Title: Washoe ethnographer Anita Spring transcription of taped interview
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Title: Washoe ethnographer Anita Spring transcription of taped interview
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Anita Spring 1-1

CHRONICLER : Anita Spring

INTERVIEWER : Meredith (Penny) Rucks

DATE : 1/15/99

TAPE : 1

SUBJECT : Washoe Ethnographers

TRANSCRIBER : Linda Sommer

AUDIT-EDITOR : Penny Rucks

Meredith (Penny) Rucks: This January 15, 1998... 1999.

R: Pjrid I'm in Dr. Anita Spring's office in University

of Florida in Gainesville6bA _A We are going to start

interviewing her on the Washoe ethnography project. And it's

always a good idea to start with first things first, so I'd just

like to ask you for a rundown of your childhood and where you

were born and.... [laughter]

S: [laughter] Just the whole story.-

S: :OK. I was born in Philadelphia. Do you need dates and

those kinds of things?

R: If you want. It's completely up to you if it's...

Anita Spring

R: -- ... ea--de. ut in ehe 1bus.

S:O Nineteen forty-two.-

-87 t >d I grew up in Philadelphia and stayed there until

1956, when my parents moved to nT yo_ t-f Los Angeles area

in California.

-Yes V -d.....

S: So....

R: ajY=ei... Lou were the oldest of....

S: Yes. I have two sisters.

S: COne is three years younger, and the other is eleven

years younger.

R: 'es-. -d I'm impressed with the fact that all three

women in that family are academicians, really.

S: Well, the sister who is three years younger really is

artistic in her temperament,...

S: ...'and was a toy designer for Mattel, was a high

school art teacher before Proposition,- ghat wac i.- ThirteenO:..



Anita Spring

&TEE^f^in California.

-nd currently teaches English as a foreign

language to international students mostly from Asia.

.S in Modesto, California.

S: The other sister is an associate professor of Chinese

language and literature at the University of Colorado..

-- Boulder. And I think that the reason all three of us

are really very much interested in this stuff is, -swel, my father
has a Ph.D. in chemistry4edidn't have any sons ~3-pi -

S: 4 I think it was the era for women to igr-y get a

good education.

R: We--ye .. 9e thing that's very consistent in the

oral history that was done several years ago....

S: Now, are yo- getting into the mike with/this, or does

R: -Vk. we're bck. And I wa oin to t pint that it

seems like your childhood... that your parents did place quite a


Anita Spring

bit of emphasis on schooling and that it's....

S: Oh, very much so. Yes.

R: I was struck by the statement you made that it never

ever occurred to you that you were not going to colle...

R: ... hen you were in high school.

S: Right. Well, at any time growing up, yes.

R: Do you recall when the first time that you knew about

anthropology or.... I'm not talking about considering it as a

career for yourself, but just, you know, were you a little girl

when you first had heard of anthropology, knew about

anthropologists, or...?

S: No. Tgg==-. I didn't know anything about anthropology

until, for some reason, between my junior and senior year

[college] I was home for the summer,...

-S_ ..don't remember what I was doing or why I decided to

take a course at the community college,..

e -And theat .

-69 < and that's when I took this P .on f the

peoples -cultures VgE- .. of-the-world i--inb class...


Anita Spring

^ at a community college during the summer at night.

I must have been really bored or something.


T_-- T l .II, I don't remember needing extra credits

or.... -treally can't imagLn-..

R: You don't remember being particularly drawn to the


S: I don't remember why I chose that. I hadn't had any

anthropology before. It just seemed interesting.

S: :Lnyfter I took that course, it just changed my life.

I went back to Berkeley...

S: ...?as a senior.

-Sf. remember going to Sherwood Washburn, the well-known

archaeologist at Berkeley, and sitting in his office and saying,

"I took this course...." He must have thought I was a lunatic. "I

took this course during the summer; I'm a senior this year. I

really think I want to be an anthropology major."

S^And he said, "No. You have to graduate in chemistry."


Anita Spring

R: Oh, so he said that, at. t ....

S: He not the chemistry department.

R: Right.

S: QTP iA ing a student, and I think also being female
--female, especially at that point--dun' ..- didn't question very

much those kinds of authoritative and authoritarian



S-----.h especially by very senior male professors. -.iS'o I

thought I had to graduate in chemistry. There was no choice.

~ut I did sign up for two anthropology classes that


R: So was this your last term or...?

S: My last year.

S4, J? And I signed up for another two anthropology

classes the following term.

S: So I had four anthropology classes. .Aad- s I recal)

tb were the Anthropology of Religion, Peoples and Cultures of

Africa, 94


Anita Spring

S: OK. So those must have been junior- and senior-level

classes. I don't remember which was which.

R: Right.

S: Probably religion was a three...

S..--h d... t- ousarlad...I-----Z-- hat they had. I

think hey e nr at that time. Now we're into thousans-

R: YR Ye

S: A-fr the ousnd African studies class. And then another
class was a culture change class that was a graduate class. It

must have been a five-hundred .-- ..a dfnd level.

R: Did you have to get special permission to get in,


S: Well, by that time I had three anthropology classes.

S: under my belt

.l- -- TesT. uood l1 i-!

S: rZ-.--K. So... and I did very well. I got A's in all of

s. 0 I cannot recall what the fourth one was...

R: Yes.


Anita Spring 1-8

S: ... at the present time. I probably still have the

notes from some of those early anthropology classes.

R: So do you recall that if you were drawn to those

particular aspects of anthropology at that time, or that's just

what was available that semester, or...?

S: Oh.:-. ..

R-:-WliJ k now. ....

S: WeTT7 I was interested in anthropology in general.

S.- So religion, Africa, culture change, .

.r---.~ you know, I mean, they were pretty standard, and

they would be central concerns. -

R: D -. p you think you thought at the time. .-r
,;;,A /tA4 )
t II when you're your chemistry major6 aa- I think you'ma CS-.-,

teaching chemistry in high school....

S: Yes. E.. Berkel uh to do pact

teaching.'. ( n

,S. e- -and take, I think it was two or three courses in

education if you're going to be a high school.l or if you'- Vs

going t-.:e into teaching. r..=.=. --.

Anita Spring 1-9

R: And that was your goal at the time.

S: Ai goal at the time was being a high school

chemistry teacher.

S: o I was t1ea1 J i nj i _-n doing my practice teaching

at Berkeley High School. I was taking senior level, you know,

organic, inorganic, blow-up-the-laboratory-typ lasses...

S: ... ~nd mathematics for my minor..

S: you know, advanced-advanced calculu .

S: ... ~umbers theory, as I recall, all those things. And

all of a sudden, I just got so interested in anthropology and in

the most central core stuff--ethnography and religion ande

I think... also tahi the principles of change, acculturation,

S: .7 socialization--all those kinds of processes, which

were just fascinating. A2dM .

