A Memoir Of A Journey Not Yet Completed

by Glen T. Nygreen
December 1999


Table Of Contents

Part One: ORIGINS

Introduction
Making it in Minnesota
An American Story
"Have Ted Do It"
The Outsider
Love Letters

Part Two: GROWING UP

Bellingham
Whatcom High, Rah! Rah!
Windows On the Future

Part Three: SEATTLE

At Last, Athens
Odyssey
Interlude
Athens Revisited

Part Four: The Wider World

Middle America
The Metropolis
New Generations
An Organization Man

Part Five

CODA

Chapter 1 -- INTRODUCTION

The Japanese live in a homogeneous society. They are fully aware of their long history, during most of it relatively isolated from the rest of the world. This sense has many implications for the way in which the Japanese deal with other peoples, including those of countries closest to them geographically, as well as for what we call the Western world. It helps them define themselves. This implicit sense pervades their thinking, unverbalized but pervasive.

In contrast, most Americans are aware of their immigrant history. Although most citizens lose touch with their own family roots in favor of assimilation into an American identity, the sense that the mixtures of origins which go into American society is a positive factor in nation building is pervasive. This has implications for how we approach peoples of other nations. It is clear that negotiations on issues will encounter communications difficulties when the implicit assumptions of identity are as strikingly different as those of Japanese and Americans,

My increasing awareness of this situation leads me to want to understand better my own origins. This necessarily demands some genealogical research. In undertaking this, I am not interested in a study of a family tree. I want to understand the social forces which combined to create my own career. I write this because the writing itself helps clarify my thinking. I share it because it is a part of the lives and careers of others as well.

THE SWEDISH ROOTS

Varmland is a major administrative unit in west central Sweden. It borders on Norway to the west. It is both above and below 60 degrees north latitude, about the same as Helsinki and Leningrad and slightly north of Stockholm. One would reach it by train traveling west from Stockholm. It is a farming and dairy area. Emigration from Varmland between 1851 and 1925 was the highest of all Swedish districts, both in absolute numbers and in percentage of the total population. More than 10% of all Varmlanders emigrated.

My great-grandfather, Olof Jonsson, was in the first wave of emigrants. He left in 1866, at least two years before emigrant fever became widespread. Born in 1822 (January 7), he was 44 years of age when he reached the United States (June 22). His wife, Karin Jonsson, born in 1818 (August 29), was 48. They lived in Nysocken. Migration is usually a phenomenon of somewhat younger people. What conditions would have produced this urge to leave?

In 1850, 78% of the population of Sweden was engaged in agriculture and related occupations. In that year a series of new decrees altered the relationship between farmers and the land. Previously, land tenure was apparently arranged around a village network. The new decrees gave each farmer (landholder) access to a uniform allotment of land. This all went to private landowners so "cottagers and free lodgers" no longer had access to pasture land and timber.

There are no family documents to indicate what status Olof Jonsson and family had relative to the land. We know that Sweden had a low death rate, lowest in Europe at that time. Despite emigration the population of Sweden grew from 2.3 million in 1800 to 5.5 million in 1910. At the same time the proportion involved in agriculture and related enterprises fell from 78% in 1850 to 54% in 1900. Serious crop failures occurred in successive years during the 1860's. The first emigration wave peaked in 1869. It is tempting to explain this by reference to economic conditions in Sweden. Surely, that is at least a part of the picture.

During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Swedish young men comprised much of the mercenary armies of the time. There was little opportunity for them in the cities in that pre-industrial period. On the farms, primogeniture policies made land ownership impossible for other than eldest sons. And eldest sons often found the burden of caring for the older generation, an obligation of primogeniture, onerous and probably impossible to manage in a near subsistence society. Thus when mercenary armies came into disfavor and the cities proved inhospitable, emigration was an obvious alternative for many young men.

Religious intolerance was a source of restlessness among many Swedes and particularly among rural villagers. In 1726 a law was passed forbidding all religious assemblies ("conventicles") outside the state church. This was apparently intended to combat the growing Pietist movement, which emphasized the local worshipping group and was outside the state church. The Pietists resisted the law. They met in private homes to discuss the Bible and share devotions, combining religious exercise with socializing. They emphasized conversion and personal religous experience. The law was repealed in 1858 but the Pietists still resented the power of the state church and for many years considered themselves the objects of official persecution. American revivalist movements were attractive to people who felt persecuted for their sincere beliefs and therefore influential in drawing attention to America as an alternative residence. As we shall see later, this was definitely a factor in Olof Jonssons determination to emigrate.

The other paternal great-grandfather, Otter Per Persson, was born in 1828 (April 29) at Fensbol, in the same area as Nysocken. His first wife, Kerstin Olsdotter, was born in 1830 (August 25). She died in 1867, leaving Per Persson with six growing children. In 1869 Per Persson remarried, to Maria Persdotter from Fryksande. After twelve years of this second marriage, the entire family emigrated to the United States, arriving on May 23, 1879. Although both the Olof Jonsson and Per Persson families came from the same general area in Sweden, they did not know each other there.

Again we have a case of older people migrating with young families. Was it the hope to give greater opportunity to the young that spurred them to leave Sweden so late in life? Per Persson was 51, his second wife 36, when they reached the United States. It certainly represents great courage in undertaking such an adventure. Behind it there lurks the combination of social factors in Sweden which made it both hopeless and frustrating to remain there.

Per Persson sent his son, Ole, to Minnesota to check matters out, a year before the rest of the family came. This would indicate that there was communication between the earlier wave of emigrants and those who followed later. Great-uncle Ole came to visit us once in Bellingham, probably in 1928. He was in his late seventies, at least, a taciturn and somewhat slovenly person. I remember that his fingers left smudges on his plate and whatever he handled. When he first arrived in the United States he took the name Widmark. It all contributed to the confusion about family relationships in my mind when this name was added to the growing number of family surnames to sort out.

I also remember Great-uncle Ole's widow, Aunt Ella. She later visited us in Belllingham. In the winter of 1935-36 she accompanied me, Mother, and Beverly to Vancouver, British Columbia, to see a performance of "Aida." Aunt Ella proved to be a pleasant and gracious person. For Beverly and me it was our first formal date. (More later.)

The panic of 1873 in the United States slowed emigration. It was to peak again in 1880-1893. Per Persson was a forerunner of this second wave. Like Olof Jonsson, he acted before it was the understood thing to do to better one's status in life, no matter the risk and heartache.

There is yet another factor. Prior to 1840 all emigration was illegal. In 1866 it was still officially frowned upon and actively discouraged by the Swedish government and by the state church. In that year, all twenty year old males were required to spend thirty days in military service. Longer required periods were being urged. The figures show that in that year, 1866, twenty year old males comprised 4% of all male immigrants. Olof Persson had a twenty year old son.

To conclude from the limited information at hand that certain factors were more persuasive than others in motivating our forebearers to leave Sweden is at best speculative. Whatever, it took courage and determination to take such a step. It must have seemed hopeless to remain. Their children faced barren futures in Sweden. Perhaps determination and perseverance would bring them all a better lot in America.

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Chapter 2 -- MAKING IT IN MINNESOTA

How Olof Jonsson and his family decided on Minnesota as their destination is pure speculation. We know that Minnesota undertook an advertising campaign in Sweden, though the usual beginning date given for that is 1868, two years after they arrived in the United States. Presumably they landed and were admitted in New York. They headed west where land was available and settlers were welcomed. Perhaps it was when they reached Chicago that representatives from Minnesota met them and encouraged them to come to Minnesota where conditions of climate and soil would be familiar to them. Many emigrants were met in Milwaukee and Wisconsin became a prime settling area for that first wave of migrants. Other states receiving major influxes at that time included Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

The family settled just west of Minneapolis. They started farming in Cokato Township but without quitting that occupation began business enterprises in Dassel and Cokato. From that point on I know little about Olof Jonsson, an information gap I very much regret.

We do know that Olof changed his name to Nygren when he settled in Cokato Township. Again we can only speculate as to why. The Swedish naming system was tied to the land. An individual was some man's son or daughter, of a certain place. Thus Olof was the son of Jon from Nysocken. Obviously such a system could not be adapted to urban living. Invented names were thus the practice. These names often referred to geographical features. Among these were Berg for mountain, compound names like Bergstrom for mountain stream, and Nystrom for new stream. Great grandfather Olof chose Nygren, meaning "new branch". Certainly there was a surfeit of Johnsons and Pearsons and similar names. Nygren at least had the advantage of being less common in Scandinavian settlement areas.

Grandfather John Nygren was twenty years old when he reached Minnesota. He was probably five inches over five feet tall, a short man and slight of build. He was nonetheless strong and capable of sustained hard labor. He was also astute, probably quick of mind, and a convincing negotiator. He had several businesses. He owned and operated a hardware store in Cokato. He helped organize a farmer's cooperative which ran a creamery. His official title for many years was Secretary (manager) of the Cokato Creamery, as the cooperative was known.

In those days the principal farm crop was wheat. It was thought to be too cold for the growing of corn to be profitable. There were huge mills in Minneapolis which contracted with the farmers to purchase their crops. Grandfather and others observed that the price of wheat at delivery time was a good deal more, most years, than the price at which they had earlier contracted to deliver. As Secretary and therefore chief operating officer of the cooperative, Grandfather convinced his members to build a grain elevator along the railroad siding which ran into their creamery.

The next spring the grain buyers from the mills realized that the entire Township area had not signed contracts to deliver wheat. They went around to the farmers and asked why they hadn't signed. By agreement, they responded "Go talk to John Nygren." When they did they were given a price at which the growers would sign. The offer was cleverly designed so that it was well above the early spring offering price and below the usual fall market price. Of course, the buyers refused to deal. "What will you do with your grain?", they asked. The farmer's simply referred to the grain elevator. By mid-summer the mills had signed purchase agreements at the cooperative's stipulated price, for they needed the grain and the price still allowed them a fair margin of profit.

The record shows that the elevator was kept in perfect repair for over twenty years and stored not a single grain of wheat.

The railroad west from Minneapolis came to Cokato in 1869. By 1889 there were four grain elevators in Cokato: Cargill Bro's, Osborn and MacMillan, Standard Elevator, and Cokato Cooperative, of the last of which John Nygren was the manager. In 1889 the population of Cokato was 500, about the same as Dassel. "It is in the midst of a thickly settled and prosperous farming district, and exports wheat, pork, butter, eggs, wood, railroad ties, hoop poles, etc. (Lamson). The bulk of the population was of Swedish birth or descent. From "Person Recollections of Frank B. Lamson: Cokato, Wright County, Minnesota, 1888-1892." comes this description of John Nygren:

"John Nygren, who became manager of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator, was the best informed man regarding yearly production of grain and livestock in the Cokato trading area.

"His forecasts were relied upon for years by the railroad company in their estimates of business from this section. During his expert management of the elevator the dividends nearly, if not wholly, equaled the value of the stock issued. Nygren was an ardent worker for temperance."

Grandmother Carolina was twenty years old when she came to Cokato in 1879. By that time Grandfather was 33 and single. However it happened, they married that same year and for sixty-one years had a productive marriage until Grandfather died in 1940 at the age of 94. Grandmother also lived to 94 and died in 1953. They spent their last years in Minneapolis, living with their unmarried daughter, Huldah. I visited them there several times. Unfortunately, they lapsed into Swedish almost exclusively in their late years and a conversation with them was quite unsatisfactory. It had to go through Huldah, herself hard of hearing, and often questions were answered in an offhand way by her without being transmitted to her parents.

On more than one occasion I asked my father why he left home to pursue his career independently of his family. His response was always the same. He would have been happy to have made his life in his home area but his father had older and rigid ideas about the proper relationship between a son and his father. Grandfather expected his sons to work without recompense, as a family obligation. The only way the sons could have money and live an American style life was to leave home and work for someone else.

One winter in my youth, probably about 1928, our grandparents spent the winter with us in Bellingham. I remember that Grandfather single-handedly excavated the basement area of our house. I recall our introduction to lutefisk, dried cod which had to be soaked for a week with frequent changes of water to leach off the lye and reconstitute the fish. Most vividly I recall asking about early days in Cokato. He told how they had to clear the land for it was covered with trees and of course had never been cultivated. They used the timber to build homes. The first brick building was a church, built as a community center as well as place of worship. I kept asking what denomination the church represented. Grandfather didn't comprehend the term "denomination". When he finally understood he said abruptly, "It didn't make any difference, as long as it wasn't Lutheran!"

It was years later that I understood his response. To Olof and his family the Lutheran church represented the state church in Sweden. It was an oppressive church. The state paid the priests' salaries in return for their keeping the parish registers, the records of births, deaths, and transfers. In turn the state asked (demanded?) that they preach sermons upon the faithlessness of emigrating. Were Olof and his family Pietists? Likely so. But they were so angry at the Church of Sweden for letting itself be used to thwart the efforts of the people to improve their lot that they wanted no part of anything Lutheran. Here they found the Baptist faith congenial and the independence of each congregation most adaptable to their situation.

Our grandparents had eight children - Adolph, Theodore William, Huldah, Levi John (Jack), Hannah, Emil, Christine, and Otto. Two, Hannah and Christine, died in girlhood, Hannah at 12 of diphtheria and Christine at 16 of appendicitis. Emil died at seven of scarlet fever.

Briefly, this is what I know of the five who reached adulthood:

Uncle Adolph was apparently a bright fellow whose reaction to the rigid traditionalism of the family constellation was to turn to drinking. This occurred when he was sent by his father to school in Minneapolis to learn accounting. I doubt that he was what we today would call an alcoholic but his misbehavior so outraged grandfather that he would not send his other children away to school. I do not think Uncle Adolph was economically successful but instead always a marginal person. He and Aunt Sophie had six children, all of whom I knew except for Marlis, the last, who apparently died young. Ernest, Waldemar, Ralph, LaVerne, and Robert at one time or another visited our family. Robert (Bobby) became an attorney, practiced in Minneapolis, and was at least nominally successful

Dad was the second child. He was always frustrated because he received no family encouragement to obtain an education or to develop his obvious high intelligence and inventiveness. He had four children. More about him later.

Aunt Huldah was really the middle child. She was bright and adventurous. Like the others, she was not encouraged to develop her abilities and worked at marginal jobs most of her life. She spent some winters in Bellingham. I recall that she worked in Woolworth's but that was a time when women's opportunities were much more limited than now. She was a gracious hostess in later years whenever I would pass through Minneapolis. She was an active member of several revivalist groups over the years.

Uncle Jack was tall, gregarious, and a bit of a buffoon. He always had make-a-lot-of-money schemes which never amounted to anything. He married Aunt Gladys and had two step-daughters, Lillian and Lois. I met them when they were adults but have no impressions of them. They married and had children of their own. I have no idea where they are now nor do I know their married names.

Uncle Otto was a stolid man whom my parents liked and appreciated. He worked steadily for a dairy company in Minneapolis and thus weathered the depression well. He and Aunt Inga had two sons. The younger, Wendell, earned an ROTC commission and lost his life in World War II. The older, Donald, also known as Blackie, was a pilot for Capital Airways, later taken over by United. He had a reputation as a brave and competent pilot. One time he brought a full airplane into a safe landing at the Detroit airport when its landing gear failed to descend. I met him once when I flew on a Capital Air Lines flight from Chicago to Cleveland. I saw the name Capt. Donald Nygren on the cabin bulkhead and asked the stewardess to give him a message that his cousin was a passenger on the plane. Soon he came into the passenger cabin and we had a long and pleasant conversation. It was the stewardess who told me the story of his skill in landing the plane under stressful conditions. He retired and lived in Florida, and I believe is now deceased. I liked both of these cousins very much.

Grandfather died of colon cancer. My father always said that if Huldah had taken him to the doctor instead of simply praying over him he might have lived on. I asked if he wasn't angry with Aunt Huldah. He replied, "Well, when you are 94 you have to die of something." And with that response, I grew up some more.

It was always hard for Dad to be 1800 miles away from his family and not have funds to make frequent trips. They visited the family in Cokato in 1919. One of my treasured possessions is the family photograph taken on that occasion. I don't believe he and Mother made another trip until after World War II. Then they visited the family in Minneapolis at least twice that I recall. Despite the infrequency of contact he felt a close bond with all his family and wrote regularly, yet he prized his independence from them.

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Chapter 3 -- AN AMERICAN STORY

I have only fragmentary information about Mother's family history. She spoke proudly of her family but never felt impelled to investigate it carefully. One of her cousins, a dentist named William Hirschfield, was said to have studied it carefully but I never knew him and I am sure his study is now unobtainable.

William Carroll, 1758-1845, was from a distinguished early American family. He was born in Maryland. One brother was the Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. whose signature was purposely written so large that King George wouldn't miss it. Others in the family gave leadership to the Roman Catholic Church.

William Carroll fought in the American Revolution. At one point he was captured by the British forces. He later moved to Ohio and drew a pension from Ohio for his services in the Revolution. Mother refers to Volume 27 of the D.A.R. history as authentication. He married Elizabeth Feis (or Fies) in Allen County, Indiana. Their daughter, Elizabeth Catherine, married Neal Johnson Guinn.

Mother writes: "Neal Johnson Guinn was born in Ireland. He came to America as a small boy and later fought in the war of 1812. Of three sons I know about, Jacob was supposed to be very wealthy, having barrels of gold. He married a Martha Jane Wade. They had a daughter Ann who married a Freeman and her descendants still live in Chicago. Isaac, another son, struck oil and became a very wealthy man but of his family little is known. Annias, born in 1814, died in 1900, was also wealthy but thru the emancipation and the fact that he signed a note for a friend who defaulted lost most of his fortune and emigrated to Minnesota. He homesteaded on the shore of Lake Collingwood between Dassel and Cokato. The farm later became the property of his youngest son, Jonathan (Jack) and there George and Emily Guinn were born."

"Of two other sons of Neal Johnson Guinn little is known except that Russell had a lip cancer but was killed in a horse riding accident."

"Annias (1814-1900) married Nancy Baron or Barone (1823-1886). Of Nancy's ancestors nothing is known. She was one of three little sisters who were picked up from a shipwreck by a member of the crew who was also saved. From the quality of their clothes and the ornaments they wore they were thought to belong to someone of importance but (no) trace of their origins was ever found. The two sisters were given to other families but Nancy remained with this man who rescued her. He and his family (named Barone) were of Dutch descent and lived in Pennsylvania. Nancy learned to speak Dutch and at the age of nine couldn't speak any English. At that time her foster mother died and she went to live with a foster brother who had married and in time she forgot the Dutch."

Annias Guinn and Nancy Barone had eight children. The youngest was Jonathan (Jack) who is our other grandfather. It is worth listing all eight children and their married names.

Frank, 1848-1944, Civil War vet., married Eliza Stage
Eliza,1850-1936, married Joseph Yuly
Melissa, b. 1853, married Thomas Groves
Sarah, married Wallace Jewett
Samantha, married Owen Groves Dora
Alice, married Joseph Francis
Mary, married Amos Stage
Jonathan Franklin, married Cynthia Foster

Jonathan and Cynthia Guinn had four children. George Washington Guinn, known as "Sunny Bub", born on July 4, 1884 and the eldest, was a World War I veteran. Apparently he never married. He was not a successful person and died penniless. Mother never spoke of Jess, born in 1886, who must have died young. Edna Belle, the youngest, married Leo Todd, lived in Portland, Oregon, and had a daughter, Alice. Aunt Edna died of septicemia while pregnant, in May, 1924. All contact with the family was lost. Mother (Emily) was the middle child (b. 1888).

When Mother was three years old, her father died of pneumonia (July, 1891). When she was nine her mother died of the same disease, also referred to as "quick consumption" (1897). The children were then separated. Mother went to live with the Jewetts and for the rest of her life considered that to be "home."

There were other tales about her family that Mother would refer to occasionally. She mentioned some family ties with Henry Clay. William McKinley was some distant relative, an eighth cousin, so distant that Mother would comment that no one would have known it had he not been elected President. She talked about someone who owned an important link in the Pony Express and sold it to Wells Fargo Company. These may be myths and they may be traceable, I shall never know. The stories are simply part of the family history.

What is interesting to me is the recurring motif of wealth gained by chance and lost by fateful missteps. Those were turbulent times for the economy, cycles of boom and bust. There wasn't much romantic about the frontier days. Hard work and accidents, untreatable diseases, many children and little cash, these were the facts of life. Minnesota was hard farming. Perhaps the good fortune of striking oil or gaining "barrels of gold" was a way of keeping hopes for better days alive. To claim family affiliation with a noted person was one way of affirming the worth of one's self despite the hard conditions with which one had to contend.

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Chapter 4 -- "HAVE TED DO IT"

Why is it that my appreciation of my father has increased steadily as I have grown older? Perhaps it is an indictment of my insensitivity that it grew so slowly. More likely it relates to the sense of independence he, in his own way, encouraged in me. Or is it because of his Swedish heritage with its elements of self-determination and perseverance which he transmitted through example? Certainly he did not communicate by precept for he was essentially non-verbal. I have now concluded that he was a remarkable man of his time, and altogether admirable.

