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INTERVIEWS AND CONVERSATIONS
PRO:  Paul Russell Oram
NSO: Nancy Susan Oram
DRO: Dorothy Ruth Oram
DPO: David Paul Oram
PAH: Paul Allen Hoy
DSH: David Scott Hoy
PRO:  . . .sister's husband. I was out back of the house, sitting there. It wasn't dark yet, you know, it was still light. And I was counting this money for the first time I did that. The first time I did it, I came down the street, and a lady came out and saw me going by, and she says, "Here, here, young man. Stop. What are you selling?" And I said -- I started to say, "I'm not selling anything." She said, "Let me see." And she took the basket I had on my arm, and she took the cover off of it, a tea towel covering it up, and she said, "Oh, that's lovely pastry." She said, "Give me the -- I'm only paying you ten cents apiece for those."
Well, it didn't take me all day to figure out that ten cents was a lot better than I paid. I got the whole -- I got a dozen, and they threw in one for a baker's dozen, thirteen, for a quarter. So if I got ten cents apiece, that's a dollar thirty right there, see. So I took out what she wanted, and she gave me the money.
And she says, "Now you go right across the street to my friend there, Mrs. So-and-So. She'll take some, too, because she don't like that walk down that steep hill down to the bakery and back up."
Going down wasn't bad, but coming back up was a steep hill. Well, anyway, I sold out the bunch right there. And I was sitting out back counting this money to see how much I had, a dollar and thirty cents, or something like that, you know.
NSO: And how old were you then?
PRO:  I was -- oh, this was back about, I was about 12, I guess.
NSO: So before you ran away?
PRO:  No, no, this was after I ran away from home.
NSO: So you came back -- or, no, but before you went to New York, is what I mean?
PRO:  Yes. Yes.
NSO: Okay. In between running away and going to New York.
PRO:  Yes. And well, see we ended up down in the Ozarks, and then we ended back up in Alton, Illinois, and then that's when this happened. And then it wasn't long after that I went to New York.
But anyway. So he says -- he grabbed my hand and took the money away from me, and said, "Come in here, I want your brother to see this." He says, "I caught this guy begging." He said, "He was begging on the street and look at the money he's got," and this and that and the other, you know.
And geez, Leroy said, "What -- " I said, "I didn't do no such thing." I said, "He never was there, and he don't know anything about it," I told him.
So Leroy listened to me, and he said, "Okay," he said, "That's your money." He said, "Just keep it." And this brother-in-law, he got mad. They almost had a fight over that. But Leroy didn't -- you didn't fool with Leroy. You either did what he said or get the hell out.
So the next day Leroy took me down there and we bought like oh, seventy-five cents worth, that would be 39 buns and stuff, and put it in -- he drove me to the top of the hill, and went around and sold them out, and went back down and took all he had.
That went on for weeks. One day I went in the store, and he went around and he said, "Oh, there you are." The guy, the baker. And he turned around, and he went around behind me and shut the door and locked it. And Leroy's sitting out there in the Model T Ford, you know. And he said, "You've been telling everybody you work for me and lying." And he said -- he got to where he wasn't selling any fresh pastry at all. He was just selling day old.
NSO: You became a wholesaler and he didn't know it.
PRO:  Yeah. And so I said, "No, I didn't. No, I didn't. I never told any such thing. They just asked me where did it come from and I told them this is where it came from. And he said, "Well, that's the end of that. You get the hell out of here and you don't never come back." And that was the end of that. But we were all doing fine there for about a month and a half or so.
NSO: That was your Gold Rush.
PRO:  That's funny, you know.
NSO: That's a good one.
PRO:  Yeah, that was funny. That was the first selling -- the reason we got into this was because you asked about selling.
Well, then I got to New York and I got that ride up in that outfit to wear, you know, that fancy Dan outfit. And then I went from there to the Governor Clinton, and I worked in the Governor Clinton as a busboy for -- I mean a bellboy, first. You know, you answer to run upstairs to take care of baggage and stuff. And then I became a busboy in the restaurant work. But Fern had moved in there and she was a hostess in the restaurant.
And that's when the St. Louis Cardinals won the championship. They come in there, and they just practically ruined that hotel. And they threw them out. They threw them out, and took them out and set them out on Seventh Avenue there, and put their baggage out there beside them, and said, "Just stay out. Don't come back here. We don't want your business."
