Special Collections Oral History Program
Campus School student, 1935-1945
Interviewer: Tamara Belts
Date of Interview: September 19, 2006
Location of Interview: Interviewee's residence, Irrigon, Oregon
ATTENTION: © Copyright Western Washington University Libraries Special Collections. "Fair use" criteria of Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 must be followed. The following materials can be used for educational and other noncommercial purposes without the written permission of Western Washington University Libraries Special Collections. These materials are not to be used for resale or commercial purposes without written authorization from Western Washington University Libraries Special Collections. All materials cited must be attributed to Western Washington University Libraries Special Collections.
This interview was conducted with Hartley Seeger at his home in Irrigon, Oregon, on September 19th, 2006. The interviewer is Tamara Belts.
TB: Today is September 19th, Tuesday, 2006, and I’m here with Hartley Seeger down in Irrigon, Oregon. We’re going to [go through] the Campus School alumni questionnaire. Our first question is how did you happen to attend the Campus School?
HS: Because my mother was a student at Western Washington; it was called Normal School then -- a teacher’s school. She put in her first two years, and then she taught the twelve [grades] in the Skagit River. She met my father at a dance. Mom was about 22 and Dad was 19 (but he lied about his age), and that’s how she wound up marrying Dad. She had gone back to school to continue her education. She had taken the one-year sabbatical thing whatever they did in those days. After two years, you could get your certificate to teach and then get some experience and then you went back to work on what – I guess – to work on whether you wanted to be in the grades or in high school or go on further. So when she married Dad, of course, that was the end of her education. But there was no question that her boys were going to Campus School, and that was it, period. And that’s how we went.
TB: So you didn’t actually attend school when she was going. It’s that she had went to the Normal School, married your father, you were all still living in Bellingham, so she wanted you boys to go there.
HS: Yes, absolutely. She said, ‘That’s where the boys are going to go. They’re not going to public school, they’re going to Campus School.’ So that’s how we got there.
TB: Did anyone else in your family attend the Campus School?
HS: No, just my brother and I, we are the only Seegers that were in Bellingham, that were school age.
TB: So that’s Deane and Hartley. Okay, what were the years and grades of your attendance?
HS: 1935 to 1945; ten years, minus two months, because we moved to Eugene, Oregon.
When we started Kindergarten [we lived at 422 Forest St.]. I was hoping you would have brought a map of Bellingham, it would have been a big help, I could have showed you. I had to walk up hill all the way to school on Garden, and got to walk home all the way downhill. But you can imagine this is 1935. The first day, my mother walked us up to the campus. She knew some of the professors and got us all set up. She came that afternoon, walked up the hill, picked us up and that’s the last time she took us to school. Here’s these little kids, six years old, and in those days, you know, there wasn’t any crazy people out there and off we went.
From there we moved to 826 Jersey Road. Jersey Road takes off from Holly Street, goes by the hospital, and then climbs up the hill and dead-ends. There’s this little old dirt road that cuts off to the right, and that was called Jersey Road. Jersey Street is an extension of it. We lived down at the end of it, in a home that was built by a sea captain, and then remodeled. We had two and a half acres of landscaping that was done by an amateur horticulturist. He was, I think they call them, a reader in the Christian Science church (they don’t call them preachers I don’t think).
We moved there when we were seven. So we walked [to school] and that was on the other side of Sehome Hill. In the spring and fall, we usually would climb up the hill [and] take the trail. I think it was a little over a mile, but when you get back you might want to check the distance. Then you walked down the hill and popped out right by the women’s dormitory (if it’s still a women’s dormitory). You walked right by there, took a concrete path, and if it was cold and rainy, you could get down in [Old Main], because it had a daylight basement in [that] big old brick building. That’s where the college students’ little bookstore was; where they could buy books or, buy things, like paper.
We’d go down through there, and down the hall and go up the stairs because the Campus School at that time was in the main building, in the back. In the basement there was a gymnasium with a low ceiling so every kid who went to Campus School that played basketball shot his shots flat. Until they built the, what do they call that now, the field house? That big ..
TB: Well, now it’s Carver Gymnasium, but it was called the Physical Education building when you were there.
HS: Okay, because it’s the one that has the swimming pool. They finished that when, I think, we were about in the fourth grade, I think, the third grade, you’d have to check the time on that. But anyway, that was used for the classrooms for the kids. Sometimes we went to class in regular college student classrooms, depending on what the course was. The nice thing was it wasn’t like a public school, we went to a different room for every class.
TB: All through your grades? Even in first grade?
HS: First grade, no. Kindergarten, first grade, we stayed in the same room. Second grade, we stayed in the same room. Third grade, we went to two or three different rooms, if I remember. And the penmanship teacher was a college professor. And I don’t remember –
TB: Miss Gragg; I bet her name was Gragg.
HS: It probably was. She and I had it out, and, in fact, I started to cry, I felt so bad. She kept on putting the pen in my right hand and telling me to write with my right, but, I am so left handed. I have [an] identical twin brother, looks just like me, (except not anymore, because of his illnesses). He’s ambidextrous, so he could write with his right hand. ‘Why don’t you do it like your brother?’ And of course, we had an ink bottle, and you filled your pen, and if you’re left handed, you usually curl your wrist. Well, when you did that, you just smeared the ink.
What saved me, let’s see, I can’t think of the teacher’s name, she had premature white hair.
TB: Miss Kinsman?
HS: Yes, beautiful woman. Absolutely had the most wonderful attitude [and] – she was left-handed.
I was saved because there was five of us in our class that were left-handed and we were all boys. They made the dumb mistake of putting us all on the left hand side of the classroom, one behind the other. Now, when you put [five] left-handed boys [together] we were bound to get in trouble someday.
But let me finish this story – anyway -- she said, ‘No,[if] he can print or write legibly, let him do it any way he wants to. If I can read it, and you can read it, it doesn’t make any difference. [It doesn’t have] to be done by [the Palmer] rule of penmanship.’ (I’ve forgotten now. There was a book on penmanship, it was printed in 1888 or something, I don’t know, old, old book.)
My dad had gone to [Lake Forest] College. He’d started college when he was 15 and he left halfway through his senior year, and wound up broke in Bellingham. He was very strict on punctuation and sentence structure and this sort of thing. I just had horrible fits with my teachers because I couldn’t get it. It just didn’t make sense to me.
I got A+’s in college in English literature -- straight A’s. But I had to take dumbbell English when I enrolled at University of Oregon and flunked it all three times, through the whole freshman year. They finally gave up. It was a pass/no pass situation and they just passed me, they felt sorry.
Then I took English composition and the guy said what are you doing down there? My dad had told me, if you can speak articulately, your speech is structured, all you have to do is write like you talk. And he had taught my brother and I how to speak correctly. So I enjoyed writing. It was fun. And I enjoyed reading. Dad was a great reader, insisted on reading.
Then, the third grade, the fourth grade is fuzzy -- I’ll be darned if I can remember. I do know that I was interested in art and they let me spend a lot of time in the art department. And I really enjoyed that.
