Interviewer:  It’s a pleasant, warm evening, August the 18th, it’s about 6:25 and I am in the home of Benson Wolman and his, and his tremendous family history that I am looking at. We hope that our sound is coming through. We’re halfway through to the, we’re going to play with this thing. Well six should be enough. We’ll stop it here. We’ll see what happens. The voice you will be hearing next will be that of Benson Wolman sitting in a comfortable chair.

Wolman:   Voice Level of Benson A. Wolman. Drawrof spelled backwards is forward, and other such michigas.

Interviewer:  Well we are now at ten; we will stop it.

Wolman:      The earliest information, of course, will not be in my own memory. The earliest information that we have regards family origins. Both on my mother’s side, the Denziger family side, and my father’s side, the Wolman family side, though my father’s name in the old country was Pressman. The information, I have some of the information here on my mother’s side from a rough eulogy that I had prepared based on consultation of various historical documents. Her family came from Tuchum, which was a suburb of Riga, Latvia, clearly shtetl, and as I was reciting it at my mother’s funeral, I was pointing out that these are the generations of Danzigers, that Leba Danziger was born in the old country at the time of Thomas Jefferson. And Leba was one often children. He had a son, Aaron Danziger, who was one of six children. Aaron married his first cousin Rosa Danziger who was one of five children. Their son Nathan, my grandfather, was the fifth of either six or eight children, depending up on which family story you follow. Nathan was born near the Baltic Sea in the village of Tuchum, T-u-c-h-u-m by Latvia, well by Riga in what’s now Latvia. Just a few months before Abraham Lincoln would deliver the Gettysburg Address. He came to the U.S. in 1887 when he was twenty-four years old. Meanwhile, Hershel Meltzer, M-e-l-t-z-e-r, was born in Vilna, Gabernia. Again this was in Jefferson’s time here. He and Hershel’s wife Rachel had six children, one of whom was Jacob Meltzer, who married a woman with the last name of Weiner. They had six children, the fourth of which was Betsy Meltzer, my grandmother on my mother’s side, who was born as our Civil War began. She was actually a couple of years older than my grandfather Nathan Danziger. She came to the U.S. in 1886 when she was twenty-five years, yeah, twenty-five years old. Nathan Danziger and Betty Meltzer worked in New York City. They met in 1988 and married in early 1989. We still have, in New York City….

Interviewer: Eighteen or nineteen?

Wolman:       I’m sorry, 1889.

Interviewer:  1889.

Wolman:      1889, and we have actually a copy of the wedding invitation which was issued at the time. He worked in a clock factory and she was a dressmaker.

Interviewer: This was in New York?

Wolman:      In New York, yeah. She learned her trade in the old country. I presume he learned his there too, but she was clearly the more into the business side of things. She opened a shop of her own. This was when, ’round the time they were married, and had more than a dozen people working for her. So it was clearly something successful. And this was even though Nathan kept her pregnant, like clockwork, for several years. After eight children, Nathan’s cousins in Michigan persuaded him to move there where it would be better to raise a family. So they moved to a small town there and then eventually to Frankfort, Michigan where my mother and her brother, Harold Danziger, were born. The family was very self-sufficient. They ran a dry goods store, bought their own home, maintained a cow, lots of chickens, and a garden from which they harvested their own vegetables and fruit. They observed the kosher laws. They baked bread, made their own noodles, cheese, and butter. They canned fruits and pickles, and even made their own ketchup. As each of the ten children grew up, they helped in the home and the store.

Interviewer: Now this is your grandmother?

Wolman:  On my mother’s side.

Interviewer:  Mother’s.

Wolman:    That’s right, the Danziger side. They helped, the kids helped in the home and the store. They drove the cow to water and the pasture. The girls helped in the house with housekeeping, cooking, baking, sewing, and preparing for many guests in their home. That was their role. It is fair to say that my grandfather was somewhat of a sexist, albeit in the time when that was the norm. All of the children went to school. Indeed my Aunt Mayme, M-a-y-m-e had graduated from Ypsilanti Norman School, and was one of my mother’s teachers. In addition to school, her brothers also learned Hebrew from a tutor in their home. In 1914, the family moved to Columbus, a much bigger city among things, so that the unmarried children might find Jewish husbands and wives. They had a very successful dry goods store on the west side of the city and expanded to owning department stores in Fremont and Tiffin, Ohio. On the west side it was Danziger’s….

Interviewer: I remember that. I bought, with my wife, my bride, at Danziger’s store, the week we got married. But we came back from our honeymoon, brooms and mops, soaps and pails, and all sorts of things for the home.

Wolman:      Yeah and they sold clothing and all….

Interviewer: And we had a great experience there and I think, I think a cousin of yours was in the Jewish War Veterans with me. I can’t remember his name.

Wolman:      Arthur Block.

Interviewer: Art, Arthur Block. Arthur Block waited on me and gave me a five percent discount.

Wolman:      Uh huh, his mother Ida was one of my mother’s sisters.

Interviewer:  Sisters, okay.

Wolman:      And I know she did stuff in the store, when she married Joe Block, who also helped out there as, at least for a while, did Aaron Danziger.

