Title: Paul L. Doughty
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This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
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Interviewee: Paul L. Doughty

Interviewer: Flordeliz Tina Bugarin

Date: March 17, 1995 UF268

B: This is Flordeliz Tina Bugarin interviewing Paul L. Doughty at 1017 Northwest

21st Terrace in Gainesville. It is March 17, 1995. I would like to start by asking

you to please state your name.

D: My name is Paul L. Doughty.

B: What does your middle initial stand for?

D: It stands for my mother's maiden name, Larrabbe.

B: When were you born?

D: I was born on February 27, 1930.

B: Where?

D: In Beacon, New York.

B: Have your parents lived there for a long time?

D: My father was a native of Beacon, New York. He was born there in 1903.

B: Were your father's parents natives of New York?

D: His father was. Grandfather's family had roots in the area that became Beacon,

New York. The family there goes back to about 1660 or 1670.

B: And his mother?

D: His mother came from Michigan. Prior to that, her people had also been from

New York, but they had moved to Michigan some time in the late nineteenth


B: So your family came to this continent a long time ago; can you tell when that

was? How many generations ago?

D: My mother's family came to America, I think, at the end of the seventeenth

century. My father's family came around the same time. Actually, my mother's

family came and settled in the Virginia colony somewhat before that.

B: Were they of English origin?

D: Yes, English at that point. Part of my father's family was also Dutch. They came

during the period of the Dutch colony [New Netherland]. They were in the mid-

Hudson Valley, which was settled by the Dutch. [They] lived in the village and

then town of Fishkill Landing, which is on the Hudson River just north of West

Point. If you saw the recent movie "Nobody's Fool" with Paul Newman, that was

my hometown. Have you seen the movie?

B: No.

D: Go see it. You will see my hometown. Today it is a very sleazy place. The

movie depicted it very well. But it was a very beautiful area in the Hudson

Highland Mountains and on the Hudson River. It was very pretty.

B: What were your parents' names?

D: My father's name was Thomas John Doughty, and my mother's name was

Harriet Hazel Larrabbe. My mother was from Providence, Rhode Island. They

met when my dad was attending Brown University [in Providence, Rhode Island],

where he graduated in 1925.

B: Did your mom attend Brown?

D: No. My mom was a working lady in Providence, Rhode Island. She was working

for an insurance company.

B: Did they have any sisters and brothers?

D: My dad had seven brothers and sisters. My mother had one sister.

B: Can you name your uncles and aunts?

D: Yes. My mother's sister's name was Shirley. My father's brothers were Francis

and John; his sisters were Edna, Grace, and Betty. He had another brother,

Robert, who died when he was nineteen. I never knew him. How many have I


B: You have named six. That makes seven siblings including your dad.

D: Yes, seven including him. Let us see. I have a feeling I have left one of my

aunts out. Aunt Mary is the one I left out, there were eight children.

B: Did they all settle down in New York [City]?

D: No. Nobody is there. My Uncle Francis is still living in Beacon. He is the only

member of the family left in Beacon. The rest of the family is scattered all over

the country, as they have been for many years. My Aunt Grace was an

independent woman, who worked in New York City as a business executive at a

time when that was not the thing for women to do. In fact, all the women in my

father's family attended and graduated from a university, which is something my

grandfather strongly believed in. He said education for women was a

tremendously important thing. My great-aunt who had a wonderful name,

Phoebe Van Vlack Doughty, was from the Dutch side of the family. I do not

know if this was true or not, but according to family legend, she was reportedly

the first official woman doctor in the state of New York. She was a graduate of

Vassar College [at Poughkeepsie, New York]. I do not know from which medical

school she graduated, but she practiced medicine in Beacon, New York for a

long time.

The other distinguishing feature about my father's family, and to some degree my

mother's, was that they lived a long time. Almost everybody lived into their

nineties. My aunt Edna just died at ninety-six. My grandfather died when he was

ninety-eight. Aunt Phoebe died when she was almost 100. Aunt Grace is ninety-

three. My aunt Betty died when she was ninety-two or ninety-three. There was

some history there of longevity. My mother was eighty-nine when she died and

my aunt Shirley was ninety-one. At least, this whole family has a lot of people

who live a long time.

B: So you were born in Beacon, New York?

D: The bigger, better, busier Beacon, as the chamber of commerce used to like to

say. It was actually ,ironic because it was one of those backward towns in the

Hudson Valley.

B: Why was that?

D: It was basically run by the Mafia, as most of the Hudson Valley towns were, and

maybe still are, for all I know. Beacon, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Kingston,

Hudson, and all those Hudson Valley towns were all very corrupt. Local

municipalities were all obviously not under overt but covert Mafia control. [There

was] illegal gambling and control of all kinds of local contracting devices. The

state of New York fought them for years, when Thomas Dewey was [special

prosecutor and then district attorney, 1935-1938] and later elected as governor

[1942-1954]. He was famed as a racket buster. He was elected because he

broke the Murder, Inc. business in New York. Dewey was never really able to

shut down the Mafia operations in Hudson Valley towns. As a result, for

example, when I went to Beacon High School, the high school was sending only

5 percent of its graduates to college, which was tremendously low.

Beacon was a factory town, and it had always been a factory town. It was a

place where they made bricks. The bricks were shipped down the river to build

New York City. It had always been a brick manufacturing center. Subsequently,

in the late eighteenth century and in the nineteenth century, it developed into an

industrial town with factories. In this century, the factories ultimately became run-

away sweat shops, which did not want to pay union wages. [Industries] got out

of New York City to escape the unions, and came up to Beacon to find a docile,

uneducated work force that would simply work for peanuts. The result was a

town that was a poor town, in a beautiful setting, only sixty miles from the great

world metropolis. It was sort of a metaphor for a lot of things about capitalism

and the way it operates. The town is still very much a dumping ground for poor


B: How long did you live in Beacon?

D: I lived in Beacon until I went to college.

B: What year was that?

D: I first went to college in 1948, although, of course, I continued to go back home

between semesters, summers, and so on. When I went to college, I basically

never really returned to live again in Beacon. I went to college to a place called

Ursinus College, which is just outside of Philadelphia. [It is] a small liberal arts


B: So while you were growing up in Beacon, did your family know anybody in the


D: No. Well, my dad probably did. My dad was a small town lawyer, who never

really made a lot of money. He was too honest, I guess. The time he ran for city

judge, the Mafia came to our house and threatened him. [They] wanted him out

of the race.

B: Did he become a judge?

D: No. He did not win the election. He was finally elected to the city board of

education, and led a revolt there against the school system, to reform the high

school. During World War II, my dad was too old for the draft. He also had bad

knee problems, so he was really 4F [unfit for combat] anyway. He was appointed

to the State Workmen's Compensation Court as a compensation court referee or

judge for the State of New York. That was a job that he held until he retired, or

almost until he retired. Sometime in the early 1960s, he was forced out of the job

in the court system by corrupt politicians, basically because he would not ante up

a percent of his salary to the Republican party, which was demanding a payback

on all the appointments to the court system.

That gives you an idea of the corruption. My dad refused to pay, so they

transferred his jurisdiction from mid-Hudson Valley to New York City. It made it

really inconvenient for him. He had to commute every day to the city of New

York and hold court down in lower Manhattan and then commute back at night. It

was very expensive to do that. Eventually, he just decided that he could not

keep it up. There was no chance that he was going to be able to regain his old

jurisdiction, which was in the Hudson Valley. So he retired from the court system,

and set up a private law practice, which he continued until he retired.

B: You said he never really made a lot of money, but by your family's education and

professions you must have been part of the middle class?

D: Yes, well, nearly everybody was middle class in the United States. He was

middle class, but he was university educated with a law degree.

B: He started his practice during the Depression?

D: Yes. He started his legal practice in 1930 or 1931, not an auspicious year to

begin work anywhere in the United States at that time. He worked with his

father. My grandfather was also a lawyer. My grandfather was an interesting

man. He graduated from the University of Michigan [at Ann Arbor]. That was

where he met his wife, my grandmother Grace. My grandfather founded the

University of Michigan daily student newspaper. He was a campus political force

at the University of Michigan.

When he graduated in 1890 or 1891, he went to work for The New York Times as

a reporter in New York City. While he was covering the construction of the New

York City subway system, he fell into a pit. [He had] an accident on the

construction site, and he severely damaged his leg. [He] had to have an

operation, but in those days they could not do reconstructive surgery. They

simply fused his left leg, so that it was absolutely stiff and straight. He always

had a stiff leg. When he walked, it was always swinging along like a piece of

wood on the end of his hip. The New York Times summarily fired him because

they felt he could not cover the job, and they paid him no compensation. The

New York Times was terrible. They just simply fired him. He had no benefits.

They paid none of his hospital bills even though he was working for them at the

time the accident happened.

So my grandfather went to law school and became a lawyer. He moved back

home to Beacon, New York to set up a law practice. In 1915, he was one of the

major people in the area. He led the group that organized the city of Beacon.

Beacon did not exist before that. Two little villages were in its place, the village

of Fishkill Landing on the Hudson and the village of Matawon, which is up on the

mountain. The two villages were put together; my grandfather put all that

together and became the city attorney. My grandmother named the city Beacon

because on top of the mountain, right behind the town, was where George

Washington had a lookout post in the signal tower, a beacon, to signal the

revolutionary troops, who were stationed in the Hudson Valley, about what the

British were doing. From the mountain, you could see into Connecticut, down to

New York City, and up to Massachusetts.

My grandfather organized the city back in 1915 and my grandmother named it.

So the roots in the community are rather deep, but now there is no one there

from our family any more. The name Doughty has sort of disappeared off the

rolls in the school system. I guess, in my home town, we just vanished into

obscure history.

B: Did you have any brothers or sisters?

D: No. I am an only child. Probably a product of the fact that I was born in the

Depression. Many people just simply could not sustain large families at that

time. [They] put off having children and then did not have them afterwards. By

the time World War II came around, again, that was not an opportune time to

have children. By that time, my parents were older and were not interested in

more children.

B: What type of student were you?

D: At what level in my career?

B: Say, in your early life?

D: In my early career in grade school? I was a star.

B: You were?

D: I got nothing but A's. I had pure A's in the New York Board of Regents eighth

grade exams. I was just brilliant. I got a 100 on the state spelling exam. From

there it has been all down hill. In high school, I majored in goofing off, and

playing sports.

B: Were you gifted?

D: Was I gifted? Of course I was gifted. What do you think. That was not a good

question. Everyone is gifted.

B: Did you study hard?

D: Sometimes. Most of the time I did not study all that hard. I went through high

school, and I had, maybe, a B- average. As a matter of fact, I barely got into

college. I did not have good enough grades to go to Brown University where I

wanted to go. That was where my dad went. My dad, even as a graduate, a

respected alumnus, did not have enough pull to get me in. I applied to a lot of

schools. We were members of the Society of Friends, the Quakers. I applied to

Swarthmore [College] and Haverford [College, both Quaker colleges in

Pennsylvania], which were really good schools. I did not get into Swarthmore. I

cannot remember what Haverford did with my application. I applied to a lot of

small colleges. I was not interested in going to a big university.

B: What high school did you go to?

D: I went to Oakwood School in Poughkeepsie, New York, which was a Quaker

boarding school. I went as a day student, on a scholarship. Going as a day

student was much less expensive than going as a boarding student. I commuted

every day. It was not very far; it was only about twelve miles away. It seemed

like hours in those days because it took a lot longer. I had a great time in high


B: Did you work during high school?

D: I worked as a checkout packer and vegetable expert at the A & P [a grocery

chain]. I worked when I had weekends off, summer, Christmas vacation,

whenever I could fit [work] in.

B: What types of topics interested you most?

D: In high school?

B: Yes.

D: Athletics, girls. I was good at Latin for some reason. Now I cannot remember

anything. Ergo, I guess it did not penetrate my skull. I studied four years of Latin

in high school and did very well. I had pretty good grades as I recall. I got a C in

typing, which was actually a very important skill to have. Not very many guys

took typing because it was a woman's thing. I had to choose an elective in my

senior year. Somebody said take typing. I guess I had a girlfriend in the class,

so I took typing. Actually, of course, it was one of the things you needed to

survive in life if you were going to do anything. I liked political science. I liked

the social sciences at that time, though I did not know what they were.

In college I went through a series of majors. I started out as a physical education

major. That lasted a semester or two. I then became a business major, I guess I

was one officially when I graduated, but I had enough credits in political science

and English to be a major in those subjects too. I had a mixed grade record

when I graduated, with about a B average. I was a great undergraduate student.

I majored in extracurricular activities, a habit I apparently had.

B: Was it Ursinus [College, at Collegeville, Pennsylvania]?

D: Ursinus.

B: Was that the only college you got into?

D: No. I was eventually accepted at Middlebury College in [Middlebury] Vermont,

which was a nice school. I probably should have gone there. I did not. I took

the first one that accepted me. I was also admitted someplace else, but I have

forgotten [where]. It is immaterial, I did not go there. I happily went to Ursinus

College, which was a very nice, small, four-year school. It had about 1,200

students. The advantage of going to a small college was that you could

participate in everything. You could be a big fish in a little pond, if you were so

inclined. You did not have to be a superstar to play football. That was fun.

B: Was this the first time you had left New York?

D: In a significant way, yes. We traveled all the way to Providence, Rhode Island to

visit my aunt, and up to Vermont for a family reunion at my mother's. We went to

New Jersey to visit friends, but we did not travel very far. When I was a senior in

high school, I was at a summer meeting of Quakers in upstate New York. I met

another guy there who was somewhat more adventurous than I. He was a

freshman at MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at Cambridge]. He was

an automotive engineer. We got to be good buddies. He said he was going to

drive across the country to California to see his girlfriend. He said, "Do you want

to go with me?" I said, "Sure."

I went down to his place in New Jersey. He was putting together and rebuilding

this old car. We did that [together]. We rebuilt the car, with a new engine and

everything. It was a 1934 Plymouth with a rumble seat in the back. We drove

that sucker to California, across the brand new Pennsylvania turnpike. [The

turnpike] was brand new at that time. This was in 1948, I guess. I think I had like

$75 for a month's long trip. I came back with $10. Boy how times change! That

was a big adventure. That was my first time, as my mother put it, going across

the continent. [Laughter].

B: That was after you graduated high school and started college?

D: I think it must have been between high school and college. [It was] a big


B: What did the landscape look like on your trip? Has it changed a lot?

D: Of course. There were no interstate [highways]. The only big road was the

Pennsylvania turnpike, which had just been built. It was a toll road. We were on

it in a car with a new motor and we were breaking in the motor. In those days,

you had to break in the motor by going slowly. The first 500 miles, you could

only drive thirty-five miles an hour, and then [for the next few hundred miles] you

could only drive forty. Even then, driving fifty miles an hour was an incredible

speed. We drove across and had the typical adventures. We slept out. We

went to Reno, Nevada and gambled. I took in two dollars. I figured I could afford

to lose two bucks. Actually, I came out with five. I won money, and it felt really


B: So after that you attended your undergraduate studies and then you graduated in


D: Yes, at Ursinus. It was a good school, a very good school. In fact, I am on the

Board of Directors at Ursinus College. I am the faculty type representative on the

Board of Directors, which is otherwise made up of successful medical doctors,

bankers, and big time lawyers. I am the only faculty person on the Board. I am

supposed to speak for the faculty, represent faculty interests on the Board of

Directors. Unfortunately this year, I have not been able to go because Board

meetings were always at a time I could not go. That was unfortunate. I usually

go to Board meetings twice a year.

B: Was it 1955 when you decided to go to graduate school?

D: Yes, after I graduated in 1952. Polly, my wife, and I met at college; she also

attended Ursinus. She was actually from Collegeville, which is where Ursinus is

[located], Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Her father had a farm outside of

Collegeville that used to be an active dairy farm. He was not doing that anymore.

He ran a small paint store in Norristown, Pennsylvania at the time I knew him,

when Polly was a student at Ursinus. We met in our sophomore year, and got

married after we graduated.

B: Was Polly's maiden name "French?"

D: Yes. Her name was Mary Catherine French. Everybody called her Polly.

Nobody knew her by the name of Mary. She never used Catherine. Polly was

sort of a big gun on campus. She was president of her sorority. We had

fraternities and sororities at Ursinus, but they were just local. We did not have

houses or any [buildings]. [Fraternities and sororities] were just sort of clubs.

