Interviewed by Deborah M. George
20 February 2014
Oral History Program
Weber State University
Deborah M. George
20 February 2014
Copyright © 2014 by Weber State University, Stewart Library
The Oral History Program of the Stewart Library was created to preserve the institutional history of Weber
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The New Zion Community Advocates worked with community members age 80 years and older to have
contributed to the history of Ogden city. The interviews looked at the legacy of the interviewees through
armed services, work, social life, church, NAACP and educational systems in an environment where their
culture was not predominant. This program has received funding from the Utah Humanities Council and
the Utah Division of State history.
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the goal of preserving substantive additions to the historical record. Because it is primary material, oral
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It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Nelson, Richard, an oral history by Deborah
M. George, 20 February 2014, WSU Stewart
Library Oral History Program, Special
Collections, Stewart Library, Weber State
University, Ogden, UT.
Richard Nelson, photo
taken at his home on
February 20, 2014
Richard Nelson and
his musical group
Abstract: The following is an oral history interview with Richard Nelson, conducted
on February 20, 2014 by Deborah George.
DG: Alright we’re in the home of Richard Nelson today and we’re going to find out how
he came to Ogden. So the first thing we want you to tell us is what is your name,
RN: My name is Richard Nelson.
DG: And when were you born?
RN: I was born April the 14th 1923.
DG: Okay and how are we related? We usually ask that question because sometimes
we have relatives interviewing relatives.
RN: Yeah, I’m not related to you.
DG: And what are you doing now?
RN: Nothing, I’m retired and just going different places, enjoying myself.
DG: Okay can you tell us about some of the important lessons you learned in life?
RN: What kind of lessons?
DG: Just any kind of lesson you want to share.
RN: Well here in Utah you mean?
DG: Just life in general.
RN: Okay, before I got here I went to Detroit, Michigan. I worked at Ford Motor
Company and my brother Jesse was a Barber here in Utah. He asked me, why
don’t you come to Utah? You can get a good job. I said okay, so I got a ticket on
the Greyhound bus and was on my way to Utah. I got here on the 16th of October
1952. I went to Ogden on the next day on October 17th and went 24th street,
where I completed an application for the Hill Air Force Base.
So I got there and was interviewed for the job the next day and I started
working on October 17th. Yes, the next day I got here I got a job at Hill Air Force
Base and that’s where I started working. After I was hired they sent me back to
24th Street. That’s when the office/administration building was there. They sent
me from there to Hill Air Force Base and my old mean supervisor was named
The Office/Administration sent me to Hill Force Base to start at a Grade 9
but every time I’d go there Arley Bitton would turn me down. He said, “No you
can’t get that job.” So, I went back to the Administration office on 24th Street and
they sent me back again for the same reason. (I don’t see why he couldn’t give
you the job if you’re qualified for it.) He said, “Nope you can’t get it.” He said, “If
you want a job you better take this or else you won’t have one.” I said, “Okay.”
You know, I kind of gave him a mean look then because I think I should’ve gotten
the job. I said, “Well, okay I’ll take it.” So I started working as a painter in, what I
think was building number 2 or 4; the big hanger there at Hill Air Force Base. I
started working there, painting parts and doing many other jobs. Finally, I was
promoted and I left there and went to the paint shop where I painted aircrafts. We
were there painting those aircrafts and after I got there he (Arley Bitton) was still
my boss. He still wouldn’t let me have the job that I qualified for. So a friend of
mine said, “I’ll tell you what, they’re hiring down at Building 1/ Hanger 1. “Why
don’t you go down there and be interviewed?” I went there and the guy
interviewed me and he hired me the same day. But the old guy, Arley Bitton
wouldn’t let me leave or release me to go to my new job. I said, “My goodness,
what’s wrong with this man?” He won’t let me go to my new job. So I had to stay
there until I got promoted. He kept me for two weeks before my new supervisor
could get me into his department. Not long after that I got promoted to
I was working at Hill Field painting aircraft until I was promoted as a Grade
8 Supervisor for painting aircrafts. I stayed there for a total of 36 years at Hill Air
Force Base. I enjoyed it all until I said, “Well I’ve had enough time here so I’ll let
somebody else have the job.” So I retired. I retired 27 years ago. Since I’ve been
retired, I’ve been traveling and going different places, enjoying myself. I also cut
hair with my brother, Jesse, for a while down in Ogden.
