Lecture Series

Since 2017, the CAC has welcomed the winning authors of its annual Local History Publication Awards to present a lecture on their work at BGSU's Jerome Library. In addition, the CAC occasionally presents lectures by scholars and community experts on topics related to the CAC's primary collecting areas, including the histories of BGSU, northwest Ohio, the Great Lakes, National Student Affairs, and rare books, among other topics. In 2019, the CAC began recording these lectures so that they may be made available online for a wider audience, and we will continue to record future lectures whenever possible.

Information on forthcoming lectures can be found on our main Events & Programs page. Lectures are open to all, free of charge and do not require prior registration.

Past Lectures

Tedd Long - "Forgotten Visitors: Northwest Ohio's Notable Guests" (November 4, 2021)

Tedd Long presents on his book Forgotten Visitors: Northwest Ohio's Notable Guests (Toledo, Ohio: University of Toledo Press, 2020), one of the 2020 winners of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Independent Scholar category.  Long's presentation particularly focuses on one of his favorite stories from Forgotten Visitors, that of author and humorist Mark Twain's visit to Toledo during his 1869 lecture tour.

Tedd Long is a local history storyteller living in Toledo, Ohio, and is the creator of the website Holy Toledo History featuring his local history books, blog posts, and audio tours, as well as his nature photography.

PDF Transcript of "Forgotten Visitors: Northwest Ohio's Notable Guests"

Jennifer Long Morehart:

Good afternoon. I think we're going to go ahead and start today. Welcome to the William T. Jerome library. I'm Jennifer Long Morehart and I'm a university archivist. Thank you for coming to the final lecture of the Center for Archival Collections Local History Publication Award lecture series. The Local History Publication Award is an outreach initiative of the Center for Archival Collections. We encourage and recognize outstanding publications in the field of Northwest Ohio history.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

The Local History Publication Award lecture series celebrates the winning authors and publications. Today's publication Forgotten Visitors: Northwest Ohio's Notable Guests may be purchased from Yarko Kuk, managing editor at the University of Toledo Press book table right there behind you. This afternoon's presenter for our final lecture of the season is Tedd Long.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

Tedd Long is an author, photographer, lecturer and curator of holytoledohistory.com. As a local history storyteller, Long has a great appreciation for the rich history of the Maumee Valley and the Great Lakes Region. The common thread in all of Long's work is his hope that it will help heighten awareness for America's heritage and provide support and encouragement for the many people who work to preserve our natural and cultural treasures. Tedd Long has called Northwest Ohio home for more than 30 years.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

On behalf of the Center for Archival Collections, I would like to present you with this plaque honoring your achievement as the 2020 Local History Publication Award winner in the Independent Scholar Division.

Tedd Long:

Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

And now please join me and welcoming Tedd Long.

Tedd Long:

Alright, are you guys all able to hear me okay? Alright, good. I'm going to kind of meander a little bit with a story about Mark Twain. There's a lot of people covered in the book, but I think Twain's story is one of my favorites, so I chose that as the area focus for today's discussion.

Tedd Long:

The book itself, when you open it up and you look at the list of chapters that list the people from Forgotten Visitors, it's impressive, but it's not that impressive. What's impressive is when you see the faces and you start to put these faces together with the backstories of why they were in Northwest Ohio. That's what intrigued me the most about writing this book. Yarko Kuk is in the back, managing editor of the University of Toledo Press. He was looking at some of the blog entries I did on holytoledohistory.com, which is where I do a lot of my writing.

Tedd Long:

He said, "Have you ever thought about doing a book?" I thought, "Yeah, I'd love to do a book, but I don't have any idea what I would write it on." So, this is kind of the story of how it happened. I was reading a New York Times backstory piece on the Willard-Dempsey fight that happened in Toledo in 1919. This was the 4th of July. If you don't know the story, it was 110 degrees at the time they rang the bell for the start of the fight. You could see everybody in the crowd's got towels hanging off the back of their hats, trying to stay warm and stay out of the sun.

Tedd Long:

What fascinated me was, in reading about this the author talked about Jack Dempsey's bio in which he described that when he climbed into the ring at Toledo on July 4th, 1919, he looked out into the crowd, and he saw these two gentlemen taking guns and knives from people in the crowd. They were working security.

Tedd Long:

This is Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp in 1919 in Toledo, Ohio. I had no idea. I was totally flabbergasted and it kind of led me to the question, "Who else came to Toledo that we don't know about? Who else was forgotten? What's their backstory? Why were they there?" That's really the impetus for the book itself.

Tedd Long:

It goes about 225 years that we cover in the book. There's about 25 different stories and they cover everything from women's rights movement to Babe Ruth and his visit in the twenties. There's a story of a modern speed train that came and set a world record for speed across the United States. It's a very diverse list of guests, but the one that I want to talk about today is this gentleman, Samuel Clemens.

Tedd Long:

I'll be real clear off the top- I'm not a historian. I don't tell people I'm a historian. I do a lot of different things and people always want to introduce me as a historian and I stop them and say, "I'm a storyteller." I love to gather up insights and then tell the stories behind those and when it comes to Samuel Clemens, this one really intrigued me because he was such a great storyteller.

Tedd Long:

The Samuel Clemens story, I'll tell you first off, I'm not a Clemens expert, but I did a little research just to understand who he was at the time he came to Toledo and what he was all about. This is his famous desk that he wrote at when he was out West. You know, he has an interesting life story. We know that he originally thought he wanted to be a printer. He went to New York and St. Louis and then came back. Then he was a riverboat captain apprentice for a little while, and then the Civil War broke out and that went away.

Tedd Long:

He did participate in a volunteer training for a Confederate militia group, which is not something that people talk about much, but that group was disbanded two weeks after it started so he didn't participate in the war. His brother, Orion, was very instrumental in pushing for Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln's first election, and out of that he became the secretary of the Nevada Territory. That was his political prize.

Tedd Long:

So, in 1861, he's going to move to Nevada. The problem was there was no tuition or no money given to him to help for the move, so he cut a deal with his brother. "You pay for my move and when we get there, I'll make you my secretary." So that's how Clemens ends up originally going West.

Tedd Long:

He gets there and he hates it. The whole politics and all, all that stuff is just not something Samuel Clemens was wired for. He eventually tried his hand at gold mining and failed. Then he got his brother through his political connections to give him a job at the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise.

Tedd Long:

He had been writing pieces. He had been writing letters to the editor. They'd seen his stuff and they said, "Okay, we'll bring you in." That was really his start, from these editorial letters. Then in 1862, he actually became the city editor and starts to build his career as a writer. What really obviously made him who we know today was this piece, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, which he wrote and published in 1864.

Tedd Long:

This really gave him his leap into the publishing world, and from there, he moved to San Francisco where he became a writer for the Alta California, and he kind of picked out a unique niche. He wanted to be a travel writer. He convinced one newspaper to pay his way into the Sandwich Islands, which you know today as Hawaii. He wrote a whole piece about traveling through this exotic area, came back, made a pretty good dent in developing an audience through lectures. That was an introduction to the idea of lecturing, but it was in a very small geographic area in the West.

Tedd Long:

He then convinces the Alta to give him $1,500 and sign him up for the Quaker City. The Quaker City was a heavy 1400 ton side wheel steamship, was actually built and used in the Civil War. After the War, it was converted to a tour ship and it was set to leave the East Coast of the United States and go to Europe and the Holy Lands. He talked his editors into paying his way and he got on the ship, and this becomes the basis for his first real book that we know today as Innocents Abroad, which was the story of an American's trip through Europe and the Holy Land.

Tedd Long:

He was a special traveling correspondent of the Alta. He actually sent wires back and forth throughout his trip, and they were printed both in that paper and then picked up by other newspapers around the country. He was starting to build his name and his brand. As the roving reporter on the Alta, he started to hang out with a select group of people. This is actually him you see in that red square. It's hard to tell that that's him.

Tedd Long:

He also picked up a number of friends. I love some of these quotes. He said about his cabin mate, a guy by the name of Daniel Sloat. Clemens wrote, "He has got many shirts and a history of the Holy Land, a cribbage board, and 3000 cigars. I will not have to carry any baggage at all." You've got to love Clemens for how he described his situation.

Tedd Long:

His fellow passengers got along with him, but they thought he was a little out there. They weren't used to someone who spoke the way he did, so eloquently and at the same time so honestly about things that he was seeing, particularly when he got to the Holy Land. One of his fellow passengers described him as "a wicked fellow that will take the name of the Lord in vain, that is no respecter of persons. Yet he is liberal, kind of obliging, and if he were only a Christian would make his mark." There's your description of Samuel Clemens.

Tedd Long:

The best part of this trip for me, leads to his trip to Toledo, obviously, but when he returns, the ship captain kind of turned on everyone. About three weeks after the return, he spoke, Captain Duncan spoke at the Henry Ward Beecher Plymouth Church on December 3rd and claimed that he observed rampant drunkenness aboard the ship. He pointed to Twain as the leader of this debauchery, right?

Tedd Long:

So, the Brooklyn Eagle challenged Twain by claiming "Mark Twain is the man to settle the point. Let us hear from Mr. Mark Twain." Twain's response of imaginary notes from his diary, I think are classic. This is what was published in the Brooklyn Eagle on New Year's Eve, 1869. He says, "At sea, August 14th, Captain Duncan appeared at breakfast this morning entirely sober. Heavens be praised." At sea, August 18th, "Four days of forebodings and uneasiness, but at least Captain Duncan appeared at breakfast again, apparently entirely sober. Cheerfulness sat upon every countenance and every heart was filled with thankfulness."

Tedd Long:

This captain never touched a drop of alcohol and most of this trip Twain was really good at just using his writing to kind of scour this guy. And then he says, "Captain Duncan has not once been in liquor. Oh, how grateful we ought to be! A movement is on foot to present him a silver dinner service when we shall have arrived in Rome." but he saved the best for last in his PS. He said, "I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry to say that in Italy, Captain Duncan brought wine and drank on board the ship." He goes on and on and he says, "Captain Duncan offered me. He tried to make me even fall with his horrid Italian intoxicating bowl, but my virtue was proof against his wiles. I sternly refused to taste it. I prefer the French article. So does Griswold."

Tedd Long:

Mark Twain had his own style and his own repertoire in terms of how he handled situations with people and I think that was one. That's always been one of the things that intrigued me about him. While he was writing these pieces for the Brooklyn Eagle. He was in New York and he meets this woman who becomes his wife. We are really grateful for that because without that relationship, we wouldn't have the insight that we have now into his trip into Toledo, because he was writing her every day. This is Olivia Langdon. They attended a Charles Dickens reading in New York City together in late December, and then he began his courtship. By 1869, when he visits the Midwest, he's pretty much writing to her every day.

Tedd Long:

He had packaged up this trip that he had made into a lecture series that he was doing out West. And he referred to it as a Lecture on Pilgrim Life, a sketch of his notorious voyage to Europe and Palestine. He realized that he had an audience Out West, but he really needed to move East and get to that bigger audience. He also realized he had to clean up his act a little bit and repackage how he was presenting the trip.

Tedd Long:

So, this is April and by November, he's repackaged it to American Vandal Abroad in which he really kind of paints himself as this goofy American, doesn't understand manners, doesn't understand European culture, and he's just kind of bumbling around Europe. At the same time, he's also making all these observations that you and I could read today and just have a ball with.

Tedd Long:

So, this became the basis of the tour. He then reached out and booked himself a series of lectures through the Lyceum Group. He got a Boston agent to set the whole thing up. It's interesting when you look at the lecture series, this is coming from the University of Virginia library. If you look at it geographically, it's pretty wide and dispersed, but when you look at it from a time perspective, this is where you get a sense for just how much pressure he had to be under.

Tedd Long:

You know, this is before the airlines. This is train travel at its best. He is just moving from one city to the next, making these presentations. So, he had a lot of pressure, and as he's writing back to Liv, he keeps explaining to her how worried he is about Toledo. This is what intrigued me and became the backstory for the chapter on Twain's visit to Toledo. By the way, this is what he looked like in 1869 during his visit to Northwest Ohio. This is how he was depicted.

Tedd Long:

Several newspapers went after Twain because of the way he was talking about the Holy Land, and he wasn't really holding it up in the same standard that they expected that he would. This was starting to worry him, and then he was also very worried about this trip to Toledo, and you don't really get a sense for what's bothering him until you get this letter. This is from Ottawa, Illinois, January 13th, just weeks before he arrived in Toledo. This is back to Olivia. He says, "Another botch of a lecture, even worse than Elmira, I think. And it was such a pity for we had a beautiful church entirely full of handsome and well dressed intellectual ladies and gentlemen. They say, I didn't botch it, but I should think I ought know."

Tedd Long:

Again, he's doing up because he's worried about how the press is treating him and he's still starting to give a little bit more about why he's worried about Toledo. I was surprised by this. He made a direct route to Toledo from Iowa City. I just would assume they would've traveled their way from West to East, but it was like a ping pong. I mean, they were all over the place. He did have enough time in between, and he talks about it later that he could have gone up to Elmira, New York and visited with Liv before he went to Toledo, but I'll tell you what he said about that in a minute.

Tedd Long:

He makes it to Toledo on the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway. Two things I'll point out on this piece here. Down below you see the name Azariah Boody, president, New York City. That's the person the Boody House in downtown Toledo was named after, and it's the person who I always have to remind young people it's B O O D Y, Boody. It gets confusing. People hear Boody House, and they think of all kinds of things.

Tedd Long:

You'll also see, down below, John B. Carson. He was the general freight agent for the Toledo, Wabash and Western, and that's who Twain stays with during his visit to Toledo. He writes back to Liv on January 20th, "Am most handsomely housed here with friends, John B. Carson and family. Pleasant folks and their home is most elegantly appointed. They are bright and happy as they can be." So that's a kind of cool thing that he feels good about his visit there. By the way, Carson lived at, I think it was 190 Superior Street. So today, if you're familiar with Toledo, this would be right behind the Mud Hen Stadium kind of where the SeaGate Center is today.

Tedd Long:

One thing I learned as I dug into a lot of these different visitors was I always wondered what was the venue? You know, when these famous people come to Toledo, where did they present? I was shocked to find out that before 1871, Toledo was a town of halls. There was no venue like we'd know today. In 1869, you see here on the left White's Hall. This was located on the third floor of the Neuhausel Brothers store on Summit near Oak. Today, Oak is Jackson street. So, this would be where four SeaGate sits today in downtown Toledo.

Tedd Long:

This was an interesting venue. The first two floors were the dry goods store for the Neuhausel Brothers. It was four brothers who founded this store and ended up becoming a very important store in Toledo history throughout the late 1800s. The third floor was the actual hall and it's amazing to me that Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke there. Horace Greeley. Frederick Douglass. I mean, this is what you had in 1869.

Tedd Long:

Now by 1871, the Wheeler family builds the opulent Wheeler Opera House, which you see in the center. Absolutely beautiful building. I go into great detail describing what it looked like in the book. Then the Wheeler burns down in the 1890s, and they then build the Valentine Theater, and that became kind of the venue for something like Twain when he were to come to Toledo, but White's Hall is where we know that Mark Twain spoke and it was a packed hall. It was January 20th, 1869.

Tedd Long:

Again, I'm going to get into detail about his fear, but even up to the day of his presentation there, he was writing back to Livy saying he was very worried about what he was going to do in Toledo. The Toledo Blade thought he rocked the house. This is their review. They said, "White's Hall was filled from him cellar to garret last night by one of the best tickled audiences that ever assembled there to hear a lecture or see a speaker. Mark Twain tickled them, and he did it so easily and almost consistently that they didn't know what they were laughing at more than half the time they were there."

Tedd Long:

I mean, that's a unique way to describe someone who really captured the audience. They said at the end that, "Mark Twain is a success as a lecturer as well as a writer. We think no one who heard the American Vandal Abroad last night will dispute." The Toledo Commercial felt similarly. They said, "There's an originality and pungency to his wit, and a purity of tone and expression that gives it a relish to the most cultivated minds." So, he hit it out of the ballpark.

Tedd Long:

You know, he is worried, and he talked about these previous episodes that didn't go as well, and he just gets rave reviews from Toledo. He goes home to his guest quarters that evening and he writes to Liv. He said, "It was splendid tonight. The great hall was crowded full of the pleasantest and handsomest people and I did the very best I possibly could. I did better than I ever did before. I felt the importance of the occasion." Here's where we get the hint, "For I knew that this being Nasby's residence, every person in the audience would be comparing and contrasting me with him and I am satisfied with the performance. For all times, Sam." By the way, notice in these letters, when he writes to Liv, he signs it Sam. When he writes to others, he signs it Mark. Kind of an interesting way that he viewed himself with friends and family.

Tedd Long:

So now we know the secret. What was bothering Mark Twain was that he was really fearful of entering into Petroleum V. Nasby's den. Petroleum V. Nasby at that time was the most popular newspaperman in the United States. I'll go into detail about who this person was, but this is a person who everyone knew. He had the largest newspaper audience in the United States. Abe Lincoln, when he was assassinated, there was a clipping from Petroleum V. Nasby in his pocket and so, Twain knows he's coming into Nasby's town, because at that time Nasby had purchased the Toledo Blade and he was the editor at the Blade. So, this is what was really kind of in the back of his mind the whole time in this period leading up to his trip to Toledo.

Tedd Long:

What I love is, as the days go by, he starts getting cocky and he starts feeling like he really hit it out of the park in Toledo. He has no worries now. On the 21st, he wrote Liv, and he said, "I could have spent 24 hours with you from Monday evening till Tuesday evening, but the long trip to there and the long trip back to Toledo would have finished me and left me unfit to attack Nasby's fellow citizens."

Tedd Long:

So, he looked at it almost like this was war. You know, he had to go in there and attack these citizens because they had heard humorous before and they understood quality, and so he really viewed this as something that he had to step up to the plate for. A day later, he's really feeling his oats. He writes his partners back East, and he says, "Shall be in Hartford about March and then make a flying trip to California. I swept Nasby's dung hill like a besom of destruction." I love this. And then he says, "I don't know what a besom of destruction is, but it is a noble sort of expression. Came off with flying colors, printed notices for me. Love to all four of you. Yours always, Mark." And he signs it Mark.

Tedd Long:

So anybody familiar with the phrase “besom of destruction”? A besom is actually a broom. And this comes from Isaiah chapter 14, verse 23. "I will also make it a possession for the bittern and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of the hosts." Pretty heavy. I mean, can you imagine? I picture him beating his chest while he's writing this letter. He's got to be feeling like he really took care of things in Toledo.

Tedd Long:

He then, in a very short period of time after that Toledo visit, he meets his nemesis Petroleum V. Nasby, who is David Ross Locke. Nasby was his pen name. They become drinking buddies and they become lecture colleagues. Eventually Locke offers Clemens a job on the Toledo Blade. A lot of people don't realize Samuel Clemens had the opportunity to move to Toledo and become a writer for the Toledo Blade. This is his letter to his mother. She had written to him telling him all about his brother's issues and she was kind of hinting around she wanted him to send some money home.

Tedd Long:

He said, "My head is so busted up with endeavors to get my own plans straight, and I'm hardly in a condition to fix up anybody else's. I don't know whether I'm going to California in May. I don't know whether I want a lecture next season or not. I don't know whether I want to yield to Nasby's persuasions and go with him on the Toledo Blade. I don't know anything. I'm too happy and comfortable and sleepy now to know anything. I don't care a dam. Affectionately Sam." One thing I'll point out. He never swore in front of his mother. He spelled damn, D A M.

Tedd Long:

He was a character. There's no doubt about it. So, this is David Ross Locke. If you're not familiar with him, he was born in Broome County, New York, and he apprenticed at a newspaper at the age of 12 in Courtland County, New York. And then following a 17-year apprenticeship, he tramped around the country, and he ended up in Pittsburgh. Then at 1855, he ends up in Mansfield, Ohio, then Plymouth, Ohio at the Osiris Journal, where he begins writing the Nasby Letters, where he takes on this persona of the Southern copperhead, who is just completely misunderstanding what's going on in the war and writes his just outrageous statements and comments.

Tedd Long:

He eventually then, as I said earlier, is given the opportunity to buy the Toledo Blade. He's not just the editor. He purchases it and moves to Toledo. This is a cool shot I picked up. A Boston photographer shot this. This is Samuel Clemens, David Ross Locke, and then another person that was on their tour together. This is Henry Wheeler Shaw. His stage name was Josh Billings. These three, can you imagine attending lectures with these three? I mean, and the things that you would pick up? It would have been incredible.

Tedd Long:

So, I tell people that it's probably Toledo's loss that Mark Twain didn't take the job at the Toledo Blade, but it's the world's gain, because I'm not sure he would've been able to produce these incredible pieces that we all recognize as masterpieces in American literature. So, I guess Toledo took one on the chin for everybody else. This is Twain in his older years. And again, it was my pleasure to dive in and find this backstory and make it part of the whole story of Forgotten Visitors to Toledo.

Tedd Long:

That's my presentation. I want to thank you for your time and thanks for the award. Appreciate it very much.

Joseph Boggs - "Prohibition’s Proving Ground: Cops, Cars, & Rumrunners in the Toledo-Detroit-Windsor Corridor" (October 28, 2021)

Author Joseph Boggs discusses his book Prohibition’s Proving Ground: Cops, Cars, & Rumrunners in the Toledo-Detroit-Windsor Corridor (Toledo, Ohio: University of Toledo Press, 2020), the 2020 winner of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Academic Scholar category.  Boggs's book tells the story of how a thriving automobile culture in the Toledo-Detroit-Windsor region was central to both the enforcement and defiance of Prohibition in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Joseph Boggs received his Master of Arts degree in History at Bowling Green State University.  He is a resident of Monroe, Michigan, and teaches history at the Penta Career Center in Perrysburg, Ohio.

PDF Transcript of "Prohibition’s Proving Ground: Cops, Cars, & Rumrunners in the Toledo-Detroit-Windsor Corridor"

Jennifer Long Morehart:

Good afternoon. Welcome to the William T. Jerome Library here at Bowling Green State University. Thank you for coming to the Center for Archival Collections, local history publication award lecture series. The local history publication award is an outreach initiative of the Center for Archival Collections that encourages and recognizes outstanding publications in the field of Northwest Ohio history. Today's publication prohibitions proving ground may be purchased from Yarko Kuk, managing editor at the University of Toledo press book table there behind you. Our presenter for this afternoons local history publication award lecture series is Joseph Boggs.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

Joseph Boggs is a resident of Monroe, Michigan, where he lives with his wife, Bridget, and he is a history teacher at Penta Career Center in Perrysburg. He earned a master's degree in history a few years ago from Bowling Green State University. With a guidance of Dr. Michael Brooks, Dr. Rebecca Mancuso and Dr. Scott Martin, he completed a master's thesis that explored the intersection of rum running and automotive culture in our local region. This thesis served as the foundation of his published book called Prohibitions Proven Ground about which he will be speaking today. On behalf of the Center for Archival Collections, I would like to present you with a plaque honoring your achievement as the 2020 local history publication award winner in the academic scholar division.

Joseph Boggs:

Thank you.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

And now please join me in welcoming Joseph Boggs as he on Prohibitions Proving Ground.

Joseph Boggs:

Thank you. So I'd like to begin with this image because it kind of represents where I started with my research project. This sketching comes from a 1923 New York Times. And the journalist goes undercover with rumrunners along Detroit river shore. The reason why I like this image so much is because you have this spotlight that's zooming in on the boating aspect of rum running, but in the shadows you have a truck that's being loaded up. And that kind of represented what I knew about prohibition going into this. I had always heard the popular legends of popular stories about the boating across Lake Erie across the Detroit River, but I never heard the automotive aspect. This automobile boom happens almost simultaneously with prohibition. I never heard anything about this. So that was my question going to this. How did the automobile boom in our region impact rum running and drive enforcement?

Joseph Boggs:

And I'm the first one to write about prohibition locally. We had Philip Mason write about the Detroit aspect of rum running and the waterborne traffic that was coming across Detroit River in his book called Rum Running in the Roaring Twenties. We also have Ken Dixon's book that's really a fantastic look at gang culture in the glass city and looking at prohibitions Toledo. We also have Rumrunner Scrapbook by Marty Gervais. He gives these colorful vignettes from local rumrunners from those enforcing law from the Canadian perspective. So how is my book a little bit different? So, as I mentioned already, my book really looks at prohibition culture from the aspect of our automotive culture, but I think more distinctly my book decides to take a regional perspective. Whereas these previous books look at individual cities. I knew that the criminals themselves did not think about city limits or state lines.

Joseph Boggs:

In fact, they exploited them because of the competing prohibition patchwork of legislation. And finally, I think I have a unique perspective in the sense that I spent months at my local libraries digging through newspaper microfilm. If you look at my notations, newspapers are cited heavily in those. So I give a really good daily perspective of prohibition. I want to first set the scene, before I go into the actual prohibition years in the automotive boom. So alcohol had been a part of our region from its earliest days. If you look at native American trade with European settlers, alcohol was a major part of that trade. Fast forward to the 1910s and '20s, there's this huge industry surrounding alcohol. In 1918, there's 408 loons in Toledo alone. One year before prohibition takes effect. In Detroit in 1915, there are 1500 boroughs, 17 breweries. Across the river in Windsor, you have a Hiram Walker producing some of the finest whiskey Canadian club, right around that same time.

Joseph Boggs:

Even a small place like my hometown of Monroe had 20 boroughs and two breweries up until prohibition. So this is a very major industry. Part of the lifeblood of our region. Then the motor car boom happens in the 1910s. A year before, in 1909, John Willy sets up shop in Toledo. And just a few years later, the Willie's Overland company is the number two car company in the world. Number one of course was Ford Motor Company with its model T production. But, the top 15 car brands are actually in the Detroit region. So, Detroit really does earn its motor city moniker. Across the river, in Windsor, the Ford Motor Company also sets up shop there. They are very successful and that becomes the car capital of Canada. And this has a major, major impact on employment. So in, I believe it's 1990, the Willie's Overland companies hired 15,000 people.

Joseph Boggs:

The number one employer in Toledo. In Detroit in 1920, 60,000 workers are working at automotive factories, and across the river and Windsor, 40% of all workers are working in some kind of automotive industry. So this really does change the employment landscape and it forces businesses to really adapt the way they do business. For instance, there's one businessman, WJ Wiper in Monroe, he's making harnesses and other implements for horses, but he quickly rubber tires as a part of his business model. So the argument for prohibition had been about 70 years in the making up until the automotive boom. But the automotive boom really gives some interesting and compelling arguments for prohibition. So first of all, obviously drunk driving is not a great thing. So these prohibition and start talking about this issue that we have in the motor car age. Also, a lot of these workers are making more money than they've ever made in their lives, but they're spending it at the saloons.

Joseph Boggs:

This will prevent them from like enjoying the middle class life, even buying in their own motor car if they continue this kind of behavior. And finally, probably most importantly, the major automobile tycoons, almost every single one of them, Henry Ford, Gordon McGregor over in Canada, John Willys here in Toledo, they are very much in favor of prohibition, because they want sober and efficient workers. And if you knew anything about the factories at this time, right outside the gates were typically distilleries and breweries and saloons. They wanted these places of alcohol distant from their workplaces. So prohibition would provide that security. Many Americans think that prohibition comes to our country in 1920. That is not true. It comes in a patchwork fashion. And you can see the years here in which prohibition came to all these different areas, but the first place that has prohibition is actually Ontario, Windsor. With the Ontario Temperance Act, which begins in September, 1916.

Joseph Boggs:

The very last night that alcohol is allowed there's some colorful scenes. You have elderly women begging for beer at bars. You have farmers trucking in from the countryside, loading up their trucks. You have people stealing alcohol from each other. You have a rowdy group that exhaust the alcoholic supply at 7:00 PM that last night, and they head over to Detroit to continue the raucous waves. And there was this interesting loophole in this Ontario Temperance Act. It was kind of like DoorDash. So what you would do is you could export alcohol during this time to another location. So they would call over to a Detroit office, order their alcohol. If you were a Canadian resident and have a Canadian brewery, deliver it to your doorstep in Canada. That was legal under this loophole. They eventually closed it. A few months later, the mission itself votes itself dry by 75 in person margin.

Joseph Boggs:

So a pretty sizable margin, but you can see the dark counties that voted against the state prohibition measure and it creates this nice little corridor here for Toledo residents. You have Monroe Detroit McComb county vote against the state prohibition measure. And this will be playing an important role later in prohibition. The last night before state prohibition, April 30th, 1918, there were predictions of rowdy nights, but for some reason it didn't happen. And that's because Michiganders figured out they better go down Toledo sooner than rather than later. So they started going down Toledo to get drunk and to enjoy beverages be before the state prohibition law took effect. And I had the privilege of looking at the arrest log books in the Toledo Police Department. They're in the top. They're in the attic and I'm flipping through these and 50% of those who are being arrested during these days, leading up to state prohibition are Michiganders. Drunken disorderly charges. A national police journal in the 1918 stated that these arrest log books look like a Detroit city directory.

Joseph Boggs:

So these individuals are going down to Toledo to drink and maybe get drunk. But they also figure once state prohibition takes a fact they can make some money smuggling at bat. So they smuggle it in their jackets, their suitcases, but eventually the dry agents start spraying raids on the inner urban rail system that used to operate between Toledo and Detroit. As soon as they cross the border, they would bust them by the dozens. So they became more innovative. They had fake books like this one I have here that they would bring with them. This is called the spring poems of the four swallows. It's not a real book. It opens up and there's four little flags on the inside. These books were common. There were violin cases that had a partition in them that would hide alcohol, fake loaves of bread. They would unscrew at the top.

Joseph Boggs:

You even had stories of women in Michigan going down very skinny. Two days later coming back eight months pregnant. They hired matron officers just for this instance. And they started finding two gowns of alcohol around these women's stomach. Then October, 1918, something really important happens. There's this road called the Dixie Highway. The only north-south road that really connects Detroit in a kind of a straightforward fashion. The problem with this road though, is that it's incredibly swampy in Monroe County. It gets paved over in October of 1918, and this is great for the economy. And it's also great for rumrunners to start smuggling by automobile up this nice north south paved road from Toledo, which is west to Detroit, which is dry. Right around this same time was a high profile arrest of the billings. A gang. The billings a gang was really a group of brothers and their friends who are operating in dry locations.