Interviewer: But it was the Danziger family that had all the …

Wolman:      Yes that’s right, that’s right, that’s right, and

Interviewer: I just thought I’d interject.

Wolman: Yeah, sure. And Aaron Danziger was there too and eventually he opened a store right over near the Montrose School on Main Street in Bexley, a small store there, in his later years. Let me just think for a second.

Interviewer: I’m going to stop for just a minute. We’re back on.

Wolman:      Okay. I do remember the store on West Broad Street, ’cause I was in it a number of times in my early childhood. I also remember the stores in Fremont and in Tiffin, Ohio.

Interviewer: Now did they use the Danziger name on the storefront?

Wolman:      Well the store in Fremont, which may have been the first of them there was called “Joseph’s Department Store” under the previous ownership’s name, just continuing the name. It was probably bought during Depression times, roughly. And the overarching company was N. Danziger and Sons, but doing business as Joseph’s Department Store. Harold’s Department Store, which may have taken it’s name from my uncle Harold, or it may have been that name anyway, I just don’t recall, but it was in Tiffin, Ohio. And Harold live in Tiffin with his wife Ruth and his, eventually, his children, Dorothy Louise called Dottie Danziger, who died in 1975 here, and was married to local attorney A C. Strip at the time, and Neal Danziger, who lives here in Bexley now. He works for Ohio Department of Commerce in the Banking Division. He’s a CPA and I forgot his title there, but in any case, they were there and in Fremont, where my uncle, well it was my Aunt Dora Danziger married Arthur Gilberg, G-i-1-b-e-r-g, related to the Columbus Gilberts. It was just, you know, name adjustments here and there as those things happened.

Interviewer: Now this is Tiffin?

Wolman:      This is now Fremont, Ohio.

Interviewer: Fremont. I knew a Bob …

Wolman:      Bob Gilberg.

Interviewer: Gilberg.

Wolman:      … is my first cousin.

Interviewer: Was a ZBT.

Wolman:      That’s at Ohio State.

Interviewer: At Ohio State. He was about four years behind me.

Wolman:      Uh huh, and now he lives in the greater Phoenix are. And mostly retired, although they have some business interests and stuff. And he had a brother, Stanford Gilbert, who has, he died just a few years ago, half a dozen or so years ago, and, they had a sister Phyllis Gilberg. Phyllis married Charles Schwab, Howard Schwab, pardon me, whom she met at Ohio State and he died and she later remarried but anyway her family is in Toledo and a piece of her descendants are also in Atlanta. Bob Gilberg’s family lives on the west coast, mostly in the San Francisco area, and we see them from time to time at family events. In addition, in Fremont were my Uncle Lou Danziger and his wife, Helen.

Interviewer: Now this is your Mother’s brother?

Wolman:      Mother’s brother Lou.

Interviewer: It’s a large family.

Wolman:      Yes although Lou and my Mother and her sister (phone rings)

Interviewer:: We’re back on recording.

Wolman:      Okay, Lou Danziger married Helen. I forgot her single name, and they lived in Fremont and along with others in the family, ran the Joseph’s Department Store. Then eventually the Joseph’s Department Store was sold out but that probably wasn’t until, I would place it, early seventies, sometime in the seventies. And the family moved from the area by then. There was Harold’s Department Store in downtown Tiffin, was replaced by a branch of Joseph’s Department Store, same family obviously, on one of the strip malls. Then in Tiffin. So there were these two locations that are continuing for a good while and then eventually one and then the family all left. My Mother graduated West High School here in Columbus, then took a number of courses at Ohio State, and helped in the store, and to maintain the family home here. The family home, the center essentially of the Danziger family, was at 729 Linwood Avenue between Livingston and Newton. I remember ’cause I did live there for some time. My Mother stayed there and she helped with the home. She lived there with my Grandfather Danziger. He died, by the way, in 1939. My Grandmother Danziger, that’s Betsy Danziger, she died in I believe it was 1949. Yes, because I think it was before my Bar Mitzvah. I could have that slightly misplaced. Could’ve been ’50, but then my Aunt Lil Danziger, who never married, she lived with them.

Interviewer: Was she a teacher?

Wolman:      She did teach some. Lillian also lived with my grandparents year ’round. My grandparents also owned a place in Florida, Miami Beach, at 1030 Jefferson Avenue. ‘Cause I remember as a kid, we’d go down there, yep in the old South Beach. ‘Course part of that area is now getting revived and I’ve been down there since. Anyway, in the winters my grandparents would live in Florida. They would come back up here around Pesach time, sometimes a little later than that. I remember more of my Pesachs being celebrated in my grandparent Danziger, uh Wolman home, rather than the Daiznger side, but sometimes they were there too.

Interviewer: Your Dad’s family would have more of a gathering at Pesach time?

Wolman:      Yes.

Interviewer: Because of the Florida situation? That part of the family couldn’t come up.

Wolman: Some of them were there, some of them weren’t, but sometimes they were. And of course there were other kids to have Pesach with as well, whether it’s Fremont or elsewhere.

Interviewer: Can you tell me a little bit of some of these Seder goings-on?

