Special Collections Oral History Program
Interviewer: Steven Inge
Date of Interview: February 5, 2003
Location of Interview: Interviewee's home, Bellingham, Washington
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This interview was conducted with Mrs. Louella Carlile, wife of Sene R. Carlile, Professor Emeritus of Speech (1947-1982), at her home in Bellingham on February 5, 2003. The interviewer is Steven Inge, accompanied by Tamara Belts.
SI: Today is Wednesday, February 5, 2003. We are talking with Louella Carlile, who has been affiliated with Western Washington University since 1947. She was married to the late Sene Carlile, who was Professor Emeritus of Speech. If you could, would you tell us initially where you came from? And maybe lead up to the time that you came to Western, and how your life happened toÖ?
LC: Well Iíll tell you, I always tell everybody I am a "prairie gal" at heart. I donít like being surrounded by hills and tall Douglas fir trees. I didnít like it from the beginning, and fifty years later I still donít like it (laughter). I like the flat, open spaces of the prairie. Both my husband and I were native Kansans. I was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1912, and I spent many of my early days around there. My dad worked for the railroad, so we moved around a lot. I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Oklahoma City for awhile, and then we lived on the family farm for about five years until I was 15 or 16. After that I went to high school in Denver for a year before going back to Topeka to graduate. So those were Kansas days, and then I went to the University of Kansas (Lawrence) then for my university years.
I used to entertain some of the students here at Western. They would be crying about hard times because they couldnít find a place to park their cars, or the gasoline was getting expensive or something like that. So I would say, "You know I wonít bore you with my story, but if you want to hear tough, I could tell you tough!" I went to college during the depression, during the GREAT DEPRESSION, in the Ď30s and you had to want to go to school pretty badly. We had fellows on campus, young men on campus, who lived in the backs of their trucks. They didnít have the kind of thing they have now like living in a van, you know you could live in a place like that. But they would fix up their trucks because they wanted to go to college. That was before the day of scholarships and all of those things. And so it really was tough going that is for sure (laughter).
I started in 1930 and when I graduated in Ď34, I couldnít get a job. My mother still had her job so I went back another year and got a Masters. I got my Masters in Ď35. And that was the only reason I had the Masters Iím sure is because I couldnít get a job a year earlier than that (laughter).
And then I taught for the next several years. First in high schools, and then I taught for six years out in western Kansas, Garden City Junior College it was in those days. And now itís Garden City Community College, and itís the big community college of all of western Kansas. I havenít been back to see the campus, they have a good size campus now.
And thatís where I met my husband, while I was teaching at Garden City. He couldnít get a job either after he graduated. He took either fifth or sixth grade in an elementary school which he had no intentions of teaching. He taught there for just a year I think, and then he got a job at a high school, and by that time we had met. We met in 1940 and were married in 1942. Then we spent another two years in the school where he was teaching, and by that time World War II was in progress. And so we quit the school teaching and went to work for Beach Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas. My husband had gotten a new draft notice about every other week. First he was turned down because of his vision; he had one eye that didnít function well. Later they took you if you were warm (laughter). But by that time he had been rated down to 4F.
So that was when we went to Wichita to work in Beach Aircraft. Boeing was there too, of course it still is, but Beach was the smaller airplane factory. I never worked out in the factory. I took a tour through it one time, but I never actually worked in the factory. I worked in the office. I never got to see a lot of the planes being manufactured.
It was one of those times. Hardly ever a day passed that you didnít see some messenger come in with a message to one of the employees somewhere that their husband, or brother, or father, or somebody had been reported missing in action, or whatever.
I was listening to something just the other day, I donít know what it was, and they were talking about Franklin Rooseveltís death, and it was on the 12th or 14th of April, and I can remember that real clearly because we were on our way to work, we worked the four oíclock in the afternoon to midnight shift. And the news came on the radio that President Franklin Roosevelt had died. I can remember the first exclamation in the car, "Oh my God, Harry Truman is going to be the president (laughter)!"
After a couple of years at Beach, my husband got his eye on graduate school. His major professor where had had gotten his masters had been a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and he had great praise for that and so we went to Madison, Wisconsin. Sene worked on his doctorate there. We were there for two years and then we came to Bellingham, which we had never heard of in our whole life.
I had the vaguest idea where British Columbia and Vancouver was, and I think I vaguely knew where Seattle was. I remember that I knew where Portland was, the Columbia River somehow or another got to Portland (laughter). But we knew absolutely nothing about this part of the country. It was as far west as either one of us had ever been. We decided weíd come out. It was the best thing he could find in the way of a job. So weíd come out for a couple of years anyway, while he looked for something better. That was in 1947, and this is 2-0-0-3, and Iím still sitting here (laughter). Thatís a long time.
SI: Do you remember who hired Sene?
LC: Dr. Haggard, yes, he came to Chicago to interview a number of faculty people, and speech was one of the ones he was looking for. They were down to just one man, Vic Hoppe, whose name will be in all of the records of Westernís early history. He was the speech [department]. His interest was theater mainly. Dr. Haggard decided they could have one more member of the speech department, so he looked over the applications, and why he chose Sene I donít know, but he did. He invited various ones to meet him in Chicago, and so Sene went down from Madison to Chicago to meet him. He also had an application in at the University of Oklahoma, which is what we would have preferred, because we at least knew where that was! And so we waited and waited and waited, Dr. Haggard offered him the job that very day, and so we waited about as long as you dared to wait. You couldnít keep a college president waiting forever, and so we finally decided we better accept it, and the day after he called to accept the job he got the offer from Oklahoma. But we decided that wasnít smart either to accept a job one day and turn it down the next, and so we better go to Bellingham (laughter). Big decisions to be made!