I was a campus politician and eventually I became senior class president, almost

by accident. This situation served as an interesting commentary on the times. I

had been a class officer on and off during the four [undergraduate] years. During

my senior year, I was elected vice president of the class. The guy who was

elected as president was there on the GI Bill. He was an older fellow. He ran

afoul of college rules. He married another member of the class and she had to

move out of the dorm. Back in those days, everywhere in the United States, this

was not a peculiar thing to this state, this was normal in universities and colleges

throughout the United States, married women were not allowed to be with

unmarried women in the dorms. I guess they married women] would

contaminate the girls with their carnal knowledge.

Jane had to move out of the dorm, and they had to go find an apartment off

campus. Bob could not live in the dorms either and he wanted to be with her.

They moved off campus, and the end result was that he resigned as class

president. The class nominated me, I became president of the class. That is

how I made class president. It was an ignominious way to become class

president, but at the same time it was a comment on the kinds of rules about

women that existed then. For example, the dorms at Ursinus [College], Cornell

[University in Ithaca, New York], or any other college in the United States at that

time, had very strict curfews for women. During the week, for example, all the

women had to be in the dorm at 10:00 p.m. They had to check at the door. The

dorm mothers would make sure everybody was in. If one violated that, she could

be kicked out of college. On weekends they had to be in by midnight.

Men were of course never allowed in, except in the living room areas or meeting

areas that were provided in the dorms. The guys had no restrictions at all. One

could stay out all night, and nobody cared. There was nobody that ever checked

in the fellows. Yet the women got complete "protection" from the rigors of normal

life. The rule in all colleges was that they stood in loco parents to the students.

It was true everywhere. Today, of course, there is a complete contrast, a

change, a real revolution. Our generation was the last one to be involved in this

full blown implementation of Victorian values. It represented a tremendous

contrast to the generations of today. Then, everybody was always trying to figure

out ways around these rules and scheme [how to avoid them]. You could just

imagine those efforts.

B: Were Jane and Bob friends of yours?

D: Yes. We all knew each other.

B: Do you remember their last name?

D: Henderson.

B: Did your father pay for your education?

D: Yes. My family paid for it. I earned part of it doing summer work. But I did not

work while I was attending college. I was fortunate enough not to have to do

that. I could dedicate myself to my studies full time and so I came out with a C+

to B- average. At the time, I had not thought of going to graduate school. In fact,

I did not know what I was going to do. Like lots of other people, I went out and

got a job with an insurance company, the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. It

was a big national insurance company that had a large office in Philadelphia. I

started to work for them as soon as I got out of college. I had a lot of


Actually, this was a very good job for me; I was assigned to the workers'

compensation division. I was interested in it because my dad was doing workers'

compensation law at that time. I thought I might become a lawyer and also go

into workmen's compensation. [I was] an original thinker. The job with Liberty

Mutual in Philadelphia was the first time I was on my own, really on my own,

away from the protective veneer of college or home. I roomed part of the time.

The first few months, before we were married, I roomed with my friend in a

college mate's mother's house. That saved me room rent.

After we were married, in September 1952, we had an apartment in West

Philadelphia at 44th and Osage Avenue. It was a grand tiny apartment. I do not

think the whole thing was as big as our livingroom. We bought furniture. I can

remember we had a lot of wedding gifts. Polly's family was a big, extended

family. Polly has two sisters, a brother, and lots of aunts and uncles with lots of

old ties around Philadelphia. We were deluged with wedding presents. We still

have wedding presents sitting around. Anyway, we had this tiny little apartment

and wall to wall stuff. Our house still is still that way. There was literally no

space around the wall. It was chair, couch, chair, couch, table. There was

nowhere to go. We had a great old time. It was a little north of the University of

Pennsylvania campus.

We had a wonderful time in West Philadelphia. I hasten to report that this same

neighborhood is a real slum today. At the time we were there it was a middle

class apartment area. Today it has really become a terrific slum. This was

where a few years ago they had that terrific fight between the city of Philadelphia

and the radical movement called Move, where the city of Philadelphia bombed a

building. It blew up, and the fire burned down practically the whole block. That

was about two blocks away from where our house used to be. Anyway, we were

happy there.

It was about this time that the Korean War was on. It was something that very

few people in America understood or knew very much about. As a member of

the Society of Friends, Quakers, I had registered with the selective service

system as a conscientious objector. In other words, I was not going to participate

as a military person in the draft. This was something that very few people in

America knew about or understood. After World War II the selective system law

had been changed. [It] allowed people to be conscientious objectors. During

World War II, and prior to that war, there were no provisions for people who were

spiritually or religiously opposed to killing people, or opposed to serving in the

military. After World War II, they put in a clause in the Selective Service Act that

allowed people to register as conscientious objectors and perform for two years

services alternative to the military draft, in fulfillment of their service obligations. I

had registered to do that.

My draft board in Poughkeepsie, New York, had never before encountered a

conscientious objector. They did not know what to do with me. They had

requested guidance from the state Selective Service System in Albany [New

York]. Albany did not know what to do, since I was the first CO in the state of

New York, as far as I know. They requested guidance from the national

Selective Service System in Washington from [Brigadier] General [Lewis Blaine]

Hershey [director of Selective Service]. They did not want people registering as

conscientious objectors because they thought it would look bad. So they refused

to register me as a CO. I requested to be approved, and they refused to do

anything. The paper just sat there. It was in limbo.

Living in Philadelphia and working there at the time, I went to the American

Friends Service Committee, which was an NGO [please explain acronym] in the

modern term, operated by Quakers for development and peace education. It

was a general do-good agency. They had a draft counseling service for people

like myself. I went in and talked to the people there about what I should do.

Being kept in limbo, I did not know what to tell my employer; I did not know

whether they were going to send me to jail, or if they were going to send me to

the moon.

We kept writing letters to everybody. Finally my local draft board got tired of all

the bureaucratic folderol. They simply up and assigned me. The [local draft

board] said I had been allowed to request to work with the American Friends

Service Committee, called AFSC, in their Mexico rural development projects. I

felt that doing international development work was in the spirit of what I felt was

important to do as opposed to being a member of the military. I would be

promoting peace rather than war and through that medium [of rural

development]. I requested that. My local draft board finally got tired of

Washington fiddling around and not wanting to assign people to do alternative

service. They assigned me. Local draft boards had that perogative. They were

relatively autonomous, so they could make these decisions no matter what

Washington said. They could exempt people from the draft, or not [exempt them]

as they wished.

Washington and the state boards really did not have any control over them. One

day, my local draft board in Poughkeepsie, New York, simply sent me a letter

that said, "Report to the American Friends Service Committee in April." We were

almost on the anniversary. I cannot remember when it was, but it was around

this time of the year, in spring. They sent me a draft card saying I was classified

1AO, which was the alternative service number. Instead of 1A, it was 1AO. 1A

meant you were in the army. 1AO designated alternative service. I was

assigned to work for the American Friends Service Committee for two years,

starting from that date.

Polly and I were already in Philadelphia. I had almost failed Spanish in college. I

think I got D in one year of Spanish. Polly had never taken Spanish. The

American Friends Service Committee said, "Okay, we will send you to Mexico."

They were, at that time, part of an international project in community

development, supported through UNESCO [United Nations Educational,

Scientific, and Cultural Organization] and the Mexican government. I was

assigned to work in that project. In the spring of 1953, Polly and I went on the

bus from Philadelphia to Mexico. [We went] virtually on our honeymoon; we had

only been married about eight months. There we were. We got on the bus,

innocents abroad; we had never been out of the country.

B: How did Polly feel about this?

D: We were young and adventurous and there we went. It was exciting; we went

into it together; we had agreed to do it. She was not a Quaker. She had been a

member of what eventually became the United Church. We were in agreement.

We packed up our stuff in a couple of duffel bags, jumped on the bus in

Philadelphia, and took off on a big adventure. It took us five days on the bus to

get to Mexico. Not many people flew anywhere in those days. It is hard to

imagine that, but flying was not the first thing you thought of when you traveled.

You thought about trains, or you thought about buses. So we took the bus. We

spent one twenty-four hour break in New Orleans. We went to Burbon Street

and all that stuff. It was not nearly as exciting as it is today, I guess. We thought

it was pretty neat. We crossed the border at Laredo, Texas.

I can remember vividly, and I have probably told this anecdote in class I cannot

tell you how many times, when we got on the bus at Laredo, the bus line traced

straight into Mexico [in a] north-westerly [direction]. Three stars to the bus line!

We got into Mexico, and we were crossing the desert. The bus made a stop

about two hours into Mexico at a place called Sabinas. We pulled to a bus stop,

and here was a little town in the middle of the desert. We looked out of the bus

window, and there were some beggars and an old guy, with one leg, playing a

violin. A bunch of little kids were selling chicklets. There was a food stand with

some sausages, hanging, covered with ten billion flies. We got off the bus, and

we took one smell. We said, "What the hell are we doing here!" [Laughter]. We

climbed back into the bus. We were afraid to go out. Not afraid, but we were

experiencing a massive culture shock. We did not eat anything all the way to

Mexico City. We had a Coca-Cola in Jacala, a town on the edge of the

mountains. Maybe we had some soup or something. We did not eat really until

we got to Mexico City, about a day and a half later.

We got into Mexico City. The Friends' Service Committee had a center in Mexico

City, a house, or a pansi6n. We stayed there, and we had a good meal. We

walked around, and began to get our feet under us. We met Ed Duckles, the

director of the service committee, who was a fabulous guy. He gave us an

orientation. A few days later we got into his car and drove off to the state of

Nayarit, which is on the west coast of Mexico. We drove across [Mexico]. There

were three other Mexicans with us in the car. They all spoke English most of the

time. We had this interesting tour across Mexico, all the way from Mexico City to

the Pacific coast.

We learned a lot about Mexico on that trip just hearing them talk about everything

we were seeing and everything going by. We arrived at the project headquarters

in Santiago Ixcuintla. This was an old town in the Tierra Caliente, the hot lands,

on the west coast of Mexico. [It was] a market town in the middle of a very hot,

dry area surrounded by recently formed ejitos, the communitarian, agricultural

villages. The project we were assigned to was to work in a couple of these


We were working in a place called Las Iguanas. We lived in the village in tents,

in the village plaza. We were surrounded by all of the typical, thatched houses of

the villagers. We were helping build a school and doing a whole lot of

organizational and health work with the Mexican counterpart agency, which was

called Encayo Piloto Mexicano, the Mexican Pilot Project. It was a UNESCO-

related project, intended to demonstrate to the world how community

development should work. There were three of these in the world. One of them

was at Santiago Ixcuintla, the one we were in, another one was in India, and

there was one more in Africa.

These were internationally significant projects. We did not know anything about

their importance, we were just innocents abroad. We did not realize either the

theoretical or practical significance of the project, or what an incredible

opportunity it was that we were working on this project. We had Mexican

counterparts who were terrific. The head of the project was a woman named

Felicia Montero-Monter6n, who was an incredible dynamo. Montero was her

paternal last name. Monter6n was the maternal surname.

We just did anything that was required of us. I mixed cement, carried brick, and

did a lot of hard labor. [I was] sort of condemned to two years of hard labor. I

lost immediately about twenty-five pounds of fat. I ate beans, tortillas, and wore

sandals. After six months of this kind of labor, the project closed for the rainy

season. Rain just paralyzed everything. You cannot work in the rainy season in

that area. We transferred and worked on other projects in different parts of


Six months later, just before Christmas of 1953, we had to go back up to the

Mexican-American border to renew our visas. We had tourist visas and every six

months they expired. We had to go up and get a new tourist visa. We drove up.

The same was true of the pick-up trucks that the service committee had. They

had to go out of the country every six months, just like people, and come back in.

There were four of us who had to leave, Polly and I, Cliff Lester, who was

another CO like myself, and there was another guy, Bobby, whose last name I

cannot remember.

We drove up to the border, and it was just before Christmas. Everybody in

Mexico, who was working with us, had all these presents they were sending back

to people [in the US] for Christmas. So we had these two trucks full of Christmas

presents, for other people, that we were supposed to mail from Laredo. When

you crossed the border into the United States, you had to know what was in all of

your packages. We spent a lot of the trip [driving toward the border] opening

packages and making lists. We got up to Laredo, and we were given a hard time

at the border by the Americans. The Mexicans did not care. The Americans

said, "What are you doing with all this stuff?" But we had said something about

going back the next day, so they thought we were running contraband.

When we got to Laredo we checked into Hatches Motel, where we got special

rates, because of the service committee [AFSC]. We packed up all the stuff.

Meanwhile Bobby, whose last name I still do not remember, came down really

sick. He had a tremendous fever, which turned out to be typhoid. We had to

park him in the Laredo hospital all by himself. He was actually going back home,

he was not returning back to Mexico with us. We drove off, and drove back down

to Mexico City.

On the way up, when we were going to Laredo, just before we got to the border,

we stopped and ate lunch. We thought we should eat up good while it was

cheap. It was very inexpensive to live in Mexico. It cost almost nothing. We

went into this restaurant and had a beefsteak and friiolitos and chili. We had a

really good meal. We were sitting in this restaurant and we thought what a neat

little restaurant this was. All of a sudden it dawned on me that this was the place

we had stopped at, first time on the way down to Mexico City, where Polly and I

refused to get out of the bus because of the flies, and the beggars and

everything. And here, six months later, we were saying what a neat place this

was! I realized how far we had come. Our whole perspective had changed. We

had gone through culture shock, survived, and become, at a minimum,

aculturated. Living in Mexico had taken on a whole new range of behavior, from

learning Spanish to accepting foods that we might otherwise never eat, like really

hot chili peppers. We now ate frijoles every day, and tortillas, stuff I had never

eaten before.

We were very much at home on the local level in Mexico. That was a stunner.

When we were sitting in the restaurant, I realized what a metamorphosis, what a

change had gone on. As a result of this adventure, I had gone from a really

ethnocentric innocence, which typified the American middle class in the 1950s, to

a much higher level of sophistication and world knowledge. Before,

comparatively, I knew nothing. Now I knew at least that my attitude had

completely changed. I was a very different person than I had been six months

before. Both of us felt that way very much. It was something we thought about a

lot after we came back. It was a real jolt to have that recognition.

When we got back to Mexico, we began to do a lot of reading. We had a lot of

books and we had time to read because we were in the villages where lights go

out at 9:00 p.m. There was time to work, read, and think. I started reading some

anthropology, [some works of] Margaret Mead and a few other things that were

available. I started to get interested. In 1954 we worked in a series of villages

around Mexico. Santiago [Ixcuintla] was just one of them. We worked outside of

Mexico City in Tecaskinavah, which is just near Texcoco just outside of Mexico

City, in the valley of Mexico.

Then we worked in a place called TIapacoen Veracruz on the east coast, the

eastern Tierra Caliente, or tropics, which was again a very different thing. By the

time [we took on] this project, Polly and I had graduated to be group leaders. At

TIapacoen we had these little ten, twelve, and fifteen member groups we were in

charge of.

When we went back to [the province of] Nayarit, in the spring of 1954, back to

Santiago Ixcuintla to again reenter that project, it was in a different village called

Paradones. We were the leaders there, with another fellow, Ed James, who

also worked for the service committee. He himself was a fabulous, interesting

person. We were in Santiago from January until May. Then, in the summer of

1954, we went to work in Isniquilpa Nidalgo. Isniquilpa Nidalgo was in the

Mesquital Valley, where the Otomi Indians live and habitat in large numbers.

That was not the only place they [the Otomi] populated, but it was the heartland

of the Otomi region. At that time, they were considered to be the poorest people

in Mexico. They were an Indian group very much discriminated against,

downtrodden, and extraordinarily poor. [They] barely had enough to eat at all.

They basically lived off the desert, eating 200 or more plants and animals found

in the desert.

We worked there in the summer with the summer group, some of the college kids

who came down in the summer. We had a group of about twenty-four [students]

we were in charge of. We were working there in the Mesquital valley with the

Mexican government program called the Indigenous Patrimony, which was

typical of Mexican government programs with Indian groups all over the country.

This was a big project, and an important one. It was a big, far-reaching program.