Wolman:      Long. Of course as a child everything seemed long. And if course it would have been the full Seder and nearly all in Hebrew. I mean I do remember, you know.

Interviewer: This is on, on your father’s family Seder? And what about the Danziger Seder?

Wolman:      I don’t recall well, of it would’ve been, no question about it.

Interviewer: So they followed traditions on both sides?

Wolman: Yes. On my Grandfather Danziger was a shomer Shabbas, I’m pretty sure. Actually I didn’t know him, just the faintest of memories because he died when I was about three years old. When my parents married, they first lived, I think, over on Studer Avenue and that’s, I was born at that time. And then after my Grandfather Danziger died, they moved in to the Danziger family home. My grandmother, my Aunt Lil would’ve been the regular people there, but also relatives would come visit. It should also be noted that before that, the Danziger home, my grandparents’ home, was also home to lots of other people on occasion. Members of the family would come live there if they were going to Ohio State or if they were doing something else.

Interviewer: It was an open house.

Wolman:      That’s, that’s right.

Interviewer: That’s what we call a warm place, a safe cave.

Wolman:      Yeah, that’s right.

Interviewer: If somebody comes in that needed a couple of days with the Danziger family, they were there.

Wolman:      Or weeks or months. That happened too, quite regularly.

Interviewer: Well that tells the listener that the family was a warm family.

Wolman:      Yeah, oh yeah, no question about it. My Mother was of course, helping in the family home. This is now before she was married, and helping with the store and she was also active socially, having lots of fun and helping with various charities.

Interviewer: Now was she at Ohio State at this time, or high school?

Wolman:      She would’ve been at Ohio State for some time but she didn’t get a degree, as an example. But I think it’s fair to say the family was reasonably well-to-do. Business went well, certainly in the twenties my grandfather traveled a lot, he and my Grandmother Dangizer went back to the old Country on a month’s, on months, plural, vacations. They were able to do that.

Interviewer: This was after the war years?

Wolman:      After the First World War, he took my mother and my Aunt Lil, both of who were unmarried in 1927, on a similar trip that lasted just several months. And they had a grand piano, a baby grand piano in the home, so I mean we’re talking about, for the time period, not necessarily wealthy but certainly well fixed as things….

Interviewer: Able to travel in good means.

Wolman:      That’s right, that’s right.

Interviewer: They didn’t go ….

Wolman: No, no, that’s right. My grandparents probably came here in that kind of means but they came, of course, in a different wave than my father’s side, anyway.

Interviewer: Let me, let me back up just a minute, because I’m missing something here that I think should be important. Here we have a family, the Danziger family, a family of comfortable means.

Wolman:      Right.

Interviewer: A merchant family.

Wolman:      Right.

Interviewer: Able to support extended family members. Able to travel. Can you tell me something about their charities and what they, what you feel they may have contributed to the Columbus Jewish society. I want to, I want to try to zero in on some of that. Can you help us with that?

Wolman:      Well I know they were members of Agudas Achim from early on, both sides of both the Wolman and Danziger sides. Although it’s possible that the Danziger side could’ ve been a member or something else at that time. I just donn’t have the personal recollection or the heresay recollection of it. They definitely were charitable. My Grandather Danziger was an ardent Zionist, no question about it. He attended Zionist Congress in what was then Palestine. And did a lot of work for the Zionist movement. My mother was a lifelong….

Interviewer: Was that on a local basis and a national?

Wolman:      I’m sure, I’m sure. And my mother I know was, you know, a lifetime member of Hadassah and organizations like that. I don’t know when Hadassah began but I would think she was there early on. My father’s side was of lesser means. Well let me bring them together (Laughs) ….

Interviewer: The romance coming?

Wolman:      Yeah.

Interviewer: From high school, from after high school?

Wolman:      Yeah.

Interviewer: Did they know each other in high school?

Wolman:      My mother knew my Aunt Eva Wolman, Englander, later.

Interviewer: Right. That was Manny’s wife?

Wolman:      That’s right.  And my Mother had known Eva since, I’m just trying to think when it was. It may have been late high school. They were the same age. Although Eva said she was a year younger; she wasn’t (Laughs). And literally their age was approximately, what would I say, less than a month apart. We don’t know, well we probably do know my mother’s exact date. We could trace it because she was born on the second day of Pesach. She ultimately came to use April 17 as her birth date, 1903. Eva was born 1903 in the old country.

Interviewer: Be a hundred years old?

Wolman:      Well they were close friends certainly from roughly the high school or post high school period on. Eva was a fairly liberated woman. I mean she was, she worked for the old Union Company, you know, eventually moving up to be a buyer and manager of, I don’t know which department, Junior Town or something, department in the Union Department Stores. She, her sister, Eva’s sister, Ruth Wolman, late Rehmar, she married Ben Rehmar. Yeah Ruth died fairly young, I mean she was, she died in 1960 and she, she was I think in her forties. Well let’s see, no, she would’ve been, she was born in the teens so ..

Interviewer:   Young woman.