Dad rarely referred to his boyhood. Especially he did not mention his school experiences. His educational future was foreclosed by his father's disappointment in his eldest son. It must have been evident to John Nygren that his second son Ted was resourceful and innovative, clever at solving practical problems, and constantly learning new techniques and skills. Probably he didn't know what to do and so, in effect, did nothing.

So Dad left home in his mid-teens, went to Minneapolis and learned to be a sheet metal worker. His farm and hardware store experience added breadth to his mechanical and construction knowledge. Once breveted a journeyman and a member of the union, he decided to leave Minneapolis and see the rest of the United States. I have only sketchy information without dates as to what his adventures were. I know he came to New York City and for about two years supported himself by creating mystifying mechanical window displays for which storekeepers would pay well because of the crowds they attracted.

Winters were cold in the north. The warmth of Florida was appealing and the tantalizing advertisements for cheap land investments alluring. Dad sent some money in response to an ad and bought some "building lots." The advertisements said that if you were on site within two years and were not satisfied you would get your money back. The next winter he spent in Jacksonville, working in construction. In the spring, before returning north, he went further south to see his lots. They were at the end of a road, under water. He went to the land office and asked for his money back. They laughed derisively. Abashed, he asked where the nearest post office was. They told him and then asked why he wanted a post office. He replied that he wanted to talk with postal inspectors about mail fraud. His money was refunded.

The next winter he returned to Jacksonville. Why? "I enjoyed Jacksonville and all the sunshine," he replied.

There were other adventures. He spent some time in a mining area of the Rocky Mountains. Eventually he found his way to California. In San Francisco, together with a fellow sheet metal worker, Jack Schwartz, he opened a sheet metal shop. It did well. He brought his younger brother, Jack, out from Minneapolis to join them. Then one morning in 1906 he was rolled out of bed by a very strong earthquake. Soon San Francisco was in flames.

The sheet metal shop had to be dynamited to create a fire break. The three young men joined a homeless throng on Telegraph Hill. They put doors across saw horses and slept on the ground beneath. During subsequent days they would obtain passes from the militia, go into the city, and salvage materials which they would bring to Telegraph Hill to create temporary shelters for women and children who were almost helpless. This went on for some six weeks When things settled down a bit they left and worked their way north along the coast. Eventually they settled in Bellingham, Washington, some 90+ miles north of Seattle. Dad was 26 and single.

(In our family home there hung on the wall a photo or rotogravure of San Francisco in flames the night after the temblor. It was a scary reminder of disaster which lies in wait for all of us, unexpected and devastating. It affected us all as we grew up in that house. It was intended to reach my sister Ruth in Salinas, California, which had its own brush with a serious quake as recently as 1988, but apparently never reached her.)

As resourceful as ever, Dad's business in Bellingham prospered. He created advertising signs which hung on buildings and were much in demand. He built building marquees so that shoppers could be out of the rain as they strolled down the streets. He built efficient steam tables for restaurants to keep food hot and inviting. He developed a reliable oil burner for homes and small buildings. Many of the things he devised he secured patents for, although he was never willing to sue anyone else for infringement if they copied his designs. He said he cared only that he had sole rights to them in his home area. Elsewhere people were free to utilize them if they wished.

Dad had strong socialist convictions. He believed it wrong for anyone to make a profit from another person's needs. Thus he was unwilling to be a landlord. Occasionally he would acquire a house or a farm or a store in satisfaction for an otherwise bad construction debt. He disposed of them as soon as he could. I never remember him being more uncomfortable, even embarrassed, than when it was necessary to collect rents from any of these properties. It offended his sense of what was fair and right.

The Nygreen Sheet Metal Works became in the 1920's, a leading enterprise. I remember the heating and ventilating contract he won for the construction of the Mount Baker High School, an early consolidated high school near Deming, Washington. He was proud of that recognition and did a superb job. That school quickly became a model for future district high school structures.

The business needed an advertising tag. On his business cards and all his papers appeared the confident slogan "Have Ted Do It"!

But how did "Nygren" become "Nygreen?" There was in Bellingham another Nygren in the construction business. He was a carpenter. Dad began to get charges on his bills at the hardware stores which really belonged to the other company. When he complained, the hardware store people said what could they do, given the tendency of the men picking up materials to say simply "Charge it to Nygren." Dad's solution was to tell them to put an extra "e" in his name and he would instruct his men to emphasize the double "e" when they picked up materials. Thus it is that my birth certificate shows the different name.

Dad was a committed union member. All his life he maintained his membership in the Sheet Metal Workers Union. Although his affiliation was with a craft union, his heart belonged to the concept of the "OBU," the one big union of all workers. He had been much influenced by the union struggles in the Puget Sound country, struggles for the right to organize and for the eight hour day. The efforts of the mill operators, the timber owners, and the "vested interests", those with capital to invest and the power to control markets, to suppress the unions and keep the workers "in their place" went so far as to encourage violence against the workers and even to using the state militia against the workers. Dad would never listen to criticism of the I.W.W., for example, for to him it represented an attempt to empower the workers in opposition to exploitative capital.

I recall vividly a dinner table argument when we children were seated around the kitchen table. The specific issue I have forgotten save that it had to do with the conflict between workers and the establishment. Mother had made some ameliorative comment which angered Dad since it appeared to weaken the case he was making. He expostulated, "Without a strong, powerful union the working man has no more chance than a - a - a snowball in hell!" He smashed his hand on the table to emphasize his strong feelings. Mother burst into tears and left the kitchen, more offended by his use of the expletive "hell" in front of the children than by his political position.

Dad had a complex attitude toward religion and the church. Probably because of his family Pietism, expressed through the evangelical Baptist theology of the churches in Minnesota, he saw churches as full of people espousing attitudes of love and forgiveness but failing to live up to these standards in their daily activities. He could not understand how one could believe in the Jesus who preached to the needy and the outcasts and not adopt the notion of Christian socialism. Nonetheless, he supported Mother's determination that her children would be raised in the church. He did not attend church services, nor did Mother. Much later when the children had married and dispersed he did attend services with Mother on a fairly regular basis.

Dad accepted the Bible literally. When as a young science student I challenged the notion that the earth (world) was created de novo in seven days, he was adamant that it was done as the Bible stated. He affirmed that there was nothing new under the sun. Could chemists create compounds in the laboratory that never existed in nature? Absolutely not! Such attitudes created a barrier to understanding and communication that took years to overcome. It seemed to me that he was repeating his own father's closed mindedness, although I never said so to him.

Grandfather John was a heavy smoker of cigars until around the age of fifty when he quit abruptly. I once asked him why. He said he didn't know. Cigars didn't taste the same as they had earlier and it seemed the thing to do. Dad was a heavy cigarette smoker, three packs a day, often. He, too, quit rather abruptly around the age of fifty. He said much the same thing as had Grandfather. Mother, however, said that for Christmas everything he had received had something to do with smoking. He told her that if that was the way his family and others perceived him he would simply change the perception by quitting.

There was an admirable quality of loyalty evident in all Dad's commitments. In addition to his membership in the union he was also for more than twenty years president of the Labor Temple Association, responsible for the headquarters building. He was a long time member of the Central Labor Council. He was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose, and Mother of the Women of the Moose. Both of them took their membership seriously and strived to keep up the standards of the group. To his family Dad was fiercely loyal. One time in his shop some men were talking about the terrible behavior of the younger generation, in rather specific terms. I was standing nearby but out of sight, as it happened, and I heard my father respond with feeling, "Not all of them, not all of them!" Dad would never express that confidence directly to his children. Hearing him say this gave me a warm feeling of family solidarity.

Nor was Dad a reader. The daily newspaper, his union journal, and Popular Mechanics was the extent of it. He thought about what he read, however, and was frequently stimulated by it. His jaundiced view of newspapers was often expressed by turning around the newspaper claim and saying "All the news printed to fit!" Outside of mechanical concerns, he was uncomfortable with ambiguity, avoided complexity in argument about political or societal issues, and concentrated on the perceived character of actors in the daily dramas of living.

Bellingham was not a worldly sophisticated place. In the 1920's the Ku Klux Klan had a large following and held annual parades in the city. Dad was opposed to the Klan and what it stood for. One of his dependable workers, Jake Komen from Lynden, was out sick whenever there was a KKK parade. Jake once told me that Dad knew quite well what Jake was doing but never said a word to him about it. Jake very much respected Dad for this for he knew Dad's strong feelings of opposition.

I was a disappointment to Dad. He was not a good teacher. He would want some help while he was undertaking some mechanical task and I would agree willingly. My task was to hand him tools and hold the flashlight but he never sought to explain what he was doing or the reason for it. Thus I quickly lost interest and he soon grew impatient and suggested I go do something else. As for the things in which I was interested he had little understanding. Nonetheless, consistent with his approach to people, he encouraged me by leaving me to my own devices and not entering unsought judgments or advice.

And Dad loved the outdoors. Uninterested in either hunting or fishing, he loved to climb in the mountains, the usual objective being to visit some abandoned mining site. He loved to read mining newspapers and followed the progress of penny stocks issued by hopeful mine developers. Eventually he designed his own portable placer machine. Family outings usually centered around trying the machine on some mountain river bed where the labor of moving rocks to get to the heavy sands between and beneath them quickly used up everyone's energy. After each such experience the machine would undergo changes to remedy whatever difficulties arose in its use. I think he dreamed of finding a black sand deposit that would be full of gold flakes and even nuggets. He did find considerable gold dust but never enough to make his efforts pay off.

My first understanding of automobiles came from Dad's purchases of Model T Fords and old Chevrolets for just a few dollars, never more than fifteen. He would cut them down and build pick-up truck beds, then sell the converted cars for twenty-five to fifty dollars. When I was old enough to drive, he would let me take one of these around town or into the mountains. If he were not along I was given two rules. One was that if I picked up a hitchhiker, often Native Americans, I was to require that they ride in the bed rather than in the cab. This seemed a bit cruel for it was often cold and very rainy. I never disobeyed this rule, however, for I perceived the sense in it and also his concern for his son's safety.

The other rule was that if I went into the mountains I could leave the truck at the end of the road, provided the gas tank was empty. I was instructed to take a full gas can off the trail and cache it some 100 yards or more off the trail. One time I and my friends returned after three days to where the road had ended and found the truck gone. My friends were nonplussed but I simply retrieved the gas can from its hiding place and began walking on the road toward home. Sure enough, at the bottom of a hill we found the truck, abandoned and out of gas. We simply emptied the gas can into the tank, started the engine, and reached home without further incident. These and similar experiences taught me that Dad's "rules" were always eminently practical advice and worth heeding.

In 1930, the Great Depression quickly took a firm grip on the economy of Bellingham. Construction activity virtually ceased. How Dad coped with this situation reflects both his strengths and his limitations.

Fiercely independent and self-reliant, Dad would not compromise either his high work standards nor his sense of fairness to cut corners to get business. He held onto his business until long after it was wise to do so. He sold tools and machinery when he could to raise some cash. The mortgage on his house was held by a Professor Philippi, later my chemistry teacher at what is now Western Washington University. The house was saved from foreclosure only by the fortunate creation of the Federal Housing Authority, a New Deal program designed specifically for this kind of situation. When there was nothing else to be done, Dad closed his business and went to Seattle to work for the Boeing Aircraft Company, returning home on weekends.

It was a difficult time emotionally for both Dad and Mother. They never let their despair affect their children's activities, however. They had no cash money to give but they encouraged us to develop our own resources. Later, when the Boeing employment seemed to be permanent, they moved to Seattle, near the University of Washington, in large part so the two younger children would have an opportunity to study there while living at home.

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Chapter 5 -- THE OUTSIDER

Mother never got over the breakup of her family of origin. A bright and sensitive girl, losing her parents between her fifth and ninth year could not help but be disorienting. She went to live with her Aunt Sarah and her husband, Wallace Jewett.

Jonathan Guinn, my maternal grandfather, was a romantic figure in Mother's memory. She transferred much of this affection to her Uncle Wallace, of whom she always spoke appreciatively. It is curious that she was not as openly appreciative of Aunt Sarah, although neither was she severely critical of her except in her inability to fill the emotional place of the mother who had failed her by dying. The family had two children of their own, around Mother's age. Mother sometimes spoke of the warmth of family feeling. It must have been an extra, expensive, and somewhat unwelcome intrusion to bring in another child. It was the way such matters were handled by families in the 1890's. That Mother was separated from her brother and sister seems not to have been held of any importance.

Of the two Jewett children, the eldest, Myrtle Gladys, married an Appleton, Minnesota, clergyman in 1903 and died in 1907. The younger, Harold Wallace, later lived in San Jose, California, and we exchanged occasional family visits. The emotional attachment between Mother and Uncle Harold was a close and meaningful one. Uncle Harold and Aunt Gladys had two children. Ardelle, the eldest was a beautiful girl who married a telephone company executive and lived for a time in the New York area. Doug, the younger, was an attractive fellow who served in the Navy lighter-than-air group during World War II.

It was the awareness of being an outsider, even an intruder, that colored Mother's approach to the world all the rest of her life. She once attributed this to her Aunt Sarah. She said it wasn't so much that she was mean or abusive but that she never allowed young Emily to forget the fact that she was a member of the household out of a sense of family duty. Nonetheless, Mother often recalled happy memories of her growing up there, despite the "outsider" situation.

Mother had a quick mind and was a fine student. Like Dad, she didn't talk much about her school experiences. She became a schoolteacher. How much college training had she had? Very little. She would mention the University of Minnesota but it turned out that was summer session only. She taught in St. Cloud where there was a teacher training institution and she may have pursued some study there. She taught also in Kimball, for she kept a snapshot of the school building burning down and still bemoaned that tragedy.

That family relations were not easy is clearly evident from other things she said. The family opposed her marrying (she was 26) because, she said, they didn't want to lose the cash contribution she gave from her meager salary. Whenever I would try to pursue such matters she would refuse to comment further. Her feelings are conveyed in a penciled letter she sent me after she knew that Beverly and I were to be married. It reads in part:

"I wish I could make you understand some of the innermost yearnings of my life. Of course you know that I practically never had a father or mother. Sure, I had a place to sleep, enough to eat, something to wear, but I was never allowed to forget that it was because of my Aunt's generosity. However, before I married, she was paid back, with interest, all that she had ever done for me. I left no debt there. Every bit of education I had was bitterly fought for. That is one reason that no obstacle that I have been conscious of has ever been placed in your way. I've only wished and prayed that it might be easier for you.

"Then Dad and I were married. Again, I went against her wishes but I felt that I had a life of my own to live and I didn't have to answer to anyone anymore. You see, one engagement had been broken up, for no reason except when I married a source of income and a scullery maid in the summer ceased.

"I tho't when I married that my mother-in-law would take the place of the mother I had missed., but again I was disappointed. I failed to reckon nationality, and because I'm not Swedish I'm still an outsider."

The poignancy of these words masks somewhat the underlying gutsy independence of the survivor. Mother and Dad were much alike in this respect. They approached the threat of economic vicissitudes with the same defiant response. Somehow they would make it. And no one nor any worldly condition would tear apart the world of family they created.

They were different from each other, however, in the tactics they adopted to cope with the world. In contrast to Dad, Mother yearned for acceptance by others. In their approach to partisan politics, for example, they took opposite stances. Mother always voted Republican, the party of respectability. Except once, that is, when she voted for Woodrow Wilson, to keep the United States out of war. To her that vote was a gesture of independence and she referred to it proudly. Dad, on the other hand, never voted anything other than Socialist. Except once, that is, when he voted for Franklin D. Roosevelt. To him that act was shameful and he was embarrassed to admit to it. Despite this, one of my vivid memories is that on election evenings, no matter how tired Dad was after a day of hard labor, Mother would see that he went to the polling place.

The church was important to Mother. She saw to it that her children went to Sunday School regularly. We were encouraged to stay on for church, although during my childhood she herself never attended. She was active in the Ladies Aid Society. Her circle frequently met at our house, particularly during quilting projects for we had a large living room, really two rooms made into one, which would accommodate a large quilting frame Dad had contrived for her. She enjoyed the women of the church and was interested in the world missions emphasis in the Baptist Church. It was the custom in her group to have two or three quiz games. She always won these contests, and would shyly express her pride in doing so to her family after the ladies had departed.

Mother shared Dad's interest in the Moose Lodge and almost always accompanied him to the weekly meetings. When there were social occasions we children would accompany them, particularly at Christmas time. She served a term as the chairperson of the women's auxiliary and took a leading part in preparing for the regular potluck suppers the women would organize for both the men's and women's group.

The school PTA further illustrates Mother's yearning for acceptance and recognition. She served as PTA president, as delegate to the town central PTA organization and later its chairperson. She became a minor state PTA officer and loved that involvement. She dropped out of it, I think, because she simply lacked the financial resources to carry it on. It may also have been because of illness.

Mother suffered recurrent migraine attacks. She called them "sick headaches." She tried to work through them but they persisted and frequently forced her to bed. One winter she was diagnosed as severely anemic, a period I remember mostly because of the frequency of liver on the dinner table. After that it was a number of years before I would again eat liver willingly. Some years after I had left home, probably in 1947, she suffered a rather severe heart attack. I wasn't aware of this fact at the time. Some years later her physician told me that someday she would simply collapse in the middle of walking across the kitchen and that would be it. When she died in her 96th year it was from other causes, and much more miserably than if the doctor's prognostication had come to pass.

Mother enjoyed reading. She read magazines, escape rather than information giving literature. This fact, however encouraged me to read. I was permitted to go to the library whenever I wanted and never censored in what I brought home. This was in contrast to her attitude when I wanted to participate in team sports after school. That permission was denied. I was required to come home promptly after school. I resented this heatedly but turned to ever more reading to compensate. I am sure the town librarian had discussed with Mother my using the adult library stacks rather than the children's section which I began to do when I was nine. There was nothing left for me to read in the children's collection so I was permitted to be an exception to the age rules for taking adult books out of the library.

The Great Depression was unusually severe and long lasting in Bellingham. I enrolled in college the summer of 1934 when I was fifteen. I was working Saturdays in a grocery store for two dollars a day. I saved money to pay the modest fees, fifteen dollars a term. I had enough to pay the fall quarter fees, but by the end of December I was without any money whatsoever. I had earned "A" grades and felt confident that I could hold my own in the classroom with the older students, many of them teachers back in college for a term. On registration day for the winter term I was as despondent as I ever remember being. I didn't know what I was going to do. As I was dressing my mother appeared and wordlessly handed me fifteen dollars. It was the only money I ever received from my parents for my education. It came at just the right moment. I was enormously grateful although I had only a glimmer of the sacrifice this gift required from a family which had severe economic problems.

What my mother represented to me was much like the lessons I learned from my father. She had a fierce independence and a determination to manage on her own. She admired learning even though she did not comprehend what that means in academic terms. Schools she understood. She wanted me to go as far as I could or wanted to go. Neither parent imposed any judgment on what I studied or what vocational aspirations I might develop. And even though they could not help me financially, the memory of that one gift of fifteen dollars never left me.

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Chapter 6 -- LOVE LETTERS

Determined to end his loneliness, Dad traveled to Minnesota in the late winter of 1914 and proposed to Emily Adalyn Guinn. He was accepted. From then until their marriage on his birthday in September, the letters went regularly from Bellingham to Minnesota. Mother kept them and we have them today.

What follows is excerpted from those letters.

Aberdeen, South Dakota....April 15, 1914

My Eminent Friend, I arrived here this morning ...I joshed Anita Halvarson about getting married. She said if it was really so I would not be so quick to tell it, but I told the truth.

I also told the Mpls. girl I was really all cut and dried. She did not believe it at all so when I left her on the car (?) she thought I might be serious and said is that a go for her to stop writing me. I said yes, without a smile, and told her she was to (sic) stingy about her love and had lost out.

Now sis I am going to make good and try to make you as satisfied as possible. I leave in the morning for Bellingham.....

With haste I beg to remain yours, Respect, T.W. Nygreen

Bellingham, Washington April 20, 1914

I arrived here Saturday eve.....Finest kind of weather here. If you would be here now you could enjoy it with me...Kindest regards to Uncle and Auntie...With best of respect, I remain yours Hub sometime...Ted

Bellingham, April 25, 1914

My dear Emily, Your letter and card at hand two days ago for which please receave (sic) thanks. The letter was good and I liked it very much. One thing I did not approve of and that was this that you would be satisfied but I would not be. Well, you are wrong. I will be.

Possible you think I expect more than possible or more than anyone else has. It may be opposite, (that I expect) less than anyone else has, as you was so afraid. You said keep your hands where they belong. I was trying to do so but you said you did not want me to, O joy, joy, stop the horse(ing).

Thanks very much for the letter..I will expect more of the kind - if not you may lose out as I got acquainted with a chicken last Wednesday eve. She owns a large two storied house in the swell part of town but she is not very nice looking as you are. Of course, I do not mean to flatter you. You are a good girl and that goes further with me than looks. Well you are OK and I know you will remain so. Yours, Ted

Here the stationery is headed "THE NYGREEN CARRIER for Mail and Express. Guarantee Test 80 miles in 60 minutes, only two moving parts." In the upper left corner is "T.W. NYGREEN, Inventor." In the upper right corner is "J. L. Nygreen", and Albany, N.Y. written in.

