Oral History Cover Sheet
Narrator: Bob Steck
Interviewee: Hezekiah Goodwin
Tape #41 A&B&C
Place of Interview: (24?) Dugway Road, Lime Rock, Jan. 14,1986
Summary of talk: family background in Lime Rock taken from tape and “The Goodwin Family of Hartford, Ct.” Revolutionary War ancestor, ancestor in War of 1812, down to present day, the Depression, the iron business, Barnum & Richardson, Lime Rock School and Salisbury High School, farming.
Side B: farming, logging, anecdotes of his youth, cattle buying, changes in Lime Rock, immigrants, changes in Dugway Road, winter of 44/45, creamery, beef prices, deregulation, iron industry, Post office and general store all closed down.
Side C: railroads, Lime Rock town gone, work opportunities, politics, American Revolution, Civil War and WWII.
Property of the Oral History Project, Salisbury Association at Scoville Memorial Library, Salisbury, Ct.
This is Bob Steck interviewing Hezekiah Goodwin at his home on Dugway Road in Lime Rock, Ct. on January 14,1986. (At the time he was living in the first house on the left just beyond Trinity Church.)
BS:What is your full name?
HG:Hezekiah Erastus Goodwin.
BS:How long have you lived in Lime Rock?
HG:I was born here.
BS:Right in this house?
HG: No, down the road at the other place.
BS:Where was that?
HG: Straight up…down the road… (120/126 Dugway Road)
BS:How long has your family lived here? How many generations?
HG: Let me see. I have discharge papers from the Continental Army for my third great grandfather signed by George Washington and Gov. Trumbull. (Photocopy of same hanging outside First Selectman’s office at Salisbury Town Hall.) He lived here, not the full year around but in good part. I know that he owned the property. He was said to be, as a young man, the last person to be taken out of the old school house in Hartford at the time of the explosion when they were celebrating the repeal of the Stamp Act. We go back long before that.
BS:Where did your family come from originally?
HG: There is a document to a certain extent. We’re descended from two brothers William (1590- 1673) and Ozias (1596-1683) Goodwin. The Goodwins came from East Anglia which is I guess in southwest England.
BS:Do you know when they came over?
BS:What book is that?
HG: The Goodwin Genealogy. (The book is entitled “The Goodwins of Hartford, Connecticut” by James Junius Goodwin, published 1899 in Hartford, Ct. by Brown & Gross.) They were members of “The Braintree Company” also known as “Mr. Hooker’s Company”. They sailed from London in a British ship “The Lyon” on June 22, 1632, and arrived at Boston, Mass. Sept. 16th the same year. Among the fellow passengers known afterward in Newtown (now Cambridge, Mass.) were John White, James Olmsted,
Nicholas Clark, John Talcott, Nathaniel Richard, Zeth Graunt, Robert Elmer, and Samuel Richards. Of these, Talcott and_____were certainly from Braintree. Essex Co. England and others may have been.
lcott and were certainly from Braintree, Essex Co., England, and others may have been.
BS:Do you know when they came from Massachusetts to this area?2.
HG: Let me see if I can find it here. There were 2 brothers William (1590-1673) and Ozias (1596- 1683). Ozias (married Mary Woodward of Braintree, Essex, England,) had a son named William Goodwin (B. 1629-10/15/1689)
BS:Ozias came to this area?
HG:Oh yes. Both William and Ozias emigrated from Plymouth to Hartford in the company of Thomas
Hooker. (Thomas Hooker disagreed with the religious practices of Massachusetts and left for Connecticut.) Ozias stayed in Hartford for a number of years, but later took up land in what is now known as Sharon. Sharon was the area where the Goodwins, that branch of the Goodwins, stayed well over 200 years. This property here was taken up by at least my fourth or fifth great grandfather.
BS:So that would still be prior to the Revolutionary War.
HG:It would be at least a generation before the war. They put up what is now our garage was the
homestead. This house was built in 1827. They built this house and lived in the garage probably from 1700 to 1827. In the beginning they maintained their residence in Sharon, did their farming up here, and commuted back and forth. They stayed up here and camped until they got this house built. Even then they did not stay all winter. The stories are that they pastured their cattle up here in the summer time, brought them back to Sharon for the winter. They brought the hay and feed they grew here back to Sharon.