NSO: They were so wild, or --
PRO:  They were the World Series Champions. But I'm trying to think of his name, now. The third baseman. Geez, I can't think of his name. I'll think of it in a minute. But he set off stink bombs in the hotel room, there. He set off stink bombs in the dining room. And he rigged up a setup where he'd sit down there and he'd look at his plate like this, you know. And then he'd look around, and he'd say a lady sitting over here eating, you know, nice people in this hotel dining room, lovely people there. And he'd look like that, and he'd look at his plate, and he'd look like that, and he'd look at his plate, and he'd look like that and, he'd look at his plate. And she'd see that his plate would go up in the air like that, and come back down and sit down there. And he had rigged up a pump underneath it, and he had the bulb in his pocket, and he was blowing it and it would -- hydraulic -- the plate up and drop it back down.
NSO: Practical joker.
NSO: Who was that?
PRO:  He was a third baseman of the St. Louis Cardinals. Oh, I know his name as well as I know my own.
NSO: Well, if you think of it, throw it out there.
PRO:  Well, anyway, he was -- they were all a bunch of cutups, and -- you know, they were the world champions, so they were just having a ball. But they got thrown out of that hotel.
Later on, years later, they come down and played a game here in -- I wasn't long here in California when they come down here and played the Oakland Oaks, exhibition game. And this third baseman, I was sitting right up above him there in the stands. And he was playing down there, and they were playing. And this drunk behind me -- I turned around and looked, and he had a bottle, and he was taking it out and taking a drink and then putting it back in his inside pocket. And he was calling that third baseman all kinds of names. He said, "You bum. You couldn't catch a ball. If they handed it to you, you'd drop it." And he just kept on calling him names and stuff. And yelling down there,"You're a no-good bum. You blah, blah, blah, blah."
And finally I seen the third baseman say something to the pitcher. And the pitcher just took his glove and he set it down on the mound, and put the ball in it and sat down. And so all of the guys -- the first baseman put his glove down. The others put their gloves down, and they sat down there. And this third baseman climbed right over me, climbed right up through the crowd right over me, and went over to get this guy.
And this guy was leaning back as far as he could go, like this, with a big scared ashen look on his face. And he grabbed him like this, and said something to him. And the guy grinned and sort of smirked and goes (nervous laugh). And so he reached in and pulled out the bottle, and the third baseman took a big shot out of the bottle, put the cork back in, and handed it back to him. And the guy settled down. And the whole rest of the game he was saying, "Hey, you're the greatest guy. You're the best -- oh, you're my buddy," you know.
NSO: Well, that's a lesson in public relations.
PRO:  He had won him over, and they went ahead and played. And of course they, on purpose they lost the game. The pitcher was Dizzy Dean. And Dizzy Dean got -- when the catcher came up -- the Oakland Oaks catcher was quite a batter. When he come up, he said something to him. I couldn't hear what he said, but I think he said something like, "Get ready for this one, it's coming right down your pike." And so they had a couple guys on, you know, and they were behind. And he wound up and sent that ball right in -- it was several times he sent the ball in and threw it, and it just went up there and put the brakes on, and the guy swung, and he was laying down on the ground looking up at the ball going over, he swung so fast and too soon. And after he made a fool out of the guy, then he said something to him, and the guy said, "Okay," and shook his head. And he sent one right in there, and he knocked it clean out of the park.
NSO: And this was an exhibition game?
PRO:  Exhibition game.
NSO: So it wasn't --
PRO:  And they come in, all of them, and they won the game, see. And the crowd just roared, you know, because now the Oaks had won the champions, the world champions.
But that third baseman, I just wish I could think of the name. It was like -- like the word Oaky, only that wasn't it. It was like Rusty -- only I can't think of his name right now.
NSO: We'll look it up or something.
PRO:  He became the manager for the team down in San Diego --
PRO:  Padres. Yeah.
NSO: Oh, yeah?
PRO:  He was manager for them at one time years later. But he was a heck of a guy. You know, the whole bunch of them were funny people. But he's the one I saw in the hotel there, and then I seen him do this with this guy on third base.
NSO: Going back to the hotel, and even back to Walgreen's, you've told me before about some other famous people you ran into.
PRO:  Gloria Swanson, she -- after a couple of times I brought her stuff, she started asking me questions. And I said I'd left home when I was young. She asked me all about that. Wanted to know in detail what had happened to me and what I did. And so -- and she listened to it. She was just so friendly.