Wolman:      Yeah. May have been her forties. She would’ve been in her forty, at the time. Anyway, my Dad knew of my mother for a long period of time, but they didn’t marry for a long period of time.

Interviewer: Now did they, did they meet at any social and ….

Wolman:      Surely, yeah.

Interviewer: Religious and Zionist groups?

Wolman:      Yes.

Interviewer: Was there some sort of an overlap of time?

Wolman:      There, they did, actually, noting from the eulogy, it was, it was sort of interesting, after my grandfather took my mother on, as I mentioned, and my Aunt Lil, on this, turned out to be a seven-month trip we’re talking about in 1927, my mother kept a diary of the trip, which eventually gets to my father. Stuff on it gets to a point regarding my Father. Clearly my Mother’s side was, well my Mother was a liberal, at least in that era, and pieces of that probably came from the family history, the Zionist movement. I know most of the Zionist movements were Labor Zionists, and that meant some socialism, though at least during my lifetime the term became sufficiently unfashionable (Laughs), the McCarthy Era, etc, that then, the term didn’t get bandied about much. But my Mother was clearly regarded as a liberal within the family. There’s no doubt about it. She and the diary she kept, actually on shipboard, on the way back, after being in Riga, she and my Aunt Lil constructed the family tree on the Danziger side, which we do have. And I mean, that’s one of the reasons I was able to trace for my mother’s funeral, and some other documents as well, the family, the generations of Danzigers. It was, you know, very helpful in that kind of process. Anyway she published her personal diaries in a book called “In Retrospect”, which I’ll arrange for you to get a copy of, ’cause going through her house, found some extras. And there are some passages …

Interviewer: This was written as a result….

Wolman:       This was on ship board or traveling in other locations.

Interviewer: But it was, it dealt in part with this trip in the retrospective?

Wolman:      Well it was not retrospective at the time. It was contemporaneous. And, but to give you an example, one of the excerpts, which I’ll just read from the excerpt, this is in Algiers. Now they began in North Africa, or well, I don’t know where they were first, but North Africa was early in the trip, and they’re in Algiers and they went to a carpet factory. And my mother wrote the following: “We entered the large modern work room with big rooms set up with the framework for the rugs. And then we caught a glance of the workers. What a sight! Tiny tots of maybe six years old working shoulder-to-shoulder with the big ones. At the top of the loom on a rope so it could be swung back and forth was a miniature colored pattern of an oriental rug and these tots matching, watching this pattern, were tying and clipping the yarn so quickly you could hardly watch their fingers. We stopped and one of our party who could speak French fluently asked one of the workers how much she was paid. We were told that they get the enormous sum of twenty-five cents a day working from seven a.m. to seven, to six p.m. Six of them worked to a loom and it takes them from one and a half to two months to complete a size nine-by-twelve rug, depending upon how complicated the pattern may be. We stopped at another loom and asked a tiny slip of a girl how old she was. Ten years. But how stunted the poor little thing was in her growth, shut up in there all day, never to see what the sun was like.   As we watched her, the tears streamed down from her face. We gave her some nickels and appreciation shined on her face. To think that the beautiful rugs we buy and tread on daily were made by the toil of these poor little waifs who have never known any pleasure of play, only the drudgery of work. As we left the factory, there were tears in the eyes of even the men.”

Interviewer: There’s sensitivity.

Wolman:      Yep.

Interviewer: Recognizing the need for change. Not only a true liberal but with heart, a lot of heart. Now did that carry on and, let’s say, in your growing up years?

Wolman:      Sure.

Interviewer: Did she ever lecture to you about certain things like justice?

Wolman:      Actually what, what’s interesting is that for me, I always identified social conscience, ‘course with both parents, but more with my father because he appeared to be the more outgoing and active in the community, the parts that I would see more. I wouldn’t go to Hadassah gatherings or other kinds of….

Interviewer: But I have to add….

Wolman:      or shul sisterhood.

Interviewer: Yeah, this I have to add, some of the schmaltz…dripped off on you ….

Wolman:      Oh yeah, sure.

Interviewer: on your, on your family, your siblings …not only from your Father but I didn’t realize, but from your Mother.

Wolman:      That’s right, that’s right, and ….

Interviewer: So you got it from both shoulders.

Wolman:      Oh yeah, and actually she, when they were in Vienna, they went to Schoenbrun Palace and she talks a little: “The palace was interesting, so majestic-like with it’s heavy gold furniture, but not nearly as impressive as the palace in Naples,” where they had also been before. “Perhaps I’m getting too used to palaces, perhaps I’m sweeping on through too many new experiences at once.”

Interviewer: So how old was your Mother at this time?

Wolman:      She was twenty-four. 1927.

Interviewer: A young adult woman.

Wolman:      Yeah.   And unmarried, of course that was one of the reasons I think my grandfather took both her and her sister, her older sister, on this trip, maybe they’ll find someone (Laughs). Who knows? Anyway, she says, “I’m sweeping on through too many new experiences at once, is making me more of a dreamer than ever to go floating on like this, dreaming, dreaming away from the realities of life. Am I getting soft? Am I a coward? No, idealism has sprung to life again. Choke romance, kill idealism, or show me how to balance them happily, consistently on the scale with reality, that is the problem.” So you see some of the, of that, and then her socially liberal views distinctly clashed with her Victorian attitude toward sex.