Joseph Boggs:

Like the state of Washington, the state of Kansas during the state prohibition years. They come to Detroit though for two reasons. Number one, you have a large dry population, Detroit neighboring large wet populations. They know they can smuggle very effectively from these cities. Also they know there's affordable vehicles available in vast supply. So what they do is they move to Toledo, purchase a bunch of warehouses, purchase a fleet of vehicles. They establish ties with Detroit grocery store owners and they start trucking it up. In one month, they were able to move $160,000 worth of alcohol. That's a lot of money today. The reason we know this is because there was an undercover agent that was infiltrating the group. And he's the one who helped spring the rig. This made national headlines. If you look at newspapers.com and look at billings a gang around this time, almost every major newspaper is carrying this story.

Joseph Boggs:

And this really compels other cities in Michigan, especially Detroit to start picking up their game in terms of enforcement, because it's happening. Smuggling is happening in our area. And because of this Dixie highway, that's not open, there becomes a booze war at the border, the Michigan-Ohio state line. They send state troopers down to the Dixie Highway state line and there the smugglers keep on plowing past their barricades. So there were shootouts. The state troopers also employ what's called little Bertha. I think it's the first armored vehicle ever used by a state police force. They deploy it on the Dixie Highway. The problem with it is if you can see in the photograph, there's these little flaps to see out the front, they got in actions with regular motorists. So they had to pull that off the road. Then later, a few weeks later, they tried what was called the log trap.

Joseph Boggs:

Rumrunners would roar up the highway at 70 miles per hour. So what they decided to do is decide to put a telephone pole across the road as they're driving 70 miles per hour, as you can predict these cars, turn turtle on the road, people got injured. Alcohol spewing out into the streets. Eventually they were sued for doing this, and the governor wasn't too happy, to say the least. Another important event happens on February 18th, 1919, the so-called booze rush.

Joseph Boggs:

The Michigan state Supreme court, in a ruling, decides that officers can't search and seize alcohol for a certain period of time. So what this means is everyone and their mother head down to Toledo and try to smuggle alcohol. And there's some really crazy scenes. You have this picture from The Toledo News Bee, bumper to bumper traffic on the Dixie Highway, trying to smuggle booze up. You had smugglers waving high to state police officers who were just enforcing the law the day before. You had incredible accidents, deadly accidents during this booze rush, eventually the feds step in, they start to enforce the law from a federal perspective.

Joseph Boggs:

But the damage is already done in a free press photographer is sent down to the border to document what happened, and he notices something. One of the cars that's in a wreck is his car. Someone had stolen his car to smuggle alcohol. A few months later, Ohio itself goes dry. And the last night in Toledo is a raucous night, May 27th, 1919. They say that all of Toledo, Detroit seemingly was there in the city. But there's another side that was also partying that night. It was the drives. They had public funerals of John Barley, corn and effigy. I think it was the Methodist church, invited the Georgia Cyclone, Mary Harris Armor to talk to the congregation that night. And she made three bold statements. One saloon keepers were going straight to hell. Two alcohol made you instantly insane. And three, it would take 79,000 years to overturn prohibition. She was a little bit off. But the Ohio prohibition law was short lived because just a few months later, national prohibition takes effect in 1920.

Joseph Boggs:

And remember, under the Ontario Temperance Act you can still export alcohol. So a lot of private residents, for some reason, started to buy a private property on both sides of the Detroit River. Sure enough, alcohol starts to flood across the border. In the first seven, there are some estimates that say 900,000 cases of alcohol made its way into the Detroit river region. And you know, as I mentioned, historians have always emphasized the waterborne traffic, but as these pictures and sketchings represent, just that maybe as important was the automotive traffic on both sides of the river shore. So you had to have trucks, obviously bringing the supply to the Canadian shore. But on the other side, you also have vehicles moving it from the other shore. So cars were very important to the exchange of alcohol during this time period. And Windsor wasn't necessarily ready for how America's national prohibition would affect them.

Joseph Boggs:

They quickly become called the plague spot of Canada, a paradise for rumrunners. And it's not because they don't want to enforce the law. It's just simply because they don't have the cars and motorcycles to enforce it. You have one instance on St. Patrick Day in 1920, an officer from Windsor stumbles upon a group of guys who are lowering 100 cases of alcohol from a second story window into a truck. He orders them arrested, confiscates the vehicle, confiscates the alcohol, but he tells them continue loading it up. Because, I don't have my own vehicle to haul this away. So they do this until the 96 case, and somehow they're able to escape and they smuggle the alcohol anyhow, and the officer gets in trouble. So eventually the Windsor police decide to hire some private residents to help them enforce the law, including a minister by the name of JOL Straclin and his buddies.

Joseph Boggs:

They engage in a lot of corrupt practices, accepting bribes, even stalking families after church on Sundays to see if they have alcohol. Eventually they're all relieved of their positions. JOL Straclin actually shoots and kills a speakeasy operator. And that's basically the end of really aggressive enforcement in Canada. And it's known by rumrunners that you can go over to can and do whatever you want. There's not going to be an enforcement after this point. Across the river there's one prominent Michigan man that's pretty upset. That's Henry Ford. Because prohibition is not being enforced as he wants it to be. So he kind of takes matters into his own hands. In his factories, he employs the sniff test. He tells his supervisors to sniff the breaths of every single worker that's coming into the workplace. If they smell like alcohol they're immediately let go.

Joseph Boggs:

He also hires private investigators to basically search the perimeter of his factories in the neighborhoods around his factories to see if smugly stickies are occurring and sure enough they are. And he forwards this to the federal prohibition office, who in turn mount some very large raids and campaigns against eCourse, River Rouge and some of these down river towns. They even sent Izzy Einstein, the guy used to hear in the right. He came to the area undercover, like an auto worker. He said it only took him three minutes and 10 seconds to get a drink of alcohol. And he had been all over the country in places like New York City, Chicago, New Orleans. He declared that Detroit was the wettest place he had been. In 1925, there's an important Supreme Court case that happens that really helps out the law enforcement enforce of prohibition in the age of the automobile. It's called Carol versus United States.

Joseph Boggs:

There's an officer on a highway patrolling between Detroit-Chicago. He recognizes a vehicle as one of the smugglers he's familiar with. He decides to stop it without really having evidence that they're smuggling. He finds 63 bottles of scotch in the back seat. Well, the rumrunner, George Carroll sues him for not having the type of evidence and even a warrant to search his vehicle at this time. So this goes up to the Supreme Court where a former president, William Howard Taft is now the chief justice. And he rules. He says something along the lines of though motorists should not be stopped for any given reason. If a trained officer with probable cause thinks that there's smuggling going on, they can go ahead and do this. And this creates what's called the motor vehicle exception. It still plays an important roll and motor car stops today.

Joseph Boggs:

So in turn, these rumrunners have to become more clever with their concealment of alcohol. You have cars being remanufacture. The truck bed here, as you can see is going to hold high alcohol in the bed. You have seat cushions that are opened up and you can high bottles of booze in there. You had one farmer from my hometown. He was delivering milk to Detroit and he knew that the dry agents would not look into the inner ring of milk canisters. So, the inner ring of five canisters full of whiskey, the outer ring, 10, was full of milk. You had women now being more engaged in rum running at this time because simply put, they didn't think that they would engage in professional crime, but certainly they were. And I think there's a lot more rum running by women that we even realize that will ever be able to figure out.

Joseph Boggs:

But when they are caught, it becomes headline news. They so-called, rum queens are devastating our society, and you even have cases of hearses smuggling alcohol. There's this one instance, just south of Detroit where there's this convoy of cars in a mourning procession. And the cops are thinking to themselves, this procession is nowhere near church and nowhere near a cemetery. They decide to creep up on the convoy. And sure enough, everyone flees their cars. They look into the coffin 2,400 miles of beer. And remember that argument that they were making at the beginning of prohibition that drunk driving would no longer be an issue. We have evidence that drunk driving was certainly an issue all the way throughout prohibition. So one instance included a girl or a teenage girl by the name [inaudible 00:22:52] in Erie, Michigan, she was waiting for the inner urban to get to her job in Toledo.

Joseph Boggs:

She's waiting along the roadside. When a pair of rumrunners who are drunk also plow into her in front of kids who are going to school, this devastating incident for that town. You also had another scenario in the mid 1920s where a drunk rumrunner plows into a crowd of pedestrians killing a black laborer and also a Catholic school nun. And you can see in that chart there, that's the charges in 1925 for the city of Toledo, there were nearly 400 cases of driving while intoxicated just that year. So why was all this drunk driving occurring during the prohibition years? One thing I can think of is maybe the advent of roadhouses. Roadhouses were these saloons that were purposely situated outside of city limits and town limits because they would be away from police. So you'd actually have to drive out there to get to these places of dancing and drinking, but then you have to drive home as well.

Joseph Boggs:

So drunk driving just became part of the culture at that time. The summer of 1927 and momentous event happens. The repeal of the Ontario Temperance Act, and it's replaced with the Liquor Control Act. This allows regular residents to purchase alcohol directly from government own stores. And very minimal restrictions on Americans. So Americans, including there's articles about Toledo winds, taking entire groups of people to Windsor to drink. Detroiters were going over there. In just a couple of years later, the ambassador bridge opened. So motorists now can go over and drink. The very first day that the ambassador bridge is open, which is, I think in June, 1929, 20,000 cars crossed the border on the bridge. And a lot of them, I'm certain, had alcohol with them. So because of this competition now, because they're as customers who are now going over to get their own booze, the gangsters, the rumrunners are now in competition with each other over turf and territory, there are violent conflicts between them and violent hijackings.

Joseph Boggs:

In the summer of 1927 alone, the first summer that the Liquor Control Act is in effect, in my hometown of Monroe, there are four violent gangland killings that were unheard of for our town. And they were obviously dropped off by automobiles. In Detroit there were dozens of slangs during these final years. And a lot of them were indeed perpetrated by the so-called purple gang. If you know anything about the purple gang, they actually were not a very cohesive gang. It was a collection of smaller gangs together. So they would kill not only innocent people, but also some of their own gang members. And that happened with a so called little Jewish Navy. They were an exporting group. But they started to engage in more violent hijacking during this time period, including a hijacking of a Toledo load. The main members of the Purple Gang were not too happy with this.

Joseph Boggs:

So they invited them up to a meeting in Detroit to the Collwood Manor apartments. And there, the meeting seemingly was going well, but then a car revs up in the alleyway, that is a signal for the main members to pull out their guns and shoot. They are able to escape out the alleyway with the car. Eventually they're caught and they serve life sentences in the Marquette State Prison. And even across the river in Canada, where there wasn't very many violent things going on before this loads of alcohol and cars had to be escorted also by armed because it's hard it gets so bad. But probably the most violent killing spree actually occurs in the Glass City. From 1931 to 1933 14 men are killed in a gang, a warfare between Yani [Yakapoli 00:26:45] and Jackie Kennedy. And many of them were actually steering their cars while they were killed.

Joseph Boggs:

But Yani Yakapoli really wants to get Jackie Kennedy and decide on November 30th, 1932, to try to corner him in a tan Sedan with a covered license plate in downtown while he is dating his girlfriend. So they are actually able to do this. They spray his car full of bullets. They miss him and kill his girlfriend. And this is when really the Toledo public starts to turn against the prohibition years in the gang culture that really exists in Toledo. But Yani Yakapoli was not going to miss his man the next summer. He corners them once again with an automobile and kills Jackie Kennedy point place. Right as soon as this violent wave of crime starts to occur, a lot of officers are sharp to second guess their jobs, because they're showing up to raids where people are coming after them with guns, knives, threats, even mobs of 500 people.

Joseph Boggs:

Sometimes they would greet them at these rates. And officers did die. I counted about a dozen officers died in these last prohibition years along the fleet of Detroit-Windsor corridor. One of those officers happened to work in Detroit. He was making a routine stop of smuggler. Gets abducted, shot and dumped into a lonely intersection in Hamtramck. In some of these officers, they see this crime that's being perpetrated against them. They think, you know what? I'm not going to really enforce the laws as I should. They look the other way, or maybe they start to accept bribes. There's a case of Howard Baker, 1929. He's a very efficient, effective custom border agent. And he's following a smuggler one night when his car reeds off the road, he's crippled for life. A year later, he's found orchestrating a rum smuggling conspiracy, and he's arrested with 10 other officers doing that.

Joseph Boggs:

On the flip side, you had some other officers who were serious about their job. Maybe took it a little bit too more seriously. They started to use their guns more liberally in their encounters with rumrunners. You had one officer who... These shootings would've been very controversial for a time. There was a convoy of cars coming across the ice in Monroe County, Michigan in the lead driver didn't have any alcohol in his truck. And he's the one who gets shot and killed. You have another instance where a smuggler abandons his vehicle in Detroit and is shots while fleeing the vehicle. Once again, these are controversial shootings today, but not so controversial in the past. And the public really starts to turn against these officers because there are some innocent people who are killed. They start sporting license plates that say repeal the 18th amendment, or I'm not a bootlegger, don't shoot I'll stop.

Joseph Boggs:

The public really starts to turn against law enforcement during these years. And they're showing it with their automotive culture. And right around the same time, the leading CEOs and administrators of these car companies start to change the lanes on prohibition as well. You have Alfred Sloan of GM. After the Valentine's Day massacre, starts to create a group called the crusaders against prohibition. You have John Willys come out publicly saying we should repeal prohibition to get more tax revenue during the great depression. We have Harvey Firestone, a close friend, a confidant of Henry Ford here in Ohio. Change his two prohibition, much to Henry Ford's dismay. But most importantly, if Henry Joy, he's the leader of Packard Motor Company. He was a very prominent member of the anti saloon league. And he's very much in favor of prohibition until his house gets raided three times [inaudible 00:30:40].

Joseph Boggs:

They knock down the door several of times, and he's not very happy. He testifies before Congress about how ineffective prohibition enforcement truly is. And even in the end, Henry Ford gave in. After prohibition is repealed he famously serves beer at the company lunch in 1933. So prohibition officially ends in December, 1933 with ironically trucks backing up the Detroit bars full of beer. Historians have argued for many reasons why prohibition fails. One, the great depression and need for tax revenue. Ineffective enforcement during this time period, corrupt enforcement, the violent wave of crime that grips the entire nation. These are all arguments that we've heard before. But I would argue something that needs to be added here is motor car culture. That was going to be next to impossible to enforce prohibition the age of the automobile, especially in our region with the Canadian boost, flooding over the border constantly and endless streams of motorists. How can you enforce this law in this region? So I would argue that prohibition, especially on the fleet of trick, Windsor corridor, was taken for a ride. And I think that was a good thing. That's all I got.

Joseph Boggs:

Any questions [inaudible 00:32:05].

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Thank you for your presentation and congratulations on the award.

Joseph Boggs:

Thank you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I was thinking at the beginning of your presentation, when you mentioned that Henry Ford was such a backer of prohibition, I was just wondering in the back of my mind, I wonder if he had some beer or anything in his office during that time. And then at the end, when you mentioned he famously served beer, that kind of reinforced my thought. Hm. I wonder if he also had alcohol, even during the period of time when he was such a staunch.

Joseph Boggs:

So I've talked to a few people that work at the Henry Ford Museum about this. Because also, there's the estate that's nearby of Henry Ford and there's tall tales of beer being smuggled at the River Rouge to his house in the back way. His wife was especially against alcohol. So Henry Ford may have been a little bit more flexible on the issue, but his wife was notoriously against alcohol. So that might be part of it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Thank you.

Joseph Boggs:

Yeah. You're welcome. Any other questions? Yeah, Joe.

Joe:

We're living in an era where we have another prohibition happening in Ohio that's not happening in Michigan, famously advertised on billboards all the way. Do you see any parallels between the UC automobile today with marijuana going across the border and alcohol?

Joseph Boggs:

1000%. I actually teach a lesson about this to my students about how automobiles are still being used and smuggling much more creatively than back then. There's like taillights that will pop out and hiding packages of cocaine along the border. So yeah, this is definitely happening. And it's interesting because yeah, Michigan now is legal, recreational marijuana, not so much here in Ohio, so we're kind of having this reverse effect and I'm sure there'll be motoring of marijuana cross back to border, but probably not as much enforcement.

Speaker 5:

I'm might have been [inaudible 00:33:58] late. But what play did Put-in-Bay play into that? Because I've heard a lot of stories that that's why all the wineries were there, because they were... Could kind of be away from Canada. What role [inaudible 00:34:14].

Joseph Boggs:

So I was debating whether to include Cleveland in the story, but then the story would get too large. But yeah, Put-in-Bay was a huge kind of a landmark for rumrunners across the lake. I have a story of a... I met their family. His last name was... Buch Raymond was his name. And he was voting across the lake the entire time, hired by the Purple Gang. And he mentioned specifically the Put-in-Bay being the major island they would land on before they hit shore. So I think it was kind of a hideout island for a lot of these rumrunners across the lake, especially those who were boating it across. You could rarely get a car across that far. You'd probably fall in by that point.

Speaker 6:

Another kind of contemporary parallel is that the COVID restrictions on bars, and there's that period when Michigan bars were completely shut down and Michiganders were flooding into Toledo and higher levels of arrests. And I know people were having to pay additional security deposits at Toledo area motels because Michiganders were famous coming down and going to bars and destroying some things.

Joseph Boggs:

And I think I mentioned in the book, the Spanish Flu epidemic and how that impacted rumrunners. So actually, the bars themselves were closed, but you could get alcohol delivered to Michigan during the Spanish Flu epidemic apparently. I think I mentioned it in the book. Any other questions? All right. Well, Yarko is back there if you'd like to purchase a book. Thank you for your support and have a great night.

Judy Harris Szor: "Sam Szor: Toledo's Mr. Music" (October 21, 2021)

Judy Harris Szor discusses her book Sam Szor: Toledo's Mr. Music (Toledo, Ohio: University of Toledo Press, 2020), one of the 2020 winners of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Independent Scholar category.  Harris Szor particularly focuses her lecture on the background details of how her book project came to fruition, and the process of finding, organizing, and using an abundance of sources to write a comprehensive and professional biography of her late husband and renowned Toledo musician, conductor, and music educator.

Judy Harris Szor had a decades-long career as a nursing educator, clinical nurse specialist, and consultant in Toledo before retiring in 2015.  She received a BSN from the University of Michigan, an MEd from the University of Toledo, and an MSN from Medical College of Ohio.

PDF Transcript of "Sam Szor: Toledo's Mr. Music"

Jennifer Long Morehart:

Good afternoon and welcome to the William T. Jerome Library at Bowling Green State University. My name is Jennifer Long Morehart, and I'm the university archivist here. Thank you for coming to the Center for Archival Collections Local History Publication Award Lecture Series. We are so pleased to be back this year.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

The Local History Publication Award is an outreach initiative of the Center for Archival Collections that encourages and recognizes outstanding publications in the field of Northwest Ohio local history. The Local History Publication Award Lecture Series celebrates the winning authors and publications. Today's publication, Sam Szor, Toledo's. Mr. Music, may be purchased from Yarko Kuk, managing editor at the University of Toledo Press book table.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

Our first presenter of this year's Local History Publication Award Lecture Series is Judy Harris Szor. Judy Harris Szor, in addition to being Sam's right-hand person, had a 49-year wonderful and rewarding career in nursing. She has degrees from the University of Michigan, University of Toledo, and the Medical College of Ohio. She taught nursing for many years and also worked as an advanced practice RN, specializing in wound and ostomy care. Another proud accomplishment was co-authoring, along with four colleagues, another BGSU Center for Archival Collections Local History Publication Award-winning book, Caps, Capes, and Caring, the Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo. This publication is also available in the back there.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

Just like to invite you upfront here. On behalf of the Center for Archival Collections, I would like to present you with a plaque honoring your achievement as a 2020 Local History Publication Award winner in the Independent Scholar Division. Congratulations.

Jennifer Long Morehart:

And now, please join me in welcoming Judy Harris Szor as she presents on Sam, Szor, Toledo's Mr. Music.

Judy Szor:

Thank you, Jennifer. When groups used to ask Sam to speak, he used to start by saying, "Before I speak, I'd like to say a few words," meant as a joke, of course, but today, before I speak, I'd like to say a few words and thank the Bowling Green Archives for this wonderful award. It's just a great recognition of the book and was a very, very nice surprise. So, thank you very much.

Judy Szor:

I would like to also thank all of you for coming today to hear about the book. My guess is that many of you have already read the book, so what I thought I would like to do today was really talk about my journey in getting this book written.

Judy Szor:

So, I can't really remember when I first thought about documenting Sam's life because it always seemed that he had just done so much, and we had so many things. We had his awards, the proclamations, all of the programs from all of the concerts that he had done. It just seemed to me, I had this inner urge to know that it was all recorded somewhere all together in one place because he had done so much. It would've been really easy for things to have gotten lost.

Judy Szor:

So, after he retired from teaching, I said to him several times, "Gosh, why don't you write a book about your life? You've done so much, and you have so many wonderful stories. It would be a great project." but he really wasn't interested in doing that. So, after he passed, I knew that I wanted to do it, and I knew that the sooner I could do it, the better because it's amazing how quickly people forget and how quickly times change and things just move on.

Judy Szor:

So, up here, I knew that, but somehow it just wasn't the right time. I just couldn't get going on it. So, after he passed, it was a difficult adjustment, I think, as it is for anybody who loses a spouse. At the time, I was still working part-time, and I went back to work way too soon after his death, which is probably part of the reason that I ended up retiring six months later. So, I retired in the spring of 2015, and shortly after that, Keith McWatters, from the Toledo Symphony, came to see me.

Judy Szor:

He said, "Judy, we would like to present something about Sam at the Music Under the Stars Concerts this summer." He said, "Do you have any ideas how we could go about doing that?" So, we talked for a while, and the outcome was that I would write something to be presented at the concerts. I said, "Well, I know I can write something, but I'm not sure that I can deliver it. I'm not sure I can get through reading it." and he said, "Well, that's not a problem. If you write it, somebody else can read it."

Judy Szor:

So, I set about searching the history of Music Under the Stars, and I put together four stories because there were only four. Four concerts that summer was all that were planned. Interestingly, after I got those four stories written, I knew that I had to deliver them because nobody else could do it the way they were intended. So, I did.

Judy Szor:

That whole process of writing those stories and then delivering them at Music Under the Stars was really pretty therapeutic for me, but what I didn't realize at the time was that those stories would become the first part of what would become this book eventually.

Judy Szor:

Another thing that happened that summer that totally distracted me from documenting Sam's life was that I found out that I really needed to move much more quickly than I intended to. I thought at some point I wanted to move into a smaller house, but I wasn't planning to do it right away. I learned that the city of Toledo was planning to widen the street in front of our house, and so I thought, "Really, can that be true?" So, I called the Engineering Office and the city of Toledo, and they said, "Oh, yes. It's not a matter of if. It's a matter of when."

Judy Szor:

So, I said, "Okay, I have to do this now. The sooner I can get this house on the market, the better." So, the rest of 2015 was really pretty much taken with looking for a new place to live and then packing up 38 years of history that we had been in that house. So, we had the usual accumulation. In addition to that, we had all of Sam's stuff. By Sam's stuff, I mean all of his music and all of his records.

Judy Szor:

Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, in our house, we had a room on the back of the house that had a big closet, and in that room, we had floor-to-ceiling shelves all around the closet, except for one space where we fit in a file cabinet. So, that space housed all of the concert band music, and it was always pretty much my job to maintain the music libraries.

Judy Szor:

So, for instance, in the summer for Music Under the Stars, I would pull out the tunes that were programmed for that week, and then Sam would stuff them in the books for rehearsals in the concert. Then, after the concert, I would break them all down, put the music back in, and then put the folders back into the library so that we could keep track of it all. So, that was the downstairs.

Judy Szor:

Then upstairs, we had in another room, we had another big shelving unit that housed all of the orchestral music that he owned and a lot of orchestral scores, and the clothes closet was supposed to be in that room. There were two big, long shelves. One of those shelves housed all of the choral music, just the choral scores for the masses and the oratorios and all of that kind of thing that we had done. Then the top shelf housed a lot of manuscript music, meaning handwritten music arrangements that people had done, transcribing, for instance, orchestral accompaniments to band accompaniments. So, that was on the top shelf.

Judy Szor:

Then we on another wall, we had three more shelves that housed a lot of church music and below those, we had three big file cabinets. In those file cabinets were more manuscript music, mostly for church and then lots of other things, like we had a file for Music Under the Stars, a file for the Choral Society, a file for Woodward High School, all the things that he had done.

Judy Szor:

In amongst all of that music and the file cabinets, we had lots of newspaper articles, letters, notes, programs from the concerts, and all of his personal notes because he used to keep a daily running of everything he did. So, for years, he had a stenographer's pad. So, each day would be a new page, and he would put the date and write down all the things he had to do and then add in any of the additional things that he did that day. So, there were just lots and lots of things.

Judy Szor:

All of that music went to son Tom's house. Tom's here today. Most of the non-music information came to my house. So, in early 2016 then I moved, and in 2016 and'17 I did some traveling, and I was also working on that nursing history book that was mentioned in my introduction with four of my colleagues and friends. Two of whom are here today, Patty and Beth. So, participating in the writing of that book was really a wonderful experience for me because that really helped me to get going on the creation of this book.

Judy Szor:

So, I started sorting through all of the information that I had in 2017 because most of our writing for the other book was done by then. So, I started looking at all of the information that I had, and then I started feeling some urgency about needing to get this book done. It was already almost four years since Sam had passed, and time was fleeting. So, I promised myself that this was the time that I was going to write the book in 2018. My plan was to self-publish it and have it ready to give to the children and grandchildren by Christmas of 2019. So, that was the plan.

Judy Szor:

I knew I had a lot of information, but I also knew that I wanted input from other people in the book. We had done a lot of interviews for our nursing book, and those interviews just made the stories so much better to hear it told in the words of other people who had lived those situations. So, I knew I wanted to do that with Sam's book as well, number one, because I knew it would make it more interesting and number two, because I thought it would add credibility because this was, after all, a biography being written by a wife. So, I thought if there were other people giving their perceptions of things, that that would be a very good thing.

Judy Szor:

So, in order to do that, to make that happen, I had some face-to-face interviews, but mostly I used email and social media. Facebook was great because, especially the Woodward Alumni Group, they have a very active Facebook page. Waite has one as well, not quite as active, but I could communicate with people all over the country, and they responded. I mean, I put things out on the Facebook pages, and I would get information back from people all over the country. It was really amazing. So, those platforms were extremely helpful.

Judy Szor:

As that information was coming in, I started to think about how I was going to organize the book. So, I thought, "What am I going to do?" because he did so many things all at the same time. I thought if I tried to write that chronologically, it would have been a nightmare for one thing and it would've been very redundant. So, I thought, "That's not going to work." So, I tried making myself an outline, and I thought, "Maybe if I did educator and then professional musician, community, something like that, maybe that would work."

Judy Szor:

So, I made myself an outline, and I thought, "I'm just going to start writing, and maybe it will become clearer later on." So, I knew I had the Music Under the Stars information that just needed to be reworked and added to, but I thought, "I really don't want to start there. I think I want to start with his childhood at the beginning because that's going to be pretty straightforward and maybe really get me going on the writing of this book." So, that's what I did.

Judy Szor:

I had heard Sam talk quite a bit about his childhood, obviously, being together for 40 years. So, I had that information, and then I did a little more research on the Birmingham neighborhood where he grew up. Where I had holes in the family history, I always talked to Tom because Tom has all the family history right up here, and he could fill in all the pieces that I needed.

Judy Szor:

The Hungarian culture was still very much alive in his parents' house, of course, from the vegetable gardens and the rose gardens to the food, the Hungarian Chicken Soup, and all the pastries that Grandma Szor used to make every holiday and in between. I always say that I am Hungarian by osmosis because I was exposed to that culture for so long. We also had some great trips to Hungary to meet the family there and delve more deeply into the culture.

Judy Szor:

I put pictures of Sam's parents, a picture, his favorite picture of his parents in the book. So, today, I thought I would add, because this is not in the book, these are his four children. Tom and Megan are both here today. They're on the right and Terry and Martha are on the left. Terry is in New York, and Martha is in Europe, and Tom and Megan live here. So, I'm really happy to have the two of them here today.

Judy Szor:

Then I did put on the book Facebook page, so some of you may have seen a picture of Sam's sisters. He had his sister Liz next to him, and then the twins, Joyce and Joann, all of whom ended up living in California. So, there's the four Szor siblings and then, I also included this picture because I think it's just really interesting. So, this is from our first trip to Hungary. I think it was 1980, and we arrived maybe on a Friday night or Saturday morning, something like that. And we stayed in Miskolc with an uncle, Uncle Steve, Pista Bácsi, and he's right here.

Judy Szor:

He lived in Miskolc in an apartment with his wife, and he actually had a car because he was not a member of the Communist Party, but he cooperated with the Communist Party. So, he had a much better life than the rest of the family. So, he said we're going to drive to the village where everybody else lived and they all grew up, and we're going to church with the family on Sunday morning.

Judy Szor:

So, we went, and I remember walking down the lane to the church, arm-in-arm with one of Sam's aunts. These are his uncles right here, Pista Bácsi and Pali Bácsi, and his aunts, Erze Néni and Zsuzsi Néni, and this is one of his first cousins from Hungary.

Judy Szor:

So, I was walking, arm-in-arm with Zsuzsi Néni down the lane. She spoke no English. I knew very few Hungarian words at the time, but it was also comfortable. It was just really nice. We got to the church, which was 300 and however many years old, a beautiful church. We walked inside, and it was like stepping back in time because the men sat on one side and the women sat on the other side. In front of the pulpit was a pew for honored guests. So, that's where we sat along with his aunts and uncles, and, unbeknownst to Sam, the minister called him up to speak.

Judy Szor:

So, there we were, jet-lagged, and he hadn't really spoken a lot of Hungarian for a long time, but he got up and spoke to the congregation, and I think he did well. I didn't understand it, but everybody else seemed to be pleased with what he said. So, that was a good thing.

Judy Szor:

So, Sam didn't talk too much about his grade school years. The one story that I partially put in the book was when he started studying saxophone, having private lessons for saxophone. He told me that his teacher used to go from house to house on Saturdays. He was at the very end of the day. The teacher had a little flask in his pocket and between every house he would have a nip.