And Raft, George Raft, you know, come in there flipping this silver dollar and catching it and putting it like that. And spats, stripe pants and a top hat -- derby hat. That guy was something. And as nice a guy as you'd want to be. He was a little on the cold side. That is to say he didn't get real friendly like Gloria Swanson did. But he was not offish either. He was right there wide open to you. You could talk to him and say anything.
NSO: Do you remember him saying anything in particular to you?
PRO:  No, his remarks were things like, "Hey, kid, get me something," you know, and I'd run and get it and bring it to him.
NSO: Yeah, just telling you what he wanted, yeah.
PRO:  Yeah. But there were a lot of people came there. I saw -- I saw all those original bunch of Jewish guys that ended up on -- television stars. All those stars were just bums on the 42nd Street Theater there, the Times Square Theater.
NSO: Like vaudeville?
PRO:  Yeah, they were vaudeville. And what's his name -- Milton Berle -- he never went on stage that his mother wasn't standing right there watching for him. And when they'd start throwing -- he'd start to try to tell a joke, and he couldn't tell a joke worth a damn. And they'd start throwing tomatoes, lettuce, and everything at him on the stage. And she'd come out there and she'd say, "You leave my son alone. Don't you dare do that. You throw -- that -- he's a -- " and tell them how great he was and everything.
And Henny Youngman. Milton Berle --
NSO: Jack Benny?
PRO:  George -- George -- Jack Benny, and George, you know, lived to be so old now.
PRO:  Burns. George Burns. Every one of those, they all went on that Borscht Circuit. The Borscht Circuit was up through Albany, New York and up through upstate New York in these roadhouses like now Las Vegas and Reno and all those. But these were just places where people went for the weekend, and they had shows there and these guys were all entertainers from that Borscht Circuit, they called it. The beet circuit, Borscht soup. And they were -- like Henny Youngman, "Take my wife," and -- "Please."
PRO:  And all them guys with all that old stuff. I saw them doing acts there that were at one time that the act that they have was always stock. I heard, I don't know, a hundred times. But the guys would come out there, and there would be a cop come along and try to run them in and stuff, you know, and they'd be talking, talking, and they'd say, oh, bragging about -- and wear old clothes, big baggy clothes and floppy shoes, you know, almost like a clown, but they didn't have a clown outfit on. And so this guy come out there, and all these comedians, four or five of them, Henny Youngman, Berle and -- oh, and what's his name, "Mammy, Mammy."
DRO: Al Jolson.
PRO:  Al Jolson. They were just old time stuff then. They weren't -- Al Jolson wasn't top notch. But he was doing a good job. But anyway, they come out one after the other, you know. And this cop would come out and give them a little sass, and then he'd walk off and they'd -- and this little guy was standing there saying -- oh, and a girl would walk out, and they'd try to make off with the girl. And she'd go off stage, and this little Jewish guy that was handling all this, he says, "Oh, she's something. You know, she goes for the guy with the biggest bell, you know." And they got that bell in there. So when they got all through, they all went behind the door, and the door closed, and one guy would stick his head out and start ringing the bell as the girl goes by, and she started towards there. And another guy rings the bell. And then this little bitty Jewish guy comes out with a great big bell, kabong, kabong. And she goes back in with him.
Just routines like that that were kind of stupid, but they were funny. But they had no idea. The radio wasn't doing anything yet then, let alone television.
NSO: And that's what changed all their lives.
PRO:  Yeah, the radio took a -- they got on radio. Jack Benny got on radio, and he wasn't any good, either. He wasn't worth a damn. But he just kept on -- they had the moxie, they called it, schmaltz. Keep on. Regardless of how bad the audience were treating them, they'd just go ahead and keep going on and on and on.
DRO: Eddie Cantor.
NSO: Eddie Cantor. I couldn't get over it, being a kid just from the farm, you know. And then I'd see these guys, ballet dancers. And men ballet dancers. And I never seen men dancing, let alone dancing like that with tights on and everything. And I thought, "They're getting paid for that."
NSO: How funny. Well did you see all of these things from back stage as you were serving up from Walgreen's?
PRO:  Yes, although I could go outside and watch the shows, too.