SI: What do you remember about Vic Hoppe?
LC: Oh, Vic was a character.
SI: Was he?
LC: His picture in fact is in this little video thing Iíll show you. Weíve got a picture of him and his wife, and the Brewsterís, Laurence and Margaret Brewster. The Brewsterís came the year after we did. Vic was a character, but theater was his main interest. He was past retirement age wanting to retire, and they were building the New Auditorium as we called it Ö what do they call it now?
SI: The Performing Arts.
LC: Performing Arts, PAC yes. And the only stage they had was in Old Main. And you know to this day I cannot locate in my mind where that theater was in Old Main I canít find it and there isnít any space there where that was! You came in the front stair, up the front steps and into the main floor, and you went along in the entryway to the auditorium. Everything went on in that auditorium you know, commencement and everything because that was the only auditorium they had. But once they remodeled Old Main I lost sight of that space. There arenít very many people around to remember it now!! But thatís where the plays were.
Oh the Campus School was new, within the last few years before we had arrived. They had what Vic considered a fine stage, which wasnít a good stage at all actually. But he did some of his plays over there in the Campus School. And then he did some in the Blue Room, which is the top floor of old Edens Hall. He did them in the round, theater in the round. Dr. Haggard and Sene and some of them decided that they should give Vic an extra year before he had to retire so that he could be the one to introduce the new theater, this gorgeous stage that they had, with all its equipment and everything.
And Vic wouldnít put the play on over there. He couldnít quite picture himself with college freshman students doing a play in that wonderful theater. So he did kind of a theater in the round out in what was the lobby and entryway. So he did this play Ö I canít remember Ö it was a Shakespeare. But I donít remember which one now. He did it and he used the steps as some of the staging. The only problem was to find enough room elsewhere to put enough seats, so that a decent audience could be seated in there. So Laurence Brewster was the one who ended up doing the first play on the stage of the theater!! Laurence did Father Knows Best. And that was the first play but they always had to laugh about that. Because they went all out to keep Vic, give him another yearís employment (laughter) before forcing him to retire, so he could have that wonderful stage to work on, and he wouldnít do it (laughter)!! But he was an interesting man.
SI: Well Dr. Haggard you knew probably fairly well. And did you know Mrs. Haggard?
LC: Oh yes.
SI: Now this would be the second Mrs. Haggard?
LC: The second Mrs. Haggard, yes. They hadnít been married too long when we came here.
SI: What do you recall about them?
LC: Oh I knew Rachel well. I mean I never called her Rachel. I wasnít of the generation who stooped to things like that. You called the presidentís wife Mrs. Haggard. Some of the older faculty wives called her Rachel but I always called her Mrs. Haggard. She did everything; she was an ex-math teacher I think. And she taught out here in Summer School and thatís where she met Dr. Haggard. I guess she was from New England, from the east somewhere. I donít remember for sure now.
But the Haggard House, the presidentís house was there on the corner of Oak and High Streets. The house is gone now, but it was there for a long time. The college used it as a headquarters for something, I donít remember what. It was good sized, just an old-fashioned house. But that was the presidentís home and she had the tea after Baccalaureate Sunday and everything. Of course the faculty was small when we came here; there were fewer then a hundred faculty members. All the faculty wivesí meetings were held there.
But she was a nice lady. She was very active, and everything she did was done according to rules, done right. You didnít go to Baccalaureate Tea without wearing your hat and gloves. I mean (laughter) everything was proper. I used to call her after Dr. Haggardís death. She lived in Seattle for quite awhile. And every time weíd be in Seattle I would call her. And Sene, if he came in while I was talking say "Who are you talking to?" And I would say, "I was listening to Rachel (laughter)." That was what I did mainly.
Other faculty members were Ö Ray Hawk was head of the Campus School and he and his wife lived down on Forest Street, and we used to meet in their house quite a lot. And Leona Sundquist, who was the Science Department all by herself, she lived next door over here. And sheíd been here for a lot of years. She was one of the older faculty members, she and Vic. I think Vic came something like 1912 or 14. Heíd been here a long time. He was retirement age and I think this had really been his only job. And the other man who was a chum of Vics, Tom Hunt. Tom Hunt was the bachelor, and he was Geography? I canít think of what he was now, but he was something in that order. But they were great friends. And they liked to hike. And theyíd go up to Mt. Baker together and things like that. Oh, Miss Cummins was just at retirement age when we came. She was Social Studies Department. Nora, Lora, canít think of what her first name was now?
LC: So she was still here on the faculty when we came. Then of course one of the other ones that was top of the faculty for a long time was, Dr. Hicks, Arthur Hicks. He was head of the English Department. Van Aver was considered the bear of the lot. Nobody really liked Van Aver very well. He was cross and had a bad temper (laughter). But I think the students considered him a pretty good teacher. Regier was head of music when we came. Oh and D'Andrea was here in the music department, D'Andrea and Regier. Iím thinking of people who were here on the faculty when we came.
SI: Lucy Kangley?
LC: Oh yes, Lucy Kangley.
SI: Did you know her?