R: As an explanation, you think, for what you were

observing in everyday life or as an opportunity maybe to look at

the exotic u?..- .I--a, d L "y, ...?

Anita Spring 1-10

S: Well, eL ad this.. Oh T know, T kw w.. li f he

y\pother courses was. t .wa .. although maybe this mrtnot have

been an ant. 1 might have n; -t

sL.--I-waes a course on prehistoric people .

S: .and all the cave art...

S: ... of Europe.

S: They had a visiting scholar from the University of

-A .---. who had written a book called On the Track of

Prehistoric Man.

: igz-=. .That was the fourth course.

: Yes,

S: 1 A hen I had this notion that I would go and see

all those caves,...

ipx S.

Anita Spring 1-11

---. which I did.

R: Oh, that's wonderful.

S: I had this notion that I would go to Europe after I

graduated a- a a arthistory courses, too--not
U Id had take a his Jry
only do a lot of the art museums, but also see all the
A QAe5 / &
prehistoric.., as many as I could, and I really managed to see a
large number of them...

S ...in France and Spai

S: southern France and northern Spain in the Pyrenee and

Lascau and all these great archaeological finds of that time

era ..

i r ^ s e -e v e ^ J- -
SS: ... c.-saEt=-f-the dawn of prehistc-rc. t1/- 0,

R: So this was hPb i after you graduated from


R: .iand before you went to San Francisco State?

S: Correct.

R: Sg-p.- So you that set up a goal, and you

followed .Ct-

Anita Spring

S: Yes. AaPd en I followed through. I actually have

followed through on almost all my goals. That's sort of a

consistent pattern. I mean, OK, you know, I wanted to be a high

school chemistry teacher. Now, some people have said, "OK. Well,

Ol]a.i. rT she only taught at Berkeley High School." But I lx4

taugb chemistry at Berkeley High School.

S: ... for a term; decided that I did not like it. OK. So

then I still was into chemistry....

R: Now, what didn't you like about it?

S: I don't have a real good recollection of...

S: ... hat, except that I thought that... I just

decided it really wasn't that interesting...

S: ... to do as a profession. It's not that I didn't like


R: Right.

S: I just moved to other things. I wanted to.. ...

t was a goal; I tried it. I found it mildly interesting.


Anita Spring

R: Right.

S: But I thought, "I don't think I want to do this."

R: Were there challenges.., do you think that there were

challenges that you overcame personally to become a chemistry

teacher, and then n h. once you'd done it and it

wasn't that stimulating for you anymore, that you moved on? I

mean, do you think it was partly the ...

R: ... achievement that drove...?

S: ... it was art of the achievement thing. I mean, for

example, there were tw females...

S-5-----. -nd four hundred males in my chemistry classes!

r- ... _-_i .... J

S: -niEeiani and-~me of those were premed -w

rwe- e. T n-mean.-a people were so cut-throat

.: /Berkeley has one of the preeminent chemistry

departments on the planet, ...-e...in. ly of American



Anita Spring

-S an, you know, it was a challenge all the way through,

although I must say I never thought of these things at that time.

R: But at the time do you think maybe, ;tjqErgf- that as

people were... I mean, because it must have focused quite a bit

of attention on your abilities that were unusual because you were

a girl, too. .

-"P-----...must li~v been. ...


S: Yes. Definitely. So -E.- that was my goal. I


--- .. only male chemistry teachers in my own career, and

almost all the chemists I knew were men,...

S: .. "like my father and all his...

S~.--... colleagues.


Anita Spring 1-15

R: Yes. Now, was your father particularly support i.'_or

R: ... ou being a chemist?
S: Well, he liked the idea of my becoming a high school

chemistry teacher, I think. M'1i..

S-xr t was sort of, you know, teaching, the feminine,

female... a career for women.

R: Yes.

S: And the chemistry... well, that was pretty neat...to

follow in his footstep

ed: io it's a pretty safe,...

R: Right.

S: ... nice thing...

.. for a daughter.

j -__.. to pursue. So it was sort of a combination of his
-FOS (f&<) 6-YD,
technical interest on the one hand and then kind o f-, l'd
always been in industry, although he did occasionally .taket.. 6-

Anita Spring

teach a courser-a.Tr .

->e once or twice taught a course (I don't know what

happened Ihat was...

_____ .- before my time. But teachingea profession for,.,~a


R: Right.

S: An lTs-- I thought of high school chemistry teaching

as something exotic,...

S ..? because I'd only seen men in that position. It's

not true, I don't think, and especially today. But at that time

period, it seemed...

: true, at least in my very limited experience of

having only seen male chemistry teachersg. anad nainy....

S: Once I started doing it, I didn't really find it all

that thrilling.

R: Yes.

S: OK. I didn't give up chemistry completely...


Anita Spring

-&----... and worked as a quality control chemist after I

graduated, in the laboratory to see what that was like..

R. Yes.

:&-= .and found that very unthrilling.

R- Yes. Yes.

S: I found it... I mean, the idea of quality control still

is something that intrigues me conceptually.

R: Yes.
d A shCM' /Y
S: OK. So, you know, an anthropology paper should have a
certain quality control,.

S-- .. the way the print looks on the page, the

paragraphs, the content, et cetera, et cetera--that is, the same

as testing a liquid or a powder for consistency of color, odor,

-y.S.ic, pH...

R: Well, the consistency of data is important, too, isn't


S: The consistency, yes. So it


S: ... .JS tied together. It's just that I thought that

working in a laboratory by oneself and then s-a=f dealing with
these kinds of colleagues.... I also did not like the other
w- t_ cq-^'
people so much--the people in the industry. They had a different

... that didn't really turn me on. .A^/

R: Can you think of an example, tke--..

JR- ... o describe what you mean of that?

S: Well, I-.- e~F- i w. Having spent, .y..ri;w, so much of

my life as an academic, like, when I go home...

<- ...? don't turn on the television

R 1 _ig______________

S: don't race off to the game.

R: Yes.

S: I don't kind of go to bars and drink a lot. I see young
'10 -,(I htf
people and older people who work in industry, ,aer- I'm involved

Si intellectual processes. They work in industry: they come home;

the television's on; they're going to the bar; they're going to

the game.... It's a different lifestyle.

Anita Spring


Anita Spring 1-19

S: adL-I found that a lot of these colleagues who were

doing other jobs in the plant,...

-;- ... even in the laboratory, it was just a job.

S: It wasn't a career.

R: Yes

'P ~uft i, i^.4-F a vocation?

S: Yes. ,E at that level.- -.

S: ... obviously,. i~ my father, as for instance, who

was an executive in the company,..