Judy Szor:

So, by the time he got to Sam at the end of the day, he was a little tipsy, apparently. Still, Sam got his lessons then, and he progressed on the saxophone. He did talk more about his high school years at Waite High School, and everybody that I've ever met from his class and those years talked about what a wonderful education they received at Waite High School. Actually, I think all of the public schools in Toledo during those years were really good.

Judy Szor:

These people, some of the guys when they would get together, they talked about their physics class in particular. There were quite a few of them who actually saved their notes from their physics class well into adulthood because they were just so good. Then, they also talked about an English teacher. I wish I could remember names, but I don't anymore. They said this woman was such a good English teacher and then somebody would always say, "Yes, and she gallantly fought the battle of lie and lay for many years."

Judy Szor:

So, and then, of course, the band director, Cecil Vashaw, was so, so influential in Sam's life and had a huge impact. It really was pretty amazing, I think, what these kids did. I put this in here. This is a picture of Sam, and he is a kid. This is him in high school with his high school bandmates, and these kids were- they were kids and they had fun like kids, but they were good students. They were really serious about what they were doing.

Judy Szor:

So, I think it's just quite amazing what they accomplished with their big band and also that group that became the forerunners to the Toledo Youth Orchestra. I said in the book that their big band broke up as people graduated and moved on, but just a couple months ago I got some information from George Hartman, who was another member of the big band that they had. There are just a couple things that I want to share with you.

Judy Szor:

He said, "I don't know the total number of jobs we played. It was quite a few, but several stand out for various reasons. The first was we were booked for the Riverside Park Teen Town Dance." He said, "We got through it, and when we were leaving, we were paid. We each earned the grand total of $1.27 back then."

Judy Szor:

Then this one was really interesting. He said, "A very notable gig was a dance in the tower room of the Hillcrest Hotel. The room had a low ceiling, and we had a full 13 members of the band playing with three trumpets and two trombones, so it was loud, and some people went out onto the roof of the hotel to dance. Partway through the gig, a union rep approached us and said he was going to shut down the hotel because we were non-union. He backed off after we, or some of us, agreed to join the union. That basically was the end of the band because our normal clientele could not afford paying a large band union wages." So, that may be a more accurate accounting of what happened to the big band at the time.

Judy Szor:

Chapter two, that's all in chapter one, finally. Chapter two then talks about his experience at University of Michigan. Sam talked a lot about his years at University of Michigan, and they were just incredible years. You think about this kid who had hardly ever been out of Toledo before, and leaving home to go to U of M, and meeting people from all over the world, students who came there. He was very involved, very busy because he not only carried his full student load, but he had his job working in the band library, which was a lot of hours.

Judy Szor:

So, he worked very hard while he was there, and he took his studies very seriously. I remember him talking about the Shakespeare course that he took that he really, really liked when he was there. I put this picture of Sam. This is Sam. This is on the Facebook page too. This is Sam when we went back a time or two for alumni day. Here he was marching with the alumni band. He's with the twirlers upfront because he was a twirler. Here he is, I call it, jumping for joy. That's how I think of him, how he must have been. I didn't know him then, but how he must have been during those years at U of M because they were such wonderful years and happy years for him.

Judy Szor:

So, after the U of M then, I was moving on to his working years. I want to tell you, I had so much information that I sometimes drove myself crazy. I tried to organize it. I sorted it, of course, all the Woodward information together, and the UT, and the Waite, and Choral Society, and Music Under Stars. I tried to put it in chronological order. So, next, I was going to work on the Woodward chapter.

Judy Szor:

So, I would start writing, and I had read all of this stuff. I would be writing, and I would think, "Oh, that one story that I read would be perfect right here." Then, I would go try and find it and it took me forever sometimes to be able to find that information. So, if I ever write another book like this, I really have to figure out a better system for keeping that information more at hand. I didn't use footnotes, but I did try to cite sources as much as possible.

Judy Szor:

So, I had lots of information from Woodward. I got responses from Woodward students from all over, some Woodward teachers, some people who lived in the neighborhood. It was really incredible how much information I got. I also had a lot of photographs because a professional photographer, Bill Hartough, who may have been ... Was he the photographer at UT, Tom, or …?

Tom Szor:

Yes.

Judy Szor:

Yes, okay. He was always at Woodward because of all the things that were going on there. The football halftime shows and the extravaganzas that they did were really incredible. And so, he was always there taking pictures. So, I had lots of pictures. Then, as I started going through the newspapers, I found more pictures that I really wanted to use in the book.

Judy Szor:

So, I went down to The Blade, and I went through the archives thinking that they had all the original pictures, right? Well, they didn't have any of them from the 1950s and 60s. I don't know if they ever had, and they just were clearing their files, but they were not there. I was also looking for a story pertaining to the Waite years, when he was teaching at Waite. I spent, I can't tell you how many hours going through the microfiche that it's all on, which is kind of tedious, trying to find that story. I finally gave up. Some of it just was not going to happen.

Judy Szor:

It was that way a few places. Bend of The River Magazine had a great picture, and I tried to find it there and they didn't have the original. East Side Paper had a great picture I wanted to use, and they were no longer in existence. So, I just had to go with what I had. I did try to find, because I really wanted to document all the extravaganzas from Woodward, and I had a few holes. So, I thought, "Maybe I can find those." So, I went over to Woodward, and I went through all the yearbooks, but I guess it was because the extravaganzas occurred in the springtime, and all the yearbook stuff had to be in so it could get printed and published before the kids graduated. So, they weren't in the yearbook, and the next year they didn't come back and pick it up.

Judy Szor:

So, I thought, "Well, they had this wonderful newsletter called The Tattler,” right, John?

John:

Yep.

Judy Szor:

Yes. So, a man from the alumni association came, and he brought a lot of information with him. He had a lot of Tattlers. So, as we're looking through it, the years that were missing were the 1950s and 60s. So, that did not work out either. Woodward years were great. Part of what made them so special were these other two men here with Sam, and that's Bud Kerwin, the first one here, and Tom Bollin sitting down.

Judy Szor:

Bud said that it was like a performance art school within a public school, and it wasn't happening anyplace else in the country. And it really was amazing what they accomplished. But Bud taught dance and did all the choreography, and Tom was the director of all the theater productions. So, the three of them worked together for quite some time, even into his years at UT.

Judy Szor:

I just wanted to show you a couple more pictures. These were on the Facebook page, but, just, for instance, this picture was from the newspaper. That's why it's not very sharp. Just to give you an idea of what they did, these were the costumes for a football halftime show on the King and I. They had a student for a number of years who was really interested in costume design and very talented. She used to design the costumes, and then the students and their mothers would make these. They did a different show for every home game. So, it really, I think it's just amazingly impressive.

Judy Szor:

This is the one, the Steven Foster show where the majorettes not only did they had to learn to play banjo, but they were dancing when they were playing the banjo. The majorettes always had to play an instrument. They had another instrument besides the banjo, but in this show, they were doing that.

Judy Szor:

So, Sam was really riding high at Woodward. He had so much support from all of the students, from all of the faculty, from the administration, from the community. I didn't really know him when he made the decision to leave Woodward and go to University of Toledo, but I'm sure that he thought it was a step up and would be a new challenge. So, he did leave and move to University of Toledo.

Judy Szor:

And the University of Toledo turned out to be some of his worst years in his career. The chapter, I thought, "Well, how am I going to write this?" because even though I wasn't there, we had talked about it a lot and what those years were like for him. So, fortunately for me, he had kept a lot of records. So, I had all of the articles that had been published in the Collegian,[AG1]  their newspaper. I had the letters that had been written by staff, administration, students. I had memos that had been sent all of that information, so I could just make the chapter as factual as possible, and that's what I did.

Judy Szor:

But just today, I would like to say that I think a huge part of the problem in those UT years really was jealousy because he got so much attention his first couple of years at UT in creating a band where there hadn't been one for a while. All of the things he was doing with the band, the orchestra, recruiting kids, he had more bassoon majors than they had clarinet majors, for Heaven's sakes.

Judy Szor:

It was in the newspaper. It was on the front page of the Sunday section, big articles. It was on the sports page. I mean, it was everywhere. I think there were a lot of people in the music department who just had a really difficult time with that. So, he left UT and went to start teaching at Waite High School, his alma mater. We were a couple by then. So, for those years, I observed, and I was a part of that time at Waite.

Judy Szor:

So, I attended football games, went to some of the other activities, and I knew a lot of kids who were in the band. I actually got to see how magical Sam was with these high school-age kids. I think part of his secret was that he really cared, and he knew these kids. Individually, he knew these kids. He knew their strengths. He knew their weaknesses, and he built them up. He made them believe that they could do things that they never thought they could do. They did it. I mean, it was really amazing.

Judy Szor:

So, occasionally, I got pulled into participating. I put this on the Facebook page too. He was doing a Disney show one year, and he came home, and he said, "I need a Donald Duck costume. I don't have a Donald Duck costume. Do you think you can make one?" I said, "Yeah, I can make it." I said, "What size do you want it to be in?" He said, "I don't know who's going to wear it yet. So, just make it sort of around your size, and then I'll find somebody."

Judy Szor:

So, time came close to the show, and he said, "I don't have anybody to wear that uniform that Donald Duck costume. Would you do it?" and so, I ended up doing it, and it was fun. Then another thing that was funny was after we got married, for some reason, he decided he was done going to the barber and that I should cut his hair. My mom had always cut my dad's hair and so, I thought, "Well, I can do that." So I learned how to cut his hair, and forever after, I cut his hair.

Judy Szor:

On occasion, when he had that band student or two who couldn't afford to get their hair cut, and he was afraid the other kids were going to start teasing them because long hair was not in back then, he would call me up and say, "Could you come over after work and give so and so a haircut?" So, I would do that, and it was fun.

Judy Szor:

This is another one of the pictures from a newspaper that I couldn't find the original of, but this is how he captured the students at Waite, and that was to get them where they were, in the music that they were interested in doing. So, this was their KISS show that they did for a football halftime, and each kid picked out what kind of face they wanted to do. They did all their own music. They researched the KISS group and the music that they were going to play and that's what they did, and that's how they learned.

Judy Szor:

As Sam used to say, the rhythms in some of this new music that they were doing were more challenging than some of the classical stuff. And he got a lot of criticism for doing that, but he really was about educating the children, and that's what he needed to do. So, he did it, and it worked because a lot of those kids went on to do music for a long, long time.

Judy Szor:

From here, in the book, then I moved into his professional activities, and I did have to do a little more research in some areas. I spent some time at the Toledo Symphony office going through records, so I had more accurate dates of when he actually played bassoon with them. I came here to the archives a couple different times because all of our archival information for the Choral Society is here. So, I came here to get that information. Then, I searched online for some more information about the Perrysburg Orchestra. Otherwise, I had most of the information I needed.

Judy Szor:

This is a picture that I wanted to put in the book, but again, it was in the newspaper. I couldn't find one good enough to reprint. This is Sam with Mary Willing. Mary Willing was the woman who started the Toledo Choral Society in 1919. And she was another musical icon in Toledo. She was a force to be reckoned with and I hope that she doesn't get forgotten.

Judy Szor:

Then, this picture is just of Sam. This is his 50th year of Music Under the Stars, and we had a big party for him in our backyard. This was during the party. He went on to do Music Under the Stars for another 10 years. It's just an incredible story that he could keep that series going successfully for 60 years. I mean, that's just a phenomenal accomplishment, and it's gone already. I mean, it's been gone for a few years. They have a series that they call Music Under the Stars, but they bring groups in to play in the amphitheater and it's nothing like it was when he used to do it.

Judy Szor:

So, some people who have read the book ask me, "When did he ever sleep?" He did not sleep a lot, but one of the ways that he did relax was in water. He really liked to study in the bathtub. And the picture on the right, we had some good friends who had a pool. So, oftentimes, on Monday after the Music Under the Stars on Sunday night, we would go to their house, and he would soak in the pool and start studying the scores for the next week while the rest of us got dinner ready, et cetera. Then the other pictures, we had another friend who had a big pond. He would go out in the middle of the pond and have to hold his score up here so it wouldn't get wet while he was studying.

Judy Szor:

We did not have a lot of time off. We did have every year we would have a week or maybe two at the most after school got out and before Music Under the Stars started. So, for years, we went camping. So, we would drive to Indianapolis, and we would see Bud Kerwin, and then we would go to Brown County and camp. So, our tent on the left, that was our Michigan tent. That was our first tent, and it was a great tent. The only bad thing was that the window flaps were on the outside, and you had to go out and tie them down. So, if it was raining, you got wet.

Judy Szor:

So, one year when we were camping, it rained, and it rained, and it rained for days. Finally, one day we said, "You know what? Let's go into town and get some breakfast." and so we did, and we stayed in town for quite a while because it was still raining. When we finally came back to our campsite, our tent was gone. It had been stolen. Our air mattresses and our pillows were on the ground in the mud, and the tent was gone.

Judy Szor:

The one on the right is our new tent, and it was a good tent. It wasn't Michigan tent, but it was a good tent. The good thing was that the window zipped up from the inside because we went through a lot of storms and even a tornado in these tents while we were camping.

Judy Szor:

So, after all of the writing, then I just had to assemble the appendices of all of the repertoire, et cetera, his awards. My niece is here today who took pictures, took the photographs of all of his awards so, that was not difficult. It was just time-consuming.

Judy Szor:

As I was involved in writing this book then in 2018, our nursing book was published. What a great feeling it is to be able to hold a book in your hand that you have participated in creating. It was really wonderful. So, when that book came out, I thought, "Hm, I wonder if the UT Press might be interested in publishing this book." I recalled from our very first meeting with the UT Press about our nursing book that a comment had been made that said, "We don't do, and we never have done biographies."

Judy Szor:

I thought, "Mm, well, that's not a good sign, but the person in charge has changed since then, so what do I have to lose?" So, I went to the UT Press, and I talked to Yarko, who's here today. We talked a while, and then he said he would consider it and he finally said, yes, he would do it. I was so happy. Thank you, Yarko, for that because I just thought having a publisher really adds a little credibility to the book, and they were so helpful in the editing and the layout of the book, and finally determining the chapters and how that would all work. So, that was great.

Judy Szor:

So, I submitted everything in May or June, I think maybe May of 2019, for the editing to begin. It was to be published in the spring of 2020 because of UT Press's schedule. Then, of course, because of COVID, everything got pushed back, and it came out in September. So, I have had a lot of positive feedback since the book was published, but it's been challenging to get the word out because of COVID.

Judy Szor:

I did do a video launch of the book on Facebook, which was really nice, I thought, and at the encouragement of my nursing colleagues. I know that there are thousands of people out there yet who used to come to Music Under the Stars, and the Messiah, and the Perrysburg Symphony, all those places who have not yet heard about the book. So, help me spread the word out there.

Judy Szor:

I thought this was a fitting slide for the end. This was, I think, the first Halloween concert that Sam did, and we both went in costume because the audience was encouraged to come in costume also. So, Sam obviously was Dracula, and I was actually dressed in his mourning suit and went as a conductor. So, thank you again so much for coming today and help me spread the word. Thank you very much.

Patricia Beach, Susan Eisel, Maria Nowicki, Judy Szor, and Beth White - "Caps, Capes, and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo" (November 14, 2019)

In this lecture, authors Patricia Beach, Susan Eisel, Maria Nowicki, Judy Szor, and Beth White discuss their book Caps, Capes, and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo (Toledo, Ohio: The University of Toledo Press, 2018), and as well as how they went about jointly conducting historical research and oral history interviews with nursing school alumni. Caps, Capes, and Caring was one of the 2018 winners of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Independent Scholar category.

The authors of Caps, Capes, and Caring, all themselves graduates of Toledo diploma nursing schools, have enjoyed distinguished decades-long careers as nurses and/or nursing educators in Toledo.

PDF Transcript of "Caps, Capes, and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo"

Nick Pavlik:

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to Jerome Library at Bowling Green State University. And thank you so much for attending today's program, which is part of the Local History Publication Award Fall Lecture Series sponsored by the Center for archival collections, or the CAC. My name is Nick Pavlik, I'm the curator of manuscripts and digital projects at the CAC and I also serve as the current chair of the CAC's local history publication awards given.

Nick Pavlik:

The CAC's annual local history publication award is an extension of its mission to collect, preserve and provide access to historical and archival records relating to Northwest Ohio. The order was established to encourage and recognize authors of outstanding publications about Northwest Ohio history, with awards being given and both academic scholar and independent scholar divisions. Each division winner is awarded $300 and a plaque and is invited to Jerome Library to give a talk about their work.

Nick Pavlik:

It's my pleasure today to welcome authors Patricia Beach, Susan Eisel, Maria Nowicki, Judy Szor and Beth White to Jerome Library as the winners of our 2018 local history publication award in the independent scholar division for their book Caps Capes and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo, published by the University of Toledo press. All five of the authors we are welcoming here today have had distinguished nursing careers of their own and are themselves graduates of diploma nursing schools. By way of introduction, if each of you just wouldn't mind raising your hand when I say your name, just so everybody knows who you are.

Maria Nowicki:

Five authors.

Nick Pavlik:

Patricia Beach, received her nursing diploma from St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing in Youngstown, Ohio, a BSN from Capitol University in Columbus and MSN from Medical College of Ohio and Toledo. She's a clinical nurse specialist and patient navigator for the Mercy Health cancer program and holds advanced certification in oncology and palliative care nursing. She also worked as an instructor at Toledo hospital School of Nursing.

Nick Pavlik:

Susan Eisel, attended the Flower Hospital School of Nursing matriculating in 1974. And over the course of her nursing career, she has worked in emergency rooms, intensive care areas and in hospital management and nursing education. Maria Nowicki is a 1970 graduate of Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. She received her BSN from the University of Toledo as well as a master in science and education and public health from UT. An MSN from Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, and a PhD in health education also from UT. She's also a graduate of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. After her time as a hospital nurse, she went to spend over 30 years in nursing education. Teaching first level nursing at both Mercy's School of Nursing and the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing, and eventually heading the nursing program at Mercy College of Ohio.

Nick Pavlik:

Judy Szor, attended the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing and worked in head nurse positions at the Toledo hospital before joining the faculty of the Toledo hospital School of Nursing in 1971. Following the closure of the Toledo hospital school in 1988, she continued working at Toledo hospital, leading the first nurse residency orientation program for new graduates serving as the hospital's HIV/AIDS resource and serving as wound ostomy continence nurse. She then set up her own consulting business, healing wound and ostomy Services LLC in 2001, which she left in 2010. Though she continued to work part time in healing care at Flower Hospital's Hickman Cancer Center until retiring fully in 2015. Judy also has a BSN from the University of Michigan and MN from the University of Toledo and MSN from Medical College of Ohio.

Nick Pavlik:

And finally, Beth White graduated from St. Vincent School of Nursing in 1973, and received a BSN from Madonna College in Bologna, Michigan, 1975 and MSN from Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University in 1981. Beth's career has spanned adult critical care to nursing care of children and perinatal nursing care. She has taught Nursing at Toledo area diploma ASN and BSN programs and as a certified pediatric clinical nurse specialist. And as a final note, the University of Toledo press's managing editor Yarko Kuk is here today and has brought copies of the book that are available to purchase if you would be so interested in purchasing them, which I hope you are. So after the program, please feel free to speak to Yarko about that. So without further ado, please join me in welcoming our authors to Jerome Library.

Maria Nowicki:

Thank you, Nick for the introductions. As you listen to the introductions, you probably heard one thing keep coming up Toledo Hospital School of Nursing. And that was how these five folks got together. And Patty, raise your hand again. Because Patty needs to take credit for this idea of this book and pitching it and without too much arm turning, getting us to all agree to go ahead and work on this project. Patty has a wonderful two daughters, but one daughter and her oldest Stacy, who we tried to talk into nursing as her original degree, but we couldn't quite get her there. Went to Ohio State, and got a degree in communications and then decided afterwards that perhaps she would go back to school. And she decided to go into one of the accelerated programs, BSN programs.

Maria Nowicki:

And Patty and Stacy started exchanging ideas and exchanging thoughts about what was going on in nursing education and Stacy would tell her what was going on in her program and Patty would regale her with stories of life and diploma schools X number of years ago. And Stacy just couldn't quite believe what kind of went on there. You had to do what? Everybody went and took the same board in the same place with a paper and pencil? A computer you had to wait, how long we get your results? And all of those kinds of things. So Patty decided that wait a minute, the story needed to be told that we had a very important part of history that was going to be lost unless we started sitting down and telling the story.

Maria Nowicki:

And so, God love her, she invited us all to go to dinner. And it wasn't an unusual thing because the Toledo Hospital faculty had always been a close knit group. And it was not unusual for us to go out and have dinner or have a big party here and there. So we all sat down on Jan [Alexanders 00:07:19]. And she pitched it to us thinking that she might have one or two bite, and everybody bit. So we all decided that this would be a great project to work on. And all of us coming from different schools of nursing, we all had our own perspectives and our own stories

and people to talk to, and archives to go ahead and wait into. So that's what we began doing, taking a look at things. So this is the culmination of that. Everybody wonders how you can get five people to work together and actually get something done and do a decent job with it. And thank you very much for the recognition of the history award, which kind of just as another feather in the cap saying, "Well, yeah, I guess you did do a decent job." So excuse my mopping with Kleenex is periodically.

Maria Nowicki:

First thing I think everyone will agree, we definitely check egos at the door. Everybody read each other's material, reread it. We said, "Man, maybe you could say this a little better. How about you include this? Well, wait a minute that goes better in this part of the book, then it goes over here. That picture that you picked up might go better over here. Let's organize the picture this way, or let's do that." And everybody was very open. I don't think anybody dug their heels and say, "Now I want to do it my way or we're going to it this way or whatever." So it stands the test of time, how long... It's been a year and a half since the book was published, and we're still friends and we still go out together and all those kinds of things. So that's a good thing. So we're going to give you a little walk down memory lane, in terms of the schools of nursing.

Maria Nowicki:

Toledo is a little unusual in terms of how many schools of nursing there were. Because there were a lot bigger cities that didn't have quite as many as we had in Toledo. We found that through our history, things change in nursing, because nursing recognizes that something needs to be done, and nurses pick up and make it better and they give it a go. And that's who makes the changes and who gets things going. So the book is organized with some quotes from Florence Nightingale that we felt really spoke to what was happening in the chapters and what we're trying to convey. So things never happen or things never get better, unless someone in the profession decides to go ahead and get things change.

Maria Nowicki:

Diploma nursing education, it's something that we have a giggle over. Although we talk about the Toledo area. When I went into nursing school, I was a born and bred city girl. And I have to laugh because the first week in school, I never met so many people who lived on a farm in my life. So when we talk about this, we may talk about Toledo. But the people who came to school really were pulled in from all over Northwest Ohio. From a lot of the smaller towns and a lot of different backgrounds that I certainly hadn't had any experience with. So we saw people from all different areas. The different schools of nursing buildings, these are kind of the final buildings. When we speak about the dormitory buildings. There are a lot of other pictures that we came across that the dormitory and the School of Nursing buildings were very different depending on the location. There are a lot of pictures of old houses where the nurses lived. The Old West End especially, there are a lot of the big homes.

Maria Nowicki:

As we look through these, if you look at the very top picture in the your left hand corner, that's the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing. And we know that building's gone. Generational tower and a few other things are sitting on that right now. There is some of the paneling from the lounge in that area in one of the conference rooms in there. Over next to that is D'Youville Hall, which was the St Vincent's School of Nursing. That's also gone right now. That was renovation of the ER area, so that's new. Next to that was the Flower Hospital School of Nursing, and that was the last place then for the dormitories. And that was like the first time everyone was in the

same spot for that one. Down here is Mercy School of Nursing and that was completed in 1957. That building is still there, although it's pretty much mothballed right now. A lot of his [inaudible 00:12:26] and stuff in that so that's why it's not coming down right now.

Maria Nowicki:

Next to that is, what was Maumee Valley School of Nursing. Before it became Medical College, we had Maumee Valley. That was the hospital and it was also dormitory space for the School of Nursing. Down here in this corner is the Riverside Hospital School of Nursing. And then in the far corner, there was the Toledo state hospital and they operated a full School of Nursing at one point for a short time. And then was just used for affiliation for psychiatric nursing after that. It was a beautiful building inside too. Very much like the old [Croxon 00:13:12] hall with the wooden paneling and very pretty inside. These are the Thompson sisters going to make sure give you the right sisters here.

Maria Nowicki:

These were some of the first graduates from the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing. And one of the things that kind of struck us when we were looking at your pictures, were certainly the uniforms. I'm sorry, these were the Butler sisters, boy I was off on that one. And was Catherine and Jimmy Butler from the class of 1898. The uniforms at this time had to be made. You didn't go pick these off the rack anywhere. So they were specific McCalls butterick patterns that they used to make these. And they were very specific in terms of how deep the hem should be, how long the sleep should be.

Maria Nowicki:

I don't remember anything like this. I remember that I was told I better be able to kneel on the floor because I'm sister Sylvia comes by and my uniform doesn't touch the floor when I kneel down, that baby is too short. That was the only thing I had to contend with and my shoe laces better be clean. Because if not you better go back up to your room and scrub your shoelaces, none of those little black marks on your shoelaces. Part of the thing over here and one of the pre letters that were sent was, they should not buy their shoes before they come into for duty because they would have an orthopedic specialist examine their feet to make sure that they would buy the right shoes. So they were very particular very, very particular about what you wore. There were also a variety of things that actually brought people into nursing. Florence Nightingale actually felt that she had a calling from God, that this is why she went into nursing.

Maria Nowicki:

We have a website that's called Caps Capes and Caring on Facebook. And I have a newspaper clipping on that one that talks about a family and you see mom and dad signing the sixth daughter in to start nursing school. So many times we think of nursing kind of running in families. Grandma was a nurse, mom was a nurse, daughter was a nurse. I felt extremely old when I had a student on the phone one day, and she called down the hallway, "Doctor Nowicki my mother's on the phone. You had her as a student." So I retired before someone could say, "Yes, my grandmother on the phone." So callings were very different. And I'm going to talk about one of those sisters. Tradition was also very, very important when we talk about what was happening in the nursing schools at that time. Every nursing school had a different cap. And we were lucky to have gotten pictures of each of those caps and for some of them it was pretty hard. Because they be became a thing of the past.

Maria Nowicki:

I always had a student pop in near graduation time and say, "If I get my picture taken with a nurse's cap on grandma'll pay for all my graduation pictures. Do you have one yeah, we can borrow mine." We kept a cap is the cap of the nursing program, but no one wanted to wear them. So we've got Flower hospital's cap up there, and I believe that's a mercy picture on the bottom. We always wondered how they got everybody so regimented and precise in that picture, it was. And nursing pins were very important too. I always and just speaking for me, and I think everybody kind of feels the same way. You always like your own program. So I always said that if I'm in the ER and I'm in an accident, and I wake up and I look at somebody's chest and I see a mercy pin, I know I'm okay. But now, after working with my colleagues, I know I'm okay if I see her till we open Flower pin and [inaudible 00:17:35] pin. There were a lot of things also, besides family that had an effect on how people chose their careers.

Maria Nowicki:

Cheer games, cheer games was a big one. And they just reissued Oh, probably about five or six years ago. All the cheer games books again. The very same books, just new covers and everything so you could buy six of the old ones. A sense of duty to country, we saw a lot of people entering the nursing profession as a result of wars, things that were going on. The way they needed to have more health care providers in the military. So there were variety of reasons why people chose to go into nursing. One of the things too, as we talk about why you went into nursing, when you think about early are in the 40s and 30s, 50s, 60s even, what kind of choices that women have? You could be a nurse or what? Teacher or secretary. Yeah, that was it. I remember a lot of my friends that I graduated from grade school, who went into secretarial school, who went to secretarial school those kinds of things. So it was one of the choices that you had at that time.

Maria Nowicki:

There were a lot of recruitment posters too that we came across that either played on your patriotic duty or played on... This one definitely talks about a calling from God, that you are serving humanity, that you are taking care of God's people. So a lot of these kinds of things you saw in terms of how nurses were portrayed, and a lot of people said these kinds of things affected them. We had the book launch, someone brought in this picture frame that her aunt had received as a graduation present from Riverside Hospital School of Nursing where she graduated. And we were trying to find where this picture came from, we just had the photo, but we never were able to find out the original source of the photo. And she had gotten this picture as a gift for graduation. So we still don't know what the original is.

Maria Nowicki:

As we were doing research on the book, certainly much of it came from going through the archives, which was a lot of fun, going through all the old photos and researching what we could find in the news archives. One of the things was interviews with people, and we were able to get interviews completed with some of the folks in the area that we felt made the greatest impact on nursing as a profession in the area. And one of the interviews that my colleagues were able to get was Mary Booker Gregory Power, and Mary was the first African American graduate from a diploma school in Toledo. And she really had a hard way to go. Because after she graduated from high school, with exceptional grades, she had five of her friends applied at every diploma school in Toledo and were turned down by every one of them.

Maria Nowicki:

They were told to go to college for a year and then reapply. So, they all went to college, they all went to University of Toledo. Four of her friends went on to be teachers, pharmacist. Mary decided to reapply to all the schools again, and she was turned down again. And many of her applications were returned not even opened. But the Friday before school was supposed to start on Monday. She received a phone call from St. Vincent's Hospital School of Nursing. They told her she could get ready and have everything she needed. By Monday she could start the program. She doesn't know why they made that decision why they changed their mind. But she was allowed to come in and start that program. She stated in her interviews that she felt that she had to be the person who was going to be the model that she was a trailblazer at that point, that she took a lot of flack. And some of the worst treatment she got were from the physicians in the area. That they called her nanny.

Maria Nowicki:

But she recounted one incident where she was in the operating room, and the anesthesiologist was firing a lot of questions at her. And she thought he was really being hard on her, but she could answer everything. And no matter what he asked her what he was trying to get from her, she was able to go ahead and give her the info. And afterwards he took her aside and he said, "I just wanted to do that for you, so that you knew what you would be up against." He said, "I knew you could do it." He said, "I wanted you to know that I went through the same thing." He said "I'm Jewish and I felt the same kind of prejudice and persecution that you feel. So just know that you can also go through this." Mary went on to do a lot for the inner city and healthcare in the inner city. She was asked to sit on one of the governor's commission for community health. And she really did a lot in the community and many people that worked with her and were touched by her.