I’ll backtrack, in the first grade there was a controversy over whether or not they should let [children use manual tools] – and this was in the days when boys were carpenters and girls were seamstresses and they didn’t mix too much. Later on, the girls were doing the same things the boys were, and vice versa. So, they were letting us use saws, they were little, well they had the blade on the top, like a cut-off saw for finishing work, and vices. You sawed a point on a two-by-four and that made the bow of the boat, and then you had a little box and you nailed it on, and a smokestack, and you made a boat! Well, they had a whole bunch of people from University of Washington and everything say, ‘Here you are, you’re experimenting teaching first graders how to use tools.’ And guess who cut his hand? I did! Right here, you can still see the scar. Everyone was horrified. (Well, of course, I wasn’t so horrified about being hurt, I felt so bad that I ruined the whole program.) They were saying, ‘No, we taught them to be careful.’ The saw slipped and I remember distinctively the horrified look on my teacher’s face. Then the student-teacher was the one that took me and put a band-aid on it. So, that was an unfortunate situation.
Believe it or not, I remember Kindergarten. What I remember about it was the mat; because you sat on the mat and spent most of your time on the mat. It was only three or four hours for Kindergarten. Then in the first grade and the second grade, we [still] had mats; third grade, no more mats [or naps].
They read to us during that nap period. They pulled the curtains down until it was dark in there, and we all laid down and took a [nap]. Now they call it a power-nap, the funny part about it is that’s exactly what it is. Most of the children who were going through this particular type of education were enthusiastic youngsters, curious, [imaginative].
I have an awful lot of vision, that’s why I’m so good at urban planning. I can see. I got straight A’s in college in art, but I was told never to finish the painting. Absolutely perfect composition, but once I put the color to the brush [it fell apart]. They said, ‘Don’t do it – we’ll give you an A, just don’t go any further!’ I was an impatient person and I still am. I wish I had cured that, but I didn’t. I get an idea and I want to see it done now, I don’t want to mess around.
The fourth grade is just kind of a …
Then, I don’t know when we started, but we had to take cooking class. Well, this was the Depression, so you [took] cooking class, and this is boys and girls together. We’d make pudding and stuff, and then they’d sell it to the college students. Well, me and David Ireland – I think it was Dave, or maybe it was Howard Ekholm – decided that we’d write little messages on pieces of paper and stuff them in the puddings so they’d [have to] pull it out! So I didn’t get to go to cooking class anymore, I got to do something else!
They had typing. I think typing class was in the eighth and ninth grade. And, again, [being] predominately left-handed, I could not get my right hand to do the work it was supposed to do and it frustrated me. My twin brother, on one of the [career war options], made staff sergeant right after he got out of boot camp because he could type, see. And, so, what did I do? I took an 8 ½ by 11 typewriter paper and I made absolute beautiful paper gliders. This is up on the third floor of that big Main building, kind of T-shaped building, way up high. You could look down on all that lawn which is probably gone now. I opened the window and I wrote messages that I was being held prisoner and then I’d fly them up. Well, at least I got sent to the library. Well, the librarian and I – she decided that I was the neatest thing since cotton candy, and vice versa. And I got to go there and read.
TB: That must have been Miss Snow?
HS: It might’ve been. This is back in the Thirties. She and I just clicked. Here’s this young kid – and at that time, I thought the building was huge, with the windows up in the one end and everything. This big old dark mahogany desk, and I’m sitting there, and she’d bring these books out. Well, it got to the point I was reading three to four years ahead of my time. I got to read all the new books that came in for children. She’d sit down with me and we’d critique the books. She’d say, ‘What do you think about them?’ Sometimes I’d hit a word that I didn’t quite understand. So I figured I could just look at the sentence and think, well, that word’s got to mean this or that, and that makes sense. Well, I went home and told my dad and he was furious. ‘Write those words down and bring them home! Look them up in the dictionary! And if you’ve got any questions, ask me.’ (Because he was really sharp, being a newspaper man, he was sharp on his English.)
Well, I looked up the words and my definition was a hell of a lot better than Webster’s because it made the story much more interesting! I went back and told Miss Snow and I said, ‘Hey! This is what Dad says, this is what we found out, and here’s the word – and this is what Webster says it is, and this is what I think it is, now what do you think?’ And she started to laugh, saying, ‘You know, I hate to tell you this, but it does make a better read with your interpretation. But you should learn the actual definition.’ It was that attitude – didn’t put me down, didn’t scold me for not sticking to it, but told me to keep on it. She wanted me to keep a record of what my definitions were and what Webster’s were, just for fun. She said someday you can write a book, of course I never did. But I got to do that. Instead of doing some of the things that I was a bad boy at.
Then, I told you about Munizza and Ludwick the two student teachers, that always let us do their work, and then they’d pay us a little bit or buy us a hamburger. That was down from the Physical Education building, down the street. There were two streets that came together, and you made a real sharp, coming up from town, you made a real sharp left turn and right on the corner there was a restaurant. It was in an old house and it was a restaurant. The college kids used to hang out there. And it was kind of like a Mom ‘n’ Pop’s shop thing that did hamburgers. Larrie Munizza – his first name was Larrie, alright, and I think it was [Ernie] Ludwick], but anyway, they’d go buy us these neat hamburgers. We just thought they were the neatest people that walked the face of the Earth. We had fun and they got to be a little lazy and we did their work for them. Anyway, it was fun.
Ah, I’m trying to think what class it was. We weren’t allowed to play football or compete in sports with the public schools and we didn’t like that. But because [we had] such small classes we couldn’t field a team with any back up or anything, they said, ‘No, we couldn’t do that.’ They were concerned [about] the football because of the injuries, and same thing with hardball. So we played a lot of softball.
There was a young man there, he’d gotten his wings, he was a Marine pilot, and then he’d gotten drunk and went partying. He’d lost control and paralyzed his arm, so he went back to school to learn [to be a teacher]. But he was very, very positive in his attitude. When he played sports, he had to tape his arm up. He was a student teacher and we liked him a lot. He had an exceptionally positive attitude. He taught us that it was good if you had a handicap [because] you can [lick it]. He was somebody nice that happened to us because of a misfortune. And he didn’t consider it to be a misfortune it meant that he had to learn to do things differently. He was neat.
He had a friend in Seattle and he was an assistant [basketball coach]. (We played a lot of basketball. We didn’t get letters (but the year afterwards they started giving letters). Of course, you were on the varsity team whether you wanted to be or not – there wasn’t enough [otherwise]. I was little; I didn’t start to grow until I went to high school.) He got us a game with this high school in Seattle and we beat them. That was one of the most exciting things.
We played across the court, instead of the whole way like a regular court. We’d play with the baskets hanging on the side. The seats would fold up in the gymnasium, and then you could play this way. They’d have a curtain they could pull across and divide the gymnasium up. It was very, very interesting, well-done building, I thought.
TB: That was in Seattle? Or that was our gym?
HS: Our gym. They had things that were done right.
There used to be a hill you used to walk. Then, if you walked out of the, the [physical plant] was up against the hill, then right next to it was where they taught the student teachers shop. But we also got to learn how to make cameras and develop rolls of film. We were also taught to sew. That’s another story I have to tell you. And then they had an old car there that had never, ever been driven. It was up; welded to the chassis, with these stand pipes so it sat up about two feet off the floor. We got to take it all apart and then put it all back together. We got to learn how to run metal lathes, how to make little hammers and stuff. Just something so we knew how to use that tool, what it was for.