SI: Can you tell us a little bit about her? I never met her.
LC: Lucy was kind of a character too. She liked to socialize. All of the groups of faculty that had their little dinner groups and what not, Lucy belonged to most of those. Then the other character that everybody knew and talked about was the presidentís secretary, Ethel Church. Everybody always said Ethel Church ran the college; Dr. Haggard just sorta (laugher) trotted along and did what she said (laughter). Everybody knew everybody the school was so small. Sam Buchanan was the head of the business office. Buchanan Towers, the dormitoryís named for Sam. And Ed Arntzen, he was history. Arntzen Hall is named for him.
SI: What do you remember about him, about Mr. Arntzen?
LC: Well he was our neighbor. He lived second door down the hill here. Ed was a character. I assumed for a long time after I first met him that he was born in Norway because he spoke with a heavy Scandinavian accent. Turned out he had never been out of the United States (laughter) in his life. And (laughter) he finally got to Norway after he retired I think. But he was a great gardener. He and Marjorie Dawson; her name was Dawson I think, Marjorie Dawson, taught in the Campus School. And she had never married, and neither had Ed. And they were, oh, I suppose well up into their forties, both of them. And they hadnít been married too terribly many years when we came here. Ed had bought this house, the second door down from here. His hobby was flowers, roses especially. He had a gorgeous rose garden. He spent a lot of time with his roses. But he was a real character. He was a popular instructor, he was history, and the students liked Ed. He was a droll. He had a great sense of humor. But you wouldnít have guessed it to look at him. He was one of those kinds of pompous looking guys.
And Iím trying to think. Rice, Charles Rice was head of the Industrial Arts, where they taught woodworking and all that kind of thing. I donít know what it turned into, some other department later.
SI: Did you teach after you came here?
LC: I taught some yes. Well, about the second year we were here was the only time I ever had my name actually on the faculty role list. Their language teacher (my major was Spanish) was Anne Ullin. You find Chet Ullinís name on all of the Mt. Baker climbing history around town. She was his aunt. When I looked at their catalogue (we had gotten the catalogue when we were there in Wisconsin), I said to Sene, "Oh look they teach French and German and Spanish, I should be able to get a job there." Then I looked over in the faculty, and every class was taught by the same faculty member (laughter). She taught them all. She was the only faculty member they had. What she did was to teach beginning German, and beginning French, and beginning Spanish in classes and then anybody who wanted to go on, you know higher, farther, advanced, she did it by appointment. You never went by her office and she wasnít seated in there with a student going over a lesson (laughter). So I donít know how she kept up with them. Anyway, about our second year here I think probably, she had a stroke, and was totally disabled, and she didnít live too long I think.
So Dr. Haggard was busy hunting for somebody to do all three languages. He knew that I knew Spanish, so he checked with me and I could do Spanish and French. Then he found Eleanor King and her major was German. And she could do German and French. So she taught German, and I taught Spanish, and we divided the French. So as I said that was the only year that I was actually on the faculty list.
That was sometime in the fall. School hadnít been on too long, so I really taught a year. And then Dr. Haggard and all his Scottish, worldly wisdom, went hunting to look through the languages and decided that Eleanor had a PhD and I didnít. She could teach two languages and I could teach two languages. So he leaned a little towards the PhD and Eleanor got the job, and he cut Spanish off the lists (laughter). So they didnít offer any Spanish for several years!!
So I was out of a job. But then I filled in a time or two each year in the speech department when Sene was chairman. If they had more classes than they could handle in like beginning Speech or Speech 200 (Speech 200 was the one I taught more often), I filled in. And I did that until, oh, I guess until 1961, when Sene took a leave and we were gone for a year. And then I also filled in occasionally in Spanish for [Walter] Robinson the head of the Spanish Department. So I did that for a few years. But my main teaching was that first year when I taught Spanish and French. That was kind of interesting. And letís see here, Eleanor King stayed on until she retired. She taught the rest of her career there in German. Of course by that time there were a lot of other language teachers. The language department spread out quite rapidly then.
The fall we came, the first menís dorm had just opened and thatís now College Hall. And then the Auditorium I guess was the next new building. And it went up about the same time as the Industrial Arts Building.
(Laughter) I know when I heard they were going to discard Haggard Hall and redo it because it was so outdated, and that they needed a new Chemistry Science Building, I said, "Haggard Hall is that old? I was there for the ground breaking (laughter)." Haggard Hall, (laughter) you know I remember; Iíve got pictures of Leona Sundquist and those whose offices were in the Sciences. You know their offices were all in Old Main of course. They were going to have this wonderful new building. And there was quite a crowd out there to listen to the ground breaking of Haggard Hall. Now all of a sudden, theyíre discarding it because itís too old (laughter)!!
SI: Well it remains the Haggard wing now of the library.
LC: Yes, of course. Now as I say, this last thing they did when they connected over to the library, thatís even a bigger shock. Because they still called it their New Library when we came, and it was just that central main part of the building. They added onto it a couple of times. When Haggard Hall was built, then the space, between those two - it was a great big wide space and there was a fountain in there - real pretty area you could walk through there between those two buildings.
When we came here, Old Main was the center of the campus. And thatís where everything took place. And then the New Library, they still called it and the Campus School was still kind of new. The middle wing and old wing of Carver Gym was there. And the menís dorm, College Hall had just been built and that was about Ö oh, Edens, the old Edens Hall, the one with the pillars in front. The old Edens Hall was there and that was the campus when we came here. Now I hardly ever go up there, I donít find a building I didnít know was there. They built it since I was there the last time (laughter)!!