Maria Nowicki:

We all had an opportunity, I think, to teach Jeff when we were at Toledo Hospital School of Nursing, and he was probably one of our favorite students. Jeff was definitely a non traditional student. Number one, he was male. When we were used to having traditional students which the definition was 17 or 18 years old, right out of high school, no college, no classes or anything and what behind the ears. Jeff was married, he had a family. And he had to work all the way through school, which many times we would tell students don't do that, it's too hard, you're not going to be able to handle this. Well, he certainly proved us all wrong. He worked as an orderly all the way through his education. He was especially interested in care of the dying and making sure that people were given the best care that they possibly could have at end of life. He was also very careful and reverential whenever he treated or had to take care of dead bodies. Making sure that everything was done properly.

Maria Nowicki:

Jeffrey graduated went down to Columbus to work he was working nights as most new graduates had to do when they first got their first job. So he decided that he was also interested in politics. And where laws get made and where laws get changed. So we used to spend a lot of time at the State House and would listen to the discussions. He would also go to the Ohio border nursing and listen to their meetings and their deliberation and see how things were done there their policies and procedures and worked very tirelessly on behalf of palliative care. And now works as President, I'm going to make sure I get the role correctly. He received his baccalaureate and his master's degree, and he is actually still working in Columbus as president of the Ohio hospital lines that represents 29 nonprofit hospices. So he continues to work in that arena.

Maria Nowicki:

The dormitories I think, were the first time many people were away from home for the first time. Florence Nightingale was very specific in terms of what she felt a dorm should be like and where people should live the regimentation. My colleagues were laughing as I said, "Yes, I know Bowling Green well." Because I used to come down here for parties on weekend because all my friends were down here at Bowling Green having fun. And I was up at Mercy in four study hour from 5:30 to 7:30 every night. And I had to be in by 10 o'clock and you got one late a month and those kinds of things and my friends are down here partying like crazy. So Friday, I will drop my laundry off, my mother would graciously do it and I would head down to Bowling Green. So I used to know how to get around the campus. But dormitory still were home for us. And so, there was a lot of emphasis on making things like home. So, decorating your rooms decorating the place for Christmas. There were still dances.

Maria Nowicki:

We had things called dating parlours, rooms where you could bring your boyfriend. But there was a window in them and Sister Sylvia would walk the hall. So she kind of made sure what was going on. The T up there, a lot of the students said that whatever program they were at those were those kinds of functions. I think it was the function were teaching you manners and acting proper. They would pull out the lovely silver and you'd have your cup of tea and your cookies. There was also, if you see the choir at the bottom, I know it was a requirement usually your freshman year that you were in the choir. And every year we would have something called Nightingale sing, and all the school choirs got together and did different selections. You only had to be in that nursery freshman year you could stay in it after that. But we would sing I remember the year that I did it. We sang selections from The Music Man. But everybody did and at the end all the choirs came out on stage and we all saying you'll never walk alone.

Maria Nowicki:

I think one of the things that people have a hard time dealing with is 40 girls and two telephones. You get a little buzz in your room that you have phone call, and everybody would charge down to the phone. And it also had a window and a door and a lot of windows and doors at that time. And if you were on the phone too long, people started giving the evil eye as you walked up and down, or the knock on the door. One of the other Joys. Sister Rita Mary Watchman is another person that we had the chance to interview as one of the folks who's made a difference in the area. She was a graduate of Mercy School of Nursing. One of the first questions on our interview was, why did you become a nurse? And again, some of those thing that I mentioned always came up well, my mother was a nurse. You know, my great aunt Betty was a nurse. I was sick in the hospital and a nurse took care of me, and I was really impressed with her so I wanted to be like her. All of those things came up.

Maria Nowicki:

I asked Mary, why did you want to become a nurse? She said, "I didn't." I said, "What do you mean you didn't." She said, "Well, it wasn't my choice." Tell me about that. She said, "I thought I was going to be a teacher." She said, "I entered the order." after she had worked for a while. And she thought she would be going to Teachers College. And they had an emergency in Toledo, so she came and she taught fifth grade and she really liked it. Thought that she would be doing the same thing next year and go to Teachers College. And she got a letter saying, "You will report to Toledo and you will be entering Mercy Hospital School of Nursing and you're going to be a nurse." Because that's what they needed at that time. So she said, "I entered the order. I wasn't religious, and you go where they tell you to go and you do God's work and that's

what happens." So she graduated from nursing school and was made a supervisor the next day.

Maria Nowicki:

And then she became the director of nursing and eventually became the CEO at Tiffin Hospital, that was a Mercy Hospital also. She then was actually looking for her replacement, because she said, "I was getting older and I knew I was going to be able to carry everything out." And then they, after she got that taken care of they told her they were going to transfer her to Willard. She said, "The first thing that came in my mind is, where it Willard?" She had never heard of it before. So she went down to Willard and in Willard she said, that's probably where she found her real Calling. Where she got a chance to really interact with patients.

Maria Nowicki:

She took over as a really the minister, the hospital ministry at that time. And was able to get so much trust built up in the area that she worked with all the pastors of all the different churches. They would call her asked her to visit their patients that were in the hospital. She said she had been invited to so many weddings, baptisms, funerals, and she was instrumental in working with the Mennonite and Amish community to get them access to health care. So interesting way to get into the profession, but also a way to continue. And Beth is going to take over now. I didn't do too bad.

Beth White:

You did great.

Maria Nowicki:

I'm the one that you can't shut up so.

Speaker 4:

It's because the stories are so good.

Beth White:

The stories are great.

Speaker 5:

There are too many stories.

Beth White:

We want to save some time for your stories as well.

Maria Nowicki:

Get to do it a couple of times.

Beth White:

Oh yes you have to do it a couple... Oh There you go. Florence Nightingale is the recognized founder of modern nursing. And this long quote here is a summary of what she really thought was required of a nurse. That nurses training and we used to call it nurses training until really

the middle of the 20th century, when it became apparent that horses were trained to not nurses, and we started calling it nursing education. But she really believed that you were born to be a nurse. That you had that kind of compassion, that search for knowledge, that wanting to care for other people, and that you not only had that calling, but you needed to apply what you had inside of you to becoming a nurse. And so she was one of the first people that said, "We need to have pretty strict college schools of nursing. And that you need to store it up in practice." And so the whole idea of practice, practice, practice was started with Florence Nightingale.

Beth White:

For those of you in the room that are nurses of Diploma Nursing School, should know that one of the things that separates diploma nursing schools from collegiate nursing schools are clinicals. And if you had to say, what was the difference between a nurse that graduated from a diploma school when you went to school and a nurse that went to BSN program, was because you spent a whole lot of your time in the hospital taking care of patients and that was where the classroom content was really supposed to be applied. It's true that the reason the diploma school started to begin with was because hospitals could bring student nurses in and not pay them and have them staff for hospitals. And at the turn of the 20th century, it was true that student nurses worked probably about 80 hours a week. It seemed anyway, and they didn't have much class time at all.

Beth White:

But as the 20th century evolved, and knowledge of medicine and nursing evolved as well, that decreased but clinicals were still very, very important that business, Penny likes to say, "Where the rubber hits the road." Where you apply what you were told in class. This is from St. Vincent, in the early 1920s. It's a surgical suite as you can see. One of the things that just, actually they're two, that stands out for me is there's not a glove in sight. Is that something? And no one's wearing a mask, but the head gear boy, that's done up like the dog's dinner. This is a picture from St. Vincent as well, it's the D'Youville Nursery. You can see one of the grey nuns in the background. The sisters were the supervisors of the schools of nursing as well as the hospitals in those days. And nurseries were pretty sterile places.

Beth White:

It wasn't until probably the 1970s, 60s and 70s, that the knowledge of nurses became kind of paramount. That you really needed to have an appreciation of how to apply medical knowledge to the care of people that were sick. That the whole idea of what nursing was became apparent to those that were in nursing school. That nursing in other words is designed to help people who had a health problem or one to maintain their health to do that in the very best way that they are able to. And what nurses do is help them accomplish their health goals. As that kind of scientific understanding started to be developed it was necessary to hire nursing instructors. You couldn't just put the nurses that were in your second semester of their freshman year in charge of the women's ward at night. You couldn't do that anymore. It was required from an accreditation standpoint, as well as as what the standards of nursing became that students needed to be taught and then the application of that knowledge needed to be applied.

Beth White:

I've got some quotes here from student nurses. We interviewed about 100 nurses of diploma programs and clinicals. There are stories, that's why we're going to leave some time for you to talk with us because clinicals like, really where you really learned how to grow up. You really learned what it was like to be human and how to give of yourself. It really was in a hospital

setting. Students said to us, "We stood up for doctors, we got charts for them, and we did not speak to doctors unless we were spoken to." Say listen where I went to school, there was a doctor site the nurse's station. And you could better not sit there. Do you remember med powers? Everybody practically that we talked to talked about being afraid of making med errors.

Beth White:

That the night before clinical, you went up to the unit that you were assigned. And you found out who your patient was, or patients, a couple of patients, the older in the program you got, the more patients you're assigned. And you're expected to know the medical diagnosis, the medications, the significance of test results. You were expected to know what the nursing care was supposed to be. And you darn well better know what when the instructor came over and said, "Hi, can we talk for a second?" And men and women in their 50s and 60s we're still kind of quaking a little bit. Somebody told one of us that she still had her med cards up in the [artic 00:38:54]. They were pretty much on three by five index cards, weren't they? Yeah. And I don't know if she thought that maybe somebody would knock on her door one day and say, "[inaudible 00:39:04]."

Beth White:

Kind of so and I'm not sure about that, but really clinicals, you needed to have a lot more appreciation in the latter half of the 20th century than you did at the very beginning. And actually, that's one of the reasons that diploma schools eventually closed. Because they became less budget friendly. Somebody said even today, how is it that Toledo hit so many schools of nursing? I mean, you had one, the Catholics had one and the Episcopalians had one and Robin Wood the Lutherans had one and everybody had a school of nursing. It was because it was so cheap. Even tuition was pretty cheap. You could go to... I graduated in 1973 and my parents didn't spend $3,000 to send me there for three years with a meal ticket and living in the dorm, which is one of the things that until probably the 1970s, maybe late 70s you had to live in the dorm. You couldn't be married, or you had to get special dispensation and that's really no joke. I can see you guys nodding your heads and I know what I'm talking about if you wanted to get married.

Beth White:

So yeah, you needed to really stand up for the things that the school expected you to do. University affiliations started in the 1940s. We talked to a nurse from Toledo Hospital School of Nursing class of 1941, who said that her class was the first class that went to Toledo University, and took their science classes there. And it most certainly is true until the 1980s. That was the only college credit that the diploma nurses had. And going back for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing was nearly impossible. Unless you wanted to start all over and become a freshman and we take everything other than those of biology and anatomy physiology, microbiology courses that you took at the university.

Beth White:

University of Toledo was where Flower hospital students went and Toledo hospital School of Nursing students went. Lourdes college and Mary Manse. That's a picture of Mary Manse. Anybody go to St. V's or Mercy? Go to Mary Manse? Wasn't that cool? I mean, they're all old houses and no one's there. And as St. Vincent got closer to closing, and Mary Manse closed, then those classes were taken at Lourdes college now Lourdes University in Sylvania. Not only two schools of nursing in Toledo that did not have University affiliations. That was Robin Wood,

which closed in the 1950s. Is that right? And that's now what we know as St. Lukes Hospital and Riverside Hospital have all of your their sciences taught at the school.

Beth White:

So most students spent most of their time in clinicals. They practice clinicals with Mr. And Mrs. Chase and baby Chase. And they learned how to do technical skills, they needed to practice technical skills before they were let loose in the hospital. And one of the things that Patty's daughter Stacy couldn't believe, I mean, she couldn't believe a lot of the stuff that we told her but, one thing was that we started IVs on one another. we inserted mg tubes down one another. And yeah oh boy is right. We certainly didn't defect this because, until very late in the 20th century, it was not uncommon for student nurses to be in charge of whole rooms at the hospital. And so you really did need to know what you were doing.

Beth White:

As technology increased, schools of nursing increased as well and in the 1970s when cardiac units, intensive care units started to be... When they were really in the very beginning in the 19, late 1960s in the 70s. And it wasn't until about 1970 or 71 that the Toledo area hospitals even had ICUs and CCUs and students were rotated there then. And we learned how to interpret arterial blood gases and read EKG strips and all of those kinds of things so that diploma schools of nursing kept up with technology. Maria sort of made a little joke that you graduate on Sunday and on Monday you're the charge nurse. That was sort of tongue in cheek it's pretty much true. And within a year many students were head nurses. The clinical experience was definitely something that separated diploma nurses from other students and other programs.

Beth White:

Affiliations were those places that student nurses went when they needed education in a specialty that was not offered at the hospital that they worked at and Psych and Petes were the two most common affiliations. Psych was almost always in the Toledo area at Toledo state hospital. Some people love their psych rotation. Some people hated their psych rotation. One former student told us that the thing that she didn't like the most about the state hospital was that the people that lived there were also the cooks and they had the knives and she never felt more comfortable about that. There were some things, just harking back a little bit to the time in the dorm. Do you remember going back after clinical and talking to your friends about the clinical assignments that you had? And we call it to briefing now but trying to process, what the heck happened to you on that shift?

Beth White:

And really it was your friends in nursing school that knew the most about what happened to you. And you didn't really talk about it to anybody else. We interviewed a nurse whose mother was also a nurse. We interviewed both of them. And their mother talked about her psych rotation at Toledo State Hospital. And she talked about going into a room to give a patient dinner, to find that he had hung himself. I remember, most of these students were 18, 19, 20 years old, young women. The daughter, who was also a registered nurse had never heard this story before. And it really did impress on us the importance of that living together in the dorm and being able to make sense of some of the things that happened to us on the clinical units. Lots of people said that they didn't really worry about being in bad neighborhoods when they had the cape on and affiliations. The Children's Hospital of Detroit was a common place to go for peace and one person said we never worried about people bothering us, they knew that nurses help them. And so we could walk the streets of Detroit and it really wasn't a problem at all.

Beth White:

We interviewed a nurse that talked about going to the Toledo Health Department. And that was her community rotation. And once a week, was it once a week? Once a week all the prostitutes were rounded up, and they were sent down to the Toledo Health Department to check for venereal disease. And if they didn't come, the police knew who they were, so they're just going to get them anyway. And she said, this was before World War Two and so things that we knew now would help venereal diseases wasn't even available then. And she said we gave potassium permanganate douches and send them on their way. But they were checked very carefully. So clinicals, clinicals were just a big huge deal and it really was the amount of time that was needed with an instructor, as well as the way knowledge started to change that changed the way diplomas, schools and even nursing education in general had changed. In 1950, knowledge it was estimated doubled every 50 years.

Beth White:

And the 1980s it was every seven years. At the turn of this century, it was every year. In 2020, it's estimated that every 73 days, knowledge will double. Which means that the way of teaching nurses with med cards and memorizing the six major symptoms of diabetes mellitus was not an appropriate way to teach nurses anymore. That it was necessary to teach conceptually, to teach the ideas of adequate glucose metabolism, rather than specific kinds of things that were related to diabetes. The way insulin actually works in the cell, rather than how do you necessarily draw up five units of regular insulin, things like that. And because of those kinds of things the schools became much less budget friendly, and it started to close.

Beth White:

Mary Ann Arquette, does anybody in here remember Mrs. Arquette? She was a pretty famous nurse at St. Vincent anyway. She worked in the units as well as at the School of Nursing. And she wrote an unpublished autobiography. And one of the things that when we read it that we got the biggest bang out of it was how she recalled that we needed to learn procedures step by step by step. And she... You guys, this is so funny. She wrote out how to take a temperature. This is... I know. Do you remember having to like, can you tell me the seven steps of taking a blood pressure whatever. Routinely, each patient has to have a temperature reading in the early morning, right after the day shift comes on duty and in the late afternoon. Here's what you do. You take the thermometer out of the tube, you wipe it with a cotton ball, you check the level of mercury in the thermometer, you shake the thermometer with a snapping wrist action. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Beth White:

Until the mercury level is 96 degrees or below. And then you insert the thermometer under the patient's time for at least one minute and you take the pulse and the respirations at that time. Then you remove the thermometer, you check the reading, you wipe the thermometer again with a cotton ball, you put it back in the test tube, and then you [inaudible 00:49:55] it all. And students had to memorize that kind of stuff. The procedure manual was really pretty specific there for a while. It's certainly specific now enough to give nurses an idea how to perform a technical skill but it's not really as take the thermometer out of the test tube specific. I got the wrong thing. Need to get rid of this thing. Okay. I just want to show you these because they are so old fashion. Do you see the double stethoscope thank you. I couldn't think of the thing you put in your ears. Yeah, I know. And you see the instructor is listening and all the others students are gathered around making sure waiting for their turn when they had to see if they were able to listen to the blood pressure.

Beth White:

Nurses drew up their own meds. It was simply not expected that some medications that only had a one hour time, things like penicillins, the early penicillins especially, you would mix your own, and you would be make real sure that you gave those medicines within the timeframe that was necessary. Diploma nursing schools started to close. In Toledo, the first one closed I think it was Maumee Valley Hospital School of Nursing closed in 1972. And all of them eventually closed until the last, St. Vincent close to 1999. There really were a couple things, three for sure that drove the closure. One was the budget. Again, it wasn't this cheap to get student nurses... Students couldn't be assigned patients without another [inaudible 00:52:04] watching them. So they had double staffing and the hospitals. Didn't make any money doing that. On the 1940, the brown report was published that was the first time that the idea was floated that a nurse should really only graduate from a university.

Beth White:

And in 1965, the ANA position paper on diploma schools hit the bricks and the result of if any of you were around for that was nuclear. There was a lot of conversation that no one could train nurses. No one could educate nurses like diploma schools and colleges just simply weren't able to do that. But as time went on diploma schools did eventually closed. In the Toledo area there are not any left. There are two in Ohio. The two in Ohio are really LPN to RN focused. And so we don't very often see diploma graduates anymore. With the last school closing in 1999, do the math, those nurses are in the middle 40s now. Another reason that we really wanted to tell the story because we're getting older man.

Beth White:

Florence Nightingale was right. For the sick it was important to have the best and we alluded to the idea that the church and regimentation military were really important parts of nursing education, the diploma program and that's how we knew we were the best because we did everything the right way, at the right time. And we did it really clean. Our white shoes and our uniforms and those were always the appropriate life. We found some incredible people that graduated from schools of nursing in the Toledo area. Admiral Alene Duerk was the first female Admiral in the United States Navy, in any Navy in the world.

Beth White:

She entered nursing school at the time, right before World War II. And so most nurses did enter the military after graduation for World War II. And she remembers being dropped off. She had a suitcase and she was dropped off at the floor or the bottom level of a bunch of stairs going up to a military hospital and she said I just picked up my suitcase and walked up and just did what I needed to do. It's because of Admiral Duerk that corpsmen are core personnel now, are able to start interosseous IVs. They had [inaudible 00:54:52] today, they can do more than just throw on a bandaid and run. Because she realized that the mortality rate in World War II was very high on the battlefield, primarily because corpsmen weren't able to do anything they weren't educated or trained to do any other life saving skills.

Beth White:

The corpsmen in those days too only combat trained, they were only to hand combat trained. And she told us when we interviewed for that, there were a lot of gold stars in her classes of corpsmen and that refers, of course to the star that the families get when a person is killed in battle. We had Miss America that came from yes St. Vincent hospital School of Nursing. [inaudible 00:55:38] entered beauty contest to pay for nursing school. And that's the only reason

she did it originally. And she's got the [rible 00:55:47] stories in the book and it's just fascinating. She was like 300 bucks short of Lourdes College tuition and her friends, they were at the Monroe County, whatever. And they said, "Now Miss Monroe County pays $300 woman you can dance why don't you?" And she did and she won. And she really was an oncology nurse. And to this day she is back in her hometown in Monroe, Michigan. And she continues to work with hospice patients and with families, particularly children of families where parents have died. She's a fascinating woman.

Beth White:

Florence Nightingale was convinced that the preparation to become a nurse needed to be difficult, and it needed to be regimented. In that way, it will become the finest of the fine arts. Thank you very much for coming today.

"The Japanese American Experience in World War II and Beyond," with Lori Watanabe Saginaw, May Watanabe, and Alice Sano (November 8, 2019)

In this special event sponsored by the CAC and the BGSU Department of History, Lori Watanabe Saginaw shares the history of Japanese incarceration in the United States during World War II, from the forced removal of Japanese Americans from their homes to daily life in the prison camps. Lori is joined by her mother, May Watanabe, and Alice Sano, both of whom were imprisoned with their families during the war and provide firsthand accounts of their experiences.

A third-generation Japanese American, Lori Watanabe Saginaw is a practitioner and promoter of race dialogue.

PDF Transcript of "The Japanese American Experience in World War II and Beyond"

Michelle Sweetser:

Well, good afternoon, I think we'll go ahead and get started. We may have a few people struggling in. But I'm Michelle Sweetser, I'm the head of the Center for Archival Collections here in the University Libraries, and I'm really pleased to welcome you all to the library for this afternoon's event. Today's event would not be possible without collaborative partnership of many.

Michelle Sweetser:

First and foremost, I want to thank the University Libraries and the Asian Studies Program for their support of this event. And most importantly, we should acknowledge the Department of History obviously, and particularly Dr. Grundin, who I see is here now, who made arrangements for our speakers to come today. And finally, I know that Miho Ohsawa and Akiko Jones who are in the room helped facilitate Dr. Grundin contact with the speakers today. So we want to say thank you, because we know that each day we lose more and more of the people who lived through this experience of the war and the prison camps that our government established. And we're privileged to have not just one but two individuals today with firsthand accounts.

Michelle Sweetser:

So just quick introduction to our speakers, May Watanabe, and Alice Sano are our primary sources today. They're both American citizens born in this country and Japanese American elders living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Both were young women at the time at World War Two and both were imprisoned in different American prison camps in 1942. Assisting them today is May's daughter, Lori Watanabe Saginaw also from Ann Arbor, Michigan. And accompanying them is May's second daughter Wendy Watanabe from Seattle, Washington. So please join me in welcoming May, Alice and Lori as they share their knowledge and experience with us.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So, I was born in 1951, which makes me 68 years old. And that was six years after the end of World War Two. I did not directly experience World War Two. My parents did, my grandparents did. My uncle and aunt did. They didn't talk about it for a very, very long time. When they spoke about camp as a little girl, I thought they were talking about summer camp. That was the only camp I could relate to. So this telling of this story is not easy. Because there are parts of it that are very painful. And there are other parts of it that are interesting. And it all depends on what age you were at when you went through this experience. And what I shared with some of you before we started, is that May was 19 years old in 1941 and Alice was 12 years old. And if any of you know a 12 year old and know a 19 year old, you know that that's a big difference, those seven years are critical seven years.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So keep that in mind. It's really essential to have the different perspectives and the different stories of these two amazing primary sources. I'm going to provide the narrative and I'm going to invite them to jump in at key points and elaborate with their experience. How many of you have never really heard that much about the Japanese incarceration during World War Two? Great. When I took American History 50 years ago, there was absolutely no notation of it in my textbook. And when I asked my teacher about it, he had never heard of it. So this was in an average American High School outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And because some of you raised your hands, we all have to acknowledge that it's not completely known to everyone still. Is there anyone in this room who has never heard of 9/11?

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Naturally, we all heard of 9/11. And this is just as important. So, where do we begin? This title slide is the Japanese word “densho.” And it means to pass on to the next generation or to leave a legacy. And in a nutshell, that's what we're going to talk about today. The next slide is very important for the framework of today. I grew up once I learned that camps didn't mean summer camp, with the idea that what had happened to my parents and grandparents was that they were put in internment camps, and that they were internees. And what has happened over the last 20 years or so, no, probably more like 40 years now, because it started at the early 80s. There has been an effort to eliminate the euphemistic terminology about this experience, this part of history. And so instead saying that 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were relocated, we now say that they were forcibly removed.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And if you think about the sound of that, there is a different meaning to the words, the new words. Instead of saying that they were detained. We say they were held prisoner. Instead of saying that they were interned, we say that they were imprisoned, or they were incarcerated. Because they had no choice. They were breaking the law to leave. There were armed guards, there was barbed wire. There were people who were shot from being too close to the fence. And we don't call them internment camps. We call them prison camps, or concentration camps. So that's the framework. And I will tell you that when I learned this, and I had to make myself consciously change the words I chose to use, it was hard. And I was a little hesitant at first, because the new words are stronger and they are also more accurate and more truthful. Well, these two people up here, May, can you give us an idea of how your parents came to the US and settled where they did and what life was like?

May Watanabe:

My parents, both of them were born in Hawaii, but were educated in Japan. Then they came back to Hawaii and then the mainland. My mother was pregnant when they moved from Seattle, Washington to Chico, California. We recently heard about Chico it was near a paradise where the big fire was. We often went on evenings for rides up there. So my father always wanted to have his own business and his friends that he knew in Chico, the reason for their coming there, did not particularly encourage him to be a farmer and he didn't want to be. And mother fixed up this little store and called it the homegrown vegetable market. And he was intent on selling produce that is good quality and so was looking forward to having his life as an old owner of a business. The first day my mother said they had 50 cents in the cash register. Now this is a community of about 9000 at the time, and very few non-white people there. There were a few Japanese families and some single people who worked on farms and railroad and a few Chinese.

May Watanabe:

So, when they went and saw this new store opened by an unfamiliar face, they tended to pass by. But in time they became acquainted and really became trusting of this owner who was honest and really providing a very good product. And so that customers would even just call and say, "Tom, have this for me ready," And then they would pick it up. This community was really quite open eventually when they got acquainted with my parents and my father was invited to join the Rotary Club. He played tennis with the lawyers and doctors and insurance people. And my mother was invited by the Presbyterian Church Tuesday evening club to join although she was a Buddhist. She was open to being with other people and being friendly, and my brother became a Boy Scout, an Eagle Scout, and I had dancing lessons and piano lessons, and I think we were just a typical American family.

May Watanabe:

And we had parties that I was invited to. And my mother would have the whole class there. Of course, I went to a school that was connected with a college and when I graduated from the eighth grade, I think there were 12 people or 13. But we all knew each other and we went into each other's homes. So I'm saying that this was not a typical kind of community, that Japanese and Japanese Americans lived in.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Do you want to talk a little about your brother and being part of two cultures.

May Watanabe:

My brother was three years younger than I and he was quite an adventurous fellow. And he would catch salmon that was coming up stream [inaudible 00:12:27] and come home with a salmon that was half his size and he would be cooking something. My mother and I would come home and smell this... What smells like fried chicken turned out to be frog legs. And so once again, it shows that he was a very kind of typical American kid.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Okay, Alice. Who is this gentleman handsome as he is in a uniform?

Alice Sano:

My story is quite different. My father.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Talk into the mic.

Alice Sano:

My father, is it on?

May Watanabe:

You don't have to look [inaudible 00:13:19].

Alice Sano:

Well I have to know what I’m talking about.

May Watanabe:

[inaudible 00:13:24].

Alice Sano:

My father was one of, I think eight children but he was not the oldest. That means he was not required to stay at home and take care of the family. So, being an independent soul, he always wanted to come to America. Is this on?

Speaker 6:

Yeah.

Alice Sano:

And my aunt told me once when I was in Japan, he would shake her hand and say, "How do you do?" just to say he was American. And so he did come to America. And I don't know exactly what age but it was an age when he had to get a job. And I know that he worked in a lumber company in Arizona, for one, and it still bears the name, Williams... It's in Williams, and it still bears the name Saginaw Lumber Company. It's still on the side of the building because all the lumber companies in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota were chopped down So they had no business up here. That's one job he had. And he came alone from Osaka, Japan.

Alice Sano:

And in 1918, he joined the US Army. And he told us that they said, "You can hear Sano but you can't see him." Because he was pretty short, little over five feet tall. That was World War One, but he was forever grateful for that enlistment. He got his citizenship, American citizenship on his retirement or the end of World War One. And he cherished that until the day he died. And he kept telling us about his citizenship, and therefore our citizenship. Oh, that's my family when we were little kids.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Tell us about your mom and how she came.

Alice Sano:

Well, the time came for him to get her wife. And that's exactly what it was. "Get a wife." He said, "Okay, but I want a Christian woman and I want one who won't be shy in the US." So he went to Osaka, they had found my mother there. She was a graduate of a [inaudible 00:16:59] school. A girl school, and she was not shy. So they came to America and established their home. And that's the three of us. I'm the only girl. There's a younger brother and an older brother. And-

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And tell us where you lived.

Alice Sano:

We lived in Los Angeles first for until I was seven years old. Then my father got a call to Chula Vista, California, which is seven miles from the Mexican border. He was called to be the manager of Celery Growers Association. And he was that until the beginning of the war, and we had a good time in Chula Vista. He was well respected and... Well, for instance, they had one festival, where you have to grow whiskers and then they measured what your whiskers to determine how much money you owed the city. So, I don't know. He grew these whiskers and paid the money. But anyway, it was a fun time in Chula Vista, a very small town where everybody was respected. And there were lemon trees all over, because most of it was lemon trees

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And your next door neighbor.

Alice Sano:

Oh, yeah, well, there was a neighbor across the street. The time came for us to, for him to buy a house for us to live in. We were living in a rental. She and her husband told us that they didn't want us to live across the street from them. But we moved in anyway. And the fact is, it wasn't true. There was another realtor in the town who didn't want us to buy that house because he didn't get the money for it. So anyway, we moved in and she told us that they didn't really mind us moving in. And after that, she brought us a whole can of soup. I mean, a big can of soup that she made all about every month. Just because she wanted to give it to us.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

You had another neighbor.

Alice Sano:

Yeah. Our first neighbor, where are we lived was next door to a piano teacher and we heard a piano practicing every morning at six o'clock in the morning. And we later learned that her daughter was a child prodigy who had a grand piano in her bedroom with a little cot to sleep in. And she practiced every morning and I later took lessons from Mrs. Steinbach and continued with her all the time I was there and continued with piano all my life to this day, and also Barbara, her daughter played the cello. So of course, I played the cello. And they were looking for a cellist in junior high. We called it junior high in those days. And just was given a book on how to learn it. Well, I studied the book and played everything wrong until I went to college. Nobody told me it was wrong. And then I had to correct everything. So my life was all filled with piano and cello to this day.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Great. So we're now in 1940, and Alice is in Junior High playing cello and May is graduating from Chico High School and May's been encouraged to go to college in the Bay Area to a prestigious women's school called Mills College. So she goes off, Oakland is about 150 miles away from Chico and she is looking forward to lots of adventure and excitement in her life. Alice is looking forward to lots of adventure and excitement and cello in her life. And then December the seventh happens and everything changes for both of them. So May would you give us a sense of what you remember about that day and afterward.

