Special Collections

Special Collections Oral History Program

Index


Anne Valum-Johnson

Campus School, 1925-1932

WWU, 1939-1941

Interviewer:     Tamara Belts

Date of Interview:     November 7, 2005

Location of Interview:     Special Collections, Wilson Library, WWU


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Authorized Transcript 

This interview was conducted with Anne Valum-Johnson, in Special Collections, The Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, on November 7th, 2005. The interviewer is Tamara Belts. 

TB: Today is Monday, November 7th, 2005 and Iím here with Anne Valum-Johnson, whose maiden name was Baughman.   She both attended the Campus School, which was then called the Normal Training School, I believe, and she also went to Western for a couple years. Her parents also owned a store, the College Pharmacy, which was across the street from campus.  So she has some memories of that, too.  My first question is how did you happen to attend the Normal Training School?

AVJ: Because I lived right across the street.  We had an apartment in my fatherís store. 

TB: So do you want to tell me a little bit more about that?

AVJ: Well his career started when he was manager of the book store.  Oh, he actually went his two years and graduated from the Normal School, the two year teaching course.  He went out and taught one year and that was enough.  He found out that he didnít want that to be his career.  So, he came back to the Normal School and was hired as manager of the bookstore at that point and I donít know exactly what year that was.  But I think he must have worked here for maybe seven or eight years, Iím not sure about that. 

TB: How did he happen to decide to build the College Pharmacy?

AVJ: Well, working for the college for a while, he got trained for business and he decided that business was where he wanted to spend his life.  He went into competition with the college by building a building across the street and he designed it to serve the students.  He hired a full time pharmacist.  He had school supplies and they had a full service restaurant and fountain.  My mother ran that, but my grandmother in the kitchen did the cooking.  Both faculty and students liked her cooking.  Also, this was before the student union building, but it was, you might say, the first student union building because it was the social center of a very small school at that time.  People were very surprised I think about nine years later when the depression wiped out his business.  They were surprised when he had to close the doors because they said, ďThe place is always full of students.Ē  But the students didnít have any money.  People today donít know what a bad thing the depression was, before there was any help.

TB: Thatís true, thatís true.  So, you started attending the Campus School, then, what year was that?

AVJ: 1925, because during that year he had built this building.  Something that I found out when doing a little research for another reason, [was] that Stanley Piper, who was an English architect who settled here (but he came from England), designed the building.  I knew Stanley Piper and his niece, Marjorie Brighouse.  [She] was my piano teacher, beginning when I was seven.  I knew Piper, but I didnít know that he had designed this building until I did this little research project.

TB: Oh, fun.  So you started Kindergarten in 1925.

AVJ: Sometime during that year.

TB: Did anyone else in your family attend the Campus School?

AVJ: No.

TB: Then you started in 1925 and went through all your grades?

AVJ: Through the seventh grade and thatís when the depression ended the business.  My father fought for that business.  I remember the name of the bank and everything, but it just didnít work, because the students didnít have any money.  We were helping at least one student who was waiting on tables at our restaurant, helped her with her expenses so she could become a teacher.  She stayed at our store, set up a bed in our little old dance hall called the Viking Room where they had dances. 

TB:  Thatís probably 1932 then, about.  Do you have any favorite memories of [living across the street from campus]?

AVJ: I think one of my favorite memories would be the humor and the fun of the students being in the store socializing.  I would sit at the counter and eat dinner and listen to all these wonderful speakers.  I thought they were so witty and so outstanding and so grown up.  And when I came back to college years later, I found out that they were kids.  But to a young kid they seemed like very adult types.

TB: And then, do you remember what you did for lunch?

AVJ: Oh, I would just go out in the kitchen for lunch or dinner and help myself from the hot table in my grandmotherís kitchen.

TB: So that was at the store.

AVJ: Yes, at the store; and sit at the counter and eat.  We didnít have sit-down family meals during that time, much.

TB: Do you remember any of your favorite classmates?

AVJ: One stands out, a girl from a Norwegian family who lived on 21st Street.  Her name was Helen Egberg.  She died within the last two years and sheís known by some other people here.  She had other friends.  We were friends in Campus School.  There were others, but she was my main girl friend.  I recall Carl (Buddy) Lobe Ė son of the Mr. Lobe who owned the B B Furniture Ė a large Ė several stories high building, such a nice kid.  Later as a young married man he piloted a plane and died as it crashed at an airshow.