We worked closely with them, in fact, entirely under their direction. [We were]

doing community work of all kinds, building things, helping organize things, we

did whatever we could do. There were many health brigades vaccinating,

dusting people with the new miracle stuff like DDT, throwing it down people's

backs and heads. Often we plunged our arms into it. I must have vaccinated

myself with smallpox 100 times to show kids that it did not hurt. There was

nothing to it.

Anyway, we walked all over this valley. We stayed there until December 1954,

about five months. At that point, I pretty much decided I was going to become

an anthropologist. I had found out what anthropology was, which I did not know

before. I had done some reading. A man who worked in the Mesquital Valley, a

Mexican man named Mario Munoz, was an Otomi Indian, but he was also an

anthropologist. He had an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

He was in charge of field programs. I worked closely with him. I used to walk

with him all around in the valley. He talked a lot about anthropology, and he said,

"You ought to become an anthropologist." So I thought that sounded like a good

thing. He said, "You would enjoy doing this kind of stuff. That is what you ought

to do. You could do applied anthropology." I thought, "Yes, I could do that," and

that was where I mentally shifted.

B: Did they develop any applied anthropology methods?

D: Applied anthropology was just in its infancy. The Society of Applied

Anthropology had been founded in 1940 just before World War II started. It

continued after World War II, but it was still a very small, a tiny element within

anthropology. I did not know any of this at the time. From my perspective, I was

just an innocent boob who got a B- average in college, and who was vaguely

thinking about going to graduate school.

We worked with the Otomi, which ironically and interestingly was where [Russell

H.] Russ Bernard [UF professor and chair of Anthropology since 1979] worked

later, in the 1960s. In 1954, part of the time we lived in a place called Orisa Vita.

We lived in the school building when the school was not in operation and we

knew the people there. Russ later also worked in Orisa Vita. Russ's Otomi

collaborator, his chief collaborator, was a guy named Jesus Salina, who was

from Orisa Vita. When Jesus came here, and he and Russ were working on

their book on the Otomi, we got out my old photographs of Mexico. In one [of the

photographs] Jesus was able to see himself, running around, as a child. I had a

picture of him! Talk about a small world. We got a big laugh out of that. It

turned out that we had known his uncle quite well. It was a small village, so it

was not surprising.

The [American Friends] Service Committee then sent us to work in El Salvador,

where the committee had a land reform and colonization project with the

Salvadoran government. [It] was another extraordinary opportunity in the

perspective that I was achieving in applied anthropology. Here was another

community development program, similar in many ways to the Najarit program

run by UNESCO, but this was one was conducted in connection with the

Salvadoran government. It was the first attempt by the Salvadoran government

to do anything about rural poverty in the country. We worked on that project.

But there was another [project] we became involved with full time. That was an

earthquake recovery project in the eastern part of El Salvador, near San Miguel,

at a place called Nuevo Guadalupe, New Guadalupe. This eastern end of the

country was an area referred to as the oven of the east, which gives you an idea

of the climate. This was an earthquake reconstruction project which had some

international funding from the Rockefeller brothers, namely the IBEC

Corporation, the International Basic Economy Corporation, which was run by

Rockefeller family interests. The Salvadoran government and some international

funding, Point Four, which was the USAID Program at that time, [were also


We were living in this village of Nuevo Guadalupe in a new five town area which

had been devastated by an earthquake in 1952 or 1953. By 1955, they had

finally gotten their reconstruction efforts up and running. We were supposed to

live in Nuevo Guadalupe and show people how to live in these new homes.

Now you might begin to appreciate the ironies of that. We had a house in the

middle of the reconstruction area, and we were doing all kinds of social work and

physical labor. [We did] anything we could do to make ourselves useful, since

they had no particularly thought out social programs at all. It was all material

construction, which was presumably going to solve all the problems, but we know

that it does not. Nobody seemed to consider that. It was the first time I was

involved in an earthquake project. Over the years, during my career, I continued

to be involved with earthquakes, but that was my first real earthquake


We were there [in Nuevo Guadalupe] for six months. In April [of 1955] my time

with the Selective Service System ended. My two years were up. We stayed

until May or June. We went back to Mexico and worked with the service

committee that summer. Back in Mexico, I headed a summer project, in a place

called San Salvador Quatenco, which is in Sochinuco in the old Chinapas. Do

you know Mexico? It is just outside of Mexico City overlooking the valley of

Mexico. It is a beautiful old town.

I had been applying to graduate school when I was in El Salvador. I applied to

Cornell University [in Ithaca, New York] because Cornell was the only place in

the United States, and indeed in the world, that offered any kind of a program in

applied anthropology. I applied, and I did not get accepted because I made out

wrongly the Cornell graduate school application blanks. I guess I did not send

my transcripts. I goofed. I did not get into graduate school at Cornell. So we

went back to Philadelphia at the end of September of August.

B: What year was that?

D: 1955. We went back to Philadelphia and I thought I would try to get into the

University of Pennsylvania, as a walk on. Polly got her old job back at the

University of Pennsylvania Hospital, where she had been a blood researcher at

the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. She got her old job back, and I

went into the anthropology department, which like all anthropology departments

at that time was very small. There were very few students. When I went in, it

was too late to apply for regular admission. But I talked to Loren [C.} Iseley

[prominent anthropologist, 1907-1977], who was chair of the department. He

was already very famous, as I discovered.

Iseley was an extraordinarily erudite, very smooth person who interviewed me, in

my total innocence of anthropology. [He] suggested, despite my enthusiasm to

become an anthropologist, that I should read a few things of more significance

than I had read so far, to decide whether I was really interested. He pulled a

couple of books off the shelf, [Alfred Louis] A. L. Kroeber's [US anthropologist,

1876-1960] 1948 book Anthropology, which was then the great handbook.

Another work was Alexander [A.] Goldenweiser's [1880-1940] book,

Anthropology: an introduction to primitive culture; he said it was full of interesting

ideas. [He thought] I should read these and come back in a couple of weeks,

and we would talk about what I had discovered. I took the books home, and I

plowed through them. Have you seen the 1948 Alfred Kroeber? Every graduate

student in anthropology should know that book. It was a great book, one of the

great books in anthropology. It was a massive piece of scholarship and

extraordinarily interesting. It was fascinating stuff. Kroeber was one of the great

figures in early anthropology.

I was sort of overwhelmed in a way. I went back and I talked to Iseley. He said,

"You seem to be doing well. Sign up for my course "Introduction to

Anthropology," in night school. I had meantime gone down and gotten a job at

Strawbridge and Clothiers Department Store, downtown Philadelphia, as a part

time toy salesman. There I was selling toys at Strawbridge's and going to night

school taking introductory anthropology along with a lot of other folks [who

studied] at night. I also took a course in urban sociology, with E. Digby Baltzell.

He turned out to be a fascinating guy. Baltzell was a fascinating guy because he

did some interesting studies. One was his study of Levittown, Pennsylvania,

which was the great housing project, built after World War II to house veterans.

It was one of the really interesting first real studies of this kind of suburbia.

Baltzell also did some studies, the only ones done either then or now, on the

American upper class. He published a book called Philadelphia Gentlemen

[1958], which was based on the social register of Philadelphia. [It was] truly a

great book. It was an interesting book. People do not study upper classes, but

he did. He was a wonderful teacher. He was very anthropological in his way of

approaching things.

Iseley's course, the introductory course to anthropology, was a great course. He

was first and foremost a stupendous lecturer. He just held the class in the palm

of his hand. This was a class, taught at night school, to people who were taking

the course as a requirement. [They] were not driven by high motivation to take

the course. The class took place in a room, in Bennett Hall, on the university

campus. The back of this room was kind of dim and dark. By the end of the first

week, everybody was sitting in the front rows. There was nobody sitting in the

back. I think it was the only course I have ever taken where there were no

students in the back rows, they just simply did not want to miss what he was

saying. Students were bringing dictionaries to class because he had this huge


Iseley was also a brilliant writer. In fact, the English department used his work all

the time, as an example of how well one could write English. He was so good. I

do not know if you are familiar with any of his work. [One of his better known

works was Thelmmense Journey [Random House, New York, 1957]. He has

written about poetry and about anthropology and paleontology. He was a

physical anthropologist. He was a wonderful writer and a very insightful guy. He

was maybe one of the best lecturers I have ever heard.

B: Did anybody in your class, other than you, become an anthropologist?

D: No. These were all people who had another [major]. I was the only

anthropologist there and I took copious notes. I wrote down everything [Iseley]

said. I became really enthralled with the scope of anthropology, about which I

had known nothing until I had read Kroeber's book, and took this class. I got an

A in that course. Iseley said if I did well, he would admit me to graduate school.

Essentially, my undergraduate record was a throw away. Penn [University of

Pennsylvania], like all other Ivy League schools, did not require the GRE

[Graduate Record Examinations]. They still do not require the GRE. Only

uptight schools like [the University of] Florida require the GRE. Hear that?

[Laughter]. It is no measure of anybody capacity to do anthropology or anything

else for that matter. In any event, it certainly does not measure motivation. I had

changed from an unmotivated student to a motivated student. I never got

anything lower than a B+ after that. I was admitted to graduate school.

In January 1956, I started my graduate program. One of my first courses was

Peruvian archeology with [Alfred Vincent] A. V. Kidder [Jr.], who was the son of

A. V. Kidder [1885-1963], who was a great Mayan archeologist. A. V. Kidder Jr.

was a very nervous fellow who chain-smoked, and worked in Peru, supposedly to

get away from his father. Kidder was a member of the Philadelphia upper class.

He was part of the elite. Indeed most everybody doing Mayan archeology, such

as Kidder's father and others, were very wealthy men who could afford to be

Mayan archeologists. It was a lot like Egyptology. People doing Mayan

archeology in those days were a lot like people who did Egyptology. One had to

be able to afford to do it. It was a real luxury to be able to do archeology of major

civilizations. It was expensive. The same was true with Greek archeology. My

first exposure to Peru came through that course. It was fascinating to me. I also

took a course in Latin American sociology with Rex Crawford, who was a very,

very well known Latin Americanist at that time. I wrote a paper on El Salvador,

based on my experience in El Salvador. So I started my work in the graduate

program. Then I became a research assistant in the Pennsylvania University

Museum Library.

Anyway, Dr. Iseley was responsible for awakening my interest in general

anthropology. As I was learning about anthropology, I was basically only

interested in applied issues. I had my experience working with the American

Friends Service Committee, in villages in Mexico, on development issues, and

looking at problems of culture contact, culture conflict, and problems of social

change. That is what I was primarily intere sted in. In graduate school, I began

to see the wider horizons of anthropology in terms of archeology which I had

always found fascinating, because I had walked all over the ruins in Mexico. I

was at the famous pyramids at Teotihuacan, I have seen the Totenac ruins at El

Tajin, at Tollan [now Tula], and other places in Mexico. I was interested; ne

cannot help but be interested in that sort of thing. We picked up potsherds in

peasant fields, and things like that. I thought that was pretty much fun, but I

never planned to do that myself. It was an area I was certainly interested in.

During graduate school, I had to become interested in it because I had to take

courses in it. I had to be more than interested; I had to be knowledgeable to a

degree. And I gained [knowledge] at Penn; Penn gave me a good solid

grounding in the basics of anthropology. I took courses with A. I. Hallowell, who

was at that time a very famous person. He was a major figure in cultural

anthropology, and one of the pioneers in personality studies. I took at least two

classes with him, and was enthralled by his erudition on the one hand, and his

analytical abilities on the other. He really pushed my abilities to keep up with

him. At that time we had real small classes.

I do not think Penn had more than thirty graduate students in all fields. We used

to meet down at the University museum. I know anthropology had a library in the

museum, which was terrific. We did not have to go to the main Penn library at

all. We had all the anthropological stuff in the museum library, which was lorded

over by a librarian named Mrs. Griffith, who was an incredibly stern, eagle-

visioned woman, who sat up on a platform in the front of the library like on a

stage. She had an assistant, another elderly woman whom Mrs. Griffith bossed

around with the greatest of ease and haughtiness. The two were just really funny

to watch. They sat up on this stage. The rest of us all sat down at the tables

doing our work. If we looked up we could hardly keep from laughing at the

interaction between these two.

I later had a chance to become closely associated with them because I became a

student research assistant in the library, charged with shelving books. I was in

charge of the human relations area file. That was my next job, research

assistant. Penn only used a couple of TA's [teaching assistants] in the

department for graders. That was why I became a research assistant for the

museum and the library. Eventually, I was in charge of the human relations area

file [HRAF], which was at that time an enormously cumbersome thing. I do not

know whether you are familiar with HRAF. All of the material was filed into

individually copied pages and there were literally millions of pages. They all had

to be filed according to the HRAF 888 item classification system. Everything was

placed into that system. There was a whole room dedicated to this, and that was

my kingdom. I sat up there, in the middle of the room, with files all around the

walls of the room.

There were these great, big, special filing cabinets for five by eight pages. In my

desk in the middle, I had a big desk in the middle, I could spread out all these

papers and sort them as they came in boxes from Yale. I can remember sitting

there one time. I had been working putting stuff into the drawers. There were

several drawers in this large filing cabinet that were open. I was sitting there at

my desk one day, and all of a sudden I heard this rolling sound. I turned around

to my horror, and found these drawers rolling out at me. They had become

overbalanced, and the whole filing cabinet was tipping over toward me. I was

about to be buried by millions of pages of HRAF materials! It was like your life

flashing in front of you, except it was all paper. I thought I could never put it back

together again. So I threw myself against this cabinet and I struggled against it.

It reminded one of Charlie Chaplin in modern times. I finally forced the rolling

drawers back into their place again. All of this time the door to my room was


Directly across the hall was another office in which sat H. Newell Wardel, one of

the early women anthropologists and a co-founder of the American

Anthropological Association with A. L. Kroeber in 1905. H. Newell Wardel was a

very old lady. She was sitting in her room and her thing was ancient Peruvian

textiles. She was the person responsible for counting how many threads per inch

there are in Parakis textiles. Anyway, H. Newell Wardel was sitting there, with

this enormous looking-glass, examining Parakis textiles and other old textiles.

We used to call her wobbly Wardel because she had a hard time struggling down

the hallway, walking very uncertainly. She was sitting there, with her glasses on

and this huge magnifying glass, and she looked up as I was fighting the cabinet.

I will never forget the look on her face! [Laughter]. She had this what-is-that-

young-man-doing-anyway look on her face. There I was fighting this cabinet.

Here was H. Newell Wardel looking at me over the tops of her glasses trying to

figure out what in the world I was doing there struggling and gasping in my room.

Anyway, it was one of these little vignettes in life.

B: Did she come over to try to help you?

D: No. She could not help me. She was not that strong. It would have taken her

forever to get across the hallway anyway.

B: When were those files put on computers?

D: Oh, not until much later. They were not put on computers until the end of the

1960s. Computers as a real operational tool, operational for us normal human

beings, were really very recent. [They were] operational for the United States

Navy or for the Pentagon much earlier, but not for us. If you need to know that,

Russ Bernard can tell you because he was on the board and was president of

the board of HRAF. My predecessor in [the HRAF job] thought that she could

prepare for her comprehensive examinations by reading everything in the HRAF

file, which turned out to be an impossible task, of course. It also put the file

enormously behind schedule for filing stuff. When I had taken it over, I had

mountains of things to do. She had just not put anything away for months. That

was a tremendous job. Anyway I kept working at it. I learned a lot in the

process. However, I did not languish with the HRAF files. I found a very

interesting job.

About that time, the University of Pennsylvania was starting up its famous Tikal

Project in Guatemala to excavate the largest known Mayan site, which still may

be the largest Mayan site ever excavated. Linton Satterthwhaite and Edwin

Shook were there. Satterthwaite was a relative of Ralph Linton [American

anthropologist, 1893-1953]. They came from the same family so he had the

name Linton as well. At any rate, Satterthwhaite himself was an elderly man at

that time. [He was] probably about sixty. [John] J. Alden Mason [1885-1967]

was there, a famous writer and archeologist. [He] never taught because he had

a very bad stutter. He was a very pleasant man and willing to talk with you, and

discuss everything. He was very erudite. He wrote a very good book on

Peruvian archeology at the time, which we all had read [The Ancient Civilizations

of Peru, 1957]. In any event, the Tikal Project was just getting started. Bill Koe,

another graduate student in the program at the time, and Satterthwaite tried to

talk me into becoming an archeologist and going to Tikal to excavate. I was

really tempted to do that. I thought it was going to be good fun.