May Watanabe:

It was Sunday and I went to chapel on the campus. A Campus is surrounded with a fence and the chapel is inside of it. Can you hear me?

Speaker 5:

No.

May Watanabe:

No, you can't hear me? So, I came back to the dormitory and the radio is glaring with the news of Pearl Harbor. [inaudible 00:23:26].

Speaker 5:

[inaudible 00:23:29].

May Watanabe:

Usually I'm talking so loudly. Can you hear me now?

Speaker 5:

Yes.

May Watanabe:

Anybody can't hear me. I guess [inaudible 00:23:39]. So, I was stunned as everybody else. But I think I was a little numb, I was told to go up to my room. Why? Why should I go to my room? I never quite understood that whether it was because the head resident thought that I could be protected from whatever might be said. But in truth I continued to go to school there and I don't think I had... I don't remember feeling any particular animosity. The chaplain who was also my advisor was incense with this enact that I could not go out of the room after 7:00 o'clock, I mean, crossing out of the building, and the library was just, probably not as far as the door to this room. And yet after 7:00 o'clock I was not to be outside. So this kind of thing seemed quite ridiculous. And then eventually there was an enact that came out, do we have that picture?

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Not yet. You want to talk about your exams and going back to Chico?

May Watanabe:

Well, the enact came out that people were being evacuated from certain parts of the coastline. And eventually it would come inward and include where I lived in Chico, but I was in the area that's a little bit closer, and that part probably would be evacuated sooner. And that would mean that I would have to go to a place separate from my family. And so this didn't make sense to me. I was going to leave School and go back home. And my college was nice enough to let me take my final exams in my high school by the [deany 00:26:12]. And so all my credits, which is really was an unusual gift that I received from Mills. Of course, I never received a degree because I could not continue.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Okay, so Alice, can you share some memories of December the seventh?

Alice Sano:

Well, my father, having been a soldier and very proud of that, and having gotten his citizenship as a result was all America. And he was all Japan too, but as soon as he heard the news about the attack on Pearl Harbor. He said, "Well, I cannot support Japan if they're going to do this." And so he couldn't help it if he had to be for one or the other, it would be for the United States. Because he was a citizen of it, and we were also citizens of it, except for my mother, and when the order came out that of our eventual evacuation, but it also stated that non citizens could not go beyond, I don't know what it was exactly two or three miles from their home. It meant that we could not visit our friends in San Diego. I mean, all of us could except my mother, and we wouldn't go without our mother. So we didn't see our friends for about four months till we moved, and that was the main way it affected us.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Thank you. I think that both Alice and May have shared the details of what it felt like to suddenly have identity and status completely transformed and to be restricted in movement, to be restricted in opportunity, access, and then ultimately to be imprisoned. This is a photograph by one of the prominent photographers that I've used in the slideshow. Her name is Dorothea Lange, and she was hired by the government to document the years during the war. And 90% of what she shot has never been published. So, that gives you an idea of how the government felt about the images that she captured. But they are all part of the National Archives. And there are two books up here. One is called Un-American, and the other one is called Impounded. And they hold a lot of her images.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And this one is of kindergartners in the San Francisco Public School, after Pearl Harbor, saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning like they've always done in this school. And it just struck me that these are children who are about to begin their education to learn about the Constitution of the country, to which they have citizenship, and what their rights are as citizenship. And this is on the cusp of something that disregards citizenship all together. We all know that there was Anti-Japanese sentiment. We all know what the reactions were after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But when you see these words that were actually published in newspapers, these are the words of a journalist, syndicated journalist. It's like a punch in the gut. And these are the words of general DeWitt, who had the authority to carry out all of the actions that the military would take during the forced removal of 120,000 people.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So, this is not Alice's home, it's not May's home, but it's another Dorothea Lange photograph of a woman who I think to me typifies where many Japanese families had come after two generations of living in the United States. It's a very comfortable living room. It's nicely appointed, she's well dressed. And there is a Japanese doll. Can you see the doll on the table? So the significance of that doll, to me is that suddenly, all things Japanese became a liability to Japanese families, that anything that looked too nationalistic towards Japan, no matter how benign could be used as evidence of sabotage, or espionage, or disloyalty, and these things you'll learn from May later on, would either be hidden or destroyed or just removed.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

These are the notices that May was talking about. The one on your right, is the executive order that Roosevelt signed, executive order 9066. And it authorized that all people of Japanese ancestry, regardless of citizenship would be removed from the military zone. The military zone was considered all of the Pacific coast. So Washington, Oregon, NC and California. And then the notice that's on the post on the left, that's on top, it says, "Notice." That is one of many exclusion orders that General Dewitt would issue in a very systematic way. And the exclusion orders were designed to target those areas that they felt were the highest security risk. So they were the areas that were closest to the water. And Bainbridge Island above Seattle was the first of the areas to be evacuated. Alice lived near San Diego. Chula Vista is near San Diego. San Diego was a big military base. So, that was another area that was evacuated early on.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

May's family, as you remember, was in Chico, further inland. So her evacuation was not in the initial pipeline until mid 1942. But there was no internet. This is how people learned what was happening and these posters were everywhere. Nobody could walk a block without seeing them in every business, in every window on every pole. Immediately people started to sell their belongings. So this is a slide that says, "Evacuation sale." This is a Japanese farmer trying to sell his tractor to some white neighbors. And this is a classic attempt by an American born Japanese man owning this shop. He had this sign made the day after Pearl Harbor, so that he could try to establish his loyalty to the United States with his customers, and so that they would continue to support his business. And it was futile. And he had just gotten married. He and his wife were imprisoned in a camp called Gila River, and he never returned to this shop.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

This is another typical attitude. That was fostered by the media, by popular opinion, by the military. And it's not to say that the anti-Asian attitudes were new in this moment. They have been building since the mid 1800s. And many people now look back on this as an economically motivated land grab. But it's clear that there was a hysteria about it. This is hard to look at, but it's the kind of propaganda that was everywhere. And this family, has many characteristics in this photo that I think typify the evacuation. They are dressed as if they were going to church in their best clothes. They're each wearing a tag. And that tag has a number on it that identifies the children as well as the adults. They're no longer known by their name. They are a number. And if you notice, this little girl is holding a wrapped sandwich. That white thing in her hand is a sandwich that was made by a church group who had come to the train station where all of these families had told to be at a certain time with everything that they were going to take on the train with them, numbered and ready to go.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

This is particularly poignant to me, this older man who is 70 who owned a laundry, he sold that laundry. He's dressed in his best clothing, he's tagged and he is carrying, if you can see at the bottom, wrapped books with a string around them, which is a very, very Japanese way of carrying objects to wrap a string around them so that that string becomes the handle. And why would he be carrying these books? He's only able to take to this unknown destination, what he can carry. And he's taking his books. This couple are inside of a truck and their dog is clearly trying to follow them. But there were no pets allowed. And this man is being carried kind of fireman style by others. He's a paraplegic gentleman, he's been helped onto the train.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So these are all people of Japanese ancestry who are considered to be a threat to national security, and they are being evacuated. And this photo to me typifies the imbalance of power. So the guards with rifles and unarmed civilians all lined up at the train stations, not knowing where they're going. Okay, so no, Alice, this is Santa Anita assembly center, formerly Santa Anita race track. And this is where your family was taken. Can you tell us about that?

Alice Sano:

Well, Santa Anita, was a glorious place minus the barracks of course. We were in Santa Anita because we were amongst the first to be evacuated. And so we were the first to be put in the stables. So our family was put in a stable, as were many others, and it was cleaned up as well as it could be. But you couldn't completely disguise that. And one day I woke up in the hospital. Santa Anita made a hospital of the ticket offices there because they were fine and nice buildings and they made that into a hospital with the beds. I guess they were supplied by the army. And one day I woke up in the hospital and everybody... I was in bed, I guess, asleep or unconscious. But I woke up and there were all these faces looking down in the bed. And I didn't know what was going on but they said, and they were all relieved to see me open my eyes.

Alice Sano:

So, I'm not sure what happened. Nobody told me but I think I had pneumonia or something like that. Anyway, I was unconscious and woke up and they were all very happy. So I got a look at the hospital. They had hospital beds, they had nurses, of course the people in the hospital were the inmates, the Japanese. They were the young doctors and young nurses and doing their thing, taking care of the sick. And then when I got well, we were sent to a barrack and not to the stables. And that's where we were to the rest of it.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And can you remind us of what your family carried to Santa Anita?

Alice Sano:

Oh, well, we went on a train from San Diego. And we had all our luggage, and I carried my cello in a soft case, they didn't have hard cases in those days. I carried my cello and my brothers had to carry my luggage. And I thought that was fair.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And Alice, what about meal time?

Alice Sano:

Oh, meal time. That was interesting, because we were the first there. And the cooks were Japanese. I mean, the inmates. Our rice was terribly mushy and we complained about that. "This is not the way to cook." But that because the cooks were all Japanese inmates didn't know how to cook hundreds of pounds of rice at once. So they did the best they could and it got better and better and then producing that was good.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Few lines.

Alice Sano:

Oh yeah.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Tell us about that.

Alice Sano:

We had to line up for a meal. There was only one mess hall open at that time, the red mess, or maybe it was a blue mess. It was a blue mess. And we lived up for our meals, had our meals, came out and we lined up for the next meal because it took so long to get to the mess hall. And when we finished lunch, we lined up for dinner. That's how we got our meals. But we got our meals.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And you got your rice?

Alice Sano:

Yeah, got our rice.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So I was doing a little research about the blue mess hall and I found out that it was built to serve 850 people meals, and it actually served 3000 meals a day. And then to give you a better sense of how difficult it was to navigate life for the nine months that Santa Anita was open, there were 150 showers total in the whole place for 18,000 people to share. And during those months, there were 37 deaths and 194 births. So life did have to go on. And it wasn't all easy. This is another Dorothea Lange photo of a man Mr. Kondo. He is living in a horse stall and he is waiting to know his future. He must have had a break from the line.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Okay, so this image I know it's hard with the lights to see it is actually showing you the 10 permanent camps that were all being hastily built by the US Army. And that's the reason that people living near San Diego and people living near Bainbridge Island had to go to the Fairground to Puyallup Fairground, and to the Santa Anita racetrack, because they had to be removed from those high security areas right away in the early spring. And these permanent camps were not yet ready to receive people.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

I'm going to point out to two camps were May and Alice ended up. This is Tule Lake, which is in Northern California just south of the Oregon border. And this is Jerome which is way the heck over Arkansas. So in the summer of '42 that is when you May and your family arrived at Tule Lake. Can you share what that experience was like in your memory?

May Watanabe:

First of all, when we prepared for going to [inaudible 00:46:49] before that there were investigations by FBI in most homes. And in my community my father was respected and very upstanding member of the community. But he had given $5 to some temple or something for them to use. And this was held against him. And so they came to investigate our house. Now many homes were being examined. People threw away, burned anything that might be suspected of being suspicious material. Letters, precious letters, pictures, people might have had even Japanese swords or Buddhist altars. But we had very few things. But the FBI came and I remember that this men sat on my brother's Latin project he had made for school moments too, and smashed it [inaudible 00:48:24]. So I think he was a little embarrassed. But my father was taken to the police station and to the embarrassment of the police chief who was his friend that they released him.

May Watanabe:

And then there was the loading, packing, getting, getting rid of things that was done in any home of a Japanese family and my father's car was put in storage. My mother had to get rid of the furniture. And a woman came by and saw her precious plant that she had nurtured and said, "Why don't you give that. You have no use for it. This was the kind of attitude that people had, knowing that they had to get rid of your things. So we rode on a train, all the [inaudible 00:49:44] were down, and we didn't know where we were going or how long. We could only take what we could carry in our two hands and we arrived to Tule which is a dried up lake, which is now like a desert. And it was dusty, it was hot, and there were tumbleweeds.

May Watanabe:

And our new home was a 20 by 24 sized room in a barrack like an army barrack there were probably these 20 by 24 it didn't matter what size your family was. And it was barren. There was nothing in there except four army guards, a potbelly stove and thin walls without any insulation which was very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. But eventually the... You have 10,000 people living, you've got to have schools, you have to have [inaudible 00:51:12], you have to have some kind of recreation. And it was a growing community. And people had jobs. The highest paying job was being a doctor, was $19 a month. And my father decided he would just be a service to the community. A man who wanted to own his own business, decided he would shovel coal, which later the doctor said probably contributed to his high blood pressure and latter his heart condition. So he had an early death [inaudible 00:51:58].

May Watanabe:

I worked as a nurse's aid after working in office for a while. And I was so excited when I saw a baby delivered. And I thought, "Wow, that's what I want to be. A nurse." It was about the time when I needed to decide what I was going to be doing if I continued to go to school. So, the thing is, when in a place like that where there's not the organization or the kind of setup where families ate together, saw each other. My deepest regret is that I could not know my brother better because he went off with his friends. I didn't know that he was going to be a student that excelled. And it was only after I was out of camp years later that I found out that he was actually giving graduation speech which was a valedictorian. And this is a sample of how family life was affected. That he didn't have that closeness.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So May, I'm sorry I got a little out of order with the slides. So I'm going to show what Tule Lake looked like from the air. It had a hundred miles of barbed wire fence surrounding it, I guess 37 guard towers, and it had 18,000 prisoners at its maximum. This is the coal shoveling that you mentioned. This is a makeshift school yard that was created. And this is the first high school inside of the prison camps and your brother is the person standing on the far right. So what I didn't explain were the fact that there was photographing and fingerprinting of every single person who was brought into the camps and Alice, can you tell about your being fingerprinted?

Alice Sano:

Well, I only remember it because it was all my birthday. My 13th birthday. My good luck birthday. And-

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

That's quite a memory.

Alice Sano:

It was easy to remember. But my dad opened his office for the finger painting. It was kind of a warehouse office. So he let them use it.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So the most of the camps were done strictly the way the military would do them, May described how they were furnished, how they were built, how they were organized, there was no privacy at the latrines, in the showers. It was very, very immodest, and very culturally challenging for Japanese women in particular, to have to us latrines and showers designed for the army. These are inmates at Poston, one of the camps in Arizona where they're having to actually stuff bags with straw to make their mattresses. The mess hall at Manzanar, you can see that it's a mom and her two kids but the dad isn't there. And this is a makeshift school at Manzanar before an actual school was set up. Tell us about Jerome, Alice. Jerome in Arkansas.

Alice Sano:

Well, Jerome we had our units as usual. They were made the same with just the tarpaper and the slats to remove the tarpaper on. But we did have huge wood stoves, which really heated our rooms. And the men had to go out every day into the woods to cut the wood for us which they did. And we just had to learn to burn of wood fires stove every single day in the winter.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And Jerome was typical of most of the camps because there was industry going on. At most of them, it generated revenue for the army. So there was a sawmill at Jerome and all of the camps had a significant amount of agriculture Tule Lake in particularly had a huge number of acres of produce growing around it. And if you think about it, the prisoners there are Japanese farmers largely. So they had excellent agrarian skills that they brought with them Tule Lake was a desert when they arrived and it was very, very bountiful and prosperous for farming when they left. So, Alice's family is in Jerome Arkansas. May's family is at Tule Lake. It's 1942 and a lot of the abandoned farms and homes of Japanese people who are now in camps, were vandalized, possessions are stolen some possessions as you heard, were kept in churches given to friends to hold on to, but most things were lost. Most property was lost.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Bank assets were frozen. If mortgages couldn't be paid, if taxes couldn't be paid, then property was then forfeited. So there was a major economic penalty to those imprisoned. And I learned this doing the research for this presentation that the government actually encouraged refugees from the Dust Bowl to move on to Japanese farms, take them over and live on them. Now, this is a great story. Bob Fletcher, he was an agricultural inspector, he inspected the farms of three Japanese families. He knew them well. And when they had to leave, he left his job. He took over the farms he saw to the raising of the crops. He sold the crops, he used that money to pay their mortgages and their taxes. He maintained those farms. And he stayed on those farms until those three families returned.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

It's a wonderful story of Americans who did object to what was being done to Japanese families. So there were such citizens, many in church groups, and there is actually a book in my library, but I didn't bring it. That is a collection of all the weight Americans who made a significant effort to help the Japanese families who were incarcerated. This is also very common for non Japanese Asians during this time. It was extremely dangerous and problematic to be Japanese. So People who were Asian had to make sure that they distinguish themselves from being Japanese. They were Filipino. They were Chinese. They were Thai. They were Korean, anything but Japanese.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Okay. So this is a really interesting and important part of the internment of the incarceration experience. Whoops, that was a slip on my part, that many people do not really fully understand. So it's now the beginning of 1943. The United States has been at war for almost two years. They need more soldiers. The government decides to send recruit teams into all the camps. They want to enlist young Japanese American men to fight in the war. How can they justify enlisting soldiers who they have formerly imprisoned, because of suspicion of being a threat to security, or of being disloyal? The tool that they used to show that the people that they selected to enlist were loyal, was a loyalty questionnaire. And there were two questions on that questionnaire that changed people's lives forever. Number 27 and number 28.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So that's what's up on the screen. And the problem with these two questions is that the wording was very ambiguous. It was not clear what the consequences would be if a person answered yes or no. The answers that they expected to have were either yes or no, there were no qualifiers. And the first one is, are you willing to serve in the United States armed forces on combat duty wherever ordered? So they're asking this of people who are behind barbed wire under guards at the instruction of the US government. The second question is, will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any and all attack and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese Emperor.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Now May and her brother Paul, were both born in the United States. They really didn't grow up with allegiance to the Japanese Emperor. Their family was committed to being American and living in the United States. And you've heard Alice talk about her father's patriotism. So what kind of position does it put people in? To have to answer yes or no to these two questions. And when people answered yes, they were labeled as loyal. And when they answered no, and there are a million reasons that they would answer no, like, "A parent is too ill I can't leave." Or "I'm not allowed to have citizenship in the United States. So if I give up my allegiance to the Emperor of Japan, I have no citizenship at all."

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

There were all kinds of impossible scenarios that people were faced with. And the people who did answer no to both of these questions, had no idea how terrible their circumstances would become. Many of them were put in federal prison. Imagine being a Japanese American young man during World War Two, where the enemy is Japan and being in a federal prison. May will you talk about this loyalty questionnaire and the impact on your family?

May Watanabe:

My father, decided that at first, I think when your asked your loyalty he was not allowed to be a citizen although he was born in Hawaii, and I don't know what the reason is but I thought that he had written no first and then realizing that his children are citizens, his intent was to live in America. So of course, he would say, he would answer in a way that would keep him here. Now, we lived in a block 42 where many of the people there were personal friends. They were, background is Hiroshima which is the same as my parents roots. And when they realize that he was not voting the way they would they considered him an enemy. And so, one night as I came home on the ambulance from the hospital since it was late at night, they delivered me to "my home". And my father said, "Hurry come in." There were people yelling outside and soon it was throwing rocks and calling him dog. And it was very frightening.

May Watanabe:

And somehow I found a whistle and I just thought, "I'm going to blow this whistle." And that seem to be loud enough and scary enough that the police came and the people dispersed. But we were moved from that block to another block for our own safety. But this happened to others also. And from then on it was a growing, terrible thing that happened with this division among the people. People who couldn't have citizenships were automatically going to answer in a way that would send them back to Japan.

May Watanabe:

There were people who were sent to Japan thinking that they would be with people of their family and found that they were not really welcome. They found people were starving in Japan that hardly feed themselves. And so that they were really not welcome to come. But this was the situation that was created. And there were families that were divided because the parents felt they had to take their little children. They couldn't leave them even though they were citizens. So there are very many horrible stories as a result of this questionnaire.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Alice, would you share about the loyalty questionnaire?

Alice Sano:

Me?

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Yeah, you.

Alice Sano:

Well, in a way we weren't affected by the question because there was nobody in our family that would be affected. My brothers are too young. My father was too old maybe, I don't know. But we heard of families. In fact, one family, good friends of ours whose son answered the question the wrong way and the whole family was sent back to Japan. Just because he did. Well, it would be just he but the family decided to go with him of course. And that's the only encounter I had with this questionnaire business.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

On the resource sheet, I've noted for you an amazing fiction book called No-No Boy that was written in 1957. And it is the most compelling account of the complexity of this whole mired tension about loyalty and disloyalty. And what is even more difficult to comprehend is the other layer, which is those young men who chose to fight who chose to enlist. This is a photograph that the government is taking of people who are in the prison camps in order to send those portraits to the enlisted family member who is now overseas. So, these are soldiers who have enlisted to fight in World War Two in defending the United States who still have family members who are in the prison camps. And these are the photos that the government took to send to those enlisted soldiers.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

This is a complicated photo. These are young men who are part of an infamous regiment, the 442nd. It was segregated, as were most units of non-white members in the military at that time. And these young men are on leave in Italy. They are at the grave site of one of their comrades. And they're wanting to take a photo of the grave site to send to his mother who is living in Hawaii. This is a horrible picture of the Tule Lake segregation center because the camp where May's family was, ended up becoming a holding center for all the disloyals from all the camps. And they were treated very badly. And it's a dark part of history that we don't hear much about. These are photos that were taken of May's parents and her brother on the far left when they were being transferred as loyals from Tule Lake to another camp. And they were sent to Granada.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Okay, so what we now have, and we're nearing the end, is that May and Alice both had special circumstances that enabled them to leave camp before other people did. And in May's case, it was to continue her education. So This is a photo of May being sent off to take a train all the way from California to New York, where she was going to become a nursing student at Syracuse University. Do you want to talk a little bit about who enabled this to happen?

May Watanabe:

When I was talking about my time in Chico, I did mention that there was a Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Oliver, who was kind to all the Japanese and Chinese people, and she continued to be in touch, and she managed to have the Presbyterian Church offer me a scholarship to go to Wooster college, which you probably know is not far from here and because it's Presbyterian. But I learned that it does not have a good nursing program I would have to commute to Cleveland. So I asked if they could give the scholarship to my brother. And I would find another way to continue my education. And I did, so there was a organization. I can't remember the national... I'm terrible with initials.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

It was the Japanese American Student Resettlement Council.

May Watanabe:

I thought it was... Well, anyhow. So with them and the Quakers who were working very hard to help students continue their education. And so I found out that there was a cadet nursing program that was offered to young women who would dedicate two years of their lives after they graduated and they would have free education if they would continue to be in the nursing field. So I thought, "This is perfect. I won't have to pay for rest of my education." But there were only certain schools that would accept you. And Syracuse University was one of those. Chancellor Tolly took a chance against the protest of some people to allow some Japanese American women to come there, most of them were from California [inaudible 01:16:43] and some other students to continue education. So that's why I was able to finish my degree there.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And can you tell us what it felt like to leave camp and arrive at Syracuse?

May Watanabe:

You know what I thought? "Oh, I'm going to be [inaudible 01:17:04] and we will walk on a sidewalk and have an ice cream cone." I mean, that's the lighter side. But it was another train ride.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And Alice, your family and your dad about leaving Jerome.

Alice Sano:

Oh, my dad had received his job and left for it in January and that is the Japanese language school at the University of Michigan. There was an army language program, but it was called MI program the military intelligence students. They were really top notch students. Really good students who caught on to everything. In fact my dad really enjoyed his work here at the University of Michigan, because he... And he loved to teach. And he taught his students. I mean, they were so enthusiastic. They finished the course in half of the year. It was a year's course. But they finished in half the year, so I never got to meet them. Not that I would have anyway but-

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

But your family, your mom and your brothers and you joined him in Ann Arbor.

Alice Sano:

Yeah, we joined-

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And you live there to this day?

May Watanabe:

And you live there to this day?

Alice Sano:

Oh, yeah, I'm still there.

May Watanabe:

[inaudible 01:18:52].

Alice Sano:

[inaudible 01:18:52]?

May Watanabe:

Did you say [inaudible 01:18:57].

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Okay, so now we come to the end of the war. May's in Syracuse, Alice is in Ann Arbor. I never actually knew how the camps got empty. But it turns out that people who were left in the camps got $25 in cash and a ticket home. And the question about where home is, at this point is the really critical one. Certainly Alice's family had a new home, not in Chula Vista, but in Ann Arbor, and May's parents chose not to return to Chico and they settled in Cleveland. Fast forward, it's 1988 for about 10 years, the Japanese American Citizens League, other civil rights groups and senators and congressmen in the United States Congress have worked to create a Civil Liberties Act of 1988 that acknowledges the losses of Japanese people and Japanese citizens who were interned, incarcerated. Gosh, I must be tired.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And this is known as the redress bill. And it's relevant today because we're beginning to talk about reparations. So, the true understanding of redress from all angles is so, I think applicable to being able to look at reparations from all angles also. This is an Issei man. So in Japanese, an Issei is the first generation, a Nisei is the second generation and a Sansei is the third generation. And this Issei man is 105 years old and he is receiving his redress check. And May an Alice both received a check. And I'd like you each to talk about what that meant to you. So May.

May Watanabe:

My parents were gone and many others who gone by the time this was offered. But what is 20,000 for the years, the pain, the fear, the struggle? This is what I'm seeing.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And Alice?

Alice Sano:

When I receive my check, we are received, each of us received a check of, I think it was $20,000. And that was a lot of money. So, even today, so I invested it, I couldn't, I didn't even think of spending it [inaudible 01:22:26]. So I invested it, and I'm still reaping from that investment. So it was a good deal for me.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

And along with it came an apology?

Alice Sano:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So just to wrap things up, here we are 2017 and President Trump is signing his executive order that has come to be known as the Muslim ban and it's eerily reminiscent of executive order 9066. And this is a radio show in 2018 where the government is actually looking in Arkansas very close to where Jerome was at the possibility of detaining migrant children in one of the camps. This is a protest that took place this year, this summer at Fort Sill. Fort Sill is a place where Native Americans were held prisoner. It's also a place where Japanese Americans were held during World War Two. And it's being considered as a place to hold refugee children.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

So the people protesting are part of a nonprofit grassroots group called Tsuru For Solidarity. And Tsuru means crane in Japanese. It's a symbol of peace. And this is a group that is primarily founded by Japanese Americans. And they do not want history to repeat itself. So they are really focused on current acts of oppression and inhumane treatment of new groups knowing the history of what happened to their group. This is their information. It's also on the handout. So this is a picture from our family's photograph album of my mom returning to Tule Lake on a pilgrimage. There's a pilgrimage that takes place every other year to Tule Lake. Anyone can come to it. You all can come to it.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

It's always around the 4th of July, intentionally. And you can see what she was describing the bareness and the dustiness. There are three pilgrimages that she took there. The second one was with my cousin Tom, and my sister Wendy. And this was the most recent one, which was in 2018, with her two grandsons. So I'm going to ask the two of you to make your closing remarks. And May if you want to talk about the pilgrimages and what the preservation of Tule Lake means, please do that also.

May Watanabe:

Well, to have my whole family go to see this place, which is part of my history was very meaningful. And now they are struggling to try to make this a historical place as part of the National Park system. And we're having a hard time, even harder now with their cutting down the National Park funding. But I think that this is a very important reminder of what can happen to our citizenship, our constitutional rights and it would be very helpful to have this established. I don't know whether it'll happen in my lifetime but they are trying to raise money and to make this possible.

May Watanabe:

When I think about the things that happened and can happen, when there is a judgment made without thinking deeply on what the significance is. I think of 9/11. And at moment when it happened. I said, "Oh, my goodness, it's going to happen again." And to know the things that happened to people who people thought were Muslims who were not. There were thoughts of incarcerating them. And so we must look at our freedom as something that has to be really worked on and maintained with a conscious effort.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Thank you, Alice.

Alice Sano:

I'm really heartened to know that pilgrimages have been made where you were. And I know, there's a camp in Wyoming. No. I think is Wyoming. A friend of mine goes to or has gone to several times because that's where her relatives were.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Maybe Heart Mountain.

Alice Sano:

It wasn't the Heart Mountain that was.

May Watanabe:

[inaudible 01:28:56].

Alice Sano:

Yeah, well, I don't know exactly where it was but she's my friend who talks about going to this camp. And there's a town around it that keeps it alive or keeps it in good condition. And I'm sorry to see that last clip of another race, possibly being treated in the same way by this president and I hope it never happens. I hope the activists are active enough to prevent it from happening.

Lori Saginaw Watanabe:

Well, thank you both for sharing your memories. That makes history much more alive and understandable and closer to all of us. We appreciate you.

Dr. Rebecca Mancuso - "The Finger Saga: One Museum's Quest to Turn the Macabre into the Meaningful" (October 29, 2019)

In this lecture, Dr. Rebecca Mancuso, Associate Professor of History at BGSU, discusses her article "The Finger Saga: One Museum's Quest to Turn the Macabre into the Meaningful" in the journal The Public Historian (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, May 2018), about the Wood County Museum's exhibition on the murder of Mary Bach by her husband Carl in rural Wood County in 1881. Dr. Mancuso's article was the 2018 winner of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Academic Scholar category.

View Dr. Mancuso's Department of History faculty profile.

PDF Transcript of "The Finger Saga: One Museum's Quest to Turn the Macabre into the Meaningful"

Nick Pavlik:

Okay. Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the Jerome Library at Bowling Green State University. Thank you so much for attending today's program, which is part of the Local History Publication Award Fall Lecture Series, sponsored by the Center for Archival Collections, or the CAC. My name is Nick Pavlik. I'm the Curator of Manuscripts and Digital Projects at the CAC. I also serve as the current chair of the CAC's Local History Publication Awards Committee. The CAC's annual Local History Publication Award is an extension of its mission to collect, preserve, and provide access to historical and archival records relating to Northwest Ohio.

Nick Pavlik:

The award was established to encourage and recognize authors of outstanding publications about Northwest Ohio history, with awards being given in both academic scholar and independent scholar divisions. Each division winner is awarded $300 and a plaque, and is invited to Jerome Library to give a public talk on their work. It's my pleasure to welcome Doctor Rebecca Mancuso, Associate Professor in the BGSU Department of History, to Jerome Library today as the winner of our 2018 Local History Publication Award in the academic scholar division, for her article “The Finger Saga: One Museum's Quest to Turn the Macabre into the Meaningful,” which was published in the journal The Public Historian in May 2018.

