Friday, June 14, 2013

Transcript of 1998 Interview - Part 4

JWW: Janet’s name?

CJW: I don’t know.

JWW: Elizabeth, of course, is …

CJW: My mother.

JWW: … is your mother, but it is also my mother’s sister’s middle name.

CJW: Betty’s?

JWW: Mmm-hmm. Marjorie Elizabeth.

CJW: I didn’t know that.

JWW: Yeah, that’s where Betty comes from.

CJW: I knew … oh … I had forgotten her first name was Marjorie!

JWW: When Janet was born, my older sister and I presumed that you were trying to keep a string of Js going. [laughs]. And that’s why you gave her a name beginning with J.

CJW: I doubt that that was conscious. I have no idea why we did that. Was there anybody in New York that would have done that … no.

JWW: Well, that’s a good name. And then you have Bill, William Warren. Now, was Warren after Earl Warren?

CJW: No. Warren Hewitt. In Gloucester.

JWW: I remember that name now. Yes, you told me the story of his … perfidious behavior, I would call [it].

CJW: Well, as I wrote Marj, it can be explained, and I didn’t hold it against him.

JWW: That was very nice, yeah.

CJW: Did she show you my explanation?

JWW: Yeah.

CJW: OK, then you know what it is. I would never hold it against a sixty year-old man with two children not yet into their teens, who had a home on Wingaersheek Beach – not a nice home, but a great location -

JWW: Oceanfront property.

CJW … and of an age where he probably wouldn’t ever gotten another job, the kind of work he did. His job was taking grocery orders over the telephone, for S.S. Pearse in Boston. Moneyed people in Cape Ann would buy their fancy goods from S.S. Pearse, and the truck would come up a couple times a week from Boston. There was probably only one job like that in Massachusetts. So I would never hold it against him, no – not and I didn’t at the time. I felt … he had an older daughter, that I remember was an officer in Rainbow Girls, if you remember Rainbow Girls.

JWW: Oh sure, yeah.

CJW: … girls thing of the Eastern Star, which was connected with the Masonic Order. And I was a Mason at the time.

JWW: I remember you were a Mason once.

CJW: But I demitted when not one single Mason stood up for me. And the one who stood up for me were people like Vincent Ferrini, and other people who didn’t have any “standing” in Gloucester.

JWW: Did Vincent Ferrini do the sculpture that’s on top of the bookcase that we’re going to look at in a little bit?

CJW: [shakes his head no].

JWW: That was not Vincent?

CJW: That was not Vincent.

JWW: Well, you once had an oil painting in your house that Vincent did.

CJW: I don’t know who has it. Janet?

JWW: Janet may have it, yeah. It’s not in Phoenix, I know that, so .... Not looking for it, so ….

CJW: I don’t think it’s in San Fran, so I think it’s in Janet’s house.

JWW: Janet or maybe Bill.

CJW: Maybe Bill. I don’t know.

JWW: Back to your mom if we could for a minute. I remember a story about … I will call it the miraculous healing of the cut arm. But maybe for the camera you would explain what happened to you and what your mother had done with the cobwebs and so forth.

CJW: I forget what I was cutting with a sharp carving knife, and I got a bad cut, right here, across this finger [holds up right index finger], and bleeding like a stuck pig, and I was in the kitchen. So she just went downstairs into the cellar, where there were a great many spider webs, got a handful of them, put them on [my finger], wrapped a rag around it, tied it, … the bleeding stopped, and the cut was healed in three days. I am sure today we would put a half a dozen stitches in it.

JWW: And you didn’t have a scar.

CJW: I had for years, very slight … still, still you can see just a little bit.

JWW: To me it suggests that there is a certain kind of wisdom and experience in the world that has remained outside the purview of medical schools and traditional western medicine. I wonder if there were other things of that nature she may have done.

CJW: Yeah. There was …. Incidentally, I think what the spider webs did, and maybe they’ve found out in the labs since then, I think they must have had a clotting quality, and if they could isolate that in the lab, and make it into a salve, it would be a neat way of …. But she also … some of it I don’t know if it helped or not. For example, a sore throat. When I was a boy we wore what we called knickers, which came down to the knee, and then black stockings. So with a sore throat, she would take one of my used stockings, that is, unwashed, soak it in kerosene, and tie it around my neck. And my sore throat got better, either because it had certain qualities, or because I couldn’t stand that stocking around my neck, and [laughing] decided to get well, and get rid of it! But … there you are.