I had visited Tikal in 1955, when Polly and I worked in El Salvador with the

earthquake reconstruction projects and the community development projects.

We had spent all of our money, such as it was--twenty-five dollars a month--to

rent an airplane with two other colleagues, who were working with us on the

projects, to fly from San Salvador to Copan to see the famous Mayan site at

Copan. That was the only way to get there--a small plane. You could not get

there from El Salvador by ground. It was excavated only in 1955, but nothing

was going on there at the time we had flown in to see Copan. The jungle was

slowly reclaiming it. It was this romantic site that reminded one so much of John

Lloyd Stephens's [American traveler, author, diplomat, 1805-1852] Incidents of

Travel in Yucatan [1841] and Incidents of Travel in Central America [1843] and

the famous etchings of [Frederick] Catherwood [British-American architect, artist,

and engineer, 1799-1854, who accompanied Stephens and did the drawings of

the ancient Maya ruins] which we read when we prepared to go there. At any

rate, we had gone to Copan and I knew what the lowland Mayan sites looked

like. Of course, they were spectacular.

I was really tempted. I decided finally that I wanted to do cultural anthropology,

and I really wanted to do applied work. I suggested to them that I would go to

Tikal as a cultural anthropologist to study the impact of the excavation on the

people of the Pet6n [area] and the workers in the community, to see how the

development of the project itself effected life in Guatemala. I was afraid I was a

little ahead of my time there. They were not at all interested in that. It would

have been interesting, because Tikal is by far the most important site in

Guatemala, and certainly one of the most important Mayan sites anywhere. [It is]

probably the most visited Maya site other than Chichdn Itza or Uxmal [both in

Yucatan, Mexico]. Tikal has played a major role in the Guatemalan economy

and tourism certainly. It would have been an interesting thing to have done, but I

did not do it.

About that time, I was deciding that I had exhausted my interest at Penn because

Penn really did not have any Latin Americanist on the staff. Ward Goodenoff

was an assistant professor, and a really hard-nosed, tough, informed teacher. I

took several classes with him. Jim Giddings, another assistant professor, was

an arctic archeologist, but he taught everything. He taught American Indians,

economic anthropology, and introduction to North American archeology.

Giddings was a really fine person; unfortunately, he died quite young.

Goodenoff and Giddings did all of the brute work in the department in terms of

the basic courses. So I took a lot of [courses from] both of them, all the basic

courses. Everybody had to take something in everything, and take really tough

courses. But as exciting as Loren Iseley was as a lecturer, I was not interested,

frankly, in taking two more courses in human paleontology. I figured I was not

really interested in that, and I would not teach it.

B: Did they have classes in applied anthropology?

D: No. There was no place in the United States, except Cornell that offered a class

in applied anthropology. In fact, applied anthropology was really a dirty word for

most. People at Penn really were not interested in that. As an aside, I found out

that Ward Goodenoff was actually writing a book on applied anthropology for

the Russell Sage [American financier, 1816-1906] Foundation. He did not talk

about it, and he certainly did not teach a class in it. It did not seem that there

were any more courses at Penn that I wanted to take, in terms of what my major

interests were, and particularly since there was not a Latin Americanist on the

staff in cultural anthropology. I again applied to Cornell to transfer. By now I had

a graduate course record, which was very good, all A's.

B: Did you earn your master's at Penn?

D: No, I did not take a master's. I was there at the graduate school for a year and a

half. I took pretty much a full load, although I was working part time all the time.

I drove buses in the summer for the New Jersey Coordinated Transport

Company, shuffling commuters back and forth between downtown Philadelphia

and Barrington, New Jersey, and then from Philadelphia to Ocean City and

Atlantic City, New Jersey. That was kind of fun. I enjoyed riding buses. It turned

out there were a lot of other Pennsylvania graduate students driving buses also.

It would give one a great sense of power driving these huge buses with air

brakes. In any event, I transferred to Cornell. This time I had no trouble getting


B: What year was this?

D: This was in 1957. My wife and I drove up with a trailer attached to a used

Pontiac. We got to Ithaca, New York, and moved into 222 Dryden Road, [an]

apartment building just off campus, where I became the janitor and maintenance

man. We started going to Cornell University, which was a completely different

situation than Penn had been. This was a university town. My family had some

history at Cornell. I had three cousins who had graduated from Cornell. I had

been there once before. It was a beautiful place. We settled into the

anthropology department, also a very small department, as pretty much all

anthropology departments were at the time. They were only getting about

twenty-five or thirty graduate students.

Cornell had no archeology [department] at all, period. It had no physical

anthropology either. It just had cultural anthropology. Linguistics was offered

through the linguistics department, which featured Charles Hockett, who was

one of the premier linguistic theoreticians, then and now. The department was

mixed. Cultural anthropology, sociology, and social psychology were all parts of

the same department. So we had this interdisciplinary department, which, of

course, was tremendously different than Penn had been. On the upper

campuses at Cornell, the state funded part of Cornell University which had the

agricultural school, the equivalent of IFAS. The state land grant university was

the upper campus of Cornell. It was much better funded than the lower campus.

The lower campus cost more to attend. The upper campus had all the rural-

related departments, including rural sociology. I decided to take a minor in rural


At Cornell then, a lot of people took either anthropology or rural sociology as an

alternate or minor. Rural sociologists majored in rural sociology and minored in

anthropology. It was kind of a flip-flop. There were lots of foreign students in the

rural sociology program because the university had a lot of fellowships at that


Cornell was a very different place than Penn. It got me moving in rather different

directions. First of all, Cornell was the only place in the world really that actually

had courses in applied anthropology. To talk about applications of science to

problems was not a misdemeanor. The leader of Cornell's faculty had made this

decision in the late 1940s, after World War II.

B: Who was that?

D: Lauriston Sharp, author of the single most cited article in all of anthropology,

"Steel Axes for Stone Age Australia," and Morris Okler, an American Indian

specialist who had also worked in India, and others on the Cornell faculty got

together and said, "Let us do applied things because we think that is going to be

the big thing in the future." They wanted to study international, social, and

cultural change. They felt the world was going to change profoundly and they

saw that as an opportunity for doing all kinds of interesting research as well as

applying knowledge to solve some of the problems that were inevitably going to

arise. They established a program in several parts of the world to study. They

got some funding, not a lot by modern standards, but some. The projects

involved studies in the Navaho reservation areas in the maritime provinces in

Canada, in Thailand, India, and Peru. This was to be a comparative study of

change in these different world areas. Alexander Laten was in charge of the

Canadian projects. Several of the faculty and others were brought in to work on

it, as it was rather a complex [study] in the Navaho area. The study involved

Johnna Dare, Dorothy and Alex Laten, and several others, who worked on the

Navaho project. Lauriston Sharp worked in Thailand. Morris Okler [worked] in

India, and Allan Homberg [worked] in Peru. This was the team of people

engaged in the study. The anthropologists reached out and dragged the

sociologists kicking and screaming into the field to do research in cross-cultural


Gordon Streib, who just retired as the graduate research professor of sociology

at the University of Florida, was there at the time as an assistant professor of

sociology at Cornell. In fact, Gordon Streib was on my committee. As an aside, I

had the pleasure of Gordon Streib participating in my qualifying exams. I was

president pro tem of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences when he retired

from the University of Florida. It was my duty to make a speech about each of

the retirees. I officially retired Gordon Streib from the University of Florida. That

was great fun.

B: Was he your chair?

D: No. He was not my chair. My graduate committee chair at Cornell was Allan

Homberg, who worked on the Peru project. He was the leading Latin

Americanist at the university at that time. I took courses in anthropology,

sociology, rural sociology, and social psychology. Cornell was very much a fun

place to be: it was interdisciplinary, the people were exploring new things, and it

was a very exciting department. In fact, I forget which year it was, but in the

same year, Morris Okler was president of the American Anthropological

Association and Robin Williams was president of the American Sociological

Association. They were both in the same department. I do not think that has

ever happened anywhere else. I think it was fair to say that at the time, in the

middle to late 1950s, Cornell probably had the best social sciences department in

the world. It was a tremendous and very exciting place. I was privileged to have

the chance to be there at that time. Later, it became much less interesting, a

less interesting department than ours. But at that time, it was a really exciting

place. We did a lot of things.l worked one summer for the rural sociology

department which had lots of summer contracts. It provided lots of nice

employment for graduate students. We did surveys all around and I learned how

to do surveys.

B: What summer was that?

D: In summer of 1958 I worked as the field coordinator for the New York State

migrant labor program. That was a very good learning experience as well as an

interesting project in migrant labor, a subject I had always been interested in. I

wanted to go to El Salvador and do a dissertation there. I wanted to do a study

of coffee plantations for my dissertation. Nobody had ever done a study of coffee

plantations, except one Eric Wolfe was just finishing in Puerto Rico. At the time

I was not aware of it. There had been studies of plantations in the Caribbean,

but there had never been anything on Central America. There was no

anthropological research of any sort done in El Salvador.

B: What got you interested in the topic?

D: Having worked in El Salvador with the service committee, I had become very

familiar with the social conditions in El Salvador, which I felt were abysmal at that

time. Peasants were a brooding, impoverished group of people. We would often

wonder amongst ourselves, we could not understand why there was not a violent

revolution going on. This was back in the mid-1950s. The peasants were

constantly cutting each other up with machetes. When we first lived in [Nuevo]

Guadalupe, there were all kinds of machete fights going on and people being

killed. Guys would just duel with their machetes like swordplay. It was a

dangerous, violent country with lots of drunkenness. [There were] zillions of pot-

bellied kids running around. It was a very poor country. At the time we thought

[it was] overpopulated, but today it has twice the population; it is the most

densely populated country in the hemisphere.

B: Were you ever afraid?

D: No, we were never afraid. I guess it was the fearlessness of innocence. We

lived in Nuevo Guadalupe, in the heart of the earthquake reconstruction area,

presumably teaching the poor how to live. It was ironic, was it not? It was like

the Peace Corps going abroad to solve problems that had been centuries in the

making. These [American] kids that did not know diddley squat were going to go

tell them how to [solve the problems]. It was a learning experience. As long as

you did not become arrogant, you learned a lot. If you went in with an attitude of

ethnocentric arrogance, you contributed nothing and learned nothing. I was

interested in El Salvador because I thought it represented a microcosm, so to

speak, of many great problems of the world. In fact, it still does. As I said, at that

time, I could not understand then why the country was not in revolution, given the

abysmal relationships that [existed].

I wanted to go back to El Salvador and do a study of the ongoing coffee

plantation system that was at the heart of rural poverty in El Salvador. But I

could not get funding. There were only a handful of research fellowships

available at that time, [such as] the Woodrow Wilson one. The Fulbright

[scholarships] were not available then. [US Senator James William Fulbright

initiated legislation, the 1946 Fulbright Act, to enable an international exchange of

scholars, but only the Fulbright-Hayes Act of 1961 provided awards for graduate

study and research abroad.] There was very little money available for research.

I had written off and applied to the Social Science Research Council. I got this

interesting letter back. I should have kept it. The letter basically said that the

council thought my proposal was very interesting, but since El Salvador was so

unimportant, they were not funding anything in that area of the world. The letter

was interesting in view of what happened in recent years. So there was no

money to go anywhere, and I had to reformulate my dissertation proposal, late in


About that time, Homberg was my major advisor. He received funding for the

continuation of his project in Peru. He had funding from the Carnegie

Corporation, which was in effect [administering] the moneys granted for

education by the Carnegie Foundation. The Carnegie Corporation supported and

renewed Homberg's project. I do not remember the exact amount. I think it was

$100,000 for five years. It seems like nothing today, but then it seemed like a

fortune. So Homberg asked me, "Do you want to go to Peru?" I said, "Sure.

Why not?" So the Cornell Peru Project then funded me for my doctoral research.

This was a stupendous opportunity because first of all, the Cornell Peru Project

was then and remains today probably the most famous single project in applied

anthropology ever undertaken. Homberg was a leader in the field, a spiritual

leader as well as a practical leader, in the sense that he was not only talking

about applied anthropology, he was doing it. Thirdly, he was a great teacher. I

had taken a number of courses with him, and worked with him because he was

chair of my committee.

B: Who else was on your committee?

D: Robert Poison, who was a real sociologist with a lot of experience in community

development work. Richard Fisher was a conservationist. One of the things I

did, which seems normal today but was almost unheard of then, was to minor in

conservation, that is to say ecology. Because of my experience in El Salvador, I

felt that natural environment issues, pollution and things like that, were of

importance. I had been impressed by the problems of erosion and that sort of

thing as it affected community life. I thought that was an interesting area to

study, an important one. Cornell offered [me] the chance to take it. They did not

call it "ecology" at that time. It was just called "conservation." So I minored in

that. Richard Fisher was from one of those departments up on the upper

campus which dealt with that. So I took "Field Natural History" and a bunch of

courses like that. Everybody thought I was nuts. As an anthropologist, I could

take anything and make it relevant, because we are holistic. I found it very

interesting. I have never done anything with it as such. I wish I had kept up with

it, but I did not. It certainly did influence my thinking about a lot of things. I

cannot remember who else was on my committee. I have simply forgotten.

Robert Smith, who was a Japanese culture specialist, was on my examination

committee. I guess Bob Smith was on my dissertation committee as well. There

must have been somebody else, but I just cannot recall who it was. I worked a

lot with Joseph Stycos, who was a demographer. Stycos was a sociologist and a

demographer who worked extensively in Latin America and the Caribbean, and

who was one of the world experts on demographic research at that time. I had

the good luck to be his research assistant for a semester and as a result I

learned how to do a lot of demographic work. He eventually funded part of my

research in Peru. In exchange, I ran a big fertility survey for him up in the Andes.

He paid for my being able to do a census of the community in the district where I

was doing my research, in Huaylas. Polly and I went to Peru in 1960.

B: Was it just you two, or were there others?

D: Others went also. David [Henry] Andrews was a student with me at Cornell. He

went to Peru at roughly the same time to do research in another part of Peru.

Shortly after we went, Henry Dobyns came down to Peru to be the field

coordinator for the project. The Vekos Project, which was a huge project--we

could talk about it alone for hours--was in high operation at that time. It was in its

seventh or eighth year. This was a revolutionary project, an attempt in Peru to

promote community development and land reform and general improvement in

the living conditions for the serfs on an Andean hacienda with a population of

about 2,000 people. This was an ongoing project and Henry Dobyns came to

coordinate the activities connected with it, in addition to other research the

project was beginning to sponsor, including work done by David Andrews in the

central part of Peru, and by myself in the same valley as Vekos, but about

seventy miles to the north of Vekos.

So Dobyns arrived. I had met Hank Dobyns. He had been a Ph.D. student at

Cornell, and was a fascinating character in his own right. He had been an

applied anthropologist since he was a sophomore or junior as an undergraduate.

[He was] hired by the Papago Indians to do research for them in one of the land-

claims cases. He had been doing applied work ever since. In fact, while he was

a graduate student, he won the [Bronislaw] Malinowski [1884-1942,

anthropologist] award for one of his papers. He may be one of the most

published people ever in the history of anthropology. He wrote forty-five books,

and perhaps 400 to 500 articles. He is still publishing away like fury. He is an

incredible writer, familiar to people in the southeast for his book about

southeastern ethnohistory, Their Number Became Thinned: Native American

Population Dynamics in Eastern North America [University of Tennessee Press,

1983]. Hank is an extraordinary person. To have worked with him for a while

was a great education.

Even as a graduate student Hank Dobyns inspired awe, even in the faculty. I

remember in 1959, when he handed in his dissertation, a tome of about 1,500

pages on the religious pilgrimage comparison around the world. His fieldwork

was in northern Mexico, in Sonora, Mexico. In typical Dobynesque style he

compared the Magdalena festival in northern Mexico to festivals all over the

world. [It] was a profusion of ethnological analysis. His committee said it was a

fascinating dissertation but he could only hand in about one-third of it. [Laughter]

So he had to re-write the whole thing to get it down to about 600 pages.

At that time, the project had brought up a Peruvian to work on it as an assistant.