TB: Who were your favorite or most influential teachers?

AVJ: Well, I would say Miss Elliott, she was [my] second grade teacher.  After first grade I learned to read pretty well.  Iím a good reader.  After I learned how to read I spent all my time with my nose in a book and the second grade teacher pointed this out to my mother, ďThis girl needs something else besides reading.Ē  She suggested music lessons or something.  So at that point I started piano lessons, age seven.  Still, in the last few years, Iím off and on taking lessons.  So itís been a life long joy.

TB: So, you remember Miss Kinsman.

AVJ: Miss Kinsman, Priscilla Kinsman, a very gorgeous, white haired lady.  She was the Kindergarten teacher.

TB: Casanova, did you have Casanova 

AVJ: No; well, I remember her being here, but I donít remember that I had her.  I donít think I did.  Oh, I remember there was a Miss Moffet, taught fifth grade.  She was a little, tiny lady, kind of fierce I thought.  Miss Dunning [taught] the sixth grade, I liked her very much.  She seemed different than the usual faculty member. 

TB: In what way?

AVJ: Just a little more femmie and less managerial.  Of course, women teachers did not marry then.  There was a rule.  None of them were married.  I remember Miss Erickson, she taught kind of a third year type of thing and if you got behind in any subject, you could go up to the third floor and be tutored, which I did a few times, in math.  [Miss Crawford taught grade eight, and Agnew grade seven.]

TB: So who tutored you up there?

AVJ: A student, under Miss Ericksonís supervision.

TB: Okay, so Miss Erickson tutored students from any and all grades that needed special help?

AVJ: I think thatís what she had specialized in, as far as I knew, because she didnít teach a [regular] classroom; and of course, each teacher in the classroom, they were faculty because their job was to train teachers.

TB: So there was some room up on the third floor that was like a study hall or a tutorial center?

AVJ: Yes, and I donít know what all Miss Erickson did, but thatís the same area where the art department was and all of the Campus School children went up there and had their art instruction from people like Miss Plympton and Miss Breakey.  I remember those two.

TB: Can you tell me a little bit more about those two?

AVJ: Oh, they were fine teachers, I thought.  And of course I enjoyed art, too.  I was not good at math, but I liked art and music.

TB: Do you remember any of your student teachers?

AVJ: I donít remember them, but the students gave student teachers a bad time at first.  Of course, I didnít open my mouth, I felt sorry for them, actually.

TB: But did they seem to pick it all up?

AVJ: Oh, yes.

TB: Do you remember a lot of people observing?

AVJ: Oh, yes.  A whole class would come in and observe and somehow that didnít bother me.

TB: Probably because you were used to it.

AVJ: Yes, I was used to it, thatís right.

TB: What were your favorite subjects or classroom activities?

AVJ: Well, anything to do with reading and art and music, anything but math. 

TB: What kind of learning materials did you use, mostly?  Did you have regular textbooks or did your teachers create a lot of material?

AVJ: Both were used; they created some, but then there were some textbooks, too.

TB: Do you remember what kind of grading system was in use during your attendance, whether you had letter grades or narrative reports?

AVJ: You know, Iíve got report cards, Iíll bet you I still have.

TB: Really?

AVJ: But I think mostly it was satisfactory and unsatisfactory.

TB: At some point we know that they switched to a more narrative report and weíre just trying to figure out exactly when.  Do you remember any creative activities such as weaving or making things?

AVJ: Industrial arts, we had the advantage of going over to the Industrial Arts Building and taking things like weaving or making things.

TB: Now, did your whole class go or did they ever separate the boys from the girls and have them doing different things?

AVJ: I think they did when it came to P.E., but anything else, no.

TB: And Iíve already sort of asked you this: what was it like to be observed so often by student teachers?

AVJ: It was no big deal, we got used to it because it happened so much.

TB: Did you attend summer school at the Campus School?

AVJ: Not during those years.  I attended summer school one year when I was college aged.

TB: This is still on Campus School then: what out of classroom activities did you engage in?  What did you do at recess, lunchtime?  What did you enjoy the most and what games did you play?  Itís kind of broad.

AVJ: We used to play a lot.  I remember the sandbox.  There was a sandbox kind of an area that was fenced in and you could get in the sand and play or walk on the rail around, it was like a rail fence and you could walk around on the fence.  I took swimming lessons.  I enjoyed swimming more than some of these games.

TB: Now, where did you take your swimming lessons?