I would wear a shirt with the tail out and [it got] caught in the lathe. For some reason or other, I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I can remember that, because I got bawled out, but it wasn’t half as bawled out as I got at home. My mother said, ‘What. happened to your good shirt?’ During the Depression, you didn’t get another new shirt, that one got repaired and you wore it. She was madder than the teacher was.
We got to go for a little while in the brand new building with the ramp. I think they were building it at the time.
TB: It was finished in 1943.
HS: Then we did. We visited it when they were building it, [too]. We broke the dumbwaiter. We used it as an elevator and three of us climbed into it and the rope broke.
TB: Oh dear, school boy pranks.
HS: This thing about the elevator, there’s a little story about the elevator, just a little takeoff one. Nobody knew we broke it. You do now. You used to have to walk from the end of the old school building (they built the new sixth grade building just down from the shop) all the way over to get to the gymnasium. There was a hill on the right hand side, and it took them about six months, but they blew it down to level. It was a small hill and they just leveled it. That was fun to watch because they’d dynamite it, you know, the buildings would shake and everything and we always thought that was a pretty wonderful thing to watch.
TB: And that was before they built the new school, then, right? It was getting it ready.
HS: Yes, that was before they built the new school. Howard Ekholm (he’s passed away). His dad ran the pulp mill and had come over to build it from Sweden. He was a chemical engineer, and he married a little Swedish immigrant girl that worked at the … There were two hotels in Bellingham –it was the old hotel.
TB: The [Leopold]
HS: The [Leopold], thank you. Howard had picked up from his father, and had a deep interest in chemistry and stuff. He probably had an IQ of 180, 200, I mean, smart kid. But he also had a mother that was just plain Jane, just had plain common sense, so he was well balanced. But he learned how we could make time fuses for fire crackers. Now we pledged that we would never, to our dying day [tell]. [But] now Howard’s dead so – it was Howard, my brother, David [Ireland], and the rest of us, that’s three, there’s six more, there were nine of us that were studying. Oh, they broke up the classrooms in eighth or ninth grade, and they were going to teach what they would consider today’s sexual education. (Nowadays, my God, they tell them everything, it’s ridiculous but, then, I’m an old man.)
They were so embarrassed. The school wasn’t prepared to start to [teach] sex education to children, but the children were going to change. Girls already were changed, and the boys were beginning to change physically. One of them said, ‘You know that toilet paper covers in public bathrooms you pull down? You gotta use those or else you’ll get one of those bad social diseases!’ Some of them were red-faced. We were street kids because we ran around with the public school kids in our neighborhood. I think we knew more about sex at the age of 14 than they did. They put us in this room and closed the door. They had a book, basically it was a biology book, and we’d read that, see, with the boys and girls separate.
Then there was a door there, and we kept looking at it. And David says, ‘Looks like maybe Dad’s got a key that’ll fit that door.’ ‘Well bring it to school.’ Sure enough, it opened the door. We figured it was a closet. It wasn’t a closet. You walked up these long narrow stairs and popped out behind the stage in the auditorium upstairs. An escape route! Okay, there’s nine of us, for one hour, studying. The rest of the kids were pledged to silence or they’d die. So we’d go up that thing, wander around, come back down. Of course, everyone’s classes were going on, so we’d just wander around, go down to the student [book store], get ourselves an ice cream bar or something, then come back up.
Well, then, we got these fuses. We’d spent days working this program out. That building is very long, or at least it was in my memory -- that main building.
TB: The Old Main building, right. And then what was up there? Was this just an attic up there?
HS: No, no. You walked up, it was something, I guess, at one time, where people came down and changed during plays or performances. It was part of the theater. So when you came up, you were behind the stage. And there was a door there, but, it was locked. So we figured it out, got our watches, figured we’d go clear down the end of the building, then down to the end where we were, and then we’d time the fuses. And then we’d run back and get in there, and then we waited until all hell broke loose. The firecrackers go off way down at the other end, we’d hide them behind a door, scaring everybody, come roaring out – because this is during a war, you know, they come roaring out, and head for a noise. About the time they got down there, they go off the other way. Then they go off the middle. So there’s these people going up and down, up and down, up and down. And we’re just sitting there, howling with laughter.
They opened the door, the guy says, ‘What are you laughing about?’ And we said, ‘Oh, we just think something’s funny!’ Well, Miss Hunt called [us in] because we were always doing pranks. She says, ‘I know you boys did this. I know you did – I don’t know how you did it, but I know you did it.’ We’d all fixed our stories so we told the same story. She just knew it, but she couldn’t punish us, because our student teachers said there was no way – ‘Those boys were in that back room, locked up, there was no way they could get out. They’d have to come right by me and they were in there that whole time.’ We had our [bases] covered.
Oh Miss Hunt, I can remember sitting in her office, and she said, ‘Oh no, what did you boys do this time? I’ve got this report …’
Then, of course, we’d have a drill -- aerial drills. Well, all us [boys said], ‘This is dumb. We go get in the basement of the library, [their going to] drop a bomb on the library. We won’t get out. We’ll just run up in the woods and hide in the trees.’
TB: So that was part of the drill, was to have you go get in the basement of the library?
HS: It was one of the basements, we had to go in the basements someplace and all sit there, which was the dumbest thing in the world. I mean, if [the] building got hit, then don’t tell me [I was in the safest place], that’s the last place I want to go. We got called in on that.
I don’t know when we took the sewing class. Now, that sewing class was neat. My mom had a [White], didn’t have a Singer. The school had Whites. You started out learning about the sewing machine; the mechanical, wonderful.
TB: So White was a brand of sewing machine, just like the car?
HS: Just like the car, just like the Singer, only this was a White. We got to learn how it was put together. I mean, we got an education. They said, ‘This is sewing, this is how it works.’ ‘Take the wheel off, this is how the spool fits, this is the bobbin.’ ‘This is why they ditch loops and hooks and [do] all this.’ Then it came time to sew. Well, the first sewing project was to stitch some towels with the sewing machine. I wish I could remember that teacher’s name. To this day, she’s not going to like me! She’s probably passed on to a better place, because she was an older woman.
TB: Miss Countryman? She was home economics.
HS: I remember a Countryman. Anyway, it was too bad, because she had an attitude and I had an attitude and they were different. ‘Everybody,’ she said, ‘I want 3/8th inch hem.’ Well, we had learned to sew straight, folded it over, you had the little roller and everything. I looked at mine and said, ‘I don’t like 3/8th! I’m going to do a half inch.’ Well, number one, I was told that was a waste of material because you didn’t have enough area to do a quarter of an inch, but I said, ‘It looks so much better!’ ‘I don’t care, Hartley, what you think – you are going to put [a 3/8th hem in].’ Well, I went right back and sewed a half inch. She said, ‘Tear it out, tear it out!’ (Mean lookin’ bitch.) So she said, ‘Okay, you’re coming after school, I’ll call your mother’ – we did have a phone – she said, ‘You’re staying after school. And you’re going to sew 3/8th inch hems on those towels. We’ll stay here all night.’
End of Tape One, Side One
We started in again and I sewed a half inch. She turned red and she really got mad. (I was not a very good little boy). And for the first time in my life, she said, ‘You’re going to stay!’ And I said, ‘The hell I am! And to hell with your sewing class!’ And I just split out and ran.