S: ... although he ran the laboratories ...

S: ...it was a career.

R: Right.

S: But as a bench chemist, as a chemist in the laboratory,

which is what you can do pretty much only...


Anita Spring

S: ... .wrhat-y --e n do with a bachelor's degree,...

R Y---M

S: ... it was a job.

R: Right.

i,9.- nsea. of....

R: Had you ever played with the idea of going on to

graduate school in chemistry?

S: In chem... no.

S: 'I did not like it...

S: .. that well. And once I saw anthropology, there was

no way chemistry could ever get me back.

R: Yes. I -ju wih you rn1ild really nrp m an a-it

iy--be---. r~ybe it is just serendipity, but what itgss that got
you to go to that first....

I... know, I wish I coul!d-7--o..

4f4- Y0. Ycs .

S: I probably... -a- do remember the book. I believe I

still have it [looking at book shelves in office]

R: Oh, that's great.

S: Elman Service's book.


Anita Spring 1-21

R: Yes.

S: I'll dig it up in a few minutes, but I'm sure it's

still on the shelf. I would never let go of it. eI ~vr ht ..

it was only a used copy. ['t3her

7I was so unsure of.

S'... of the topic.

S: .Aad-7LT was literally just ethnography...

S: ... f this group and that group, ~pr I just found it



S: Wonderful, wonderful. I don't remember why that

summer.... I would have to look back. It may have been the summer

that I was running day camps for the Easter Seal Society of Los



S: .I and working with handicapped and retarded children

during the daytime to get them in a play group situation, that I

needed something to relax myself...

Anita Spring

S: .;. from thinking about that. And that's maybe a reason

why I took that course.

R: Now, tell me about that work. Was that... is this

something that you had grown up with in the house? Is it an

example of...

R: working with'.

R: ...'people on social issues?

S: Oh, I see what you're sayi g.

S: it's really funny.

R: I mean, where did that come from?

S6.I s no


S: ...n -i.' I always had this notion that I could teach

people, and at first it was focused on children---. SI~Tf T'I

fact, there was an early newspaper article dk=t. I A -

doubt if I still have it. But I think when I was fourteen or

thirteen or something like that, I ran a day camp in...^ig_


Anita Spring

Oh, m.

S in Philadelphia (I must have been thirteen) in my

basement for children of the neighborhood, in which I did arts

and crafts i storytelling d music and those kinds of things.
And I just thought it was a very easy thing to do to run these

kinds of things.

R: Was this part of being an older sister, too, do you


S: Possibly, although ..

S: .. siblings will tell you that I was a terrible

sister; I...


S: ... pulled their hair or whatever I did. They have all

kinds of stories which I have no recollection of, of all the bad

things I did! The .

J^T s-/-- '

S: ~..they'd chronicled them.

R:- [laughter]

S: [laughter] They have a whole list. It's like, you know,

"Do you remember when you spilled orange juice on my hair?"

I sg, "What? I don't remember spilling orange juice on your


Anita Spring


R: Oh, that's great.

S: But they remember those things. ,4B anyway, e-mt

one summer I did that for at least a dozen children.

R: Yes. And you must have liked it.

S: And liked it

S: That was still in Philadelphia. That was the summer

before I left. The summer I first got to California,..

S: .. spent collecting and categorizing butterflie.

S:: next summer =-ran a. I was a day camp counselor at

a camp, and the next summer... oh, it was the next summer after

that. So I was younger. I must have only been sixteen or se...

no, I must have been seventeen th~f--an.. it must have been

between my freshman and sophomore year...

S: ... tat I ran the day-care centers, the camps,..

S: for the...


S: ... LA Easter Seal. I have the letter thanking me for


R: And you're saying between your freshman and sophomore

year of college, right?

S. .. .ne....

R: ou were young. Yo-- wern-o -e T m Ya, 'ou graduated

at sixteen.... ^

S: Sixteen. 1o. I wa.. couldn't bave benmore rthan--


S: -

S.- But it seems to mc I was you1ger when ran Lue tLw'

R: Now, which grade... do you remember which grades you

skipped to get through school that fast?

S: Oh, yes. .- just skipped the last part of the

twelfth grade.

R: Cg Because you were taking classes....

S: Because in the eleventh grade.... Well, actually, I
S: Because in the eleventh grade.... Well, actually, I

Anita Spring


Anita Spring

mostly just played bridge, .. 1!gsfhtcr]

.R: [1aughte-

S: ." as I recall. And we formed very delinquent social

clubs got ourselves out of class, because it was so easy I had

straight A's,...

S: ... and I played bridge...

S: ... for a term.

S: And then I thought, "This is ridiculous. Why don't I

just get out of here?"

S: And I had enough everything to get out.

R: =, =K. So you actually graduated early.

S: j I actually accelerated...

S: .7 .and got out, because I thought, "Another term of

playing bridge--I can't take it."

R: Yes. So did you... when you're combining these ideas of

being a high school chemistry teacher.... well, actually, I can

see that that does combine, the desire, you know, to teach....


Anita Spring

S: o. So it was a natural format/ion iL the teaching


S: Oh, by the way, my after school job or my job when I

was a student at Berkele..

X: --yes'i-rs

S^ .was to run playgrounds for the city of Kensingto

S: /after school,...

S: .. h3ias a part-time jo,

u kgw, to help pay for college. e'L .-

R: Is that like administering the parks? I mean, when you

say "run the parks," was....

S: Wellf> 'it- I would go to the school, and ad-zi=h .

I would prepare a whole program for all the kids who stayed there

after school.

R: I see. So you'd actually do... yes, do the program.

S: Yes. So I did all those programs.

Yes. Yes.


Anita Spring 1-28

S: So, you know, the day camps, the after school

S: ... T oeat < ,t was so easy and natural, and it

just was something I could do so easily.

S: t was relaxing.

R: Yes. Ae.ad!g but then the actual teaching of

chemistry was just not going to fill the bill?

S: It was in the same rank, Itik-... ow, LhaL -o ..

OK. I'll go out on a limb on this. I think that maybe it was

like, "Oh. Well, it's sort of like the same, isn't it?"


S: ,-AN I wanted this to g a career for life,..

S: ... nd it just didn't cut the mustard. In other wprds,

I would not have been content t- s aj kindergarten school

-" kindergarten...

_j -ea^

S: or elementary school teacher...

S: ... at that point,...

Anita Spring

S: ... -Pevef igi I was very good at it.

R: Right.

S: My family saw it as a very appropriate t 1 g...

S: ... for daughters ..

S: ... d for women....

R ---Yes.

S: to do.

S: fI just knew that it wasn't going to be satisfying

enough. WA 1I think the chemistry thing sort of fit a little bit

into that


S: 7And that once I got to see it and do it, it just wasn't


R: Yes. It wasn't hard enough or challenging enough or

different enough or....