AVJ: Down at the YWCA.  In fact, Sam Carver, who they named the building after, of course, the gym, his wife, Jessie Carver taught swimming down at the YWCA and she taught me how to dive.  I had a lot of swimming lessons and got as far as junior lifesaving and had a badge and everything.  Well, if I had followed through, I could have earned a senior lifesaving badge.

TB: Anything else that you did at recess? 

AVJ: Well, they played games.  I remember soccer, thatís a long time ago, but I was a physical coward, I think.  I was afraid of getting kicked in the shins and all this.  So soccer, I hated that -- that was too rough for me.  I see the girls on television playing soccer.  Theyíre aggressive, they just go for it.  Iím amazed.  I admire them.

TB: Anything else about what you did when you werenít in a classroom situation?

AVJ: You would never let a child wander around like I did, now.  Itís too dangerous.  But I was all over this hill, up what is now Highland Drive was Sunset Heights.  Have you heard that before?

TB: Iíve heard it called the Sunset Trail Ö

AVJ: It was Sunset Heights and it was just woods and trails and there was a frog pond up there.  Every class, I think, would take their students up there to look at the pollywogs and study nature, you know.  And as a kid, my playmates, different ones, we would just wander around through the woods, just playing and watching students.  They used that as a trail to get from one side to the other, to 21st Street, back over here.  My mother probably never knew where in the world I was, but I was safe.

[We also] played in the backyard or played in our apartment, which was not a good idea.  Because some of my motherís jewelry has disappeared, you know.  Some of the young ladies that I brought down there I think helped themselves to some of her choice rings.  Iíll never know.

ATB:  Did most of your playmates also go to the Campus School or were they from the neighborhood [and went to other public school?

AVJ: A lot of them [were] from the Campus School, most everybody.  But there were students from all over town.  I think those people probably had to make arrangements.  I had heard when they were born.  They were supposed to get an arrangement made and get them enrolled.  I donít know.  People in business, for instance, too, that I remember, were the Lobes, thatís L-O-B-E.  He owned B B furniture.  Thatís kind of a high rise, but that was all furniture, on all those floors.  Mr. Lobe ran that and he had two children in the Campus School.  One was ahead of me in school, Carolyn, and she was, I think, in retrospect, I think that she was their child, but the one that was in my class, Bud (Carl Lobe), was adopted.  He didnít look anything like them.  They were distinct types, he and his wife, you know.  Buddy was a very popular kid, who later died in an air show, flying a plane, went down in front of his family.  But he was a very popular young kid, a very nice boy.  There were families, like, another family, I donít know if you want names --probably not.

TB: Yes.

AVJ: Do you?  Nix was the name and they had quite a large family.  The mother taught swimming, or helped, with the swimming program at the Y, under Mrs. Carver, probably.  There was another family, they were a large family and they had one daughter who was retarded and she was in our room.  And I remember her as being probably older than we were.  A very sweet tempered, but slow, mentally, girl.

TB: They didnít have a special education section?

AVJ: I donít think so.  If they had extra help, I donít know that they did, but I think that they were given extra help, they must have been.  I really only remember that one girl being kind of retarded.  But there were families, some of them, like my best friend, lived up on 21st Street.  Sometimes the children of students, who were coming back so that they could teach or further their teaching career, would bring kids who would play with me.

TB: Nice.  Do you remember visiting the college itself very much?  Now, I know that you were in the same building as college students, but did you come to the college library, or attend assemblies or sporting events that were more for the college students?  Or any other connection between the Campus School and college students, besides the student teachers?

AVJ: Or the social.  No, I donít think that there was any contact, except that they were always in our store.

TB: At what grade level did you enter public school?

AVJ: Oh, that would be in the eighth grade.

TB: What was that transition like?

AVJ: That was comical, to say the least.  Because the contrast, between going to Campus School where you had everything, you had tutoring if you needed it, or you had specially trained art teachers and music and so on.  To go from that situation out to Lake Whatcom, Northshore Road to be exact, to a little school called Sunnyside.  That might still be on a map, the Sunnyside area; itís towards the end of Northshore Road.  It was just a little one room school.  There were one room and two room schools all over the county.  The county was not totally divided into districts.  That was a non-high school district there, thatís what they called it.

