upon the part-time evening students because they had practical business experience. They would come into class at night and bring their real-life issues, where those of us were day students had no practical experience. Those two years from June of '68 to May of '70 were not particularly enjoyable years because I knew I had to go into the Army. If you have something you weren’t looking forward to, it’s usually better to do it and get it over with. I guess I'm sort of second-guessing myself on waiting, but at the time it seemed like a good idea. Putting it off was hard, let's say it that way.

WB: You just felt it hanging over your head?

JZ: It limited what you could do. You couldn't think beyond it. There are gap years in college today. Well, my gap years were spent in the Army. If you were an undergraduate in the late '60s, the issue confronting every male was military service and what were you going to do about it. Could you get a deferment? More people had deferments than you might think. People got into the Reserves and the National Guard. Some went ROTC. Some said they were going to just pretend it wasn't going to happen. They got drafted. But it was there and it was looming on the surface for everybody.

WB: You earn your graduate degree in what year?

JZ: I finished in the first semester, I finished at the end of 1969, but then I didn't go into the Army until May of 1970. I had a semester where I worked part-time at the research center at the business school in Newark, very part-time, very clerical job.

WB: Did you have to do basic or did some of your ROTC?

JZ: No, no. On graduation, you're commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. And trust me; there is a world of difference in the way you're treated once you're commissioned. From the moment you are commissioned, you are treated in a very different way. [At] the ROTC camp in Indiantown Gap, a small number of the guys were seniors who had put off going to summer camp and they were commissioned at camp. The way that they were treated the day before they were commissioned and after they were commissioned was night and day. Once you're commissioned, every enlisted man in the world calls you sir, and salutes you and talks to you differently than they did before. The officers also treat you differently. Before you go on active duty, in the Army, while you're still in college, you have to choose a branch. I applied for the quartermaster corps. You had to put down three choices and one of them had to be a combat arms. And the three combat arms were artillery, infantry, and armor--that is, tanks. Then you could put down non-combat branches. And you had to prioritize them--one-three. You could put the combat branch last, which is pretty much what everybody did. I put finance as my first choice. Finance was a very small branch, which I was very unlikely to get. Quartermaster was my second choice. My third choice, when it came to choosing a combat branch, we had been told that armor was the elite branch and it was the hardest branch to get into. I was far from a top cadet, so I figured there wasn't much chance they were going to choose me for armor. So I put armor as my third choice. A large number of my classmates didn't pay any attention to the third choice and put down artillery, which many of them got. They were very unhappy about that and they were immediately trying to figure out how to get out of it. I did not get finance as expected, but I got the quartermaster corps. It made sense. I was a business major, so it made sense. When you go on active duty, you go to your branch school for what was called Officer's Basic, but it's not basic training. Most of it was general officer training and a small part was quartermaster training, but you're a second lieutenant. One thing I realized early on was that once you were commissioned you were expected to be responsible. Once I was asked a question by a colonel about why a petroleum truck didn't work in a certain way, why they were having so much trouble fixing them. What I should have said was, "I don't know sir, but I'll find out." But what I said was, "I don't know sir, I'm not a petroleum officer." And his response was, "You are now, find out." "I'm not a petroleum officer," was not an acceptable answer.

WB: So, the expectation is that you solve problems, do not deflect.

JZ: Yes, excuses weren’t acceptable. Saying, "I don't know I'll find out," was an acceptable answer. That's one of the things if you're smart, you learn quickly in the Army.

WB: So, where did you do your officer basic?

JZ: The Quartermaster school is at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Virginia. It was the first time I had ever been in the South, which was an education.

WB: How so?

JZ: The class was made up of primarily men from the North and the Deep South. We all descend on Petersburg, Virginia, which wasn’t one of the nicest places in the country. All of us from the North were unhappy because we're in the South and all the guys from the Deep South were unhappy because they're in the North. Petersburg hadn't changed much since the Civil War. There was little to do, little available in the way of newspapers, media, any of that kind of thing.

WB: How long were you there?