SI: With two more under construction.
LC: The area out there, I guess itís Twenty-First Street, that was pretty much just old houses that housed the students. When they started talking about Fairhaven that was so ridiculous; to think about adding something clear out there, that disconnected from the campus. And I donít know when the menís dorms Ö the menís dorms came on fairly early up along Highland. I know we drove up there one time, there was no road up High Street, it ended at the corner where the College Hall and the Auditorium were. There was just a kind of a lane going up from there; and we drove up there one time to get up to the top of the hill to look out. And we were commenting about what a great place that would be because of the view, thereís nothing up there on either side, no nothing, just a lane going through. Students, kids, hike you know, came from the south side, through a trail that would hit the school. And people said, "Oh theyíll never have anything up there, thereís no water up there, they canít get water up there, thereíll never be anything up there on that hill (laughter)." And thatís where Eighteenth Street, Highland Drive is now.
SI: Do you remember back at that time, a tradition of faculty members having a group of new students for dinner?
LC: Oh yes, that was one of the things.
SI: Did you get to do that?
LC: Oh yes, we had the freshman. I donít know how they, the freshman, were apportioned to the different faculty. I assume that the ones who were going to major in your department, were the ones that were assigned to you. But you had, I donít know, ten or twelve, it seems like it was a dozen students something like that. And we lived in an apartment. It was hardly big enough to have that many students into dinner. But yes, you had them. In fact I got a letter just very recently from a gal who just had had her 70th birthday; she lives in Juneau, Alaska. And she was one of those little girls who came to our house (laughter) as a freshman, one of Seneís freshman students. Weíve kept in touch with her all through these years. I looked at that and I was thinking, 70, well Ö (laughter), Iím twenty years older than that. I guess I wasnít more then twenty years older then she was, if she was 18, I wasnít 40 yet I guess, seems so incredible age wise.
Iím trying to think of anything else Ö Mathes Hall and whatís the other one?
LC: Nash Hall. Those were named for the first two presidents of the college. Both women, both wives, were still living when we came here. In fact Mrs. Nash lived for quite a long time. We used to invite Mrs. Mathes to faculty wivesí meetings. We met in each otherís homes, of course, such a small group. And she would come and tell us about the early days. Of course she was here in 1899 when they started it. There were a lot of things I didnít realize and I still donít know. There was water. It was wet; they had wooden walkways that came into Old Main. And I still donít quite know where the water, the swamp, where it came from or how it got that way. That was always kind of a mystery to me. But she would tell us all these things. They couldnít get up to the campus. Garden Street was the last civilized street they had where there might be a bus or something. But you couldnít get from there up to the campus. You had to just provide your own horse and buggy or wagon or something to get up there to the campus from down below!! And so she would regale us with all those stories and weíd sit there and listen to her kind of intrigued. You know I remember one time, oh I donít know, probably been twenty-five or thirty years ago now, Beth Hearsey and I were at one of our meetings, she and I were carrying on a conversation about early days here at Western, our early days at Western, and all of a sudden Beth kind of laughed and she said, "We sound just like Mrs. Mathes (laughter)!" It was kind of true; we were telling these young, incoming, faculty wives all about early days at Western, OUR early days at Western (laughter).
Herb Hearsey was another one of the original, he was here, he was the head librarian for many years. He was here when we came, at the New Library. I never did know exactly, I guess the original library had to be in Old Main. The speech department was on the top floor (third floor), and it was just the central part where they they actually had rooms. Each end was just kind of attic space. And somewhere down in that end of it I still think that the theatre must have been. They must have replaced that space that was the theatre with some of the additions that theyíve added on that Iíve kind of lost all track of because I just simply cannot, Iíve thought and thought and thought, and Iíve tried to explain it to people who have no idea that there ever was a theatre there. Tell them where it was, well they canít, "There isnít anything there," they say, "I know there isnít anything there, thatís why I canít find the theatre in my mind (laughter)."
SI: Basically where the Registrarís Office is and the Business Office up there.
LC: Yes it was in that general area. It had a balcony, a real nice balcony and a lower floor and they had everything. They had it all there, plays, commencement, baccalaureate, and famous speakers. Everything was there.
SI: When you came, did they still have the weekly assembly?
LC: Ten oíclock Tuesday morning, yes.
SI: Ten oíclock? And classes were basically cancelled then?
LC: Yes, the students were expected to attend. When we came here there werenít a thousand students at Western but it didnít miss too far. They had some real good speakers here in those early days.
SI: Did that continue when the newÖ?
LC: Yes, in the new Auditorium.
SI: New Auditorium, because that was...?
LC: Yes, I was thinking about the speakers and I was going to say Eleanor Roosevelt was here, but she spoke in the Auditorium. Now they continued, I donít know when they dropped that, but it continued for quite a long time, that 10 oíclock Tuesday morning thing. The first commencement that I have on those slides on this tape, I think it was 1954. It was the first commencement that they held in the new Auditorium. Always before that it was held in the Old Main Theater, and then that got a little bit crowded. So they came down the front steps and you can imagine what the weather probably could have been in that week in June, and marched clear over to the Gymnasium. So we had all these faculty in their gowns and robes and what have you (laughter), going down the steps in front of Old Main and going clear over to the gymnasium.