Interviewer: Is that brought out in the reading?

Wolman:      Yep.

Interviewer: Okay. Can you, then can parts of this be put into this package?

Wolman:      Yeah, I mean….

Interviewer: Would you be able to do that?

Wolman:      Yeah. Here it is.   She’s, this is from a later part of the trip when now they’re up in Latvia and they’re on the beach at Riga.

Interviewer: You know you can, this is a movie. That’s looking at a movie script.

Wolman:      “My first lesson in beach etiquette and a lasting impression. In the morning from eight to ten are men’s hours. Ten a.m. to noon, ladies hours, and after twelve, all may bathe together. But during the above-mentioned hours people may bathe a/a nude.” That’s how she characterized it. “This morning I appeared on the beach at eleven and what a sight met my eyes. Women parading around everywhere without so much as a fig leaf on. Bodies everywhere glaring in the sun, nice bodies, ugly bodies with too much stomach and flabby breasts, sunburned bodies, ugh. And it brought to mind some of Ruben’s paintings which I saw in Dresden and found to repulsive. Only one man on the beach at this time, an officer sitting on a chair. And not ten feet from him, stretched out on a deck chair, a nude woman. And he did not even bother to look at her. Me, I parade around in my little blue and white suit, built rather high in the neck, and I can hear people murmuring in German: ‘Beautiful costume.” Yet I know they are really thinking, ‘Why on earth has she so much on down here?'” Laughs. Anyway….

Interviewer: This is good.

Wolman: Yeah, I mean it clearly was the side of her that we always saw, the clearly Victorian side of the social relationship stuff. Whereas, we also saw the socially-liberal view in, on the other side. Later in England she’s getting ready to come home and she wrote in her diary, “got up early so I could be at Thomas Cook’s bright and early when they opened. Luck was with me, letters, letter, letters. And one from Abe.”   “I tore it open and one sentence made my heart thump. Quote: ‘I am saving every one of your letters and someday I will show them to our children and tell them, those were the days.’ Unquote. I hugged the letter tight and cried all the way back to our hotel. “Quote, ‘our children’, unquote, and he had not even proposed to me.” Then I….

Interviewer: He was a romantic.

Wolman:      Well then I….

Interviewer: He asked right from the get go, he asked her to marry ….

Wolman:      Then I add, in the eulogy, I added

Interviewer: That’s so, that’s beautiful.

Wolman:  Then she returned home but they did not marry until seven years later, in

1934. I’m sure that my Father proposed to her many times, but I’m not sure what he proposed. (Laughs) Anyway my father was a little more avant-garde.

Interviewer: But now, Abe has, did Abe propose in the seven-year period and he was turned down, is that the story?

Wolman:      Well it isn’t clear.

Interviewer: It’s not clear?

Wolman:      It’s just, this is, I, my guess is that he was not quite ready to settle down.  That….

Interviewer: There was a romantic twinge there.

Wolman:      Oh yeah. No question about it.

Interviewer: It’s a beautiful piece.

Wolman:      And she had written to him many letters during the trip.

Interviewer: And here, and their son ….

Wolman:      Yep?

Interviewer: Benson Wolman is now sitting here reading this and enjoying the romance.

Wolman:      And I first read this probably about a dozen or so years ago when she decided to bring out her old diaries and …

Interviewer: Was she enthusiastic about this?

Wolman:      About putting togeth_ oh yeah. About getting them transcribed for all of us to have and for the members of the family to have and, we had, at the time, let’s see, Roberta Ringer did the typing of it for her, this in 1989, 1990 roughly. When she did that, which was, she wasn’t quite ninety at, well, let me think. No she was in her late eighties at the time. Yeah and then they did marry in 1934 and, I’m sure somewhere we have a copy of the wedding invitation because I remember her telling me that my Dad went out and collected some of them from friends and gave them to other people to come to the wedding too (Laughs). And that sounds like my Dad.

Interviewer: Now this, see these are the things that make history. This is what people …. they want to hear this, Benson. Tell us about growing up with this couple.

Wolman:      Well Herbert, I was born in 1936. November four. And Herbert was born a year and a half later, May 12, 1938. The four of us lived in that duplex on Souder Avenue, on Studer Avenue, pardon me. And when my Grandfather Danziger died, we all moved in with Grandma Danziger, and that would’ve been, he died in thirty-nine.

Interviewer: So you were a youngster then, you were….

Wolman:      That’s right. And Aunt Lil, forever unmarried, and others, came to live with us a bit from time to time. Aunt Lil was always there. My, on Linwood Avenue, my Grandmother Danziger and Aunt Lil were there Summers, but not Winters.

Interviewer: Winters in Florida?