Well, I knew when I got home it was going to be the end of my life, so I hid in the woods until it got dark. Well, you don’t do that, either, because that makes people even madder because they got half the damn school looking for you. Then Dad’s going to call the cops. And, I mean, I was in big trouble.
Of course, my dad cussed me down in the basement, with his ruler with the metal edge. And I got to tell him what had happened, because he wanted to know, then I looked in his face and I watched his mouth start to grin, see. He started to hit the ruler on the work bench and he says, ‘Yell, for God’s sake, yell.’ ‘Aaaahhhh!’ My mom [came] to the stairway, down to the basement, ‘You’re hurting him, Dad! That’s enough, that’s enough!’ He said, ‘I want you to apologize to that lady, and I mean that.’ But he says, ‘As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care what kind of a hem you sew on that thing.’ And I did go back and I apologized, and she said, ‘I accept your apology, Hartley. But I don’t want you in my class anymore.’ So I got to go to the library again and read!
Okay, then, I lost this tooth. We used to play down in that gymnasium a game called Bombardment. And that was both boys and girls. Finally, the girls (it was too much for the girls), decided to give up, because you could take a basketball and knock a guy off his feet with it. Well, they knocked me off [my] feet and I didn’t get my hands up in time, and the tooth just fell out. They shoved it back in, but it died. And everybody said I tripped and fell, because you knew darn good and well that would be the end of Bombardment, if somebody got injured. So, somehow, I don’t know how I did it, but that wasn’t how it happened. It happened because somebody got me in the back of the head!
And there was something else … Of course, we started this paper and we enjoyed that. And I never will forget that the mothers decided that we’d take a lunch. We ate, in the second, third, fourth grade, I think, we ate in the women’s dormitory cafeteria. And we got a bowl of soup for five cents, and we’d bring a sandwich; and have a sandwich and a bowl of soup. And we’d get milk for, I think, two cents. Seven cents or eight cents, and you’d get a big bowl of soup, and then you ate your sandwich. Then you were all marched back to your classroom. Then, I think when we got into junior high school, you brought your own lunch and you could eat in the [student lounge]. The student teachers, they enjoyed us, I don’t know why, but they did, and we’d get to eat in their little lunchroom. And they had what they called 7-11 ice cream bars, but they were made with skim milk. Absolute perfect for you, but, no, there’s no nourishment in that, so all the mothers of the students wrote a letter saying that no more 7-11 bars for their children, because they weren’t good for them. Can you imagine that?
The art department – I’m trying to think of the gal that ran the art department …
TB: Plympton? Miss Plympton?
HS: Yes, yes, yes! I’m glad you came, because I couldn’t have remembered, but there was a person, we just clicked. And David Ireland, just clicked. And then there was this John, and I think his name is in the back of this thing … I just envied him, because he could draw fir trees just beautiful. Oh, he could do a fir tree that just looked real. David did watercolor stuff, like oriental, just white background, and then the details. He wound up, after he graduated from high school, he went to San Francisco Art School, the fancy art college in San Francisco. Then he enlisted in the Korean War, because we were all gung-ho, we wanted to be in the service, and they sent him to Germany and made him a sergeant, and he spent his whole two years as a draftee painting enlistment posters. Driving a Jaguar car and painting enlistment posters.
Now I got straight As, in fact I wound up – when my drafting teacher died on Christmas Eve my senior year in high school – I wound up teaching the class. Of course, the principal and I hated each other’s guts, I mean, with a passion. I never got my diploma. I graduated early but he wouldn’t give me a diploma. I went back after I got out of the service and they couldn’t find it. That’s the only time my dad came to school, to defend me. Because I wrote an article on President Roosevelt and what a fine job he’s done – and in Eugene, they’re all Republicans, including the teachers. (This high school’s teachers’ wife was the dean of the women at the University of Oregon.) But anyway, they hired a new drafting teacher so fast, I mean, within two weeks they had a new teacher. But my old teacher gave me straight As. I got all the way to automobile [engines], but I wanted to do homes and draw houses. My senior year in high school, I got a job designing. I designed a 23 unit motel and a three-bedroom house, and got paid $600 for it. The guy was ready to pay me $1200, and he said, ‘What do you want?’ and I did it all in 48 hours, so $600 in 1948 was like, you know what. But, you see, going to Campus School, they said, you’re good at what you do, perfect it, go after it, do what you can do best.
TB: But do you think that was a limit? Some people have said they have some weaknesses because they weren’t very good at things, and you could avoid then doing what you weren’t good at.
HS: No. My feeling is I know I don’t like it, I’ll do it, now I know what it is, but I don’t want to do it anymore, to heck with it. And that’s what I got out of Campus School. You have to learn to do this, but you don’t have to stick with it. And I loved it. The one teacher I had said (and to this day I can’t spell), ‘Don’t worry about it, you’ll get the kind of job where you’ll hire a secretary. Make sure you hire one that knows one that knows how to spell and then your problems solved!’ And that’s exactly [what I did]. Every time I interviewed a department head secretary, first thing I asked her was ‘Can you spell?’ And they’d just look at me, and I’d say, ‘I’m serious!’ And I’d write down [a word], ‘What does this word mean?’ ‘Oh, okay.’ I had some awful good secretaries. But that, [bad spelling], I knew how to counter that, and I learned that at Campus School. I learned how to counter my weakness.
TB: Oh, that’s a good way of putting it.
HS: They taught me that a weakness doesn’t necessarily – you don’t have to fight until you get it, but you counter it with something else. You apply yourself to enough knowledge that you know what the subject is, but you don’t have to know how to do it. Now, when I quit after eight years, I was just burned out from sixty hours a week. I wrote the first comprehensive zoning ordinance in the United States of America, and they use it today as a model. But, anyway, that’s not Campus School. But I’m just telling that’s what I learned there.
If I had the opportunity to send my children there, I would have sent them, because no one was held back. It was not like public school. Like, one guy in here some place; he just didn’t have it, but he got to go on. He was never left behind. He was brought up, and he was worked with. He was given more attention. The more intelligent youngsters that could pick up on everything got less. If they had a question, of course, they worked with them on that, but they took the people that had problems, and they worked with them. And, I think, today, I think they were showing the student teachers that you don’t have to lose the student. You have a problem child, you can work with that person, and they were teaching them how to do that. That’s what I think they were doing, anyway, teaching them how to take a person that just wasn’t that bright. He did have some talents and so forth, and they got him so that he went on, and graduated from high school.
When I hit public school, holy mackerel, I thought the world had changed! In the last two months of junior high, ninth grade, in Eugene, Oregon. When they sent me down, they just said they wanted my grades; I didn’t have any grades! That’s why I wanted to find my report cards, [my] delightful report cards. Because they’re comparing, in some of it, they’re comparing me with my brother, the other twin. And they had a ball with that. See, we were the only twins in the whole darn school. And that gave them all an opportunity to, well, I don’t know, the psychologist must’ve gone nuts, he said, ‘Wow, well, here we’ve got these two subjects – and they’re different! They look exactly alike, but they’re different!’ I was shy, oh God, I panicked. Today I go up and give speeches and stuff and don’t think anything of it. But I know my subjects. And they told me, ‘The people you’re talking to out there, they’re there to listen to you because they don’t know. They want to hear from you, because you’re going to tell them something. So don’t feel inferior.’ They taught us that at the Campus School. But I was just plain damned scared, shy, just a shy kid. So, if you’ll notice, I wasn’t in the play [referring to a program] – I was in one play. And I froze when it came time and I only had three words to say. [And this kid kept poking me], ‘Say, Hartley, say.’ And of course, out in the audience, they started to laugh, see. Well, that made it even worse.