Bellingham....May 25, 1914

The nearer the time gets to September the more lonesome it seems to be. You ought to be here now.

My father did not say any more of me getting married than "oh, you will get along better two than one." So, you see, he does approve of you and I do not think there will be any dislike on my parents' side. The Nygreen families like you alright, alright, and so do I! Do I? Yes!

I suppose you are having a grand time to home providing you do not work too hard. Say, you need not get any swell close (sic), I mean anything out of the ordinary. I do not want to get stuck on the close. Its you I want, dear. Now I want you to write me a letter and tell me what your Ma really thinks of you getting married to someone she never saw....Love and respect, Hub, Ted.

Bellingham, June 1, 1914

Dear Emily, I have been so busy making a drawing for the patent office that have had no time for anything else, not even taking my new Bellingham girl out, so she had to go to the show alone last night.

Yes, your Ma was planning what her and you were to do between now and September. When you talk this all over why not plan what I am going to do between now and then. Oh, I know, enjoy myself the best way possible, but I am thinking about you every day. You do not believe me, I know, but I will convince you when you get here.

Gee, I hope you will only be half as happy all the time as I was when you said yes.

My invention is getting along first rate...Please pardon all mistakes and all foolishness. Lots of love and respect to Emily dear....Yours with respect o Love oxx Hubby, T.W.Nygreen

 P.S. Send me one of your good photos so I can take a look at you once in a while.

Bellingham...June 4, 1914

Dear Emily,....We had our union meeting last night and I was elected Financial Sec. so now I have a little more to do but it will not hinder me from writing to you. You say you wish I was there, and I do too, but time will soon pass. I think a woman loves better than a man, but, anyway, I will do all in my power to love you and trust you. You will never wish yourself back to a lonely life.

I see you get some practice in cooking which you think will come in handy. Well, you know I like good things to eat, but don't think I will kick or grumble if things are not the best I ever ate, knowing well it will beat boarding house hash. Well, nevertheless, be it ever so homely there is no face like mine.

So you think I would not tell you if my folks found a fault in you? Why don't you remember who brought that subject up in the first place. You did! It never entered my head that he was the important factor. I would consider his word n.g. in this case and he knows the answer if he should find a fault. If he did he certainly knew enough to keep it to himself. Wishing your parents happiness and prosperity. In their letter they said you was kind of happy..I am glad you are. I am too. I remain your boss to be, maybe boss. Ted

Bellingham June 8, 1914

My Eminent Emily, Your letter of June 5 received....The best note in it is that if someone tries to talk you out of marrying me they would have a hard job of it. I think the same if anyone should try the same with me. The old girl of mine here at Bellingham is trying hard to make up but she will have some time of it. I assure you, Emily, if I do say it myself, you are the best girl I ever want to see. I'll tell you why if you will listen. Your kindness captured me. You seem to be so agreeable and trying to make the best of everything and you will find I will try to do the same. Yesterday was raining... and it seemed kind of lonesome. I was thinking of you quite a bit during the day.

I had a letter from my sis today. She does not know whether she will come out or not. She said it was so sudden. I don't think so. I think time is dragging, don't you? If you want to change the date of marriage you have a perfect right to do so. Anything you say goes until we are married. After that I am the boss, ha,ha! Me the big boss, and you will not have a word to say. Oh, yes you will, once in a while. I remain, with respect and love, Hub Ted.

Bellingham June 10, 1941

My Dear Emily,....Gee, I wish you were here now. One of the boys at the shop heard I was to get hooked up, as he called marriage, and asked me how I came to propose. But he did not get all of it altho I told him some of it. He said he wanted to know as he was going to do the same thing some day...Said he did not want to propose in book form and that was the reason he wanted to know.

Now, Emily, something I wish to tell you before you come out so as not to get disappointed on anything. My old girl's mother, when she found out some ten months ago that I did not want to marry her daughter, she got peaved (sic) and said all kinds of bad things about me. So, if you hear some of them, do not take them for granted altho some of them may be true. But that does not change me toward you in the least. I know you will hear nothing detrimental to me from any other source, in Bellingham or any other part of the globe. I treated the lady good and have said nothing about her that would in any way discredit her. I am sure you will use some judgment. I do not know what this mother-in-law, as she thought she would be some day, intends or plans to do when she hears of my marriage, which she will. Do not fear, she has nothing on me and I will give her no chance to ever have a thing on me.

You are the kid for me and always will be, if I can make it so. I love you, Emily, and you know I do. As for getting along, we will sure get along fine.

I know you will, no doubt, think of the many friends you leave behind, but we will see them in the course of two or three years and probably sooner.

Bellingham, June 15, 1941

My Dear Emily, I want you to tell me in your next letter why you brought this question of my parent's objecting. I am inclined to think your parents objected in some way and you will not tell me until you have a chance to talk to me. Well, you know I do not care what they say. It does not change me in the least. I am satisfied with you alone. Of course it is better if things are agreeable all around....Yours with respect, Hub to be Ted.

Bellingham June 18, 1914

No word for three days and it seems like three weeks. Everything is going fine and dandy. Only one thing wrong and that is you are not here.

I looked at a furnished house last night but it did not suit me at all. No nice furniture at all. I have another one, a fine little bungalow with four rooms but it is about ten minutes walk from the center of business. If that is not to (sic) far for you, it will be OK. It is located close to a good brick school house and for that reason probably it would suit you..Goodbye, temporary only. Yours I hope for good, Ted.

Bellingham...June 22, 1914

My dear Emily, I am waiting, too. Try and find out if my sis is coming out for sure so I know and can fix a room for her...Best of respect. I beg to remain yours, Ted.

Bellingham...June 24, 1914

My Dear, I note by your letter your people, or at least some of them, want you to marry someone with money. Well, you are foolish if you don't as now days nothing but money counts. You know I have none but I may be able to get enough of the eagles to take you to Frisco 1914 to see the blowout. That is, providing you marry me. Well, I will offer to take you anyway. How does that appeal to your reason? (My wings sprouted and are doing fine but the color is black.)

Since you will not change the date to an earlier one, then I will, so here goes. August 17 will be the date now. How does that strike you?...Regards to Ma and Pa from your Hub Ted.

Bellingham...June 27, 1914

Dear Emily....Your Ma - she intends to come out or wishes she could come out?,,,You don't want to think for a moment that I object. I wish she would come and stay all winter with us.

You ought to be here now. Say, something new today. My old girl's folks bought an auto! I met them on the street. They asked me to have a ride but I refused, because I did not have the time, ha ha. You do not believe me, do you? No, sis, no one but you will do. Do you believe that? You may believe me or not but they will have to go some to beat you out...I figure I am going to cop something money cannot buy and I am waiting for the day to show you I mean it... With love and respect, I beg to remain yours, if you will.

P.S. How soon can you come?

Bellingham....July 1, 1914

My dear Emily, Say, did you change the date yet to an earlier one? If you did not, you had better, because I want you to. See, I am the boss. You know my old father-in-law has an auto and that is an inducement - very little but little things grow big. Well, I know you will come as soon as you can, but sooner the quicker.....I generally lose out at the last minute, but of course I am not a bit leary about you. Only Ed Long might buy an auto and then take you out for a ride... Goodbye. Me for the hay..I, poor working fool, have to get in and drill....Yours better than ever, Ted

Bellingham...July 2, 1914

Your letter sounded good to me but for one thing, and that is that you are not going to change the date to an earlier one.

Now, Emily, not that I am so over anxious for you to come for my own sake but for yours as well. I will tell you why. You will not see enough of the summer if you wait till that time. It will probably be in one of our rainy seasons, about September 15, or so. You will not have the chance to get out so much and look around. You will probably be homesick right from the start and I would sure not like that. You will find about August 15 the best time to come here. It will make things more agreeable all the way around.

I know when other people come from the middle or eastern states and come here during the rainy season, they say they do not like it here at all! I do not want you to say anything like that 'cause if you do we will have to move to some other part. I have learned to like it here and I sure do like it, too. If you possibly can come out in August, please do so. Will you?

Know you are busy now days but you can do away with part of that sewing till you get here. As you know, I only have two suits and a pair of overalls. If you should not have a suit for every day in the week it will be as good. I am not so particular as all that. Furthermore, if that lace is not on the pillow cases that also will be OK. I know you are fixing too swell for the man you are getting. Don't you think so?... With best of love and respect, I beg to remain yours, Ted.

Bellingham....July 5, 1914

I had a card from my Bro. at Binghamton, New York. He is going to move either south or west and possibly will be west. I told him to stop home and take you and sister along. I thought that would hurry you along some. Will it? I hope it does...With respect, your Ted. Bellingham....

July 6, 1914

Dear Emily, Today the man in the shop, Mr. Schwartz, asked me if, or I should say when, is your girl coming out? I told him about August 14, so I have now committed myself again. So you see you have to come in August. I think you will be late if you don't come before September 15, don't you?

That old friend of yours pretty near turned you, didn't he? If he had, poor Ted would have had to look for another girl and get a divorce from Emily. I think a woman's work is never done on a farm and nowhere to go after they are done so might as well work to pass the time away. Little Mary swallowed a watch one day. Now she is taking Cascaretts to pass the time away. I think she has more time than a farmer's Mrs.

Gee, Emily, I wish you were here now. I can wait until August 17 but after that no telling what I might do. With respect, Hub Ted.

July, 1914

Dear Wife-to-be, I told the landlady downstairs that I had a wife and once in a while she asks when is your wife coming? Now I got my foot into it. How will I get out of it? I do not want to tell her we are not married until the day you come. On the other hand she ought to know before...I want your advice - see what solution you have to the problem. I will write Ma and ask permission for you to come next month.

Gee, it is kind of lonesome to be here since I know you are coming. You know, it would not be so hard if I did not have to be good. You see, I am trying to be good and don't know how. The someone that should hold me in check is missing... If you should decide not to come at all, please let me know. I will take a trip to Australia for a number of years. Now how do you like that? With respect, your Hub Ted (if you come August 15th.)

Bellingham....July 14, 1914

My eminent Friend, You are a good kid and I like you but we all have a fault. That includes you also. It is that you will not appear on the scene in August. Of course, I can forgive, but not forget. You know I am going kind of easy until next summer as I may have to work short time the largest past of the winter. I want to eat just the same and eat good, at that. Your Hubby, Ted

Bellingham....July 15, 1914

Dear Emily, Glad to receive your long letter and note you are not coming until September 15. Sleep well - that is one thing we do out in this country. With a good comforter all summer you will not get too warm here. and not 40 below zero in winter, either. Well, Dear, hurry and get here and enjoy some of our most beautiful climate during the short summer months.

I know you will come as soon as possible and will stick to your promise. I sure appreciate the same. Am waiting for the time I show you that I really care for you....Yours with respect, Ted

Bellingham....July 20, 1914

Miss Emily Nygreen (Guinn), Annandale, Minn. My dearest Emily...I note you have moved. You didn't move far enough, About 2,000 miles more would be just right, don't you think so? Had a letter from Sister. She says she is coming. Good for her.. We can have more fun, cause I tease her some. You know I cannot live without teasing someone and if you were alone I might tease you too much. Of course, you know you will get your chance also.

Well, time is going slow but sure. When we get to keeping house you can take a good rest as I know I will need it after getting the house ready for you and sister. I am going to try and have as much of the work done as possible before you come. Say, sis, can't you change the date to Sept. 10th. or 5th? Well, you can arrange between yourself and sister. I am going to leave the date part to yourself. Next time Sister asks me when it is going to happen I will refer her to my private secretary, Miss Emily. With respect of the best kind, Hub, Ted.

Bellingham....July 24, 1914

My Dear...Emily, I feel proud that you are to come out and be my partner the rest of the time to come. I thank you for saying yes when I popped the question and I do hope you will never be sorry for that "yes". Climate you mentioned again. Oh, we have it....You ought to be here now to enjoy the best of climate for we have the best right now.

Oh yes, if you were in Dakota you may not get here at all, 'cause I know what you told me about that fellow. He might coax you to stay until you lose out at Bellingham and then you would have to go back to teaching school or go farming in Dakota. Oh no, can't fool a Swede! I think you had better not let your fancy roam. Stick to the present No. 1 and you will be as happy as I can make it for you. X Don't that make you think of the time you saw me last? In the kitchen door at Uncle's. Oh you remember alright. With respect, I remain your Boss to be, Ted. X

Bellingham....July 28, 1914

My Dear Emily, it seems to me like I am doing everything, renting a house, buying furniture, setting the date. Now if you want something to say you better set the date in August....I would rather live in Wash. single than live in Minn. double. So, you see, you can't me to come to you. Now that you have to come, why not make it in August? With respect, Ted. X

Bellingham....July 30, 1914

My Dear Emily...I would have the roast on and doing but I would have to get a girl and if I did that I might fall in love with her before you come, as you are so slow getting ready. You ought to be nearly as quick as I do when I go on a journey. 2 hours notice will put me on the steel car.

I will soon be in my house, setting things in place so it will look kind of neat by the time you get here. It will be ready no matter how soon you come and you can't come any too soon to suit me. Our address at the house will be 1311 Bancroft St. Well, Sister, I am waiting patiently for you. Have been waiting so long now that I am getting used to it. Goodbye. With love and respect, Yours, Ted (When are you coming? Don't look for any more mistakes till you get here. Then look at me!)

Bellingham....August 2, 1914

My Dear Emily...Now, Sis, I want you to hurry as I cannot take good care of the furniture and house and work too. Of course, that is not the only reason you should hurry. You know I like you better than any other girl. That is the reason. There are other girls here I like but, oh, you're my own. I wonder if I will say that one year from now. Do you think I will? I hope to, anyway. Yours with best of respect, Hubby Ted

P.S. Do you want a phone in the house? Let me know next letter.

Bellingham....August 2, 1914

I note your Ma wants to announce our engagement. Too bad I am not there to help you out. You will get it from all sides now. One consolation, you boarded with Uncle Nygren and anyone who can stand his teasing can stand most anything.... I bought some furniture yesterday but got nothing for the parlor. Think will leave it till you get here. Also knives and forks. As ever and better, yours, Ted.

Bellingham....August 6, 1914

My Dear Emily, In one letter I see you want to rid the house of mice. Good for you. I don't like mice either... Sis, I know you will make things as pleasant as possible. Also, try to be satisfied. I knew you would when I popped the question or I would never have asked. I am satisfied and pretty sure I will never regret the step I am about to take....I don't want any outside information either. Your life as a single woman I will not question. I know you without.

Our furniture goes in the house tomorrow morning and I move in Saturday afternoon, so me for the baching for a while... I asked Mr. Schwartz to be the best man and he replied with a big YES. Said he would be very glad to act, and also said he wanted the first kiss. I told him I beat him to it long ago.

You may have a time getting out if the trainmen go on strike. Don't you know it is dangerous to linger? And dangerous in more ways than one....With best of respect, Your Friend and partner and anything else you wish, here is a kiss on paper, T.W.Nygreen X

Bellingham....August 9, 1914

Mrs. T.W.Nygreen, Annandale, Minn. My Dear Emily, I am writing this letter on our dining room table. I moved into the house yesterday and slept here last night. Now, sis, tell me when you are coming. It is kind of quiet in my house now. The only noise is when I talk to myself and that is not very often. Gee, but it is lonesome tonight. You know, Emily, it is like being in jail to occupy a house alone. Good night, Sis, I remain yours respectfully, Ted

Bellingham....August 10, 1914

Everything is going nicely at this end of the line and I hope as well at your end. I see you are not going to change that date. Well, alright. Caesar has spoken. As for Anna, tease her once for me. Tell her I beat her to that marrying proposition. Marrying for love has marrying for money cheated 2,000 miles or more. I think she is like her Dad, it is only a business proposition. Business propositions pop up every once in a while. A business proposition is manufactured while you rest. Best of respect, Hub Ted

Bellingham....August 14, 1914

My Dear Emily, Batching is alright but no cooking..I eat at the restaurants as usual but if I don't get a cook soon I will be some slim and will have nothing on you . Believe me, I will make up when I get my cook, and I am quite sure it will have the restaurants beat a city block. I hear a noise like a church bell not far away. There are about 1/2 doz. churches around our house and when they get going there is some noise. I am holy sanctified now and expect my wings to sprout in a week or so.

No, Sis, I am not afraid you will gossip if we get a phone. I have your number and am quite sure I have it right. I will leave the phone out till you come. You say that in about five weeks you will start for the Pacific. Well, that sounds OK, but you could make a better sound of it if you said three in place of five. But it is OK. I realize how hard it will be to tear loose from all your friends and that you are doing the best you can and I sure appreciate the same. Every little thing in our home is getting in shape, slowly but surely. With respect always, yours, Ted. (Well, Dear, here is another X on the wire.)

Bellingham,....August 14, 1914

My Dear Emily, I notice you have been to church and also got a marriage ceremony so you advised me to read it. Well, Sis, I read more than one. I read one not very long ago....Emily, I would not carry anything but your clothes and I would carry them in a good size trunk.

Oh, I do laugh. 98 lbs,! And the hot weather did it! Ha, ha. You say if it would stay cool like today you would soon get fat again? Well, when were you fat last? Oh, you are slim, but that is OK. I will not kick, I hope. When you get here you will have plenty of time to fatten up as it is nice and cool here.

The little house looks better every day. I am writing this letter in the light of our parlor lamp. My own make and it looks swell. I hope you will like it. With respect, Your own Ted.

Bellingham....August 16, 1914

I got your picture last night and think it is fine...You always looked good to me and here is hoping you always will. You look kind of fat, reversed. Gee, Emily, I missed you this evening. I went to the show all alone. I wished you were with me to enjoy same. Well, I can count the weeks on the fingers of my hand now. One month from today I expect to see you at your table enjoying a good meal. Now I don't want you to expect everything to be right in the house as I never kept house before. I really do not know how you would like things. I will let you do half of the bossing. How does that suit you?

Saturday evening I went out with a girl friend of mine. She said she would tell my wife when she gets here. I told her I would tell her before she gets here. Told her I would invite her up and make her acquainted. She replied she would not come. Finally she said she would so you will have a chance to fight it out with her.

Emily, make it the 15th. the day you get here, 'cause you know the 17th. is the day and an extra day would probably come in handy. With respect and love, Hub Ted.

Bellingham....August 18, 1914

My Dear Emily, You spent a day with my folks and I note they said I had to come home to get a wife. Well, Emily, I could have got a wife here and its not too late yet as far as possibility is concerned. I know the girls here will have to figure against an impossibility now. I had a number of girls during my bachelor days but found none that I liked as well as I do you. I have had experience enough to know a good woman.

I finished a kindler on your range so you will find it easy to start the fire in the mornings. You see, I don't expect to get up first. Ha ha. Boss already! Well, anyway, it will make it kind of handy for either one of us. With love and respect, Your Hubby Ted.

Bellingham....August 20, 1914

Dear Emily,... Looked for a letter today. Did not get one. It will make the next one more longed for so it will be so much the better....I am still waiting. Am getting up with little fixing, like the pantry, kitchen, etc. There will be a lot of company in our house for some time - three women and only one man. And no piano. We ought to have one. Some day when my barge arrives we may have one. I think more of you than ever. It is probably because it looks so lonesome..Here is hoping I will dream about my Dearest. Yours with respect, T.W. Nygreen.

Bellingham....August 22, 1914

I see Sister wants to know what that best man looks like. Well you can tell her he is a good looking man. He looks something like me. Of course, Schwartz is cranky and I am cranky, too. That is what makes us look so much alike. Ha ha. Three more long weeks and you will not be able to do as you please, either, believe me, for I will be the Boss from Sept. 17th. on. Don't you think I will?

Emily, who told you September 17th. was my birthday? I suppose Mother did. Yes, Dear, I do want a birthday present, and a good one, too, and it looks like I asked for one. Ask and thou shalt receive. I complied with the Bible. The Bible is a good book, and so is my birthday present going to be.

Emily, it is a lot of work to fix up a house. I fixed some more and am not through yet, and will not be so I will leave some for you. It cost some money, too, for a wild fellow like me that spent it all looking for some wealth and didn't find it. I can't kick. I found something better than wealth and that's you. I think I will be satisfied, in fact I know I will.

I wish it was that birthday now. Say, if it does not make any difference to you, which it should not now, how old are you, if I may ask? Now don't say sweet sixteen. I don't care how old you are. You are going to be my wife anyway....With best of Respect and love, Ted.

Bellingham....August 24, 1914

My Dear Emily, My watch went on the blinks so I don't know what time it is. I don't care. I am going to write this letter if it takes all night, 'cause when I write to you I don't feel tired.

I think my parents like you alright, don't you?