Wolman:      Yeah, Aunt Lil was with them, with her parents in Florida in the Winters, and then with her Mother in Florida in the Winters, but other families would go down, drop in. They owned an apartment building there and lived in one, part of it, quite a nice place and the others were rented out on a year-round basis I presume. We lived on Linwood Avenue until nineteen, let me think, about 1946. It was post World War n and my parents bought a home at 60 North Virginia Lee Road which was on the northeast corner of Virginia Lee and Denver.   A two-story home and we let’s see, yeah, I was about ten at the time. On Linwood Avenue I remember that well, too, when we lived at 729 Linwood, right next door to us was Max Kanter, and his wife and Leah.

Interviewer: Leah’s older brother Buzzie?

Wolman:      Yes and Buzz, Bernard, and Sam.

Interviewer: And Sam….

Wolman:  Sam was a year younger than me and so he and I were the closest in age. We were long-time friends, still are friends to this day. Leah, known as Sweetie, through most of that time of her life, was there too. Across the street from us on Linwood Avenue were the Modes family. Joe Modes. I forgot his wife’s name.

Interviewer: He was in the camera business?

Wolman:      Yep.  Yep and camera and pawn shop kind of operation and his sons succeeded him in that. That was Stuart and Irving Modes. So they grew up across the street along with Sonia Modes who later had a nice piano career. Sonya would baby-sit for us from time to time, as would some other people. And that was all on Linwood Avenue. Now I do have the memories of childhood, ’cause we’d sometimes be playing baseball out in the streets and stuff like that and ..

Interviewer: Now wait, this was Linwood?

Wolman:      Linwood. This was before we moved away from the older part of the city.

Interviewer: Now where did you go to school?

Wolman:      I went, my first school was Wee-Wisdom Kindergarten, which was on Franklin Park South. And what sticks with me is I think that’s where I learned I was not really quite a Socialist. I (Laughs) learned that when one time I brought a candy bar and, a Hershey Bar, and I don’t know how big the class was. It wasn’t all that big. And it was chopped up in little pieces for everybody to have some (Laughs). So I jokingly say that’s when I learned I wasn’t quite a Socialist. But I went to Wee-Wisdom Kindergarten and then I started school at Ohio Avenue Elementary School which is still, it stands on Ohio Avenue. I think it’s north of, probably around Mooberry Street. Always loved the name of Mooberry. We would walk to school. We would walk from our home at 729 Linwood Avenue, walk west on Newton Street, crossing Wilson. I think it was Wilson Avenue. On that street, further up north, Sam Kanter’s Grandmother Weiner, lived there, his maternal grand­mother. We would pass Wilson, Oakwood, Champion Avenue, and Ohio Avenue. And Ohio Avenue we’d head north a couple of blocks or so.

Interviewer: Was that kindergarten time?

Wolman:      No this is now, we’re first grade.

Interviewer: First grade and you’re on your own walking to school with a group of children?

Wolman:      Yeah there were others who were walking too. I do remember an encounter in, during World War n one day coming back from Ohio Avenue School and having some kid yell something about being a dirty Jew, or Kike. I can’t, just don’t remember the fine details of it now.

Interviewer: And you’re how old now?

Wolman:      Well it was in World War II and so, sixth grade so at least sixth grade. But this was probably a little later than that, so probably 1944 maybe. And I remember his name was Billy Young. Don’t know whatever happened with him, may be one of the great humanitarians of the world. I do allow that people change a lot over time, but one of those kinds of things. I also remember though, going to school and not liking Christmas programs, and raising some concerns, or my parents raising come concerns, about that, you know. They were certainly prevalent. I also remember air raid practices during the time you know, in the heart of World War n and we were told about, you know, getting down and there were sirens that would go from time to time or we’d have, like later on, we’d remember fire drills.

Interviewer: Now this is in school?

Wolman:      This is in school. This is at Ohio Avenue School where I went from, well it would’ve, I was born in thirty-six. I started school before, I started first grade before my sixth birthday. I had the choice, I think at the time, since I was born in November, I had the choice of starting or waiting and I started and we also had A and B, the half grades. But I started Six AI guess would’ve been the first part of it. I started in September of, must’ve been forty-two

Interviewer: So you were, you weren’t quite six then?

Wolman:      That’s right. And, but I did very well in school.

Interviewer: Were you an early reader by any chance?

Wolman:      Yeah, yeah, I could read.

Interviewer: How old were you, if you can recall? How old were you?

Wolman:      Well I’m not sure but I, I mean, early on I’m sure I learned the comic strips (Laughs) and, but I was not, now bear in mind, I’m still five-something when I’m there. I wasn’t doing a lot of reading but I could pick out words and stuff.

Interviewer: Did you have any other skills, any artistic skills?

Wolman:  No, never much of an artist. I took some piano lessons for a while, but that was not my forte. Maybe I should make the pun, piano forte was not my forte (Laughs). I did fine in early math and reading and writ…, I mean I remember, you know, the Dick and Jane kinds of books that we would read and having little pictures that we would cut out the word “cat” and paste it with, you know, the white paste on, underneath the picture of the cat, those kinds of things. But I moved very quickly through that stuff. I mean, by the time I was in second grade, in fact, I was skipped a half a grade. And it’s interesting, I skipped a half a grade and it was the half grade where you first learned subtraction. The effect of that was to later cause me not to do well in long division, which of course required a subtraction mode to it. But I know I did well in school. I, poetry is one of the things I like, I like to write little poems.