But as kids, we pretty much stuck together. We played with two different groups. We had school friends, and then we had the public school kids in our neighborhood. We had a rat pack in our neighborhood. Twenty-three kids that played together, see. We played kick the can and all these things. We’d built houses in the woods, and played war games. But David Ireland and my brother and I were very close, and Joe Hilton for a while. Joe was a bully. He was bigger. And he used to pick on my brother. And of course they gave up, the big, fierce boys gave up on Deane and Hartley, because if they attacked one, they got both. And they couldn’t handle both. And they’d say that’s not fair and we’d say yes it is fair, because two of us just makes about the size of one of you guys. So it only took a few little fights and that was it. Anything else on that list?
TB: Well, you talked a little bit about what you did for lunch. I think that was in junior high, but do you know what you did for lunch [in the elementary grades]?
HS: I can remember that my brother didn’t eat his crusts on his sandwich and got spanked for it by the second grade teacher.
TB: But where did you have lunch?
HS: We had lunch in our room, in the lower grades. Junior high school, I think it was eat in the cafeteria or eat in your own classroom or out – if it’s good weather – go outside.
TB: Or you went over to Edens Hall.
TB: Okay. You’ve mentioned a lot of them, but can you remember any of your favorite classmates? Sounds like [Harold Ekholm], Joe Hilton, David Ireland, your brother Deane …
HS: And I couldn’t remember [Royal’s] last name. Is it on here … Oh, that guy that did the real neat stuff I’m pretty sure his name was John Olden; Margaret Taylor, of course. Oh, I thought his name was on here. Royal Barnett was his name! He was a friend.
TB: Who were your favorite or most influential teachers?
HS: Well, now you’ll be able to – the third grade teacher, the one that saved me on the penmanship thing.
TB: Miss Kinsman.
HS: Yes; the art teacher.
TB: Probably [Plympton]. There was also Hazel [Breakey].
HS: There were two or three of up them up there. But I think that the name, the first one.
HS: We liked each other. It was almost like having a friend. It was enjoyable. She spent extra time with me. After school, I’d go up. She’d say, ‘Why don’t you come up after you get out of school. Come on up, I’ll be up there, in the art department, and I’ll work with you on this little problem [you] were having.’ So I enjoyed that. And then, of course, the two student teachers – Ludwick and Munizza.
TB: Did you have Miss Casanova in first grade?
HS: Wow, that sounds familiar. Oh, that sounds familiar.
TB: Well, her brother was also the football coach down at University of Oregon.
HS: You’re kidding! And I knew Casanova when Dad was city manager. And, oh yes, I used to go into his office and talk to him once in a while.
TB: Well, I think his sister was a first grade teacher during your era.
HS: Well, she could’ve been. But first grade, like I said, the first grade, the only thing I can remember – it was pleasant, but, of course, being a shy person; and of course my brother and I, we didn’t need friends, because we could play together. So we didn’t have to get to learn to be with the neighbor kids, because we didn’t have to. We just had each other and we just had a ball. So, I was really kind of lost. But I will say this – I can remember that the way she handled those youngsters, young ones, Kindergarten, first grade – I got over this. I mean I liked to go to school, I wasn’t afraid to go to school. But the first couple of days, I was just – you know, what’s going to happen next? So, that was a good experience. It was fun. By ‘fun,’ you felt like you were wanted. But she also, in those lower grades, they tried to teach me to be more [social] – and that’s why I wish I had those report cards, because it says right in there. Well, my brother was just ‘Yay! Friends with everybody!’ and they said Hartley was withdrawn and stayed by himself. And I think I was getting a little jealous because my brother was making so many friends and I wasn’t. And instead of trying to emulate him, I went the other way.
TB: What about Miss Elliot? I think she was your second grade teacher.
HS: I didn’t like her, because she was mean to my brother.
TB: In what way?
HS: Spanked him! I tried to kill her. Nobody hits, nobody touches my brother. Because he was the one that was [sickly]. We go out learning to mountain climb and I’d be taken aside, ‘You make sure you keep an eye on Deane.’ And Deane got real smart, ‘You carry my pack, because I’m getting tired, so I can’t.’ He used the daylights out of me. And he’d do dumb stunts, he should’ve died. But I just knew that if I went home and said, ‘Gee, Mom, Deane fell off the mountain,’ it would’ve been, ‘It’s all your fault’ and I would’ve spent the rest of my life having been the man that killed his brother. So that was unfortunate. But I did not like her, didn’t like her at all.
TB: And Miss Kinsman you loved. She was the one that turned white prematurely and you really liked her.
HS: Yes, yes, she was a doll. And there was this student teacher and I think her last name was [Boal]. She was related to [Buffalo Bill] Cody, the cowboy.
TB: I bet that was – now she’s Mrs. [Hayden], [Virgie Hayden.]
HS: Little gal, little dark-haired gal.
TB: Yes, she’s still alive.
HS: Is she? She was just a doll. She didn’t live in the dorms. If we didn’t go through the mountains, we went down these streets, and then she lived at this little old place that had this great big house. She roomed and boarded there. And she was related directly to this Cody, this famous [cowboy]. She had these revolvers. These guns – and she let me see them and let me hold them. And far as I was concerned, she could do no wrong. She said, ‘Well, I’ll walk home with you guys.’ And my brother said, ‘I don’t want to see them.’ So she says, ‘Would you like to?’ And I said, ‘Oh, yes, I would.’ She had them in a box and she brought them out and then she let me hold them. And of course I knew who Cody was, because I read all that stuff as a youngster. And I remember that. She was really super. And then there was a …
TB: I think Miss Merriman was next?
HS: Who taught Spanish? We had to take Spanish.
TB: Probably Anna Ullin.
HS: Oh, I don’t remember. I didn’t last very long in Spanish class.
TB: She was actually French. I don’t know who taught Spanish.
HS: I didn’t last too long in that class. I decided I was American, I could speak English and I didn’t need to worry about … I’m still a redneck, but, anyway.
TB: Did you have Alan Ross in junior high?
HS: Was he a PE teacher?
TB: No; he was there about the time you were, but I couldn’t identify that he was exactly your grade. He would have been your eighth grade teacher. Did you have a man in eighth grade?
HS: Oh boy. You’d think I’d remember that. I’m not sure. I’m really not sure.
TB: Well, why don’t we keep going at some of these? Like, what kinds of learning materials did you mostly use? Did you have regular school textbooks or materials created by your teachers?
HS: Okay, we had workbooks. We had textbooks. One thing that I didn’t like and they were experimenting with them, and my dad didn’t like them, and my dad was a fantastic math person -- the flip cards. Where they’d show seven times eight, hold it up there, and you were supposed to say what it was, then they’d put it down – just boom, boom.
TB: Oh, flash cards.