NSO: Like when you were off duty, or --
PRO:  Oh, yeah. I'd make my deliveries and stuff, and hell, I had the dough maybe in my pocket. In fact, I made so much dough off of tips, that the banker, he was -- you know how bankers are, they're very polite, and they beat around the bush for half an hour before they'll tell you anything. He finally told me, he said, "Paul," he said, "we want your money. We like your account." I had maybe seven or eight hundred dollars by then in the account. But he said, "You know, three or four times a day you come in here and deposit money." He said, "Just keep it, and deposit once." I said, "Well, I don't want to get held up and lose it." "Well, even twice a day if you come in here." So I wish I had that old bank book. It would show you that I went in there like twelve times in one day just --
PRO:  When I'd get a couple of bucks I'd put it in the bank. And then a couple of bucks more, I'd put it in the bank.
PRO:  So I got so I wouldn't go in but just once a day at the end of the day, and then take the money. But when I came out to California, we'd spent all the money we needed to get going and to come out here. And I had over a thousand bucks when I started, and when I ended up here I think it was thirty-seven cents I had when I got here.
NSO: Oh, gosh. Well, when you started out here, who all came?
PRO:  Fern, George Peters, her husband, with a trailer behind the 1932 Studebaker, the one that we've pictures of Dot on. That was my first car. Well, I had so much in it, they just gave me the car to pay me off for what they took money from.
NSO: So a lot of your money went towards that car.
NSO: And did they have money as well, or -- I mean, you were the littlest kid.
PRO:  They had maybe a hundred dollars or so.
NSO: So you're the guy with all the money.
PRO:  Yeah, yeah. I was the money man.
NSO: What decided everyone to come to California?
PRO:  Well, see, George Peters lived in San Leandro. And he went on board this S S Santa Lucia, and Fern had got on in New York and was a waitress on the boat. And he was a drummer in the band, Manson Weeks Orchestra. So when they come around New York, they got off there and left the boat and roomed with me for awhile, and then Fern and --
NSO: That was in New York.
PRO:  Yeah. And that's when he left --
NSO: But Fern went to New York just to work --
PRO:  She was there before that, yeah.
NSO: Right. Okay. She went to New York just because it was New York.
PRO:  Yes. And so then when we decided to come out here, we got that '32 Studebaker and that trailer, and filled it up, and went through Canada, and come out Detroit. Went up to Buffalo, New York, and went over into Canada, and come along Canada and come out at Detroit, and come back down to Illinois and visited the folks, and then come on to California.
NSO: When you came through Detroit, was that to do with the car, or you just came through that way?
PRO:  Just -- nothing to do with the car at all. It was just -- that was where we come back out of Canada.
NSO: So then -- tell your story about coming through Salt Lake.
PRO:  Well, when we were coming through Salt Lake -- we were having trouble with the tires on the -- we had, I don't know, about twelve or 1400 pounds on this trailer, and it was heavy on the tires. And they were the old thirty-by-three-and-a-half clincher rim tires, and they blew out, and we had patches on them, big patches.
And so in Salt Lake -- well, we were coming down alongside that temple, and I was laying in the back seat looking up out of the back window and I saw the temple spires, and I said, "Hey, hey, stop." And George thought something had gone wrong with the trailer and it had started whomping or something. And so he pulled into the curb. Those days you didn't park in this way, you just parked alongside the -- there was plenty of room to park. And he parked and he said, "What's the matter with the trailer?" I said, "Nothing." He said, "Well, what are you hollering for?" I said, "I want to see that building. I want to go see what it is." Oh, geez. He got so mad. And he just jumped back into the car. He said, "Get in the car." And he drove off.
Well, he had bought -- there was a tire stop there, and he saw a nice tire. A real good looking, almost like a brand new tire, big heavy tread and everything. And he bought it, put it on the trailer, and put it on. And when we drove out on the Salt Flats, that thing went pop. And it popped thirteen times out there, it went flat. As fast as we'd jack it up and fix the patch and put it back on there and lower the load down, it would blow the tire out. And we couldn't get any further. We were out there at that corner where, out on the Salt Flats out there. Finally he put one of the old tires back on there and we took off for California and came on out here. But that tire wasn't worth a damn. It had rotted -- it was real rubber, not this synthetic stuff. And it would just blow holes in it. The sun in the window of the store had just ruined it.
NSO: So you didn't get a look -- you didn't know that it was the temple.