JWW: I suppose it’s possible the cold germs couldn’t survive in an atmosphere in which there were some petrochemical fumes.

CJW: Certainly I would have been inhaling those kerosene fumes. Let’s see, what else. There were times in seasons of cold, I had one of these bags called asopoteto [?] around my neck. As I recall, they had a stench. It might have kept colds away, but it kept my friends away! [laughs]

JWW: You had mentioned once that your mother had been at some point when you were a child admonishing you about something you were doing, and had reminded you that a certain person, who was at that time already deceased, wouldn’t like it if you would continue doing it. Do you remember that?

CJW: Yes, I do, because I remember the incident.

JWW: What was the story of that?

CJW: Well, my sister and I were being very disobedient. Refused to obey her. And she went upstairs, second floor. A few minutes later, she appeared at the top of the stairs, with a bright red robe around her, and she said, “Mr. Hopson doesn’t like this.”

JWW: It was in the present tense.

CJW: Yeah. And Mr. Hopson, of course, was the previous owner of that house at 32 Oliver Street. And I’m not sure what else she said, but something to the effect, “He doesn’t leave this house. He had it once.” Now, I don’t know whether it improved our behavior or not, that part just escapes me.

JWW: So, this is not where Hobson’s Choice comes from, though, does it?

CJW: No, this is HOP-son.

JWW: Oh, Hopson, OK.

CJW: Mr. Hopson. And he left a lot of stuff that disappeared over the years; he was a geological collector. And there were chests and chests of various stones, all marked with the kind. Well, I don’t know whether they just disappeared; maybe I threw them out the door, maybe somebody else did, but it was really quite a geological collection. And he left a very well-carved wooden three-masted vessel that I think I broke up, I tried to take it down to a pawn and sale. So Mr. Hopson was a factor in that way. Whether or not there ever was a Mrs. Hopson, or little Hopsons, I never could find evidence.

JWW: I was trying to remember, you were talking about … Marj was born in Springfield; I’m not sure what you were doing in Springfield in 1938, but you were in Springfield. So this was outside the context of Quonset, which came later.

CJW: That came a year later, yeah.

JWW: … and I guess past the point when you were working in the accounting firm.

CJW: Oh yeah, I was working for National Cash Register Company.

JWW: Oh, NCR. I see. So you were in Springfield working there. So after 1938, you were in Whitman.

CJW: Oh, that was after Quonset.

JWW: That was after Quonset. You were in Whitman. I was already born at that point in time. And you were then working at …

CJW: Hingham shipyard.

JWW: Hingham shipyard. OK. How did you get to Whitman?

CJW: Oh, that was because your mother’s aunt – can’t remember her name.

JWW: Bessie?

CJW: Bessie, who had died, left a Whitman house to, I think, Mildred’s mother,

JWW: I see – Gertrude.

CJW … or else she was the only surviving member, one or the other. And so we were apparently the available ones to go and sort things out.

JWW: I see. So that had been Bessie’s house.

CJW: Yeah. And it was quite a job, because I remember, up in the attic, there were piles of the Boston Post dating from 1920. How that house ever survived without going into spontaneous combustion, I’ll never know! And I think there were a lot of things to sort out, which your mother did … I’ve forgotten all the varieties of that.

JWW: I remember it as being a grey house, that had some French doors, some glass-paned French doors somewhere on the inside front, either going into the living room, or up in the second floor.

CJW: We were on the second floor, because it was a two-family house.


CJW: There was a family living and paying rent on the first floor.

JWW: I see. So we had glass doors, probably to separate the two living areas.

CJW: I think so, it [inaudible] in my mind.

JWW: And the driveway was not paved, it had sharp gravel in it, is what I remember, because I played in it a lot.

CJW: Sure. Sure. One of my memories of Whitman – funny one. Here I am, I’m in a diner down [in] the center of Whitman, just at the time that Spellman, the Archbishop of New York, was made a Cardinal. And of course, that was the buzz, the hometown boy, because he was the son of a Whitman grocer named Spellman. So they were talking about it, and someone [came] up, one fellow who was real … shake-the-hand-who-shook-the-hand-of-John-L.-Sullivan kind of guy, and out of the midst of this conversation, suddenly his voice pipes up, “Why, sure I know Frank!” And that was Whitman’s claim to fame, that Cardinal Spellman came from there. It wasn’t a bad place to live. It didn’t take long to get to some of the beaches like Green Harbor. And then of course, after the house was sold, we moved to that house that we bought, up on whatever street it was. The place where you hit your head on the iron range, going down.