JZ: I was there about ten weeks. The way it was supposed to work was you would go to the basic course for ten weeks, and then you'd go to another advanced course, a more specific quartermaster course, for like thirteen weeks. But in my case, I finished the basic course, and then I was sent out to a regular Army unit. I went to the Fifth Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado. Right after the basic course, I was with the Fifth Infantry Division when I got there, but it became the Fourth Infantry Division. It's still the Fourth Infantry Division today. [Editor's Note: The Fifth Infantry Division was inactivated at Fort Carson, Colorado in 1970. The Fourth Infantry Division occupied Fort Carson and remains headquartered there today. Fort Carson, Colorado opened in 1942.] I was assigned to a supply and transportation battalion. I was in charge of a platoon, about forty, again all men, doing certain areas of supply. The Army, the non-Vietnam Army was kind of dead in the water. Most people were either on their way to Vietnam or back from Vietnam, and what was going on in those other places wasn't taken that seriously. I was there from August, early August, until February. One morning I got a phone call. The way it worked was you were committed for two years and you spent your first year stateside and your second year in Vietnam and when you left Vietnam you would be discharged. When you first went on active duty, they tried to sell you on changing your status to something called voluntary indefinite. Your commitment would increase from two years to three years, and they would send you pretty much anywhere you wanted for two years with the idea that you go to Vietnam in your third year. Or you could choose a short tour for one year and then go someplace else of your choice for two years. Vietnam was a short tour, but so were Korea and Thailand. Going there would in lieu of going to Vietnam, and after that they would send you more or less wherever you wanted for two years. The popular choice was to go to Germany, so you'd sign on and go to Germany for two years and then at the end of two years you become a captain, and then you take your chances with Vietnam. The problem was that they called it voluntary indefinite because you had no definite discharge date. At the end of three years, the Army could decide they still wanted you and you wouldn't get out. And I had no interest in the two years in Germany, but I seriously considered going to Korea for one year and then going someplace stateside. But I decided not to do it. As a result, in November of '70, I get the phone call, you're going to Vietnam in May and we want you to come back to Fort Lee to take another quartermaster course. I didn't realize I had a choice. I didn't care for Fort Lee, but going to school was a lot easier than being an officer in an infantry division. It was a nine to five kind of situation--five days in a week--and so I just accepted it. Another officer else who didn't want to go back to Fort Lee, he made an issue of it and was allowed to stay at Fort Carson with the idea that he was going to go to Vietnam when his first year was up. Towards the end of 1970, the Army started moving towards the concept of a volunteer Army. It was called VOLAR, Volunteer Army. They were cutting back in Vietnam and weren't sending as many people to Vietnam. Fort Carson was chosen to be a voluntary Army site. The lieutenant colonel who commanded my battalion wanted me to stay and, as I was told, he spent a lot of time on the phone with the Pentagon saying, "We want Lieutenant Zinn here." But the officers in the Pentagon said, "He's going to Vietnam and that's the end of it." So literally the day I left, the lieutenant colonel said, "I tried as hard as I could, but they wouldn't give in." So, I went back to quartermaster school. I took a ten week course, I took a month's leave, and then May 23, 1971, a day that I'll never forget, I left for Vietnam.

WB: Where did you ultimately settle in Vietnam?

JZ: Okay. First of all, you had to get yourself from New Jersey to Oakland, California. A friend of mine drove me to the airport. It was a beautiful spring Sunday in May and my friend picks me up and drives me to Newark Airport. Go past my parents' home. Is this the last time I'm ever going to see my parents? Is this the last time I'm ever going to see the house I grew up in? Couldn't have been a nicer spring day. What's everybody else in the world thinking about? What are they going to do on this beautiful spring day? I'm on my way to Vietnam. I get on a commercial flight to San Francisco. Who is on the airplane but a guy I knew from graduate school who was on his way to San Francisco on vacation. He had successfully avoided the draft, and once he heard I was on my way to Vietnam his body language was like he was flying with my coffin. You can just imagine what that does for your morale. I get to Oakland, California. My first flight was just a regular commercial flight. The military contracted with commercial airlines to fly troops to and from Vietnam. We flew from Oakland to Seattle, and then Seattle to Tokyo to Vietnam. The reason I say all of that is that something like twenty hours on an airplane is a godawful experience. You have no idea where you are. You're crossing the International Date Line. It's dark, daylight, nighttime. What time is it? What day is it? We're on a Pan Am flight to Vietnam. This is the last leg to Vietnam and descending into Saigon and the pilot comes on with the conventional message they give you when they land in an airport. "Hope you've enjoyed your flight on Pan Am." You would think that he would say, "Thank you for your service. Best of luck to you," or something like that, but, no, they give you the standard commercial message. Could you be less oblivious to what's going on here? We land at the airport in Saigon. Officers were treated differently from enlisted men in terms of assignments. Literally, the first thing you do, before you even left the airport in Saigon is you fill out what was called a dream sheet, "Where do you want to go in Vietnam?" Your choices were among the four sectors in Vietnam, I Corps, II Corps, III Corps, IV Corps. They're geographic north to south. A number of the officers I've flown over there with hadn’t done any research about Vietnam. They don't know anything about Vietnam. Some of them are saying, "Da Nang, Da Nang, isn't that near Saigon?" I looked at them and I said, "Da Nang is closer to Hanoi than it is to Saigon." They had no idea. How could you be less prepared?