I was in the eighth grade there.  And this was a first year teacher.  In fact, that cured her, she never taught again.  The thing is, when she was hired for that year, to teach, she had somebody in every grade.  She was doing her student teaching the year before, in the industrial arts, up here and I was in that class.  So I knew her when she came out to teach.  At that time, they had so many rules and regulations, she could not live in town, where her home [was] (she was a Bellingham girl), and teach out there.  She had to live in the district.  So we had a family, they were all unmarried brothers and a sister, who had a nice home out there at the lake.  They took this teacher in.  She paid room and board there. 

It was very entertaining.  I met students, some of the students there that didnít have any polish at all, you might say.  Their families were probably very uneducated and grammar was out of this world.  I heard people saying, ďíUp a giní the mountainĒ and, ďOver hyar,Ē and ďOver thyar.Ē  I donít know where they were from.

TB: Please share any specific differences between public school and Campus School that especially affected you. 

AVJ: Well, I was afraid I would not pass into high school; because, there was not much teaching going on.  She had somebody in every grade.  So my parents took on the responsibility of teaching me.  We had state exams.  Did you ever hear of those?

TB: No.

AVJ: They had to have some kind of standards for all these little schools around, with people of various kinds of training.  My parents divided up the subjects, according to what was their favorite thing, so they got me through and I passed the state exams.  You go to the court house and take the exam. All those little schools in the county, thatís what they did.  So they maintained a standard.  I remember the county superintendent of schools, women didnít have jobs all that much, but it was a woman. 

TB: I think Iíve seen her name before.

AVJ: Well, I canít remember.  So, I got good enough grades.  I had to take agriculture and know how to judge a cow.  I got a lot of laughs out of all the things.  But then I went to, Whatcom, [it] was a high school then, now itís a middle school.  But it was a high school and that building is still here and it was there in my dadís time, he graduated from there and I have a picture of him.  He was salutatorian of his class at Whatcom.  And letís see what else?  Well, when you get to the high school, of course, then youíre off and running.  Well, I went to Whatcom those two years, and I didnít like it because it was quite large by those standards, about 1200.  I had friends.  I went to a lot of parties where they played kissing games which I didnít care much for. 

Well, it happened that my grandparents were living for a while, out in the county.  And they happened to be in the Mt. Baker High School district.  I met some students who went to Mt. Baker.  They invited me to come and visit, which I visited the school and it was a small school.  I had a good time the day I visited, good enough so that I decided I wanted to go to school there.

TB: Oh, so how did you get to school there, then?

AVJ: Well, I went and talked to the principal, his name was Mr. Olmstead and I told him I lived over at the lake and I would like to go to school there.  Since I was in a non-high school district, I could go anywhere I guess that I could get to.  And he said, ďWell, if you can persuade some of the other students that live out there, if there are any, to come here, too, weíll send a bus down there.Ē  I went to work on it, and thatís what happened.  They turned around in our drive way, and so I went to Mt. Baker and graduated from there in 1938.

TB: So how were you originally getting into Whatcom?  You came in with your father or?

AVJ: This was during the years he was county auditor, during the four years.  Between the election time and the time they take office, thereís a little time lapse and I roomed and boarded with some people in town.  [When] he started to work, which would be January, then I rode with him to school everyday.

TB: So then you graduated fromÖ

AVJ: Mt Baker [High School].  I was salutatorian also.  I had a big handicap, really, in one way, in that I was petrified to get up and talk and I never got over it really.  It was a handicap.  Of course when they gave me this wonderful honor of being salutatorian, I flat out did not want it.

TB: So what did you do?

AVJ: There were three girls, two others besides myself.  Our grade points were just about, within a tenth of a point difference.  I knew that there was one girl, one girl was picked for valedictorian, that was no problem, but this other girl had been working for it and she was really a student.  She didnít do any activities, and I did.  Of course, I played the piano, thatís the main thing.  So I told him I just didnít want it and this other girl had been working for it so give it to her, Iíd give it to her gladly.  And he said, ďNo,Ē he says, ďYou can not give it to her, you are it.Ē  So someone helped me, one of the faculty members who was a special friend of mine.  She helped me and they shortened the speech length that year, lucky thing.  I canít remember it.  I forgot it immediately after having delivered it.

TB:  So, you graduated in 1938, then?

AVJ: Yes.

TB: And then what did you do for a year?