JWW: Now, see, I don’t remember that.

CJW: It was quite a bad cut right here [runs finger across forehead].

JWW: Yeah, I’m foggy on whether we had moved before Peter and Martha or not.

CJW: Before. We were in that house when Peter and Martha died.

JWW: In the Whitman house?

CJW: The one … not the original Whitman house, but the second one, the one we bought. For believe it or not, $1,500.

JWW: OK. I remember being in the kitchen of that house when my mother got the call from the hospital that one of the two children had died. It must have been the second one, because I think the first one didn’t live long at all.

CJW: A few hours.

JWW: Yeah. The second one lived a month?

CJW: Thirty days.

JWW: Thirty days. And which was which?

CJW: Martha was the one that died first. Peter lived thirty days.

JWW: Peter lived thirty days, yeah. And I remember being in the kitchen. The kitchen was in the back of the house, and rather … my memory – of course, as a small child – was that it was a rather large kitchen.

CJW: It was. Like many New England houses. At that time, and again, it seems to me that my cousin, Henry, that I spoke to you about yesterday, he took care of the funeral arrangements …

JWW: For the twins?

CJW: … for the twins, and they were buried in a Paulding family lot in Duxbury. That’s my recollection.

JWW: You know, I think that same cemetery has Bud’s ashes in it.

CJW: Oh, does it?

JWW: Yeah, we went to an internment – is that the correct term?

CJW: Yeah.

JWW: … service at a little church down there, that I think is a family … there are some family graves, and that’s where Bud’s ashes were committed. So I do remember that from, you know, whatever that was, ten to twelve years ago.

CJW: Was your mother’s mother buried there too? Gertrude?

JWW: He died before she did.

CJW: No, Gertrude.

JWW: I know. Bud died before his mother did.

CJW: Yeah, but after that, was she interred there.

JWW: You know, I’m not sure.

CJW: OK, I just wondered.

JWW: I’m not sure. Because she had an open casket, and she … her service was held right in the funeral home, and then subsequent to the service, she was cremated, her body was cremated, but I do not know …

CJW: … what they did with the ashes.

JWW: … what they did with the ashes. I don’t know. That’s interesting. I had thought there was a plot for her, somewhere.

CJW: Maybe Duxbury.

JWW: It sounds right.

CJW: You can – and many people do – inter the little container with the ashes. That’s what Sara did with her mother. She has a family plot in Winter Haven.

JWW: And that’s what was done with Bud’s ashes, as well.

CJW: Well, I imagine Buddy Paulding must be well-retired by this time too.

JWW: I don’t who of us may have … I think my mother keeps up with the Pauldings some. I know she saw Dick recently, within the past year.

CJW: Well, for a long time he lived in that area.

JWW: Yes, he did. She lived in Reading. He lived in North Reading.

CJW: Oh, OK.

JWW: And I think now he lives outside the outer belt of Boston, which is 495, and so he’s probably forty or fifty miles out there. I don’t know what he’s doing.

CJW: Wouldn’t take you long.

JWW: I have not seen Bud or Dick since Sylvia died. Which wasn’t that many years after Bud died. And they both seemed fine at the time. Well, Buddy was born in 1929. And so, gosh, he would be … he’s getting close to 70.

CJW: Amazing.

JWW: Isn’t that hard to believe?

CJW: Yes it is. Although, when I think back, both Bud and Bunny were so young when they had Buddy.

JWW: Yeah, I think Bud would have been about, somewhere in the region of, I would guess, about eighteen.

CJW: And she was a year or two younger. If I’m not mistaken, she was sixteen. Or sixteen at the time she became pregnant, let me put it that way. But I could be wrong about that.