I begin to think like your Ma does now. Time is going faster, but not too fast to suit me. Too bad your mother is not well and you say if you can't leave when planned, what then? As usual, I suppose, make the best of it as we both try to do. I will pardon you as you know I am always willing to do. Here is hoping she gets really well, and by the time you are to leave. Gee, Emily, I hope I can make your life a happy one. With best of Respect, your Hub, Ted.

Bellingham....August 27, 1914

Note your Mother is so sick to bed. Emily, I do hope she gets well before it is time to leave.

Well I don't think we will fight over the fires. We will probably find something else to fight over. I know you will build the fires alright and let Hubby sleep till the breakfast bells ring, don't you?

Emily, the big event will take place at our home here. We will have the ceremony performed in the afternoon and a few friends will be up for a big feed in the evening. Or do you want the ceremony in the evening when the bunch is here? Let me know and I will obey your wish. I will let you be boss once and see if you like it.

I note you have no No. 2 to write to any more. Well, Emily, you have a No. 1. Write some more to him. Emily, I wish you were here now. It makes it kind of lonesome to sit here all alone evenings. 2 1/2 weeks more and the trouble will start. Ireland and Sweden may have a fight. Ireland will lose, I am sure. For all that, you won me and I am not a bit sorry, believe me. With Best of Respect, your Ted.

Bellingham....August 28, 1914

By your letter it seems you will not be here by the set time. I appreciate you are doing the best you can. Too bad about your mother. Well, Sis, if the worst should come to your Ma, would you come at all then? I hope you will not change your mind. You know I am willing to sacrifice anything for you, not only willing but will do so. With love and Respect, yours, Ted.

Bellingham....August 31, 1914

I note you are losing a lot of sleep. Be careful, Emily. Take good care of yourself. You are willing to sacrifice possibly too much. Well Mother is the nearest one you have so it is time well spent. I know you will come as soon as you see your way clear but stay as long as your mother is sick in bed. I would be very glad to +meet your mother and I hope I will some day. Tell her I am sorry I did not go to Annandale to see her before I left last winter. I wish you were here now. I am kind of lonesome for you and I find you are the same. Yours with respect. Ted. (Do I want a home of our own? I should say I do. We are going to have one, too.)

Bellingham....September 1, 1914

My Dear Emily,..I note your Ma is still seriously ill. I wish I could be of some service to her. I am glad you think my parents like you. I also think they do. I note your Dad wants you to come out as planned, but you suit yourself. I am at work every day and on my return I find no one to home, only your picture. I take a look at it every evening after work and say "Hello, Emily." But the picture cannot smile. With best of Respect, Hubby, Ted.

Bellingham....September 2, 1914

It looks like rain this evening. All the people wish it would rain so as to put out the forest fires all around the city. Emily, here is hoping to see you soon. Work is getting kind of slack and am thinking it will be a dull winter. I think we can get along as good as some of them. There is always something popping up unexpectedly so it may work out OK. Gee I am getting lonesome for you. I hate to think of any later than 17, but don't worry. I will get along fine. Yours, Ted.

Bellingham....September 3, 1914

My Dear Emily, I am glad to hear Mother is getting well. The reason the house is empty 'cause you are not here. Of course I am here but I don't count. I am only a figure head. Just you wait till you get here and you will find I will count.

You say don't get too lonesome before you get here. Well, I am used to it now. I found something more to do around the house tonight so I went to the shop and made it. There are lots of things around our house that is home made but I can put it up against any factory made article. 'Cause I am some iron butcher!

I have not a picture on a wall. Anything will do for a start but the wife, she must be good from the start and she is. I knew what I was about when I popped that question. After I did, I asked myself "Am I worthy?" And I said let her decide that. With thanks to the givers of Presents and Brides, Respectfully yours, Ted.

Bellingham....September 4, 1914

My Dear Emily, Glad to hear your Ma is getting along better. I set up the heater tonight and made a shelf for under the kitchen sink. Now, Emily, I am going to quit fixing 'cause I will find nothing to do when you get here, and that is probably what I want. I like to be like an Indian, let the women do the work. With Respect, Ted.

EPILOG

The wedding took place as scheduled. Dad received his birthday present on September 17, 1914. The record shows that Sarah Guinn Jewett died in October, 1914, aged 60 years.

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Chapter 7 -- BELLINGHAM

Growing up in Whatcom County, Washington, gave me a distorted time perspective. The "Old Settler's Picnic" was an annual summer event held at Pioneer Park in Ferndale. In the late 1920's it was a lively affair with music and oratory, food, games, and a general air of excitement. A few grizzled and undistinguished oldsters were recognized but their significance was never explained to a grammar school youngster. It was much later when I learned that to become a member of the Pioneers of Washington one had only to have arrived in the state on or before 1890. Since that was only thirty-five years or so earlier, there were a number of "pioneers" around. The event disappeared in the gloom of the depression thirties. This foreshortened sense of historical time confused me. Partly in response I looked forward in time, seldom back.

The economy of the Bellingham Bay area was based upon lumbering, fishing, and some agriculture. These were extractive activities. When the salmon declined and forests were cut down the economy went into severe decline. The depression of the thirties lowered the demand for wood products. The mills, which lined the bay gradually, disappeared, shut down purposely or destroyed by fire. It was a grim time. The only way to a better life for an ambitious young person was through education. If one were good enough at some intellectual skill there would be a pathway to opportunity out of the area. Exporting talented young people became an industry in itself.

But in the 1920s people blissfully ignored the possibility that their economic base was being eroded. Bellingham was then the fourth largest city in the state, with a population approaching 30,000. Bellingham parades featured floats predicting a population of 50,000 in 1950 and 80,000 in 1980. This was not to be, but the euphoria was everywhere.

Dad and Mother moved from Bancroft Street to North Street and then, probably when I was two, to Girard Street, the first home I remember. These structures no longer exist. Girard Street was on the banks of Whatcom Creek, a constant worry to Mother. I remember once sitting far back in an easy chair on the porch of the Mansons, our neighbors, impishly ignoring Mother's increasingly frantic calling for me. I was found, of course, and Mother always took wry amusement at my teasing behavior. I recall sitting on a pillow which had been placed over a round hole in the floor cut for the installation of a central heating system. I fell to the basement floor beneath, landed on the pillow unhurt and unfazed. I still remember the thankful attention I then received.

Most of my memories of Girard Street are fragmentary. Dad had his first car and there were rides in the countryside. There was a neighbor with a fine Irish tenor that I enjoyed and marveled at. We watched the building of the First Christian Church, just a few hundred feet away. We went to visit Auntie Woll, the wife of J.P. Woll, an optician, who pleased us with brown sugar on buttered bread and sent us home with flowers from her gardens. I learned to lick the paper wrapper from butter, the beater with which cream was whipped, and the pans in which cake batter was prepared. I learned to read, precociously, from the labels on the cans and packages from the food store. My brother Howard was born in 1921 when I was two and a half years old. Only in the last months at the Girard Street house do I remember him as a playmate. I was pleased to have a brother.

When I was four we moved to a house on Henry Street. It was a better neighborhood for growing children. Across the street was a family with small children and with a huge yard full of climbable trees. The summer I turned six I jumped from a tree, caught my throat on a clothesline wire, and ruptured something. The doctor decided to remove my tonsils. Of the operation I remember these things: the fright from the ether cup being placed over my face; Mother being present when I awoke; my resentment of being an invalid dependent upon others. Ice cream therapy carried me through recuperation. We had a chimney fire while living in that house, no serious damage resulting. In the back was a chicken coop and yard. I learned to feed the chickens, collect the eggs, the difference between pullets and hens, and what the term "spring chicken" derived from.

While at Henry Street, probably in 1923, Mother bore a child, a girl, who lived only a brief hour after birth. I recall the funeral occasion. I was barred from attending the services although I was permitted to see the infant wrapped in dress clothes and lying in a small casket. The child was never named. The marker in Bayview Cemetery simply notes "infant daughter of". Denied admission to the funeral parlor while services were held, I played in a big car with Vincent Bochnak, my own age, the son of friends of my parents. It was the first time I sensed any distance between me and my parents. I resented this very much, not in a hostile way but in what became a determination to create my own identity and never be totally dependent upon others.

In September, 1924, I entered first grade in Columbia School. That lasted just three weeks, when we moved to 515 Gladstone Street. There I entered Lincoln School, a six-grade grammar school. It was an exciting time for me. I have many and vivid memories of those four and a half years. In first grade I learned that children are not created equal. Some are less able than others. Some are almost unwilling to learn. Some girls are nicer than other girls. I learned that competition is fun but cooperation is more satisfying. I also discovered that other people, including teachers, are not always willing to help you learn, that you have to do it by your own effort and that mistakes are not always bad.

Second grade lasted one semester when I was promoted mid-year to third grade. The classroom teacher was a lovely person but she had two groups in the same room. I was in the smaller group, with more time left to our own device. I used it to read avidly, a life long enjoyment. In the fourth grade, similarly, I was in the smaller group with a crusty teacher aptly named Mrs. Savage. She emphasized mathematics. Bored, I followed what she was teaching the more advanced half of the class. When no one could answer her questions I would put up my hand and she, startled, would call on me. I suspect that I was unpopular with the other students. In any event, Mrs. Savage soon got tired of me and promoted me to the larger group so fourth grade lasted just half a year. Near the end of the year I was acting obstreperously and was banished to her coatroom. There I languished for what seemed a long time. Finally I saw some coins on the floor, picked them up, and ventured out to her desk. She had forgotten me, dismissed the class, and was alone. I gave her the coins, explained where I had found them, and she dismissed me with scarcely a word. Ever after, I have appreciated Mrs. Savage, despite her angry manners, for the love of mathematics she encouraged.

That stood me in good stead in the fifth and sixth grade. The latter was taught by the principal, who also loved mathematics. She consulted Mother who finally agreed that in mid-year I could be transferred to Franklin School in mid-year and enter the seventh grade.

Skipping grades was good in that I did not become bored with the classroom. School was challenging, or could be made to be so. Social relations were difficult because I was younger and smaller than my classmates. In games I was not particularly proficient. I loved baseball and could hit reasonably well. In playground football the largest boys were naturally the most able. I could tackle the biggest boy, who usually had the football, but I could not bring him to the ground without help. Because he was so much larger, the other boys were reluctant to assist. He usually scored, dragging me with him over the goal line.

I was ten and a half years old when I walked into the seventh grade classroom at Franklin School. My attention was caught immediately by another new student, a girl with long golden curls and an alert air about her. She was Beverly Holiday from Sehome School and proved to be the star pupil in most subjects. I decided she was going to be my girl someday. My awareness of my small size at that age and my social ineptness, however, meant that I had better delay any efforts in that direction until I was able to compete better. In the meantime I could keep a careful watch on things.

Franklin School years were impatient ones for me. Shut out from athletics because of age difference and small size, I turned to other things. The aviation age was just beginning to captivate imaginations and I began to build model airplanes and fly them off the rocky hill behind the school. Music memory contests introduced me to the world of classical music. Chief Justice and former President William Howard Taft died and the school gathered in assembly to note his passing. It was the first awareness I had of the national political scene. I was eager to grow older and participate in the larger community I was just becoming aware of.

As a six-year old I had first claim on the daily newspaper, the Bellingham Herald, delivered about 4:00 o'clock each afternoon. The best continued story in the paper was the sports pages. The New York Yankees were just entering their glory years. Babe Ruth, Tony Lazzeri, Miller Huggins and company were fun to read about and I waited anxiously for each afternoon's paper to arrive. The major league games were played in the afternoon and with the time difference our paper carried that day's scores. The front pages were filled with news of the President of the United States and I followed the changing political scene with interest as though it, too, were a sporting event.

One had to be twelve years of age to become a Boy Scout. I could hardly wait. When my twelfth birthday arrived I immediately applied to Troop 15, an active troop sponsored by the American Legion Post. I grew to love the Scouts. I became the knot-tying champion of our Scout Council, and won the bicycle riding contests in the mountains. I wasn't always the fastest but always the most accurate message carrier. Our troop also won the first aid team competitions with two teams, usually winning both first and second. We also won the semaphore signaling contests. I took an active part in all these efforts. It must be recalled that these events were based on skills used during the World War I years. Radios were scarce and there was no television. Wireless message sending was in its infancy. I gained much self-confidence from these Scouting experiences and have always been grateful for this impact on my life.

We were too poor for me to go to summer camp or even for me to have a proper Scout uniform. Beginning at ten, I hawked newspapers on the street corner in down town Bellingham. I earned one penny for selling a newspaper for three cents. On Saturdays, the Seattle newspaper Sunday editions sold for a dime and I kept three cents. Rain or cold, I was out there, often with my brother Howard, having laid claim to a good corner with a popular drugstore and across the street from the Public Market. At twelve I got a Saturday job in the Stop and Shop Food Market, first for a dollar-and-a-half and soon two dollars for a twelve-hour stint. I accumulated my money and before long had enough to buy my first bicycle, in addition to meeting the parentally imposed requirement that I buy all my own clothes.

The bicycle broadened my horizons. I decided to sell Collier's magazine and built a very successful route. Then I bought a Saturday Evening Post route from a friend who was giving it up, thus having a Tuesday and a Friday route. With the bicycle I could pedal on Sundays or for two-day weekends to a camp our troop built on Lake Samish, some eight miles from our home. I could visit Merwin Eames who lived in another part of town and was ill with tuberculosis. His parents were friends of my parents. Merwin was hungry for companionship. His parents were talented people, both of whom worked, so he was alone much of the time. He introduced me to stamp collecting and to his other interests. We remained friends until his death about 1938.

The Gladstone Street House was a good one in which to grow up. It was within walking distance of all the schools I attended, and of the downtown shopping area. Dad was always working on the house. He knocked out the wall between the living room and dining room, creating one large living room. It had metal ceilings because they were easier to care for. There was an upstairs with bedrooms for the children, a full but unfinished basement. There was a hydraulic elevator between the basement and the pantry on the main floor, an attraction to all our young friends. The backyard had a garden and two huge Bing cherry trees, which bore magnificent crops each early summer. The neighborhood had lots of other young people whose fortunes waxed and waned, providing both good and bad object lessons for us.

The mix of families in that neighborhood was remarkable. Mr. Gilbertson was a Norwegian shingle weaver, missing fingers from shingle mill accidents. His daughter, Anena, was my age. Mrs. Gilbertson regularly baked fresh bread. Howard and I contrived to play in their yard when the aroma of baking beckoned us. Soon Mrs. Gilbertson would appear at the door and give us each a slab of fresh from the oven bread, well buttered and indescribably delicious. Two blocks away lived Mrs. Pearson, who baked the most rich and delightful Swedish cookies. We were always eager to do favors for her for the reward of cookies we knew would send us away happy.

Down the alley lived the Staggs, a raucous bunch known for their baseball playing skills. Nearby lived the Sunels, he a Jewish clothier and more prosperous than most neighbors. Next door to them were the Lallas family, Greek immigrants and fruit and vegetable merchants. Nearby were the Moens, a Danish Free Lutheran minister with a large family of boys, known for their athletic and musical skills. The youngest boy, Chester, was my classmate, an occasional tormentor but in later years a friend.

Next door lived the Normans. He was a salesman of Florsheim shoes and she a restaurant waitress. With two incomes and only one son, Stanley, they had a better life style than we did. However, they were our best friends in many ways. They had an imposing Atwater-Kent console radio years before we had any radio at all. Instead of handmade Christmas ornaments their trees were covered with store bought tinsel. They had an icebox and several times a week had blocks of ice delivered. They always ate the first of the crop fruits and vegetables instead of waiting until the prices came down. They were certainly not well to do but it was my continual awareness of their larger discretionary income that first made me aware of economic inequities. They were always kind and helpful. Mrs. Norman (Abbie), was especially meaningful to Mother. In later years they were less fortunate. Stanley died at a relatively young age and they were lonely, especially after our parents had moved to Seattle.

Ours was a neighborhood of small churches. Many of them were Lutheran churches affiliated with ethnic synods. They had small congregations and old wooden structures. One of my vivid memories is of going to a church dinner in one of them. The meal was served on a plain white plate. On it was a boiled white potato with white cream gravy, some white codfish, and steamed cauliflower. Everything dead white! From that time on I was aware of the way color could be used to make food more attractive.

My brother Paul was born in the Gladstone Street house in 1925. He was large from birth. He was slow to walk but the family doctor urged Mother not to encourage him to walk until his leg bones were adequate to manage his weight without undue strain. On May 17, 1927, when he was two years and two days old, he walked for the first time. I was sitting on a stool beside the kitchen wood stove, not feeling too well, (the next day I came down with the measles), when he rose from the floor and walked over to me. Of course, I called to Mother to witness his newfound skill. The excitement did me so much good that the measles (red) proved not to be a trial.

Two brothers and no sister! The entire family wanted a girl. It was a glorious April day in 1927 when Ruth joined us. I bubbled over in school, sharing my pleasure with the teacher and the class. This didn't seem to them to be as marvelous as it did to me. It rounded out the family in an ideal way.

For Mother, fragile and slight, the strain of child bearing, working as Dad's accountant and financial manager, and the clamor of energetic boys, proved more than she could handle easily. Her recurrent migraines seemed to intensify. She was anemic and had a small goiter. She persisted, nonetheless, and overcame the worst of it. I was insulated from some of her problems by the busyness of my own life. I did learn to take responsibility for cleaning the kitchen and other chores she would assign. As I think back I wish I had been more responsive to her needs. She never wanted her problems to hamper my education, however, and for that I am, in retrospect, appreciative.

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Chapter 8 -- WHATCOM HIGH, RAH RAH!

The New York Stock Exchange crashed in October, 1929. Just turned eleven, I was blissfully unaware of what this meant. As 1930 wore on, however, the cash economy began to disappear in Western Washington. Soon times were tough in ways unimaginable today. People were hungry. There was no organized program of public assistance so the spectre of the "poor farm" was a dreaded possibility. (We often drove by the County Farm just north of Bellingham and it was drilled into us that we needed to be diligent to avoid such a fate.) Our parents did their best to shield their children from the despair and discouragement, which beset them, nearly everyone we knew. By the beginning of 1931, when I was leaving Franklin School to enter high school, people were openly talking about the need for active government intervention in the economy. When that was clearly not going to happen there was openly expressed willingness to consider revolutionary ways to bring about fundamental change.

In the first week of February 1931, age twelve and a half, I entered high school.

Uniting three small towns on Bellingham Bay, Fairhaven, Sehome, and Whatcom created the City of Bellingham. In my time there were two high schools which preserved the names of Fairhaven and Whatcom. (Today there are again two high schools, now known as Bellingham and Sehome, while the earlier ones retain the names Fairhaven and Whatcom but are junior high or middle schools.) Whatcom was the larger and served a district, which included the Franklin School area. We walked to high school, some twelve blocks or so, an easy journey past a log pond, a lumber yard and box mill, a sash and door factory, a feed mill, a commercial laundry, and the Darigold Dairy plant. Except on those rare occasions when the wind was bitter cold in mid-winter, it was always an interesting trip. I carried a brown bag lunch, as did nearly everyone else.

The climate of the high school was a macho one, emphasizing athletics and military skills. At the outset, the coach and physical education teacher, Mr. Frank Geri, who made it clear that a thin twelve-year-old was of little interest to anyone else, met the new boys. The principal was the commanding officer of the Bellingham National Guard units. Troublesome boys were encouraged to enroll in the National Guard, after which their trouble making propensities were smiled at. Discussion of political matters was frowned upon. Any mention of the increasing public unrest was regarded as subversive, the Principal afraid of the school being identified as a source of political radicalism in a time of threatened change.

I found this out in a very personal way when a classmate, from a family active in-groups considered radical in their social aims, in a history class reported on some local event and read from a form recruiting members and quoted their political platform. As he returned to his seat he placed the paper from which he had been reading on my desk. Apparently the teacher reported the incident to the Principal. Because it had been given to me they probably assumed it had originated with me. Their fear of being criticized for not keeping the classroom out of the political arena was sufficient for them to take whatever means were necessary to quash any student discussion of the political scene. Subsequently I was called to the Principal's office, interrogated, but despite his threats and browbeating I refused his demand to say any more than simply what had occurred. It was a tense moment. The memory of that physically huge man trying to intimidate me and force me to make statements beyond my knowledge for some fear of his own has stayed with me. Some years later it was reported the Principal committed suicide, perhaps because he was fearful his homosexuality would be revealed, and I recalled his obtuse macho personality with detestation.

That first term I had the great good fortune to be in a beginning German class with an exchange teacher from Nuremberg, Fraulein Anna Pollitz. We weren't far removed from the anti-German feelings engendered by World War I. It must have taken some courage for the Board of Education to enter into an exchange teacher arrangement with Germany. Several of my closest friends, including lovely Beverly Holiday, were also in that class. When the fall term began we had Miss Frieda Millspaugh back, an enthusiastic teacher of German who loved her students. Those classes in the German language certainly enriched my world understanding.