His name was Mario Vazquez. Mario, with Homberg, was the originator of the

Vekos project. Mario, Hank Dobyns, and I shared an office at Cornell, in 1959,

where Mario and I sat on either side of Henry and watched him type. Watching

Henry Dobyns type was a spectacle because he could type over 100 words a

minute. Paper just flew out of the machine. Mario and I would be there hunting

25 words a minute, and paper would be coming out of Hank's machine like

bullets out of a machine gun. Page after page would just roll out, which explains

why he published so much. He typed so fast. Now that he is on a Macintosh, he

can type even faster. He loves computers because they just increase his speed.

In any event, we went down to Peru with the project, the Cornell Peru Project at

Vekos. It expanded to include other areas of Peru and other researchers. Polly

and I went to Huaylas, which is a district in the northern part of the valley where

Vekos is located. It is a valley called Callej6n De Huaylas. This is a valley about

125 miles long, in the middle of the Andes, flanked on the eastern side by the

Cordillera Blanca--which by the way was featured recently, I think in the New

York Times [in an article on] hiking around the world--and on the western side, on

a lesser range of mountains called the Cordillera Negra, the Black Range, [so

named] because it does not have snow-capped peaks. The eastern flank, the

White Range, has several hundred snow-capped peaks, all of which are over

20,000 feet, almost 23,000 feet high. [It is] one of the great scenic spectacles

you could ever hope to see. Vekos is located on the other side of the snow-

capped White Range. Huaylas is located at the northern end of this valley on the

Black Range side, so you could sit in the plaza in the village of Vekos and look

down at a panorama of about 100 miles of this scenery.

We went to Huaylas looking for a community. I wanted to do a study of small

farmers, independent small holders. This I felt would be in contrast to the Vekos

area, which was an area dominated by haciendas, serfdom, and really

impoverished, enslaved people. I wanted to do a comparison study and see

what the culture was like in the same region, but without haciendas and without

people entrapped in servitude and peonage. Huaylas was a community of

independent, small holders. There were no haciendas in the district of Huaylas.

It seemed to me to be an ideal place to embark on this comparative study. So

we drove up to Huaylas in my Jeep which we had brought from the United

States. [It was] a blue and white Jeep station-wagon, which we thought was

terrific. It turned out to be a pretty good vehicle. [It had] a great motor and a

lousy chassis. In any event, Mario Vazquez, his wife Aida, Polly, I, and one of

the schoolteachers from Vekos, a guy named Lucio Vasquez drove up to


We were visiting a number of communities, and I was trying to find the right

place. We drove up to Huaylas because several people had said you ought to go

to Huaylas because that may be what you are looking for. So we drove up and

the road to Huaylas was an adventure in itself. [It was] about twenty kilometers

[about 12-1/2 miles] of classic, Andean, zig-zaggy road with big precipices off the

side. [We drove on] a little one-lane, dirt road, barely wide enough for the car to

go around hairpin corners, with 1,000 foot drop-offs. Our hearts were up in our

throats most of the way. We were going about five miles an hour. It was the first

time any of us had been up this road. I was driving the jeep and I was a novice

driver in the Andes at that time. It was exciting just driving there. It took us

nearly two hours to drive the 20 kilometers up this road and

into the plaza in Huaylas.

You come over the pass, and come down into Huaylas. It sat in its own little

valley. It was a beautiful, beautiful, little valley. You come around the corner,

and you say, "What a lovely place!" We drove down into the town, and into the

plaza. It was early Sunday morning. We had gotten up at sunrise. You travel

early in the Andes. You always get up really early, 5:00 a.m., to leave early,

because the sun is up early in the Andes. We got into the plaza at about 8:00

a.m. Lo and behold, there was a meeting going on in the municipal hall. We

drove into the plaza. There were no cars on the road. We were the only car that

arrived in Huaylas in days. The bus service was the only vehicle going in and

out. The arrival of a car in the plaza caused everybody to come out and see who

it was. There was real excitement. So we drove into the plaza and we were

standing around the plaza admiring the scenery and the bright sunshine on this

Sunday morning. Along came these people, from the second floor of the

municipality, a very picturesque, two-story building with balconies, on one side of

the plaza. These people came down, and it turned out that they were the mayor,

the city council, and a bunch of citizens. The mayor came over and introduced

himself. The mayor and his fellow citizens started talking to us.

We started talking. The mayor asked us what we were doing there. I said I was

an anthropologist, and I was thinking about doing a study in the valley. I was

getting to know the valley. He said, "Why do you not come to Huaylas and make

your study here?" [Laughter]. Very often, one of the great fears that you have,

when you are looking for a place to study, is that you may not be welcomed nor

have authority to do the work you want to do. I was very worried about this

place. Here was this guy coming out and saying, "Come here and study, we

would love to have you here." I said, "We will see."

Lucio Vasquez, the school teacher who had come with us, had a friend who

worked in Huaylas. It turned out his friend was the governor of the district.

Governor, in Peruvian terms, was like a sheriff. So we looked up his friend, who

had the wonderful name of Maximo Rojo, which means maximum red, better

known to his friends as Maxi. Maxi was an interesting character. He had

married a woman in Huaylas. He was not from Huaylas himself. He was from

near Yungay, from a town named Ranrahirca, which was later--in 1962--

destroyed by an avalanche. In any event, Maximo Rojo took us in hand, and

showed us all around the town as a favor to Lucio Vasquez. We saw the village.

Maximo and his wife ran a little hotel, called the Hotel Huascaran, which is

named after the tallest mountain in Peru, which was down in the middle of the

White Range. You could see it for miles. So we decided it would be better for

Polly and me to come back and spend two or three days in Huaylas, stay at the

little hotel, look around, and see if this was going to be where we would stay. So

we went back and talked a little bit more to the mayor, and we left.

At that time we found out that Huaylas was doing some interesting things. The

meeting that we had interrupted when we arrived in the plaza was the pro-

electrification committee meeting. Huaylas was in the process of trying to install

electricity in the district. The town of Huaylas had electricity which was

generated by a diesel motor, which ran for three hours each evening from 6:30

p.m. to 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. There was no electricity during the day. There was

no electricity outside the town and the town itself had about 1,000 people. The

district of Huaylas that surrounded it, the rural areas and little hamlets, had

another 4,000 or so people. The whole district had about 5,000 people in it. It

was a compact farming district with a little town in the middle. They were in the

process of trying to provide electricity to the whole district. They were going to

get it from the big hydro-electric plant, located at the edge of the valley, on the

Santa River.

The Santa River runs south to north through the Callej6n De Huaylas. It is the

largest river on the Peruvian coast to go into the Pacific. All of the other major

rivers in Peru go to the Amazon. The Santa River does not. It cuts through the

Andes right at Huaylas. It slices through the Andes in this spectacular canyon,

which would be a national park [if it were] in the United States. It cuts down to

the coast and it cuts out at Chimbote. The canyon that it goes through wraps

around the north end of the district of Huaylas. It is actually the boundary of the

district. This canyon is about a mile deep, and in some places only sixty to

seventy feet wide. It is really an incredible defile where the river cuts through.

In the middle of this canyon, not at its narrowest part, but at one of the narrow

places, there is a dam and an intake. A hydro-electric plant had been built in

there. The hydro-electric plant had been finished in the late 1950s. It was to

supply electricity to the city of Chimbote, which was the site of a new steel mill,

the only steel mill in Peru and one of the very few in all of South America. At that

time, it was the sine qua non of industrial development. To have a steel mill is to

have people going to the moon, so to speak. Peru had this steel mill and this

electrical power from this hydro-electric plant in the Canyon Del Pato as it was

called--Duck Canyon.

Chimbote was also a port and the site of the major fishing industry which was on

the Peruvian coast which also had developed spectacularly in the late 1940s to

about 1960 when it was reaching its pinnacle. Peru had gone from nowhere to

number one in world fishing. It had rushed ahead of Japan and ahead of

Norway. It was the world's fishing leader. It was because of the Humboldt

current [in the Pacific Ocean] off of the west coast of Peru [Alexander von

Humboldt, 1769-1859, was a German scientist, explorer, and diplomat]. The

[current named after him] was centered in Chimbote. This and the hydro-electric

dam were again to provide power and raw supplies for the fish mill and the

processing plants that were [built] in Chimbote.

The Huaylinos, the people of Huaylas, had worked in the construction of this

hydro-electric plant. They had learned how to do it, how to set dynamite, blast,

build, pour concrete, do electrical work, and all this stuff. They had been a major

part of the work force that put in this hydro-electric plant. Since they put this

plant in, they appreciated what electricity could do. Therefore, they wanted

electricity in their district and in their homes. They embarked on this ambitious

program to bring electric power up to Huaylas.

The people who ran the project for the Peruvian government were the problem.

They had no interest in providing electricity to some funny little rural district

named Huaylas. So the Huaylinos, who had worked on it, said, "We know how to

do it. After all, we did all the work on the big project. So we can just do this

ourselves." They were organized into work brigades. The whole district was

galvanized under the leadership of the mayor to bring electricity to Huaylas. At

the time we visited, the project was just in the process of starting. So I said, "It

would be interesting to study the introduction of electricity into this district. What

a contrast with the Indian areas, where nothing was going on, where you had

peonage and repression." So we decided that Huaylas would be an interesting

place to study.

We went back and spent some days there. [That is when] I got my

comeuppance. We were staying in the little hotel for those two or three days as

we made our explorations to look for a place to live. I was talking to Maximo

Rojo one night, and I asked him if any other gringos had lived in Huaylas. He

said there had been a gringo that had lived there, several years before. He

mentioned the guy's name. I recognized the name. I had seen it in something

Richard Adams [please identify better] had written. I said, "What did he do?" He

said, "He came, and he stayed for a big fiesta in July. He danced with us and

drank with us, and stayed here. He had a wonderful time." I said, "He must have

spoken really good Spanish." He said, "Oh no. His Spanish was not very good

at all. It was about like yours." [Laughter] I thought I spoke great Spanish. I was

really deflated in a hurry. [Laughter] "It was not very good ... about like yours." I

kind of hushed up. Maximo said this completely without guile. He was just being

honest. So I realized I had some ways to go.

What I was discovering very rapidly by that time was that Peruvian Spanish was

very different from Mexican Spanish. The Peruvian names for things were very

different. They reflected their Quetchua background for names, whereas in

Mexico they reflected the Nahua names for things. In Mexico peanuts are called

cacavates and in Peru they are called manin, a really different word. So there is

a completely different vocabulary.

In addition, of course, there are all the slang expressions used in Mexico like

andale and made, which nobody uses in Peru at all. So I had to get rid of all

my Mexicanisms and speak Peruvian, as it were. It took a while. Our Spanish

was of course functional because we worked and lived in Mexico and Central

America, but it was different. Our accent was different.

That was where the work began, in Peru. We settled in Huaylas. The Huaylas

experience was just an absolute delight the whole time. We had some problems

here and there, but living in Huaylas was just a great experience. The

community was receptive, open, and friendly. I looked back at our journal--Polly

kept our day-to-day journal--when we got up, bought things at the market, what

we paid, and social engagements, when we were invited out. When I went back

and looked at the journal entries, I discovered that we had been invited out

something like an average of three times a week to people's homes, the whole

time we were there. This was just phenomenal. We were always being invited to

go eat to people's houses. People were always sending us gifts.

People would show up at the door and say, "Here is a little something we were

baking." Every other house in Huaylas had a big, beehive, adobe oven, a round,

half dome, adobe oven, in their back yard. People made bread all the time.

Huaylas was a big producer of wheat, barley, and rye. They were always making

these three-grain breads. When we first got there, we were buying white bread

and white rolls that they made, which were wonderful. Our landlady also was a

good baker. We noticed in our friends' house, the people whose picture is on the

wall there, that they had this whole wheat kind of bread. They were wonderful

bakers. We asked to try some of that. It was terrific. It was wonderful bread.

They said, "Oh, you like that kind of bread." I said, "Yes, it is wonderful bread."

They said, "We thought that was not good enough for you. We were only giving

you white bread." I said, "No, no. Give us this other three-grain, whole wheat

and rye bread." So they would just give it to us. They would bring us a basket

full of bread. When they baked, they would just throw a few rolls into a basket

and bring it down. Or a little kid would show up at the door and have a little

basket over its arm. The basket would always be covered up with a nice, neat,

embroidered cloth. The little kid would come, knock on the door, and say, "They

have sent you something." I would say, "Who sent it?" And the kid would say in

this chirpy, small voice, "It is from donna Inez." The kid would say, "Dice que

semana recibirbo?" in a sing-songy Indian Spanish. All talk was kind of sing-

songy. Do you speak Spanish?

B: No.

D: Oh you do not. It [sounded] sort of a sing-songy. "Dice que se vaille?" We

would open up the cloth, and there would be hot rolls in a little basket. We would

take them out, and we would try to send something else back. We found out this

was a reciprocal thing, one would exchange. If we had a banana, or an orange,

we would put that in the basket and the kid would take it back. We had this

reciprocal arrangement going on with practically everybody in the community.

We were always stuffed, always given food and invited out. It was a wonderful

place to be. I can remember going to community dances at the Club Sportivo,

which was the social club in town, such as it was. It was sort of an empty, adobe

building where they had dances. I remember one night about 3:00 a.m. we were

coming back from a dance. Polly and I had a lot of chicha [South American corn

drink made from fermented maize] and beer to drink. We were feeling really

good, and we were kind of weaving back through the village plaza. The moon

was full, and we were looking out to see the mountains in the moonlight. We

were saying, "Is this really what field work is like?" It was a place [where] you

could have easily decided to stay. It was that nice.

Our field work was really even atypical in the sense that it was done in a place

that was physically beautiful with enormously friendly people. In terms of

research we did everything we intended to do. Polly and I both kept notes. We

wrote every day. I would be out walking around, and Polly would be out walking

around, visiting, talking to people, and of course doing our living chores, going to

the market, buying things, and repairing the vehicle, there was always a wheel

that came off or something.

B: Was Polly doing her own research or was she just helping you?

D: No. We were working together on it. She wrote field notes along with me. She

wrote as many as I did. The women would really want to talk to her rather than

me. The landlady, Inez Cano, was a great blabber. She just loved to talk. She

was an old maid type person and in her fifties when we first knew her. She was

a domineering woman, a woman who commanded enormous respect and was

regarded with some awe by most people. When she spoke, everybody would

shut up and listened. She had a strong voice, and clearly thought of herself as

an important, majestic personage, as indeed she was in this community. She

was an ideal informant because she was the representative of the local upper

class, the village upper class. She was one of the largest land holders in the

district, and was as it turned out, a direct descendent of one of the original

caciques of Huaylas, who had been one of the leaders at the time of conquest.

[She] had a lot of things to say, and knew everybody. Everybody knew her. She

was a great source of information. She loved to talk to Polly. She talked to me

to, but was more forthcoming with Polly. [It] was a woman to woman kind of


So typically after supper, at 6:00 p.m. or so, we would be finishing cleaning up

our dishes, there was a knock at the door, and there would be donna Inez,

saying, "Esta la senora Paulita?" That means, "Is Mrs. Polly there?" I would

say, "Yes, Mrs. Polly is here." She said, "Con permiso don Pablo [with your

permission don Pablo]." She would rustle right down. We would both be

washing dishes or doing something, and she would come in. I would immediately

stop doing what I was doing and leave. She and Polly would finish up whatever

was left. She would say, "Now let us talk about..." [Laughter] Polly got all of this

enormous genealogical information from Inez. It was really terrific information. I

might have been able to get it from her also but she really enjoyed talking to

Polly. They would talk for an hour or so. We had this little office. Our house

belonged to Inez's family. It was formerly her brother's house. Her brother had

died. It had been a store, so it had a big storefront. For us it was a livingroom. It

had a humongous kitchen area and dining room area with a vast table, like a

seminar table. Literally, we cooked at one end and ate at the other.

There was an office connected to what used to be the store. We used it as an

office. We had our table set up with two typewriters. It would be cold at night in

the Andes. There was of course no heat and no electricity at the time. The

electricity would always go off at 9:30 p.m. We would often work later than 9:30

p.m. We had gas, Petromax. We had gas lamps. We would pump them up and

put one under the table as a heater, and the other would hang up on the ceiling.

We had this one we used as a heater. We sat there with our ponchos on. All

over the Andes, you can buy these gloves with the fingertips cut out of them so

you can sit there and type. It looked like an old Charles Dickens movie. We

would sit there typing away our field notes. So we spent a good hour, hour and

one-half, to two hours every night typing.