BS:Is this the great grandfather of yours who participated in the Continental Army?
HG:I think it was even before him.
BS:Oh, even before him, I see. Who participated in the Continental Army?
HG:Let’s see if I can find him here. Let’s see, I kinda forgot. Sharon, Connecticut-John Antill
BS:John Antill Goodwin, was he the one that was in the Continental Army?
HG:No, Hezekiah Goodwin was born March 20, 1692. He’s not the Revolutionary soldier.
BS:It would have to be after him. Hezekiah Goodwin lived in this area in 1692.
HG: Hezekiah married Hannah Pantry and had a son John Pantry born 1719 and died April 1, 1759. Here’s the soldier; Hezekiah, son of John Pantry Goodwin (and Ann born March 28, 1761). Hezekiah, 44, Nathaniel, 46, William, son of Ozias. This Revolutionary soldier was born in 1761 in Hartford, Connecticut. He is said to be the last person living who was taken out of the ruins of the brick school house in Hartford which was accidently
blown up May 23, 1766, while preparations were being made for the celebration of the Repeal of the Stamp Act. He enlisted in the war April 22, 1777, as a private in the company of Captain Samuel Maddox of Hartford, 8th Regiment of the Connecticut Line, commanded by col. John Chandler. He served with honor. He was at the battle of Germantown, Mount.____, wintered with the army at Valley Forge. He was promoted to corporal March 1,1782 after more than 6 years in the service. After his return, he settled in Sharon, engaged in farming andrepresented the town in the legislature. He died May 15,
1833, aged 72.
BS:Now one of the things that took place at that time in Sharon, as well as in Massachusetts was
the Shay’s Rebellion.
HG: That was in Massachusetts.
BS:Also here some in Salisbury, but in Sharon there was more activity.
HG: That was taxation after the Revolution.
BS:Yes, That was taxation, and it was the farmers in this area. Did any of your relatives participate
HG:Not that I know of. Another Hezekiah: his son was born 26 March, 1795, Sharon. He enlisted in
the War of 1812. In 1819 they moved to Madison County, New York, and returned to Connecticut in 1823 locating in Salisbury, Litchfield County. He was a farmer, a tanner and currier.
BS:He was a what?
HG:He was a farmer, a tanner and currier. (He curried and prepared leather after it was tanned.) He
died 27th November, 1848. He married Harriet Deming in Sharon February 2, 1819, my great grandmother. I do know where their place was. Their place is now the property of Dr. Reyault in Sharon. Here is my grandfather Erastus Deming born January 7, 1823. He married a lady named Julia Emmons, my grandmother. It doesn’t say, but I know she was from Canaan Valley. Now we come down to the relationship with the Ensign family. They lived in this place for 2 generations. Julia Emmons was my grandfather’s sister. She married a James ensign. In 1852 my grandfather sold them this place for $5,000. ( Dugway Road)
BS:In 1852 how many acres was it?
HG:112, it later was 190 and I imagining it was about 160 then. I know the people had 2 pieces.
They did deed about 1870; and they deeded about 2 acres to the Episcopal Church in Lime Rock.
BS:Your father was?
HG:My father was the son of Erastus Deming Goodwin. He was born in 1869. If he were still living,
he would be 116 years old.
BS:When did he die?4
BS:When were you born?
HG: In 1916.
BS:You were born right here?
HG:No, up the road (in the farmhouse now 120/126 Dugway Road).
BS:Did you farm all the time?
BS:What was it like when you were growing up in this area?
HG:I was born in the Depression, and we never got out of it.
BS:Let’s go on about the Depression.
HG:Oh, I can remember this area around here. Most everything was falling down; some things
lasted longer than others. Lime rock was never the same.
BS:Now the iron business. You said you were born in 1916; was the iron business before that.