R: s.Or g

S: Or glamorous enough or...


Anita Spring 1-30

S: ... anything.

R: Did ye-a E~f --- you want to travel, also? I mean,

has that always been something that you wanted to do?

S: Actually, quite the contrary.

S: s -iw-- ee er- en my family

moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles,..

R: Yes.

S: ... was so afraid to fly that my parents got these

ttEe stateroom tftg, whatever you call them, on train.... *

do 't think..- ---

S: o-- that the family wg,& fAross country .

S: .. on the train..

S: ... n... with these 4ij==e compart...

or rooms, whatever they were,...


S: .. because I was too afraid to fly.

R: Yes.

Anita Spring

S: Ad hen I crossed the country twice more by train.

S: [laughter] Aid=-theirfter that, E!9. that was the end

of that. I got _9 it.

R: But you really loved Los Angeles, didn't you? I mean,


S: Did I like it?

R: Yes.

S: At the time. It was a big relief after what I thought

the rather narrow views of the Northeast.

S: ?lus, the climate was a lot bette

S: o I thought that... and maybe it was just the schools,

but, you know, kids can be very pigeonholing. In other words, you

get put in a...

R: Stereotype.

S -T.. stereo...


S: Yes, the cliqu

S: Ar~ hat's how I saw that whole f.-.e f scene that I


Anita Spring 1-32

was in in Philadelphia. When I got to California, none of that

was there. So that was fun. And it was like a,..

S: .nyn k ,-n opening-up. Plus, things took place

outside, ..

d the climate was so, VE s, amazing.

R: Do you think it. especially for young women...? I

mean, do you think it had more of an impact on you as a young

woman in those years of the differences?

S: Yes, I think so.

R: You saw more opportunity?

S: Many more opportunities.

S: Yes. The Northeast, I thought, was very confi ing.

S: -''ve always felt that way ever since, that the West had

just a whole lot more openness in the way the people interacted

Anita Spring

with each other and saw things.

R: Yes, you speak of that, also. I was very struck by the

fact that you spoke of that, too, when you went back to Cornell.

I mean, you go back East to go to Cornell.

R: You're again struck by a rather flat and cold


S: Yes, very much so.


S: Very much so. Yes.

R: Even though you say it enabled you bury yourself in the


S: [laughter] Right.

R: and do very well...

S: You're rig

S- .. but -ent-. let me just say one thing...

... ::bout the chemistry, a1 thia -- ---nd all that

science and math. In a way I don't regret having..

S: ... finished in chemistry,...


Anita Spring

S althoughh it probably slowed me down a couple of

years, ct k in terms of anthropology, but, you know, not

more than a year or two. asf~ r htlesha sbi ydujkyi

ufeent fo\matem But the focus on science, the scientific

method, the nature of data collection, the nature of proof, and

then subsequently this quality control business that I just went


UF- YP^ Yes.

S: .-. are things that I think have always put me in good

standing in anthropology. I recall professors at San Francisco

State University, where I went for the master's degree after

those four anthropology courses at Berkeley, commenting on my

papers that they read the first term, [lawht-r] it dissolved

a~tearthb batathat they sounded or te-read like chemistry


-"----Oh-' rca!y

a -ay .

S: .. i _n .ke -1 ag... w at that meant is, there was a

clear statement of the problem,..

S: ... there was the methodology laid out' the tfw how


Anita Spring

do {A auE-
you're going to yQ- know--.,-whf.-t=a hrer.. what',the data, and

then there w t au-be-uff on the results. Well, we call ~4the.et

articles at the present time. And... laughterr_

R: Yes. Yes. rlaughteh1 That' right-, that's rght.

S: OK. But it really... the stauf i2gSreally laid ou ...

S: ... n that methodology.

R+--es .

S: And the methods worked P well for anthropology


S: ^'A^ I remember writing, ai w. one ahe papers

we- 2*-ma s4 "What is the nature of theory, and the

nature of theory in anthropology?" So-~ r-i mnw,---ad to specify,
what is a theory? How does one deal with it?

S: hat is a hypothesis.

j^- Yes.

S: ow does one use data? desi t was all this

very logical..

S: ... treatise with objectives a goals


Anita Spring

methodologies.and the data and then the results and a

RP: Ye .

S. ... tbe-. And so Whas. yattTR, I didn't have to

be taught that..

... within the discipline of anthropology.

R: And some people are never taught that. [laughter]

S: Oh, yes. Indeed...Indeed.

S: So in that sense, I mean, that was very grounde..

S: ... n the scientific methodology, and I just applied

it to anthropology. It always was useful. And then the chemistry

and the math was always useful because of handling qua1ia..

-faF quantitative data in anthropology. n Attd summer

seminar in quantitative anthropology that was funded by the

National Science Foundation,.. I don't know how many applicants

they had, but they took twelve of us, and put us in a mansion in

Williams College in Massachusetts, connected us to the computer
at Dartmouth, brought in all kinds of interesting people. There

were, I think, five instructors for twelve students--really quite


Anita Spring



6 2Andbr)ught in guests like George Peter Murdock, for

god's sake,...

R: Gosh.

S: ... and so forth.


S: And-...

S: __ gave us, .yrndow, early training TiT predat-
k7-- 4flg:-
reast a lot of the early computer. They taught us programming,

a--!littl- bit of programming-, ...

S: ... a-nd- that ind of stuff-M I remem... Jack

Roberts (J n ohn Robertswas one of the people involved in getting

that grant. And -tg .really keen on having somebody

coming out of a background in chemistry and math.

S: And, you ]kow, -rt using tedet in the service

of social science, so that really was intriguing.

R: Yes. So you a-tley. .. I- Lfea, Iyi-1- j-lly feel, to a

large extent, that background gave you a...


Anita Spring 1-38

R: ... huge advantage...

R: ...to get into that...

S: It did.

R; .- h' t .

S: And it still does.

R, ... program, which io wondeliful.

S Well, that... yes, thai- prgrm t-no_

R: That MFI must have been a terribly enriching

thing. To have come from a scientific background, get exposure to

the anthropological field like that, and you had done your Washoe

work prior to the...

S_^- What waa d of thLt Yes, I think, i '

~etZ-- -.... .-= t1rnei off, then backor]

R: -j3--. 'r ba.k. And you h-I said for the

first year, anyway, that your teachers at San Francisco State

were thrilled because your papers read like chemistry

experiments, but you had indicated that it didn't last. And I

just ...

R: wondered what you meant? [
R: wondered what you meant? [j.lgh*ea .

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S: Well, I... they were a little cut and dry,..

------ as chemistry experiments can be. Whereas,

anthropology I don't really think is so cut and dry.