PRO:  No, I didn't know what it was until years later --
NSO: You just remembered seeing it.
PRO:   -- I saw a picture from her folks, and I realized what it was. Yeah.
We kept that tire in case we try to put it on because it was such a good looking tire. But it was no damn good at all. And we got on out here and drove around out here for quite awhile with that tire on with the boot on it, and finally bought a better tire and put on there.
[Break in tape.]
NSO: You said to your dad one time. . .
DRO: I said to my dad one time, "I need such and such." I was probably six, seven, eight years old. And he said, "Now, Dorothy, you don't need. You might want it, or you might like to have it, but that's where it stands. You don't need it." Now you just repeated almost the same thing.
DAVID HOY: I need a video camera!
DPO: Yeah. True. Just like sometimes I want prime rib. My only needs would be a hamburger.
DAVID HOY: I need a video camera! I need it.
I want it. I need a video camera.
DPO: But sometimes -- sometimes you could say, I need, and/or want --
PRO:  I'm an old insurance man. I always understood, and I don't think most people do understand, that the laws of certainty, the possibility and the probability.
DPO: Yep, three different things.
PRO:  Difference between. Now there's probably going to be an earthquake in the next few years. Say in the next five years there's probably going to be an earthquake. But there's a possibility it could happen in the next five minutes. And certainty is that we're all going to die. That's for certain.
That's like accidents in your car. You -- there's a possibility every time you get in your car and drive off that there's going to be an accident. And if you're going to San Francisco out through over there, that's quite a probability. But you're not certainly going to have an accident. You don't know when you'll have one.
DPO: You know, we're all certainly going to die, but the possibility is that when is something we can affect.
PRO:  Yeah, we can make it so --
DPO: We can drive carefully, you know, or whatever.
PRO:  Yeah, these people who say that, "It was his time to die, so that's why he died. That's the only time you die, when it's in the Book of Life and you're going to die then." No. No. If that was true, you could go down here and take a stop sign out where they've got a red stop sign there, and flashing. Take it out. Next few weeks there would be three or four deaths there from accidents. And they wouldn't have been if you'd left the light in there to control the traffic and let them stop and go and this and that and the other.
DPO: Or put a light where there should have been --
PRO:  How about Grandpa Jack. He had four or five stop signs put in in Oakland.
DPO: He was [unintelligible] for public safety.
DRO: You know what it said in George's obituary. It said he loved to fly planes and he was a very good pilot, much better pilot than a driver.
DPO: Than he was a driver, I guess it meant.
NSO: Yeah, but like father, like son. Even though he wasn't really raised by him.
DPO: Well, Grandpa Jack only knew two speeds.
NSO: Stop and go.
DPO: Stop and Go. I mean it was just --
PRO:  He pulled up and he wouldn't go up to San Pablo Avenue, he wouldn't go right up to the corner. He'd sit back like this and study the traffic coming. When he seen there was enough room, he'd take out through there and you'd see guys going "Ahhhhhh!" And Jack would pull right out. And if you ever hit Jack you would have to hit him in the back end. You could never get him in the front end. And every time he had an accident they'd hit him in the back end, and they had to pay for it.
DPO: Hey, boys. We're talking about my grandpa. Mooma's stepfather, okay. Her dad, basically, but it was her dad after her dad died. And he was the kind of man who could never really -- he couldn't say no to your mom and I. When we wanted something we could pester and pester. One time I wanted a flashlight. I didn't need it --
DPO: Here we go again. I just saw it in a store. You know how you see something and you want it? And he finally bought it. Well, he had an old car, because this was a long time ago. And he had an ashtray up on the dash and he kept lots of quarters in the ashtray. Now when I was seven years old or six years old, a couple of quarters was a lot of money.
NSO: It would get you across the bridge for a quarter, wouldn't it?
DPO: That's why he kept quarters there --
DPO: -- for the bridge toll. But a couple of quarters, see, to me was -- a couple of quarters was a hamburger, fries, and a Coke. Really. About 49 cents. So I was always sneaking a quarter out of his ashtray. And he knew it, but he would never -- he was too timid a man to say something to me, like "Don't do that," or whatever. He just didn't do it. So one time we were driving. Your mom and I were in the car. Your mom was in the back seat with who we called Little Grandma and Big Grandma. And I was in the front seat with Grandpa Jack driving. And I was sneaking up to grab a quarter, and I stuck my hand in that ashtray and I came out with about four fish hooks in my finger. He put a bunch of fish hooks in there to keep me from stealing his quarters.