HG:Well, the true period of prosperity was before 1910. My father knew the Barnums very well. To
give you an idea of the size and scope of the business, you have to think in terms of turn of the century dollars, which were real dollars. The Barnum & Richardson Company kept a deposit in 2 New York banks; $500 constantly, that was working capital, undistributed working capital. That gives you some idea of the power and influence they had. That wealth came from the inside of the mountains in this area.
BS:What happened to the Barnums?
HG: I think there are some left. There are some Richardsons left that I know very well. The only real Richardson I know is Marjorie Richardson. She and her husband live in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She had some children and grandchildren, but their name was Sawallis. I never knew them myself. I never knew very many of the Barnums.
BS:When you were just palling around here, do you remember back to that time? What did you do
as a little kid in this area?
HG: Went to school.
BS:At what age?
BS:What school did you go to?
HG:Lime Rock School.
BS:The one right here on Route 112?
BS:What was the school like?
HG:It was rough.
BS:Was it one of those you call a one room school house?
HG:It was in my last days of going there. When I started, it had been a three room offering 12
grades of education.
BS:Twelve grades in three rooms?
BS:Three teachers or more?
BS:When you were in the first grade, there would also be 2nd and 3rd grade in the sameroom?
HG:Right, in the middle room was grades 4-8, and the other room was the high school.
BS:How did the teacher manage that? She was teaching you first grade.
HG:The teachers worked, and they worked very hard. I know the last of my going to school at Lime
Rock, the teacher got $360 a year.
BS:Was that good money, or not so good?
HG: Not too good. Things were beginning to…There were no relationships between incomes at that time…The gap had widened between the income of people in various trades, occupations, and professions. I went to the Salisbury High School; the principal got $2,500 a year, and that was unheard of. It was far more exalted salary than the Superintendent of Education gets now which is around $47,000.
BS:In the school here in Lime Rock, what kind of class were they? What did you learn there?
Reading, some writing, arithmetic?
BS:This was all one teacher that taught…
BS:All the way through the 12th grade?
HG: All through the 8th grade. I went to 7th and 8th grade in Lakeville. It was conducted the sameway there.
BS:The 7th and 8th grades were in the present Salisbury Central School? (Lower Building)
BS:Where did you go to high school?
HG:Salisbury High School, the old grammar school building was the high school.
BS:Oh, there was a high school in Salisbury?
HG: There was a high school in Salisbury. The high school contained the 7lh and 8th grade, as well as4 years of high school. It operated from September of 1928 through graduation in June of 1939.
BS:Then they moved to the Housatonic Valley Regional High School.
HG: Worst thing they ever did.
BS:Moving from there?
HG:This regional is nothing but trouble.
BS:In other word, you did not find that kind of trouble in the days you were going to high school.
Why do you suppose the situation was better then?
HG:The first element was putting five towns together; what one didn’t think of, the other would.
BS:in other words there were separate high schools, one in Salisbury
HG:one in Canaan, one in Kent, one in Sharon, Cornwall I believe went to Kent, Falls Village and the
town of Canaan used to go to North Canaan High School.
BS:When you went to high school, how many hours did you go to school?
HG:Same as they do now.
BS:A pretty full day, after school how did you spend your time?
HG:We had chores to do.7.
BS:What about games, playing with others?
HG:No, not yet.
BS:What kind of chores did you do?
HG: We had chickens and cows. There were mainly chores around the house until we got bigger. I worked in the cow barn.
BS:Did you have a big family?
HG: Just one sister, Elizabeth. Then we boarded 2/3 hired men. The bargain was pretty good for the 20’s.
BS:You said that as far as your farm was concerned, it never came out of the Depression.
HG:Well, we did, we did. Despite what the IRS said. These kinds of farmers (loud barking dog, rest
of tape was blank.) End of side A
BS:Are you still farming, or did you give it up? Are you running herds?
HG:I’ve got cattle.
BS:But you don’t farm as much as you did before?
HG:Our main income off the place now is wood and timber. We have a side line of fence posts,
Cedar fence posts.
BS:Did you go on from high school or did you go right into the farm?
HG:I got through high school in 1934. My father was taken sick in 1932, and he was never able to
work again. I went to work on the farm right after I got out of high school.
BS:So you spent most of your life as a farmer.