WB: It was just a name that they had heard.

JZ: Yes, put some thought into this, this isn't a casual decision. I knew where the big supply depots were, and there was one in Saigon and there was one in Cam Ranh Bay and one in Da Nang. I didn't want to go to Da Nang. I knew that. Saigon would've been just fine. I put Cam Ranh Bay as my second choice. There was another reason why I liked Cam Ranh Bay. One of my best friends in college was Fred Valz, Rutgers Class of '68. He had an older brother, Darwin Valz, Rutgers Class of '54, who was a career officer, who I met for the first time, about a month before I went to Vietnam. He was on his way to Vietnam and went to Cam Ranh Bay. So Cam Ranh Bay was my second choice and sure enough I got Cam Ranh Bay but that had nothing to do with Lieutenant Waltz. We stayed one night in they called them Repl depots, the places where you came into country and went out of country. You stayed in a barracks type building overnight. Each of the bunks has mosquito netting and I thought, "Well, this mosquito netting is there for a reason." So, I used it. Many of the others didn’t use them. The next morning, they're complaining about the mosquito bites. I felt like saying, "What do you think the mosquito netting is there for?" Malaria wasn’t a joke in Vietnam. Another quartermaster officer and I flew to Cam Ranh and called the Army HG at Cam Ranh Bay to have someone pick us up. He takes us by jeep and the first thing he wants to know is, "How do you want your names to appear on the officer's roster?" Which is the last thing in the world that I cared about. As I said, there were two of us. We were both quartermaster officers and they had promised the next quartermaster officer to a transportation group in Cam Ranh Bay in return for freeing up some officer they wanted at headquarters staff. For some reason, the other guy went there and I was sent to the 54th General Support Group. The Executive Officer of the 54th General Support Group happened to be Darwin Valz, Rutgers Class of '54. It had all been chance to that point. But then I really lucked out because without that connection I would've been sent to one of the battalions within the 54th General Support Group in Cam Ranh Bay. Lieutenant Valz told the commanding officer, a colonel, Colonel Fred Sheffey, an African American. At an early age, I worked for an African American, which wasn't very common in those days, career officer. Lieutenant Colonel Valz most likely told Colonel Sheffey, "He's got a master's degree and we might want to keep him here." I don't know exactly what he said, but I know he suggested it and they needed an assistant adjutant and I got the job. I stayed at support group headquarters the entire time. Officers who hold adjutant positions are supposed to be members of the Adjutant General Corps. I was trained as a quartermaster officer, so I didn’t have any formal training for the job. The adjutant captain who was my boss had kidney stones, and he was medevacked and so I had to replace him. That job called for a major in the adjutant general's corps. I was a first lieutenant in the quartermaster corps. They didn't fill the job for three months, so for three months I was holding an acting major's position. It wasn’t especially dangerous, but we worked seven days a week, twelve hours a day and it was very stressful and I did a job that I had absolutely no training for. I had learned a lot from that miserable experience at ROTC summer camp. I took everything seriously, or almost everything seriously in the Army. My company commandeer at Fort Carson told me I was one of the best second lieutenants he had ever worked with. They rate you on a scale of one to a hundred and he gave me a 98 which was one of the highest he had ever given. I was awarded the Army Accommodation Medal at Fort Carson. Very few officers got medals stateside before they went to Vietnam. Then in Vietnam, I remember getting a ninety-eight on an officer's rating. As part of my job, you saw other officer's ratings. I saw another officer who got a rating of a five and it had been written in the comments section, "This officer should never be recalled to active duty, even in case of national emergency."