AVJ: Well, then my fatherís tenure as county auditor was over.  He created a disturbance, you might say, because he was county auditor, he had access to county records and he found out that when, in the purchase of road building machinery and other kinds of machinery, the county, for years there had been [overpaying] going on.  And he found all this.  My mother made scrap books of his four years as county auditor.  Itís killing to look at it.  His name was in headlines almost every day, it seemed like, I mean, umpteen times.  He was always in the papers.  Sheís got these big scrapbooks, this big, full.  And so consequently, people didnít like that.  They called him a muckraker, I think.  Thatís a good name.  But he was right.  And I thought he was a knight in shining armor.  He was not reelected.  His opposition, I shouldnít say this, maybe, but it was a very close election and they beat him by sixteen votes.  They went to a nursing home and got people who probably had Alzheimerís to vote against him.  He never tried to take issue with that, [he] let it go. 

He ended up getting a new opportunity, but it took a few years before that opportunity arose.  But he ended up in the hardware business in Concrete.  It was a good opportunity.  It was the branch of the Lakeside Western Lumber Company of Mount Vernon and it was operating in the red and the owner was about ready to close it and give up.  But one of his deputy county auditors, a nice lady, whom I remember with a lot of pleasure, a very delightful person, she recommended him for this job, to try and save that lumber yard.  So he went up there and was there for a while before he started introducing hardware items.  He started with Sherwin Williams paint and Dutch Boy paint.  And then he went on from there and he built an outstanding business and itís still there.  In real estate, he purchased real estate and developed it and made a pretty good fortune. 

My mother had to go back to teaching again.  So, she made a deal with me. (I almost forgot what the question was).  She said, ďYou could go to school next year, if you would stay and run the house, do the cooking, etc.  while I go back to school and get a third year.Ē  Which she did, and I didnít know anything about cooking.  Nobody had taught me anything, so I had to learn the hard way.

TB: Then did you as a student at Western, ever observe in the Campus School?  Did you take any education curriculum when you were at Western?

AVJ: I didnít zero in on teaching.  I knew I didnít want to teach, because, see, thereís that thing, you get up in front, I wasnít going to do that, no way. 

TB: How did your attendance at the Campus School influence your life or your career?  

AVJ: I donít know, but I feel like I had the best of everything when I was in the Campus School.  I felt like it was a great opportunity, because look at the teachers we had.  These were career people, they were not very young.  Now, teachers, in a lot of cases, theyíre just starting out, but they were people who had a track record, years [of experience].  They were very good and their job was to turn out teachers. 

TB: Are you still in touch with any of your Campus School classmates?

AVJ: Not anymore; people are either dead and gone or look how old I am.  Iím 85.

TB: I was trying to figure that out.  You donít look it at all, not at all.  Do you have any Campus School memorabilia, including photographs, class publications, crafts, art work, etc.?

AVJ: I suppose I do, but I donít remember.  Well, most of my art doesnít date back that far.  I was starting to do things when I was in high school.

TB: Please share with us any favorite memories of your Campus School days and comments about areas not covered by the questions above.  Anything you havenít talked about related to the Campus School times.

AVJ: I donít know, it seems like, it was a good experience.

TB: Weíve talked about it, but not on the tape, but Iíd like to talk a little bit on the tape, before we talk about your time at Western, [about] Dr. Fisher.

AVJ: We didnít even think of him as Dr. Fisher, we [thought] of President Fisher.

TB: Well, can you tell me a little bit about how he felt about your dadís store?

AVJ: Well, it was competition and he probably had to raise the money, they still do, have to raise the money to operate this place.  Thatís probably the main source of his displeasure, with my father popping up across the street as competition.  The store was a success, if it hadnít been for the depression, he would have been there for who knows [how long].  But it only lasted nine years, because nobody had any money.

TB: Can you tell me a little bit more about what all was at the store?

AVJ: Well, my father had school supplies, he had all the candy and that kind of thing and he had the druggist, I got a picture of the druggist that we had.  It had a full service drug store, which served a purpose up here because [there] were people, who otherwise walked downtown.  Itís not like now, where they have to have forty million cars up here.  The full service restaurant and fountain, which my mother operated, they employed college students, girls, mostly, as waitresses.  Then there was some adult help. You had mentioned Mr. Gaasland; I know he worked there for a long time.  He was an adult, he was not in school. 