BS:How do you relate to some of the news of farms where I come from out in the Midwest, all the
HG: Well, I’ve seen quite a bit of Midwest farming; of course it was in Minnesota, but I liked it. It was about the same as farming here forty years ago. They had machinery, but the thing I liked about it was that they were diversified, everything was based on that.
BS:They went into a lot of soybeans, of course…
HG: No, cash grain, cash crop, cash corn and beef. Their corn was cheap enough out there that they could fatten beef.
BS:Corn was not possible here, was it?
HG:Oh yes, corn was the big thing around here.
BS:You raised corn as well as cattle here?
HG:Oh we had enough so we could milk. At the end of the war when some machinery became
available, we raised two thirds of our grain. They way dairy farming is constituted today, your operating about the same way as the railroad used to-on a managed staff.
BS:Did you enjoy growing up here?
HG:Oh, I guess so. It is as good a place as any, and better than some. I would think so. I had a good
family life. My mother and father were devoted to each other. My sister went to Mt. Holyoke.
BS:Did you get married?
HG:Me? Yes, 1947.
HG: I have two grown children. Anyway I quit milking cows in 1969.
BS:What about the timber?
HG:It wasn’t outstanding timber time. I thought I’d have to sell the place, but I didn’t. I got a good
BS:Whom did you work with?
HG: The worst thing I ever did. I worked for 2-5 years then the rest of it was just enough to raise the devil with what I could do here. Well, anyway I cast about a bit, and I got into logging. It’s been good.
BS:How much participation do you have in town activities?
HG:I’m Dog Warden, and that’s about it.
BS:What are some of the things you remember that might be of historical interest when you were
HG: Well, it’s hard to pick out something in answer to your question because if I tried to tell you something, it would have to be in sequence and that would take forever.
BS:Try a little bit.
HG: We used to fight with the milk staff and with the hired help. The worst day I ever had in my life was Christmas day in 1932. My father sold a cow and calf to Ken Biers. The milk company, the cow had not been condemned, but declared to have mastitis. We brought her down here where the heifers were, and we had a —line on her. See what the milk company used to do, they would tell the Jews where there was a diseased cow. They came out on the 25 of December to sell her from the milk market. They of course were quick to take advantage of it, and we had to sell her. That was the worst deal I ever saw.
BS:The same thing was happening in Mason, Iowa, in the stock yards.
HG:The cow sold cheap, but I got even with the Jews later on. There are some Jews I like; they are
BS:You mean that the Jews were in charge of…
HG: They were cattle traders. In 1945 we had a bull, but he got real mean. My neighbor stopped in while I was doing chores, and he said,” Hezzy, don’t sell that bull for less than $500.” I hadn’t had a chance to see my mother. She was alive then. The Jew came about 1 O’clock while we were having dinner, and we had a lot of help there. He says to my mother, “How much do you want for the bull? “She said, “Whatever you think; what you say?” “How about $150?” “She turned to me, “Is that alright with you?” I said,” Absolutely not! John, you know what that bull is worth and so do I. There is no use in backing; if that is what you think the bull is worth, we’ll unload it. They were all screaming at me, but I didn’t care. I said, “We’ll cap the deal on Monday morning, and won’t make any bones about it.” So we had a discussion for about 5 minutes. He went away with the bull, and we got $490.
BS:Who were the companies who were involved in buying…?
HG:There were no companies; it was all individuals. It was the greatest cutthroat game you ever
saw in your life. There were at one time, the time of the TB tests in about 1927, father lost in 23; they would send their company around. They had a Jewish buyer who would screw you something terrible. You see they would come in. The market for cows was unlimited. My father could only buy 10 cows for what he got for 27, and they weren’t as good as those we lost. He got about $1035 from the state; that was salvage on them. Then there was some kind of a differential. He got about he didn’t get $2,000 on them, nothing like it. Mediocre cows were selling for $300.
BS:When the war came along, did that help any?10.
HG: The first signs of any change came in’44. In’42 we couldn’t hire any help. In’44 things began to loosen up a little. 1945-48 were good years. Most places slacked off in ’49, but they came right back in ’50. Then we had 3-4 very good years.