WB: Wow.

JZ: Pretty strong words. At the end of my time in Vietnam, I was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

WB: Kathleen, do you have any questions at this point?

KM: I do not actually.

WB: Can you describe some of your duties?

JZ: Sure. Basically, personnel matters, responsibility for personnel coming in and going out. Soldiers coming in and out of the different units come through your office for assignment. So every day we would get a report of soldiers coming in, and then we'd have to assign them to different units in the 54th General Support Group. We were the next level of headquarters to the three or four battalions below us and we had to relate to the officers in those units and the officers above us. You also had to carry out other duties that all officers had to perform. It wasn't called officer of the watch, but it's the equivalent. Night duty, every couple weeks, you would be the officer in charge. You had to go out and check the perimeter, that kind of thing. It's basically a staff position, dealing primarily with personnel and all the issues related to personnel, morale, welfare and military justice.

WB: Did your experience as manager with the basketball team and the interpersonal management that you had to do there have any impact on your experience in the Army?

JZ: Yes, because I had learned to be responsible. I think as a basketball manager I learned how to perform at a high level, higher than I would have expected of myself. And I had to perform that way as an Army officer. One of the things that Coach Foster did was whether you were a player or a manager he made you believe you were better than you really were. When you believe that, you can accomplish a lot.

WB: When did your time in Vietnam end?

JZ: Okay, Vietnam was supposed to be a twelve-month tour. But 1971 was now the period known as Vietnamization. They're cutting back on Army units in Vietnam. Before I went to Vietnam, I got a sixty-day drop which meant my tour was only going to be ten months. Then, when I was in Vietnam, I got another sixty-day drop, so I was only there for eight months. I was supposed to come home in May. I came home in early January. [Editor's Note: Vietnamization was the American policy of handing over control and security of South Vietnam to the South Vietnamese government and military.]

WB: This whole time, are you communicating with your parents? How so?

JZ: Yes, by mail. One of the ironies, I've done a fair amount of study of New Jersey troops in the Civil War, and it's about a century later but in both wars soldiers communicated with their families in the same way, by mail. We had no ability to call home by telephone from Vietnam. That started just as I was leaving. Then you could make collect calls to the United States. Before that, everything was by mail. Emergency communication was by telegram. Mail call was important. You wrote letters regularly to your parents. There's something else I was going to say about that. Oh, yes, one of the dumbest things we did in Vietnam was from the day you got there, you counted how many days you had left. The USO [United Service Organizations Inc.] would give you what they call a "short-timers' calendar" which had have a picture of a turtle with 365 blocks in it and every day you would color in the block for the day that had just passed. That's wasn't a smart thing to do because that makes it go slower. You don't want to think about how much time that you have left. Once you got to under a hundred days, you were a two-digit midget. Do you have any idea how long a hundred days is in a place you don't want to be? For officers, there was a list of officers and when you went to sixty days or less your name would be in red grease pencil, thirty days would be green grease pencil. Just get my name in red grease pencil. But sixty [days] in a place you don't want to be feels like forever. Why would we ever want to do that? It's one of the dumbest things we could possibly have done.

WB: Yes, there are all these reminders of it.

JZ: I was there in Christmas of '71 and some kind souls arranged to ship Christmas trees, so every headquarters had a Christmas tree. The last thing I wanted to be reminded of in Vietnam was Christmas. You don't want to be reminded of what you're missing. The advantage of working seven days a week, twelve hours a day, is you don't have time to think about what you are missing.

WB: And when you return, you are coming back through Oakland?