HS: Flash cards. Yes. And I didn’t like that. They did the flash card thing. Now what else did they do? They did the standard thing on structuring sentences, you know, verbs, nouns. I didn’t do very good at that. Dang, I’m trying to think of who the PE teacher was. We had a coach for track. We had a coach for basketball. I think one of the coaches was that one-armed Marine. Oh, come on, eighth grade … I’m drawing a blank on eighth grade.
TB: Don’t worry about it. I admit I’m not sure that was your teacher anyway. I had a Miss Ferguson, I think, was your ninth grade teacher?
HS: Yes. I’m pretty sure, that same name sounds real familiar. She was good. She was a good teacher. At junior high level, student teachers were sharp. And I think two or three of them probably went on to be college professors. Or maybe even high school, college, because they were more interested in the older children. And seemed to me they participated more. They did more of the teaching than the student teachers in the lower grades who were almost like observers. They’d get things out for the regular teacher, set things up, and that sort of thing. I enjoyed junior high. I enjoyed the third grade. I enjoyed the first grade. I enjoyed Kindergarten. I’ve got a blank on the fourth grade and I’ve got a blank on the eighth grade, and I don’t know why.
TB: Did you have Miss Odom?
HS: Those names sound familiar!
TB: [Odom, Merriman] and a Miss Strand, Jessie Strand.
HS: Because you see the horrible thing was that we were easy – oh, go ahead.
TB: Well, Miss Hunt was ninth grade, actually.
HS: Well, Miss Hunt didn’t – wasn’t she the principal?
TB: That would have been Dr. Grim [or earlier] Mary Rich?
HS: Yes, yes, yes. Okay, that’s it. I got Hunt and Rich mixed up.
TB: Hunt was your ninth grade teacher.
HS: I think we exasperated her, but I think she enjoyed it. I really do. But why she put all five of us in row, on one side of the room, I have no idea. But she figured that was the only way she’d keep an eye on us.
Oh, and one of the other things that came out was those 9-volt batteries, back in the Forties, instead of the little one-and-a-half volt things. Well, if you licked them and wet them, then touch the girl’s leg in front of you, she’d jump up the air. They gave a shock! I think Miss Hunt probably owned about ten or twelve of those, because we never got them back.
TB: Do you want to talk a little bit more about creative activities? Do you remember doing any weaving? Weaving seems to be a classic thing associated with the Campus School.
HS: Oh, Lord, yes. Oh, gosh, yes. Oh, I loved weaving. Oh, that was fun. We had the [shuttles] and the things, and I got to do work on one that, I think, it was three feet wide. We started out with little ones, and then I got to start on the bigger ones. They were up in the art department. Oh, yes, that was neat. That was fun. I can still weave today. And this came in very handy for me when I was in school the school of anthropology [at the University of Oregon] Because when I was a senior, I was in the upper division, I had my own desk and everything. Here I was a senior, but I was up with PhD and Masters people, because I could draw. I had to work. I had a wife and two kids. I had to work, I couldn’t go on digs. So they’d bring all this stuff in, and then I’d draw it. I’d do all their drawings and stuff for their thesis’s. Then they’d find these cloths, this material, this weaving, and I knew how to take it apart and where it started, and then I’d draw that up big for them. And show them all how they did that, see, because weaving’s just a thousands year old art, you know. So, there again, there’s something that I learned at [Campus School], and that’s something that you didn’t get at public schools. But everybody had to do it. You could do more if you liked it, but first you had to learn what it was about -- the basic principles of weaving and making cloth.
The other thing – the other thing, and this was – maybe this was fourth grade, third grade. And we didn’t go to the art department. We did it in our rooms. We got to make molds and pour clay molds and then we’d take them over and they’d get fired and then we could glaze. They taught us that. And of course the blocks, they taught us how to do, basically, the principles of etching. And they taught us how to etch, using acid.
TB: Now, is this one that you did?
HS: Yes. I did four or five of them, [I have them] someplace. As I find these things, and if you people want them, I’ll just ship them up to you because I’ve got the address and everything now.
What else did we do? We learned to etch, we learned the pottery thing, and then we were given free reign to design what we wanted to, and that was fun. So when I got to college [I] took jewelry class and some weaving. And I already knew [how to do it]. This guy looked at me, and the said, ‘Why are you taking the class?’ ‘Because I’m going to get straight As, that’s why I’m taking the class!’ Guy’s name was David, his first name, guy that taught weaving, and he just laughed. He said, ‘Well, just your knowledge, I’m just teaching what you learned in grade school. I’m teaching beginning weaving.’ I mean, he was teaching beginning weaving, see, and I knew all about it. He let me take the class.
What else did we get to do that was unusual? There was the etching, there was the pottery. Don’t think we did any jewelry. Don’t remember doing any jewelry. I told you about the shop class work, you know, the learning about the – girls got to do that, too. They got to learn about the automobile, if they wanted to. They didn’t have to do, but if they wanted to.
One of the girls was an exceptional athlete and I think it was Janet Teel, I’m not sure. And then sometimes us guys would get a little uptight, but, by God, we wanted her on our team if we were sizing up teams, because she could knock a softball clear off the field. And run, oh my God, she could run. She was a sensational athlete. I think it was Janet Teel, I’m not sure.
Okay, what else … There was something else unusual … Of course learning to swim in that great big monster swimming pool. How to breath properly when you’re swimming. I swim like a submarine, you know, I don’t float too good. I got to keep moving or I’m going to the bottom. There again – what I learned at Campus [School].
I went to all the services. I had thirty days to enlist or get drafted, because my mother hid my notice to go to the draft board to take the physical because she didn’t want us to go into service, Korean War, see. Dad found them, thank God, or else the FBI would have been after us. My brother went into the Air Force. I was already a journeyman draftsman and I went around to all the different services. I even said I’ll take combat engineer – nope, you just take your chances. No, no, I knew all about the services from my uncles and stuff, I’m not going to take my chances. I walked into the old Portland Post Office, and here was this chief petty officer (he was United States Coast Guard). I walked in there, sat down and talked to him. I said, ‘I’m a carpenter and a journeyman draftsman.’ He says, ‘We can use you, but you’ve got to spend a year at sea.’ And they kept their word. I spent a year at sea, started out as a gunner’s mate, then I was a damage control man, then I went straight to civil engineering division, and filled a GS13 position as a structural [engineer]. My civilian boss was an architect and he did the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Lab, and the Klamath High School. [He was] another one [who said], ‘Oh my god, left-handed draftsman, I can’t use you, you better get back onboard ship!’ But then he took me under his wing.
End of Tape One, Side Two
I put in eight years [in the Coast Guard], then I was in the regular Reserves, and I got called up twice, both times in the Middle East. And I was assigned to the Marine Corp, and I trained with the Marines for a while. There again, what I learned in grade school applied. Going to boot camp was a lot more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Everyone moaned and groaned and complained. [Not me], because I didn’t have to worry about it. When I got out, I graduated in the top five percent since that boot camp had been in business and that was in Oakland, in Government Island, in San Francisco Bay. And I was to be sent to Puerto Rico on an 82 footer as a gunner’s mate, an 82 footer, which meant three years of vacation. I was engaged and my wife-to-be said, ‘You go down there, and we’re not getting married.’ And of course, dumb me, okay, so I traded and went on board a buoy tender, and from there to the engineering division.