BS:What changes are you aware of that have taken place in this community since you were a young
HG: The make-up of the population is entirely different.
BS:How’s that? In what way? Do you mean national background?
HG:No, it’s so hard to say. It is mainly that there are almost no people in the same endeavors that
BS:You mean that people do not work as hard today?
HG: Well, I mean the difference is in the many, many professional people. They don’t give a damn about us, and we don’t about them.
BS:There are fewer farmers in this area, right?
HG: Oh, yes. In the town of Salisbury a full one third of the people are farmers or are associated with them. You don’t have a lot of the tradesmen you used to have, like blacksmiths whom you really knew and trusted.
BS:You would say that today that trust is gone?
HG: Well, I don’t mean to say the trust is gone, but we live in a different world than we did.
BS:Can you pinpoint that?
HG: I don’t think so. There quite a lot of good Republicans among them. I will say that.
BS:How about good Democrats?
HG:God, there aren’t any.
BS:Then today even the good Republicans, you see them as professional people rather than
farmers or blacksmiths or so on?
HG: We used to have a lot of good farm machinery repairmen. There’s none now. You can’t hire. God, it would break you to hire.
BS:isn’t that a little bit of what goes on every day? You buy a piece of equipment; it breaks down.
There is no point in fixing it; you have to buy a new one.
HG:No, we specialized in buying broken down equipment.11.
BS:Then repaired it yourself. If you have that skill, that’s good.
HG:And we do it for other people, too.
BS:Oh do you? Household appliances or just farm machinery?
HG:Farm machinery, mostly; we do a little auto work of our own, not much but some. My own
work is plumbing and wiring.
BS:Is that what you are doing now?
HG:No, but I’ve done a lot.
BS:Getting back to the theme of how life here now is difference from then, so you’re saying 1)
HG:The nature of people
BS:How about national background?
HG: I don’t think it is anywhere near as pronounced
BS:What do you mean?
HG:We no longer have very many immigrants around here. When I went to the Lime Rock School in
the early days, at least one fourth of the kids were off the boat in the last two years. Some of them couldn’t speak English, a lot of them couldn’t.
BS:What brought them here, the ore company?
HG: The iron company; their fathers were mostly good molders. They came and brought their skills with them.
BS:What happened to those people?
HG: The main body of them went to the Naugatuck Valley; Seymour, Ansonia, Derby, Shelton. I think they all prospered pretty well. I got along good with those people.
BS:Are there any of those people still around that went to school with you?
HG: Very, very few. We had a class reunion here one year ago in September. There were 35 in my class and only 8 showed up.
HG: Salisbury High School.
HG: Of course when I went to school their background was different from mine, but we knew each other well enough that it didn’t matter too much.
BS:Is there anything that occurs to you that I haven’t asked; something that should go down in the
history of the town that we haven’t talked about?
HG: Well, there’s an awful lot happening here. I think the biggest thing around here; the biggest change is the road.
BS:The road, which one?
HG: This one (Dugway) from the to the . We had a dirt road here until 1937. In the spring of the year, it varied a little but usually in March, you couldn’t negotiate this road without horses. You’d get stuck in the mud with a car.
BS:Even a Model T couldn’t make it?
HG: That’s right. That made a big difference. During the War years in the wintertime, they didn’t plow this road. Let’s see, the winter of ’44/45 we had 10 feet across the road between the two places.
BS:So you couldn’t get out then.
HG: Well, you see we were living up at the other place then. To get here, we had cattle here and had to take care of them, we had to go around by Falls Village and come in down here. The selectman solved the problem with the roads by getting on the train and going to Florida.
BS:Well, that’s a good solution. It leaves you in the snow.
HG: He was the best selectman that money could buy.
BS:Who was that?
HG: Abe Martin
BS:He was before my time. Was he good or?
HG:I said he was the best selectman that money could buy.
BS:That’s interesting that the road made that much difference.
HG; It made a great deal of difference. It made a lot of difference in communication. We used to have to truck our milk to Canaan. Well, we used to truck it to Lime Rock Station.
BS:Where is Lime Rock Station, a railroad you are talking about?