R: Right.

Rf. So what it really did was sort of evolve into more the

anthropological style..

S 7, of writing....


End of Side 1, Beginning of Side 2


-. TheT-e only open till f-ive.

R No, we doI' Wc' e finL.

R: a We're back.

S: So the language of science is parsimony.

R: Right.

S: anthropology is a social science, and I

sometimes wish my colleagues would be a little bit more

parsimonious. [laughter] But it really was a transition t


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outline form. But, 7 qtiW, when you're really writing up a

scientific experiment, you're really very direct. I mean, there's

no chitchat in it.

R: Right.

S: And when you're doing an ethnography and when you're,

E _-ii- expounding on a theory in anthropology enamethig,

S it conilhd h'ave thi rcndlition., it could be tha- way,

we could look at it that ~L 's not as parsimonious i___:st;a --

I-t.-i.- presentation. That's Ighh 1 T...-. E1itt It's not that 14-

& didn't last. The methodology lasted, but I kind of evolved

into a more anthropological style.

R: Right.

S: And, well, of course, I was reading, y~aUk w, and

taking all mumnow historyrpd theory and 3t=fe

ethnography classes ... T

S c.-~.. nd methods classes and so forth. And so I was

beting- immPering myEslf. -.I ws immersing myself in the

anthropological literature, and I began, like all students, I


think, in discipline to think and write like the astaf I was


R: Yes. Yes.

S: So it's an evolution from that other style.

R: Now, writing up... and you made this point, also, about

writing up archaeology reports is more consistent with a

scientific approach

S: Well, yes, because, see, when I first started, I was

very interested in archaeology,'..

S -: z-nd I- --iy 2frcsi Led-a. museology. Yeunw, Fhere

was a small museum, the adetJ ana [sp-] Museum of


:.- .-. at San Francisco State. It wasn't called that then,

because yn Tgia-was the head of the department and very

much alive when I got there. AArdt was only named after him

after he passed away.

R: Yes.

S: But he is the one who directed all the field

excavations that I participated ing because thaf' wahat he did.

He was a California dirt archaeologist. Ytr5w, thought he

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was like a god 4laughte-r]-


S: ... at the time.

a Zou know how that is.

R: Yes. Yes.

S: And I dug a California Indian site, a mission site. You

know, he had all these sites going on. And then I got hired to

work in the museum and then eventually to run it.

.. 2Because they really didn't have a staff

y. ,Aa^-fo run it really meant doing a little bit of

curation of the collections and putting up some little exhibits,

like in cases, around the office,..

S -.-.-you know, in the hallways, that kind of thing, .

S: .. and maybe to have a special exhibit every once in a


R: But it was very... I mean, the idea of a... doing an

excavation, too, is very compatible with the scientific method.


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S: Oh, very much so.

: ---oen-.

R: Setting up a problem, doing it, and writing up results.

S: Well... yes, in that form. But the other thing that we

had to do was a tremendous amount of anatomy,

EL--nh, in nhyinal--a

-r-. .2. because, yukuw, at one point I think I could

identify any bone from the body or any fragment thereof between

humans, fowl.

S: .. mammals,

S: ... yo-u know, because all that stuff we handled ,-h

NW really had to know what part of the body it came from and

whether it was human or otherwise.

R: And at the same time you are getting courses... you are

getting steeped in sort of the more theoretical, cultural theory

as well?


Anita Spring

S: Yes. I had to take, yr6gk w, the standard program -,

m.-. .......


ginning with a concentration in archaeology, but a~a-)

thi- y n T ry, history and theory of anthropology,...

c-----. ~ which I took from Diane Lewis .s wh4 after went

to Santa Cruz. She's retired.

R: So you did have an early instructor who was a woman...

S: Yes.

R: ... anthropologist, even though....

S: I had two.

M 7in fact, I had two at San Francisco State. I didn't

have any at Berkeley, although, of course, there were a few.

Laura Nader was there at the time and a few other people. But it

was just the luck of the draw &a-&.

,S -. Z so-4a-fth.'But at San Francisco State, Diane Lewis

was a full faculty member, and I had a course from Bonnie Keller

~6 whom -r.. I thought g was a full faculty

member; I didn't realize she was not.


Anita Spring

R: Yes.

S: She was some kind

S: ... .diunct-i

S: (And I don't remember any other women there.

R: So at this point... while you're a student at San

Francisco State, at F=-pe--La... do you... are you aware of

any particular barriers to you as a woman in the field?

S: As a woman in the field... yes. Well, cau j.kw, those

archaeologists are....

S: Thks -rwW---thviS a very male-oriented, California


.-. because you have to really move a lot of dirt, for

one thing. These were big.-you-eno, shell mounds and..

R: Right. Right.

S ... and that ki-nd -ofsf 4 So you really were actually

shoveling a lot. [laughter]

R: Yes. Yes.

S: And I never forget, I put my pick through a skull once,


Anita Spring 1-46

[laughter] because we were just shoveling and shoveling. Ad-you

knefy So I had to learn how to use the pick and the shovel. And,

of course, the comments from, youkow, the male faculty and male

students. You know, I'm always been a, --a knw& fairly petite

person, so...

S: ... listening to these comments. But- N 1 Tu,

never".i was so naive, I never thought of any of this stuff as



S. ... you know, harassment at that time.

R: Right.

S: I was just so happy to be doing it.

R: Right.

S: And people, I guess, weren't bothering me that much


R: So, no, it must have... it sounds like that you kind

of... water off a duck's back...

S: Yes. Yes, well, it's not my fault they're crude people

or making.

*6-^ ../ those kinds of jokes. I'm interested in the topic,

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-it's not my problem that they talk funny like tha


44: -So there was a lot of that in the archaeology. I do

remember that.San Francisco Statej h l., I do not know this

for certain, because I haven't thought about it ever, but it's my

recollection that there were a significant number of female


R: Yes.

S: And certainly after chemistry...-

-Y-, [ldnter]

S.---I mea ..

S: .. .with, pOow, two... T I-an, youn__.w. By the

time I got to the senior chemistry courses, t-r'T ur .er L_ s

there was me and a couple of Asian women.

R: Yes. I can believe that.

S: And that was it!

R: I can believe that.

S: They were all men. All the professors were men.

R: Yes.


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S: You know. There were a few more women in the math

classes. I don't remember any female professors.

RPr-c ht. -

S: > at all. The women... the education courses was

woman professor.

S I just thought that's how it was.

R: Yes.

S: OK. So by the time I got to anthropology and, y-htW

walked into a class, and obviously there were other female

students. I don't remember whether they were 20 percent or 40


S: ---I meanIrHn. struck me as a huge number,...

.7 compared to the rest.