Interviewer: Was school a happy time for you, basically a happy time?

Wolman:      Yeah, yeah, I don’t remember me crying a lot about going to school.

Interviewer: Do you have some victories under the roof of a school? A happy time of your life?

Wolman:      Yeah, heah, defin …. I mean, I did well and so it was (Laughs) happy. I mean, I suppose if I were failing or something might not have been, but I wasn’t struggling in school. So, I mean, I would look forward to school being out, and coming home.

Interviewer: Did you have a favorite teacher that you can recall?

Wolman:  This is all written down somewhere, but I think my first grade teacher was Miss Smith. And the books are probably still at my Mother’s home, albums and things from that period. I do have lots of grade cards still around In fact it was, it’s really strange, in high school, and this just, this is something that happened fairly recently in high school, I did well except my senior year I was goofing off as most people were in, my grades were declining. I could, I think I got almost any possible grades you could get in one or two courses, one of which was Spanish, and my Spanish teacher the last year was a teacher named Jacqueline Kennedy, obviously no relation, and long before…

Interviewer: Which high school was it?

Wolman:      Bexley.

Interviewer: You were at Bexley High School?

Wolman:      Yeah, right, but Jacqueline Kennedy was the high school teacher and years later I was active in the International Wine and Food Society, have been President and Cellar Master of the Columbus branch and one of the members is a physician here in Columbus, Debbie Corana, her single name was Kennedy. Her husband’s also a physician and she said, “I think my mother was your Spanish teacher.” About a year later, they were hosting one of the events at their home and she had arranged then for her mother to come and I knew about it ahead of time and I brought with me my Spanish report card, showing all (Laughs) these different grades, including the admonitions, “Needs to be more attentive”.

Interviewer: Was she there?

Wolman:      Oh yeah she, no, she gave it, so it was one of those (Laughs) things, but anyway. Anyway, so I was at elementary school at Ohio Avenue and in the, well it was fourth grade when we moved out to Virginia Lee, which there were fields around us with trees, ’cause I remember chopping down trees from time to time with an axe, you know, a small axe that I had, once hearing of course, from somebody who owned the lot (Laughs) that I had chopped, and we’re talking saplings, but nonetheless, but at the time I moved it was fourth grade and I guess I was in the, must’ve been the middle of the fourth grade, I had mastered multiplication. I mean I knew the tables even to this day, just like that. But I would then be going, ’cause now we’re in Columbus, but we’re east of Bexley, and I went to Fairwood Elementary School and in the fourth, I guess it was the fourth grade that I started there. Let’s see what year would that have been? Yeah, ’bout, that’s about right. I had skipped a half a grade in second grade and at Fairwood then I was at an odd point, but Fairwood was only doing the full year, they weren’t dividing A and B.

Interviewer: So that’s the Columbus system?

Wolman:      Yes well, Columbus was also Ohio Avenue but at that point Fairwood was not doing that and so I went back a half grade and of course, I was way ahead of everybody, having done all these multiplication table things, but that’s where I struggled first with long division.

Interviewer: Long division, subtraction.

Wolman:      Uh huh, yeah, but caught up with that, I mean, you know …

Interviewer: Did you, did you have?

Wolman:      I was only somewhat rebellious at Fairwood.

Interviewer: Okay why, why was that?

Wolman:      Well I remember at Fairwood in the fifth grade, the teacher was reading the Lord’s Prayer daily and, I remember complaining to my parents and also complaining in school about it. This is, ‘course long before the U.S Supreme Court ever ruled on these matters, but I was uncomfortable. It wasn’t my barucha (Laughs). And there were, they were probably also doing some Bible readings. I just, but I remember protesting about it and I even, what?

Interviewer: Within the classroom?

Wolman:      Yeah, I mean, I actually, there’s one little humorous bit. I had acquired a little tiny printing press, you know where you set each of the letters into a little strip and then you could roll off little messages and I do remember writing something along, I don’t know if it was a call for a strike or anything like that, but it was some protest, it was definitely some protest. And that was about fifth grade and that would’ve been at Fairwood Elementary School and that would’ve been probably 1946, ’47, something like that. I also went to, I.

Interviewer: Were you going to Heder at this time as well?

Wolman:      Well I started, first started on Linwood Avenue. When I was on Linwood Avenue we had private lessons. I had private ….

Interviewer: Who was your teacher?

Wolman: Bernard Soloman, the late Bernard Soloman. Wonderful teacher. I mean, I remember I started with the “ba, ba, beh ” with him and he would come two or three mornings a week before school. And I would ….

Interviewer: In the morning?

Wolman:      Yeah, I’d take Hebrew lessons. Well he had a job. He worked for Handler, I believe, bookkeeping or some such.

Interviewer: Was he a good teacher? I heard good things.

Wolman:      Yes an outstanding teacher, always beloved by everybody who ever took lessons from him. Anyway he taught me then, and he was also teaching in the Columbus Hebrew School. But then the Hebrew School, this was by the time I was at Fairwood Elementary School, the Hebrew School wouldn’t let him have private students ’cause that was keeping the students….I had this little printing press and, in fact, I did write some sort of protest. It was distributing around school, which, maybe in class or something, which did not sit

Interviewer: You were not you were not calling for a revolt or a strike?