And then they would of course come back to the front of Old Main for the Memory Walk. I checked that one time, many years ago and discovered that itís my memorial. There is a stone there for every year since I was born, the first year they did it was 1912 (laughter). Right in front of Old Main is 1912. Of course it extended down towards the main part of the campus until it got down to the turn over to the library. I donít know whether they stopped there or not. But then they eventually went and sent it going the other direction; they spread it so it goes over toward Edenís Hall.
Of course there wasnít any Red Square in those days that was the Campus School playground. There are people who live in this town to this day who went to Campus School who resented their taking their playground away from them; (laughter) turning it into that Red Square out there. You could park, you drove in there and the parking was there, well kind of where the Humanities Building is now. And then the Campus School playground was the center part of what is now Red Square. And that was one of the big jokes around campus in kind of our early days here. President Fisher, who preceded Dr. Haggard, got into difficulty here with the Herald and some other business organizations around town who labeled him a communist. And this was before World War II, before Hitler really got going too strong you know. And so when they built that big square out there it was to be calledÖ, Iíve forgotten what they were going to call it now, but anybody who walked in there, I mean your first impression was that all those red brick, acres of red brick you know-- Red Square. That just fell into place so beautifully. It never got called anything but Red Square after that (laughter).
Of course all this stuff about Dr. Fisher being pointed at, the old time faculty people who had been here under him, oh, they hated that! Leona Sundquist, if you wanted to get her teed off, you just start saying anything about Dr. Fisher and about his being accused, being communist and all that sort of thing. They swore by him, they thought he was a great president and what not. Of course we never knew him so we werenít in on that. So Fisher Fountain in Red Square was one of the big jokes of the day among the faculty (laughter).
Well is there any other part of this tale that you want me to go on with? I feel like weíve gone on forever here (laughter).
SI: Iím trying to think of some other faculty that you might Ö
LC: Oh lets see, Iím just going back to music and science; Leona Sundquist, Vic Hoppe, Nora Cummins. May Bettman, was one of the characters. She had an office up on the third floor by the speech department. And she had charge of all of the copying. You wrote your exam out and then you took it up to her and you needed so many copies of this and she would run them off. She was the boss up there on the top square, she governed the speech department, of course that was just Brewster and Carlile and for a couple of years, Hoppe. And then Iíve forgotten who the next member of the speech department was; it was Schinske in Speech Path I think.
SI: Did you know Mildred Herrick in the library?
LC: Yes, oh yes.
SI: What can you tell us about her?
LC: She was interesting. We werenít intimate with Mildred. I never was in a group where we had dinners and things like that together. But she was an interesting lady. She was there at the library a long time. I said Herb Hearsay was head librarian, Iím not sure Herrick wasnít the head librarian. Do you know which one it was?
TB: It was her.
SI: She was the librarian and I think he was associate librarian.
LC: Well I kind of think so too. When you mentioned her name, I think that was right; she was the head librarian. And Iím trying to think of the gal who was the head of womenís athletic? Ruth?
SI: Ruth Weythman.
LC: Weythman yes, she was another character that was here for a long time after we came. And Sam Carver of course was still here when we came. And the football coach?
SI: Oh, Charles Lappenbusch.
END OF SIDE ONE OF TAPE
LC: I was trying to think of other departmentsÖ
SI: Who was in home economics?
LC: Thatís what I was just coming up with...
SI: Was it Dorothy Ramsland?
LC: Dorothy Ramsland was here. She came a year after we did, or two years after we did. We always had a State of the College address. They had a big dinner down at the Leopold Hotel in the fall. It was formal. In those days men wore tuxedos and women wore formal dresses. We had this big dinner and there was this welcome to the new faculty, by the old faculty, and a reply then from the new faculty. And then we came to the report on the State of the College that was Dr. Haggard. He told about what had happened, what was going on at the college (laughter). And so every year we listened to his report on the college.
But I know who else was always there, and that was Paul and Jeannette Woodring. Paul Woodring was one of our better known faculty members here of course, because he became quite well known in education around the country then. They lived in New York for several years. They were great.
We fell in with a group of people because everybody knew everybody. Now in the last few years, my husband retired in 1982, I didnít even know all the people in the speech department. You know it spread out and got big with theater and speech path and all those things. But in those early days, you knew the whole faculty, everybody knew everybody, so your friends were in this department and that department and all over.
Dorothy Ramsland was one. One of the others that is still around who was here and that was Pat Ö sheís Jim OíBrienís wife. She and Jim were both on the faculty. And then Lucille Reiman and Dec Barron were both on the faculty. And then they were married the next summer after we came. But Lucille was in the Domestic Ö
SI: Home Economics.
LC: Home, whatever you call it, Iím trying to think of who else was over there?
SI: Linda Countryman
LC: Linda Countryman?
LC: I think Linda was; I think maybe she was chairman of the department. That was one of the interesting departments up there. It finally just disappeared. I mean they kind of voted it off.
TB: What was Linda, sorry I couldnít resist, but what was Linda Countryman like?
LC: Oh Linda was a very nice lady. She was very dignified, very nice, very good looking; always looked neat. She was very charming. I canít think of anybody who didnít like Linda Countryman. She was just a nice, a very nice person. And letís see who else did I just think of that competed with the Home Economics? Ray Schwalm, who was head of journalism, not journalism, but printing and putting out the paper.