JWW: Yeah. Well, let’s see how we are doing on our list here. I don’t want to make you …. I don’t know that we really talked about Marj’s other questions here involving your stance on nonviolence as a conscious choice, and how that played into family life, and where that may be grounded. I have to say, in all honesty, I never thought about this question, because as a youngster, your presence on the pulpit and your persona in a debate, were, I think at times overwhelming, and ferocious. And so when she comes up with this question on nonviolence, I’m scratching my head thinking, “Are we talking about the same person?” But of course we are, because I’ve not been aware of you in a violent situation. So, while the question at first surprised me, I believe her question is probably true, and I’m curious about if you have any conscious orientation ….

CJW: I have no conscious memory of your mother and I talking that over, and saying “Well, this is what we’ll do, and this is what we’ll not do.” No conscious memory of that at all. If I had to make a guess, I would say that there was almost a tacit agreement that we’d each come to separately and didn’t need to discuss. Best thing I can do with that.

JWW: That sounds right to me. Well, let’s see … what else? I’m not sure … I think you’ve really done a nice job with all these questions that have come at you, and I think people who get a chance to see this later will appreciate it. I’m not sure what I would do with this question she sent, if it was put in front of me, which is, she says, you strike me as a person who has done more living than regretting. Do you have any regrets you would like to share?

[both laugh]

I’m not laughing at Marj, or the question so much, as, how anybody would … you’re not writing your autobiography here, exactly, or even imprecisely … how would you handle a question like that?

CJW: Well, I guess I’ll handle it this way, and I think honestly. One, I have made a great many mistakes, and have regretted them. But unconsciously or consciously, they cannot rule my life. If there are things that I can atone [for], for some of the mistakes I have made, I would try to do so … and maybe I have tried to do so. But in terms of … at this age of mine, saying, “Oh Lord, don’t I regret doing that, don’t I …” I don’t, because … who I was at the time, in the context of the time, [it] didn’t seem to be such a big mistake.

JWW: I would, maybe, suggest a further thought for discussion, which is that maybe one of the harder things for people to learn, and maybe they all learn to do this in different ways, is to forgive themselves for things they might otherwise regret. You may have encountered the need to provide that kind of counseling to parishioners, who found themselves in situations where they needed to find out how they were going to deal with acts that might have otherwise been regretful for them … the old saying that “guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.” But if you can find ways to forgive yourself, then in all likelihood, others will also.

CJW: Yeah. One of the sentences in some sermon or other that I delivered, I said that it is more important to forgive yourself than to forgive others. What you can do for others by forgiving them is a bit limited. But you may act in terms of that, and it may be another story. But I remember, I was at a meeting, it was in Connecticut, it was a meeting of Congregationalists, and I was the official representative of the Universalist Church of America to this conference. And one of their very good speakers addressed this question, and he simply said, “We’re all guilty. If you’re not guilty, you’re not on this planet.” And I remembered that. And I think it’s true. I think it’s true. I don’t think anyone considers himself or herself to be perfect in their understanding of their parents or their children. I don’t think it can be done. And so are we going to feel guilty about it? Yes, we will – everybody is guilty. So we might as well get on with our lives.

JWW: I would hope to operate with that view – continue to personally operate with that view, but the basis for that in my case would be to see … I like to think of the world as being composed of people with a great variety of psychological makeups, I won’t say infinite – but it’s many, it’s lots. And if you start from that position, then you don’t find it necessary to hold yourself accountable to understand or explain everything or anything somebody else may do, whether it’s a relative or not. It’s not a cop-out, I’m not thinking about it in terms cop-out, only as reality.

CJW: I would agree with that and I would add one other thing, and that is that one is an individual in a particular culture. And it makes a difference, I think, in psychological responses, if one has been brought up, as a member, say, of Gandhi’s household, as against a member of General Eisenhower’s family. The cultural complexes are different, and one of the problems that I find with evolutionary psychology, to get back to that, is that I’m not sure that it completely encompasses cultural differences, cultural inheritances, cultural responses. I’ll give you an example, it may be a bit disgusting for some people, but they can tune it out. When I was running the warehouse, I had two guys working for me; I remember their names – one was Farmer and one was Connolly. And Farmer claimed to have a good deal of American Indian blood in him. And he insisted that the way to cure a boil quickly and completely was to cover the boil with human feces, wrap that shit around with a rag, and in a couple of days, the boil would be gone. And I remember Connolly, who was a used car salesman that didn’t have a job because there weren’t any cars to sell, he exploded at him, called him a goddamn fool and everything like that, but all Farmer would say was, “Next time you have a boil, try it.” He said, “I will – like hell!” [laughs] So, here we have a fellow who says that’s Indian lore, Indian healing, and Connolly, whose parents came from Ireland, and was a sharp-shooting American used car salesman with all that implies, he just couldn’t understand that at all. So I think in a similar way, there are cultural differences that are very difficult to understand. And it isn’t a question alone of tolerating – I’m not sure I like the word tolerating anymore – it’s a question of accepting. So he’s a … English Labor Prime Minister. O.K. What’s he doing that can affect us positively or negatively? That’s what’s important to me. Many things more may be important to a citizen of the U.K. So I would accept that … we must accept that the racial problem in the U.S., while there’s been advances, isn’t just a question of toleration, it’s a question of acceptance. And I’m not sure we’ve reached that on many levels.