JZ: No. Initially you got one seven-day R&R. When I was there, you could take two weeks leave and come back to the United States which seemed to me like the worst thing you could possibly do. Leaving my family to go to Vietnam was the worst thing I've ever done in my life. Why would I ever want to do it a second time? I had no interest in doing that. All the married guys went to Hawaii. I had no desire to go there. Not only was I married, I wasn't in a relationship. Why would you want to go to Hawaii to see all these guys with their wives? I wanted to go to Hong Kong, but they closed Hong Kong as an R&R site not long before I was supposed to go there, so I ended up going to Australia. I spent a week in Sydney, Australia which was different, but the thing I did more than anything else was sleep because I finally could sleep and read and that was a good break. I was scheduled to return to the United States about the middle of January but planes come in on a regular scheduled basis and they don't match exactly the number of people to the planes. You were supposed to report to the replacement depot with seven days left, but they might not have enough people to fill the plane. So they would start calling around. "Who's got less than fourteen days?” I literally got a call, saying, "Come here at two o'clock, the plane is going to leave at six o'clock." Something like that. It wasn't six o'clock. It was late at night. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to everybody I wanted to say goodbye to, so that was disappointing, but that's what happened. For the first time in months, I had put on a regular Army uniform and I had put on a lot of weight, so that was kind of embarrassing. It seems like we waited at the airport forever. Finally, five o'clock in the morning--I had been up since six o'clock in the morning, been up for twenty-four hours--it's time to board the aircraft. Officers boarded first and they took you out in a bus to the airplane. The planes park way out to limit the danger of attack. They take you out on a bus and let the officers out first. We get on the bus and we drive out. We get to the airplane and the driver stops the bus and he opens the door and we just sat there. We're used to being told what to do. Finally, the driver of the bus says, "Gentleman, you may board the aircraft." We were just supposed to get off the bus. We had no idea. We didn't waste any time after that. They didn't have to tell us a second time. So we got on the bus and the tradition is when a plane took off from Vietnam everybody breaks into a big round of applause. You may remember the movie, Good Morning, Vietnam. Well, that's based on a true story and every morning when the Armed Forces Radio came on the air, they began with, "Good morning, Vietnam." I remember the plane taking off and saying in a very loud voice, "Goodbye, Vietnam." We flew from Vietnam to Tokyo. Tokyo to Fort Lewis, Washington. We left Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam at five o'clock on Tuesday morning and got to Fort Lewis, Washington at five o'clock on Tuesday morning. Talk about being disoriented. It was just very bizarre. At Fort Lewis we out processed, which that took all day, and we went to Seattle, Tacoma Airport at about five o'clock in the afternoon. Didn't have a flight until midnight. There were airports right by the motel. I don’t know why didn't we take a motel room and sleep for five hours. We weren't smart enough to do that, so we wandered around the airport until it was time to get on the airplane. Get into Chicago, it was a Wednesday morning and we were supposed to take a United flight to Newark. We get to the gate. The plane is broken down. They didn't have a replacement plane. What they did in those days was they transfer you to different airlines. So, they took us to wherever and we got on that airline. My parents are waiting for me at the airport, the old Newark airport. I don't think they knew what airline we were coming in on. It's snowing in Newark, so there was like a 900-foot ceiling when we landed in Newark. So my parents drove me home. I had had like twelve hours of sleep in three days. And so what am I going to do? I had something to eat. Go to sleep, right? I couldn't fall asleep.

WB: Oh, man.

JZ: My father couldn't wake me up for dinner, but finally I woke up. The one final thing I should say about this, because it's not a unique experience, it hasn't happened in a long time, but every so often, I would get what I call the "Vietnam Dream." The dream is you're going back to Vietnam and you keep saying to people, "I've done that. I've been there. I've served my time." And it doesn't matter. You're going back. You keep saying it and saying it, and no one listens. I found out that that it's very common. Tim O'Brien, who's written extensively about Vietnam had a similar experience, he's before his draft board and they are sending him back to the military. "Here's my discharge paper." "No, you're going back." I had it more frequently in the years after Vietnam. I haven't had it in a long time, but every so often I have it and friends of mine have had it too. I think about how hard it was for my parents, my mother especially because she had to go through with her husband being in World War II and me being in Vietnam and that's a lot to ask of any one person. I've taken up enough time. Go ahead. [Editor's Note: Tim O'Brien is an author and Vietnam veteran. His book The Things They Carried is a bestseller.]

WB: No, please.