I had a goal of trying to type ten pages a day. We both did that. So we were

typing at least ten and often twenty pages at night. We typed our notes on five

by eight cards. At that time I was using a very avant-garde system of marginal

key sort cards. I do not know if you are familiar with those. They were cards with

holes all around the edge. I took the Human Relations Area File system, with

which I was thoroughly familiar, and modified the HRAF system to accommodate

the holes around thecard and provide a coding. I was typing my notes on the

cards and encoding all the notes according to HRAF, and punching them out with

a puncher so that I had it all coded as though it were in a computer basically,

except it was all manual. That is the way I did my field notes. So we have over

2,000 pages of single-spaced field notes typed and coded.

In addition to a lot of other material, we did a complete census of the district, the

first complete census ever done in Peru. [It] was a thorough, controlled census

where we had mapped every house in the district and numbered every house.

We had teams of interviewers go out. These were students from San Marcos

University and the Peruvian Social Work School. We had five guys and six

women. The girls were from the Social Work School, and the boys were from

San Marcos. [It] was a wonderful summer. They thought it was great. We were

their chaperones. The students from San Marcos were doing their required field

research stint as anthropology majors. Every student at San Marcos, either in

archaeology or cultural anthropology, had to do field research to get the

bachelors degree. Everyone had to do field research.

The girls from the Social Work School had to do practices, they had to do field

practice, as well. In that way, the Peruvian universities were far more rigorous

than the American universities in the sense that they required their majors to

actually do research under the direction of a professional in the field, and then

write up a thesis to graduate. All these people were under my jurisdiction for

their field service. So I had these thirteen or so kids working with us. It was

good for me because we did the census that [Joseph] Stycos paid for. Then we

did his survey, the fertility survey of Huaylas for Stycos. Then I did a migration

survey at the same time. So we did three surveys. It took us a month to do.

This was the first time in Peru, that I know of, that all of these things were done

under controlled circumstances. We did the entire universe of the community for

the census. We went to every single house. We know we went to every single

house. We had it all numbered and mapped where we surveyed every single

woman between the ages of fifteen and forty-four for a fertility survey for Stycos.

B: So this was all written up in your dissertation?

D: Yes, at varying levels. I wrote up the census for my dissertation. The fertility

study I did not use because Stycos did that. He published that separately. It was

part of a much bigger study that he was doing in Peru. The migration stuff I

wrote up and included in my dissertation as well as in some subsequent articles.

Anyway, this was part of this whole package. We did not only field ethnography,

but we did the demographic surveys, census, migration study, and the fertility

study as well. If I do say so myself, this is one of the most complete studies of a

district ever done in Peru. Nobody does this sort of thing anymore.

I had a huge quantity of data. I had the survey data, which were unique at that

time. I had all the field ethnographic data from observations. We were there, in

actual residence, for probably one year. We were in and out of Huaylas for one

year and one-half. We got a lot of data for a year and one-half. [During that

period] we went over to Vekos a lot, to participate as best we could in the Cornell

Land Reform Project. We went down to Lima frequently, just for a little R and R,

also to process data and to look up stuff that we needed to look up in Lima, and

to get the jeep repaired. The vehicle was always breaking springs or breaking

something from carrying people around.

The big thing I had at Vekos was the summer field school that I ran for two

years. In 1960, Cornell, Columbia, and Harvard began a summer field school

program sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation, which paid completely for

eighteen undergraduates to participate at full stipend and fellowship in field

schools, run by each of the universities. Harvard [ran a school] in Mexico, in

Chiapas [province], at Zena Cantan. Cornell ran one in Peru. Columbia started

out doing one in Ecuador, in Riobamba [central Ecuador]. Marvin Harris was in

charge of the one in Riobamba. He was a new assistant professor at Columbia

at the time.

B: When was this?

D: This was 1960. Evan Vote ran the one in Chiapas, Mexico. I was in charge of

the one in Peru. I had students in Huaylas and in Vekos. In Huaylas, I had

Alice Kasikof, who is now professor of anthropology at the University of South

Carolina, and Jim Fox, who was an associate professor at Harvard. I do not

know whether he is still there. He is an [island of] Timor [Indonesia, south of

Celebes, east of Java] and Indonesian specialist in those days. He was then an

undergraduate anthropology major. And then [there was] Gary Parker, who got

his Ph.D. in linguistics at Cornell, and was professor of anthropology in linguistics

at the University of Hawaii.

At Vekos, we had Tom Lynch, who became a Ph.D. in archeology at Chicago

and later became chair of the department at Cornell. Subsequently he suffered a

terrible debacle. He was fired for sexual harassment at Cornell, two years ago.

[It] was a terrible disaster. He was a very good archeologist. [He] was a nice

fellow--apparently all too nice. Too bad. Who else? Norman Fein was at

Vekos. As I recall, he was a student from Columbia. Norman became an MD

eventually, [did] not [remain] in academics. Norman did a wonderful field study

about coca chewing. He wrote up his [research]-paper for me. This was one of

the most widely cited papers in coca literature, all from a summer field- study

project he did for me, in Vekos.

In any event, that same summer at Vekos there was a group of psychologists

and psychiatrists, from the Sullivan Institute in New York, who were working on

personality studies. During the course of the summer, there was a terrible

catastrophe. There was a hacienda immediately adjacent to Vekos, a very

impoverished place, even worse than Vekos. The police and the property owner

had entered that estate and gone into this hacienda to stop the peasants from

farming land that the landlord said was his. The people were farming this land to

raise money to build a school--to copy Vekos. They were trying to emulate what

was going on in Vekos. To get to this place you had to walk through Vekos.

There was no [other] road [into the hacienda]. The landlord and his detachment

of twelve policemen walked through Vekos. So they walked through Vekos, but

police in Vekos was an unheard of event.

This student, Norman Fein, and one of the psychologists, Ralph something--his

name escapes me at the moment--saw these policemen walking. [Norman and

Ralph] were in different places, they were not together, but they followed the

police to see what was going on. The police went over to the hacienda,

surrounded the peasants and shot them, killing three and wounding seven,

leaving them lying in the field. Norman and Ralph both took pictures of the

massacre while they were ducking behind rocks staying out of the way. The

pictures were a little blurry because they were so caught up in it. The police then

left on the run. They were afraid the peasants would rise up and kill them. They

were quite right in that. They ran back down to Vekos, jumped in their vehicles,

and left.

I was in Huaylas. Two policemen were there. One guy was from Huaylas and

very friendly. We used to play pool together all the time. They came over to my

house and said, "Pablo, we have received a telegram. A terrible thing has

happened. There has been a massacre of Indians at Vekos." I said, "Oh my

God. That is terrible." He said, "I have been called up." The policeman said he

had been called to go up to Carhuaz, which is the provincial capital where Vekos

is located. He said, "There has been a call up of all the police. I have to go up

there." He left. I thought for a while, and decided, "I better go to Vekos; I do not

know what is going on there." So I got in my jeep, took off and drove to Vekos.

It took about two and one-half hours to drive up there from Huaylas.

I got there and found there was chaos. The vikosenos, people of Vekos, were

just up in arms. They were furious. In fact, they were preparing to march on the

little town of Marcara, and kill people. It was going to be a real medieval peasant

uprising with people with hoes and rocks going down on the townsmen. The

schoolteachers, people like Lucio Vasquez, and project personnel, we all worked

and got people tranquilized to the point at least where they would not go down

and start tearing the town apart. I did very little because I could not speak

Quetchua, the language everybody in Vekos speaks. There were 2,000 people

in Vekos, and only about 500 in the town. People in the town were scared to

death of the Indians. The townsmen in that area were afraid of an Indian

uprising. So that did not happen.

Mario Vasquez, who was gone by the time I got there, said, "They are going to

come after me. They are going to accuse me of something." The police had

been trying to close down the [Cornell Land Reform] Project. The landlords in

the valley hated the Cornell Project because we were working with Indians. So

Mario took the film that Norman and Ralph had taken of the massacre and hiked

over the mountain, down to the road on the other side, so he would not have to

walk through the main town. He took a taxi and went down to Lima overnight.

He got to Lima around midnight, and went to see Hank Dobyns. He and Hank

went down to the Peruvian Culture Museum, where a Peruvian photographer,

Abraham Guillen, worked. Guillen was one of the very best ethnographic

photographers in existence anywhere. He was a museum photographer and an

old friend of [Allan] Homberg. He did work for the project often. So they woke

up Guillen, who went into his darkroom and developed the film and printed it that

night. Hank and Mario sat down and wrote up a big picture document with

photographs and a with a description of everything that happened. So by 8:00

a.m. the next morning they had this done. They had several copies. They

delivered them to the United States Ambassador, to the Minister of Indian Affairs

in Peru, and to the office of the president of Peru.

We were afraid of was the Peruvian government, which in effect hated the Vekos

project. On the one hand they supported it as it was an official government

project. On the other [hand], they hated the project because it represented the

first attempt at land reform in the history of Peru. The elites and the oligarchy of

Peru were deathly afraid of land reform. They did not want land reform, and they

were against it. They had to go through with this, but they regarded it simply as a

kind of an exercise, rather than something that was really going to happen. They

were afraid of its implications.

Because of the publicity the Cornell Peru Project had received over the years in

the popular press, pressure on the government to have land reform had

dramatically increased. At that point in 1960, the government had been reneging

on its obligation to allow the people of Vekos to purchase land. They would not

let the sales go through because they were afraid of the precedent the sales

would set. So with this massacre in Huapra, adjacent to Vekos, we were afraid

that the government would use us as an excuse to just stop everything. On the

other hand, we wanted to see if this might be a chance to make a breakthrough,

to force the government to do something to allow Vekos to fulfill a projected plan,

which was to allow the community to buy its own lands and make itself, in effect,

free from peonage. So that was now in the balance. As a result of Mario, Hank,

and Guillen putting together this folder describing what had happened, the

Peruvian government had to do something. They could not ignore all of the

evidence that the police had gone in and killed these people. The people were

completely unarmed.

Police, called up from all over the valley, gathered in the provincial capital. About

200 policemen were there. Their original plan was to go up to Vekos at night, kill

a lot of people, and intimidate the Indians. Fortunately, more rational people

prevailed and said, "If you went up there, a lot of people were going to be killed

and a lot of police would be killed because the Indians would just bury you with

stones. The Indians stoned you. They had no weapons. They would throw

stones at you. It was very biblical. So the police did not go. The whole thing

finally became a legal process. I had the chance to accompany the official legal

judge and prosecutor investigation as they went around and took a lot of pictures

of that, one of which is on the cover of one of Helen Safa's book actually [the

Women In Work book]. The thing sort of petered out, but it brought a lot of

attention to the area. Tensions were very high.

The summer students got a little more involved than they thought they would be

involved. The next summer we had another summer field school at Vekos. This

time all of the students were at Vekos, and I stayed at Vekos. That project that

summer was with another group of interesting people, many of whom went on to

be anthropologists. Richard Price, who was just her last year as a Rockefeller

fellow at the Center for Latin American Studies, was one of my students.

B: This is Flordeliz Bugarin interviewing Dr. Paul Doughty on March 21, 1995 at his

house at 1017 N.W. 21st Terrace in Gainesville. Dr. Doughty, last time we were

talking about the second summer at Vekos.

D: Right. The second summer at Vekos, we had a summer field school, which

again had a group of outstanding undergraduate students. Among them was

Richard Price and Brenda Beck, both of whom went on to Ph.D's in anthropology.

Brenda teaches in Canada. Richard was at John Hopkins. He is now at William

and Mary with his wife Sally. They were Rockefeller Fellows here at the

University of Florida. William Tuey, who went on to get his Ph.D in political

science at Stanford with Richard Fegan. Steve Nelson, who is a lawyer in

Boston today. David Barkin, who is now has a Ph.D in economics, and is a

major international economist, lives in Mexico and teaches at the National

University of Mexico. I am not remembering them all at this moment as I sit here.

In any event, the Carnegie summer program for those two years that I was

associated with it was in Peru the first two years of the program. I did it again

later in 1966. In 1960 and 1961, the two years with those students was an

exhilarating experience because they were excellent undergraduate majors, the

majority of whom went on to get Ph.Ds in anthropology or other social sciences

and have since become very well known. Jane Fuer is one of the other people

that was there in the summer of 1961. Jane also got her Ph.D in anthropology,

and she is married to Morley Safer from CBS. She works at the American

Museum of Natural History on and off. I will probably remember some others as I

go along.

In any event, this was an exciting summer because during the course of it, we

were visited by a whole series of dignitaries. One of them was the U.S.

Ambassador to Peru, James Loeb. This was the first time that anybody in the

U.S. Embassy had ever shown any interest on the Cornell Peru Project. In fact,

the traditional stance of the U.S. Embassy, vis-a-vis the Cornell project, was to

stay away from it because the State Department did not approve of land reform

programs, and did not really want to be associated with it. I think it could be said

on the other side that Homberg and the others connected with Vekos were not

that excited about having the U.S. governments having a hand involved in the

Vekos project. So the Vekos program was essentially an affair between Allen

Homberg and his Peruvian associates, Mario Vasquez and Carlos Monge, who

was a medical doctor who had been director of the Peruvian Indian Institute, and

over the years personal physician to several Peruvian presidents. Monge was an

extraordinary person in Peru. He was a medical doctor of considerable

accomplishment, but beyond that, he was a medical researcher who was a

leader, in fact, the world leader in studies of high altitude biology. He basically

founded the study of high altitude biology, discovering a number of things and

exploring, for example, human adaptability at high altitudes including

modifications of the lung, heart, and blood system. Monge studied stress at high

altitudes, cirrjoche, which is a high altitude response of the body to extreme

stress. So he was a famous scientists in his own right. [He] published several

books and a couple 100 articles on high altitude research.

Monge was a member of the Lima upper-class, or at least technical upper-class.

[He] was highly connected politically. He was an important sponsor of the

project. He and Homberg were old friends, Homberg having taught in Peru in the

late 1940s at San Marcos University, and being one of the people to help found

the anthropology department at San Marcos. Homberg had long connections in

Peru with Monge. Monge had been very important in getting the Cornell Peru

Project started, and getting it accepted by the Peruvian elites, at least on an

official level, if not wholeheartedly in terms of what they were willing to support.

The fact that the project started during the Ocheneo, as they call it, the eight

year reign of Dictator Manuel Odria, is something of a miracle and probably due

to Carlos Monge's influence on the government and high echelon people in

Peruvian society. In any event, the project had gone forward and was truly an

innovative [more than innovative], radical change from Peruvian social policy in

the past, which had been very suppressive of Indians and Indian rights. For the

first time in Peruvian history, the project was addressing these issues on the

ground and in a very real case. Vekos is an Andean hacienda, with

approximately 900 serfs attached to the estate as peons, living in a state of debt

punage under the control of a landlord who rented the estate for $500 a year. So

for $500 a year, the renter got Vekos, which was about 40,000 acres of land and

2,019 people. Cornell had entered into the agreement with the Peruvian Indian

Institute, which was part of the Peruvian government, the Ministry of Labor and

Indian Affairs, and they signed an accord which set up Cornell University in

cooperation with the institute to run a program at Vekos to improve the economic

and social situation of the peons who lived on it. Looking back at that agreement

today, it is really quite an amazing document since even in the language of the

1950s, it is a very progressive document. In a sense it was signed to make sure

responsibilities and looks towards the participation of people in the development

of the program.

So this was a project in which the students were participating and doing research

in the context of the project. They were not doing applied research as such

because they were all working on short term undergraduate papers. As I said,

Norman Fein's study of coca turned out to be a really key study since it is even

still cited in the coca literature. Richard Price wrote an undergraduate paper

which later got published in Ethnology, the anthropology journal. David Barkin

wrote an excellent paper on the Vekos trade economy and so on. The students

did outstanding work.

During the course of that summer, the Vekos situation had come to a crisis after

the massacre at Huapra, tensions were extremely high in the area. The

government, at the highest level of President Prado of Peru, reneged on the

promise to allow Vekosinos to purchase the estate. The situation was then very

acute. The people in Vekos were getting desperate about feeling desperate

about being able to purchase the estate. They had enough money in the bank

saved from the community farm cooperative enterprise to pay at least half the

cost in cash. They were very anxious about it, and very nervous that the landlord

who owned it, which was the Public Welfare Society of the city of Huaraz (the

regional capital), would try to reclaim it. In fact, they were already making

statements to that effect saying they would take the improvements that the

project made and turn them to their advantage. To hell with the Indians.