HG: No, no Borden had a creamery there.
BS:Where was that?13.
HG:Well in the vicinity of where the Fales and the McLanes live now. Do you know them?
HG:Do you know where the crossing is at Lime Rock Station, the railroad crossing?
BS:No, where is the crossing? Is it still there?
HG: It is still there.
BS:Oh sure you take that road (Lime Rock Station Road) next to the Housatonic.
HG:The (Borden) creamery used to be right below the crossing. We used to take our milk down
there, but it closed in 1935. From 1935-1952 we had to truck our milk to Canaan. It was quite a hardship during the war because we were short of help.
HG:And short of gas, too.
HG: No, we had gas. In 1952 we started selling our milk here in Connecticut. For a while it was a little bit better, but it soon petered out. The price of milk went down. The thing I can’t get through here is we are supposed to be living in a country where supply and demand satisfies, but it doesn’t seem to work anymore.
BS:Well, we’re not really living in a supply & demand economy are we?
HG:Oh yes, but for instance I saw a stockman a couple of days ago in Wassaic. Good cows were
bringing 18 cents, and he predicted the price would drop to 12 cents. Now he’s predicting the price will drop to 10 cents. Alright if they got the beef for nothing, it would be cheap because of your processing labor on beef. The first national Stores are paying a meat cutter $18 per hour; any meat cut is going to be dear, I’ll tell you that. But I can see hope for the country. The big bust-up here a day or two ago, McQueen Trucking, North Carolina Trucking all went broke, Why? Do you know what killed them- deregulation!
BS:Deregulation, in other words you think they should be regulated?
HG:No, I think everything should be unregulated.
BS:They were regulated.
HG: You see what has happened they were hiring union truck drivers to drive the trucks from say Andersonville, N. C. to Boston. They were express drivers. They had a 30 ton truck; they had a load of 2- 3 tons and were making money. Now what happened is they have been deregulated from express to the guy who is the cheapest. Some trucking companies still have some express, but they aren’t getting their price, so they will have to load the trucks. They’re offering prices to shippers so that they can load
their trucks, and whatever money they get is clean money, see? Money they wouldn’t have gotten, otherwise, and they need it badly now. It’s getting to all these union truck drivers. That’s one thing. Look at the price of air passage compared to what it was. It’s cheaper.
BS:Well, it is cheaper in some areas, depending on where you are going. Cross country is certainly
cheaper. I guess fewer flights and fewer people traveling.
HG: I presume so. Prices being cheap would encourage people to travel.
BS:What about life up here in this area? What about food prices?
HG: They’re terrible.
BS:They are pretty high around here, aren’t they?
BS:When you look at Lime Rock, you mentioned the railroad crossing. What other kinds of
businesses were in Lime Rock? What has disappeared that was there when you remember it?
HG: Of course the iron industry.
BS:The iron industry and the post office, I know.
HG: The store and the post office are gone.
BS:There was a general store?
HG: Yeah, a good one, Phylo Lyons. He was a good storekeeper, too. But that was…not going out was a question of the times, but a question of attrition.
BS:What brought that on?
HG: Well, he got old and couldn’t handle it; Phylo died and his daughter and son in law ran it for a while.
Tape abruptly ends here.
HG: The reason was they took the longest route, the shore route and there was no need of that.
BS:Do you thing the railroads will ever come back?
HG:No, never. They can’t offer the services. There are so many Railroads in this country that they
aren’t making money. There are two factors in railroading to make money; tons and mileage. If you haven’t got those, especially the tonnage, you can’t make money. The Norfolk Western was an exception. They don’t have the mileage, but they certainly have the tonnage. They are very, very blue chip stuff. the southwestern railroads. The southern railroads did well, but the eastern railroads were pretty badly shot. You see they could offer the services.
BS:The cooking and the catering
HG:It is not like it used to be at the Lime Rock station in Falls Village. The store keepers used to be
there at Monday noon to pick up their meat, their fresh meat. The quarters of beef came in, the groceries all came in, the salesmen who sold the stock came out on the railroad; drovers they were called. It was a different era.
BS:What stands out in your mind, specifically in Lime Rock, as the biggest change?