R: Were you picturing yourself at this point as a

professional anthropologist when you're in San Francisco State

with getting a master's degree?

S: ILt.i. I don't think so.

R: Yes.

S: I don't think I knew where I was going at that point.


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R: Right.

S: QK eecausc t-here-w er... _ad I'll tell you the

projects I worked on. There were a number of people who had gone

to San Francisco State University who were doing various things

around the Bay Area as anthropologists, or they were using their

anthropological training--and thee wre only master's degrees

S: .../to work in social serviceso=r whatever they...

archaeology, whatever. So I really thought, we-ll.-. -yu nr w,-I

gq gssi-.w~ ,-fF1 maybe I would do something like that. I


de really conceptualize it. I don't believe that I had

the notion that I wanted to be an anthropology professor while I

was getting the master's degree.

R: Right. Right.

S: I don't think I had conceptualized that at all.

R: Right.

S: OK. I did know that I wanted to do fieldwork. And I did

two major projects. The first one was as part of a tri-etht!. 3

this precedes the Washoe.


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S: The second one was the Washoe.

-- Ye-os.n -

S: e first one was a tri-ethnic study in San Francisco


R: Now, how did you get recruited for that? 90-was hat

.t.-.-.... .....

r: bOr are we going to get to that?

S: Yes. We'll get to that. Of Anglo... or it's white,

Hispanic, and black welfare populations...

in San Francisco. And the6 e turned on the state

and 9 national 4 discussion about the roles of fathers in

these families. And were people trying to hide their presence?

Was it better for the state to give the money to the women?

Should they terminate payments if a man showed up?

R: Right.

S: I think these'...

S: .. .were very political and politicized issues.

R: Yes.


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S: Well, I didn't really understand all that stuff at the

time. However,s.

a man named Jim Hi h' rE .. who

was on the faculty, was one of my advisors at San Francisco

State. Z4Ae later became dean of the... i -sschool-

or the program in ethnic studies there. Jd W was a Japanese

American. Anyway, he and his family had been interned during

World War II.

R: Did you know that at the time?

b t._---- .t ..

S-: Yes, I did.

: ---si o2 that was 4 ..

S ..
very.-R casual guy and pretty interesting.

-R : V^ ms _- -- -

S: So I got real involved in the Japanese community.

J ~htd I'd had Japanese roommates and et cetera, et


Anita Spring 1-52


Anyway, he had been asked by sQa .. Fred Schlamp

,a 'and another man whose name escapes me, who were the social

psychologists and sociologists who were working on the project,

if he and his students would do the ethnographic...

R: Oh, what an opportunity.
Se cvt-
S: ... side of it. That was one. 3V;, I had taken a course

and gotten very enamored with the methodology of visual

anthropology. I took the course from John Collier Jr

y w. whose father had been the commissioner of Indian


R: That's amazing..

S: John Collier [Jr.] was teaching at the university... at

San Francisco State University. OK. And I cannot recall whether I

was taking the course simultaneously with this field research or

I had just finished the course, but I used the techniques to film

and photograph and map out hotographically the community I did

the black community at Hunter's Point, which was one of...

R: Right. I know....

S: ... the very, you know, down-and-out, I guess, sort of


Anita Spring

S- area in San Francisco,...

S: ... ery low income, an obvious setting for welfare

families s-p that',..'

S__-.. i .- ut, also, tremendous violence.

S: ... within the community. So....

R: So you went into that community?

S: I went into that community and photographed and got to

know people in the community....

R: Did you do the ethnographic part of it...

S: Yes. Yes.

R: ... as well?

AR: Did you go in as teams, or I mean, how did you feel

safe doing that?

S: I never felt safe, at least at the beginning, until I

met some families. And then I would just go and hang out in their

houses. Of course, I felt safe in their houses.

R: Right.


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S: On the street, I mean, these kids had chains....

R: Yes.

S: I was very gutsy.

R: Yes, you were. I was.., yes.

S: And as I look back at these photographs, somebody like pfut

t walking into... I mean, it's really hard to conceptualizI


R: Well, it is.

S: ... a really, rta=k=a w, down-home, urban, heavy-duty,

violent neighborhood. I just did it.

R: Just sailed in, like you assumed....

S: Tha .... L nt, aere was the anthropologist; she was

going to do this stuff.

R: Now, were you coached in any way on how to deal with a

situation that's potentially hostile? I mean, you were in a

potentially hostile...

S: Not really. Not really. See, the other people were

doing Anglo and Hispanic, and it wasn't so hostile! I mean,


R: How did you get picked, or did you pick... I mean....

S: Oh, I probably picked it.

R: You probably....


Anita Spring 1-55

S: Because I just thought that was... it really

interesting, and...

S: ...l had more interest in the. / black communities.

I don't know; I thought it maybe it was harder. Maybe I picked it

because it was harder.

R: Did you have questionnaires?

S: How did we work? Well, no, we didn't have

questionnaires at all.

R: Yes.

S: We were really using very standard techniques like

participant observation.


A~ 7nd I would actually go... I wanted to do the

photographic techniques of mapping the community, which I did. I

still have thoseeLa-5 o

R: Because it seems to me...

R: ... that the photography adds yet another dimension

that's a potential... I mean, talk about not being able to

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maintain a low profile.

S: Oh, it does.

Anyway, yes. We did the participant observation, L'2 there's no

"we" in the sentence. I did the participant observation in the


R: How did you get there? Would you take a bus?

S: No, I drove.

R: OK. You drove. And then were you concerned about where

you were parking? I mean, these are real real nuts and bolts..

R: ..- questions.

S: Oh, yes.

R: So you'd have to find a place just to park.

S: Yes.


R: And you worked that out yourself somehow.

S: Yes.


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R: OK.

S: Yes. So I just drove. I lived in San Francisco;..

S: ? I drove to the neighborhoods; I parked the car.

S: ? started out by taking photographs...

.,Pt_ yes.

S: .. and being on the street.


2I knocked on people's doors; I tried to meet them.

R: Yes.

S: You know, I realized I was dealing with really a very

different culture.

Very lower-income,..

.. African-American populations. They were very

separate. .

f .- from the rest of... from other populations,...


Anita Spring

S: from middle-class blacks, from whites, and...

S: .- ahd. f .... And the neighborhood was down and


R: Yes.

S: I mean,...

R: So you were able to....

S: ... the housing was substandard, and it was terrible.

R: And you did define a neighborhood.

S: Definitely.

R: Yes.

T Yesieiy.

S: And then I had all kinds of little photographic

techniques within the households and the families. I particularly

focused on one or two families. It was hard to do an entr6e. I do

recall it being very hard,...

R: I would imagine.