TB: So going back to Campus School, what was it like to be observed so often by student teachers?
HS: I’ll be quite honest with you, looking back, I can see no problem at all with it, because, number one, to me, they were paying attention and they were helping you. [If] you know, you were doing something, they’d say, you know, ‘No, this is the way she wants you to do this, Hartley.’ Oh, I can remember, people in the back of the room, but they seemed to me they were other college professors, not student teachers, because student teachers were moving, they were always moving around in the room. No, I didn’t see any problem at all with that. In fact, we liked them. They were young and they were mostly dressed in everyday [clothes] and we just made buddies with them, the guys. And we had made some friendships with the gals, too. I remember they weren’t supposed to let us go up to their rooms, you know, up to their rooms in the dorm. But they’d sneak us up there and then they’d give us candy and stuff.
TB: So did you attend summer school at all?
HS: No, I don’t think I did. I’m pretty sure I didn’t. Too much to do in the summer time.
TB: What did you do at recess?
HS: Usually we had time to go down to the gym and play. It was after recess time, we’d play ball – basketball, bombardment, volleyball. Whatever was set up. It was a physical activity, usually. It wasn’t time to go read or sit under a tree. No, we were active.
TB: Do you know what you enjoyed the most about recess? Any special thing?
HS: I think just the fact that, just like I did as an adult, working, it’s nice to have a break and just relax and do something different. I enjoyed that the most. And I still do. I work part time as a food demonstrator at Costco, and I look forward to my fifteen minute break, because at 76, I can get pretty tired, six hours on my feet. But I do love it. I have a ball. They begged me to go to work. I said, ‘Okay, I’ll work for you three day;’’ that was seven years ago. I work one day a week but I just have a ball. I tell my boss, ‘Fire me!’ ‘Why am I going to fire you? You’re one of the best people I’ve got! But I wish you wouldn’t tell—‘ I tell people, ‘I wouldn’t eat this if I were you; there’s 27 grams of sugar in that.’ And I just go ahead and tell them! She said, ‘You know what would happen if that was a factory rep that came in and you said that too?’ I said, ‘Yes, I’d get fired.’
TB: Where’s the closest Costco from here? Where do you work?
HS: I have to go  miles to go to work. Tri-cities; that’s the bad part.
TB: Did you visit the college itself? I know you’ve talked about going to the college library, but did you attend assemblies or sporting events or anything else at the college?
HS: Absolutely. Everything that they did, we went. Plays, musical things, all the basketball games, we were great Viking fans. Of course, Dad was a basketball player, and we went with Dad. Mom wasn’t into sports. But Dad would take us to all the [games.] Did they play football then? I don’t think they played football during the war. I don’t think there was a football team, no. But I know that before the war we’d go. They had football. We’d go down to where they played in the civic coliseum thing they had in Bellingham. Oh, we followed all of their activities. And my Aunt Irma, Dad’s maiden sister, she’d go with us, because she was a great [fan] – and she worked there! She worked at the college after she retired from Dr. [Earl Cilley] – she was a radiologist.
TB: What was her name?
HS: Seeger, Irma Seeger. But, anyway, she loved it. She enjoyed working up there.
(The college was always “up there.”)
TB: We know that you transferred when you went down to Eugene. Could you tell us a little bit more about what was the transition like?
HS: Miserable, really miserable. Number one, they just gave me all C’s. They didn’t know what to do, see, because Wilson Junior High (Eugene, Oregon), said, ‘Hey! Where’s the kid’s grades? We need his grades!’
TB: Oh, so for your ending grades, they just gave you C’s?
HS: Yes, just gave me straight C’s. But then I got in there and – boom! – it was dog eat dog. Kill, kill, kill! These kids, you know -- run, run, run get to the teacher before anyone else did, because they were all competing for grades. We didn’t compete for grades; we were there to learn, we didn’t have to worry about it. But these damn kids in public school, the whole damn thing was a ‘I’ve got to get at least a B or an A.’
To me, that spoiled my whole education, because I had to worry about what I was going to get for a grade for what I was learning, and that was a shock. And they’re big classes. I think it was 25 in our class; the maximum I think was 25 at Campus School. But there was 30, 32, 33, because this was during the war and they were short on teachers. And then sports were no fun. There, again, we didn’t compete, we, just [played] between ourselves, you know, made our own teams and we played for fun. Which might be unfortunate – not to win. Now, I made the football team my senior year in high school. I was captain of my ski team. Both times, my first football game I played in, they lost 30 yards their first few [plays], the fourth time they just ganged on me and broke my leg. So that took care of football. And then I tore the ligaments out of both knees skiing in the Golden Rose races in Portland, and then I was co-captain of the tennis team. And my brother and I played doubles. He played right hand, I played left-handed. He had a serve that was just like flat. We played a lot of tennis at Campus School. My dad was a tennis player, so he taught my brother and I how to play. We got to play a lot of tennis which is a good sport. It’s a very exacting sport, it’s exhausting. And they let us learn about boxing. We didn’t like that. They put those things on us; let us punch at each other for a while. We didn’t like that. We decided boxing was not for us. They taught us fencing at Campus and that was really great!
TB: And that was at Campus School?
HS: Yes, well, one of the student teachers brought the boxing gloves. He was just horsing around to see how hard [everybody] could pound on each other. These men, student teachers, you know, they were still boys. They just wanted to see if these guys could manage each other, you know. They fit right in, see.
TB: Okay, what further education did you pursue?
HS: It took me almost nine years, but I got my bachelor of science in anthropology; major in anthropology, minor in architecture. I have twelve hours to do my terminal project to get my Master’s in fine arts and jewelry. I never went back to finish it. I had a wife and two kids, I had to get to work. Then I got my equivalent to a Master’s, I went to school for one year, one day, eight hours a day, for one year, at the University of Santa Clara, and got my post-bachelor’s certificate in public management. I’m also a -- not any more, I dropped it -- a licensed registered building inspector. I went back to school for that, but that was just community college. I’m a professional urban planner, retired city manager. I got that post-graduate certificate from Santa Clara. I graduated with a 3.3 from college after those fourteen hours of F. But they wiped them all out when I got out of the service. I went back and the dean of admissions said, ‘Why didn’t you come and tell us?’ I said, ‘I was so sick and so tired.’ He said, ‘You should’ve come, we’d have just wiped it all off. It wasn’t your fault.’ So they cleaned the slate for me, so I didn’t do too bad. I joined a fraternity, which was a mistake – I’d earned enough money for four years of college, board and room, books and tuition. And I spent it all in one year. Never owned a car – didn’t own a car until after I got married, because my dad wouldn’t let me own one until I was 21. And when Dad said you couldn’t do stuff, you didn’t do it. But when I look back at it, I think it was probably one of the most enjoyable times – that ten years – one of the most enjoyable times in my life.
TB: Any other comments about how your attendance at Campus School influenced your life and/or your career?