SI: Eventually it was called Visual Communication.
LC: Yes, well, you know there was always a group wanting to do away with something. And they kind of competed, which one of those departments would hang on and which would not. Schwalms lived right across the street. Edith still lives down at the Leopold. She has lived down at the Leopold for a lot of years. Ray of course has been gone a long, long time.
SI: Do you remember when you first came here which was right after the Second World War. It was a Teachers College Ö
LC: Yes, oh yes, when we came, the Normal School had disappeared. But it was the Teachers; it was the College of Education, when we came. And then it changed to the State, Western Washington State College. Youíll notice I never say university, itís always a college to me, I cannot call it a university (laughter). I think it only became a university just a couple years before my husband retired. So weíve never gotten used to that university bit (laughter).
SI: When Dr. Haggard retired, and Dr. Jarrett came to be president, there was quite a transition, because Jarrettís interests were more Ö
LC: Yes, oh yes!
SI: Do you remember any of that? And what, and who was mad at who?
LC: Oh yes. Bernice Hall was on the board at the time. Iím trying to think of the manís name who was kind of head of it? Oh, Forrest, Marshall Forrest, he was one of the big names here in town. And he and Jarrett, and several of the others were going to turn this into a high class literary school. Thatís when they talked about doing away with home economics, and you know these other things that were kind of a little low brow for something like that. Oh there was a lot of hard feelings (laughter) that went off during those early days. Jarrett was here I think five years, and Marjorie, his wife. The faculty wives owed her quite a lot because she was in there helping. She thought up a lot of things. She started the informal dining which still exists; groups of informal dining that was her dream. And they lived in, what is it now, Canada House? That was the home of presidents. They lived there and did a lot of entertaining. We had them here a number of times and they had us there. Anything that was a big group met there. Jarrett was an interesting man. They were both from Utah of course, and both of the Mormon background. Marjorie was very popular among the faculty wives.
SI: Was she quiet a contrast to Mrs. Haggard?
LC: Oh yes, definitely, definitely yes. Kind of a line between the modern and the old fashioned. I mean it was "the proper thing to do," and the little bit less formal thing. They were a good division there between Mrs. Haggard and Marjorie Jarrett. Was Bunke the one that followed Jarrett?
LC: I lose track of all the presidents in there. I still get a Christmas card from the Bunkes every Christmas. Iím not sure why (laughter) but itís because Iím the only one around they remember I guess. And this last Christmas Marg, she had written a note and said that they spent part of the summer back in Illinois, they were downsizing their house to a condominium size. But they still keep their home there where he taught, he was there for quite a few years. He discovered he didnít want to be president of a college. You know after he came here, as president, that just wasnít his dish of tea hardly at all (laughter). He wasnít here as president very long. Two years, two-three something like that. And then Paul Woodring filled in for a year or so as interim president. And I canít remember when Jerry Flora took over as president. Do you remember what?
SI: He is interim for about a year, and then in 1968 he becomes full.
LC: And when did Olscamp come?
SI: In 1975.
LC: í75, I knew he was one of the later ones. I always lose him, when Iím thinking about the presidents. I go through all of them and I think, oh there was somebody else in there, oh yes, Paul Olscamp (laughter) was there, sometime or other.
SI: Well what was Rosemary Flora like?
LC: Oh yes, Rosemary. Everybody knew Rosemary. Yes they were very well known. As you said, he served as president that one year as acting president and then Iíve forgotten, what year did you say he became president?
SI: I think itís 1968.
LC: í68 that sounds about right. Then he was president for quite a long while after that. I remember (laughter); there are always these little feuds that go on behind the scenes. Jim McAree lived right across the street. Jim was history I think, and he had been here for quite a number of years. Jim was very popular on the faculty. And I have no idea what the difference between him and Jerry was; what, why, they didnít see eye to eye, or what the problem was. But at any rate, McAree was not in favor of Jerry Flora being the president. And I remember he heard sort of by mouth to mouth that the Board of Trustees was considering naming Jerry the permanent president. And (laughter) Jim came over that night and he said to Sene, "They really arenít gonna do that are they?" And Sene said, "Well, I think probably they are (laughter)." McAree said, "Well, I guess Iíll go put the house on the market." And he really did. They didnít stay very long after that. But I doubt that was the main reason for their leaving. I have no idea what the problem was (laughter), but he was very concerned that they were actually going to name Jerry Flora the president of the university.
Now Rosemary was quite popular among the faculty wives. She was a nice gal. Theyíve lived an interesting life; you know theyíve done some very interesting things. Heís still working of course on this history thing; heís hunting for stories about the history of Western.
Trying to think of any other outstandingÖ
SI: What about the Kuderís, did you know Merle Kuder?
LC: Oh yes.
SI: What can you tell us about Merle, he was very prominent, but what was his personality I guessÖ?
LC:Yes, Merle was a nice, jolly, happy guy. Everybody liked Merle and Dorothy. Dorothy was popular among the faculty wives. She entertained regularly at her house. I donít know where Kuder stood as far as his reputation with the faculty was concerned. He and Sene were good friends because they had known each other ever since we came here of course, and that makes a difference you know. They were here for a long time. In fact, Kuders and Hawks and Dorothy and Alan Ross; those were kind of the group that you thought of as being the people of the same general time period.
SI: Well then Bill McDonald must have come here almost at the same time?