NSO: I didn't think he would do that.
DPO: And he just looked at me like, "Uh-huh. Gotcha."
NSO: How funny. A man of little words.
PRO:  You know what else he did one time? He went in and got a shotgun shell, and he pried the end open, took out the little round cover there and set it down. Poured out all the shot, poured out everything out of there and threw it away. Then he took and he got some toilet paper, and he just tore it up in little pieces, and he just kept stuffing it in there and stuffing it in there, and tore up some more and stuffing it in there and stuffing it in there. Then he'd take a thing, and he'd push it down and push it down. Then he got a whole bunch of toilet paper down into that shotgun shell like that. And then he put the cap back on there and closed the end in real good. And he loaded the shotgun up because these little black kids were climbing over the fence stealing cherries. As fast as they'd ripen they'd eat them all, and they never got any cherries. So he says, "Ah-hah there they are." They were coming over his fence.
NSO: They were stealing his canaries, too.
PRO:  Yeah, they were stealing his canaries.
DPO: He raised canaries.
PRO:  But anyway, it was the cherries right then. So he says, "Ah-hah," and he run out there with that shotgun. And he says, "Ah, I've got you." And the kid started looking real scared. And he pulled the trigger on that shotgun. And all that toilet paper come out of there like confetti, just went all over them, and they just about crapped their pants, you know. They climbed over the fence, and they went home just as fast as they could go.
DPO: And he said -- or grandma said -- or Big Grandma said, "And you'll give them the TP they're going to need to clean up with."
PAH: You know what you should do? You should like pour water and flour on them.
PRO:  You know, Grandpa Jack had the funniest temper of anybody I know of. We'd be up there, and we'd get into an argument. About anything; it could be politics, anything. We never did argue about religion because we belonged to the same church. But anyway, he'd get so mad he'd start shouting. And I said, "You don't know what you're talking about," or something like that. And he'd get so mad, he'd storm out the front door and slam the door behind him. And you'd hear him stomping down those steps. Then he'd open the garage door and go in there underneath there alongside of his 1947 Chevy, and go -- come back up the (basement) steps and open the door up at the top of the steps and come in smiling. That's the way his temper was.
NSO: It was all over.
PRO:  Oh, yeah, absolutely over.
DPO: Well, it's like I was telling Josh yesterday, when I was telling Josh about Little Grandma calling the car "the machine," you know. And I was explaining to him about -- he said, "Well, why would she ask if you were taking the machine or the car?" And I said because they didn't take the car everywhere. Because when Grandpa Jack would park the car wherever we'd get to. . .
[End of tape.]
DPO: . . .plus Grandma never drove, so she wasn't -- she was used to walking wherever she needed to go. She would have been in trouble living out here in the suburbs where you can't --
DRO: I was in trouble until I drove the car.
DPO: Yeah. We'll get you a Go-Ped.
PRO:  Do you remember what I said to make you go -- go to learn to drive a car? I said to her -- tried to take her out and show her how to drive the car, but she just, you know, she'd get all excited and do something, and then I'd get all --
DRO: No, I got pregnant with Bonnie and they wouldn't let you drive when you were pregnant, then.
PRO:  Anyway, I said to her one day, I said, "You'll never learn to drive a car." I said, "You'll have kids and they'll be growing up and they'll be driving a car before you'll ever drive a car. You'll never learn how to drive a car." It made her so mad. I went to work, and when I came home there she sat out there in the car in the front and it said on there "Safeway Driving School," or something on there, you know. And she's sitting there talking to him. And the lady's showing her how to drive a car.
DPO: She was just proving to you that she needed somebody else to teach her, that's all.
PRO:  Oh, I said, "Why don't you get lessons and drive a car?" She said, "We never have the money." I said, "There's money right there in the checking account right now. If you want to do it, you just do it. But you won't do it." I said, "You'll never do it. Never in a million years." And I came home, and there she had written a check and had gotten driving lessons.
DPO: Now, were you using psychology, or did you truly believe she wouldn't?
PRO:  I didn't think she would.
NSO: She called your bluff.
PRO:  But I was using psychology in one way, because I figured that if I said you never will, that's just when she would do it.