DG: Does your brother still cut hair?
RN: No, my brother passed about five years ago. I worked at the Clearfield Job Corps
Center and got a barbering position cutting the students hair. I cut hair there for
11 years. After I retired from Job Corps as a barber, I accepted a job working in
another place. I worked at the National Warehouse where I was a Grade 9. I
worked there, oh gosh, about 11 years. Those people there wanted me to stay.
But I said, “Well I’ve done enough of this, I have to go somewhere and enjoy
myself. So I retired from there and now I just relax. Enjoying life and traveling. I
went to California and was there for 11 days. While I was there, I had a chance to
go to the Price is Right.
DG: Did you?
RN: Yes. We were on the Price is Right and won a trip to Hawaii. We were in Hawaii,
me and my two sons for 3-4 days. One of my sons was actually the one who had
the opportunity to go on the Price is Right and won the trip for us. Yes, I always
watch the Price is Right every day. Anyway, my oldest son said I’ll give you a trip
there. So I went and that’s what we won, a trip to Hawaii. We really had fun
DG: So what do you think is the proudest in your lifetime? When were you the
RN: The proudest? When I retired.
DG: You survived it all.
RN: Yeah I enjoyed that, everything. I enjoyed some of the people I met but some of
them weren’t too good, but most of them I enjoyed. I joined church at New Zion in
1952 when I got here to Utah. Then it was called, Wall Avenue Baptist Church do
you remember that?
DG: Was it Wall and 28th? Is that where it was?
DG: 27th okay.
RN: Across the street from Sloppy Joe’s if you ever heard of that.
DG: Oh yes the Sloppy Joe’s.
RN: Yes it was across the street from there. So, I’m still here in Utah. I’m still here and
why not? I had some run-ins with different people though and from different
places that I’ve gone. People who called you names that you didn’t like. I’ve been
to stores and was the first one in line when the person behind the register would
say, “Who was next?” They didn’t have to ask who was next. I was the one
standing there first. And I said, “Hey you know who was next.” Then they would
say, “Oh I’m sorry.” You know how they are when they’re like that. They shouldn’t
do things like that.
I came from a family of 18. I had 10 brothers and 8 sisters. “No, 9 brothers
if I exclude myself.” I’m the third youngest.
DG: Third youngest.
RN: The third youngest. My oldest brothers’ kid is one month younger than I am.
DG: Younger than you? Oh my goodness.
RN: Yes my birthday in April and my nephews’ birthday is in May.
DG: So how long have you lived in Ogden for?
RN: How long have I lived, in Utah period?
DG: In Ogden.
RN: 62 years in Utah total. But I didn’t live in Ogden for a long period of time.
DG: 62 years okay. And you told us what brought you to Ogden was the job.
RN: The job at Hill Air Force Base that’s what brought me to Utah. I was working at
Ford Motors. I was married and my wife and I already had one kid and she was
expecting another. I said I have to get out of Detroit because I was just working
three days a week at the Ford Motor Company. So like I mentioned before, I got
a job because my brother called me and told me to come here to Utah. That’s
where I got my beginning.
DG: Well how has Ogden changed over the years?
RN: Well it has changed quite a bit now. But when I first came here it was different. In
Ogden you lived here but there was not much visiting or partying. You could
cross the street where you lived, but you couldn’t go into a restaurant to eat.