LC: He was here when we came, but he was not very far beyond his student football days at that time. I canít remember now, but he had some office, Iíve forgotten what it was now?
SI: Well he was Dean of Men for awhile.
LC: I guess thatís what Iím thinking about.
SI: Then he becomes Vice President for Student Affairs.
LC: Yes, Dean of Men, thatís what I was thinking of. He was Dean of Men yes. And his first wife was part of our big faculty wives group, Irene McDonald. And they always had a laugh because, Dave McDonald was here on the faculty for quite a few years, and his wifeís name was Lois to all of us, Lois McDonald. Lois and Irene McDonald were two entirely different people. Well it turned out that somewhere along the line Loisí middle name or first name, whichever, was Irene. And when she signed checks she used that name instead of Lois. And I remember one time they got into such a mess, they couldnít get it figured out, because neither was aware that this was happening. Irene McDonald wasnít aware that Lois was signing her name (laughter) Irene, and they had some kind of a foul up. I forgot what it was; it was something to do with checks.
SI: Who was the Dean of Women? Do you remember that?
LC: Oh I would have told you if you hadnít asked me Ö
TB: Didnít she live right across from you? Isnít that the one that lived right across from you? Kirkpatrick?
LC: Florence Kirkpatrick.
SI: No, no Florence was, was earlier. But Ö
LC: She was earlier.
SI: Lorraine Powers.
LC: Lorraine Powers, thatís it. Thatís what I was I was trying to think of, Lorraine, yes. No Florence Kirkpatrick was up there when she was Florence Johnson. She was Dr. Johnsonís sister. And then she married Dr. Kirkpatrick who had a daughter almost as old as Florence was (laughter). Dr. Kirkpatrick had built that home; that was the Kirkpatrick home over there.
SI: Was that a minor scandal at the time?
LC: I donít know, it was all before our time here; but as far as I know, no, because the original Mrs. Kirkpatrick had died quite a few years earlier. He had this grown family, but one of the girls was almost Florenceís age. When we moved in here, Dr. Kirkpatrick was still living. He was on the Board of Trustees I think at the college. But he didnít live too many years. I know they took an around the world cruise. And I donít remember exactly what the year of his death was but Florence lived over there then until sometime in the Ď70s. She decided to sell the house then. She sold it to Jim McAree. So thatís always been the Kirkpatrick house as far as we were concerned because he built it. Yes, Florence; I had forgotten that she had been Florence Johnson on the faculty.
SI: Well to return about Lorraine, do you remember what kind of personality she was?
LC: I donít remember too much about Lorraine Powers. I knew her but I donít remember that we ever had any real [exchange]. And I donít remember what she did after she left Western. I have no idea.
Another one that was here and I think that she is still living here is Bernice Skeen.
LC: Sheís getting kind of old too! Sheís older then I am (laughter)!
First time I saw her again, they were having this big faculty picnic out at Lake Padden. (She had been gone from here for years after she retired, and I didnít even know that she was back in Bellingham). I was out there with Margaret and Laurence Brewster and we were sitting there and there was this woman in a wheel chair. People kept coming around and speaking to her, and leaning over and talking to her, and we were saying now, "Who is that?" "Do you know who that is?" And Laurence said, "No, I donít know who that is"
So Laurence got up and went to get himself a sandwich or something so he could get over there, and he came back and he said, "Thatís Bernice Skeen." And I said, "Oh go on, that canít be Bernice Skeen." Because that wasnít the way I pictured Bernice Skeen at all (laughter)!
And so after we were through eating I went over to her and I said, "Well, they keep telling me that youíre Bernice Skeen?" And she kind of looked at me and kind of grinned and she said, "Yes, I know," she said, "Somebody said youíre Lou Carlile (laughter)." So she didnít recognize me any better than I recognized her (laughter)!
Thatís quite a few years back. Was she Campus School? I canít Ö
SI: She was Special Education.
LC: Yes, I guess that was it, Iíve kind of forgotten.
SI: And she may have been Campus School as well.
LC: Well I think she was, but I canít remember for sure on that. Dr. Hawk is the only one (Ray Hawk), I ever connect for sure with Campus School.
SI: Tell us about Sene?
SI: Just if you had to summarize Sene in in two paragraphs (laughter)?
LC: He was a character who never saw a stranger. He was like his mother. He never met a stranger in his life. The first time I ever saw him was on the campus. Iím older then he was, and so he was still at Hayes. The schools in Kansas are just like the schools in Washington. We have Eastern, Central, and Western, and they have Emporia, Hayes, and Pittsburgh. They all started the same way, Normal Schools and came through this exactly the same route, theyíre all universities now. Hayes is the one the farthest out in Western Kansas. Thatís the one most of the kids out there; who couldnít afford to go any place else, went to. And he stayed an extra fifth year too, because jobs were so scarce he couldnít find a job anywhere.
That was in the days when seniors had what they called "Senior Sneak Day." And the senior class all had it planned and they left school early in the morning and were gone all day and nobody was supposed to know where they had gone. Of course they had an advisor, one of the faculty members, and usually a couple of parents, you know, went with them. But I never got mixed up in that because I was mainly junior college. (I taught a few high school classes, but I was mainly junior college.)
But that particular year the man who was the sponsor of the senior class asked me, for what reason Iíll never know, if I would go with them, because he needed another faculty person apparently. They were going up to Hayes because Hayes opened its campus on this one particular day. Any school in western Kansas that had seniors that wanted to come there could. They had a program and they had the cafetaria open. I mean they really did the whole day for high school seniors. I never had gone before, and I never went again.