S: ... because re wa Lbiun g

jhe I must have been twenty-one or something like that,



Anita Spring

R: Well, you looked a great deal like.... [laughter]

S: Obviously, looked a great deal like that picture. And,

you know, knocking on people's doors. They just... you know. I



S: ... at all.twl~". e+p ec- -_t a r

R: Right. And that might have been the....

S: YeBn-knrnrh..- but I was very serious.

R: Yes.

S: So I ... h- cwj when tz' ... there's a publication.

I have the publication...

S: .. that's part of the book. I've never been able to

get a copy of the book, but I do have the two chapters.

R: Really? Yes. Yes.

S: I tried to track it down when I came up for tenure and

promotion many years ago. [laughter] Could never get a copy of it

for some reason.

R: So that's quite extraordinary, isn't it, and it's as an

initial student... I mean, a student in ethnographic technique...


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R: ...o actually be in the... in a field like that,...

S: Yes. I a -lly ...

R: ... is really quite....

S: I did not think of it at the time,...

R: Right.

S: ~.F- .. Maybe it... it was just pIsday


R: Yes.

S: I do remember the first time this one kid came at me

with chain that I felt fearful.

R: Yes.

S: And I have a picture of him, of course...

S: ... carrying the chain.

K. [laugnter]-

S: [laughterj-

S: I wasn't fearful... that fearful that I didn't take the

photograph! Can you believe it? I mean, what a nut!

R: Yes.

S: You know? Think about it.


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R: Well, how did you... d3 ia ^- =, h== = y --think

that you got people to cooperate with you because they understood

that this was to be...?

S: No. They didn't know what I was doing.

R: Had no idea.



S: I just think that the ones who did cooperate with me

thought it was interesting. Didn't know who I was, really.

R: Right.

S: But they didn't see too many people like me coming

there. I wasn't threatening.

R: Right.

S: I would go sit in their houses. I would talk to them.

R: Right.

S: A lot of them were bored. I mean, a lot of people are

really bored, you know? And It/jy [laughter] I think that part of

the reason that anthropologists are accepted in many places is
they re a novelty in and of themselves.

R: Yes.

S: You know, A people M! .1 r~wyo A J may be, you

know, shelling pine nuts. They JAUsit there and chitchat with


Anita Spring

you while they're shelling the pine nuts ...

S: C. it's interesting.

R: Yes.

S: It's as interesting to them as they are to you.

R: Well, and also, you're interested in them,...

S: And you're interested in them.

R: ... which is... yes!

S: Yes. And besides... I mean, they had kids, and maybe

they thought, &tAno ",here was someone who was a student, and

maybe this was a good role model for their kids,...

R: Yes.

.. o all....

R: So you didn't say... you didn't come right out and say,

"I'm collecting this data for blah, blah, blah." You....

S: I probably did.

R: Yes Ye

ro a

R: So they understood it had something to do with welfare,

you think?

S: I think tt t .tfnhya\. Vy no. I think they

understand that it something to do with San Francisco State...


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.7 and that I was a student there, and I had my...

part of my work for my class was to go talk to people.

R: Now, how often did go? I mean, did you go into the
neighborhood? Do you remember?

S: Oh, a lot.

G ~ t.

R: Was this over the course of the semester or...?

S: *4P I don't remember at this point whether it was a

semester or a year.

R: Yes.

S: But it seemed to me that it was at least once or twice

a week.

R: Yes. And what do you remember being the most surprised


S: I managed to eat dinner while flicking off the

cockroaches on this one meal. I'll never forget it.

R: Oh, so you ate...?

S: They invited me.

<',,7?And so I did,...and I'm gCi, "Oh, my god, the table


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has cockroaches on it. I'm going to eat this meal." It tasted


R: Yes.

S: That was a problem. But so I had to overcome -

R: Yes... well, that's a big one. [laughter] The food is a

big one, because af L ... it is true that if you're


S: I've now reached the point where I wouldn't do that.

But as a budding anthropologist\ ...

S: ...- thought stuff like that was necessary. Now P\&

to do it or whatever, I don't hesitate.


S: 2But at that time..

/ .\s-. thought that was the thing to do.

R: Yes. You had to eat that food. My gosh.

S: Yes.

R: Well, do you remember being surprised by any of the


Anita Spring

conclusions, though, that came out?

S: Oh. Yes, I was surprised by a lot of things in that

householdbgein/ er f ~ag~o/ One Aj4. in particular, I

focused this one household I spent most of my time in. The woman

was blind. And I used to go and sit with her.

s -

/ and watch her interaction with her. fAQ husband

and with the children. Now, she may have accepted me beckWAshe

couldn't see what I looked like.

R: Yes. Yes.

S: And, u Iw,/?this family really welcomed me

into their home.

R: All those signals you don't know you're giving people,

too. You knows.

S: Y

/ it's a whole suite of things,...

A .< isn't it? That's very interesting.

S: They really welcomed me into their home.

R: Yes.

S: I was shocked. The father did a lot of funny things,

like there was a little girl, and I think at one point I realized


Anita Spring

that he kept buying her clothes because he didn't do laundry.

R: Oh.

S: And that I came across in their house a huge pile of.C/ 01

u n there must have been like fifty dresses .AAthat were

all soiled and ripped and everything,...

S: ... because he didn't know how to do laundry or didn't

want to do laundry. So...

R: Right. Right.

S: ~/jNhis.A There were a lot of really unusual kinds


S ..-.ae. .

iat's quite...

R: ... that's quite so

S: That they're....

R: So these were black

S: I developed all the

be happy to show you the


and white? I mean, the....



Anita Spring

\J/ n k OY<5sa
S \ and printed them and used them as Wqar zhz

tests. I had been doing culture and personality studies by this

point, and so I was feeding the photographs back to people and

having them expound on.... I would take these.... A&It one

point I took photographs every five minutes, no matter what was

happening, of things to "AyJ record what tJAA E J/1j/

happened in daily life.

R: Yes. All right.

S: You know, they made that -~ g American Family that

was a million hours filming this one household?

R: Yes. I vaguely recall...

S: Yes. I've never really seen anything like that

S: ut it was in that vein of .

..-. -ase studies, ethnography, and using the


S: .. technique. And then also collecting data for this


R: Yes.


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S: I did manage, as a comparison, to get to some white and

Hispanic households...

S. .in other parts of the city, and they were

completely different.

R: Yes.
S: It was a different feeling, ypunY, very, &yLA

different kind of scene. And that helped me put that even in

context a bit more. So that was that first project.

R: Yes.

S: And the second one was the Washoe.

R: But that's actually quite a sophisticated project for


S: Well, now that I look back on it....

R: Yes. And when you said you did these photographs where

you were do....

S: Yes. I just had the idea to do all these things. Nobody

was telling me to do them.

R: So this wasn't part of John Collier's....