JWW: What kind of stereotypes and prejudice and things of that ilk were prevalent on Oliver Street in the 20s and in the 30s, in Malden or Everett, or wherever you lived?

CJW: I can only speak for the kids, because the parents were a very vague thing in the background. And we were a bunch of kids on Oliver Street. The Hussey Family – Jim and Jean, the Nordgrens (Edwin and Lloyd), I forget the names of the other family; the Kellys, who were a black family, the Gibbs were a black family. Almost all, with the exception of the blacks, were the children of immigrants. Jim Hussey and Jean Hussey’s parents came from Newfoundland. Mine from Sweden. The Nordgren boys from Norway. I forget the other country. There was only one family … there was a four-tenement building just down the street from me, on the other side of the street. The only family that became aloof, and this may not make me popular with some members of the family, [was] the Snook family. Jack Snook was about my age; I don’t think Ed had even been born.

JWW: Jack was the Methodist minister?

CJW: Yeah. But the Snooks would not allow their children to play with us. Maybe there was good judgment – I won’t deny that! But in terms of prejudice, our problem was, and we made a couple ventures across Broadway, over High Street, was what we called the Yankees – who didn’t like us any better than we liked them. But it wasn’t a permanent thing – occasional. By the time we got in high school, it was all gone. It was a wonderful immigrant culture in some ways, which is why, with all their faults, I cannot believe that we wouldn’t be better off without all public schools. It was a real … meshing proposition. And I remember two of the brightest kids in my high school both went on to law school – Harvard Law School – became lawyers – their father was Harry the Rag Man. Immigrant from somewhere in eastern Europe. Jewish, of course. And he had his wagon and horse, and he’d go around buying rags and bottles and cans and ….

JWW: Recycling.

CJW: Yep. And Harry the Rag Man saw his two boys through Harvard Law School. And that’s the kind of America that I grew up with. And so it certainly gave me an appreciation that – I don’t care what country your folks came from.

JWW: [Do] you think Oliver Street was sort of unusual?

CJW: I’m not that sure. It was unusual in the fact that many sections of the city were enclaves. If you remember, a part of the city was called The Village. That was all Italian. All Italian. On the other side of Broadway, for the most part, it was the traditional American population. On our side of Broadway, you had the mixed population. We had a number of Irish families, whom we knew, we would play with, who would come down from other places, to play with us. We had a wonderful park to play pickup baseball, in a place called Glendale Park, [within] walking distance. And there was pretty much equality on Oliver Street, in that all families were poor. I remember going with Jim Kelly and his BB rifle, burlap bag, to hold the sparrows he shot. When he shot enough of them, they would make a sparrow stew. Sounds unbelievable today, doesn’t it?

JWW: Well, when I was in France, I had barbecued woodthrush, which is a bird that is first cousin to the robin, I think – bigger than a sparrow, but it was quite good, so I imagine it was a good pie.

CJW: And Jim Kelly grew up to become the first black lieutenant on the Everett police force.

JWW: Oh really!

CJW: He may have become chief, for all I know.

JWW: You were gone by then.

CJW: And he was the kind of fellow today who I suppose would be playing basketball, because as a teenager, he was about 6 foot 2, and strong. And there were families … there was another family with a single daughter; she wasn’t allowed to play with us at all. But all in all, it wasn’t a bad place to grow up.

JWW: You once talked about having taken out a picket fence on a sled. And I don’t know if that was while you were living on Oliver Street or not, but it must have been a cold winter, because you didn’t always get frozen conditions in the Massachusetts Bay area, because of the ocean effect.