They’d sell you a lunch but they wouldn’t let you come in. You had to eat across
the street. That was on 25th street. They wouldn’t let you come in to sit. It was
just segregated. That’s the way it was. Nothing else was integrated, it was
segregated on one side. They wouldn’t let you go in and eat but they would sell
the food to you and you had to go elsewhere to eat it. That’s terrible. I couldn’t
stand it but I had to live with it. Everybody else was living with it. Yes that’s the
way it was.
DG: What do you miss about the way it used to be here? Is there anything you miss?
RN: Yeah I miss places we used to go and enjoy ourselves.
DG: Can you name some of those places?
RN: Oh yes, like the Elks Club in Salt Lake that’s not there anymore. The American
Legion is not there anymore, Sloppy Joe’s is not there anymore, the Disco
Lounge is not there anymore. The only place that is left there now is Willie
Moore’s Barber Shop. That’s the only black place that we had was the barber
shop. So you knew where to go. But you didn’t always want to only go there
because you’d get your hair cut and then you’d leave.
DG: What are some of the great characters you remember from here? Is there
anybody in particular that you know you, they just kind of had a reputation or
there was just something about them?
RN: Good or bad?
DG: Can be good or bad. Whatever you want to say.
RN: Well when I came to Utah, I had relatives here, who were my brother and his
wife. So that’s who I knew and also my niece and her husband were here. We
lived in Sahara Village.
DG: Okay where’s that?
RN: That’s up right across the street from Hill Air Force Base. We used to go there to
drink beer or talk and we enjoyed that. We would go to the Elks Club and we
would have fun over there. You know, we would just get together.
DG: So there was nobody that really stood out?
RN: No, nobody stood out. Well let me see Milo Savage he was a boxer there in Utah.
RN: Yeah, Milo Savage was a boxer in Ogden.
DG: Was he good?
RN: Yes, he was good. Yes he was number one in Utah. Yes, I remember all those
guys. I used to go watch them box.
DG: Do you have a nickname?
RN: Yes I do.
DG: What’s your nickname?
RN: Oh my goodness.
DG: You don’t have to tell if you don’t want too.
RN: I’ll tell you, I don’t care. When I first came here…. I don’t know if you knew A.J.
Keller did you?
DG: I don’t know.
RN: Do you know his daughter?
RN: Anyway, nobody knew my nickname. He got here and he said hey there’s old
Ditty Nelson. That’s my nickname, Ditty.
RN: Yes. Ask my pal, see that’s what he calls me sometimes now. He got that name
from some of the old people.
DG: And so how did that come to be?
RN: Ditty? My sister. She said I was trying to talk or do something and so they started
calling me Ditty. I was born and raised on a farm and that’s where all of us kids
grew up, on the farm there.
DG: Now where was this farm?
RN: This farm is in Mississippi. Yes, McCall Creek, Mississippi. We lived out in the
country with 100 acres of land. We still have it back there.
DG: That’s still in the family?
RN: Yes, it’s still in the family. My nephew lives on the land. He takes care of
everything. Such as the taxes. He’s tax exempt. One of my brothers sons bought
land from Charlie, my other brother. After he bought one acre of land, it’s the one
we have to pay taxes on. But the other property, we don’t have to pay taxes on it,
DG: So who were some of your best friends?
RN: Some of my best friends? James Dixon is number one. Deacon English, he’s a
Deacon in my church. He’s my friend and so is Griffin. All three of those guys we
get along very well. We all sing together in church… Yes, they are good friends
of mine, really good friends.
DG: Alright, so what do you do for fun?
RN: Well, I travel. Anywhere I can go. I’m going to Alaska this year.
DG: Ah, are you cruising?
RN: I’m going to fly there. Then when we get there, I’m going fishing. I want to go
fishing. I always hear people talk about fishing over in Alaska so I want to go. I
don’t want to go see the mayor. What’s her name? Sarah?
DG: Sarah Palin.
RN: Yeah Sarah Palin.
DG: I don’t think she’s there.
RN: I don’t think so. She’s might be gone now.
DG: So tell me what are some of your best memories of grade school or high school?