So the U.S. Ambassador came into this neju at this time in the early summer of


B: Who is that?

D: This was James Loeb, who was from Saranac Lake, New York. He was a

publisher of a couple of newspapers and had been one of John Kennedy's

political appointments to ambassador. Well Loeb was a very progressive fellow.

Incidentally, [he was] the man who brought soccer style kicking to American

football, a little known piece of trivia information. Loeb had been host to a

Hungarian refugee family in Saranac Lake, and had watched this kid kicking a

soccer ball and kicking it very far. Loeb said, "Have you ever tried kicking a

football?" The kid tried kicking a football and could do it very well. So the kid, I

think, went to Cornell as a college student, and was the first soccer style kicker to

enter the National Football League. There is that piece of trivia for what it is


Anyway, Loeb came to Vekos breaking the taboo that the United States State

Department had with associating with the project. Loeb brought numerous

people on his staff with him. We set up a program whereby he became familiar

with the program, the project, what it was doing, what the intentions were, and

what the problems were. He was very much concerned by it. Later on, when he

had an opportunity, he would steer other people up to become informed about

the project. One of those people turned out to be Edward Kennedy, brother of

then president John F. Kennedy, a young man who was twenty-nine years old,

and preparing to run for the first time for the U.S. Senate. Ted Kennedy was kind

of a young, playboyish kind of guy. [He] was very handsome and looked very

much like his brother the president. He arrived in Peru in the company of John

Plank, who was a professor of political science at Harvard University and a

family friend {a permanent guest, I guess} of a man by the name of Claude

Hooten who had been a dorm or college roommate of John Kennedy. He was

sort of a minor player in all of this at best. Anyway, John Plank however was a

specialist in Latin American politics. Kennedy had hired Plank to take him

around Latin America to teach him about Latin America. Kennedy apparently at

that time had dreams of being a Latin American expert. Upon his race to the

Senate, [he] was going to be able to claim foreign area expertise on the basis of

this. One however must recall that Kennedy failed Spanish at Harvard and had

hired somebody to take the exam for him. It was a great scandal as a matter of

fact, at that moment or later on when it was discovered when he had in fact

engaged in this kind of cheating behavior.

In any event, Kennedy showed up with John Plank. Polly and I were in Huaylas

and we got this telegram. There were no telephones into Huaylas. It got this

telegram from Hank Dobbins in Lima that said call me immediately from the

telephone Caraz. Kennedy is coming. I bolted out of my house and jumped into

the jeep. [I] drove down the road Caraz where the telephone was. I called Lima

and sure nuff, Teddy Kennedy was coming to Peru, and the embassy was going

to have him come up to the Huaylas within two days. They asked if I

would set up meetings for Kennedy with village leaders. The agricultural

extension agent, Navale Carlos Chechua, was to do the same at the other end

of the valley. Carlos and I would sort of be the tour guides for Kennedy when he

came up. Carlos was a friend. He worked in Vekos on and off as the extension

agent, and spoke quite good English. He spoke Quecha. He was from the city

of Caraz. So I met with Carlos and we decided what we were going to do. I went

back up to Huaylas, and I told the mayor of Huaylas and others that they were

going to meet with Kennedy. I went down to a couple of other places and got


B: Did they know who Kennedy was?

D: Oh, did they ever know who Kennedy was. The Peruvians had been ga-ga over

John F. Kennedy. When he was elected president, the election was a

phenomenal, success in Peru. The Peruvians were a million percent with

Kennedy. They followed his every move, gesture, and utterance. During the

elections, which was one of the first elections that the Voice of America actually

broadcast the results [[please finish thought]]. They used to come in very

slowly. It was very exciting listening to them because there were no predictions.

You had to listen all night long. It was like a horse race. It was very exciting.

This was also the time when transistor radios had first come on the market. A

few of the school teachers had these transistor radios. I did not have a radio.

They all had transistor radios. I remember I was at Vekos the night of the

election returns. A couple of school teachers, Lucio Vasquez and the others, had

transistor radios. They would keep running up to our room to tell us Kennedy is

ahead. They would run off and listen, then come running back to tell us [what

they heard]. Then finally we stayed up all night. When the word came that he

had won, we all went out and drank a lot of beer. They were all excited. They

were all excited because he was a Catholic, and they felt a cultural bond with him

as a Catholic, which speaks something of the cultural and social influence of

Catholicism beyond religion. They really felt this bond with Kennedy.

So here comes Ted Kennedy, the president's brother, to Peru. The Peruvians in

this supposedly remote, mountain valley were very well aware of who he was.

He was to arrive in Caraz at the old airport at 7:00 a.m., bright and early.

Everybody travels early in the mountains. So I drove my jeep down. This was

just one hilarious trip. I have never written this up. I have always kept saying I

have got to write this up, and call it Travels With Teddy. My jeep was having

trouble with the wheel. One of the front wheels kept coming off. It turned out

that the reason it was coming off was because that when I had taken it to the

mechanic in Lima, they had stolen a part off the worn hub (a hub that you had to

turn to get the four wheel drive). A round nut had been stolen off the thing and

used on some other vehicle. On my car, we found when we discovered the

problem in the Caraz mechanic's back yard, they had simply wrapped a wire

around where this nut should have been and put in a lot of packing to hold it on.

This had come lose. My wheel was literally unscrewing itself off the axle

periodically. There was no way to find another one of these nuts. It was a round

nut that went on the end of the axle. It held the wheel on. What was to be done?

The mechanic said, "The only thing I can suggest you do is to drive the car

backwards. Back up every once in a while, and that will tighten the wheel back

up." So this is the vehicle I went down the mountain road to meet Kennedy. I got

down there. I backed up, got my wheel nice and tight, and went over to the

airport. Kennedy arrived bright and early on the DC 3 that flew in to the little

Caraz airport. It is a spectacular flight. He came in right on the face of the snow

peaks. He is looking right at them. It is really splendid. It is an exciting entrance

down through the mountains.

So Kennedy got off on a bright morning in the Andean sunshine. He stepped off

the platform, and looked down at the base of the platform where we were

standing. All of the regional notables [were standing there]. There was the

prefect of the department that is the equivalent of the governor of the state. The

mayors and all these dignitaries are standing there. Kennedy burst out laughing.

He just burst out with this great ho, ho, ho. I was standing there, and I thought,

"My God this is going to be a disaster. He is laughing." Then I looked at the

prefect of the department, and the prefect could have been Lyndon B. Johnson's

twin brother. This man looked like Lyndon B. Johnson. It was just amazing.

Kennedy had stepped off the plane, looked down, and saw Lyndon B. Johnson

waiting for him at the bottom of the step. It was just hilarious. It went on from

there. The whole day was just full of things like this.

He came down. He shook the prefect's hand and so on. The next man off the

plane was John Plank. It turned out that I knew John Plank. John Plank had

worked with the American Friends Service Committee in El Salvador shortly

before I had worked there. Our paths had crossed in Mexico. I did not know

John was with Kennedy. I had no idea. So he stepped off the plane. When

John stepped down, I rushed over. We coma esta, and all this stuff. So

Kennedy was very chary of cooperating with the embassy. He was afraid the

embassy was feeding him a line or setting him up to see things they only wanted

him to see. So when Plank and I were giving each other abrazos, he turned to

John and said, "John do you know this guy?" John said, "Oh, he is an old friend

from El Salvador days." John said, "What do you do hear?" I said, "I am doing

my dissertation research. I have been here for a while, and I helped set up the

trip." John said, "Oh wonderful." Kennedy asked, "Do you have a vehicle?" I

said, "Yes, I have a jeep." He said, "Can I travel with you? Will you drive me

around." I said, "Sure. Why not," thinking of my wheel coming off.

Our first stop was to go into the town hall in Caraz, the city municipal hall where

we met with all these collected mayors from that region. We had about a hour

and one-half discussion with Kennedy about the problems in the region and this

sort of thing. Then the mayor of Caraz said, "Please go to my house for a little

refreshment." It is about 9:30 a.m. So we went to his house and sat around a

big, formal livingroom, a typical Andean, middle class livingroom. [It had] big

wicker chairs, and was very formal. [It was] arranged so that everybody sits

against the wall so you are in a big open space in the middle. Everybody is

around the room into the wall. There must have been about twenty people there.

The mayor is rustling around outside in the other room. You hear paper, dishes,

and all this clatter. They were just knocking themselves out. In comes a lot of

food and stuff. First came the mayor carrying this huge tray full of great big

tumblers full of scotch whiskey. [I am] talking about five fingers of whiskey in this

tumbler. It was a big glassful of whiskey. I am sitting next to Kennedy, and

Kennedy looked and me and said, "This is nice. It is scotch I believe. Oh my

God. It is 9:00 a.m. Do I have to drink this?" I said, "You better drink it all. The

mayor has obviously gone to enormous expense to provide scotch, of all things,

for everybody." About thirty people were having these great tumblers full of

scotch. We had not only one, but two of those glasses at 9:30 a.m. Speeches

were made with great flowery statements.

We finally got released from that. We dribbled up the road to the next town,

which is Hungay, another provincial capital. [It] is a little bit smaller than Caraz,

sitting at the foot of the beautiful mountains, the Huascaran. It was spectacular

scenery and a very beautiful little town. So we again went to the municipal hall. I

did not go into the municipal hall this time. I stayed outside because my friend

from Huaylas was with me, the mayor of Huaylas, and a couple of other people

that I knew. They wanted to talk to me about Kennedy. So I stayed outside.

They had a loudspeaker in the municipality, and they were broadcasting

everybody's statement out to the plaza. This was a loudspeaker, so a crowd of

about 1,000 people were in the plaza. This was still in the morning. Once again,

out comes the big tray of drinks from the Hungay Municipal Hall. I could hear

over the loudspeakers Kennedy saying, "What the hell is this?" [Laughter]. Of

course they all spoke English, and nobody in the plaza spoke English, so I was

translating what they were saying. They were served up something called

algaroboina, which is a drink the Peruvians make with a syrup made of mesquite

sap and pesco, which is the tequila of Peru. It is made out of grapes. It is grape

brandy; it is a lot like Italian grapa. That went down pretty smoothly upstairs.

You could tell everybody was feeling better and better, and speeches were

made. This guy, Claude Hooten got up and said, "I think you people are the

greatest in the world. You are the Texans of South America." How do you

translate that? What does that mean? My skill as a culture broker was really

pushed at that point.

Out they came, and we got back in the cars. We drove around through town. I

guess we drove up to Yunga Nueco, which is a pass between the mountains

between Huascaran and Huandoy. There is this tremendous pass between them

through the mountains. There is this beautiful pair of lakes up there, beautiful

glacial lakes, and a forest of trees, the keinhuile trees, which grow only at that

altitude at that niche. They are a kind of cedar with red curly bark. They are very

spectacular. We went up there and saw that. It is a spectacular ride just to go

up there. Then we went over the pass and saw the lakes. We came back down,

and then went up the road again to the next town, which is called Ranrahirca. At

Ranrahirca we kind of dipped into the village plaza, but we did not get out. We

went off to a nice place in a field. [It was] a little pasture area for a picnic. We

had all these packaged lunches that had been bought from Lima, big box

lunches. We sat out looking up at the snow covered mountains in the pasture,

and we had a very nice lunch. We got back in our cars and started driving up the

valley again. Kennedy said, "I want to talk some plain people, the typical poor

farmer." I said, "Anywhere. Just tell me where you want to stop." As we were

driving around, we came to where the road ran up the side of the valley. There

was a little farmhouse there. Behind the farmhouse was a man, a woman, and

some kids working with hoes in a little field behind their house. It was clearly the

farm family that lived there. Kennedy said, "Stop, I want to talk to those people."

He figured nobody had set them up or arranged for it. So we stopped, and got

out. I got out ready to interpret. So we went over to the farmer and walked out

into his field. We approached the guy, and Teddy says, "Ask him how things are

going." A penetrating question. [[Spanish spoken for how are things going]].

So the guy says in typical Andean Spanish (everything is diminutive) [[Spanish

spoken--please translate]] which means, "I am here with my little house, my

little wife, my little children, my little farm, and my little animals." Everything has

little in it. "Everything is just fine. We are passing this nice little week with this

nice little work." At this point, his wife comes up behind him, and starts hitting

him in the back with her hands, banging him in the back. She has a short-

handed hoe, which is typical of work instruments. She has this hoe in one hand

and is hitting him with all her might. She is saying, [[more Spanish--please

translate]], which means, "You bastard. You are always running off to Lima to

see that other woman. You leave me here with this rotten house, these sick kids,

in this miserable field with these sick animals." [Laughter]. It was just hilarious.

She was hitting him, so we backed away.

B: Did they know who you were?

D: No, they had no idea who we were. [Laughter]. We backed up slowly and got

into the car. We left. They were there arguing like crazy as we drove away. The

scene of domestic tranquility.

B: What was Kennedy's reaction?

D: We were all dumbfounded. He said, "What did you tell them?" I said, "I just

repeated your question." Anyway, we drove up the road and went to the next

town at Carhuaz and repeated the same thing. We were invited to the city hall.

We had drinks. We walked around town. We met all the officials. Everybody

was out. All along the road were policemen standing guard at "critical" points

along the road. At every little crossroad, there would be a policeman standing

there, and he would salute when we went by. Kennedy says, "What are they

doing that for? Why are all these police out here? Is it like this?" I said, "No, no.

This is just for you. You never see these people otherwise." So the day


As we were coming up to the next town, Marchara, which is the district where

Vekos is, we are still on the main road. Kennedy says, "Stop. I want to talk to

that woman." There was an older woman walking along the road with a tump line

lying around her forehead and back, carrying a load of firewood. So we got out,

and I talked to the woman. She barely spoke Spanish. So Carlos talked to her in

Quecha. Kennedy says, "Ask her what her biggest problem is." Another one of

those kinds of questions. So Carlos asked her what is your biggest problem.

The woman said in half-Spanish half-Quecha, "Our biggest problem is that we do

not have any matches." That is not what you would expect her to say. This was

a poor woman, with poor sandals and very ragged. Kennedy said, "She does not

have any matches. What is she talking about?" He says, "Why do you not have

any matches?" She says, "They have matches. The Americans will not let us

get them. The Russians want to help us, but the Americans will not let them."

This is 1961 at the height of the Cold War. Here is this peasant woman who

does not know anything at all about world politics saying the Americans will not

let them have matches but the Russians want to help them get them.

B: Did she know who he was?

D: No, she had no idea who we were. She had no idea at all.

B: Did she know you were Americans?

D: She would not know an American from an Egyptian. [Laughter]. It was an

innocent person. Where she heard that, heavens knows. Kennedy was just

flabbergasted. What can you say. It was another one of those things. Carlos

and I were just roaring with laughter. There was nothing you could do. It was

just right off the wall. Kennedy said, "What is this thing about matches?"

Matches in Peru at that time were a state monopoly. There was the

_, the state match monopoly, which is a residue of colonial times when the

colonial Spanish government controlled the sale of all utilitarian items, important

things like matches, playing cards, coca leaf, or tobacco. Anything like that, an

essential item or device was controlled by the state monopoly which had sole

rights to sell it. The Peruvian government had a contract with a Swedish

company that made matches. The Peruvian government sold the matches to

storekeepers who then resold them to the public. The storekeepers had long

been complaining that the price for matches was too low, and they could not

make any money. It was a controlled price, and it was not worth their while

because they did not make enough profit on it to go through the effort of doing it.

What a lot of storekeepers did in the area, at least when we were there, was

withhold the matches. They would take their stock and hide it in order to try to

force the government to raise the price. This is what was going on. This woman

had obviously heard somebody saying the Americans were stopping it. The

capitalists did not want it. That was sort of what was behind what this woman

said. She typically had no understanding of what it was she was really saying.

This was something she had heard. How do you explain this to anybody? We

tried to explain this to Kennedy. He was just shaking his head by this point.