My teachers of mathematics, chemistry, and physics were superb. My favorite teacher, however, was a small, red haired specialist in history and politics, Miss Irma Tarkoff. She encouraged me in many ways. The Carnegie Institute for World Peace held an annual essay examination contest centered on the League of Nations. I studied for the examination and took it twice but did not receive any special recognition. I really lacked the background understanding to put into perspective the momentous events around the struggle to make the League an effective world force despite the refusal of the United States to participate. Nonetheless, the involvement helped create an awareness of the world scene, which has persisted throughout my life.

My being two years younger than most of my classmates, however, made my social development slow and difficult. I wanted very much to be invited to join the Hi-Y but it never happened. It wasn't only being smaller, younger, and not dating. It was that I was poor, didn't have the money to dress stylishly, worked as a magazine salesman and grocery clerk, none of which conferred any status. I was an active Scout while my classmates had mostly moved on to other things.

The First Baptist Church and its youth group, the Baptist Young People's Union, became my social milieu. There were three special ways this served a socializing purpose. I sang in the choir, led by Mrs. Abby Raymond, a wise and tolerant taskmaster. We sang for Sunday morning and evening services, and practiced one night a week in Mrs. Raymond's home. I studied in the teacher-training program led by Mrs. Harold Fisher. I attended the Sunday evening meetings of the B.Y.P.U. and participated in their social events. So much church! I toyed with the idea of becoming a minister or, better, a missionary with special skill such as medicine. Two things occurred, however, to turn aside this notion.

One was my growing awareness that the young people around me who did choose church related vocations were motivated by emotion rather than by rational and purposeful decision. I did not view them as knowledgeable of the world nor as being very bright. They were fine young people, admirable in so many ways, but they weren't people I wanted to emulate. One couldn't hold intelligent discussions about history or politics and certainly not about scientific matters. On other than church related matters they were unable to cope effectively so it was as if they were using religion as an escape from reality.

The other was my growing disillusionment with the professional clergy. The Baptist Church had a fine minister, Rev. Loucks, who had a talent for communicating with people of all ages. (His son, Roger Brown Loucks, was the chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington during my graduate student days and became a good friend. He was not a religious person. He was distinguished in the field of learning psychology and hoped I would join his field of interest.) In those depression years, the church could not afford to keep a strong minister. When Rev. Loucks departed the church faced a decision. They could afford either a young minister just out of seminary or an older minister coming up to retirement. The choice they made was to call a minister from retirement, the Rev. Carstenson.

For me it was a disastrous choice. Rev. Carstenson was cast in an old school of Baptist clergy, ready to point the accusing finger at anyone who deviated from his concept of the church's proper teaching. I would sit behind him, in the choir loft, forced to listen to his fulmination's twice each Sunday. Early in his tenure he was appointed to the board of the Bellingham Public Library. He used this position to grab headlines, berating the library staff for ordering books he considered sinful. He became particularly wrathful over the recommendation that the library purchase James Joyce's "Ulysses", recently rescued from banishment by a court decision, which opened it up to circulation in the United States.

As a youthful patron of the adult library, I had completed a form and signed my name to request the purchase of this book. I may not have been the only one but I knew of no one else and I had so acted. Now Rev. Carstenson was a round, florid man, who had a large scar on the back of his neck from a serious carbuncle removal. When he became excited in the pulpit this scar would become flaming red. There I was, watching this scar aflame while I was guilty of having provoked his ire because I wanted to read a particular work of English literature.

Other and similar experiences pushed me away from a religious career. I became fascinated with what I perceived to be charlatanry. There was the visiting evangelist who preached one Sunday evening on the sinful land of Canaan. The Children of Israel should have known they were entering an impure place. "Look at the word Canaan," he shouted, "six letters and three of them are a's. They should have known." Another preached on the sounds of nature, which are in a minor key, a sign of sinfulness. Still another called himself a converted Jew, called to bring Christ to the Jews who have not yet heard the message of salvation. I visited Pentecostal Churches where I enjoyed the syncopated versions of familiar hymns but was aghast at the emotional excesses of trances and glossalalia. One night with my friend Austin Goheen I visited a spiritualist seance, which we both quickly identified as fakery. By the time I was fifteen and leaving high school, I was also leaving the church and any thought of a religious career.

And all this time I was continuing to read avidly. How does one develop taste in literature? My experience was that reading voraciously did it. I tired quickly of Zane Grey and other writers of westerns so popular among young people. Romances and adventure stories soon seem contrived. Tarzan of the Apes was interesting but by the end of the second volume it, too, appeared artificial. Tom Swift, Tom Slade, PeeWee Blakely, were the same. Ernest Thompson Seton was interesting but also was probably contrived. The high school curriculum didn't guide me, perhaps because I was in so many science courses. But I kept on reading.

In my junior year I became friends with a smart but unattractive boy who was a star guard on the football team. During summers and school breaks he worked as a coal miner in the Bellingham Bay Coal Company property. He thought I might get a job in the mines and offered to introduce me. We arranged that I was to report at the mine on a certain morning at 5:45 AM. I arose at five, dressed quietly and was at the mine ahead of time. I soon learned that I was too young and they wouldn't use me. Disappointed, mostly at not being able to earn the good wages miners received even in the depression, I returned home for breakfast. That evening my father asked me where I had gone so early in the morning. I told him. He was furious. He told me most emphatically that no matter how hard times became, no son of his was going to work in the mines. I was not to attempt that again for he would refuse permission. Later I learned that he had worked briefly in the mines during his Rocky Mountain days and knew the rigors and dangers of that occupation. He wouldn't do it again and neither was I to do it.

Three and a half years after entering I was graduated from high school, near the top of the class. Beverly Holiday was the valedictorian. I was eager to enter college but had no money. I still worked Saturdays in a food market and serviced two magazine routes. In June, 1934, there were no signs that the depression was ameliorating, although the New Deal programs were beginning to alleviate some of the misery. The FHA program saved our home. Dad was able to obtain government money to pay off Professor Philippi and the threat of foreclosure was abated. There was created the Civilian Conservation Corps, but at fifteen I was too young to qualify. There was a new program, the National Youth Administration, and perhaps it would provide a way to help. But there was nothing definite. Prospects were glum, but I was two years ahead of my birth cohort so perhaps I could turn that to some advantage.

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Chapter 9 -- WINDOWS ON THE FUTURE

Bellingham was the site of a Normal School, a term then in use for a collegiate institution established for the training of teachers. Today it is a regional state university, known as Western Washington State University, and widely recognized for its strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences. In 1934 it had a total enrollment of just over 800. Today more than ten thousand students study at Western, the enrollment capped for financial reasons.

As a Normal School, the summer session was a busy one. Public school teachers would return to earn credits toward a degree since only a three-year diploma was required to be eligible to teach. "Summer School where Summer's Cool" was an appealing motto for summers in Bellingham were sunny but cool, very different from the other normal schools at Cheney and Ellensburg. Fees were low. Schoolteacher's salaries were also very low. Since money was scarce in the depression, enrollments were down. Thus admission with a high school diploma reflecting college preparatory courses and reasonable grades was readily available.

I wanted very much to go to the University of Washington, less than a hundred miles away. That was impossible, for we had no money. My parents would not hear of a fifteen-year-old going away from home. They denied me permission to go to Alaska for the salmon-fishing season and they certainly wouldn't let me go to Seattle to attend the university. The lumber mills in Bellingham were shut down by a long strike. I still had my weekend job as a grocery clerk, augmented by additional hours in a fruit and vegetable stand. I had money saved sufficient to pay the summer session fees at the Normal School so I decided to attend there for the summer.

What was available was freshman chemistry, the first two quarters of general inorganic chemistry. Professor Philippi tolerated such a youngster and the returning teachers followed suit. Because I had nothing much else to do I found the study challenging and to my surprise earned the top grades in the class. One of the students explained away the embarrassment of being outperformed by a fifteen year old by noting that returning teachers would work just hard enough to earn "B's" and if I wanted to work harder I could get the "A's". So I did.

At the end of the summer session the lumber mill strike was settled. Starting wage was set at $.45 per hour. For a time there was a shipping backlog so the day I turned 16 I went to work in the Bloedel-Donovan lumber mill as a stamper, placing a logo on lumber ready for shipping. I worked forty hours a week for eighteen dollars. The job lasted three weeks and I had fifty-four dollars, enough to pay my fall quarter fees at the college, buy my textbooks, and the clothes I needed.

Around the kitchen table at dinner, the evening of my first working day in the mill, Dad delivered a "policy statement." He announced that as long as I used any money I earned for school costs I could live at home without paying for room and board. If I quit school, however, I would have to bear my share of home costs. He then added that if I were to get married I could not bring my wife home to live. Tired as I was, I thought it crude and unnecessary and after supper went straight to bed. Many times later I was to recall his statement and I'm sure it was instrumental in my acting only with forethought on fundamental economic responsibility matters. I was grateful he had been straightforward.

At the college I was surrounded by friends with intellectual interests and abilities. We read books and discussed what we had read. I recall discovering Thomas Hardy. My favorite study spot in the library was next to a shelf of all his novels. I loved them - The Return of the Native, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure, and even A Pair of Blue Eyes. I spent long afternoon hours in the music listening room, learning to enjoy Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and even (especially) Scriabin. We discussed passionately political issues - anti-Semitism, approaches to labor organization, the usefulness of groups such as the League for Industrial Democracy, the threat of rearmament and war, the chances for peace, the rising tide of fascism. We were a small group, out of the mainstream of student activities and athletics. Sparking off each other, we broadened our horizons. It was an exciting time.

My crisis came when I had no money to return after Christmas. My parents sacrificed to make it possible. That fifteen dollars Mother handed to me the morning of registration day lifted me over the obstacle. I never looked back from that point and, somehow, always managed without further help. During that winter term I was given an NYA assignment. I was to work with the Professor of Mathematics and instruct the remedial arithmetic group. The National Youth Administration paid fifteen dollars a month and expected us to work ten hours a week. It worked out to $.35 an hour. It was cash money, thank goodness, and with Saturday food store clerking it made meeting college costs possible as long as I stayed at Bellingham.

To qualify for a teaching diploma students had to pass certain skill tests. For many the mathematics test was a stumbling block. The test consisted mainly of some simple algebra problems. Although I had no previous teaching experience I sensed that to overcome the student's fears I had to capture their imaginations so I developed a collection of questions with a practical bent which could be readily solved by applying simple algebra. I thought if they knew how to solve them they would pose them to their friends and by this means would come to understand the principles involved. This proved to be true and I soon earned a reputation for helping students meet the qualification requirement. Since most of them were women students, this good perception seemed desirable.

Student government elections were held in the spring and I decided to be a candidate for a seat on the Student Council. At the assembly held for all candidates to speak I couldn't raise my eyes to look at the audience. I felt sure that this failure would doom my chances. My opponent, Steve Turk, was a campus jock (athlete) and socially active. He was five years older than I. When the votes were counted, however, I was elected. I served a full year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

When summer came I had an opportunity to help manage a fruit and vegetable market. I earned fifteen dollars a week but had to put in about sixty-five working hours. I was tempted to buy into the business, which could be accomplished out of my weekly earnings. I never seriously considered it, however, figuring that if I had made it thusfar I had a good chance of doing what I most wanted at that stage which was to attend the University of Washington.

Having done well in chemistry and mathematics, I then discovered zoology and physics. Being comfortable with mathematics made physics seem easy. Zoology was another matter. It seemed not to have the kind of theoretical base, which permitted prediction and control. On the other hand it did have a rational classification system. It also had the additional lure of the rich biota of the Puget Sound region. I wanted very much to be able to spend a summer at the UW's Friday Harbor Experiment Station. Again I did not have the money to do so nor could I forego the income from a summer working. As was true at so many points in my life, straitened circumstances foreclosed educational options I would love to have pursued.

When during my sophomore year I reached seventeen I decided it was time for me to declare my interest in Beverly Holiday. To me she was a glamour figure. Bright, talented, and beautiful, I thought her a little supercilious because she would pass me on campus and not notice me nor respond to my greeting. Later I realized that she was near-sighted and for the sake of appearing attractive failed to wear her glasses regularly. That perception was soon altered. Early in 1936 I organized a trip to Vancouver, B.C., involving visiting Aunt Ella, Mother because that was how I could use the family car, and Beverly. I obtained tickets to a performance of the opera "Aida", thinking such a cultural event would impress her. The trip went off well. It was our first date. Much, much later I learned that Beverly did not enjoy musical events. She did not want to sit still for them, and was genuinely puzzled how other people could truly enjoy them. No matter, though. I did have her attention, as a result, and the only reason I was apprehensive about leaving the next fall for the University was that I was leaving her in Bellingham.

Bellingham was increasingly worried about political radicalism. Prejudice against minorities was overt, principally anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic since there were few Blacks and Asian Americans in the city. A local businessman named Gordon, who was not hesitant in identifying himself as a Jew, declared himself to be a candidate for mayor. He spent money liberally on advertising but the reaction was vicious. When votes were counted he had spent more than one dollar per vote, a startling figure when cash was scarce. The local newspaper, the Bellingham Herald was controlled by the Sefrit family. Editorials were consistently far right wing and dealt with ignorant fears rather than with issues. I learned for the first time how property and power induced their holders to paranoid fears of the popular will.

In 1935 the Sefrits concentrated their attention on the President of the Normal School, Dr. Charles H. Fisher. He was known to be a liberal who believed that the college should have an open platform and welcome speakers from across the political spectrum. The newspaper was not interested in a balanced presentation. They wanted the far left to be denied a platform. I recall that twice in two years Howard Scott, founder and leader of a group gaining increasing attention known as Technocracy, was speaking at the college on evenings to which the public was invited. We students who heard him were turned off by his fascist approach to social issues, although we were interested in his forecasts of the technological nature of the society which was rapidly developing. The newspaper saw students as being vulnerable when exposed to such notions and used Scott's appearance as one among many reasons why Dr. Fisher was not fit to head a teacher training institution.

By early spring of 1936 the pressure on President Fisher became heightened. Gordon Millikan, President of the Student Council, and I organized a meeting of students with Dr. Fisher. We met off campus, on Sunset Ridge, at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, the time and place chosen so we would not be spied upon. We said that the students wanted to organize a public protest, perhaps shut down the college or whatever actions would draw public attention to our support for and appreciation of our President. He listened to us, asked a few questions, and then said he would do nothing to stand in the way of our doing whatever we decided. However, he made clear that he felt any such action would worsen, rather than help his situation, and told us why. He finally left us, saying again that we were free to do what we thought best. In the end, we determined to do nothing, recognizing that his cause would inevitably be hurt, given the climate of Bellingham.

I was eager to get to the University. It represented new worlds to conquer, worlds with greater tolerance for broader perspectives. Somehow I knew that the only pathway for upward socio-economic mobility was through that route. How I could manage it financially I had only vague romantic notions, based on Horatio Alger type tales of working one's way through. My only other alternative seemed to be to stay in Bellingham, swallow my pride about not becoming an ordinary schoolteacher, and do what so many others settled for. Despite the deep depression, which still gripped the Pacific Northwest, I felt that somehow attending the University could be made to happen.

Then disaster struck. On July 31, 1936, at 2:30 in the afternoon, Mother and I were returning from my having taken her food shopping. Fire trucks surrounded our house. A fire had started in the room Howard and I shared. All my clothes and books were gone. Not having the money to continue carrying household insurance, Dad had not renewed that policy. There was insurance for the house but not for its contents. It was a serious problem for Mother and Dad, of course. For me it was truly a disaster.

But for that night Beverly's parents invited me to stay at their house and sleep on the living room sofa. I did. It took most of the sting out of the immediate disaster.

But how was I to attend the University without funds or clothes? I resolved to attempt it. Somehow it had to be done.

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Chapter 10 -- AT LAST, ATHENS!

I left Bellingham for Seattle just after Labor Day, 1936. My fall term fees, $32.50, were paid on an earlier visit in August. I found a basement room just a block off campus and shared the $25.00 per month rental with two other fellows. I had an NYA (National Youth Administration) job, $15.00 a month, and was assigned to the Office of the Registrar. No money would come my way, however, until the end of October. All I thought I needed was a job for my board.

For four days I tried fruitlessly to find a board job. There were too few jobs and too many would-be Horatio Algers in those depression days. On the afternoon of the fourth day I faced the prospect of failure. I had enough money - 50 cents - for either supper or breakfast the next day. Once again the spectre of failure faced me. Without a job and with no money there was no way I could survive until the first NYA check came. I was as blue as I was that morning nearly two years previous when my parents gave me the fifteen dollars which kept me on the path.

Wandering somewhat aimlessly around the fraternity district I met my friend Gordon Millikan with whom I had worked closely in student government the year before. When he asked how things were going I told him. He had a problem, too. He had found a job in a fraternity kitchen which paid both board and room. His problem was that he had a job which paid board only. He needed to find a replacement so he could take what he considered a better job. Was I interested? He took me to the SAE kitchen and introduced me to the cook, known as Mother Mac. She looked at me a bit doubtfully but said she would try me. The deal was struck. I went to work immediately, thankful that I would eat a fine dinner.

From that beginning, wonderful things were to develop. Mother Mac, properly known as Mrs. Louise McLeod, was irascible, demanding, and with an Irish temper she enjoyed displaying. I swallowed my pride - who can afford pride when truly hungry and with slender hopes - and did as I was told. That first night I did the dishes after helping serve a dinner for nearly one hundred college men since it was rush week and many guests were present. The next morning I appeared at 6:30 AM to peel potatoes and prepare other vegetables for lunch and dinner. I mopped the dining room floor, swept the kitchen, washed the pots and pans, and cleaned up after breakfast. Repeated the work for lunch and then returned again at 5:00 PM for another dinner. This routine went on until rush was over and classes were to begin.

On the weekend before classes began on Monday, Mother Mac made the astonishing proposal that if I would come in each morning at 6:30, work until my first class began at 8:00, return at 11:00 and work until 1:30, return at 5:00 and work until the dinner was over and clean-up completed, I would be paid not only my board but an additional $10.00 a month! A bonanza! I would have my board, $25.00 a month cash income, and my only fixed cost was $8.33 per month for the room. I thought I could make it. I loved the food, a better menu than I had ever before eaten, and I had come to appreciate Mother Mac and not be affected by her moods.

What I hadn't figured on was the long laboratory hours my classes demanded. I found myself tied to a work schedule that scarcely left me time for studying and no time for a social life. Interestingly, I did not find this oppressive for I was on my way toward something, I wasn't yet quite sure what. I did feel left out of the student life around me and became acutely resentful of the fraternity men who did not appear to be under any such pressure. I expressed this resentment to one of my fellow kitchen slaves. Mother Mac overheard me. Later she called me into her apartment off the kitchen, and proceeded to tell me why my attitude was both wrong and ill informed. However she said it, it had the desired effect and I began to regard my surroundings with greater perceptiveness and a sense of gratitude that things were working out for me.

Fortunately my grades were quite good. Each term I registered for too many credits and was forced to cut back. It was going to take me three years, rather than two, to finish my baccalaureate degree. I felt I had the time to spare since I was two years ahead of myself entering college. I took the professional curriculum in chemistry, took as much physics as time permitted, and took every exemption exam offered for required courses. Fortunately, I passed them all easily which gave me added flexibility in my schedule.

For the spring term of that first year I left the basement room and moved upstairs in the same house. For the second year I found a larger room in another house a block farther away. It was very comfortable. The other students in that house were graduate students, serious and hard working, and we became fast friends.

That spring term I was invited to accept a half-time (23 hours per week) position as a recording clerk in the Office of the Registrar. My pay would be $35.00 a month, including the fifteen dollars from the NYA. .This gave me a grand total of $45.00 a month plus my board. It was still tough going, for the laboratory fees in my science courses were increasing. Nonetheless, it meant that my economic worries were not insurmountable. I would have to borrow the money for my quarterly fees and repay the loan from my income, usually with at least one of the repayments having to come from summer earnings. The loans were obtainable from the Office of the Dean of Men. It was my introduction to student services in the University. I appreciated what was done for me and thought it would be a wonderful thing to be able to share in that kind of work.

For the three summers, '37, '38, and '39, I returned to Bellingham and worked in various markets, chiefly in fruits and vegetables. The pay was not good but it was steady work until Labor Day, which fit my schedule precisely. At one point I was encouraged to buy a fruit and vegetable retail business with payments to come from income. For someone with no capital this was a tempting prospect but I soon decided that was a dead end and rejected the offer, with thanks for the expression of confidence.

Mother Mac was a true friend. She did not ask anything for herself but we found ways to please her. She was a devout Roman Catholic and on special Sundays took delight in being accompanied to services. Once or twice a year we would borrow a car from one of the fraternity men and drive her to Puyallup to visit her sister. When she was ill, a rare event, she would trust me to prepare the fraternity meals and serve them. She would understand when some college affair made an absence from work necessary and always made adjustments. When the annual state high school basketball tournament was on she would welcome my brother Howard and feed him generously. When Beverly enrolled in the University for her senior year, '39-'40, she was gracious to her. And she gave me special encouragement along the way.