Nick Pavlik:

A Canadian specialist, Doctor Mancuso's scholarly mission involves fostering a better understanding of the importance of Canada to the United States and the world. Her general field of research is immigration policy history in the Canadian context. Her publications, appearing in the American Review of Canadian Studies, the British Journal of Canadian Studies, Canadian Ethnic Studies, and other peer reviewed journals, center on British immigration to Canada as a nationalist project. She's currently working on a manuscript, “Nothing but Debts and Worries: Canada’s Three Thousand Family Scheme and Empire Settlement, 1919-1939,” which explores newcomers' struggles to adapt to Canadians' notions of immigration success.

Nick Pavlik:

In 2013, she held the Fulbright Research Chair at the University of Calgary in Alberta. Doctor Mancuso currently coordinates the Canadian Studies Academic Program at BGSU. The courses she regularly teaches include History of Canada, Introduction to Canadian Studies, and a senior research seminar on race and ethnicity in North America. She also has a strong interest in public history and has served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Wood County Historical Society.

Nick Pavlik:

As a final note, in addition to today's program, we will also be hosting our final local history publication award lecture later this Fall. Thursday, November 14th, we'll be welcoming our independent scholar division award winners, Patricia Beach, Susan Eisel, Maria Nowicki, Judy Szor, and Beth White, for a talk on their book Caps, Capes, and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo, published by the University of Toledo Press. For more information on this talk, I encourage you to visit the upcoming events page on the university library's website. For now, please join me in welcoming Doctor Rebecca Mancuso.

Rebecca Mancuso:

[inaudible 00:03:27] Hi, everybody. Thank you. I want to thank the CAC for hosting this lecture and for highlighting local history. We have really interesting local history in Northwest Ohio. I was born in Bowling Green, Ohio and grew up here. Went to Bowling Green State University. Studied French and history and then decided to get a master's degree in history. So, I went to Bowling Green State University. Then I really wanted to get out of Bowling Green. So, since I was interested in Canada, which has nothing to do with this talk at all, I decided to go to McGill University in Montreal.

Rebecca Mancuso:

I loved Montreal. Lived there for a number of years. Then worked for a few years in Chicago. When a job opened up that called for someone, an academic job, they wanted someone with the expertise in Canada, it was in Bowling Green, Ohio. So, I came all the way back here. I've been fascinated by the fingers all my life. They were on display when I left Bowling Green and on display when I came back. So, we're going to talk about this fascinating artifact that belongs to the Wood County Historical Society today. So, thank you for joining me for The Finger Saga.

Rebecca Mancuso:

When I came back to Bowling Green in the mid 2000s, in a couple of years I decided to join the Board of Directors at the Wood County Historical Society. I was on the board off and on from about 2009 to 2016 or '17. What I'm going to talk about today came from conversations I had with the former director of the museum, Dana Nemeth, who's here, and the current director, Kelli Kling, who's here, and the present curator, Holly Hartlerode Kirkendall, who couldn't make it today. I had wonderful conversations with them, with members of the board, with members of the society, community members, like Mike [inaudible 00:05:32] and other people like that, about ethical issues surrounding the exhibition of human remains.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, what I'm going to present today were some research I did, some ideas that I came up with, but I do want to explain that I am no longer on the board. I don't speak for the museum. It is the museum that makes all the decisions surrounding what artifacts to keep, what to dispose of or sell, and all of those things. So, this just comes from my experience several years ago. So, if you lived in BG, if you were here before 2014, how many of you have seen the fingers? Overwhelming. Yep. Bowling Green folks cherish the fingers. Where did you see them? Did you see them in the courthouse, or did you see them ... Yeah. You remember them in the courthouse. So do I. Going in there, begging my parents to walk me through so I could look at the fingers.

Speaker 4:

[inaudible 00:06:24]

Rebecca Mancuso:

Yeah. Did anybody see them when they were in the museum? A few of you have. Yeah. So, if you saw them in the courthouse, what was your reaction when you saw them? How did they make you feel? What was your response?

Speaker 3:

I was young and I just thought it was wonderful. A friend of mine, whenever we could get over to the courthouse, race up those steps and look at the fingers.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Look at the fingers.

Speaker 3:

We didn't put it in context of anything. It was just ...

Rebecca Mancuso:

Exactly. Right. Okay. Anybody else? Yeah?

Speaker 5:

Well, the display case was right at the top of the stairway. So, when folks came from the county seat to pay their taxes, and, in those days, some of them came to pay cash ... Mike would know that. They would make sure that they paid. You write them out. But when they went by that display case, they felt a little guilty. They said, "Well, I better do things right. These people around here [inaudible 00:07:23]."

Rebecca Mancuso:

Are pretty serious, right. Right. Okay. So, they kind of had a place of honor in the courthouse, didn't they?

Speaker 5:

Yes.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Yeah. So, you saw these fingers. There was kind of a spooky or gross out reaction to them. Did you learn anything about whom they belonged to? No. Didn't learn any of that, right? When the exhibit that was in the courthouse moved to the Wood County Historical Museum, it stayed in the same case that they were in. So, there was still really no interpretation about the woman that they belonged to. So, we want to bring some humanity back for her. Okay.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, here is the Wood County Historical Society and Museum. It was the site of the Wood County Poor Farm, the place where the elderly and the infirm, people with disabilities, would go there to live, built in 1869. In 1885, a lunatic house was added to the property for the county insane. It fell into disrepair but was reopened in 1975 as a museum. The fingers came to the Wood County Historical Society around 1980. All right? So, the museum has an eclectic collection of all kinds of things, but in the last few years, the museum has really changed its focus from kind of general Ohio history, and it's still a big part of it, but the museum has been trying to connect with the history of the site, which is really, really rich.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, the history is focusing on social justice, social welfare, marginalized, vulnerable people. What was it like to be poor in Wood County? What was it like to be a woman in Wood County? Elderly or disabled and so forth. Mentally ill. So, when we talk about the fingers, we can think about fitting them into that context. Okay? So, what we are talking about is the artifact that is owned by Historical Society, three preserved fingers of a murder victim who was killed in 1881, Mary Bach. So, these fingers are now about, by my calculation, let me think, about 138 years old. Okay.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, I mentioned that they were moved from the courthouse. They'd been in the courthouse since 1897, I think, and then to the Historical Society in 1980, and then taken off exhibit in 2014. I had fascinating conversations with the staff at the Wood County Historical Society, and, again, membership and board members, and a lot of us were disturbed by how the fingers were presented. Right? They were presented in kind of a dehumanized way, a disturbing way. When people looked at them, it tended to elicit a gross out reaction. The way they had been displayed didn't mitigate these kinds of unsympathetic responses. So, some of us, especially the women I talked to, were disturbed that the woman's humanity was gone.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, we were having these conversations. I started to think about some other questions, and so was the staff. So, this wasn't entirely my idea, of course. We're all talking about what we should do with the fingers. So, I thought I would do some research into this. I would look at the legalities and the ethics surrounding the exhibition of human remains. So, here are the research questions that I started looking at. Do we have the right to look at human remains? Should we look at them? If we're going to look at them, can we do so ethically? Can we do so in a pedagogically responsible way? Well, we shall see.

Rebecca Mancuso:

My purpose for this was to create a roadmap. Not really for our museum, because our director, curator were working on that. I was talking with them about it. But I wanted to write about it so that I could get this out in the ... The publication eventually came out in the Public Historian Journal to serve as, maybe, a guide for other museums who might be struggling with these kinds of provocative, controversial artifacts. So, some additional concerns. I just want to mention really quickly that the fingers are not owned by the county. They're owned by the Wood County Historical Society. Again, the curator can decide whether to display them or not, what to do with them, whether to dispose of them, I suppose.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Because the fingers are owned by the society, it's responsible to talk to the membership in the Historical Society. It's responsible to talk to the board, get some feedback. So, there are committees, collections committees and so forth, that were also talking about this issue. As we talked about, right when we got started, the fingers are strangely cherished in Bowling Green. They are connected to what people see as a very important series of events in this town and county. So, when we did talk to members, we talked to people in the community about the fingers, they wanted them to be on display again. They wanted the museum to keep these.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Then we get into the practical stuff. Okay? The fingers do bring people in the door. I can tell you that human remains are among the most popular artifacts in museums the world over. In fact, the leading tourist attraction in the world right now is called Body Worlds. Has anybody seen Body Worlds? Do you know what Body Worlds are? Yeah. Okay. Body Worlds, there are several versions of Body Worlds. They are cadavers that have the skin taken off. They are plasticized. So, they are preserved. Go ahead and look it up. They're playing tennis and they're playing the guitar. They're doing all of the things. People just go nuts for Body Worlds.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, if a museum has human remains, it can be a real attraction. So, we had to keep that in mind. People would come to the museum and say, "We want to see the fingers. That's why we're here." So, we thought, "Well, if the fingers are that attractive, if they're that provocative, they could be an entry point into some conversations about meaningful things." So, to come back up here for a moment, do we have the right to look at human remains? Yes, we do. Certainly there are all these laws surrounding the disposal of bodies and things like that. The law says once a body part is disconnected from a body, and especially if it is altered somehow by being encased in something or placed in fluid in a jar, if it is incorporated into jewelry or artwork, it's not human remains anymore. It's an object.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, the fingers are an object. Problem solved, right? We can put them on display. Well, no. There are all these other kinds of ethical things to think about. People do want to see them, right? So, what kind of tourism is this? Here's another concern that we had at the museum. Wood County Historical Society is identified online, in some quarters, as what's called a dark site. A dark site is an historical society that is associated with atrocity, disaster, deviance, crime, something like that. They're not all disreputable sites. Auschwitz is a dark site. The other Holocaust museums are considered dark sites. The memorial for 9/11 is a dark site. One of the most popular ones now is Chernobyl. Everybody's flocking to Chernobyl to go in there and look around. It's not really interpreted. I think it's kind of dangerous. They're going there nonetheless.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, it was a little bit disturbing when I looked online and I saw that when the fingers were mentioned, they were mentioned in a really lurid, kind of gruesome way. Look at this one from [Weird US 00:15:50]. "If you'd like to see these gruesome reminders of what might happen if you don't complete your housework, you could go to the museum and see these on display." So, it makes a joke of it. People do chuckle about the fingers, which is okay. But when you think about it, that's really pretty much what happened to Mary Bach. She didn't want to do her housework. She was disobedient. She died for it. There you see a caricature of the fingers in the jar.

Rebecca Mancuso:

How about the [Morbid Sightseer 00:16:19]? This one was disturbing. "Why stop in Bowling Green? Why, to see the fingers of Mary Bach, of course. The prized display, three hooked human fingers in a jar. The fingers belonged to Mary Bach, who was murdered. The knife used to sever the fingers and the noose used to hang the man who severed them are proudly presented alongside the popular tater tot-like appendages." Yeah. I couldn't believe how many comparisons to food I saw online. They were either french fries or carrots or things like that. Yeah. Makes some people chuckle but it's also really pretty dehumanizing, right? Yeah. So, those are the kinds of ways that the fingers were mentioned.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, what, I think, was the aim here was to figure out a way to change the public's gaze, shift the public's gaze, and move understandings or reactions from what we call an object centered one to an object driven one. An object centered view of an artifact is where you just look at that artifact and you focus entirely on its physical qualities. "Oh, look at these shriveled fingers. They're dark colored. They're gory." You look at the jar and have just this reaction to the physical qualities. An object driven approach, on the other hand, is, as material historians say, when you let the object speak. You help the object tell its story. You give it context. You let people engage with the object and the context. That way, you can really build knowledge and educate. It's not just a thing. It's what the thing represents, what the thing symbolizes, the whole story behind it.

Rebecca Mancuso:

I remember talking to Dana Nemeth about this, the former director, one day, and we were talking about the story of Mary Bach. We said, "Once you know the story of Mary Bach, you never see the fingers in the same way. The fuller the story, the better." I'm going to give you an abbreviated version, but let's, for a minute, talk about Mary Myer and Carl Bach. So, Charles Bach and Mary Myer were both German immigrants. They met in Northern Ohio in the Cleveland area. They were married in the late 1860s. They soon moved to Northwest Ohio and settled on a farm in Milton Township, just west of Bowling Green, of course. They had three children, Charles, or Carl Junior, Marie, and [Catherine 00:18:55].

Rebecca Mancuso:

Significantly, the Bachs purchased their farmland jointly. Mary had some inheritance, some from her father and then some from a previous marriage. She had been married to a Civil War soldier, who completely disappeared, was presumed dead. So, she inherited some money from that, as well. So, she came into the marriage with some money, purchased this land jointly with her husband. Her name, her signature, was required for any deed of sale of the land. This would become a major source of tension for the couple. The United States was in a depression in the 1870s. The Bach family slid into poverty during that time. By 1880, the family was deep in debt. Carl desired to sell the land and, perhaps, move west. With or without Mary, we're not sure. We think, possibly, without her. He may have wanted to take the children. We don't know how she felt about that. But we do know that Mary did not want to sell her land. She didn't want to discharge this asset that she had.

Rebecca Mancuso:

At least twice, Carl Bach found buyers for the land, but each time she refused to sign the deed. The newspapers that you read from the 1880s say that Mary was pretty assertive. She was pretty stubborn. So, Carl would find a buyer for the land and she'd just say, "No, I'm not signing this." When you look at the trial transcripts, however, and you look at the testimony from her son, Carl Junior, he said that Carl Bach, the husband, would beat Mary on the head and face until she agreed to sell the land. When he would put the deed in front of her, she would, again, refuse to sign. The newspapers say, "Oh, this happened a couple of times." In the trial transcript, it says it happened five to six times. So, we know that Mary was pretty heavily abused.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Carl became increasingly frustrated with his wife's refusal to sell the land and other behaviors of hers. He began to wander around the neighborhood telling his neighbors that he wanted to kill Mary, that he wanted to hit her with an ax or a knife or whatever it might be. By 1881, Mary was pregnant again. The sources describe her in an advanced state of pregnancy. She complained that Carl's rages drove her from the house "day and night in all kinds of weather." She retained a peace warrant, which is like a restraining order, against Carl. He had to go to jail for about 18 days. Some of his neighbors came and eventually let him out.

Rebecca Mancuso:

He returned to the family home and he stayed on the property, but Mary refused to give him admittance into the house. He stayed in the barn, living and cooking out there. As the weather became colder and colder into October, he became more angry that he was not allowed in the house. Of course, he was angry that his wife was defying him. Mary, meanwhile, took steps to secure a divorce. Carl's living situation and Mary's behavior threw him into such a rage that on October 10th of 1881, he followed through on his threat to kill Mary. He went into the house to say that he was going to stay in the house that night. I'm kind of abbreviating here. He began to argue fiercely with Mary. He ran out of the house, and he said that a corn knife came into his hand somehow, and he ran back into the home and proceeded to attack Mary, who was resting in bed with their six-year-old child. We don't know how the six-year-old child escaped the blows, but, thankfully, she did.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Carl Bach proceeded to deal his wife 41 slashes. The son, Carl Junior, did run to the door of the bedroom to see what the commotion was. He saw his father holding onto Mary's arm and slashing her with the corn knife. Mary tried to grab the window. She tried to run through the room, but he did not let go of her. The son was described as stupefied with horror, of course, at what he saw. Mary's fingers, three fingers ... Her upper body was, they said, nearly unrecognizable after the murder. Three of her fingers were severed, possibly, in a defensive gesture. We don't know. They were separated from her body at that point. The family stayed in the home that night. Early in the morning around 5:00, Carl Bach took his children to a neighbor's house, left them there, and then proceeded to walk to Bowling Green, where he turned himself in to Sheriff [Reed 00:23:35].

Rebecca Mancuso:

Sheriff Reed, initially, didn't believe Carl's confession, saying, "Oh, come on. You probably didn't do anything that bad." Carl said, "No, you need to come to the house to see this situation." So, Sheriff Reed and the coroner, Mister [Abbott 00:23:50], went to the Bach home and, indeed, discovered the body. At that point, the Sheriff collected evidence, which has become part of the Bach collection that we have now, the bloody sheet that has not survived, the corn knife, and the three fingers, which the sheriff put in a jar and covered with liquid. According to the documents, alcohol. The local lore is that it's whiskey. Right? We're not quite sure. We do know that Carl probably did drink. There was probably alcohol in the house. The trial transcripts say that both Carl and Mary did drink on occasion, or maybe more than on occasion. We're not sure.

Rebecca Mancuso:

The sheriff placed the fingers in the jar with the liquid and took those, too, as evidence. The case immediately became a sensation. "The most shocking butchery ever known in the history of the county." Carl was tried twice, once in 1881, but there was an irregular jury selection. So, he had to wait to be tried again in 1883. He was condemned to hang in 1883. That, again, was a sensation. Newspapers say that up to 20,000 people came to watch Carl be hanged. In fact, they couldn't really see him. He was in an enclosure. One wonders if that's an exaggeration. Could 20,000 people really fit in downtown Bowling Green? I don't know. But it was the same week as the county fair. So, there were a lot of people in the area who wanted to see this.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Right after the hanging, the gallows were taken to the county fair to be put on display. So, very early on, a lot of these artifacts were displayed publicly. The corn knife and other evidence, the fingers, the sheet were all displayed in court first and then became part of an exhibit that I'll show you here in a few minutes. So, newspaper coverage in 1881 shows some sympathy for Mary. The newspaper said, just summarizing here, that she was "an assertive woman," "a thickset though not bad looking woman." They mention her pregnancy. They mention that she was a victim of a brutal attack. They say that these poor children had been robbed of a mother. They mention that the child was in bed with the mother when this happened, and these kinds of things.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Jumping ahead though, by 1883, already, the discourse shifted. So, it didn't take a lot of time for attitudes toward Mary to change. Each time Carl Bach went to trial, and then when he was hanged and everything, each time the local media got to revisit the case, right after the murder, the first trial, the second trial, then the hanging ... Each time the discussions of Mary and Carl Bach, the husband, changed. By 1883, Mary was described as a lazy animal, filthy at times, slothful, disobedient, and that she neglected her wifely duties, which could mean a lot of things. Carl, too. He was called a maniac. He was called depraved. He was also referred to as a pitiable man and a poor victim, whose wife was more of a curse to him than anything.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Now, a lot of these descriptions of Mary come from the trial transcript. They come from Carl Bach, the perpetrator's testimony that is in the court transcript. In some of the newspaper articles they will say, "This is Carl Bach's testimony. He's talking about his wife." Other times they just pull things from Carl Bach's testimony and report on what Mary must have been like, using Carl's words. They don't attribute these words to Carl. So, she's called all of these things in the newspaper, and we don't know that those were Carl's words. A reporter for the Wood County Democrat wrote in 1883 that, "While a man should protect his wife, the fault, maybe, was partly on both sides."

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, this narrative of the blameworthy wife had started to take hold. It would be remarkably persistent. I talked to Dana, the former director of the museum, and she told me that ... You could tell me I'm lying if you want to. She did tell me that when she became a tour guide in the museum, it was in the '80s.

Dana Nemeth:

The late '80s.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Late '80s. You were told that you could suggest when you were giving a tour that Mary Bach's baby was not necessarily Carl's baby, and that she was most likely unfaithful to Bach. I'm looking through all the documents. I don't really see any suggestions of that. That's how persistent that was. Mary, of course, was silenced. She couldn't say anything.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, I think I went over this, didn't I? First shown in the courtroom. Here is the exhibit, the Wood County Courthouse exhibit from 1897 to about 2012, I believe. This is what it looked like. It moved to the Wood County Historical Society in 1980, but it was left just like this, and was left just like this until 2012. The current curator just dismantled it, and still put a few of these things on display but in a more tasteful way with a white background. You look at this and you see ... It's a little hard to see, I know. Here's the corn knife right here. For some of you, this will be really familiar. There's a noose and the hood Carl Bach wore, photos of Carl Bach, his pipe, his Bible. This right down here that you can't see, that's just the top of the jar where Mary's fingers were. So, who does this focus on? Who's the center of this exhibit? It focuses all on the perpetrator, Carl Bach.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, what choices, really, did the museum have? The museum could bury the remains. I mentioned that the fingers are cherished here in Bowling Green. There have been just a couple of objections, I think, maybe, two or three letters over the last decade and a half, where some people have said, "Hey, maybe we could consider burying these remains." Another letter from 2015 said, "Hey, we really do need to stop treating Mary Bach's remains like some kind of sideshow oddity." It's not a lot of objection, but we needed to listen to that. It spoke to people at the museum. "Yeah, we've got to change this."

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, they could retain them but not exhibit them, and then exhibit them in this new social welfare context that the museum is really exploring now. So, I think you can kind of guess that I'm believing in this direction. That starts to be the direction I'm beginning to go in. So, if they are going to be exhibited, what would the best practices be? Well, you have to contact multiple stakeholders. We talked about the society membership, getting their input. Community groups. We talked about bringing in women's groups. Advocacy groups in the community. Perhaps contacting family members of the Bach family. I talked to the present curator about this. She's being very cautious about that. She doesn't want to contact living members of the Bach family just right out of the blue, saying, "We've got these fingers." So, that's got to be done carefully. She says she's talking to the board to consider how to do that.

Rebecca Mancuso:

One thing I did though was to do some comparative work. Again, I'm writing to talk to other museum professionals about how to handle these kinds of controversial artifacts. So, I started talking to other museum professionals about what they had done. The Bach case is pretty unique. A lot of museums have human remains, as I've said. When they have them, those curios in the jars, they don't want to get rid of them. What's different about Mary Bach? Well, one big thing, big ethical issue, is that we know who she was. The fingers can be connected to a human being. They're not anonymous. A lot of the human remains in museums are completely anonymous. You don't know whose brain it is, or whose tumor that is, or whatever it might be. That's not the case with Mary.

Rebecca Mancuso:

The consent issue is, of course, a big one, too. Mary would probably not have consented to this. So, we think about whether we would want our loved one's remains on display. So, those are some big differences. The American Alliance of Museums says that it is acceptable to exhibit human remains if it's done in an educationally responsible way. Well, okay. What does that mean? So, I started talking to people. That's the best thing I could do. I talked to some staff members from the Holocaust Memorial Museum when I went to the National Council on Public History Conference. Their issue was human hair. Is human hair a human remain? No, because if you go to the salon, you don't have to take the hair and bury it or anything like that. So, it's not considered human remains.

Rebecca Mancuso:

However, when we talk about how the hair that appears in Holocaust museums was obtained, it was obtained under horrific circumstances, right? It was forcibly removed from people. So, even though it's not human remains, it's human material and it's fraught with a lot of horror and so forth. There have been objections from among the Jewish community when museums put hair on display. Talking to the memorial museum staff members, some of them said, "No, we don't think it's quite right to have it on display." In the US, in Washington DC, they don't have it on display now. I think they have some pictures but they don't have the real hair on display. In Europe, some places do. According to these staff members, they said, "So, seeing the hair gives you a horrified reaction. That's what it's supposed to do. So, that's okay."

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, again, if you think it through, why are we doing this? The [Mütter 00:34:17] Museum, they were very helpful. That's a medical museum. They just have human remains everything. So, they're like, "Yes! Human remains. Interpret them carefully, pedagogically some way, have a lesson here." So, they were all for it. The one that was most inspiring, however, was the head archeologist at Historic Jamestown. His name is William Kelso, Doctor William Kelso. He's a BGSU graduate. He told me that he and his wife are Falcon Flames. So, BGSU kind of gets you in the door. I had a great conversation with him. Really inspiring. He told me about the story of this person. Little different from Mary Bach.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Her name, or the name given to her, is Jane. Jane is not her real name. We don't know her identity. In the course of excavations in Jamestown, the archeologists found the bones of a woman that they were absolutely certain had been cannibalized. Most likely after death. She probably wasn't murdered necessarily for that purpose. She probably died of natural causes. She was cannibalized. They have decided to put her remains on display. You can clearly see where parts of the skull have been cut open so that people could get to the matter inside and all of these things. So, it is disturbing.

Rebecca Mancuso:

What disturbed the archeologists the most was not so much that she'd been cannibalized. Let me explain. These few years were called The Starving Time in 1609, 1610, when everybody in Jamestown was starving. So, it was just something that the other settlers did to Jane after she had passed away. What bothered the archeologists was that she had been thrown on a trash heap with a whole bunch of garbage and human waste and stuff. They thought, "That's just unjust. That's dehumanizing. So, we want to bring Jane's humanity back." So, they had someone reconstruct her facial features. They gave her a name. They told her story. It's really educational. It's disturbing, it's shocking, but Bill Kelso said he just wanted her to live on. He wanted people to know that she was a human being.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, I thought about Mary Bach when he told me that. So, my decision, and, again, this was just the conclusion that I came to. I will tell you it pretty much fit in with what the staff was thinking, too. I have some information from the present curator to tell you about what they want to do with the remains. Again, in talking to the curator about this, she just decided that the fingers can be a really interesting way in to difficult conversations about vulnerable people, about victimhood, about abuse, about death. So, these things are worth looking at, talking about. I talked about the museum's updated mission here, but we want to put ... They, I should say, are going to put Mary Bach at the center of the story, give her an autonomous place in history.

Rebecca Mancuso:

What was really shocking to me as I continued with this research, I looked at some of the current articles by sociologists and psychologists about domestic abuse and why people abuse. What shocked me was that the constellation of factors surrounding the femicide of Mary Bach, the forces that were present in her life, in her domestic situation, are exactly the same as the factors today that increase a woman's chance of being killed. Look at them. Exactly the same. Financial strain, prior abuse, pregnancy, perpetrator's adherence to strict gender roles, and a woman's attempts to leave the abuser. So, we can connect past to present and really learn from that, I think. That's what the curator's doing. The message, too, that domestic violence happens here and not just somewhere else is also very powerful.

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, Carl Bach will still be in the story, but he won't be the center of the story. Through this exhibit, the museum can speak to all kinds of people. So, yes. I have just a couple more things to say and then we shall wrap up. Let me tell you what the current curator, Holly Hartlerode Kirkendall, says about the fingers and how they will be displayed. They're going to go back on exhibit in May of 2020. She just wrote me recently and she said, "It's known that the object, the fingers, draw in visitors. But the focus will now be on Mary. Mary was a victim of domestic violence. For that reason, her story will be told in the form of a victim impact statement." To help her do this, Holly is partnering with the The Cocoon Shelter here in town.

Rebecca Mancuso:

Carl's items will also be on display, with the intention of using these items as tools to promote conversation surrounding people with violent tendencies. She wants to talk about where Carl could have gone if he lived today. So, to do that, Holly has partnered with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the local chapter here, and the Wood County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services. She's going to create brochures to go with the exhibit with information on where people today can get help if they're in a violent situation. The Cocoon is putting together a video with victim impact statements from women and from men. So, the fingers are no longer going to be treated, she says, as, "the sideshow joke in a jar. The seriousness of the issue and its connection to how local communities deal with violence and murder must be told."

Rebecca Mancuso:

So, one more thing. I'm just going to read the final paragraph of my article to give you my feelings about this. This is me narrating, okay? As a child, my mind was haunted by a woman's severed fingers that lay in a remote, dusty case in our county courthouse. But while researching and writing this article, another haunting thought has taken its place. It is the utterance of Carl Bach, who summoned the editor of The Sentinel Tribune Newspaper to his jail cell in 1883, eager to justify his actions to the public one last time before he was hanged. He said, "How melancholy and desperate my wife made my heart and mind when she told me I have nothing more to do with household affairs. But my two oldest children, Carl and Marie, know well enough that their mother was more to blame than their father."

Rebecca Mancuso:

This was printed in the paper. Mary Bach's assertion of her independence, rather than Carl's decision to attack her, had become an accepted explanation for her fate. How often do we still see such reasoning in the all too frequent femicide cases in our communities? In Wood County, the decision to display the remains is one that might run counter to what other museums have done, but we will move ahead in the hope of dislodging powerful notions that women are responsible, and other people might be responsible for the physical abuse they suffer. Thank you.

Dr. S. Amjad Hussain on the History of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo (October 22, 2019)

In this lecture at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo (ICGT), Dr. S. Amjad Hussain provides an overview of the ICGT's history. The lecture was presented as part of a public program jointly sponsored by the CAC and the ICGT and funded in part by a Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded to the CAC in 2018.

A Toledo-based surgeon and writer originally from Pakistan, Dr. S. Amjad Hussain holds an emeritus professorship in cardio-thoracic surgery in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and an emeritus professorship in humanities in the College of Arts and Letters at The University of Toledo. He has published nineteen books on a range of subjects and is an op-ed columnist for the Toledo Blade.

PDF Transcript of "The History of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo"

Cherrefe Kadri:

Good evening, and Assalamu Alaikum, peace be with you. And thank you for coming this evening. I am Cherrefe Kadri and I'm past president of the Islamic Center. And I was, for lack of a better word, the point person from the center for this project. Nadia Ashraf-Moghal is our president and she probably has... she is an emergency room physician and I told her if she didn't make it at the beginning, we'll introduce her at the end. But I know that she wanted to be here to greet everyone. So, welcome on her behalf.

Cherrefe Kadri:

And welcome to an unveiling of a project, that is second only to the unveiling of the cornerstones of two mosques this Islamic community has built in the last 65 years. When I was putting this together that hit me. I thought, that's really a monumental feat. That's a statement that not many are able to make. My parents' generation worked to build the mosque on East Bancroft. And the next generation built this one. Those of us who were around at the East Bancroft days remember with fondness the spirit of diversity, as well as unity, that are the hallmark of this Toledo Islamic community. And that spirit continues until this day.

Cherrefe Kadri:

It is that spirit that Bowling Green State University has capitalized on in building a virtual community for the next generation. In April of 2017, Samir Abu-Absi, a good friend of this Islamic Center, told me about a grant that BGSU was considering applying for from the National Endowment for the Humanities. And the focus of that grant was to be the Muslim history in northwest Ohio. I was familiar with that grant because I had actually applied for it in 2016, but was unsuccessful in getting it. Thankfully. After seeing the planning and work and expertise needed to put this together and make it happen, I know that there was no way that we could have done it on a volunteer basis, no matter how goodhearted we are, and committed, without the necessary skill sets that the fine folks from Bowling Green State University's library and archival center brought with them.