But it was a social gathering place. He had what he called in the back of the store, with the bay view, windows all around, called it the refectory.  I looked it up in the dictionary, because I have never heard that word in connection with anything else.  Have you ever heard of it?  I think its refectory.  Well, itís up about three steps from the main level of the store, and up there they would have booths, where people could eat lunch and also there was a big Victrola, thatís what they called them then, [with] a stack of records.  So the students would have their coke and their sandwich and they would play records and dance.  There was kind of a smallish, oh, it was big enough, dance floor with a view of the bay.  And then in later years, where he added onto the store, he added on and rented out a meat market, a grocery store and a shoe repair we had at one time, and a barber shop and beauty parlor.  It was like a strip mall before itís time.  I think maybe he started the idea -- all those different services.  There was a garage underneath the building and a gas station, it was just everything.

TB: He had the gas station, too?

AVJ: Well, he rented it out.  And then, because of this addition of space in the back, overlooking the bay, connected to the rest of the store, was a dance hall, he called it the Viking Room and Friday nights they would have dances.  Which I loved, I was like so (indicating height), but I liked to dance.  Iíd get those young fellows, you know, to dance with me.  What a nuisance I must have been.

TB: Yes; now did they have a live band or did they use that Victrola? 

AVJ: No, that was in this other part.  No, they had a band, but he bought a piano when I was in the second grade, age seven.  When I started piano lessons, then, he got the piano for the orchestra, so they would have live music.  And then I had a piano to practice on.

TB: That is pretty cool.  Do you have any idea how your father got the idea to build that store?

AVJ: Well, I guess it probably was born when he was working managing the bookstore at the college.  That was in Old Main and it was still there when I went to college.  So, Iím sure that thatís where he found out that he liked supplying students with all the things they needed and so he just wanted to go into business for himself.  That started him on his path of being in business.

TB: Now Iím going to ask you about your time at Western.  Why did you choose to attend Western?

AVJ: I just never thought about going anywhere else.  I wasnít very ambitious or anything, but I did know that I had to go to school.  I wanted to go to school.  I went those two years before transferring to the university.

TB: What were your dates of attendance at Western, then?

AVJ: Oh, dear.  Well, when I was nineteen I was a freshman at Western.

TB: And that was fall of 1939, I think [when] you first entered. 

AVJ: I think thatís right.

TB: So probably 1939 to 1941, if you went two years?

AVJ: And then I went toÖoh, what a difference in cost then.  You know, it only cost us $100 a quarter.

TB: At Western?

AVJ: Yes.  There was no tuition, then Ė just fees.

TB: So it was room and board or books?

AVJ: Oh, not room and board, I mean, that was just to go to school.  You paid your hundred dollar fee.  They just called them fees.

TB: Well, what other degrees, if any, did you receive elsewhere?

AVJ: I didnít receive any degrees because when the war came along, I had been engaged to be married already and we went ahead and got married after about six months of war.  And my husband, well, he had started working in the shipyard in Bellingham.  So he was into boat building his whole career, really.  He was with Uniflight, [that] was his last.  He was very talented.  He worked his way up, you know.  Uniflight built a plant in the coast of North Carolina, in Swansboro, near Jacksonville.  And thereís Camp Lejeune, youíve probably heard of Camp Lejeune.  Camp Lejeune was right there.  So he was there two years and had the full responsibility -- buying the property, building the boat, building [the] plant.  Thereís more boating there, believe it or not, than there is here.  I was surprised. 

TB: So you went to Western for two years, then you got engaged.

AVJ: Then we married and he became a boat builder and I became just a house frau. 

TB: At some point you came to the University of Washington, though.

AVJ: Well, yes, oh, yes.  I was there for, well, until the war.  Letís see.  It was into the war.  The day of Pearl Harbor I was going to school at the U.  That was December 7th.

TB: 1941 would be the fall of the second year; youíre right, the second year.

AVJ: We were coming home on weekends.  He was down working at Todd Shipyard and I was working at the University Bookstore.  See, this is December, so there was still school in session.

TB: So you were married and going to school?

AVJ: Well, we werenít married then, no.

TB: So you were going to school and working at the University of Washington, is that right?

AVJ: University Bookstore, yes.  See, my father being a manager of a bookstore, a college bookstore, they must have had an association or something, because he knew Mr. McRae, who was manager of the University Bookstore.  So, I got that job easily, I think,  my father probably arranged that.

TB: And then your husband-[to-be] was to be working at Todd Shipyard.

AVJ: Yes, and we were coming home on the weekend.  The day of Pearl Harbor, we had been out at the lake [at] that place.  We had not listened to the radio all day.  Radio wasnít all that good then.  I mean the sets werenít.  But on the way back to Seattle, we heard the news on the radio, but even before that we wondered what was going on because we met a caravan, you might say, of army vehicles heading north.