Anyway, the day went on. We were exhausted by the time we go to Huaraz,

which is the departmental capital, equivalent to the state capital. There was a

monster reception waiting with all of the elite of the department there--the prefect

(the Lyndon B. Johnson prefect), his retinue of upper-class landlords, and all the

big shots of the region were there waiting for Kennedy. It must have been about

6:00 p.m. It was just getting to be dusk. We went to this reception, and they had

just pulled out all the stops. This was an elegant reception with hors d'oeuvres

that they had brought up from Lima, fancy pesco sour cocktails, and servants all

over the place. It was a huge display of goodies. We went in and there were

groups of kiddies singing songs and doing native dances. This was a huge

reception. It was very elegant. Peruvians can really put on a very splendid


Kennedy was really tired. He was starting to feel the effects of the altitude and

alcohol. He had been drinking since 9:00 a.m. Every other hour, he was having

all these cocktails. He was really pretty pooped. I said, "Man, this is going to be

tough, but you are going to have to stay here." He said, "Oh no I am not." He

walked out on it. He stayed there, took a drink, had one toast, heard one group

sing, snatched a couple of hors d'oeuvres off the table, took off, and went out the

door. Carlos Chueca, who had coordinated this stuff, was beside himself

because he knew this was a disare--a slap in the face, an insult, a personal insult

to the prefect. Carlos was begging Kennedy to come back. He said, "Please do

not do this. People are going to incredibly offended." Kennedy said, "I am not an

official person. I am just a private citizen." Carlos said, "But you are the brother

of the president. Everybody knows this. You look like him." Kennedy said,

"Look, I am just exhausted. I have got a terrible headache. I have had too much

to drink. I just cannot stay." So he did not go back. Carlos was running around

apologizing to everybody.

Kennedy was staying in this hotel called Los Penos, The Pines, which is up on

the hill overlooking the city of Huaraz with another one of these splendid views

down the valley. Los Penos was a beautiful pine paneled hotel, motel sort of

place. It was very lovely. Kennedy sat down on the couch and kicked off his

shoes. We sat there. I was trying to explain to him that people are going to be

really stressed and stretched out by this. He said, "Well let them. I am just

exhausted. I do not have to do this. I am not a diplomat." We could not

convince him to go back. So at this point, Claude Hooten reaches in and pulls

out a bottle of Ballentein scotch. They really went at it. Anyway, that was where

I left them.

B: Were the people really upset?

D: Oh, they were infuriated. They said, "Who does he think he is? How come the

American government does this to us?" Even though Kennedy was not an

official in the American government in any way, the fact that he was the

president's brother was everything. He might as well have been king or Prince

Charming. So they were not very happy.

The next day, he was going to go to Vekos, visit Vekos, and spend a day with

the Indians in Vekos. We had set up for him to speak to the people from Huapra

who had been massacred the year before, and to really see peasant problems at

the grass roots. We arranged for people from several communities to come, not

just Vekos. [They came from] Huapra and a couple of the other communities,

Shumay and Hualcan. There is a very good book on Hualcan by William Stein,

who was a Cornell student. He did his dissertation there. The next day he went

out to Vekos, and he got there early in the morning. The summer students were

there, Rich Price, Jane Fuer, and Dave Barkin. They were all excited. Jane

Fuer and Rich Price were Harvard students, so being from Massachussets, they

were really into it. We received Kennedy, and we took him around and showed

him Vekos. The people of Vekos, the community council, and everybody took

hold of him, and showed him around Vekos. We interpreted. He had a

pachamancha, an earth meal. It is like a clam bake where you bury things in the

ground, have hot rocks, cover it over, and it steams under the earth. Then you

uncover it. We had roast sheep, corn, potatoes, guinea pig, and all those neat

things you get in the Andes. We had him in the Vekos school. We invited a lot

of people from Huaraz to be there to be with him.

We ate this pachamancha. The Vekos community council leader, Celso Leon,

and a number of the other Vekos leaders, including Hilario Gonzalez made their

presentation to him, told them about the project, what had happened to them,

what their lives had been like, how they had been changed, and what they were

trying to do. The Peruvian government was refusing to allow the sale to go

through. Kennedy got very swept up in this particularly after the people from

Huapra talked to him, the people who had been shot up by the police the year

before. He got really into it, and he was very upset. He said, "These bastards.

You are shooting up these poor people."

We went on, and the day went on. It went very well. He went to pick up some of

the girl students to take them back to Lima with him. Being in charge, I said no.

Everybody was mad at me. They went back to Lima. The next day, Kennedy

had an interview with Peruvian President Manuel Prado Ugarteche, which is a

bask name. It is very elite. He is a member of what was the oligarchy in Peru.

Prado felt nobles oblige in the national problems of Peru. Kennedy went in to

visit him, and he was accompanied by Douglas Henderson who was then the

charge d'affaires in the embassy. Loeb by the way in the interim had been fired

because he was too outspoken politically. The embassy by the time Kennedy

got there, there was no ambassador. We just had the charge d'affaires, who was

Douglas Henderson. It turned out he was an old friend of Hombergs from

Bolivia days. Henderson, Kennedy, and John Plank went to see Prado. After

they were introduced, Prado said, "How did you enjoy your trip through the

Andes Mountains?" Kennedy said, "I had a wonderful trip, and I need to ask you

about the community of Vekos and why the Peruvian government will not permit

the sale of land to the people." It was his first question of Prado. Prado

dissembled and said, "I do not know anything about that. What are you talking

about?" We knew that he knew about it because there had been petitions and

things that had gone up. Kennedy insisted, and Prado continued to put off

answering and obfuscate. The Peruvian government at that time, under the

Prime Minister Pedro Beltran, was requesting ten million dollars from the U.S.

government to undertake studies of land reform. [[end of tape]].

Prado had dissembled because land room was creeping back into the agendas

of a number of countries. The request for ten million dollars to do land reform

studies seemed in line, but it was not really a serious interest in land reform as

everybody knew. Kennedy had been told about this. Kennedy said, "Well, if you

do not go through with the obligations in the Vekos project, which is a land

reform project, how do you expect us to fund ten million dollars to finance other

studies of land reform when you have got one that is nearing completion and has

clearly been a success? Why do you not go through with that?" He said, "If you

do not go through with that, I do not think we can recommend you get the ten

million dollars." Kennedy of course had no authority to say this at all. He had the

guts, or the nerve to say that. Prado was suitably impressed because here was

the brother of the president of the United States that if he did not go through with

it, there would be no money for that and other development programs. Prado

kind of said, "I will look into it." Kennedy said, "Well I certainly hope so. We will

keep an eye on this." That was his interview with Prado. We found out what had

been said later on. Henderson told us what had been said at the meeting. Mario

Vasquez and Carlos Monge, who had all the connections in Lima, immediately

began rustling around, getting in touch with everybody to push the sale of Vekos.

As a result, the sale of Vekos went through the following year. Had it not been

for that intervention by Kennedy, which we frankly had set up because we had

made an effort to educate Kennedy about the nature of the land reform problem

and the community Indian situation in Peru, he would not have said that. The

community did manage to make the sale of Vekos the following year on June 13,

1962. The sale was finalized, and that became the Independence Day in Vekos.

That is what they called it, Independence Day. They had bought their freedom

from serfdom. They had a big fiesta and so on.

The payment for Vekos was interesting. The price of the estate had been raised

enormously by the government. The original price of the estate was 750,000

soles (suns). Soles is the Peruvian monetary unit. In the subsequent years of

the project, the landlord kept re-evaluating the price of the cost of Vekos. They

were originally claiming about seven million soles instead of 700,000 soles. It

had gone up ten-fold. Of course the Vekosinos said, "We are basically buying

ourselves with this price. We are buying everything we own basically, that we

purchased originally anyhow. We have been serfed since 1595. What do you

want? We have been serfs for four centuries. Let us be free." So the final price

negotiated was two million soles.

B: How much is that in U.S. dollars?

D: I cannot remember what the sole was at that time. In U.S. money, it was not all

that much. I do not remember it exactly, but it must have been around $70,000

or $80,000--maybe not quite that much considering the size of the estate and the

people. You were buying the people. That is basically what you were doing.

What made the estate valuable was the number of people who lived on it. That

is true of all the Andean haciendas. It was not the size of the land, but the

number of people who were on the land who were forced to work for you for

nothing. That was the value of the estate--the number of people you controlled.

Vekos was a large estate in that respect. They purchased their freedom at that

point. That was sort of the end of the Cornell Peru Project. The project went on

for another couple of years but really not with any substantial input at all from the

project. Cornell just sort of backed out at that point. It was finished. People

owned their community. They were running their own community. The Peruvian

government had its own support program in place. It was finished. Really in

spite of all of the many problems, it had been a tremendous success. In ten

years, they had turned around a community that had been completely dominated,

oppressed community into an independent community economically, politically,

and socially. They were in charge of their own affairs, and running their own

affairs. It still stands today as one of the most successful things ever done by

anthropologists anywhere. The students were there as part of that so it was very

exciting to be there at that time.

About that time, I left and came back to Cornell at the end of that summer, fall

1961 and began writing my dissertation. Oh, that is where the rubber meets the

road, so to speak. Enough fantasy and having fun doing field work--the

excitement of being in all of this. So I settled into Itahaca, and began writing. My

wife was working as a lab researcher at the Veterinary Virus Institute at Cornell.

Her boss there was Richard Gutekunst. Richard Gutekunst [Dean, College of

Health Related Professions and Professor of Medical Laboratory Sciences and

Medical Microbiology] was the vice president for health related professions at

the University of Florida.

We went through that year. I struggled writing my dissertation, like many

graduate students. I had so much data. I was using computers, what were baby

primitive computers at the time. [I was using] a counter sorter, which is punch

cards and that sort of thing. The counter sorter kept eating my cards. I had to

keep remaking them. It was great fun.

B: So it took you two years?

D: No, actually it took me only a year. The first several months, I was giving a paper

at the American Anthropology Meetings. [It] was my first time, and my first paper

about my research. I did what a lot of students do. I wrote a very elaborate

outline of my dissertation. In fact, my outline was twenty-five or thirty pages long.

Every little detail was written down. I was starting to write. In about three

months, I managed to turn out about ten pages. I had this humongous outline

and ten pages of text. I was just stumbling. I did not know what to do. I had to

write a paper for the AAA meetings. I wrote a paper for the AAA meetings, and I

gave it. It was very well received at the meetings. It was a big session. I recall a

lot of people were there. Another person in the audience whom I met at that time

came up to me and congratulated me on my paper. It was William Carter, who

when I came to the University of Florida was to be my close associate. He had

just finished his Ph.D at Columbia. He came up to me and said, "Paul, that is the

best anthropology in the whole session." I said, "Wow." I was not used to that

kind of praise.

In any event, I had a lot of trouble. I said, "What am I going to do?" I realized I

had to speed up my deal. I decided I would dictate. When I worked for the

insurance company way back when, I had learned how to dictate reports on the

old dictaphone machines that the insurance company had. I realized that you

could talk a heck of a lot faster than you could write, so I went out and bought a

nice Sony reel to reel tape recorder. Polly and I had at that time saved up

enough money from Peru from being employed by Columbia University as a

visiting assistant professor to run the summer studies program for two years. We

had saved all that money. It did not cost anything to live in Peru up in the

mountains--five dollars a month maybe. We saved what amounted to then, for

us, a lot of money. I was still on the payroll for the project. I was still a fellow on

the project. So I was getting some fellowship support. Polly said, "Look. I will

quit my job. If you want to dictate, I will type the dictation. That way we can get

done." That seemed like a good idea. So we bought a tape recorder. I sat down

with my outline, and I dictated a chapter a week. We were done in about two

months. [It] is a strategy I can hardly recommend to graduate students who are

having writing constipation and cannot get the words onto the paper.

I discovered that the paper I had given at the AAA meeting was the real outline of

my paper. That was really what I was going to say. So I discarded a lot of the

old outline, and used the paper outline I had written for the AAA meetings. I

expanded those parts. So each week I would lay out my material that I was

going to discuss in this chapter. I would have my tables for my census material

and survey material worked out. I would have all the points I would definitely

want to make and the conclusions that I wanted to come to in each chapter. I

would lay all that out literally on the desk. Then I would pick up the microphone,

and I would just talk. I would pick through all the stuff I had laid out. It took me

about four or five days to dictate this to my satisfaction. Then I would go to the

next chapter. I would give the tape to Polly, and she would techlare as they say

in Spanish. She would type. It was just a rough draft. Obviously, it was

extremely rough. I always found I could write far more effectively from a draft

than originating material. Once you have got a draft, then it is easy to polish it,

change it, and add to it. The rough draft was done in about seven or eight

weeks. So I went from having spent three months writing ten pages, I did 400

pages in about two months. So I was basically finished in the early spring

[March] of 1962. I was about done.

At that point, the Peace Corp had started up in Peru. In Washington, Sargent

Shriver had become director of the Peace Corp and had high energy. This was

exciting times in the United States. I received a telephone call while sitting at my

desk one afternoon dictating my dissertation in January 1962. I picked up the

phone, and the phone said, "Hello Paul. This is Sarg Shriver." I almost dropped

the phone. I could not imagine Sargent Shriver calling me. I had a feeler from

Bob Texter who was an anthropologist who had been at Cornell. He was ahead

of me as a graduate student. He had gotten his Ph.D just before me. Bob had

worked in Thailand with the Larston Sharpe project, an applied anthropology

project. Bob had been hired by the Peace Corp at that point. As the Peace Corp

was putting itself together, it was also putting together a talent search, to reach

out to get people into the Peace Corp, staff, advisors, and so on. Bob was in

Washington. He had talked to me at the AAA meetings. Bob said, "Would you

be interested in the Peace Corp." I said I might [be]. I was not committal. So all

of a sudden, here comes this call from Shriver. Shriver says, "Paul, we want you

to come down here to Washington for an interview. We are going to set up a big

program in Peru. We need people who know Peru. You have been

recommended to us by several people. So why do you not come down and talk

to us? It is for a staff position on the Peace Corp."

I was really excited. So I hung up the phone, packed my duds, and went down to

Washington a week or so later. [I] was interviewed by everybody. I had a long

heart to heart with Shriver. They were really bending my arm. They wanted me

to drop everything and go right down to Washington, stay in Washington, and

then go back to Ithaca. I went back and I thought about it. I said, "If I go into the

Peace Corp now, I am not going to finish writing my dissertation." I could clearly

see that the Peace Corp was going to be consuming activity. You could do

nothing else if you were in it as a staff person at that stage. You would be

everywhere. You would be sent around to give talks. You would be counseling

people and recruiting. You would go to Peru to set up programs. I said I would

not get my dissertation done. I said to myself, "I really cannot take this job right

now. After I finish my degree and dissertation, I can take it, but I cannot do it

right now."

Shriver called up a week later and said, "Well, are you coming on board?" I said,

"No. I cannot. I have an obligation to finish my dissertation to the project. I

really cannot. If I do not do it now, I will never get it done. I have invested to

many years in this now to not do it." Shriver was furious. He said, "You are

missing this chance to serve your country. It is a vital issue beyond the ground

floor of this great development. A person of your talent should be here working

with us." I just thought what am I going to do.

B: There was no way they could take you later?

D: That is what I said. I said, "As soon as I finish this dissertation, which will be in a

couple of months, I will be able to go." He said, "We need you now. We need

you now. I am hiring people now. I want this program up and running this

summer. We need you now." I said, "Gee I really cannot right now. I am at a

crucial point in my dissertation. I cannot just leave it." So he hung up on me.

That was it. I really was upset. It was something I would have really liked to

have done given my interests in applied anthropology. Having worked in Mexico

in the very thing the Peace Corp was going to be doing, I knew that I had

experience that the Peace Corp needed. There were not many people around

who had done that kind of thing. In fact, the Peace Corp was in part patterned on

the American Friends Service Committee Program in Mexico and other places. It

was that kind of program. There were not many people who had been in that

kind of program.

About this point, Homberg was approached by the Peace Corp to run a training

program for the Peace Corp for new volunteers. Cornell wrote a contract with the

Peace Corp to train 100 volunteers. I was in charge of area training. They hired

me to do that. So I got to that with the Peace Corp anyhow--to train the these

volunteers. That was over the summer of 1962. Interestingly enough, one of the

instructors at Cornell, a visiting assistant professor of linguistics, was Martha J.

Hardman. I had helped Martha Hardman collate her dissertation. She had just

gotten married to her husband, Dimos Bautista, who is a veterinarian from Peru

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