RN: Grade school? Okay, before I graduated from high school I was drafted into the
service and I went to the European Operation in WWII. I met…Before I went to
the service, I was going to high school.
DG: Were you in the army/navy?
RN: Army and I met two of my brothers there overseas. One brother was in the Pacific
and my other brother was in Europe. There were five of us in the service at the
same time. Five of us were in WWII. I used to drive on the Redball Express
highway hauling troops to the front line. I would come back, load again and go
back to the front line and take them and none of us got hurt. We didn’t get not a
wound out of all five of us.
DG: And what country you said you were in?
RN: Amsterdam, France, Germany, England and Belgium. All of those places over
DG: Now when you came back from serving in the military did you have any problems
with getting housing or anything like that?
RN: Yes, I had a lot of problems. I had problems here getting housing also.
DG: Did you?
RN: Yes, I didn’t want to live in Mississippi anymore because there was nothing to do.
Anyway, I did stay there for a while. So that’s why I went to Detroit first and came
here. Yeah because otherwise there just wasn’t any work down there to do. The
kind of work that we did, it was work but the work you didn’t want to do. I didn’t
want to do the kind of work people were doing.
DG: What kind of work was that?
RN: They were hauling pulpwood and paperwood. They were cutting with jigsaws. We
would saw down a tree and my brothers and I hauled it on the truck. My dad had
his own pulpwood trucks and so we were working for him. That’s what I did. I was
on the farm before I went into service. Then I got out of the military that’s what I
did once more.
DG: You met your wife when?
RN: I met my wife when I got out of service. It was down at a little old club in Bude,
Mississippi, that’s where she lived. She was on her way to church. Anyway we
were sitting there and I said to some guys that I was singing with, “Boy look at
her. I want to talk to that lady when she comes back through here.” Sure enough,
when she came back through, I stopped her. I said, “We are going to Fort
Gibson, Mississippi next weekend to sing, do you want to go?” She said, “I’m
going to have to ask my mom.” She was a grown girl, but yet they were living
with their mom and they did what their mom told them to do. So she asked her
mom and her mom told her that she could go with me. So we picked her up and
we had so much fun!
DG: You wooed her with your singing huh?
RN: Oh yeah.
DG: Did you still sing here?
RN: Oh yeah. I sing at church now.
DG: Did you have a group?
RN: Yeah, I had a group here in Utah, the Utah Travelers. We won awards and many
things singing here in Utah. The governor gave us awards for singing; we were
number one in Utah.
DG: And so how long was that group together?
RN: We were together about twenty something years. Yes, we did a lot of singing.
DG: Well I see now how you met your wife.
RN: Oh yes I met my wife. After we were married, we had one boy and she was
expecting another when we left Mississippi. Then we had two more. Two more
boys, one lives with me now. That one up there on the picture, he’s the one that’s
in the Marines. He passed away about ten years ago.
DG: Oh wow.
RN: Yeah, he was a Marine.
DG: Was it in the line of duty?
RN: No, he had a heart attack. He was 49 years old. I have one who played
professional football. He’s in Logan. I have all the pictures and things downstairs.
My youngest son lives with me now. Yes, he keeps up the house.
DG: Tell me when you were growing up what did you think you wanted to do? What
did you want to be?
RN: Well when I was growing up I wanted to be a teacher in the beginning. That’s
what I thought I wanted to do. I went to Alcorn College; an extension college in
Brookhaven, Mississippi. I was going to school there and I didn’t finish because I
got married. I completed only 36 credit hours in college, that’s it. I met my wife
and we got married and so I have four boys and a girl. My daughter she’s the
DG: You know you talked about being on the front lines. How did war change you if
RN: Well it didn’t change me too much but it really made me mean when I got out of
the service. I thought I was going to get killed anyway, so I became mean. You
just didn’t care what happened and you didn’t take anything off anybody. If
anybody messed with you, you’re ready for them…. and I was ready for them. I
couldn’t help it because it was in me from being in the war. Every time I think
about the war…. it just makes me think about what happened.