One of the reasons I went was because this was my favorite high school class that was graduating that year (at this time I was teaching high school speech). All my pet students were in this class (laughter). And so we were in the auditorium to hear the program that they had prepared. I was sitting there next to one of my favorite speech students. They came out and the master of ceremonies came up to the microphone and began to talk and I poked [Howard], and I said, "Listen to that voice thatís the most beautiful voice Iíve heard in a long time." Well it turned out that that voice belonged to Sene Carlile (laughter). He was the master of ceremonies that day.
So after the program was over I saw him talking to the senior sponsor that I had come with that day. They had overlapped in school, the Garden City teacher had been a senior when my husband started, so they knew each other. I went over to find out when we were going to start home; which of course I already knew, but I found that a good question to ask, and so I was introduced to this guy (laughter). And I said as we were parting, "Well if youíre ever in Garden City look me up." Iíd been teaching in Garden City for three years I guess or four. I donít remember what my roommate and I did over the summer, went on a Caribbean Cruise or something. I donít think I ever gave him another thought the whole summer long.
We went to the first teachers meeting of all the high school and junior college teachers. It was a big meeting, kind of a social affair. I was standing talking to a group of gals that I hadnít seen all summer, and watching people come in the door. All of a sudden, who comes in the door, but this guy with the beautiful voice. And it turned out that was the best job he could find, it would pay him a little more than some of the other jobs would, which I think was ninety dollars a month. So he was going to teach fifth or sixth grade in Garden City that year. That was in September of 1940 and we were married in April of 1942. And I donít think we ever missed many days, of not seeing each other, walking back and forth to school together, and all of this kind of thing. It was just one of those things. Iím not one who believes in fate or things like that, but I always felt like there was something. I never went with that group before and I never went with them after that. And how he would happen to get a job in Garden City, you know it was just one of those things. Everything just sort of fell together.
LC: Thatís where it went (laughter).
We started traveling when he took a sabbatical in 1961 from Western, Ď61-62. We went to London and fell in love with London and all of England, and we never quit travelling after that. Iíve always been so glad that we did all of the travelling because I can entertain myself, watch television, and see all these travel stories and say, "Oh yes Iíve been there," "Iíve been in that building," "We were in that room (laughter)." Itís really kind of fascinating.
We traveled starting with continental Europe. We walked all over and then spent six or eight months in London. Then we were back in London in í65 and í69 and í70 and you know every few years. And Iíve just kept traveling from that time on. We did a cruise, Mediterranean cruise from Athens to Istanbul and back down to Alexandria and Haifa and around in there in í78, and that sold us on cruise ships. So after that, anytime we could find a cruise to go on we were on it (laughter). Then after he retired in í82, we had a chance to do more things. We went to China, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa, and you know we just traveled a lot. And thatís where a lot of my slides come from that I have piled up there in the cupboard (laughter).
So by and large it was a good life. But little did I ever think when I was a college student that Iíd be living this long (laughter).
The other thing that always fascinates some of the younger people and that fascinates me, just thinking about it, thatís the prices; the value of a dollar through the years. My first job there in junior college, my contract was for $1135 for the year, my check was a hundred and Ö , they divided it in nine, it was a hundred and Ö I forget what now, a month. I didnít know what you would do with all of that money. Hundred and twenty-nine dollars or a hundred and thirty-one dollars or something like that, every month I got a check for that much. You know my roommate and I had a real nice apartment, for which we I think paid, something like twenty-seven dollars a month, and of course we divided that in two. We were living comfortably and well. That was good money that we were making in those days. But I think about those prices; the other day my helper who does my grocery shopping now for me, we were talking about bacon and she was looking at advertisments and I said, "Iím not going to pay over two dollars a pound for bacon." She had just read me one that was closer to four dollars or something like that, and then I was remembering the first year we were married. We were living in this little town where Sene taught and I announced to him we werenít going to eat any more bacon. "Weíre having no more bacon." [Sene] "Why not?" "Theyíve just put the price up to 50 cents a pound and Iím NOT going to pay 50 cents a pound for bacon (laughter)."
Itís all just where the source of money is coming from is what it is.
Well when he came here to Western in 1947; there were about five of them, five or six fellows from the University of Wisconsin who were all finishing their doctorates and they were all looking for jobs. One of them stayed on at Wisconsin. One of them went to the University of Minnesota at Duluth. And I forgot, one of them went to Iowa, I think. Anyway his job paid more; he had the highest salary offer of any of them. His first contract was for $3800 for the year.
SI: Thatís pretty good.
LC: I couldnít build an outhouse for $3800 now (laughter). I mean it just doesnít fit until you think about it; you have to think about both ends of it. When youíre telling about the prices being fifty cents a pound for bacon, youíve got to remember that that was the kind of money that was being made. I think his job when I said that, "The bacon went for fifty cents a pound," I think he was getting approximately a hundred dollars a month for the year, for nine months, so, you know, you have to figure both ends of it. Two dollars a pound for bacon now at the kind of a salary heíd be getting, isnít that much you know, it really isnít (laughter).
SI: Well Ö
LC: If you want to Ö
SI: Weíve worked you pretty hard.
LC: Yes (laughter).
SI: Thank you very much.
SI: And I will Ö END OF TAPE