HS: Definitely, definitely, it did. Like I told you earlier, it gave me confidence and made me pursue what I liked and become good at it, and that I learned at Campus School. I learned to understand what I didn’t like, so that I could cope with it. But I didn’t have to do it if I didn’t want to and that way I didn’t get an ulcer. I started to get an ulcer when I was 27. I was head of the drafting department for this manufacturer of service stations. He kept giving me a salary increase and I said, ‘I want help, I don’t want this.’ And we got to arguing. I’d give these wonderful designs, because that’s what I learned – do what you want to do – and I’d go to the oil company and I’d say, ‘See, I can do all this neat stuff for you!’ and they say, ‘Oh wow!’ and they go to see my boss. And I get called into the office. ‘You’re wasting your time, Hartley.’ ‘But these people are willing to spend a million bucks!’ ‘We don’t want to do that, Hartley.’ And I said, ‘No, I quit. I’m out of here.’
TB: Are you still in touch with any Campus School classmates?
HS: No. I was in touch with David for a while. After I got divorced I was a single parent. I had one kid left at home, a daughter. Daughters are horrible to raise; boys are easier to raise. Daughters are just impossible. I worked; I’d go to San Francisco, the Mission district. I was remodeling walk-ups, getting $500, five $100 bills, [up front] a week, otherwise I wouldn’t show up for work; remodeling these walk-ups that the Latinos lived in the Mission district. David had his shop two blocks away and I didn’t even know it.
But we used to go up, when I was working as community development director for Los Gatos, he had the hunter Africa store – they used to call it Cow Town. San Francisco’s made up of all kinds of neat little districts, they’re separate, their complete little towns. Fantastic! A cultural anthropologist would go crazy in that place. He could write his PhD thesis on that thing in nothing flat. Well, what he was doing was dealing in hot hides. Illegal, illegal, Siberian wolves --
TB: Oh, David was?
HS: Yes! But he was running this safari company, [Camera] Safari Company. When he got out of the service, he came home; he got discharged there in Europe. Then he went down and he picked up this buddy and they formed this camera safari outfit, see. His buddy stayed over there, so David had this shop, with in an upholstery shop in the back. And I go back there and I’d say, ‘Oh, man, who gets the tiger skin love seat?’ ‘That’s imitation, Hartley.’ I said, ‘Sure it is.’ So I did get to see him.
Deane went back when they had the first reunion, the class reunion for our class. I couldn’t make it. [But] he went up.
Iris Cedarstrom – I think she’s still alive.
TB: She is.
HS: She’s a little tiny thing, see. Well, I was the same size as her, so guess what happened when you had go march down the hall, boys and girls? Iris Cedarstrom and I – we were the same height, see. I’d get teased all the time about that. But, no, when we left Bellingham, we really just – you know, it was so damn busy working. I always had a job. There just wasn’t too much time to play.
TB: Is there anything else I haven’t asked you that you’d like to get on the record related to the Campus School? Actually, why don’t you tell me a little about it was like being twins in the Campus School?
HS: We stuck together, pretty much, at Campus School. Deane, again, had more friends than I did. Because he was the type – he had an attitude and a personality that was different than mine. He would go along with what everybody wanted to do: I wouldn’t. If they were going to do something I didn’t think was right, I wouldn’t do it. And Deane would go along with them. And they thought, ‘Ah, Deane’s a real neat guy, but Hart’s an old stooge.’ So we started to change and split.
Of course, we owned a boat, because the two of us would work and pick beans and everything. We owned a sailboat because we’d pool our money. When we grew up, we had one tricycle, we had one wagon, and finally Dad put his foot down and got all the relatives to chip in when we were ten, in 1940, and we each got a bicycle. We didn’t have to share one. But when we got to high school, and we started dating, that ended. We started to drift apart. His girlfriends, I thought, were completely annoying. And I didn’t go with high school girls. I dated college girls. And of course, that didn’t impress the high school girls any. And all the guys wore blue jeans and stuff like that. I wore cords or slacks, and sweaters and a shirt, and dressed like the college boys did, see. And high school bored the daylights out of me. I just couldn’t wait to get to college. High school was a big bore. But college was a thrill. (Except that fraternity [that I joined]; I started drinking beer and horsing around and that was too bad, but I finally got my act together).
There’s one thing we did do that I don’t think maybe you should know about. But we learned how to get into the cage in the gym. David would get a basket, I’d get a basket, Deane would get a basket. And we’d ask the guys, could we have them together? We got our sweats, towels, everything was furnished – public schools didn’t [furnish those]. Track shoes, football shoes, baseball shoes – they were all furnished (stock from college students). So then we could get in there, take three baskets out, reach around and undo the latch, go in, open up the door, take a basketball out, or two of them, go out and play, then go back and put the basketball away – put the things back in the cage. That wasn’t really a nice thing to do, but it was fun. And then we’d get the key to the swimming pool, and we’d go swimming, too.
TB: Uh-oh, that’s kind of dangerous actually.
HS: Yes, we could have really been busted for doing that but we’d go swimming. But I think one of the college students knew what we were doing. Because he finally came and told us, ‘I think you guys have had enough fun. But how did you guys do that?’
When we were in the ninth
grade, we used to have a – it was called a ‘field day.’ And it wound up in the
evening, where everybody went swimming. It was a field day and it happened
TB: Play day. I think it was called play day?
HS: Maybe it was called play day. But it started in the morning, and we played baseball, we played basketball, we played volleyball and everything. And then we got to go swimming. But it was an all day thing, it lasted all day long. And I think that we got fed, too. They gave us lunch and dinner, I think. It was quite a day. It was quite a production. I think the student teachers enjoyed it, too. It was just a fun time. And it was something they didn’t do a public schools. We got to participate in all this stuff. And you got to dunk the girls, see, and all that good stuff. You got away with that.
When I look back at it I think that I had an entirely different education, but a very, very good one. It fit right in because with my father being in public life, and my mother having been a school teacher, it just prepared me for a profession in public life. And it taught me to be honest. I lost a job from it, I lost a very good job, for being honest, but I have to live with myself. We had to go bankrupt, but Betty said, ‘No, it’s the right thing to do.’ And that’s one thing they taught us, that they preached, honesty.
And, oh, we pledged allegiance to the flag, every morning, for a while we were doing the Lord’s Prayer. And I can’t remember – for about three years – I can’t remember what grades were in there. We had to memorize it. And then we sang the National Anthem. Of course, the war was on then …. But they did not, and you’d think they might’ve been in the ninth grade, but they did not propagandize. In other words, you know, ‘horrible Hitler, horrible Japanese, horrible Nazis’ – nothing. I can’t remember any of that. Not meaning they were against the war, or against getting rid of these horrible, bad people, it’s just that it was something you listened to on the radio at home, and what your parents talked about. It was not talked about in school.
Except we did one thing – we made a model of the [Truk Islands]. And don’t ask me why it was Truk. But Truk we just bypassed Truk. They let it just, you know, they starved to death. They never took Truk, they just left it alone. But for some reason we did study the islands of the Pacific. So geographically, we knew where the war was. Not what was going on, the killing or anything, but the geographic part of it – that was the only part of the war. Nothing on Germany, but the islands, we did do that. So that, again, was an interesting thing.
They practiced this new “education.” But in a way it really wasn’t. It was a way of taking a group of children and understanding that they were individuals. Then pull them together, but still let them keep their individuality, and still learn that they had to share. You [couldn’t] be a loner – the world wouldn’t work that way. It was just a sensational education.
TB: Good, good. Okay, I’ll say thank you and shut off the tape.
HS: Well, I say thank you for coming and visiting, it was enjoyable. And when I find the report cards, I’ll send them to you.