HG:The biggest change is that the town is gone. There are people who live there, but they are not a
coherent . They’re not people with a common interest. The interest is survival is not that great anymore.
BS:You mean people don’t want to survive?
HG: No it isn’t that; they take it for granted that they will. You know this ad they’ve got on TV for social security? We’re like our forefathers. We’re not looking for guarantees; we’re looking for opportunities. That’s what built this country.
BS:Oh sure. The fact that there were opportunities…
HG: There still is.
BS:Well, not…Would you say it is harder to find?
HG:They’re never easy to find.
BS:Well, but a man, let’s say, who went out west.
HG; A man who went west, a freelancer, he was a man who was not making out here.
BS:OK but he had a place where he could make out.
HG:Well, maybe he could or maybe he couldn’t.
BS:Well, at least he could try.16.
HG: Well, he had to try or die. That’s the difference.
BS:But many made it.
BS:But let’s say there are a lot of young people who are leaving this area for other places.
HG:I disagree with you there. There are not many young people to leave.
BS:But there have been young people who…
Tape becomes indistinct
BS:I don’t know how steady he was. I don’t think so. I’ll check with him; he comes in every once in
a while. Here he comes now.
Another section that is indistinct
HG:I’m talking about 20 to 25 years ago. Work is scarce now. Of course we had something better
to offer then.
BS:We did then.
HG: People were looking for labor work for 60 hours a week.
BS:But statistically Connecticut has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
HG:Well there’s an old saying about that; figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.
HG: This governor of ours is the worst S.O.B. that ever stood up in a pair of shoes.
BS:You think so?
HG: Well, he’s been good to me compared to Toby Moffat.
BS:I gather that you like the status quo on things.
HG: I like somebody…You know something? Ronald Reagan is the greatest President we ever had.
BS:Greater than Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, or George Washington?
HG: I think so. I like Reagan partially because he has won the battle for human rights. People have got to think about that. This country will never take a back seat to a foreign country. They could get mad at me for saying this but this country will never take a back seat to anybody.
HG: It certainly has been until there’s been a turn around, but there’s a long way to go.
BS:Now you certainly lived through the time of the Depression, Herbert Hoover, and F.D. Roosevelt.
What did you think of FDR?
BS:You didn’t like F.D.R.?
BS:did you like Herbert Hoover?
HG:Yes. The thing is Reagan had tended to pick people who think well of themselves and that we’re
not so bad.
BS:Did we think we were bad?
HG: Jimmy Carter said one time that he wouldn’t mind presiding over the liquidation of the United States. He said that at the Panama Canal. I came from a generation that raised the flag on Iwo Jima.
BS:And also the American Revolution.
HG:I think the conquest of Iwo Jima was equal to anything this country has ever faced. It was
BS:What do you think of when you think back in terms of how this country started, the American
Revolution and your ancestor who participated in it?
HG:Well, they didn’t have much choice.
BS:That’s true, they certainly didn’t.
HG: The government of Great Britain was pressing us. There is no question that they had taken actions which affected our lives adversely. It was more or less sort of the logical step to take.
BS:But they took it because they were oppressed, right?
HG:Well, they took it because no, they thought things would get better.
BS:Isn’t it true that at first they wouldn’t have minded staying with England if England hadn’t
pushed the Stamp Act?
HG: That’s true, but the Stamp Act was only one
BS:of a line of many…
HG:around a series of consequences.
BS:Because when you mention that your great-great-great grandfather joined the Continental
Army, he obviously took sides. He didn’t take the side of the Tories.
HG:No. I tell you 1 am a student of the Civil War. Do you know that 98% of the Union soldiers did not
give a good god damn about slaves?
BS:What did they care about?
HG: The Union, yes, that is what they were fighting for. They didn’t care about slaves, and it is apparent today.
BS:How is that?
HG:The general attitude toward blacks.
BS:What about the relations in this community between blacks and white?
HG:They’re good, excellent.
BS:Yeah, there are no blacks here.
HG:No there never were. The ones who were here were foreign. The call to preserve the Union was
the driving cause.
Tape becomes indistinct and ends here.