Me and my brothers used to go fishing and while we were on our way
some guys, white guys grabbed me and held me by my hands holding me up not
letting me go. My other two brothers kept going. I told them, those boys, “I’m
going to get you if I can.” “If I ever live to see it… I’m going to get you.” My aim
was to get them when I got out of the service. But the Lord took them away. He’d
taken them away before anything happened, because I would have probably
gotten into trouble. I know I would have, because I was going to do some crazy
things. So when people did things like that, it just gets on your nerves. It’s bad
when people mess with you and you’re not doing anything to them. You shouldn’t
have to go through all of those kinds of things. You just don’t feel good. I’ll never
forget it, never. I think about the same thing, the Lord took them away before I
had a chance to do anything to them. I was going to have to fight them. That’s
what I was going to do, I was going to fight. But it didn’t happen. I got out of the
military and I started getting better. I did the right thing. I had a brother who used
to have a group down in Mississippi and they let me sing with them.
DG: What was the name of their group?
RN: Yeah they used to sing gospel all the time. Yes, my sisters, four sisters were
singing. I can’t think of the name of their group but it was all four of them singing.
DG: Was your parents, did they sing too?
RN: Yeah my mom and dad. My dad was a choir director. My mom played a guitar my
dad played a guitar. My brother, Andrew played a guitar, my brother Charlie
played the piano and my other brother Jesse played a guitar and I played
DG: But you sang.
RN: Not then, but it was fun. I enjoyed when we would go to church and sit down.
They would be at choir practice. I wanted to sing so bad. They made me sit down
and I didn’t do anything. So I would just sit over there and wait until they would
get through with practice and were ready to go home. But I said, “One day I’ll get
to sing,” and so I did. Yes, when I came to Utah I put a group together. The Utah
Travelers Gospel Singers. You haven’t seen any pictures have you? No, you
haven’t seen any of my pictures.
DG: Of your Utah Travelers Gospel Singers if you have some you’d like to share with
RN: I think I have got one. Let me show it to you. That’s me, Babe Ruth, the
Spearman twins and we had so much fun singing together.
DG: Do you have a copy or anything? Is that the only photograph you have?
RN: I have some with the whole group but it’s in one of those photo albums. Just a
minute let me see. That’s my nephew, he sang with them.
DG: The originals.
RN: Yes, the originals. He’s the only living one. That’s my nephew George. He’s my
sister’s youngest son.
DG: Yeah if you wouldn’t mind we’ll make sure we get those back to you.
DG: And scan whichever one’s you’d like.
RN: Well I’ll let you take them. I’ll let you take this one.
DG: Out of that group are they still here?
RN: No, some of them passed.
RN: Yeah that’s my group. We went to California, and different places. We had fun
trips. Yeah there are my boys right there.
DG: So what lessons did you learn from this time in your life? All this adventure
traveling and the singing.
RN: Well I learned to enjoy life. You know many times I tried to buy a house but no
one would sell me a house.
DG: Now this is in Ogden?
RN: Yes, this is in Ogden.
RN: Yes, Layton and in Ogden. Well, first they took me to North Ogden. Up there off
Monroe Boulevard, what’s the name of those houses over there? What street is
DG: Wasn’t it called Ron Clare?
RN: Yes, Ron Clare. The guy took us all the way up there to show us houses. We
went in the houses and they had water marks all over. I said, “I don’t want that. I
don’t want to see any more houses.” That’s exactly what I told him, his name is
Ed Higley. Did you ever know Glen Edward? Anyway, he used to be a police
officer in Ogden. He started selling real estate and he found some land. So he
bought his property right across the street there. I bought mine here. They
brought us here at night to show it to us. He wouldn’t let us come during the day
to see the house or the land that we selected for the house.