JZ: Well, I've done a lot of studying, as I say, of Civil War soldiers' experience. With married couples--and I'm going to say male-female because that is more traditional--but Civil War or Vietnam, the wife thinks that the husband can't understand what she's been going through--living through all this period of uncertainty--and she's right. The man thinks the wife can't understand the danger and uncertainty that he went through, and he's right. They're both right. And that's what makes it so difficult. Thank god today that it is better understood because, think about other generations where it wasn’t understood. I'm grateful I met my wife a couple years after I got out of the Army, and I'm grateful that we've been married over forty years. It would've been great to be married longer, but I wouldn't want to have been married when I went to Vietnam. It would've made a difficult situation even worse.

WB: That reminds me of something that I have heard from other veterans. I often ask, "What was it like when you came back? Readjustment with your friends and family. Did anyone talk to you about your experience in Vietnam?" And I have gotten different responses, but more consistently though, I've gotten, "No." People just did not really seem like they wanted to talk about it. Was that the same for you or different?

JZ: The fellow I mentioned earlier, Fred Valz, he was a real close friend then and he had been in Vietnam before me, but we didn't talk about it that much. Other friends, no. When I interviewed for a job a couple months after that, the attitude was sort of, "Why were you so stupid that you had to go in the Army?" No one ever said, "Thank you for your service." That was never said once. I don't remember running into a lot of other people that had been in Vietnam. Maybe we talked a little bit about it, but no, not a lot. A couple of years ago, in the course of one Major League Baseball season. I went to major league games in two different cities where they asked all veterans in the crowd to stand. That was more recognition than I had gotten as a veteran than in all the years before that. Over a period of twenty-five to thirty years. There's much more sensitivity to it today. There was none then. I'm still surprised when I'm in a large group I'm one of the few veterans.

WB: I [forget if] you said already. How long before you started looking for a job?

JZ: I don't think we talked about it. I got home in January. I really wanted to take a longer period of time off. I had money. I was living with my parents. I didn't have to work. For whatever reason, my parents and everybody that I came in contact with said, "You've got to file for unemployment. You've got to file for unemployment." And I didn't need the money and I didn't want to be bothered. "You got to file for unemployment," because it was contributory, you had contributed to it. Unemployment insurance, you pay a portion, your employer pays a portion and you're entitled to so many weeks of it.

WB: So, you are just trying to get what you deserve.

JZ: Yes, that was their attitude. But they wouldn't let up on it. What none of them knew was that part of the unemployment system was to help you try and find a job. I didn't need help finding a job. I had a master's degree and I'm getting called to go to Paterson, New Jersey to be with hundreds of people who may not have had high school education while a counselor tries to find me a job. Finally I decided to start looking for a job so I don't have to make these weekly trips to Paterson to spend an entire afternoon waiting on line for somebody who can't help me. I started to work at a bank in Newark. I had serious interviews with two banks in Newark. One of the primary things they kept harping on was, "This isn't the Army. You can't order people around. You can't tell people what to do." I finally said to somebody, "In the Army it doesn't really quite work like that. But," I said, "sometimes you have to explain things to people in a language they can understand." And I didn't get that job. Maybe that's why I didn't get it. The worst thing was, the first, I mailed a bunch of letters out on Monday afternoon and I got a phone call Tuesday morning. The first words out of the man's mouth were, "We can't afford to pay you what you were making in the Army." Which that should've told me something right there. That got it off to a bad start, but I ended up going to work for that bank. Actually, the reason I got hired by that bank, they were undecided, and I was interviewed by someone who was a Navy Reserve officer and he liked having former officers work for him, so he recommended that I be hired. In those days, in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times there would be special sections of ads for officers, people who were officers with military experience. That's really what I should have done. I should have gone to one of those agencies, because those companies really wanted people with officers' experience because it was real management training.

WB: Right. Well, that is an interesting division. On the one hand, you have these companies that want officers with this military experience, but then you mention how twice, two occasions where someone has implied that your Army experience was [inaudible].

JZ: Somebody who thinks that's the way the Army works, worked then anyway, doesn't understand. You don't come in and order people around. Any officer who goes around doing everything via a direct order is not going to get very far. Do we have time for another Army story about that?

WB: Sure.