In the spring of 1938, Mother Mac again took me into her apartment and proposed that I become a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. She said the men had been watching me and wanted me as a member. When I objected that I could not possibly meet the $115.00 initiation fee, she said quietly that she would see that the fee requirement would be satisfied. In this way I became a pledge and in the fall term moved into the fraternity house. I was still a house boy, working for my board and room, but I was welcomed into the fellowship of that group in a way I had always wanted.

The fraternity was a leading group on the University of Washington campus. Their academic standing. however, was not up to their other performances and it seems the national fraternity was putting pressure on them to improve. I have always assumed that my good grades and working habits appealed to them as one way to improve. Actually, the chapter standing did improve, in part because we made certain that all the members were included in the summary. Some of the older members were inactive but they were still members and in school so it was legitimate to include them.

I was initiated in the spring of 1939, my last undergraduate term. My badge number was 49,999. I lived in the house my senior year, carrying several responsibilities and loving every minute of it. I was still restricted in time availability and could not participate as fully in the social life of the fraternity as I wished. No one ever alluded to my impecuniousness or made me feel at all out of place. Many of them were also on limited budgets, though none of them were held to the kind of working schedule I undertook. I came to admire them individually and as a group. In a real sense, I owe this all to Mother Mac.

In the fall of 1938 I applied for an interview with the faculty committee charged with selecting candidates for the Rhodes Scholarship. Nearly a hundred upperclassmen applied. Twenty-five were selected for interview. Among them were several of my fraternity brothers. When the candidate selections were announced my name was among the five chosen, somewhat to the dismay of my unsuccessful brothers. My interview, scheduled for twelve minutes, took forty-five minutes. The faculty interviewers were from English, philosophy, and economics. Perhaps they didn’t know what to do with a student in the physical sciences. Casting about with “fishing” questions, the chairman asked me to list the most significant books I had read in the last six months. I replied that I wasn’t sure about their significance but named several books, including novels, that had most influenced my thinking recently.

Among the books I mentioned was H.G. Wells’ novel The World of William Clissold. The chairman pounced. “Critics have accused Wells of evidencing a passion for fascism in this novel,” he said. “What do you say to this criticism?” I had no answer so I decided to tell the truth. “When I read Clissold I was enjoying the work as a novel and I wasn’t thinking about political issues abounding in the world.” An audible sigh issued from several of the interviewing panel. From that point on we had a lively and wide ranging discussion in which I appeared to have acquitted myself creditably. Reflecting on this I concluded that I had in effect responded to the question with an “I don’t know.” Faced with applicants who perhaps tried to impress the panel by covering lapses in knowledge with ill considered generalities, a prompt disclaimer disarmed them. It was an important lesson for me. In the end, no one from that year went to Oxford for the war put all such England based programs out of operation.

In the spring of 1938, the U.S. Congress provided for the training of thirty pilots in a civil aviation program at four universities. The University of Washington was one. Four-hundred-fifty-nine students applied. Fifty were chosen to take physical examinations, selected most likely by their grade point averages. I was one of seven from my fraternity chosen. The examining physician was the University Medical Center Director, Dr. David Hall, father of a fellow fraternity member. He took one look at my medical record and said, “Son, you don’t want to fly. You’re blind.” “Try me anyhow, Dr. Hall.” He did and I was the first applicant rejected. All six of my fraternity fellows were accepted and five served in the air forces during World War II. One, Charles Blaine, an aeronautical engineer, was killed in a Seattle crash of one of the first B-17 bombers.

For me the University of Washington was an exciting place. Aware of my limited knowledge in several fields I begged my fraternity brothers for the reading lists in their courses in English, political science, and history. They didn’t read the recommended books but I did, or at least as many as I could manage. In a way my impecunious state was a blessing for library usage cost nothing and, when I couldn’t afford movies, dancing, and other forms of entertainment, reading sufficed. I learned to love classical music, simply by listening to records, a habit begun my first year in college and continued thereafter. Of course there were huge gaps in my appreciation of music and art. Drama always appealed to me and whenever I could manage a ticket to a campus or community presentation I treasured the opportunity.

I was graduated in 1939 with a degree in chemistry, having pursued the professional curriculum. I had minors in physics and mathematics, and several courses in zoology and meteorology. In September I had a half-time teaching fellowship in the Department of Chemistry and continued my work in the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar, Dean Newhouse, was named Dean of Men and asked me to assume a half-time appointment as one of his two assistants. This meant I had to give up teaching chemistry but I accepted the offer gratefully. I recalled my feelings when the previous Dean of Men approved my loan for quarterly tuition when I had no funds. Now I was in a position to begin to help other students.

Dean Newhouse was a charismatic figure and quickly assumed a significant place in my life. I wanted very much to follow in his footsteps. He went a long way on personality and acumen but he had never done any significant graduate work and lacked graduate degrees. I was determined to earn a doctorate. I sensed that all I wanted it for was so that I could belong someplace in the University structure. I persisted in studying chemistry and physics although I was disenchanted with my studies and not giving them the concentrated attention they needed. Dean Newhouse was not very helpful in resolving this growing dilemma of what I should choose as a field of study for the doctorate.

The war changed everything. The campus became a training center for various technical specialties. The chairman of the Department of Physics, Dr. C.C. Utterback, offered me an appointment as Instructor of Physics. I taught intensively a section of engineering physics for meteorology cadets. Fortunately, my section consistently scored next highest to Dr. Utterback’s among the dozen or so instructional groups. a development which must have puzzled the department chair. The students in my section were similarly puzzled but were proud of themselves and gave respectful attention in class to my emphasis upon problem solving. This situation lasted until the end of 1943. It was clear by then that I would have to serve in the Armed Forces. I entered Navy service in mid-1944.

Farewell to Athens!

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Chapter 11 -- ODYSSEY

(Definition: an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest.)

One way to examine one’s personal history is to select a single theme and reflect on how it is represented in one’s life. Such a study is specific to a time, the twentieth century, to a place, the United States, and to the education pursued. Perhaps looking at a personal religious history will help others who may read this to reflect on their own thinking and experiences. However, it is at least an interesting endeavor to put a personal odyssey on paper.

I choose religious experience because of the interplay between personal history and societal structures and trends. For most of us, our religious heritage is a family matter. In my case I have learned much from studying my paternal forebears. My maternal ancestors present another pattern, perhaps more typically American. Both strains were important to me.

Great-grandfather Nygren was a Swedish pietist, a house churchman who eschewed priests and government controlled religion. This self-definition led him to bring his entire family to the United States, in part for religious freedom and in part for economic opportunity. He and my grandfather built a church in Minnesota around which the village of Cokato was established. It was recognized as a Baptist Church, chiefly to separate it from the Lutheran organizations, which predominated in the general area, and to confirm the authority of the local congregation in all religious matters. Grandfather John Nygren was a leader in the church throughout his life, recognized as a person of integrity and principle. This was accompanied by family rigidity, which forced his sons to strike out for themselves, away from the family holdings.

Aunt Huldah, the only surviving daughter, was active in Baptist churches all her life. (At one time she was involved with the FourSquare Gospel movement of Aimee Semple MacPherson.) None of the four sons was an active churchman. Interestingly, however, they always honored the church while remaining very critical of what they called the ‘hypocrisy” of those who were in the church but acted in business and community affairs in self-serving ways.

I know less of my Mother’s family religious history. They were more typically American; virtually all American religious strains are represented in her family lineage. The family members chose their church relationships because of marriage factors or the dominant interest of the communities in which they resided. Roman Catholic, Jewish, and varied Protestant affiliations are all there. Perhaps because she grew up in Minnesota, Mother found the Baptist sense of independence compatible.

As a boy I was sent to the Baptist Sunday School in Bellingham, Washington. Summers found attendance at Vacation Bible School obligatory. At age twelve I was baptized by immersion. I had anguished over this prospect for three years. Perhaps I allowed the rite to take place because of societal pressure. It was, after all, expected that this would take place at age twelve. The anguish came about because I didn’t have the inner commitment to “Jesus as my Saviour” nor the “conversion experience” so much preached about in that church.

Despite my intellectual problems, I did enjoy many aspects of the life of the church. After baptism I became a regular usher at Sunday services, morning and evening. Later I began to sing in the church choir, spending Thursday evenings at rehearsal in the home of Abby Raymond, the director. I attended the Sunday evening meetings of the B.Y.P.U. (Baptist Young People’s Union). Several times I attempted the Wednesday evening Prayer Services but was always put off by them and never managed more than once or twice a year to sit through them. Twice a year the Baptists had a mission study period and that was stimulating, both in terms of thinking about my own vocational future and helping learn more about the world at large. I was invited to join the Teacher Training Class, a singular honor. The classes, however, were really Bible study in which challenge and conjecture were not encouraged.

Although they sent their children to the church school, neither of my parents ever formally affiliated with the church nor did they contribute to its support. Father never attended until the family moved to Seattle and the children had left home, and then only to keep Mother company. Mother never attended while I was living at home although she was always active in a women’s circle whose meetings were held in the members’ homes.

The Baptist Church in Bellingham was a poor church, partly because of the severity of the economic depression, which beset that area of the country. A much loved and effective minister reached retirement age in 1933 and the church was forced to choose between calling a young minister just out of seminary, or an older clergyman approaching retirement age himself. They chose the latter course and brought in the Rev. Eugene Carstens, a pulpit pounding stentorian preacher who defined sin as anything of which he disapproved and sinners as any who disagreed or opposed him. A heavy set man, he had a deeply pitted scar on the back of his neck, which became flaming red as he reached the emotional peak of his perorations.

Shortly after coming to Bellingham, the Reverend Carstens was appointed to the Bellingham Public Library Board. He began to study the schedule of acquisitions which was reported to each member of the Library Board. In December, 1933, the previously banned James Joyce novel “Ulysses” had been cleared by the courts for distribution in this country. As I was an avid reader and was intrigued by the furor over the novel, I, age 15, filled out the required request slip which asked the library to purchase a copy. When Rev. Carstens spotted this on the routine report to the Board, he declared it was an unacceptable purchase and seized public attention and newspaper headlines with his fulminations against a sinful book, which surely he himself had never read. He used his Sunday evening sermons to keep public attention focussed on the issue. There I sat in the choir loft, looking at the back of his neck, the carbuncle scar flaming as he roared his condemnation, conscious that I had requested the Library to purchase the book, although presumably he did not know my connection with the matter. I lacked the courage and maturity to confront him with such a confession and so I wrestled with my feelings of unmerited guilt and grew increasingly disenchanted with the church.

When “Ulysses” finally arrived at the Library I received a notice that it was available. I was disappointed. It was difficult going. Having just turned fifteen, I hadn’t lived long enough to understand what Joyce was saying. I stayed with the church until high school graduation and then did not return.

In 1934, age 15, I was graduated from high school and began college classes the next week. That first summer I took the freshman year of chemistry and earned “A” grades. That initial success spurred me to study more sciences and mathematics and I continued to do well. I began to question the narrowness of the vision of the church, as I perceived it from my Baptist Church experience. There were strains in community affairs, to which the church paid no attention, but which seemed to me to be important. The Ku Klux Klan had an active local Klavern. A Jewish businessman who had the temerity to run for Mayor sparked much anti-Semitic expression. Poverty, hunger, and homelessness were widespread yet the church seemed oblivious . Evangelists were brought in to conduct special services on the theory that bringing the poor to the altar would solve their existential problems. For me it was not so much a matter of conflict between religion and science as it was that each was concerned with different matters and that I could not justify the failure of church forces to deal with the real needs of the people.

Two years later, 1936, I left home and entered university as a junior. Lonely at first, I went to the Baptist Church and attended their college age youth group. I was turned off quickly by the same reluctance to talk about the problems the larger society was confronting. The Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship was widely advertised and I attended two of their open meetings. I found them certain that acknowledging “Jesus as my personal Saviour” would change my life. Poor and struggling to work my way through college, it didn’t seem to me that this was in itself an answer to my needs. For the rest of my undergraduate years I made no further effort to find a “church home,”

But I couldn’t shake my curiosity about religion. I attended occasional services in a variety of churches. I discovered the Student YMCA and responded to their social awareness. My classmates, including my fellow science students, did not seem disturbed by the confusing signals coming from their religious bodies about questions of war and armaments, conscientious objection, conscription, and the treatment of mental illness. Differently from them, I could not ignore these issues, nor could I endorse their uncritical affiliation with their family religious affiliations. I determined not to be drawn into a church affiliation. I was not so much rejecting religion as I was seeking to work out for myself a rational path that would help me cope with a world seemingly bent on destruction.

Hearking back to the mission study emphasis in the local Baptist church, for a time I thought of obtaining a medical degree and serving as a mission doctor. Two factors dissuaded me. The first was that the young people in the Baptist fellowship who decided to become ministers or missionaries were not persons whom I considered at all intellectual. They were religiously committed but that did not lead them to choose more socially responsible behavioral patterns. The second was that I did not see where the funds were to come from to essay medical school. I had to work more than fifty hours a week while pursuing my studies and I was conscious of always being financially needy. I realized that without an overweening sense of commitment there was probably no future for me in the work of the established church.

In September, 1939, I returned to the University of Washington and graduate studies in chemistry and physics It was then that Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. We students were acutely aware that our world had changed. We reacted to that awareness in various ways. For me there was a conundrum. Was I a conscientious objector? Given my social views, it would seem that was the direction I would take. Countering that was the recognition that my generation was going to be forever changed by the events immediately ahead. If I wanted to play a part in determining the nature of the world after the war, it seemed I would have to be a part of the struggle to influence that world. Thus for that year I watched closely as the debate over responses to military service developed. I noted the responses of the various religious bodies to how they would react to any of their members who would choose the C.O. position. It was clear they were reluctant to deal with the matter. It was for the most part a subdued discussion for when the school year ended in June, 1940, the nation had not yet decided upon conscription for military service.

Beverly and I were married in June, 1940. Whatever transpired in the larger world, we would deal with it together. We were married in the Bellingham home of her parents. We asked the Rev. C. Elroy Shikles, of the Baptist Church, to officiate. That was a concession to family pressures, rather than an acceptance of the necessity of religious ritual to confirm the occasion. Looking back, I am aware that I treated Rev. Shikles rather curtly, perhaps even shabbily. Despite my callowness, we were married before our families and by a minister, both factors correlated with successful marriages, as ours has proven to be.

When the time came to register with the Selective Service System I did so. As someone married before theconscription law was adopted I was entitled to an automatic deferment for the early war years. Later my work with the University and the personal request of the University President that I be allowed to remain kept me out of active service until mid-1944. When I was inducted I was assigned to the Navy, despite eyesight problems which officially consigned me to Limited Duty status. What this meant, in practice, was that I could perform Navy duties but could not serve aboard ships. I felt comfortable with this except for my lingering doubts that I had not been totally honest by not claiming C.O. status.

In “boot camp” I was one day sent on an errand to the office of the Company Chaplain, just off the reading room of the ship’s library. Gathered in the reading room were about a hundred newly sworn-in sailors filling out necessary papers under the supervision of a grizzled multi-striped Chief Petty Officer. I paused to observe. The CPO informed the recruits that they were to fill out all the blanks on the form, without exception and without questions. Soon one recruit raised his hand and said, “It says here “religion.” What if you don’t have a religion?” Came the prompt guttural response, “What d’ya mean you got no religion? Ev’erbody in the Navy’s got a religion! Fill it out!” There were no more questions. That incident has always seemed to me to express the essential military institutional evaluation of religion. Like it or not, we all were to identify with a religious polity. No military organization tolerates ambiguity easily.

The Naval Training Center at Sand Point, Idaho, consisted of ten separate camps, each housing ten thousand men. Sundays were a somewhat relaxed time. Each camp had both Protestant and Catholic services. One day, after noticing the straggling manner in which sailors left their barracks for services, the Lieutenant in command issued an order that henceforward men were to muster in front of their barracks and march in formation to services. The following Sunday attendance at services fell by half and the next Sunday by half again. The chaplains protested vigorously and the order was cancelled.

The sailors in this training center included many from Mormon backgrounds. Mormon services were held at a centrally located facility. Men were privileged to sign out of their assigned camp to gather centrally for these services. They quickly discovered that they could meet their friends from other camps by signing out as Mormons. Soon there was each Sunday a considerable crowd on the grounds outside the facility but relatively few inside at worship. After a few weeks the lack of orderliness was unacceptable and the privilege was withdrawn.

I was discharged in February, 1946, and returned to Seattle to resume my position as Assistant Dean of Men at the University of Washington. Among my assigned duties was coordinating relations with the church groups ministering to students. I found this an interesting assignment. For the next eight years I spent much time with the men and women who were assigned full time to these duties. I organized a Council of Religious Group Advisers and for a time chaired their sessions. I served on the Board of Directors of the University YMCA and also as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Capitol Hill YMCA, a branch of the Seattle YMCA located in a neighborhood with a large Black population. Many of the people I shared with in these settings became life-long friends.

The University YM-YWCA sponsored an end of the year weekend camp for the student leaders of their groups. At one such event I attended, a visiting seminary professor of New Testament, a noted mystic, spoke at length about the experience of prayer. He accepted questions. One student asked, “Do you believe that the Disciples saw Jesus in the flesh after his crucifixion?” The large audience was hushed as the professor closed his eyes, leaned his head back while grasping the podium tightly. After a minute of silence he said, “I believe that the Disciples believed that they saw Jesus in the flesh.” It was a defining moment for many in that audience. Here was a believer and an accredited professor who could answer such a challenging question directly and in terms which did not beg rationality.

At the same time I was pursuing doctoral studies in sociology and psychology. Neither discipline in those years took much interest in the subject of religion. The psychology faculty was a noted one, a leader in the behaviorist school. Learning theory fascinated them most. Some of the ablest among the faculty were children of clergymen but were no longer affiliated with a congregation. The sociology faculty were mainly logical positivists who defined religion as recreational activity. They, too, often came from clergy families. Their interest was in studying behavior objectively, sometimes describing sociology as the science of group behavior. With my background in the physical sciences, I found these two faculties stimulating and enlightening.

We moved to Ohio in 1954, when our son Ted was seven years old. The small town of Kent had a number of active churches. We soon found that one’s church affiliation was one way that people liked to identify you That and the realization that Ted ought to become familiar with the cultural heritage of Western Society led us to consider finding a church home. We were fortunate to find the Kent Congregational Church and its minister, Herbert Van Meter, very compatible and we soon affiliated formally with that congregation.

The nine years we spent in Kent were productive ones. The Kent church was an active one. Under Herb Van Meter’s leadership the church took an active role in regional church organization. It was during this period that the Congregational Christian and Evangelical and Reformed churches voted to merge to form a united and uniting denomination to be known as the United Church of Christ. I attended some of the meetings, which decided upon this course of action. To me it made a great deal of sense to covenant with a broader spectrum of congregations. The merger not only created a larger church but also a more geographically widespread presence on the national scene.

I found a niche by sharing in leading an adult education class. There was much being published which took seriously the social outreach mission of the church. Many in the congregation were affiliated with Kent State University. I found them to be a stimulating and receptive group with whom to discuss the religious and social issues raised by various writers. In the process I began to comprehend the yeasting role church members and whole congregations could play in bringing awareness of these issues to a larger audience.

At one point I was invited to become a member of the Board of Directors of the United Church Board for World Ministries, the overseas arm of the United Church. This body was the most recent form of what began in the early nineteenth century as the American Board for Foreign Missions. The seven years I served on that Board were a learning experience different from any I had experienced before. The Board was well endowed and operated globally. It was facing “the revolution of rising expectations” around the world, which posed many challenges to the accustomed ways of carrying out the Board’s mission. There were rising tensions at home. Traditional church people found the new realities unsettling. The Board had to weave its way delicately between homeland conservatives and their own staff with rich overseas experience. It was while I served on the Board that the entire emphasis shifted from sending missionaries overseas under direction of the American church to sending fraternal representatives to work under the direction of indigenous church organizations. From this I gained a new appreciation of the strength and the adaptability of the established church, an appreciation quite different from my earlier estimation of the worth of the denominational church.

Then we moved to New York. I was appointed to the faculty of Hunter College of the City University of New York with responsibilities in Manhattan and the Bronx. We settled in the Westchester County community of Scarsdale. We sought a U.C.C. church and found a thriving one right at home, the Scarsdale Congregational Church. We affiliated promptly. It is a community church, filled with well-educated and active business and professional people. The tensions in the outside community during the fifties, sixties, and seventies were reflected in the life of the church. To my surprise, I was twice asked to serve as Moderator, the equivalent of president of the congregation, first in 1968-70 and again in 1994-96. Between those dates I served the church in a variety of responsibilities, always with pleasure and added learning.

Despite this high level of involvement with the institutional church my essential religious orientations have not changed. I cherish the church for many things. One is the continuing need for an organization that nurtures both a sense of community among its members and also supports those who hold up to society the needs of those least able to speak for themselves. Given our western European cultural heritage, it is this combination which gives the church vitality and meaning. It is a teaching institution, speaking to people of all ages and formal training. The tension between maintaining the institution and the need to force society to deal with its failures and contradictions in human terms creates always a fierce energy. That energy is needed to move the society forward toward social justice and open access to its benefits. From what other source does this pressure for change emanate? In one period it comes from agrarian populism, in another the labor organizations, sometimes from higher education. The only persistent source over the history of our own country has been its religious institutions, despite the tension within the institutions over the issues raised.