Anyway after I got—I had a direct loan from the military service, but I lost it
because I couldn’t get a place. Nobody would sell me the land, the house or
anything. There were four acres of land up Church Street, a guy and his wife had
separated. The guy said it was four acres of land. His wife found out that he was
selling it to black people and she told him, “No you’re not selling it.” That fell
through. So we had nothing. Across from the bowling alley in Layton you know
where that is? Okay, there was a guy that I called on the phone who said he had
some houses there. He said, “Oh yeah come on up, come on up, we got houses
to sell.” He didn’t know we were Black. When I got to the place and went inside,
he said, “Can I help you?” I said “I’m the one who talked to you on the phone. I
talked to you on the phone about a house.” He said, “Oh we just sold it.” That’s
what he said, “We just sold it.” Boy, you know that makes you feel so bad.
Here I am, you know I thought things were going well and that I was going
to buy a house. It fell through. So a guy talked to Ed Higley and said, “You’ve got
to sell to these guys too.” Anyway, he told them you’ve got to finish this because I
gave it to you to finish it. Ed Higley got up and came over to the table where we
were. He said, he was sick then he said, “I’m sorry.” He apologized. He said, “I’m
sorry that I couldn’t sell you that house.” He said, “I have my reasons and you
know the reason.” He told us he couldn’t sell us that house because they’d ruin
him, kick him out of church or whatever. He said, “If you don’t have that house
built in a certain time, you’re going to have to pay for it.” He built it and that’s how
we got these two houses back then. My brother-in-law and I. We wouldn’t have
had these houses if it hadn’t been for that.
DG: From the government.
RN: The government yeah. The GI Loan that’s what we had. Only two houses, that
one across the street and this one. In 1967, that’s when we bought them. Oh
boy, we were some happy guys because we bought our homes. My kids were all
going to high school then.
Later, I had three boys at Utah State going to school at the same time. I
had three boys and I had a grandson going to school up there. I also had a
granddaughter going to school up there. The one I told you about it. He played
professional football. He went to college there and now he lives in Logan. That’s
where they all went to school. So that’s what makes me feel good. Because I got
a house and my kids went to college. Things started working out better for us
then. We can go places, and nobody bothers us. We enjoy ourselves and one
another. My boys still hang around with their same friends. They’ve all been their
friends ever since high school. Yes, they are real good friends too. I don’t think
they’ll ever change now.
DG: Is there anything else you want to talk about that we didn’t cover in our
RN: Not necessarily.
LR: So when you moved from Mississippi to Detroit about how old?
RN: 22 years old.
LR: So you were married, you had your wife. Did you have any kids when you moved
RN: Just one boy and she was expecting another one. I left there and came here.
LR: Why do you think your brother came here to Utah?
RN: He came here for a job at Hill Air Force Base.
LR: Oh same thing then, okay and he got you to come here.
RN: Yes, he did.
LR: I’m curious as to why you think this happened, the supervisor who kept being
such a—I can think of a few words.
RN: Yeah I know what you’re saying.
LR: I’ll keep those words to myself.
RN: I know.
LR: Why do you think he was being so…
RN: Because he didn’t want me to be a supervisor in that building. I think he was
hateful I can tell you that right now. He was hateful, he was. He was hateful he
just didn’t want anything to go well for me.
LR: Do you think he would have been that way if you were white?
RN: If I had been white? No, he wouldn’t have been that way. I’m going to tell you the
reason why I know this. At lunch time we were all sitting in the lunch room eating
and everything was fine. We had a little game that we played called Uno. He
came in there and said, Hey it’s time for Richard Nelson. That’s what he said,
“Richard Nelson it’s time for you to go to work.” I said, “What did he say?”
Sorenson said, “He said it’s time for you to go to work.” I walked up to him, and I
said, “All of us are sitting in here and you’re going to tell me it’s time to go to
work.” I looked at him said, “You must be prejudice or something.” He didn’t know
what to say. He looked at me, he walked away and asked the other guy, “Hmm I
must have made Richard Nelson mad about something.” What else would he
make me mad about? He pointed me out and told me to get back to work. I
wasn’t the only one in there, but I was the only Black one. There were four white
guys and me. I think I was the only black guy that worked on the crew. And he
called me out like that. That burned me up. I wanted to do something but I didn’t
want to lose my job. I really wanted to do something.