DPO: You know what's interesting about that is when you say that, I didn't -- when you said that you made her mad and said she was going to do it, I thought, ah-ha, a stubborn streak. But you know what --
PRO:  She has no stubborn streak.
DPO: -- Big Grandma was a stubborn woman. Little Grandma, once in awhile I could see --
NSO: She was a stubborn woman.
DPO: -- some stubborn. But it's totally diminished. Mom doesn't have much stubborn streak.
DRO: I'm stubborn.
NSO: She has determination.
PRO:  Yeah. Oh, yeah.
DRO: Well, maybe that's it.
DPO: You don't have a temper. Although you did bounce a can of peas off somebody's head one time.
NSO: It was a knee, not a head.
DPO: Was it?
PRO:  One time she took a --
DPO: I was out of the house. I was like here. I saw that and I was like, I'm out of here. If Mom was mad enough to do that, all hell's breaking loose.
NSO: No one was more surprised than Mom. She goes, "I can't believe I did that!"
DRO: Who did I throw it at?
NSO: Ron was sitting there, and he was teasing you.
NSO: And so you tossed -- you went like that, like you would just go, "Oh, get away," you know. But you had this can of peas, or whatever, and it hit him in the knee. And it really hurt him. You were so surprised.
DPO: But that was right at a time when you guys were having some problems, because --
NSO: Well, it was the living here in the summer, and all the stress and whatnot. It wasn't the real problems. Those came later. But -- there was. There was stress going on from living here and being on top of each other.
PRO:  Right where David's sitting there, right there, one time she took a coat hanger and --
DPO: Oh-oh. All the skeletons are coming out now.
PRO:   -- and she started to hit him. And she raised her hand up to hit him, and I grabbed that coat hanger and jerked it out of her hand, and I was worry later because it was rough and it put some splinters in her hand and scratched her hand. And I took it and told her, "Don't you dare hit him with that coat hanger," and said, "I'll hit you," or something like that. And then I --
DRO: You never saw me hit him. I always used it as a persuader.
PRO:  Yeah, but you looked like you were going to do it.
DPO: You never saw her really hit me.
PRO:  No, but she was really thinking about doing it, and I took that away from her -- and I never -- the closest I got to hitting --
DPO: I think the maddest I ever made Mom that I can remember is when I went and ran out in the front yard naked. She went across the street to Pebleys, and I was in the bath or something and I was looking for you. And I just came running out and ran across the street. And you were just embarrassed, is all.
NSO: Well, I remember when you were five years old wading in the reservoir in your underwear with Mabry Lanning.
NSO: And she was mad then. But she always used to say if someone was missing the first thing she thought of was the reservoir because two kids drowned in there.
DPO: They tipped the bathtub over on themselves or something.
NSO: So that was the first place she looked. And then to find you there, just scared her to death, you know.
DPO: Mabry Lanning and I were always in our underwear.
NSO: The joke at our house, I told the boys about you would always say, "You want me to get the wooden spoon?" And so now, if I start getting mad at them, they'll run in and get a wooden spoon, and go, "You want me to get the wooden spoon?"
DPO: Next time hide one next to your chair or something and say, "No, I already got one."
NSO: Well, the thing is, if I do that, I'll get the wooden spoon, and I'll say, "You want me to -- " because I can't get them to listen to me, I'll say, "You want me to get the wooden spoon?" And they just fall on the floor laughing.
PRO:  It's funny how -- but I hate violence so much. I've seen it with kids being whipped and everything, and had it myself, that I get violent to prevent violence.
DPO: I'm similar. In all the years of raising five boys, whenever they would -- the few times they'd get mad at each other and like, you know, haul off and swing at one another, it just drains me. I just can't stand. I don't know how many times I've grabbed one and said, "Brothers don't hit brothers -- I mean, just don't do it. I've never hit you. I don't" -- you know. I can't stand it. I just can't stand it.
PRO:  Well, I -- if I was here, and like say Lisa and Carlos was here and they started to spank Jenny or Juliana, I'd stop them and I'd say, "Go ahead, take them home. I -- you have the right to raise your own children. I understand that. But don't do it in my house or in my presence because I won't stand for it. Just go somewhere else."
NSO: And to be fair to them, they don't spank them.
PRO:  Oh, no.
NSO: But I can remember when we would spank a little bit, because we lived here for awhile. And I remember you would say, you don't do it here, you go somewhere else. Yeah.