Evelyn Mason!  Yes, for crying out loud, I have trouble with that.  Yes, you know her, was she teaching since youíve been here?  She taught psychology.

TB: She probably was here when I came, yes.  I came in 1974. 

AVJ: I met her over at the Carver Gym, where they had the exercise room, she was in that.  And we got to chatting one day and found out that they, I mean the Mason family, owns the place on the lake that we lived in.  So, thatís how come I did this for her, see.

TB: Maybe we could get a copy of that?

AVJ: You could, yes, you can.  Thatís taken out in the yard at the Northshore road.

TB: Now, whoís that, the one armed carpenter?

AVJ: Thatís my father, and thatís when Evelyn found out that he was not a carpenter, but a business man.  Isnít that a kick?  Well, we kind of got derailed here.

TB: So, you left Western and you went to the University of Washington.

AVJ: I went for like, maybe a quarter, or maybe two quarters; the war kind of messed things up.

TB: Have any other family members attended Western? 

AVJ: Yes.

TB: Well, I know your grandson, Ben.

AVJ: Yes.  Iím so glad heís doing this.  I think heís going to be good at it.

TB: So, who else in your family might haveÖ?

AVJ: OK, my number two child, Lynn Valum Starcher.  She graduated from here, and I donít remember when.  Then the youngest in the family, I have five children, and my youngest is Arne and he graduated from here, too.  Now, she graduated with a degree that they donít give anymore and that is Home Economics.  They donít teach it anymore, do they?

TB: No.

AVJ: Well, anyway, she did that, not because she was interested so much, sheíd lost interest in it, but she was closer to getting her degree and finishing it up, so she went ahead and got it.  Sheís always been a business lady and sheís also a very good singer and she sings a lot, now.  Sheís been in a lot of stage plays and Theatre Guild and stuff like that.  But mostly she sings in churches now.  Sheís Lutheran, she sings in Lutheran churches where she belongs, but she also was hired by the Catholics to sing at their big church on Cornwall.  [At] five oíclock on Saturdays, sheís the cantor.  

TB: Thatís interesting.  Are there any other personal achievements that you would like us to know about, such as awards, citations, decorations, personal bests? 

AVJ: Thatís supposed to be my accomplishments?

TB: Yes.  Itís your chance to brag

AVJ: I donít think I want to brag about anything.

TB: OK, letís back up a little bit.  We talked a little bit [about] what your first job was after leaving Western, in terms of University of Washington bookstore.  Could you give us another little brief employment record or what your career was like?

AVJ: Well, mostly I raised a family.  They were spread out, they were like three years apart, and that drags it out a lot.  And when I got to the end with Arne back in college and so forth, I thought, well, now whatíll I do?  I got interested in real estate and I took a class with Tom Follis, heís still in business, you know and became interested in that, got involved and worked in real estate for probably about twenty years.

TB: Now Iím going back to your experiences at Western.  Where did you live most of the time while you attended Western?

AVJ: I lived most of the time with my grandparents who at that time were living down on Pine Street, just up a half a block from the armory. 

TB: Now, what were your grandparentsí names?

AVJ: Ticknor; Mary and Lee Ticknor; thatís my motherís [parents].

TB: And that was the woman who also then cooked in your fatherís store?

AVJ: Yes.

TB: Who were your most favorite or most influential teachers as a college student?

AVJ: Well, one that stands out, they named a [college] after [him] and thatís Woodring.  I enjoyed his psychology classes very much.  He was very good. 

TB: Could you at all describe his style or why he excited you orÖ?

AVJ: Casual, just kind of, but full of information and I think that I had him when he was probably in the first year or two he was here.

TB: What was your main course of study?

AVJ: It was just general education, you know; because thatís all you have the first two years, really.

TB: Which classes did you like best or learn the most from?

AVJ: Well, I think I learned a lot in Mr. Arntzenís class, he taught history.  And of course, psychology, I took a few courses in that, but I liked Dr. Woodring really well.  Just on the side, some of these teachers had known me from way back, of course, like Mr. Kibbe.  Did you ever hear of him?

TB: Iíve heard that name.

AVJ: He taught psychology and he always greeted me in the hall, ďOh, how come I donít have you in any of my classes?Ē  Well, he was just kind of a precious old fuddy duddy, you know.

TB: What about Mr. Arntzen?  What was Mr. Arntzen like?