LR: I can tell even now how upsetting it was to you. Kind of as a followup, when do
you think things starting getting better? I mean you couldn’t even buy a home
until 1967. When do you think things started to get better?
RN: So tough like that?
RN: Well about 10 years after that. After we got our house or maybe less, about 8 or 9
years it started getting better. People were beginning to get houses then. Yes,
they still didn’t want it to happen but they didn’t have any other choice. They had
to let it go through.
LR: So do you think, forgive me this fascinates me to no end from a historical
perspective because I don’t know much about it nor do I understand it.
RN: I know.
LR: I have many questions but I’m trying to form the one that’s important to me.
RN: Go ahead, take your time.
LR: As things started to get better…
RN: With Martin Luther King? That’s some of it.
RN: Before that you mean.
LR: But no I’m talking about in you told me 1967 and I’m thinking that’s after Martin
Luther King and yet you were still struggling. I’m trying to understand how you
managed to make such, I can tell you wanted to just lash out and get upset and
yet you managed to kind of keep it all in and I look at you now and you’re happy.
It’s so much fun to sit here and talk to you. I wonder how you managed to do
that. How you managed to become the man you are today despite everything.
That’s my question, how did you manage to…
RN: To be as I am now?
LR: Yes given everything.
RN: Because you forget about all the bad things that happened to you. You know I
had all these kids who were raised up here. They’re doing well and that makes
me feel real good. When your family is doing well, you know what I mean? They
went many places and they had lots of friends. They were true friends because
they are still together today. Nobody bothers them and that makes me feel good.
It makes me feel real good because when I was growing up it was different. It
was terrible I was born in Mississippi.
LR: I spent some time there.
RN: It was terrible. You couldn’t get anything you wanted. I worked the same job down
there and other people were getting more money than I was and I was given the
worse job. I used to get paid for cutting the timber and different things. They paid
the other people who weren’t doing anything. But they paid him about 2 dollars
more than I was getting. I told them I was quitting. When I told the guy that I was
going to quit, he did give me more than I was getting but I still didn’t get as much
as the other guy. I think about those things when I was growing up. I said, “I don’t
want my kids to grow up like that too.” When I got out here to Utah, things
changed and that made me happy. It made me feel much better.
LR: Well seeing your kids having more success than you were able too kind of helped
you, okay I think I understanding.
RN: Oh yeah keep on asking what you want to know.
LR: No I’m trying to make sure I understanding what you’re saying without making this
about me. I’m getting emotionally involved in this and I shouldn’t. I should be, I’m
supposed to be the professional one asking questions and I’m getting
emotionally involved. So what you’re saying is you’ve become the man you are
today because your kids were able to obtain everything you didn’t have and that
was, you felt this joy in watching that.
RN: Yes, yes.
RN: Yeah it made me feel real good because they got what I wanted to have. All of
them have an education and they have good jobs. So what more would you
want? My family grew up and they were going somewhere. That was my heart.
That was my heart.
LR: How long were you married?
RN: Oh, 58 years.
LR: Oh wow that’s fantastic.
RN: 58 years, yes. We had fun. I told my wife that I wanted her to see what I’ve been
through and to see the different places that I saw during WWII. So we went to
Europe for 11 days and I took her to Amsterdam, England, Holland, that’s a
different place. It’s wild, I’ll put it that way, it’s wild.
LR: I’ve heard stories.
RN: Yes it’s wild, but I took her over there and she said wow, “I’m glad you’re taking
me over to England and London all of those different places.” We had fun.
DG: And you’re still having fun. You can just see, I mean you are just one happy man.
RN: I am.
DG: And you just enjoy life.
RN: I am. I am enjoying myself. That’s the only way to be.
RN: That’s the only way to be. I don’t have anything against anybody. I don’t.
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