S: No. He had suggested... W- the mapping .. .eta r~ ,n.


Anita Spring

S: YeU-nOw, f you read...

S: pick up his book, Visual Anthropology, it's now in

a second or third edition or something, 'I- Lo ~t e

S but anyway, I can probably dig it up here.

R: Yes.

S: I'll do that afterwards. I'll make a list of some of

these things. 6i wt, % b e has all these techniques of /tAbddPhwt

systematic filming, mapping out a community, all those kinds of

things. But in a way that's all theory. You know what I mean?

R: Yes.

S: Theory and methods.


51 7ou know, you read it in a book and.

S..this and that. But I had the idea that I would do

those. iv. would put them into practice, wlae4- I think students

should have those kinds of ideas.

R: Well, sure.

R: Iut that's really the crux of what we're trying to do


Anita Spring

here, is really bring -t.. what happens when the theory and

the methods that you get taught in school hits... the rubber hits

the road, so to speak,...

\ S.yR9 .Right.

R: ... in your first field experience.


R: nd does this work, or doesn't it? And if not, why not?

And, ...

g .

-R: ... you know, what happened after that?

S: \thpJ so/a So maybe it's good to look at

that, because that precedes .

Oh es

S: ../ the Washoe

S: And the archaeology stuff, which was in the field,

digging the sites,..


S: >. that comes first. The...the welfare study comes

... and then the Washoe stuff comes.


Anita Spring 1-71

R: One thing I wanted to ask about the archaeology, and it

just struck me while I was just looking at sort of a


... a very rough chronology of what you've done, was

that if the archaeology.., somehow you didn't find your way...

you did find your way back with your intense interest later in


~L4 .. because material culture... after all, that's what

archaeologists do, is try to reconstruct whole cultures and


R: L from these symbols that are left behind 60tLA&ewf

It seems like a lot of archaeologists don't acknowledge it, but

what they're doing is working with symbols.

R:- ... or making symbols....

S: Yes. Oh, and the other thing is that I didn't say

enough about the museum part.

R: Yes. Yes.

S: My first thought was that I would use chemical

Anita Spring 1-72

techniques to preserve artifacts.

R: Oh, great! So that's the bridge.... That's... yes.

S. 0 ....

R: at's wonder....

S: K?

R: es.

S: Th t...

R. Yes

S: ... I tried the laboratory, and then, you know,...

R: Oh, I can see that. That was great.

S: ... that was so boring..

S: d the people were, iukyJw, "It's just a job,

ma' am."

R: Yes.

S: But here was, you know, all these... of the world's

array of artifacts.


S2. and contemporary crafts and so forth. And so the

idea was to, "uA put things back together again and coat

them with things. I had this idea of, A... well, I

guess plastics were just... /AJ y. A and these clear-coating

Anita Spring 1-73

things, and so I piddled around with tA not very successfully,

bV, 'suo noy\ .. O these emersion baths that you could

preserve things is. I had that..

S: idea.

R: Oh, I can see that.

S: Yes. I had that idea.

R: That's great.

S: And that was fun. And then I got to go to the De Young


i/*\ in San Francisco and take anything I wanted--any

thingsY ..


S: .. from their ethnographic collection and bring them

back to the museum. So I took a lot of South Sea stuff and


R: Now, to what purpose? Fo ?

S: To make exhibits.

R: Oh, to make exhibits. OK.

S: 1-~ didn't want the

"\Of ^Oh!

Anita Spring 1-74

jAA These were not on loan. They were just cleaning out


R: So you got to do this? ... basic.... Oh, how great!

S: It was pretty fun.

Y .

S: Yes.


S: W fi sI really thought that I would do this

museum preservation stuff,..

S: ... a little bit of archaeology.

S:L OK. And then at one point, John Adair fwas a

professor there, and he thought that he would send me to do a

restudy of his Zuni t silversmiths.

R: Whoa! This is at San Francisco State?

S: Right. This is before the.... This...

R: OK.

S: I think it predates the Washoe...

... njust very slightly. And because I had, A"Actdd l
the museum stuff, the chemistry, the archaeology.... Of course,

Anita Spring 1-75


R: How did that come about? I mean, were you taking a

class from him and...?

S:\ Yes,


S: Definitely.


S: d..

R: And you're still looking.., since you're a master's

student, you were looking for a thesis project ....

S: I was looking for thesis, and he.

pqA .7 thought maybe I would do the... his restud.

S': dK / f the Zuni silversmiths.

R: Yes. Yes.

S: And do you remember his more recent... his book? He had
Itlt LooiyoC-A <-(LJC/IL tj&U&l o FMklAun
done the Zuni silversmiths, and then he did.... B! a- a

@o he took me...

S: ... to this woman (I don't recall her name), her house

in San Francisco that was sort of organized sort of as a museum,

Anita Spring 1-76

as it were. And she had stuff from the Southwest collections--I

mean, drawers full iti t-tAl


L A were looking a= th-at 1 ktnr- of do an exhibit. I

think I did some of these exhibits. I do have photographs of

these exhibits...

R:_--:-Tes es.

S: ../that I did. And so I did one exhibit on it. a3:

hien I made a trip to New Mexico to meet some Zuni silversmiths,

and I sat in....

R: Did you get money to do this, or you ju t...

^ : W ao-- o .

R: -...you just did it?

S: No. .. .J was not moey attached to that,.han I


S>.. visiting a.... & friend lived there, and I.

S: ... went there and...

R:a-- ps. j t n e r .

S: .?was able to do that.

R: Now, at this point, just to interject here... at this

Anita Spring

point, are your parents going, "What is she doing?" Or are they
.w'o e-
interested in what you're doing, or what ro do they have...?

S: Well... yes, the role of the parents.

R: Yes.

S: [laughter] Well, let's see. For my undergraduate, my

parents had the idea that I needed to pay for a portion of my

education. Let me just say for the record that when I started at

Berkeley, the tuition was one hundred dollars a term!

S: d people could actually make that amount of money

very easily. [laughter]

R: Yes. Yes. Yes.

S: I mean, it's just extraordinary how things have.... -

R: It is extraordinary.

S: I realize toney/sAtyouykAo if we do tke inflation

ftg But nevertheless, you cannot get to a point where you

could easily make a0= ___1 e c"

R: Not to get an education of that quality, if you could

get in for that amount of money

S: Yes. But still, my father, in particular, had this
A s.
notion, because he had... of course, had struggled all his. u

kaew, for his education, that I had to contribute. So I had to


Anita Spring 1-78

work in the summers, and I had to have a part-time job during the

year, which is why I ran the after school playgrounds and..

S: .:?had the day camp. It wasn't just for fun and games;

it was to...

S: ... make money, but...

S: also...

to help pay for col%. -

End of Tape 1


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