CJW: We did have some spells of weather. I’m trying to remember what that was. It wasn’t Halloween, was it?

JWW: Well, you’d gone down the hill on a sled, and couldn’t turn ….

CJW: Oh! Oh! Oh! No. Yeah. My head went through the picket fence. Wooden picket fence.

JWW: And you had a lump on your head … for a long time.

CJW: Yeah, still there.

JWW: It may still be there.

CJW: Yeah, I remember that well. I hit the lower part of the picket fence. I can remember the hill very well, but have forgotten the name of it. Yep. And that was where I first tried to ski, and gave that up, because my father made me a couple – a pair of skis out of barrel staves.

JWW: I bet they were good! [laughs]

CJW: It didn’t work for me. [laughs] It discouraged me from skiing.

JWW: [laughs] Well, his heart was in the right place, anyway.

CJW: Oh yeah, right. And another thing – speaking of him – he also said that he went seven miles to school every day, sometimes on skis.

JWW: Oh really?

CJW: In Sweden.

JWW: Maybe my love of skiing is somehow genetic!

CJW: It skips a generation! Although, he never skied when he came to this country, that I know of.

JWW: Well, that would have been cross-country skiing, as opposed to downhill ….

CJW: Right, right. Yeah. And … maybe that’s why there are so many good cross-country skiers in the Scandinavian countries – because they all had to go to school!

JWW: They can’t get to school if they can’t ski.

CJW: That’s right.

JWW: I took a cross-country ski lesson this winter, and the instructor said that a good cross-country skier could keep up – could keep up a pace of ten to twelve miles per hour for quite awhile if he was in good shape, and a good skier. So your dad might well have covered that seven miles in thirty or forty minutes.

CJW: I have no idea. I wish I had known enough to ask more questions.

JWW: Well, how would you?

CJW: But I have seen the cross-country skiers in Olympic games and so forth, and they are good. They are good. The way they use their poles and skis in perfect rhythm.

JWW: Well, my purpose is not to give away all the secrets of your misspent youth or anything, but I do also remember your talking about a game you used to play with your friends on a railroad trestle in one of the Back Bay areas of Boston. And I think what you used to do, is stand on the tracks, until the train approached, and got pretty near, and then at the last minute you would jump off the trestle into the water.

CJW: Yeah. It wasn’t in Back Bay, it was in Everett.

JWW: Oh, it was in Everett.

CJW: There was a stream there, I don’t think the stream is there anymore. And, yes, we would do that. But the way the tie was built, the track is here [motions off-camera], and then there’s about twelve inches of the tie, so if one stayed at the very edge of the tie …

JWW: You could actually let the train pass?

CJW: I think you could let the train pass. But, yeah, we used to jump in the water, until the oil companies got that so flavored with oil debris that even we didn’t want to jump in it anymore.

JWW: Well, at one point in time, that may have become sort of like the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, which one year caught fire from all the stuff floating in it. It may have caught fire while we were living there.

CJW: It did. Very similar. Very similar. [makes motion to stop recording]


JWW: Now live again. So you were … we’ve been at this for almost four hours, and I’m sure that if my siblings had a chance to be able to do what I’m doing, they’d have four more hours of questions for you that I haven’t thought of, but perhaps you’d have some things you want say to your descendants, or others who might be interested in your life or yourself … here’s your chance.

CJW: I’d like to conclude this with a word to my – particularly my grandchildren, great-grandchildren, some of whom may never know me. I want you to think of family time. My grandfather was born in 1842. My father was born in 1884. I was born in 1911. John, Marj, Janet, Bill, can give you the years they were born. But in any event, you can, with a little arithmetic, you can see that I’ve been talking about roots that go back more than 150 years. A great many things happened in that 150 years. Some people believe, and I guess I won’t argue, that there have been more changes, important changes in the world, since 1945 than any previous era in history – particularly when I talk about atomic weapons, the computer, the television, the advances in not only medicine, but chemical warfare …. So when tempted to end the whole human enterprise, think back on the roots, at least to 1842, beginning with John Wilson, whom I have talked about. I love you all.