AVJ: Well, he was a very cool history teacher.  My mother, of course, she had him for history and of course, she was a better student than I.

TB: OK.  Do you remember his outline?

AVJ: Well, the thing that stands out when you mention Arntzen, is the dates.  Hereís all these million dates.  Of course, I know that he didnít expect you to remember, probably, all that much, except to get the picture, you know.  But I was intimidated by dates.

TB: Anybody else that you remember?

AVJ: Well, of course I enjoyed Miss Plympton.

TB: You had her inÖ

AVJ: Art.  Goodness, I havenít thought about that for so long.  Lucy Kangley, she was another very outstanding teacher.

TB: What made her a good teacher?

AVJ: Well, she could give you the picture and well, I donít know, I think it was literature, too.  Iím not sure, but I think she taughtÖ

TB: Literature.

AVJ: Literature, well, I liked literature.  Thatís right.  I liked most of my teachers.

TB: What about the music program?  I know you were in music.

AVJ: Oh, I didnít do anything up here; I just stayed with the private lessons.  I did sing in the choir for a while.

TB: Thatís right.

AVJ: Nils Boson was the director.

TB: What other activities did you enjoy the most, like sports, clubs, or student government?  Were you involved in any of those things? 

AVJ: I wasnít.  You might have to speak, see.  You know, my mother and father, especially my mother, did not have that problem, so I donít know [why I did, but] itís too late now.

TB: Well, could you share any other special memories of your college days?

AVJ: Well, Iím afraid that I was always in love.

TB: Oh, but with different guysÖ

AVJ: Yes, but when I got that Norwegian, you know, he was a good one.  And he sang, you see.  When I went to Mt. Baker that was what drew us together.  He was the singer, it was a small school, you know.  His parents came from Norway; they didnít have money for training.  He didnít have training, really.  Oh, maybe a little but not much.  But he was a natural light baritone and he was a good musician, if heíd have had training, but he didnít.  He sang very beautifully naturally and I became his accompanist.  And thatís what started it all, you know.

TB: Yes; so he was a classmate from high school?

AVJ: Yes, from sixteen, because I became his accompanist.  We did a lot of singing through that two years in high school and then afterwards he was very much in demand as a singer.  Heíd come over and we would rehearse and he would bring his date with him.  And weíd rehearse and then heíd go off with his date.  And then sometimes it was the other way around, he would come out, we would rehearse for whatever we were going to perform at, and then I would go off and leave him sitting there visiting with my folks while I went off on a date.  And then one day we noticed each other.  And we were married for forty three years.

TB: So you must have got together after you came to Western?

AVJ: Oh yes.

TB: Well, is there anything else that I havenít asked you that youíd like to share?

AVJ: It seems like Iíve told the story of my life.  Oh, thereís Mr. Bushell, he was here when I was here.  Bushell; I liked him.  As I recall, he played tennis and he was on crutches.  Did you know he was on crutches?

TB: No.

AVJ: I donít know if he was a polio victim, maybe.

TB: Oh, you can see him on his crutch right there (referring to the picture in the annual).

AVJ: Yes.

TB: Yes, so he played tennis, though?

AVJ:  I didnít get to play in his orchestra, because you know, I didnít play an instrument, just piano.

TB: Actually, Iím going to back up.  You got to sing in the library.

AVJ: I donít recall doing it.

TB: Thatís where this picture is (referring again to the annual) and it says, ďThe choir at Christmas in the library lobby

AVJ: Oh, can I look at this? See if Iím in there.

TB: Yes, it says you are.

AVJ: Does it?  Well, then I was.  Iíd forgotten.  I was a soprano.  Jeez, such little faces, huh?  I donít know.  Who knows, maybe that is [me]?

TB: Well, if you donít have anything more Iím going to shut the tape off. 

AVJ: Good.

TB: Thank you very much.

AVJ: Oh, youíre welcome.

Addendum

TB: OK, Sunset Heights.

AVJ: OK, Sunset Heights originally was just woods and a frog pond, a place to play.  And when they were going to put the street through, they were trying to, they meaning I donít know who all, faculty or whoever, they were going to name it.  My dad named it.  Heís the one that came up with Highland Drive.  I wonder if anybody remembers that, they probably think they did it.

TB: Well, thatís good.

AVJ: Yes.  Now I recall Ė the area that the Performing Arts Building and plaza are on now Ė was once just a vacant lot Ė then later on a tennis court was built there.  I got to play a lot of tennis.