PRO:  Because you have the right to raise your own children your own way. I don't have the right to interfere at all. But I do not have to sit and watch it.
DPO: Well, it upsets you.
PRO:  That's it. I'm liable -- for instance, one time when your husband --
NSO: Pick on Ron.
PRO:  Ron was here, he threw a hamburger up against the wall, and went out the door. And I went out there and I said, "Ron, you don't never act like that in my house." And you know, he turned me off so quickly I never was turned off so quick in my life. He said, "I know it. I had no business doing that at all." What could I say after that? I said, "Well, okay."
NSO: Yeah. He just blew. Too much pressure.
PRO:  I was sorry that I said anything then. I just backed down and went on my way and let it go at that. Because he didn't -- he blew on pressure, and then I blew when I thought about it, what he'd done here. He went out to the car or something, and I went out --
DPO: Isn't it funny how life is? I don't think I've ever -- and I've never researched this with other people -- but I don't think I've ever lost my temper for whatever reason, without really regretting it eventually.
DPO: Do you ever lose your temper and then later think, I was justified?
PRO:  Well, you know --
DPO: If you can say that, then you're still upset about whatever that is.
PRO:  But you know something that I've understood about that. They say, "He got mad." That's a damn good expression, because the minute you lose your temper you're not in your right mind. You're mad. You're on the verge of crazy.
DPO: Mad and angry.
NSO: Yeah, literally.
PRO:  You're just close to crazy. And you do all kinds of things when you're crazy that you should never do. So, they won't even hold you on a murder charge on that.
DPO: Josh, these guys say they need a video camera.
PRO:  Yeah, all this come up just because --
NSO: It's all your fault, you know.
PRO:  Yeah, we had a half hour discussion. You summed it all up in one word.
DPO: What did he say?
NSO: Another man of little words.
DPO: If you have the video camera, then you can't be in the video.
DSH: I know. I'm the director.
DPO: Josh, you've got to back off on these kids.
NSO: Josh's fault. You need your college education first, and then they won't even have video cameras anymore.
PRO:  No, you'll have electro-gudibrops.
DPO: No, you know what they'll have is, they'll just have glasses you put on and right here is the video camera.
NSO: There you go.
DPO: Whatever you look at --
PAH: Yeah, one of those little computer chips.
NSO: If you can think it up, they'll have it.
PRO:  I've come to the conclusion now --
DPO: Questioning the limitations of my intelligence? If I can think it up, somebody else can make it?
NSO: Can you make it? Let's have it. We want it now.
PRO:  That's what I've said now about --
DPO: I'll take that big old video --
PRO:  I was saying about accidents. David said the other day that some guy cut him off on the bicycle -- on the motorcycle, and I said, you know, that's what they ought to put on a -- you could put it on a motorcycle, put it on a car. Put a force field around your car as you're going down the road that if anybody comes over that's going to cut you off and bump you, when they hit that force field it pins them away, just like you hit your fender only you don't get a dent.
PRO:  Because it bounces them off.
DPO: We could play bumper cars down the road.
NSO: It's called opposite pole magnets.
NSO: But you just have to make sure it's not the same -- the, you know, poles.
PRO:  Oh, yeah.
NSO: Crash, crash.
DPO: Oh, no.
NSO: All these cars are clinging to you as you go down the road. I can only drive next to opposite poles. Same poles, I should say.
PRO:  Here's some guy from London, and he's got the opposite pole from you, and he starts down and you're on the same side of the road. You're on here and he's over there thinking that's where he should be, and bam, right into something.
NSO: They all have to have the same force, because that's what would repel them.
DPO: People that cut motorcycle riders off don't realize that I can pull up alongside of that guy in the truck and when he rolls his window down, you know -- this fist may be larger than it appears.
I was amazed, it's been so many years since I rode, the things that people do, and pull over in front of you with two feet in front of you. You know, you're riding a motorcycle and you're doing 70 miles an hour, and all of a sudden somebody's -- their bumper, I could kick it almost. And I have to assume they just didn't see you. Or they don't -- I don't know.
All right. I have an appointment with Josh. I've got to go upstairs.
PRO:  You guys have an appointment with the -- the trimmers tomorrow to cut the limbs off the trees. They're going to cut those lower limbs --
DPO: I've got Boompa's credit card. What kind of video camera do you want?
PAH: I want a black one.
[END OF TAPE.]
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