For a time during my active professional years I considered the problem of my lack of belief in the dogmas of religion. Extensive reading in what Helen Armstrong has called “The History of God” reduced my fear that it was hypocritical to be active in the church when its dogmas were historical curiosities to me. Jesus was an historical figure, a teacher who caught the imagination of learned and perceptive scholars over the centuries. I could accept that Jesus was the Son of God in the same terms that all thoughtful, seeking men and women are children of God. Beyond this the mystical never had an appeal for me. Religion is a form of human behavior. It seeks to impose an order on the universe of experience, lest we assume helplessness in the face of chaos. It is “the substance of things hoped for” and this optimism enables mankind to keep striving for a more perfect society.

It was Joe Louis, heavyweight boxing champion, who, when inducted into the Army in 1941, responded to an interviewer’s question whether he thought God was on our side in this war with these words, . “I just hope we’re on God’s side.”

It was Karl Marx who wrote that “religion is the heart of a heartless society”. He viewed religion as created by men to enable them to cope with the world of experience. It was when men forgot that they had created a sacred universe that they succumbed to their oppressed conditions. This concept of alienation I found a helpful analytical tool.

In these later years of my life it seems useful to help assure the continuity of the church. Specifically, it is important that there be a non-creedal liberal church, which provides support for those seeking their own religious bearings as they cope with the pressures of modern society. I have no essential quarrel with other gatherings of people who cherish particular creeds and who build communities with walls defining those inside and without. If that is what enables them to function more effectively then I wish them peace and prosperity. I have little patience with those who make harsh judgments of the worth of such enclaves. Instead, I seek to know more about them and how they think, to understand rather than to evaluate. I am still seeking.

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Chapter 12 -- INTERLUDE

At the close of the ‘43-44 academic year I was inducted and assigned to the U.S. Navy. My first stop was the Naval Training Station at Sand Point, Idaho, for what turned out to be fourteen weeks. The reason for the extended stay was an epidemic of respiratory ailments, which, shortly after I left, forced the temporary closing of the camp and a Congressional investigation of camp conditions. For my part, I was ill for two weeks with swollen neck glands, a high fever, and an infected throat. No serious damage ensued and I was back on duty well rested.

Boot camp was a new kind of experience for me. Its purpose and function was clear but the instructional modes appeared to me to be counter-productive. I learned to swim and became confident in the water, a valuable skill for a sailor, surely. There were minor events, which stood out as examples of military thinking:

- recruits who could not handle the stress were classified as psychoneurotic and wore work shirts with that complete label stenciled on their backs;

- in each camp were companies of 120 men each known as “gummer companies.” since all were having rotted teeth extracted and dentures fitted;

- on long marches we were supplied with pineapple and pear pies, one to a man. Since the Navy controlled the transportation of pineapple to the mainland from Hawaii, they hoarded ample supplies for themselves, and occasionally had to make use of it before caught with an oversupply, lest it became known to the civilian market that scarce fruit was being diverted;

- men with professional athletic backgrounds were routinely assigned to special duties and expected to accept assignments as athletic instructors at Navy stations;

- marchers in drill were supplied with dummy wooden rifles: the only time we touched genuine arms was in practice on the rifle and pistol ranges;

- men with backgrounds in Mennonite and other peace fellowships did not participate in drills - it was understood that they would be assigned routinely to medical service units and would not bear arms;

- reading anything other than service manuals was actively discouraged;

- assisting any fellow trainee who was having difficulty with an assigned task was considered unacceptable behavior; each trainee was told to attend to his own situation and let others manage for themselves.

Naturally enough, these things ran counter to my own convictions about how to turn civilians into resourceful servicemen. I decided it was best to keep my views to myself, to endure the training as laid out, and wait for the day when I might have a chance to influence such thinking.

Trainees with backgrounds in the physical sciences were considered desirable candidates for specialized training. Everyone in the Navy had some specialty for which he was given training courses. I was considered qualified for further training as an electronic technician. Actually, I had no previous experience with electronics beyond understanding the basic principles of radio tubes. In fact, I had a letter from the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C., suggesting that I use it to seek assignment there. No one paid the least attention to that letter. I consoled myself with the fact that the training sessions I was assigned to constituted the longest such training schedule available.

My first assignment was to a basic sciences course of four weeks in a former high school building in west Chicago. All I recall about that period was that on Saturdays and Sundays I could wangle admission to the Chicago Opera Company season on Saturday afternoons and to the legitimate theatres in the Loop area on Saturday evenings and on Sundays. Lots of service personnel in the Chicago area but relatively few of them were at all interested in activities of this kind so I managed more than my share of admissions.

Next I was sent to Houston, Texas, for three months of training at the University of Houston. This assignment was one I very much wanted because married men could bring their wives to Houston and live in civilian quarters. I called Beverly and asked her to come. She was bravely adventurous. She called the University of Washington and asked them for whom they were having the most difficulty finding housing in overcrowded Seattle. They said they had a faculty couple from Chunking, China, he with an appointment in biological sciences, for whom they were desperate to find accommodations. She agreed to rent to them, my parents agreed to act as landlords, and off she went on a trip by overcrowded, delay prone wartime trains to Houston.

(Housing was so short in Seattle that everyone who knew about her plans had a candidate for renting. One set of next-door neighbors was especially upset when Beverly told them her plans. They were unhappy that they could not obtain the housing for their friends and told her in no uncertain terms that they didn’t want to live next door to an Asian family. After the war and when we were back in our own home, the same neighbors told me how much they appreciated the Chu’s and had enjoyed them as neighbors. I wish they could have told Beverly.)

We found a room in a private home close by the University of Houston. It was a comfortable setting. The landlady became very friendly. One day she confided that she had faced much difficulty adjusting to Houston for she was of Italian descent and soon realized that this was a barrier to acceptance by many Texans. Her married name did not betray this history so she managed, but uncomfortably, to bury her heritage. I have many similar stories of the social attitudes of Texans in 1944-45. To be poor, black, female, Latino, southern or eastern European was clearly far down on the social scale. Beverly encountered this more directly than I did for she obtained assignment as a substitute teacher in the Houston public schools did. Being in the Navy and in training, I was spared most such direct experience. I read the newspapers. That in itself was an education in how unquestioned folkways create an oppressive society.

Beverly arrived in mid-December, the best Christmas present I ever received. Together we explored Houston, found wonderful places to eat, walked through the markets, and in company with some other service couples created our own social milieu. I recall the Rice Hotel, which had a dining room featuring huge Gulf shrimp, new to us and delicious. In fact, the operators of the restaurants welcomed us because we would eat prodigiously and enthusiastically. Other diners observed us approvingly and apparently returned on weekends to watch us and, presumably, to order more for themselves that they otherwise might do. For the first time I tasted fresh kumquats. I still consider them a treat.

In mid-February I was assigned for further training to the Naval Research Laboratories in Anacostia, just outside Washington, D.C. I coveted this because Beverly and I could live together off the base. Again we found accommodations in a private home close by. Beverly obtained a teaching assignment in the Washington public schools. After Houston, we were surprised that the social climate was not more enlightened then than it was in Houston. I had always read that Washington was really a southern city but hadn’t grasped the sense of that statement until these two back-to-back residencies.

It was an eventful time to be in the nation’s capital. The poignancy of the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt left a never to be forgotten memory of the emotional outpouring of grief. The sober relief of V-E Day gave us all hope for an early end to the war. The announcement of the test explosion of an atomic bomb added to that hope. When the announcement came of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki we suppressed our instinctive horror of the widespread deaths of non-combatants in the hope the early end of hostilities was advanced. When V-J Day came the release of tension was euphoric. Beverly and I spent that afternoon and evening on the streets of Washington, observing and sharing in the excitement. The churches were open and crowded with thankful people coming in and out. It was not so much the celebration of victory as it was gratitude that the long war was over and we would soon be able to return to our homes and civilian occupations.

During those months we spent whatever time we could in the Senate gallery, listening to the debates among the Senators over such documents as the United Nations proposals, the Food and Agriculture Organization, a treaty with Mexico on the division of Colorado River water, and the return of service personnel to civilian life. Neither of us had much free time but our preferred choices were the Senate and the newsreel theatres. We loved the cafeterias in Washington. Beverly taught me to like watercress. We found seafood restaurants and a chain called Hot Shoppes which were delightful. I remember all this appreciatively, not least because it was a relief from the work in the Naval Laboratories.

By August I had received my next assignment. I was to be attached to the Potomac River Naval Command. We were told that the Navy planned to outfit three picket ships with all the communications gear they could muster and sail with 300 war correspondents to Australia and then up the chain of island naval battle scenes to arrive finally in Yokohama Bay six weeks after the invasion of Japan was scheduled to begin. Our task was to keep the electronic equipment functioning. Of course, V-J Day scrubbed that plan. Beverly returned to Seattle and, after a week of leave at home I flew from Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle to Alameda Naval Air Station in California for reassignment. There I learned first that I was ticketed for duty in the Philippines and then pulled aside and asked if I would accept assignment in a Civil Readjustment unit. This was the title given to the discharge-processing group. I immediately called Beverly, suggested she somehow find a car to buy, and drive down to California. Intrepid as always, she found a Lincoln Zephyr V-12 in reasonably good condition and was soon ensconced with me in an apartment in Castro Valley.

For a time we worked all day, six days a week, processing departing navy personnel. Soon the work eased. We divided into two groups and worked every other day. Then we agreed that the married men would work only in the morning, every other day. This left us free to explore California, especially San Francisco, which we did avidly until mid-February when my own discharge became possible. We packed our limited possessions and drove the Lincoln V-12 back to Seattle and freedom. The interlude in career and family building was over.

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Chapter 13 -- ATHENS REVISITED

We had anticipated discharge from naval service so when the time came Mother had our house vacant and ready for our return. In late February we were happily ensconced in familiar surroundings and I was back at my desk at the University of Washington. Seattle and the University seemed to me to be truly an Athens revisited.

The upsurge of enrollment from returning service men and women required a larger and more specialized staff in student affairs. Student organizations and student government developed new patterns in campus life in response to a student body older and more experienced from involvements during the war years. More students were married and with children. Developing campus housing was a priority. Financial and family assistance programs were imperative. It was an exciting time in higher education. University administrative reorganization became a priority.

The most meaningful development was a purely personal one. Beverly was pregnant. Nine months after our return to Seattle Ted was born. I noted that December 5, 1946, was the 170th anniversary of the founding of Phi Beta Kappa! In the hospital Beverly told me the following day they were coming to fill out a birth record and she would have to give the baby a name. I had many suggestions to all of which she demurred. Finally she suggested he be named Glen Theodore, Junior. I agreed, with reservations. I wanted him to be called Ted, never Junior. And so it has been.

I soon realized that I was not prepared to resume graduate studies in chemistry and physics. I was too long away from the laboratory and mathematical underpinnings of these disciplines. It was apparent that the economy of the postwar years would not emphasize the physical sciences. I knew that I wanted to be associated with higher education and that an academic doctorate was a necessary credential. I plunged into my duties in the Office of Student Affairs, happy to have an important role to play in the growing university setting, pushing my ambivalence into the background. This lasted nearly two years.

We were close friends with Bob and Helen O’Brien, he an Associate Professor of Sociology. The morning after a dinner party at our house Bob said to me: “Why don’t you consider coming into sociology? The books in your library, your social and political interests, and your ease with people seem to fit our discipline.” Later I asked him what would be first step to work out my hesitancy in leaving the physical sciences behind. He said why don’t you take a course in social theory with George Lundberg, the distinguished chairman of the department. Summer was looming, Professor Lundberg was teaching his special course in summer, and I had G.I. Bill support to cover all the costs. My summer duties were somewhat flexible so I decided to follow Bob’s suggestion.

Professor Lundberg was a logical positivist. He was an excellent teacher. He used a seminar style. The second half of each class was an unstructured question and response session. His point-of- view was very compatible with my background in the hard sciences. I earned an A grade, the only one in the class. I was hooked. We became good friends.

In the Fall quarter I registered for a full load of graduate sociology courses. With the support of the dean to whom I reported I was able to meet all my professional commitments and meet also all my classes. My grades continued to be excellent.

I was determined to avoid any appearance of using my administrative relationships to take an easy route to the doctorate. I chose only the most demanding specializations in sociology. What would be the most difficult and appropriate allied field to study. My sociology faculty friends were unanimous. It should be psychology. Because I had no undergraduate course work in that field I chose the hardest advanced courses. I found them stimulating and again I did well.

Since I had no undergraduate work in sociology it was suggested that I should write a master’s thesis. I designed a public opinion experiment that got a lot of attention. For a doctoral dissertation I designed a complex experimental approach in the study of married student adjustment. That, too, drew much interest.

The qualifying examinations were a challenge. Sociology exams were managed successfully. Psychology exams were another matter. I elected to take the doctoral psychology exams, rather than an easier set. Twenty-five psychology doctoral aspirants sat for the exams along with me as a lone outsider. I learned later that of the 26 my papers ranked second. This led to some anguish among the psychology faculty. One whole department meeting was devoted to an analysis of how it could happen that an interloper from sociology out-scored all but one of their candidates.

What was difficult for me? The language qualifying exams were a psychological hurdle. In mid-twentieth century it was agreed that German and French were the desired skills. I wasn’t going to let this prevent me from reaching my goal. The written exams were soon passed. For the German reading exam I sought and found the original Max Weber article on the “Protestant Spirit and the Rise of Capitalism.”

As I pulled the bound journal from the top shelf I was excited. Then the first sentence ran over to the second page before I found the operative verb. Nineteenth century German was like that. Regretfully, I replaced the journal and found a contemporary volume with which to prepare for my reading test. French worried me more. I chose Emile Durkheim’s “Le Suicide.” I struggled with it. The examning professor was the Romance Languages department chairman. He passed me. Perhaps he was amused that I had chosen a classic research tome for testing.

Dean Newhouse, mentor, friend, to whom I reported, left the University of Washington in 1950 to take the post of Dean of Students as Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio. My title then was Director of Student Affairs. I hoped to be appointed Dean of Students but in 1953 I realized it was not to be. I told the University President that I would stay through the 1953-54 academic year but then I would leave. He graciously tried to dissuade me. I thanked him but repeated my wish to leave during the summer of 1954.

Leave for what? As the year progressed four good possibilities presented themselves. I chose the one with the least starting salary but 25% more than my Washington salary

Meanwhile, parenting was an adventure, both challenging and fun. Ted was eager to learn, quick to respond to new stimuli. Beverly was a conscientious mother, a natural teacher. World War II had led to removal of the ban on married women as teachers in the public schools. Her first step when Ted was just two was to organize a pre-school playgroup which met in the Montlake Park Fieldhouse just down the hill from our home. This early socialization experience set a pattern. As soon as Ted was acceptable as a kindergarten student Beverly went back to classroom teaching. The Montlake School was just a block away from our house. She managed always to be at home when he returned from school so that he was never unsupervised. Ted thrived.

Parents love early childhood stories that illustrate their child’s perceptiveness. My favorite in this genre is of the time at supper when Ted, in describing his day at playschool, reported that Johnny and Steve had been fighting at rest time. “That’s bad, isn’t it? What were they fighting about? Which one could rest beside Mary. Didn’t Mary have two sides? “Yes,” replied Ted, “but I was resting on one side!”

We decided to accept the position of Dean of Men, later Dean of Students, and Associate Professor of Sociology at Kent State University. The University was positioned to grow rapidly as public higher education in Ohio was being pushed aggressively. It had excellent leadership in President George Bowman The faculty was being strengthened. It was located in the northeast corner of Ohio. Nearby cities included Akron, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Canton. As Dean Lauer, another mentor of mine at Washington, put it, the people of Ohio were of special quality. He pointed out that as successive waves of westward migration passed through Ohio they left there the most stable elements of migrating people. My experience there would support that view.

We left for Kent, Ohio, with some pangs of regret. Seattle and the University of Washington had indeed been good to us. We left at the end of June 1954. My doctorate was conferred formally at the June commencement. As I crossed the platform to be hooded and my name was announced, the assembled faculty gave me a round of applause. Of all the plaudits and dinners I was tendered it is that event that remains strongest among my memories.

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Chapter 14 -- MIDDLE AMERICA

We arrived in Kent, Ohio, during a July heat wave. We camped in an empty women’s dormitory without any air conditioning or refrigeration facilities. This was a generous gesture while we pursued the purchase of a home. It was not long before we found an attractive home within walking distance of the University. We used the proceeds from the sale of our Seattle house as a down payment. When we went to the most prominent of the local banks we had our first experience of small town relations. The reputedly "tough" banker, a short man, gray of hair and suit, unsmiling, not of easy manner, brushed aside any need to check our credit history by saying: "any man brought here by George Bowman is good enough for us." The mortgage was thus approved.

Ted was promptly enrolled in the third grade in the University Campus School. He quickly made friends, some from neighbor families. For the nine years we lived in Kent Ted was surrounded by bright and talented young people, many from faculty families. In seventh grade he was swimming with the high school varsity team. High school was an easy transition. One day he asked me; "Do you want me to turn out for football?" "No", I replied. But he knew his father. "Is it all right if I turn out for football?" "Yes, of course. You may do anything you choose in the high school program and know you have your parent's permission. On one condition." "What's that?" "That you get good grades." Some weeks later he again raised this subject. "Dad, some guys who get good grades aren't very smart." "That's right," I replied. Later, "Some guys who are smart don't get good grades." "That's right, too," I replied. Still later, "Then why do you care if I get good grades? "Because getting good grades is a matter of habit. As long as you develop that habit you are free to participate in as many and in whatever school activities you choose." Ted was already demonstrating an unusual thoughtfulness for his years. Ted played both defense and offense on the football team. He loved basketball and was an excellent baseball hitter and fielder. One day I asked him what happened to swimming. He said, "It isn't any fun just beating the same guys all the time." He loved the interdependence of team sports.

Beverly was offered a teaching position in the University Campus School to fill a vacancy created by a teacher's one-year leave of absence. She loved being a critic teacher, supervising college students assigned to her. Later she taught in the Kent Public Schools. She was a favorite with both parents and children. School administrators, however, were anxious to maintain the status quo. They felt threatened by any activity on the part of a teacher which drew criticism from any citizen. Once the School Superintendent sought her out to complain about her social action views, particularly in regard to race relations. She had earlier written a stinging letter to the local newspaper when the only lake beach available to Kent refused admission to one of Ted's eight-year-old classmates because of his black skin. No matter that his mother worked for the University President and the classmate was an attractive and well-behaved young man. Even comments in an adult education seminar at the Congregational Church drew disfavor. Small-town Ohio attitudes were not socially courageous.

Our resolution of the swimming incident was to build our own pool, the first in the town of Kent. Measuring 20' by 40', it was 9.5 feet deep off the diving board. The City Council then decreed that a 4' fence should surround private pools. We fenced in our entire back yard, some 250' deep. When the other children learned they could come and use the pool whenever we were home or if an accompanying adult was present, they became not only our defenders but also protectors of our property. We were popular hosts to summer picnics around the pool. Ted was the center of a congenial group of young people.

In his first high school semester Ted proposed to include study hall as one of his five courses. We objected. Take a fifth subject matter course, we urged. He did, but for the second semester he said he wanted to try it his way and took study hall. That lasted two weeks. He approached the school librarian and asked if she could use him to assist her during his study hall period. She agreed and later told us how happy she was with his service and his happy personality. There was no further talk about having a study hall period.

One of Ted's coaches taught mathematics. He encouraged Ted to work ahead of the class, at his own pace. Ted thrived on this. Later when he took the SAT's he scored the top of the scale, 800, in mathematics and a very respectable 700+ in the language section. With those scores he could qualify for any college he chose. He demonstrated breadth of learning unusual for a student with athletic and social involvements.

The administrative experiences at the University were all I had expected and hoped for. We built residence halls and staffed them with graduate students recruited from other undergraduate programs. Some of them were candidates for an M.A. in sociology and I supervised their theses. I taught an 8:00 AM class, often statistics, and once had the privilege of having Ted take the course while still a high school student. He was an A student. My title was changed to Dean of Students.

In addition to playing an active role in the Kent Congregational Church I was also a member of the Kent Rotary Club and of a local group known as the Wranglers Club. Leadership in the national organization of the SAE Fraternity was a favorite activity about which more later. I took an active part in both the American College Personnel Association and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and also in related regional organizations. For three years I served as Educational Advisor on the Board of the National Interfraternity Conference. I served on the steering committee of the National Student YMCA which led to my serving a term as Chairman of the Ohio-West Virginia Area Council of the YMCA. All of these relationships were important in giving me an understanding of student life and educational policies in higher education in the entire nation.