JZ: One of the things that's common experience for any new lieutenant is your authority is going to be tested. Mine was tested was on a field training exercise at Fort Carson, Colorado. One of the orders of the day was that everybody was supposed to shave and people didn't like to shave in the field. It's sloppy and messy. One guy in my outfit, he was a problem. He was a disciplinary problem, and he was told multiple times to shave and he wouldn't do it. Finally, I confronted him and he still wouldn't do it. I said to him, "I am giving you a direct order to shave. Do you still refuse to do so?" And he didn't do it. So, I then told my commanding officer. We talked about it and he said to me, "What did you say to him? Did you say, 'You better shave?'" I said, "No. I said, 'I am giving you a direct order to shave.” The captain just looked at me. He didn't say a word. He just looked at me and I couldn't figure out what that meant. I realized later he didn't think a second lieutenant was smart enough to do something like that. The most serious offense in the military is to disobey a direct order. You can even be court martialed for that. I realized later was that was my testing. I didn't think of it at the time, but every new officer is tested and that was my testing. If you don't pass that test, you're going to be taken advantage of on a regular basis and you can't have that. But we were talking about going into the business field. So, yes, I think it was people who didn't understand how the military worked, whereas recruiters in other companies understood.

WB: Kathleen, do you have a question?

KM: Actually, I do not if that is okay.

WB: Okay, that is fine.

JZ: One other thing I should say about the military experience. No, that's enough. I need to get going, among other things, and I've taken a lot of your time, so.

WB: Yes, no. Just one last question.

JZ: Sure.

WB: Before we close. You became a historian in addition to your banking career.

JZ: Right.

WB: So, I'll kind of just package this.

JZ: Right.

WB: One, where did that interest in history stem from? Did you find that you needed or did you seek out training to become a historian and what areas of history do you focus on in your writing?

JZ: Well, just, I'm not sure. Did we cover all my working career in the first interview?

WB: No.

JZ: Okay, all right. I worked for corporate banking as a commercial lending officer for eleven years after I got out of the Army. Then I left commercial banking and I went to work for the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

WB: I know that you did [work for the Episcopal Dioses], so I am kind of...

JZ: I worked there until I retired. I've been interested in history all my life. Looking back on it, I should've been a history major here. I should've been a history teacher. That's what I really would've liked to have been. I have never had formal training in history. I have never had formal training for any job I have ever had. My graduate school of business focus was on marketing. I worked in finance, in banking, at a not for profit. I never had any financial training and I never had any formal training in history, either. It's probably a disadvantage, but it's just the way it's worked out. I've always been interested in the history of baseball. I've been interested in that since I was about ten years old. And I’ve been interested in the Civil War for a long time.

WB: Some of the works that you have written and published?

JZ: Yes. I wrote a book called The Mutinous Regiment: The Thirty-Third New Jersey in the Civil War, which is a regimental history of a New Jersey Civil War regiment. [Editor's Note: The Mutinous Regiment was published in 2005.] My son Paul Zinn and I wrote a book called The Major League Pennant Races of 1916: "The Most Maddening Melee in History" which is obviously a history of the 1916 baseball season. [Editor's Note: This book was published in 2009.] Also a book called Ebbets Field: Essays and Memories of Brooklyn's Historic Ballpark 1913 to 1960, which is a collection of essays and memories of people who were at Ebbets Field, players, fans. It's quite a good collection of interviews with famous players, famous historians. [Editor's Note: This book was published in 2012.] I interviewed Robert Caro, Doris Kearns Goodwin, people like that for that book. And two weeks ago, I submitted the manuscript of the first full-length biography of Charles Ebbets, who was President of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1898 to 1925, the builder of Ebbets Field. My title for the book is Charles Ebbets: Baseball, Brooklyn, and the Dodgers, but we'll see if the publisher goes along with that. [Editor's Note: Charles Ebbets lived from 1859 to 1925. He owned the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1898 to 1925.]

WB: Kathleen do you have any questions?

KM: No, this was great.

WB: Okay. I think we will probably wrap it up here. We have taken a lot of your time, thank you for being so generous.

JZ: I've taken a lot of your time.

WB: We really appreciate it, thank you.

KM: Yes.

JZ: Good.

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Transcribed by Jesse Braddell 6/9/2017
Reviewed by William Buie 9/7/2017