JWW: Well, Carl Westman has been a trooper to give us all this time and insight and openness, and we thought what we would do is talk a little bit about Carl’s apartment and some of the things that he has kept, as he has downsized over the years, moving to places easier to manage, as we all do, I think in time – we’re working on that right now ourselves. Carl is on the eighth floor of Jefferson Center, which we’ll walk around and see. He has a very nice view of Sarasota, downtown Sarasota, and some of the water that’s between the city of Sarasota and body of … a sandbar, a sand spit known as Siesta Key.

CJW: Correct.

JWW: So we’ll shut this off for a moment, re-arm with a battery, and then go around and see what kind of things Carl has kept near him to sustain him.


JWW: Where would you like to start with your little walk around the apartment, Dad?

CJW: I’m starting with some prints from the French artist, Henri Matisse. They particularly appeal to me because of the way the lines are drawn, and the shapes, and leave so much to the imagination. So there’s that print there, there are two on that wall. And over on the right ….

JWW: Try to get the glare off this a little bit, I think I’ve got most of it off.

CJW: It’s supposed to be non-glare glass – that’s what I paid for.

JWW: Well, OK. So we’ve got those three Matisse.

CJW: And in the middle, is print of Joan Miró, and that appeals to me, because it allows me to use my imagination, and its color and weird forms, set all kinds of speculation, when I am in the mood. And over in this wall, is my Arizona wall, due to the luck of having John and Renée as my relatives. First one is a print of the San Francisco Mountains, near Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s a print that was apparently a key in the festival. And the other two are prints by an American Indian, who I believe who is a Navajo, but I might be wrong about that …

JWW: I think that’s right.

CJW: … whose work just appeals to me tremendously. Part of what Sara calls my women. An artist friend of mine who visited me, Harvey Broccoli, whom I knew from Rochester, was particularly taken, he said, by the way Gorman uses color and shape, particularly in this one here – if you notice the way he has that red color, the lines coming down [her] shoulder, where she spreads out because she’s sitting, and the appearance of that foot at the bottom. So those are both very appealing to me, and I think they are masterpieces. If I were a rich man, I’d have Gorman originals. And the sculptures, well, they were gifts. The first one is an Indian god, Hindu, I should say, given to me by Milt and Rose Frank. Milt is now dead; Rose has also moved to Sarasota and remains a good friend. In the middle is another one that they gave us, that they got in some southwestern gallery. I kept the …. Well, I’ve forgotten the artist’s name, I must have it somewhere. And the third, that gunmetal structure, was given to me in Akron, Ohio, by an artist named Betty, and I’ve forgotten her last name, she moved to California. But she calls it The Prophet, and she said I was the model for it, which was a very complimentary type of gift, it seems to me.

JWW: I remember that being in your house for a long time.

CJW: Yeah. And in the window are little images that various people have given me through the years.

JWW: I’m not sure how good these will come out with the blinding light behind them, but we will scan in on one of them and just go across, and see what we can pick up. Yep. OK.

CJW: And down here is a bookcase devoted and crowded with pictures of my family, including a picture of my father, the only picture I have of him.

JWW: I’m going to move in on that, see what I can get. I would say, of all the children, Bill looks the most like him.

CJW: It’s hard to say.

JWW: OK, we’ve got that.

CJW: And so, these are highly prized by me, and I’ve skipped the job of getting a bigger place to put them, or else sorting them out a bit.

JWW: What have we got in the hall, Dad?

CJW: Well, we’ve got Rouault, a French artist, and to me, this is one of the most appealing paintings that I know of, because somehow, perhaps it’s my imagination, but the clown’s eyes follow me as I wander around this large apartment. And some people interpret this work of Rouault as being the Clown Christ, and others have related it to the song, “Bring in the clowns; don’t bother, they’re here.” And, well, here I have pictures, which won’t come out, of Cambridge.

JWW: I’ll trade places with you. I might be able to get something there.

CJW: Cambridge, which Sara and I have visited a number of times, and we still get nostalgic for it, when one of our friends visits there and writes us about it, as happened recently.

JWW: Even though nostalgia is not what it used to be?

CJW: Even though nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

JWW: Alright, where do we want to go now?

CJW: That’s it.


JWW: … I wanted to shoot here.

CJW: It’s a Miró, and again it’s a matter of shape and color. If I translate the French correctly, it’s something about the Sun and stars. And he’s not a bit bashful about putting his name in large letters, is he?

JWW: No.