In early 1954, I was approached about the position of Dean of Students for Hunter College in the Bronx. I agreed to go to New York and meet with the Search Committee as an effort to help that committee understand what a Dean of Students position should represent and strive for in a contemporary setting. I went and enjoyed the experience. I did not view myself as a candidate and put the matter out of mind. The Kent State University President had resigned as of the summer of 1954, having reached the statutory retirement age. We were busy with plans for the university to adjust to changed leadership. To my surprise, the Hunter College Committee invited me to accept the position of Dean of Students and Professor of Sociology at Hunter College-Bronx. They had a number of candidates but remembered our interview and wanted me to come. I flew to New York for a personal conference with the Hunter College President. I came away pleased with what I had learned but uncertain as to what I should do.

Beverly had no hesitation. She wanted me to accept the New York City position. She argued that it would be good for Ted, would broaden his horizons, and would free him from the conservative constraints of an Ohio setting. She also felt oppressed by the conservative social climate of the American mid-west. She gave me the push I needed. I accepted the New York offer, which was generous financially, compared with Ohio standards. Ted, however, regretted leaving Kent. He looked forward to his high school senior year. He thought he would be the student body president and was already a leader in athletics. He agreed to go but with nostalgia for what he was giving up.

People were competing to honor us for our sojourn among them. Their kindness made it difficult to show the sense of adventure with which we looked forward to life in the metropolis. Dean Lauer had been correct when he paid tribute to the stable character of the people of Ohio. Although we were excited to move we were also regretful at leaving many good friends and a fine regional university.

We left at the end of June for a venture in the largest city in the nation, far removed from our beginnings in the State of Washington. Would we be up the challenges ahead of us?

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Chapter 15 -- THE METROPOLIS

We made several trips as a family to become acquainted with the new campus and surrounding communities. We decided against living on Long Island or New Jersey fearing a long commute and traffic congestion. We looked for a home in Riverdale (Bronx) but found nothing we thought attractive in our price range. We decided on Bronxville, Scarsdale, and Tarrytown as possibilities. We found a seven year-old house on a half-acre in Edgemont, adjacent to Scarsdale and with a Scarsdale post office address and telephone exchange. It was spacious with large windows in both kitchen and living room areas. It was a twenty-minute drive to the college campus with no bridges to cross, which meant that I could commute easily. The school system was universally acclaimed to be excellent.

Ted found the local high school had nothing to offer him. He had already met all the diploma requirements. We began to explore possible college choices. We visited Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, Columbia. All told him it was too late for Fall admission. He wondered if he could be admitted to Hunter College in the Bronx. He said it would not bother him that his father was the dean. It was so arranged and Ted spent his freshman year at Hunter-in-the Bronx. He was an honor student, played basketball and baseball. He decided to apply for transfer only to MIT. He had enjoyed his visits there. What if they didn’t take him as a transfer student? He said simply he would stay at Hunter one more year and then apply for transfer. As usual with him, his application was accepted for the Fall term, 1964.

Ted’s social life was centered on a group of new friends who were seniors at Edgemont HS. They were a fine group. Ted met a lovely, lively cheerleader, named Nancy Harrison Miller. He confided to a friend that this was the girl he was going to marry. He could not have made a better choice.

Beverly obtained a position teaching first-grade in the Tarrytown Public Schools. Each day for the next ten years she commuted the ten miles or so to Tarrytown, never missing a day for reason of illness or personal convenience. She retired as soon as she was eligible, with accolades from the School Board for her excellent service. Soon thereafter, following the death of her mother, May Holiday, her father, Joy Holiday, came to live with us. Beverly was a faithful and devoted caretaker. Joy’s final years were, until his passing at 97, an enriching period for all of us.

The City University of New York had been created in 1960 to coordinate the four city-supported senior colleges in New York City: Brooklyn, City, Hunter, and Queens. Both City and Hunter had well-established branch campuses, the latter in the Bronx. Consolidating governance of state higher education institutions was taking place around the country. There was growing pressure to increase access to higher education. Enrollments were soaring. New two-year and four-year colleges were being established. Regional colleges were becoming universities. New York State had lagged behind in providing publicly supported colleges and was struggling to catch up. By the end of the 60’s the State University of New York and the City University of New York were the second and third largest systems in the country. Later, New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller tried valiantly to unite the two New York systems but failed. The problems in the city were of a different nature from the problems upstate. The political pressures were disparate.

Hunter College in the Bronx had an enrollment of 4,500 students. It soon began to grow and by 1985 had an enrollment of nearly 15,000. For five years as Dean of Students I related to Hunter College and attended faculty and administrative meetings in Manhattan as well as in the Bronx. Finally the pressures for separation became irresistible. In 1968 Hunter College in the Bronx became Herbert H. Lehman College, named for a distinguished New York Governor and U.S. Senator.

My other hat was Professor of Sociology. From the start I taught one course a semester, at 8:00 AM. No one could complain if I were not in my office until 9:00 AM, three days a week. I taught courses in statistics, experimental design, and social organization. For several semesters and one summer I taught as an adjunct at Columbia University Teacher’s College in the Department of Student Personnel. Later the City University complained that I was teaching at Columbia as an adjunct, apparently thinking I ought to be teaching in the CUNY Graduate Program. Classroom teaching helped me understand the different pressures on teachers and administrators. An administrator can always adjust his schedule to handle whatever requires his attention. A classroom teacher is tied to a schedule he cannot adjust.

The decades of the sixties and seventies were turbulent times on college campuses. The media gave much attention to campus protests. As a result, students felt comfortable challenging administrations and faculties. The consistent theme nationally was opposition to the Viet Nam War, opposition to the military draft, and criticism of any who did not join in their efforts. New York City students were always ready to protest, whatever the issue. Some protests were cut off as darkness fell so students could get home and, hopefully, see themselves portrayed on the evening television news. In a way it was a game. Underlying it, however, was a sense of futility in dealing with any establishment whether it be family, college administration, faculty, police, or students who did not join with them.

Changing the name of the college brought a series of sit-ins and campus rallies. The compromise finally reached was to assure seniors that anyone, who completed degree requirements before summer, 1969, would receive a Hunter College diploma. This was greeted grumblingly but the fervor subsided.

The decision to broaden access to the City University, called Open Admissions, promised that any graduate of a New York City high school would be admitted. Admissions had formerly been an achievement. Now it was a right. Many potential students went elsewhere. Prior to this, the Lehman student was often described by religious choice: 50% Roman Catholic, 40% Jewish, and 10% Protestant. Under the new policies, the description was in terms of race: 50% Black, 35% Puerto Rican, and 15% other. At the same time the demography of the Bronx was changing. In these terms, the new students did better represent the Bronx population.

The situation was complicated in the mid-70’s by the decision to impose tuition upon a previously tuition-free New York State system. Student protests were loud and prolonged. They wore buttons, carried banners, and chanted “Our position, No Tuition.” Buildings were occupied and, with difficulty, reclaimed by the college. An economic recession brought building construction to a halt. Students then turned to causes they could press upon a reluctant faculty with the sense that these were moral issues. First was the demand for creation of a Department of Black Studies. The courses and teaching staff were already in place but they wanted the dignity of a department on equal status with the traditional departments. This was finally accomplished. Later the Latino students, then mainly Puerto Rican, demanded a Department of Puerto Rican Studies. This was followed by demand for a Department of Women’s Studies. All this was accomplished but with the groans of creation.

As Dean, later Vice President, and Deputy President, I was a principal player in all of these events. I enjoyed the challenges. This is what I had hoped to find in New York – the cutting edge of social change. The college president was a close friend with whom I could work confidently. I served the CUNY central administration in a number of settings. Twice my colleagues elected me as President of the Council of Deans of Students, an influential body in matters of University policy. On the campus I could help create the system of faculty/student governance. We created tax exempt organizations to hold student activity fees and to build scholarship award programs. In many ways I left a positive imprint upon the educational programs of Lehman College and of the City University as a whole.

I retired from my administrative duties in 1988 with the title Senior Vice President emeritus. I was treated royally. The President gave a dinner at the Bronx Botanical Gardens that was attended by many faculty, colleagues from other CUNY colleges, and by friends from the Bronx community. I gave the commencement address at the June graduation. For the next seventeen months I was still on the payroll. I used this time in large part to develop the CUNY Japan project, to be described later.

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Chapter 16 -- NEW GENERATIONS

Ted was graduated from MIT in 1967. During his senior year he decided to pursue graduate study in sociology. He applied to five leading sociology departments: Columbia, Harvard, North Carolina, Princeton, and Yale. He wrote five different essays and ranked them ranging from, at one extreme, what he thought they would expect from an applicant to, at the other extreme, what he wanted to say without respect to what they might want. It was a time when there were grants available to support graduate studies. When the offers came, he reported, the amount of assistance offered was in direct proportion to how much of his own thinking the essay contained. Princeton, in effect, bought him.

On June 17, 1967, Ted and Nancy were married. All four of Ted’s grandparents were present. They honeymooned in Bermuda. For their first summer they sublet a Greenwich Village apartment. In September they moved into married student housing in Princeton. Ted completed his graduate work in 1972. Nancy finished her undergraduate work at New York University. Not to be outdone, Nancy began doctoral study at Rutgers University in political science and received her doctorate in 1977.

When it was time to move out of Princeton University housing, they bought a small house on Cherry Hill Road just outside Princeton. It came with 2.5 acres. It was here that Kristin was born in 1970. (Oh, joy!) Later they bought an additional seven acres behind their property, made possible when a platted road was abandoned. On this large plot they built an attractive house and then sold the original house and two acres. Ted and Nancy could have had successful careers as housing developers and designers.

Ted’s career began at the RCA Research Laboratories just outside Princeton. There he won a David Sarnoff Research Prize. Then he went to NBC in NYC as Manager of Information Services, later a vice president. He was an adjunct professor for several years at Baruch College. He left NBC to join Alexander & Alexander, an insurance conglomerate then headquartered in Manhattan. After leaving A&A he joined his friend and former colleague at Radio Computing Services, now in White Plains

Nancy’s career also began in Princeton. She was affiliated with Opinion Research and later with another opinion and marketing company. Her skills were recognized notably for technical expertise but even more for her ability to work productively with clients. These she developed into a very successful management consulting company specializing in customer and employee satisfaction studies.

In 1999 Ted and Nancy moved to White Plains, more convenient for both of their professional activities. For us their closer presence has been a blessing, brightening our lives. They have been generous as always in sharing their adventures. We couldn’t have wished for a more fortuitous family setting in these later years of our lives.

Kristin, as the eldest, is farther along in her own professional development. She was graduated from Northwestern University and later earned an M.A. from Columbia Teachers College. She held a series of jobs, mostly in the non-profit sector, all of which combined to give her the hands-on background essential to her planned career in foundation administration. She is now with the Citygroup Foundation as Assistant Vice President and Manager of Community Development Projects.

Kristin is a remarkable woman. Sensitive, empathetic, and open to others she makes and keeps.friends. She is socially conscious in the best sense. Her experience has also taught her to be tough when necessary. This combination of qualities will carry her far in foundation administration if this continues to be her goal. We feel honored to be able to keep in close touch with her Telephone, e-mail, and fax are wonderful enablers.

Kysa, born in 1975, is multi-talented and high achieving. An actress and musician, her voice and stage presence have won her opportunities and awards. Pianist and composer, her productiveness is limited only by time pressures. She was graduated from Columbia University/Barnard College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She spent junior year in Seville, Spain. There she studied in regular classes with native speakers of Spanish rather than in English speaking classes with other American students. He linguistic skills, already excellent, have been further polished by vacation trips to Latin America.

After graduation from Barnard, Kysa went to San Francisco where she found a job teaching in an alternative school. She was a huge success. All her skills were brought into play in reaching out to often-troubled students. She held the job for two years. Then she was accepted into a doctoral program at the University of California/Berkeley in what is perhaps best described as educational policy. Her intellectual interests, however, may lead her into sociology and political theory. She is fortunate to be studying in a time when formerly rigid boundaries between disciplines are eroding. She will find a way to fit the program to her interests, a prospect now more possible than in an earlier time when students were expected to follow the faculty somewhat docilely.

Kathryn, born in 1977, resembles her sisters in her rapport with her peers. Growing up in Princeton, New Jersey, she was everyone’s favorite baby sitter. So much a favorite that she accompanied families on vacation trips, often overseas. In High School she developed into a fine swimmer. In her senior year she was voted high school athlete of the year. She was described as an assistant coach for her ability to organize the swimming squad and to communicate effectively with other swimmers. She chose Tufts University for her undergraduate studies. From the outset she was an honor student. What she will choose for further study is now undetermined but there is no limit to what she can achieve.

For the moment Kathryn considers Boston her second home. Her self-confidence has been immensely bolstered by her very successful undergraduate career. She is well organized, direct in her approach to people and life situations. Again like her sisters, there is no limit to her achievements in whatever field of endeavor she finally chooses.

Grandparenting is marvelous. Twice we had the privilege of taking all seven of us on Renaissance Cruises. In 1994 we took a Baltic cruise aboard a ship with 104 passengers. We flew to Copenhagen, visited Visby, Tallin (Estonia), St. Petersburg, and Stockholm. We were in Sweden for the annual Water Festival that marked the end of the Scandinavian summer. Three years later we took the same small ship to the Eastern Mediterranean. Beginning in Athens, we visited Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Mitilini (Lesbos), and ended in Istanbul.

Our only regret is that we are not likely to get the entire family together again for a third trip. We will try, but it is unrealistic that five professional people will be able to join us at the same time for such an extended period.

But the blessing is that we will still be able to follow their careers and families and on occasions join with them in family celebrations.

We are very fortunate, Beverly and I, to have such interesting and talented personalities to observe and cherish. We are grateful to each and all of them.

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Chapter 17 -- AN ORGANIZATION MAN

Looking back on my life I realize that I must appear to be a stereotypical organization man. I speculate how this came to pass. Perhaps my fascination with organizations reflects the fact that in high school I was two years younger than my classmates and thus unable to compete in athletics or in the dating game. In college I was forced to work long hours and thus had neither time nor money to be a part of the social whirl. Perhaps when I was an early teenager it was a way to escape the protective control that my mother exerted over my attempts to reach out to new experiences. I would like to think that it was an intellectual curiosity to learn how society functioned. Other than reading I had no insights from family history or example. No one in our immediate circle exercised power in terms of getting things done in the larger society.

In the spring of my first year in the Bellingham college I was elected to a full-year term on the Student Board of Control. This was my first meaningful organization participation. I enjoyed the term. Later at the University of Washington I was twice elected to full-year terms on the Board of Control. This time I came up against administrators who really believed control in student matters belonged to them, not to students. We students were advisers whose opinions could be ignored even when on occasion they were listened to. Good training for a future Dean of Students!

My participation in the SAE Fraternity taught me how to work in a self-governing setting to advance a responsible academic and social agenda. (Or, how not to act if I wanted the members to consider my agenda!) It may be fashionable today to denigrate college fraternities but for me in the situation that confronted me it was the best training ground conceivable. Out of college I was given leadership opportunities to practice techniques of group management on an increasingly larger scale. In 1955 I was elected to the five-person national governing council on which I served for ten years, the last two as national president. The lessons learned were applicable to university administration in ways that enhanced my professional status throughout my career.

Participation as a Boy Scout in Troop 15 in Bellingham was another early learning setting. I was ambivalent about the semi-military structure but grateful for the responsibilities that were assigned to me. Some years later I was sought out by a Scouting related organization for college men, known as Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity. I served their national governing board and two years as their national president. In Summit County, Ohio, I served on the Scout Council Board for nine years and in Bronx County, New York for twelve years, three of which I was chairman of the Council.

There were other involvements. I served three years as chairman of the Bronx Division of the American Cancer Society. I was a Director of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and when I retired was named a Life Director. Each of these and other groups added to my understanding of how communities functioned.

As a young assistant dean I was active in what was then called the Community Chest, forerunner of today’s United Way. I served on the Council of Social Agencies, helping to overcome racial, religious, and ethnic disparities in access to social services. More recently I have served as chairman of the Board of United Way of Scarsdale/Edgemont. Currently I serve on the Board of Directors of United Way of Westchester & Putnam and as Vice Chairman for Community Initiatives. This has been a truly exciting involvement. The United Way movement began as a way to muster financial support for community agencies. Today the focus has changed. United Way serves as the coordinator of collaborative efforts to bring together agencies, corporations, foundations, government, and private giving. The object is to attack problems identified in every fifth year research studies as the most critical for the social health of the community. It is a way of attacking the system rather than concentrating on band-aid applications.

In 1990 A group of us formed a not-for-profit corporation and purchased a 37-acre site in Wappingers Falls, Dutchess County. An association of churches as an outdoor ministry site had operated it. They could no longer absorb the losses from unskilled management and had to dispose of the property. It was in some demand for housing development but all parties wanted to preserve its forested character. We operate it under the title Deer Hill Conference Center. Our programs serve inner city youth and associations of youth counselors. The buildings were old and required much work but they have been renovated and improved. For the first time last year we operated in the black. Now we face the task of raising funds to continue improving the property and adding new facilities. I serve as Secretary of the Board of Trustees. I find this involvement interesting and challenging.

Ever since the twenties when the novelist Sinclair Lewis, in his novel Main Street, satirized Rotary with his character George Babbitt, Rotary has been viewed by the cultural establishment with derision. As with many satires there is some truth in his portrayal. Rotary is a worldwide organization. Its Rotary Foundation arm carries out projects in developing countries around the world not simply with money but with the active participation of local Rotarians. It tries to promote international understanding and to be a factor in achieving peace and justice. The fellowship in local clubs is enjoyable but it is this international service emphasis that attracts me.

I served Rotary as District Governor in 1986-87. As a PDG (Past District Governor) I can involve myself as much as I am able. In recent years I have served as chairman of the District Rotary Foundation Committee. I helped organize the Rotary District 7230 Foundation and currently serve as its president.

In 1989 Beverly and I traveled to Singapore. I was a delegate to the triennial Rotary Legislative Assembly. After that meeting we took a trip to Bangkok, Thailand. Then, by prearrangement we flew to Tokyo for a week stay.

A New York Rotarian, Raymond Y. Otani, had business interests in New York and Japan. He was our host in Japan and treated us royally. He was interested in organizing an American college branch campus in Japan. He wanted to cultivate my interest in his dream project. He had approached several American private colleges in the New York-New England area but had been discouraged by their lack of interest. He said they all seemed to be interested only in making it profitable for themselves. I explained that this was normal. Privately financed universities required each program not only to be self-sustaining but to remit to the central administration a huge fee, often as much as 50% of the total budget. This was to him an unrealistic approach.

Mr. Otani asked me if perhaps the City University would be interested. I could see value in giving Lehman College students and faculty an experience in a Japanese cultural setting. Not only would they be enriched by the experience but also their American classes would be enlivened upon their return. The possibility of an exchange of students was intriguing. I said I thought the project was worth exploring and set two conditions. One was that the American college would have complete control of faculty and curricula and the Japanese sponsor would have complete control and responsibility for the financial operations.

The President of Lehman College and I decided to go ahead with negotiations with the university central administration and the Board of Higher Education. Despite hesitancies and some opposition, partly because Lehman College was upstaging the older colleges, we were successful. Then the four of us, the President and I and our wives, took a ten-day trip to Japan as guests of Mr. Otani. We had a marvelous time, getting to know the Japanese culture and people.

During the next four years I made at least three more trips to Japan. The college was underway and successful with a handsome and functional campus. Today it is no longer functioning, a casualty of the deep economic recession in Japan.

I am asked frequently how I like Japan. I try not to answer that question directly. It would not be honest to say otherwise. The culture proceeds from implicit understandings that are difficult to appreciate fully from my American background. I respond by saying that I find Japan endlessly interesting. That is at least an honest response.

I have been privileged to give leadership to professional associations, locally, regionally, and nationally. I served four years on the Executive Council of the American College Personnel Association. Most rewarding was involvement over a dozen years in the leadership of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), including three years as conference chairman and one year as National President.

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CODA

As I write this I am aware of the speculative question. What does this all amount to? At a minimum it adds up to an interesting life. I trust I have been helpful in advancing the careers of many younger people. I have helped institutions grow and prosper, successfully meet challenges and overcome threatening pressures. I know all of this experience is useful as I help the associations I maintain in my retirement years grow stronger and more receptive to social change. The world in which I live in my eighties is much different from the world I confronted in my youth. For the younger generation it is a better world. It is up to them to cope with new challenges, to welcome change as evidence of growth, and to work to eliminate poverty and war. To do that they must recognize that a better society comes from small steps. No one can create a better society from his own efforts. It requires group efforts. And it demands that the poor and disabled among us must be lifted up. I hope that in a small way I have made a contribution. Perhaps I have shown others the way to realize their hopes and ambition. If so, I am content.

The faculty and administration of Lehman College honored me by awarding the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. In itself this may not be significant. I treasure it, however, because it came from former colleagues with whom I had shared the struggle of creating an institution which continues to serve many who are economically and socially disadvantaged.

An Organization Man, yes.

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