Cherrefe Kadri:

So Samir put me in touch with Nick Pavlik at Bowling Green Center for Archival Collections, and Nick introduced me to Michelle Sweetser, and you'll meet both of them in a minute. She's the head librarian and university archivist at the university. And then we started to talk to put this together. Nick handled the technical portion of this project. And you might remember meeting Michelle and Nick at the May 5th Scan Day that we held downstairs. It was truly a pleasure working with these very talented folks. And I'm not leaving David out, but I know that Michelle's going to be mentioning you as well.

Cherrefe Kadri:

For the last couple of years we started working together like I said, in 2017. So now, Amjad Hussain we'll present the history of this Islamic community. Even though he was a latecomer to the community, having only arrived I think in 1969, right Amjad?

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

63.

Cherrefe Kadri:

63. A little over 50 years ago. Only 50 years.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

19 or 18?

Cherrefe Kadri:

And he was the new kid on the block. It's a testament actually to the longevity and roots of the Muslims in our neck of the woods, in northwest Ohio. And so I invite Dr. Amjad Hussain to come up and give us our historical perspective here. Thank you.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Thank you Cherrefe. Thank you very much. You mentioned, Michelle, that you were a little girl and going on the express when you seen this thing. There are so many stories about the Islamic center. The truckers would go and they would talk to each other on CB, and one of them said, "Look at this dumb farmer. He has built this thing but how small the silos are." The minarets. And then one came. Michelle, it could have been you, and asked her mother. Is that where the King of Ohio going to live? And then, another comment was, "Look at this farmer. He's building a Taj Mahal for himself." It was an unusual location for us, but nevertheless we enjoyed all those comments as this place was going up.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Now, I'm going to a momentous journey spanning 111 years. And I'm going to do that in about 30 minutes. You think I can do it?

Speaker 3:

Yep.

Speaker 4:

Yes you can.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Really?

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So let me tell you that history is funny. People have said that you should never, ever write contemporary history, because you're going to make lot of people angry. Some people will think that they were left out. I have tried, from my own recollection, as well as what I have observed, to name some people. And I'm sure I have missed some, but if I have, I would like you to join me in protesting this to Cherrefe. So I'm not going to take the blame for it.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Let's start. It's a story of four generations of men and women who came to Lebanon, from Lebanon to Toledo, Ohio. Now we keep hearing the Syrian Muslim, and I will explain that, why it is Syrian. There was an urge to preserve cultural and religious heritage. At one time, Lebanon was part of Syria, and so everybody called themselves Syrian. The distinct identity of Syrians and Lebanese would wait after World War I to gel. But at one time, this was considered, everybody considered themselves Syrians.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

In 1939, Syrian American Muslim Society was formed, and received its charter from the State of Ohio in 1943. Later, it was called the American Muslim Society. And this was a society, American Muslim Society, which went ahead and spearheaded the mosque on E Bancroft St. So the activities between 1939 and 1953 were held in private homes, the shelter at Navarre Park on Navarre Avenue in East Toledo, YMCA. Different places people got together to socialize as well as to pray. And the visiting imams for special occasions, a funeral, weddings, came from Detroit.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

In 1951, a federation of Islamic associations of North America was founded, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And in 1953, Toledo community held the 2nd convention of the federation. The keynote speaker was Sir Zafarullah Khan, who was at the time President of the UN General Assembly. He was a Pakistani diplomat. And later on he also became the chief justice of the International High Court in The Hague. And here is the advertisement for the 2nd international Muslim convention. And this clipping, from The Blade, highlights Zafarullah Khan as the keynote speaker. Just a little footnote, Zafarullah Khan and his sect in Pakistan, was declared non-Muslims. So here is Zafarullah Khan, coming to Toledo as a Muslim. And he was a scholar. As much as he was a [inaudible 00:09:47], he was a scholar. And it's the political Islam which really has played havoc in the lives of many people.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

This next slide I'm going to show you, is the proposed Muslim mosque in Toledo, Ohio. So the people had this urge to move from YMCA and the Navarre Park and private homes to have a place of their own. And there is the building of the mosque on E Bancroft St, 1953. And this was the inauguration of the mosque. Now some of the pictures that I see, are the same. And here is the gathering in that big hall which, the prayer area in the old mosque. And this is the side view of the old mosque. And I shouldn't call it a plaque, what do they call it?

Cherrefe Kadri:

Cornerstone.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

The cornerstone. It is in the corner, isn't it. I mean, it's literally in the corner. Okay, the cornerstone, which, I think we have brought it here.

Cherrefe Kadri:

Yes, it's up front.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Yes, we brought it here. This is 1954.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Now the center, Islamic center on E Bancroft, had its officers, and had a constitution and by-laws. And I'm proud to say, that this is perhaps one of the few Islamic communities in the country where we follow the constitution and by-laws. That does not mean it's always smooth, no. We fight. And I don't think there have been any fistfights, but we fight. We argue. We try to change. But the original document, which has been changed few times, has held the test of time. That even coming to this center, we had to rely upon that. And it has served us very well.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

This is in 1975 published. It is the Constitution and By-laws of the Islamic Center of Toledo. 1975. And here is the office holders... At that time it was called council. We still call it a council. These are the, you can call it board of Directors which run the mosque. And some of the people you can identify, Nasr Khan is here, I believe. Agree? Is this Nasr Khan?

Cherrefe Kadri:

Yes, looks like him.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

And on the end, on the other end, is [Uncle Harry 00:12:52]. I will talk about him just in a moment. But these are the people who ran and established a tradition, so that the newcomers, like I when I got off the boat in 1963, we followed in their footsteps.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

The move from E Bancroft, downtown Toledo, to Perrysburg was generated by some people who were holding at that time the job of president of the center. And there are two people that I want to acknowledge. And one is Nasr Monsour and Habib Khan. They had this vision, no? A lot of people had the vision, because the place was getting crowded and small, and knew a bigger place was needed. So that, Habib Khan and Nasr Monsour and others, and I will mention some of them, went ahead and looked for a appropriate site to build the new Islamic Center, or the new mosque. There comes Dr. Saleh Jabarin. Not only he came that many years ago, he just came back yesterday from Palestine. So it's nice to have you back Saleh. Dr. Jabarin then became the president of the council of the Islamic center, the old mosque. And it was really under his guidance and leadership that we made the move from the old place to the new place. And I will talk about the traditions, in addition to the brick and mortar, which made this community. And he had a pivotal role in establishing those traditions that we all are beneficiary of his work.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Also, we have had Imams in the old mosque. But remember we were there only from 1954 through the 70s. So it was not a long time. And we have had five or six different Imams. The last one before Hadab came, was Imam Kharufa. And after he left, we tapped Imam Abdelmoniem Khattab, who was at the time in London, Ontario. Naveed?

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

[crosstalk 00:15:35]

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So Imam Khattab, at one time, was the Imam in London, Ontario. He was not ... At the time he was working in Sarnia as a social worker in a hospital. He had a Masters in Social Works, in addition to masters from Al-Azhar, and in the process of PhD. So we tapped him and there was a little bit hard negotiation, because he has gone through some of the Islamic communities, and he saw us, we were yet another Islamic community. Big talk, big ideas, but very short on action. So he agreed to come to Toledo on a weekly basis to officiate as an Imam in the old mosque. And after about a year we realized... We both realized. He realized, we realized, that I think his destiny was in Toledo with us. So Imam Khattab and Dr. Jabarin together, they lured the community to the Perrysburg location that we have.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So, I'm going a little bit back. Within 15 years of building the old mosque, we needed a bigger place, and we bought the land on Cass Rd.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

[crosstalk 00:17:39]

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

How ungrateful one can be. You brought me water and I made fun of you.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So we bought land on Cass Rd, that this would have been the future home. But then, remember I mentioned Habib and Saleh and others? They were still looking. And we found out that there was a farm which was available for sale. A German Lutheran family. The man had died. And his widow put this up for sale. Now, at that time, there was a lot going on in the world. There was Iranian Revolution of 1978, and we felt its effect in Toledo, because the owner refused to sell the land to a bunch of Muslims. So Dr. Jabarin is not one who accepts no for an answer. So he persuaded two lawyers, and Mrs. [Kaupf 00:19:15], to meet with us. So we met in Perrysburg, in the French quarters. It was Dr. Jabarin, his wife, Habib Khan, his wife, Jim Adray, his wife, myself, and my late wife, am I missing any person? There were four couples.

Speaker 5:

Mr. Hady was there I think.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Now she expected, Mrs. [Kaupf 00:19:39], that we would come in with turbans and guns and swords. Really, she expected that. Instead, we showed up in our suits and coats and during conversation realized that I as a surgeon might have operated on some of her relatives. And Habib Khan might have sold her a car. And Dr. Jabarin might have taught some of her relatives at the university. And Jim Adray might have taken care of some of her divorces, no I'm sorry, the legal work. So we appeared to her normal people. And, I am not exaggerating, after about an hour, hour and a half, her instruction to the lawyer, her lawyer was, that I want to sell this to nobody but these people. So, that's the story of acquiring this land. Mrs. [Kaupf 00:20:44] incidentally was our special guest at the time of inauguration.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So the timeline is, the land was purchased in 1978, groundbreaking in 1980, construction... well, for two years we didn't do anything. It's really a big mystery why. And the answer, we didn't have money to start the construction. We had the foundations, but we did not have the money. So construction started in September of '82, and construction completed within a year in 1983.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So, here is another interesting story. A journey of three million dollars, started with 500 dollars. So an interesting meeting took place in Toledo Club. We were about 25 or 30 we were gathered. And, I don't know, we are in the habit of talking, and saying the same thing over and over again. So the same conversation went around the table time and time again. And Nasr sitting right here, Dr. Nasir Ali, he was there. So he put a stop to that going round and round and round. And he says, "Let's commit ourselves if we want to build a new center." And that stopped that conversation going around. And then the pad went around, and I think by the time the evening was over we had about pledges for close to forty or fifty thousand dollars. At the time when the meeting happened, we had 500 dollars. So I think this shows a lot about how the community comes together. This was the land that we bought. 48 acres.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So Habib Khan and Nar Khan had a classmate at University of Toledo who was an architect. And he was from Turkey. And he had his own architectural firm in Toledo. So they talked to him and Mr. Itil, what's his first name?

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

[crosstalk 00:22:58]

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Yeah, Talat Itil. He was all too happy to help us free of charge to draw what you see here today. So Talat Itil was... And this was the rendering which was done at that time. Now here is a... I don't know whether you have a pen and pencil, Nadia? Yeah, you should, because I'm going to...

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

[crosstalk 00:23:31]

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Oh God. I'm going to point out few things. We had neglected mentioning Talat Itil who was the architect of this Islamic Center. I think we need a plaque outside acknowledging what he has done for us. I don't think we are that ungrateful. But it just slips our mind. We should do that.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So it just happens that there were five people who happened to be in Toledo and belonged to the old mosque. And that was Dr. Jabarin.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

[crosstalk 00:24:18]

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

What was comment?

Speaker 5:

Jim Adray.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Is Jim Adray there? Yeah. So, Dr. Jabarin got some people together. It was actually his cabinet more or less. It had nothing to do with the council of the mosque. Not all of them were on the council I believe. But perhaps they were. But anyway, he got them together. And here is what I think a interesting aspect. Jim Adray worked very hard to make sure that all the legalities are taken care of. Habib Khan was go to person, at the construction site as well as anything else he could do. Zuhair Kamal, who's sitting with us here, he was really in overseeing that everything goes well. I had no expertise, except that I have some connection with the press and I became a public relations person. And the person on your left Deib Hady who was a green grocer. He did not have formal education, but he had a vision. And he guided us by his advice and counsel as we met almost every week in Zuhair Kamal’s office on Holland Rd. And I think we met for better part of a year. And occasionally other people will join in at that time.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So when the foundations were laid, the plaque was unveiled. And then as I said, for two years we sat on it. And here is now the construction begins. So the children... And the third from the left is my daughter who happens to be here today, Tasha. And then the person on my side here is Shakil Ahmad, Dr. [Shoaib Ahmad 00:26:49]'s son. And the other two kids I don't remember. Anybody?

Cherrefe Kadri:

Isn't that Moni?

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

No, no.

Cherrefe Kadri:

Is it Nadeem?

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

It could be.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

[crosstalk 00:27:06]

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So the kids got in action. And here is where the foundations were being dug for the center. And here is the inside view of the prayer area. And this in an iconic picture of when the dome was lowered. It was a windy day. And you can imagine swaying. And we all gathered there saying silent prayers.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

As the mosque was being built, we started using the grounds in fair weather for special occasions. And this is one of the Eid prayers, which was held just by the barn facing Scheider Rd. And finally the day arrived when we were able to open this mosque. I want you to look at the door. And this door is a wooden door, makeshift door. Because the door which is now there had not arrived. And it took all night for Habib Khan and some of his friends to put that temporary door so that the place looked at least complete. And here is a picture of inauguration, which Dr. Jabarin had an oversize scissors and he cut the ribbon. And at that time we received a gift of this part of the cover of Kaaba with a gold embroidered [Arabic 00:28:46], God's name. And that is just outside the door, framed, with a black background. People took note of us. New York Times, USA Today, they were here in the following the inauguration of the center and talking about this amazing center which has been built in the corn fields of Ohio. And actually it was in the corn fields of Ohio, surrounded by corn fields.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Now here I come to the tricky part. No, not yet...

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

It was more than just bricks and mortar. Remember I told you that there was a vision of the people? As to what they wanted this mosque to be? This could have been yet another mosque where the women were delegated to a back room, but we established those traditions. Now when you come to the prayer area you see this, just about three foot high partition between men and women. When we decided that this was how it was going to be, there was some opposition. But no we are going to do that. And Imam Khattab, God bless him, he was in favor of that. And much thought went in that concept, and many other things. Not only Dr. Jabarin but his late wife Dorothy, who loved this place tremendously, as much as her husband did at that time.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So let me read this down the list. It's a partial list of innovations. We did not want a separate entrance for women. We declared on day one a gender equality. And we had this arrangement, first time anywhere, the women would pray side by side with men under the same dome, under the same roof. And, my God, talk about blasphemy, first woman president, Cherrefe Kadri. Somebody told me that a lightning bolt is going to come and hit the center. I think it hit that man. Cherrefe was a successful president and she went on to remain, to serve to times. Then we had Mahjabeen Islam president, and now our last president...

Cherrefe Kadri:

Current president.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

But last in that series, current president Nadia Moghal. So this has been, when they say gender equality, yes. The women in this center are not relegated to the kitchen or to do anything else. But they are in leadership positions. Interest taking. It was a taboo. But Khattab said, "No, taking a mortgage from the bank to build a mosque is halal." And that did not sit with many people. Not many people are doing that.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Fixing holidays using scientific methods. University of Toledo, Astronomy Department, Physics Department calculated for us three years ahead of time the moon sighting so that our holidays could be fixed. We were the first center in America and Canada to do that. One thing, magazine we started publishing so that the community would know what's happening. Visiting scholars program, a gift of the Islamic Center to the community at large to bring people, scholars, in areas of different areas of human endeavor. It doesn't have to be religion. It could be science. It could be any branch of humanities. I know we had archeologist here, historians here, who gave a public lecture. Interfaith dialogue. Islamic food bank. Naveed and Razi are sitting here and they have made that bank as one of the best in the state of Ohio. Imagine, international festival, Imam Khattab Chair of Islamic Studies at U. of T., inspired and supported by this community, and community outreach. This is just a partial list of what this center has been doing.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Here is just few examples of the Monitor, which was our monthly magazine. And this is a special issue on the dedication of the center. And these are the original, initial attempts, not attempts... Initial international festivals that we held on the ground. Now it has grown many fold. And those of you who have come know this thing, that this is from looking at it from the minaret. I did not take any more pictures from the minaret because my knees don't cooperate with me and I don't want to be stuck in the minaret for the next month. So, but I used to go up in the minaret and take these pictures. And here is another picture.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Did I say that we believe in women equality? So let me tell you a story. This is Jack Shaheen who's talking. He was a very well known national speaker. And he had been to the center a few times as a visiting scholar. But that is not what I want to tell. I want to tell you, on that extreme right is me I believe, this is Imam Khattab, and this is Fatima Simon, who was the chair of the board of elders. At that time, there was clergy from Lebanon who came. And we were told that they would come and join us. Their head honcho walked in. He saw a woman on the stage. He walked out. I was told that this happened. Fatima Simon says, in that case I will leave the stage and I will go and sit with the audience. And I said, "When hell freezes over. You are chair of the board of elders. I don't give a damn about the man who comes in or not. Our destiny is not his destiny. And his destiny is not our destiny." So Fatima Simon kept sitting at her place in this banquet. Later on they joined us, I think for few minutes or 10 minutes. But I'm going to tell you is, that to support our ladies in this center and to let them run this place when they're elected is something which has been the hallmark.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

This is a centerfold of Time Magazine, special issue on ethnic diversity of the United States. And in the centerfold this essay, One Nation, Under Gods, talk about different faiths in America. But look, what picture did they choose in the whole country to signify multinationalism and multireligious gathering? Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Now it is not all beautiful and rosy. We have had some setbacks. In the late 80s a group split away from us and established Masjid Saad. They are doing very well. Perhaps ideologically we were not at the same page. And they decided to leave. But they are doing very well. October 3rd, 2012, this place was set to fire, torched, by a self-appointed vigilante who came from Indiana. And it took us out of the center for six months. And few million dollars damage. But we recovered from that. And the most recent was 2014, another faction split from us and went and started another mosque. That's okay. The people are happy in a different way, we are happy. We, on the other hand, have gone through these ups and downs. But, I have a good news for you. Please confirm what I am saying: we are doing very well. Fiscally and otherwise we are doing extremely well.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So here is that trap that I'm going to walk into. There are so many people that have given their lives' work. And lest we forget just a handful of people out of hundreds who helped put the Islamic Center on the map, and Mitch Salem, who was the president of the old mosque, Jimmy Deen, James Deen, I'm sure that he will not mind if we tell a story about him. We had some people who, you know, when you are really enthused with religious fervor, you want to change everybody. You want to tell people that what they are doing wrong. It's no secret that a lot of people in our community owned bars at one time. Not anymore, but they did many many years ago. 60, 70 years ago. So one self righteous man told Mr. Deen that people here do not practice real Islam. So he says, "Young man, if you go and take a brick from the mosque and squeeze it, liquor will come out." And he was right in a way. It is not where the money come from, but these people who came to Toledo and established a place of worship. Those gave more than money, they gave of themselves. And somebody, Johnny-come-late, comes and he points a finger. So Jim Deen, Anne Kadri, Cherrefe's mom, Anne Sharp, John Hussein Shousher, Hussien Boraby, Anna Mae Albert, Aneesa Shaheen... She is living, by the way... She has been the secretary of this center ever since the days of the old mosque. She is a historian. She has an institutional memory that we can rely upon her. Thank you, Aneesa. You have done a wonderful job. Thank you.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So today, a new generations of leaders born in the US are a group running the center. A proactive board of trustees. A vibrant Foundation of the Islamic Center. A fiscally sound institution. Am I saying it right?

Imam:

Yep.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Okay. I have paid my dues. And a breath of fresh air. We have a new Imam. Imam, will you please?

Imam:

My hat is already standing up. So....

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

Imam Deeb joined us just two months ago, and it has been a wonderful addition to this center. If you ever want to be mesmerized by how he brings difficult issues, come and join us on a Sunday or a Friday. His has been a great addition to the Islamic Center, and his outlook matches the outlook of this center. It matches the outlook of the people who established the center. I think we have fantastic times to have with one another.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

So... When there was a 25th anniversary of the mosque, I scribbled ... I'm at the end of my presentation. I scribbled a... I don't want to call it a poem. It's a free flowing verse called Crossroads. And I will tell you those, I'll read that to you in the backdrop of this collage.

Sayed Amjad Hussain:

25 years is a short time in an institution's life, but nonetheless it is a landmark. So let us stop for a while and rejoice. It is time to count the blessings and say thanks. It is time to reminisce and to pay homage to those who gave so much to start a tradition. It is time to reflect and to look back at the uphill course we have traveled. But let us make it only a wayside stop on the crossroads. Like a festive break in a long journey. Our job is not done. We still have a mountain to climb. The road is difficult and uphill. But it was more so 25 years ago. So we must move until we reach the top. Let us keep our eyes on the goal. Let the caravan keep moving towards the top. Let the sounds of the toiling bells carry the message to near hills and faraway valleys. And, let us resolve that our next festivities will be on the other side of the mountain. Which incidentally was when we celebrated this Islamic Center. I thank you very much.

Dr. S. Amjad Hussain's lecture was made possible in part by a Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this lecture do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Jeff Brown and Jim Semon, Sr. - "Sandusky's Photographer: The Real Photo Postcards of Ernst Niebergall" (October 16, 2019)

In this lecture, authors Jim Brown and Jim Semon, Sr. discuss the work of photographer Ernst Niebergall as highlighted in their work Sandusky's Photographer: The Real Photo Postcards of Ernst Niebergall (Sandusky, Ohio: Firelands Postcard Club, 2018), one of the 2018 winners of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Independent Scholar category.

Jeff Brown received a BA in history from Muskingum College and an MA in anthropology and archeology from Kent State University, and is now retired from the State Historic Preservation Office of Ohio. Jim Semon, Sr. studied industrial design at Kent State university and graphic design and typography at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and is now retired from American Greetings Corporation.

PDF Transcript of "Sandusky's Photographer: The Real Photo Postcards of Ernst Niebergall"

Nick Pavlik:

Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the Jerome Library at Bowling Green State University and thank you so much for attending today's program, which is part of the local history publication award fall lecture series, sponsored by the Center for Archival Collections or the CAC. My name is Nick Pavlik. I'm the curator of manuscripts and digital projects at the CAC and I also serve as the current chair of the CAC local history publication awards committee. The CAC's annual local history publication award is an extension of its mission to collect, preserve, and provide access to historical and archival records relating to Northwest Ohio.

Nick Pavlik:

The award was established to encourage and recognize authors of outstanding publications about Northwest Ohio history with awards being given in both academic scholar and independent scholar divisions. Each division winner is awarded $300 and a plaque and is invited to Jerome library to give a public talk on their work. It's my pleasure today to welcome Jim Semon Sr. and Jeff Brown to Jerome library, as the winners of our 2018 local history publication award in the independent scholar division for their book Sandusky's Photographer: The Real Photo Postcards of Ernst Niebergall, published by the Firelands Postcard Club.

Nick Pavlik:

There is a third author of the book who was also a winner of the award, [Roger Dickman 00:01:28], but he was unable to join us today, so I just wanted to make sure we acknowledge him. By way of introduction here for Jeff and Jim, Jeff Brown, who's here on the far left, my far left, your farm right, was born in Sandusky and grew up on Catawba Island, Ohio. A national merit scholar, he received his BA, magna cum laude in history from Muskingum College and an MA in anthropology and archeology from Kent State University.

Nick Pavlik:

He's now retired from running regional and archeological and historic preservation offices for the Ohio historic preservation office, serving as historic preservation administrator for the Stark County regional planning commission, and conducting section 106 field reviews under a contract for ODNR's abandoned coal mine reclamation program. Jeff is the author or a coauthor of books, professional journal, articles and papers and book reviews on subjects ranging from Eastern Ohio archeology to Myers Lake park, in Canton and the Lake Terminal Railroad in Lorain. And then Mr. Jim Semon Sr., was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved with his family at an early age to Sandusky, Ohio.

Nick Pavlik:

He's a 1958 graduate of Sandusky High School and studied industrial design at Kent State university and graphic design and typography at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Now retired from American Greetings Corporation and Henkel consumer products, Jim is an avid photographer of transportation subjects and enjoys collecting related memorabilia. He is coauthor of three books, one on the Nickel Plate in Baltimore on Ohio railroads and a recent book on Clydesdale motor trucks and his photos have been published and transportation books, calendars, magazines and postcards. Jim is currently president of the Firelands Postcard Club and a trustee of the Erie County historical society.

Nick Pavlik:

As a final notes, in addition to today's program, we will also be hosting two additional local history publication award lectures later this fall. On Tuesday, October 29th, Dr. Rebecca Mancuso, associate professor in the BGSU Department of History will present on her article “The Finger Saga, One Museum's Quest to Turn the Macabre into the Meaningful,” which is published in the Public Historian, the journal of the National Council on Public History.

Nick Pavlik:

And on Thursday, November 14th, we'll be welcoming our other independent scholar division award winners Patricia Beach, Susan Eisel, Maria Nowicki, Judy Szor, and Beth White for a talk on their book Caps Capes and Caring: The Legacy of Diploma Nursing Schools in Toledo, published by the University of Toledo Press. For more information on these talks, I encourage you to visit the upcoming events page on the University Libraries’ website. But, and the final note, there are some items here on the tables.

Nick Pavlik:

Some are of course view only, but the items over here, the individual postcards are free to take for anybody who is interested. And on the far table, there are some additional copies of the Sandusky's Photographer book, which are for sale, I understand. So you could speak with Jim about that if you are interested in purchasing a copy after the talk. So but for now, please join me in welcoming authors, Jen Semon Sr. and Jeff Brown to Jerome Library.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Thank you very much Nick. It's a pleasure for us to be here. We had a lot of fun doing this last book on Mr. Niebergall. And I want to tell you a little bit more about myself first, and then we'll talk a little bit more about Mr. Niebergall and the book, and Jeff is going to cover the research we tried and actually worked very hard on, to make sure we had captions that were correct. We knew a lot of historians would look at it. We wanted it to be more than just a picture book of postcards. So Jeff will cover the details very carefully. I began collecting railroad Lake boats and truck postcards in 1966, along with my own photography, I was fascinated with transportation subjects and early, early age, as a young boy.

Jim Semon Sr.:

I remember driving to Cleveland with my mom and dad in the car and if we saw a train or a truck, I got pretty excited. Dad would have to stop or slow down. I first learned of Ernst Niebergall early railroad photos, in Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers weekly newsletter, which was published April 6th, 1979. Before that, I didn't know a thing about Mr. Niebergall. I saved this, you can see it after the talk, but this is actually the two page spread of Mr. Niebergall's photographs. Now, the thing that was sad, they said, "A photographer" but they didn't identify who he was.

Jim Semon Sr.:

But when I saw that, and I had a friend at The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers on [Beilock 00:06:28], that gave me that copy, I said, I got to learn more about this and who took those pictures. I was impressed. The early photographs of speeding trains that weren't blurred. And being a photographer, I knew that would be pretty difficult to do. My research took me to the haste library in Fremont. And I reviewed many of the transportation images there that Charles Frohman had donated to the library and had some of the prints that I saw made from my collection.

Jim Semon Sr.:

At that time, they've actually make me a glossy photograph from the negative that was there or they would copy it for me. Later I met Ernest Walbourn, who was the dock superintendent at the docks in Sandusky, Ohio. And Ernest was also a casual friend and Mr. Niebergall's and fact digress for a minute. On Sunday mornings after church, he would always stop by Ernst department and bring him a pint of ice cream and a newspaper. Now later on you'll find out, Ernst had very few friends, was always single and had no relatives. So he was befriended by Mr. Walbourn.

Jim Semon Sr.:

He gave me some original prints that he had gotten from Ernst and he also told me about his friendship with her in Ernst Niebergall. That's how I learned about the ice cream and the newspapers. Ernst creativity absolutely amazed me that you'll see on the back of our book, that's a kind of Canon camera he used and we'll talk about that a little bit later, I now own that camera. But to be able to go out and take speeding trains and not have them blurred to me it was just absolutely amazing.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Besides that, his vantage point, the shots he would take, he would try to V up, above the train, coming under a bridge for example, or get down low or even have a train go through, what we've known was the track pants, where they would scoop water on the fly and he would take photographs of that. Amazing, amazing. In my opinion. I purchased his camera in tripod from a registered class white ad in 1982. The seller was [Bob Franks 00:08:42], another one of his friends, casual friends.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And the photo is, as I said the photo of the cameras on the back of our book. I worked with Rex Rhodes, the editor of the Sandusky register on in an article entitled Ernst Niebergall 1976, 1954 on August 28th, 1983. In the article, I suggested a book should be written, 36 years later, be got it done. That was not part of the plan, but that's the way it worked out. I joined the Fireland's Postcard Club in 2006 have been president for the last eight years and learned that the club members had many Ernst Niebergall cards, no surprise there.

Jim Semon Sr.:

We decided to give Ernst Niebergall, the recognition I felt and they felt he deserved four years ago and our club donated $3,400 to 18 area local historical societies and museums, including the Hayes library, I might add from our book profits. So this was not for me, it was not for Jeff, this was something we wanted to give Ernst the recognition, admittedly quite late, but he got the recognition I thought he deserved and we thought it was a way to give back to the community. So we felt that that was really a good, good arrangement.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Little bit Ernst Niebergall, he was born in Cologne, Germany in 1876 immigrated to the USA in 1906, February 1st in 1906. And what's interesting, he came to the USA but he immediately, or at least soon went up to Montreal Canada and we think because his mother had a relative there, he did some photographic work with that relative. By the way, we also know he came to this country as an experienced, accomplished photographer.

Jim Semon Sr.:

He brought a lot of his equipment with him. So he had training in Germany before you came here. He came to Sandusky in 1908, he was 32 years old. The other big question that we've never been able to understand. Why did he choose Sandusky Ohio of all the places to go out of Montreal, why did he come to Sandusky? We still don't know the answer. Do we?

Jeff Brown:

No.

Jim Semon Sr.:

We tried to find it through all the files they have, which are wonderful at the Hayes, but we could not answer that question. Real photo postcards became very, very popular and we think to augment his commercial business, he went into the postcards, like you see the copies up here on the table. As an example, 1000 card blanks that could be exposed with a dark room, cost him $6 and 76 cents. So he was selling cards for five or 10 cents, at the end of the day, still brought him some income. He never married, had no relatives, but did set up the commercial business.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And I'll talk a little bit about later about where he lived. His letterhead was very interesting. Photographs tell the truth. Photographs live forever. Very creative use focal plane shutters, I mentioned before, but read it appeared again. Photographs live forever, Photographs to tell the truth. On September 4th, 1918, the federal agencies, seized cameras, his photo equipment, and he had no US citizenship. He as we understand it, he chose not to get us citizenship because his father had an estate that someday would be his, he didn't want to lose that. So by making that bad decision, he was out put out of business until after the war.

Jim Semon Sr.:

In the late 1920s, postcards declined and were replaced by printed color postcards. And by the way, Ernst never got involved with color photography. He was strictly black and white. He focused on commercial work, customers included [Heinen Dolk 00:12:40], GNC Foundry, Pennsylvania railroad, Laura Lake Dot company, Deluxe Outdoor Advertising, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock. He also did animal photographs for national geographic. And by the way, he loved his animal photographs and he did a good job of selling those images to national geographic.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And on the table right here is an example one that I was able to find, which is right here. It's a family with a cow and calf pass that one around. It's kind of neat, but that was something that he enjoyed doing. His total photography expenses from 1908 to 1940 was $22,414. That's a long time. He lived a pretty meager lifestyle. How do you identify his real photo postcards? [Marilyn 00:13:43] probably knows, but there are four ways we know of. You want to say one?

Marilyn:

He'd write it out of the negative.

Jim Semon Sr.:

He'd write it out of the negative or it'd be exposed on the front of the card. Sometimes he put his name on the front of the card. Sometimes he would... and first of all, his printing style was very unique. He never misspelled English words. He was amazing. He didn't misspell anything. He used all capital letters. That's okay. His numbers are the front of the card were another indication he frequently would number what number card it was. I think that's so you could go back and reproduce that again.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And later on he had his name printed on the back of the cards. On the one edge. He always lived in rented apartments in Sandusky, four apartments that we know of. He was at 408 camp street. There's a photo in our book of a neighbor in 1910 and actually on page 113 of our book. Then he went to 533 Pearl street. And we know that from a 1914 newspaper advertisement that he had for his business, he went to 1022 Pearl street, we saw that on 1932 and 33 invoices, and then he went to 527 Decatur street, 1952 to 54 in the phone directories and also was listed as his, as his residence at his death.

Jim Semon Sr.:

On the onset of world war II. What do you think happened? His cameras and photo equipment were once again confiscated. At that point, we think he began to lose interest in photography. As I said, he never worked with color photography. He did make some income with prints from old black and white negatives. We know he sold those. The other thing that kinda hurt both Jeff and I, when we discovered it, he would take the emulsion off of the glass plates and scrape it off and sold those glass plates to the Sandusky fire department to use in fire alarm boxes of all things.

Jim Semon Sr.:

So we often wonder what images were lost when he made that decision. Now there's still a lot of images that at Hayes, so everything's not lost we often wonder what is indeed gone. We also know that he took a job at [Cedar 00:16:09] point and we don't know what he did there. We don't think he was a photographer. But we do know during world war two, the reason they compensated his cameras, he was taking pictures of boats at Cedar point and that was a big no-no. And so they took his cameras everything away. I said before, he was very reclusive.

Jim Semon Sr.:

I have his last will and Testament. You almost want to cry when you read it because he died with very little. Most of the furniture was borrowed from someone else. And just led a very, very reclusive life. Without [Charles Stroman 00:16:51], a lot of his work would have been lost, but Charles donated that from Sandusky, was very good about that. And I mentioned earnest Walbourn and Bob Franks who were the other friends we knew he had. There are over 6,000 of his images at the Hayes museum and a lot of those are online.

Jim Semon Sr.:

If you've looked online there, they've done a nice job of making those available. He died February 6th, 1954 at 78 in Sandusky and he does have a gravestone at Oakland cemetery, in Sandusky on [Myelin 00:17:22] road and we're not sure who paid for it. Several people have investigated that. Somebody obviously stepped up, I suspect one of those friends or maybe all three of them got together, put a marker in the cemetery for him.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And there's a picture of that gravestone in our book as well. The graphics for the cover came from a 1910 Sandusky truck advertisement that I happened to buy about the time we were grewing this. And it worked out perfect for this. The only thing we thought was perfect photographer, camera, to me it was a complete picture. And this little panel on the back, this was one of his advertisements. It's actually in the frame over there that I borrowed and we put his advertisement right on the tripod of his camera.

Jim Semon Sr.:

But that's a story. That's how it happened. And it all happened quite by accident. If I hadn't seen that railway, the newsletter from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, I probably wouldn't have known about him for a long, long time. And maybe until I ran into Jeff, he may have told me, but that's one of the things I like about life. The way certain things come your way and then it's what you do with what you learn. And this is probably an example of that. So Jeff, I'm going to ask you to come up or sit down or whatever you prefer and you can tell them the research that we've done.

Jeff Brown:

I didn't tell Jim about Ernst Niebergall. Jim told me I've liked Jim. I've collected postcards almost as long as Jim has and had a variety of Ernst Niebergall postcards in my albums from the islands, from Sandusky, Fremont. Didn't really know anything about him and frankly it didn't pay a lot of attention to who the photographer was until I was in the postcard club. And Jim and Roger had already been talking about doing this book and recognize that I had images in my collection and said I'd be glad to help and they generously ended up signing me up as a coauthor.

Jeff Brown:

The thing that impressed me and initially about, as Jim has mentioned the quality of Niebergall's work and the wide range of it of subjects and areas. He never owned a vehicle. His transportation was entirely by inner urban, presumably railroad at times or the generosity of a friend with an automobile. So his area of operation the farthest East we found an image that he made was [Amherst 00:19:59] at a train wreck and the farthest West was the launching of the steamer put in Bay. And its initial trials in Detroit river in Detroit.

Jeff Brown:

Otherwise, pretty much the Sandusky Fremont over to Ruggles Beach East of Herron focusing, and the range of subjects I think everything interested in from Seagulls in flight. He would apparently feed the Seagulls down at the docks and Sandusky and then photograph these massive flocks of Seagulls in flight, trains as Jim mentioned at speed, Fremont floods, everything seemed to catch it, and of course that was an era when the technology was the promised a bright future and everyone was fascinated by the advances in technology. And I think equally so with Mr. Niebergall. I was retired as was Jim. I had worked as an historian and archeologist, but I grew up in the area.

Jeff Brown:

I had a lifelong interest in the area and it accumulated quite a number of books and resources. And it was a fun thing for me. I got to sit down over the course of the winter before publication and then drive my wife probably batty sometimes with it and spend hours going through books to find the little minutiae. One of the things that was interesting to me as we got into this was, there's a number of mistakes and published histories and they start, somebody will do a book on Sandusky history.

Jeff Brown:

They'll go back and they'll find a newspaper article and they'll, it'll state for instance that, that there was a waterline built from the [Cascadia 00:21:34] area to a brewery and Sandusky Dick take the crystal rock water to the brewery. Somebody will see that and they'll put it in a book. Well, the next person that writes a book sees it in the book newspaper article perhaps and thinks that's gospel. So it gets repeated over and over and it ends up in three or four different books and everyone assumes that's history. It's not, as it turns out. And, and initially I swaddled that too.

Jeff Brown:

[Glen Keebler 00:21:58] who has done a book on the Cascadia history and is intimately familiar with the history of that area and his descendant from the owners of the Keebler brewing company and Sandusky and he said, "Think about it. He said, that's seven miles of building a water line through basically limestone bedrock. It didn't happen and the only substantiation supposedly for this was one picture one of the caverns of crystal rock and there's a little pipe sticking out of the rock and if you think about it, why would a pipe, there was no pump structure. There's nothing, there's no surface indication that any line was ever built, but it's just been accepted because it was printed in several books."

Jeff Brown:

Those kind of debunking some of those things was kind of a side benefit of doing some of this. In an area, it's likely soldiers and sailors home, there are old publications that were done at the time. It opened in the 1890s that are very detailed descriptions of the buildings they built and photographs of all of them. And being old tech, I didn't do as much online research probably as I should have, Jim sometimes set me straight on that.

Jeff Brown:

Glen Keebler, somebody like him was a terrific help in certain areas. We included the pictures that Mr. Niebergall had shot of when Mr. Keebler died that had run the Keebler brewing company, they put up a massive monument in the cemetery. Glen spend a lot of time doing the research to the point where it was made, how the stone was shipped from Cleveland to Sandusky, how it was erected, a tremendous detail and accurate history.

Jeff Brown:

The railroads were a particular interest. They've been a lifelong interest for both Jim and me. Jim did a lot of the research. He has an extensive memorabilia and timetable collection and Jim in particular was able to identify a particular train that was shown in a picture, sometimes Niebergall, would label it by a train name. Jim would pull off the timetable and we could add into the caption then. The actual time this train was supposedly arriving at Bayview station or Sandusky station, whether if it was at Bayview, what time it was due into Sandusky.

Jeff Brown:

I have a number of resources, the locomotive rosters and histories that are able to identify a locomotive when and where it was built and what its eventual fate became. So the railroads in particular, I think were a special interest for both Jim and me. The ships were also a particular interest and things like the old obeisance guides that are hard to come by.

Jeff Brown:

The ship masters guides, their fleet history series, the namesake series are all useful resources. Of course the collections here at Bowling Green are tremendous and I think anyone who's doing great lakes research ignores that, does it at their own peril. So a great resource. Of course Jim was a long time truck. I had nothing to do with the truck research. Jim handled all of that.

Jeff Brown:

The Herron docks where a particular interest, I went to High school in Herron. And over the years the Weed and Lake Erie built those docks, one time a great coal shipping port and iron ore was brought into the port and they had a variety over the years of unloaders and coal loaders for loading coal and unloaders for taking ore out of the boats.

Jeff Brown:

And to date those things, fortunately in that particular case, the nickel plate historical society had a publication and the whole publication is devoted to the Herron Docks. And it makes it much simpler to identify a particular Coal unloader as being erected in such and such a year. And it was torn down and replaced by a different mechanism and whatever succeeding near that happened when slips were altered or lengthened or added. Likewise with the inner urbans when they rerouted around here and instead of through it build or vice versa and build a new station.

Jeff Brown:

It was a lot of fun for me just to focus on an area that I was always interested in, had the luxury of a lot of time that I could sit down and pour through books and get diverted on things that weren't always related to the book. And it was over the course of a winter when we did most of that.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Couple of Winters really.

Jeff Brown:

Yeah. Yeah.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And you're in Kent and I'm in Westlake.

Jeff Brown:

We had a lot of meetings.

Jim Semon Sr.:

We had a lot of meetings.

Jeff Brown:

There's a restaurant down the street from Jim, called the Rustic. We had a lot of lunches there.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And a lot of body's pie.

Jeff Brown:

Yeah. Jim had mentioned to me one of the intriguing things about Niebergall and the thing that really deserved correction. His pictures have been widely reproduced. And if you look at almost any publication on local history in this Sandusky area, they are Niebergall photographs. And yet they're almost never credited to Niebergall. They're usually credited to the Hayes Museum. Froman made sure that most of his surviving negatives and images were donated to the Hayes Museum. And so they're usually credited to the Hayes Museum rather than Niebergall and if they're sometimes labeled with his name.

Jeff Brown:

His writing was, as Jim mentioned, was very distinctive and his S always has a downturn on the S, the K will have an extension below the normal line of the printing. He did his 7s in the European manner with a cross piece on the seven. So it's a very distinctive style of writing and once you've seen a few of them, they become very recognizable. I guess I'd mentioned the technical skill. He had a great sense of humor and Jim mentioned the animal pictures, but I wanted to read the... he would photograph... It didn't come across much, but let me find the thing. Where are they?

Jim Semon Sr.:

Which one are you looking for?

Jeff Brown:

I was looking for the animal pictures that he did.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Towards back.

Jeff Brown:

Yes. There's the seagulls, that must be in the next page. Multiple ones were sold to national register. Here's a soar with her piglets and his caption on it is, "Lunch at odd hours." This one with a double row of the piglets, he calls it, "A double Becker". He sold his photos. They were one of his main sources of income by that time. Apparently he likes St Bernards. He has a bucket full of puppies here and I just purchased a car Jim, to have them all lined up in a row.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Oh did they?

Jeff Brown:

Yeah. The other interesting thing I thought was, again examples of, I don't want to call it false history, but mistaken history sometimes, he shot a lot of flood photos in Fremont, and they're always labeled flood in Fremont. They're not dated usually, and they're always credited to the 1913 flood, the great statewide flood that caused such devastation and statewide killed over 400 people.

Jeff Brown:

They're not, and it's easy to do that, but they never dug into it. Apparently Fremont, in the preceding year also had a massive flood and in 1912, the river was jammed up with ice. And there are images he took of people lined on the bridge looking at the ice jams, and he labels them, the ice jams. That didn't happen in 1913. And as near as I can determine, I've never found an image that we've been able to verify was taken in the 1913 flood. And my assumption is just a pure guess was that the devastation was so bad that year that he was unable to get to Fremont to photograph that in the immediate aftermath of the flood. It's just a correction of mistaken history, granted it's a small point, but I think those things matter so that, I mean there's not a lot.

Jim Semon Sr.:

The only other thing you might want to comment on, the fact that we found two cards that Ernst sent, he himself signed and sent.

Jeff Brown:

Yes.

Jim Semon Sr.:

They're both in the book.

Jeff Brown:

They're both in the book. There was one...

Jim Semon Sr.:

And the one that he initialed is when we determined his middle name was Rudolph.

Jeff Brown:

Yeah.

Jim Semon Sr.:

E-R-N. We didn't know what his middle name was.

Jeff Brown:

This image of a cement works at Bay bridge, he was confirming an order from the Smith Novelty company in port Clinton that sold "Postals" souvenirs of local interested. It indicates his approach to the business that it says, "Any order of this kind, no matter how small will be executed." And in another card he quotes his price per card, something like 3 cents,

Jim Semon Sr.:

Yes.

Jeff Brown:

I think if you bought them wholesale. And he had certainly a sense of aesthetics I think, which to me was revealed in this picture taken at Bay point on the Southeast tip of Marblehead peninsula. And it's almost a still life and it's just, to me it kind of exudes serenity, the long bridge that the boat in shadow and faintly in the background is in the urbanized build up skyline of the city of Sandusky.

Jeff Brown:

And like any photographer, he has thousands of images and you'd come across ones that you'd think there's nothing special about that one. But his best work I think is equal to almost any contemporary of his time. And to see some of these images of steam trains running at 50, 60 miles an hour with a large format camera like that. And the clarity is... How did he stop that? It was highly unusual in railroad photography to have anyone do, usually if railroad photographs that you're opposed, the train would be stopped on the track. Sometimes the people would stand around the engine, but defined photographs of that quality really highly unusual. I think he was a much greater talent than has ever been recognized. Anything

Jim Semon Sr.:

Sounds good.

Jeff Brown:

That comes to mind that I missed Jim?

Jim Semon Sr.:

Nope. You'd be anxious to AQs, any questions or answers? We're glad to answer.

Marilyn:

What size glass plate was he using?

Jim Semon Sr.:

He had all different sizes.

Marilyn:

So he usually use by 10? [crosstalk 00:31:42] and the four by five?

Jim Semon Sr.:

You'll see the ones down here, four by fives. That was pretty much four by five and eight by 10 what most of it. But he also had several panoramic cameras. We haven't found any negatives for that. We know that that one shot was... the one soldiers home, was a panoramic camera.

Jeff Brown:

Yes.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And we know that he took, in later life, in the late thirties, he was doing a lot of work with organizations and groups where he had large groups of people at Jackson Junior High School for example, in Sandusky, which was relatively new at the time. He took a lot of photographs there and use that panoramic camera to get the entire group.

Jeff Brown:

And at one time, didn't he own 14 cameras?

Jim Semon Sr.:

Yes, he own 14 cameras.

Jeff Brown:

I don't know that he ever got them all back from the government.

Jim Semon Sr.:

I have one camera, that is-

Jeff Brown:

It's only known survivor.

Jim Semon Sr.:

I don't know of any others that exist, but that was just, and I'm not one of the persons that I... when we lived in Sandusky, I was not wanting to go through classified ads. So again, that had to be devine that I would open the paper and find that and get it. [Bonnie 00:32:49] couldn't believe I could find it that fast. And by the way, our wives are in the back and they've been very patient. They've heard this before, but they still wanted to be here today. So we thank them for being here. Bonnie and [Sue 00:33:00].

Jeff Brown:

Which was in their arms.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And I think they found the same colors to wear tonight and they kind of match.

Speaker 6:

I have a question.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Yes.

Speaker 6:

I'd like you to discuss the writing process of your book. Who wrote what? or how did you do your page layouts for your photographs and composing your chapters or whatever.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Very, very, very good question.

Jeff Brown:

Yes.

Jim Semon Sr.:

No.

Jeff Brown:

Jim and I worked pretty much, the two of us did most of the writing on the actual book. Roger was a long time collector of Ernst Niebergall images and postcards and knowledgeable about them. And Roger and Jim were the two that originated the idea of the book, not me. [crosstalk 00:33:38]

Jim Semon Sr.:

And Glen Keebler.

Jeff Brown:

And Glen Keebler. I came in late on that process. But because I've written before and Roger had not, and Jim had written before and we worked by computer and together we would hold meetings every couple of weeks sometimes. And I would research a lot of the ships for instance of the Herron docks and we had the printer had given us copies of all the images and we had already figured out what images we were going to use and then researching the images.

Jim Semon Sr.:

I think we need to stop there for a second.

Jeff Brown:

Yes.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Because how we did all the contents of the book, we ended up with about, from our members and our own collections about 500 postcards. And we knew we weren't going to do a bit of that. We actually got more in the book than we had planned, but we took all those in groups, tried to determine where the commonality was, there were enough Sandusky, enough soldiers home. And towards the end of the book we still have a miscellaneous chapter. We had a few animals and a few things that we just couldn't categorize anywhere else.

Jim Semon Sr.:

So, that was the starting point. And then once we had the contents determined, that as Jeff said, we each started to work on captions. And it was interesting because I would sometimes do, I thought the perfect caption and then Jeff would say, "Well, there's a couple of things here." So we had enough time to work it out that the one I did do the biography in here based on the information I had gathered from the Hayes Museum primarily.

Jim Semon Sr.:

But I still had Jeff and Roger looking over my shoulder and Glen Keeper who is not close by, but they all had a chance to look at it and offer their comment and critique. This book was probably critique a lot and I know you and I critiqued it A lot.

Jeff Brown:

It was an ongoing process. I would write half a dozen captions and send them, emailed them to Jim. He would look at them and if he thought they were great, he would forward them on to the printer. We had already decided on the basic layout. We altered that a little bit as we develop captions and thought, now this fits better here. But for the most part we had a basic layout already. Roger and I pretty much did that ourselves. The printer was one [Atkins 00:35:55] printing in Lakewood is a tremendous outfit to work with or a small outfit, but-

Jim Semon Sr.:

They're small and they work everything electronically. So we changed things, was easy to make adjustments and changes.

Jeff Brown:

And we would make adjustments even between this thing went through three printings and small ones and every one had correction. You can look at something six times in your eyes, see what they want to see and you put it aside and then jumps out. Two days ago I found two things. They're very minor, but I thought, "How did we miss that for all these?" So Jim would look at a caption, he would send me things and I would do a little additional research or check them was a dual process.

Jeff Brown:

And we would get together pretty regularly at Jim's house usually. And review this and decided where we were going with some of it. There were what research needed to be done. And I was fortunate. I mean I came in as the junior member of this, but I think Jim and I worked very well. I certainly felt fortunate in working with Jim. I've done some other books, coauthor, on my own. I have to say I enjoyed this process and to me it was a lot more rewarding than earlier things I had worked on.

Jim Semon Sr.:

One of the nice things about self-publishing, pretty much make your own rules. Want you want it to look like, we didn't have to abide by size or, I know we would've had trouble if we were limited to captions. I know that would have been a problem.

Jeff Brown:

It just wouldn't have flown.

Jim Semon Sr.:

The bottom line was, we wanted this guy to be recognized and the Hayes group has sold a lot of these books. They were very, very pleased to put it on their shelf because no one had done this before. In fact, the descendant of Charles Stroman was very, very pleased that we did this book. But it was really just something we felt needed to be done.

Jeff Brown:

In terms of laying it out, we would go up and meet with a printer and they would give us sample pages or even a draft when it got to the point of a draft and they were great to work with. So, "No, this is, we want this space like this. We want, this is, we want this image either craft or bigger."

Nick Pavlik:

Were there any photos that you really, really loved and wanted to include but ended up not being able to.

Jeff Brown:

Yes.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Yeah, that's for sure. Because there are a lot of things in my collection that I would like to have had in there-

Jeff Brown:

That are not posted on this.

Jim Semon Sr.:

... To be honest, Jeff and I both liked trains, but we knew we couldn't make those a train boat. We want to make sure it was balanced, because some people would've said, "Why didn't you put more trains and more boats?" Well, "We would've loved to do that, but we didn't think that would present what the man did."

Jeff Brown:

This image of Jim's, I mean, I haven't seen this one before, but this was taken out on Sandusky Bay bridge, it's the old Lake shore at Michigan Southern later than New York central main line across. Still in operation, Norfolk Southern runs today and runs 127 trains a day on that line. And to me, and that's just a fabulous, that trains at speed. It wasn't stopped. The engineer wasn't more than an advanced or the fireman to start putting out a lot of smoke to make a spectacular picture, which they do on these traverse runs and things.

Jeff Brown:

I just think that's a great railroad photograph. It'd be nice to have if we'd had the luxury of doing a larger book to include more than as postcard, but because of the nature of the sponsor and the emphasis we were using on an image like this, we didn't use it because we've never found a postcard of that image.

Jim Semon Sr.:

You mentioned that Bay bridge, the other thing that really impressed me was the fact that there was in the book you'll see bridge that the train goes through [crosstalk 00:39:37]. He had to be on top of that bridge with a tripod and a camera. Remember, this isn't in digital image time. He had one shot, one glass plate. You don't get a bunch of shots of it coming and going. He had one good job.

Jeff Brown:

He's up on top of the bridge. Caught in his tripod and that huge camera, obviously the railroad had to have cooperated or at least the bridge tender cooperated with this there. This bridge had a bridge tender at the time.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Those trains were traveling through there fast.

Jeff Brown:

Fast. Lake shore was known for it's fast mail and they ran those trains at at least 60 miles an hour, I think, which was fast for that era.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And after the train went through what Niebergall looked like. I mean the smoke and the steam and-

Jeff Brown:

Cover with soot I'm sure. I think there's a copy of it here. And the New York central, they advertised their water level route. It went up through Albany and the Hudson River Valley and then across it was unlike the Pennsylvania, their chief rival, which went over the mountains and had a lot of grades. The New York central, it's extensively advertised, their water liberal route, you can sleep, it's level and one of the ways they speed it up with time schedules of their passenger trains.

Jeff Brown:

One of the things that's in the steam era, engines had to stop every so often and fill with water, as the water got too low in the tinder that the boiler blew up. So it was critical that they maintain enough water in the tinder and what the New York central did, I don't remember the exact intervals, they built track pans and-

Jim Semon Sr.:

This one was at Herron

Jeff Brown:

... this one was at Herron. And the tenders had a scoop underneath the tender and the firemen would lower the scoop and they would slow the speed. If it was too fast and there was a water tank and a pump and a long trough in between the rails filled with water and they'd lower the scoop into the trough and refill the tender at speed. It's a bit of a technologies today you can see that you have to have overflow valves because of the tender gets full and you're not done. You're still scooping, you'll blow up your Tinder with the water pressure or if you don't raise the Snoop in time and you hit the end of the pan, you're going to tear your scoop off the tender and cause all kinds of problems. So it was a bit... the idea was the train didn't have to slow down.

Jeff Brown:

It could pick this up a speed and maintain a tight schedule and for Niebergall to capture in that kind of clarity on the track pants just East of Herron, New York central locomotive on a fast passenger train scooping. One of the things... this is one of Jim's images, this is a smaller line. The Lake here in Western crossing, the main line of the old Lake shore, that's Sandusky and from a railroad photography standpoint, that's a beautiful image.

Jeff Brown:

It's perfectly composed just crossing the diamonds, a neat old engine and train and the alignment of the rails into the distance, his sense of perspective, his composition, and to capture it with this camera on a slow shutter speed at that exact precise moment that you want, to me speaks of an artistry and an expertise that really was quite rare for the era.

Jim Semon Sr.:

This picture glow it just an example, this is what normally [inaudible 00:42:45] the train would be stopped to be a portrait. And in this case you see there were very few portraits. He liked action.

Jeff Brown:

He liked.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And he was a master of that in our opinion.

Jeff Brown:

Yes.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And by the way, we did not crop anything. I mean this, whatever you see in the book is what the image was on the postcard. So in the age of digital photography and Photoshopping, as probably all of you know, you can really change things a lot and we chose not to do anything. We just reproduced what was on that postcard.

Nick Pavlik:

Could you say a bit about just some of the items that are on display over here?

Jeff Brown:

Sure. Go ahead Jim.

Nick Pavlik:

What those are.

Jeff Brown:

Jeff knows this as well as I, but I'll start at this end. When I bought the camera from Mr. Bob Franks, along with the camera came two of these cases. I'm sure these are cases he brought with him from Germany or out of Fiberboard, but there were all kinds of boxes for lenses and stuff. There's all kinds of slide. This is for film, but there's also for glass plates. I have got two of those along with a camera and there's a photograph up on the edge of the camera, which is in our basement. But I it just because of the bellows and stuff, I hate to carry it.

Jeff Brown:

There's some pinholes in it already. And I've never taken that out of my basement since I've had, I've kind of keep it there. Well over here are... these are all my original Niebergall cards. Not all of these are in the book, but they were ones I just picked as an example of what is work. Here's shaft through the bridge. Early aircraft, he took some interesting shots of those. We talked about the cement works, automobiles, the new fire truck and Fremont. That's a made and run. Real interesting things. At any rate, the one that really caught my eye, true story. Jeff and I both are bidding on that card on eBay. I didn't know he was biding.

Jeff Brown:

We didn't know.

Jeff Brown:

I've paid way too much money for that card.

Jeff Brown:

I am bidding way too much. And I wouldn't have done it if I'd known he was doing. The only thing I could do on compensation, we both collect memorabilia and I had a free paint, a Clerestory stained glass window from a Winning Laker he wouldn't pass in the card. And I felt so badly because I cost him so much money for this card. I gave it to Jim. I thought maybe this will ease the pain a little bit for...

Jim Semon Sr.:

We're still friends.

Jeff Brown:

Thank you Jim.

Jim Semon Sr.:

We're still friends. And anyway, that card didn't make the book because that came online after the book was published. So, but the reason people like those real photo cards and story is especially you can blow them up. This is a blow up of the same card. And we found this extremely interesting, if he had put a couple of negatives together, he was a master at it because there's no indication at all of that image that they were sandwiched.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And we believe since our normally were three boats here, we believe he went out on a boat with that tripod, knew this guy was coming. Prearrange I sure, and got a shot of it coming out. This was coming up Columbus Avenue in Sandusky, but it's an amazing, amazing photograph. And it was really expensive.

Jeff Brown:

Too expensive, too expensive.

Jim Semon Sr.:

Too expensive, but we got it. So-

Jeff Brown:

We got it.

Jim Semon Sr.:

... that story and-

Jeff Brown:

There are other pictures he did where he obviously climbed into a church steeple and probably set up in the Belfry to photograph an aircraft.

Jim Semon Sr.:

He was not afraid of Heights. He was not afraid of anything.

Jeff Brown:

No. He obviously not afraid of heights.

Jim Semon Sr.:

I was showing Jeff, this is a frame photograph that he gave to Mr Froman. He's written on the back as his writing. And [Paul Lanning 00:46:48], my High School English teacher gave this to me a long time ago. But this was something that he received from Charlie Froman who was a friend of his and I've had this displayed on my camera for a long time, but that's an original Niebergall enlargement.

Jim Semon Sr.:

And I think the rest of the things up here are some of his early photographs. We mentioned trucks. We all have a picture of a Clydesdale truck. I was pleased he went to Clydesdale and did some work. That's I think over at Bayview or is that?

Jeff Brown:

I think Bayview or Venice.

Jim Semon Sr.:

That's Venice.

Jeff Brown:

Venice.

Jim Semon Sr.:

That's Venice.

Jeff Brown:

Building or a bridge on the main line.

Jim Semon Sr.:

This was a later shot. This is in thirties of a group of men with the Lake shore electric. This was I think in 32 or 33. These are original prints of Niebergall's by the way. So these are things that I've collected over the years and have enjoyed having. But the real thing is that we're able to share this with other people. That's the benefit of this. And it's been fun.

Nick Pavlik:

Well, thank you very much gentlemen. That was fantastic. Please join me [inaudible 00:48:04] and please do, feel free to come on up and have a closer look at some of the items on display. And if you're interested in purchasing a copy of the book speak with Jim. Thanks again everyone for coming.

Dan Masters - "Scouring the Pages: How Correspondent '76' told the story of the 72nd Ohio Infantry" (November 13, 2018)

Author Dan Masters presented a lecture on his book Sherman’s Praetorian Guard: Civil War Letters of John McIntyre Lemmon, 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (lulu.com, 2017), the 2017 winner of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Independent Scholar category.

Dan Masters is a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, and BGSU with a graduate degree in American History. He has actively engaged in Civil War research for 19 years and has published four books and a dozen articles regarding military history with a focus on the Civil War, World War II, and civil defense.

Roger Pickenpaugh - "Johnson’s Island: A Prison for Confederate Officers" (March 15, 2018)

Author Roger Pickenpaugh presented a lecture on his book Johnson’s Island: A Prison for Confederate Officers (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2016), the 2016 winner of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Independent Scholar category.

Pickenpaugh recently retired after a 30-year teaching career at Shenandoah Middle School in Sarahsville, Ohio. His books have focused mainly on outstanding Ohio weather events and the Civil War. He has devoted a great amount of study to the topic of Civil War prisons.

Kyle Kondik - “The Fading Bellwether? Ohio's Remarkable Record of Picking Presidents, and Why That Record is in Danger” (October 26, 2017)

Author Kyle Kondik presented a lecture on his book The Bellwether: Why Ohio Picks the President (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2016), the 2016 winner of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Academic Scholar category.

Kondik is among the nation's top analysts of US House elections. He is the managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a nonpartisan election forecasting newsletter published by the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Barbara Floyd - "The Glass City: Toledo and the Industry That Built It" (October 3, 2017)

Author Barbara Floyd presented a lecture on her book The Glass City: Toledo and the Industry That Built It (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014), the 2015 winner of the CAC's annual Local History Publication Award in the Academic Scholar category.

Barbara Floyd recently retired as director of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections and university archivist at the University of Toledo. She worked at UT for 31 years, and prior to that, worked in the manuscripts and state archives departments of the Ohio Historical Society.

Updated: 05/09/2022 03:46PM