Wolman:      No, well I don’t remember whether I was calling for a strike or not but in any case, I didn’t know what a strike was at the time. But it was some sort of protest message.

Interviewer: You were ten years old?

Wolman:      Probably eleven at that time. Now I should add, later on, somebody gave me another one of those, a little bit better one, for my Bar Mitzvah. My Mother, however, intercepted me sending Bar Mitzvah thank you (Laughs) notes: “Dear blank. Thank you for the lovely gift. It was very kind of you to remember me.” (Laughs) And then I would sign. I did a few of those and she made me, of course then, do them all by hand as one should, quite properly. But anyway so I knew from early on though, at elementary school, at the old Ohio Avenue School, that I was uneasy with the school’s role with religion. I was a minority, you know, and that, of course, stayed with me my entire life. When I, well I, I was protesting at Fairwood. I don’t remember what the resolution of it was and ….

Interviewer: Were your parents encouraging you to continue questioning the authority of the prayer?

Wolman: They sided with me.They would occasionally intervene with the schools.

Interviewer: Okay but they were not, it was not a negative thing as far, there was a link between you and your Mother and Dad on the issue.

Wolman:      Oh yeah. Yeah and being it was the schools, it was probably more my mother’s role to deal with the schools as traditionally, you know, my mother was a PTA member, whatever, not my Father. By the time, I was only at Fairwood for two years. And then at sixth grade, Bexley Junior High ’cause it was the sixth, seventh, eighth. No, I’m sorry, it wasn’t, I’m sorry. My parents enrolled me at Bexley in the sixth grade. It was just still elementary school.

Interviewer: As a tuition student?

Wolman:      As a tuition student.

Interviewer: Okay, so that, they were still living in the Columbus district?

Wolman:      They were east of Bexley. There was no Eastmoor School.  And they enrolled me in the sixth grade at Cassingham  Elementary School. In the sixth grade.

Interviewer: Why did they, why did they select Bexley for the schools, was there a reason?

Wolman:      Well first it had a good reputation. Second, it was closest. Whether or not it was affected by issues like integration of schools or, you know, race… But there really wasn’t another school as near, I mean Fairwood was where I would, was going to, before, because of where we were located. But Cassingham was much closer, and I think I was being bussed to Fairwood.

Interviewer: Were you able to walk to the Bexley schools or….

Wolman:      Yeah we’d walk sometimes.

Interviewer: Bicycle ride?

Wolman:      Sometimes yeah, bicycle was more common and later on, drove. Went to, but went to, Cassingham Elementary for sixth grade. Junior High I was at Montrose, because they decided to consolidate the junior high system or, at least for tuition students, at Montrose School.

Interviewer: That was an elementary basically?

Wolman:      It was elementary through junior high. And I went to junior high for two years at Montrose, and from senior high at Bexley. My brother followed that same pattern. He went through Columbus Academy for his last three years of high school, I think. When I went to Bexley, obviously, it was closer and we would walk sometimes. Bike was probably most common. It’s interesting because I was at Cassingham Elementary for sixth grade, which means I was about twelve. I was small for my age, by the way, I was always fairly short. I remember my Mother taking me to the doctor to see if I was suffering from malnutrition and stuff like that.

Interviewer: Were you active in any sports then?

Wolman:      Not very, I never even tried out for any varsity team. ‘Course there was no Little league really. I mean I played baseball on the streets on Linwood Avenue and we’d play some stuff out in some empty lots.

Interviewer: What about your extra-curricular school activities. Anything in Drama or…

Wolman:      Well first it was Hebrew School because when I, when we moved out east, then I went to Columbus Hebrew School in the evenings and it was at, at Fairwood Elementary School. And sometimes I’d go twice on a bus. I’m not quite sure. I have vague recollections, but not too clear.

Interviewer: Who was your teacher then?

Wolman:      Well Bernard Soloman was one of the teachers, but Meshulam Riklis ….

Interviewer: Meshulam Riklis?

Wolman:      Yes, who later made it big.

Interviewer: He did well in Las Vegas.

Wolman:      Well….

Interviewer: Interesting man.

Wolman:      Yeah, well he was working on his MBA at Ohio State at the time, or whatever degrees he went on to get and he was making money by teaching Hebrew School.

Interviewer: Interesting man.

Wolman:      Yeah and now I remember I had him for a year.

Interviewer: How was he?

Wolman:      I wasn’t really fond of him as a teacher. He wasn’t Mr. Soloman’s mold. He wasn’t the gentle mold of Bernard Soloman. And then, later on, o ‘course at that point, I’m in the sixth grade. Mr. Soloman continued on the teaching. We did return to the private lessons at a certain point. I did not graduate Columbus Hebrew School mainly ’cause I went back to the private lessons.

Interviewer: You know, we’re talking Hebrew School. I’m jumping in here for just a minute because I remember….

Wolman:      And I took Hebrew lessons after Bar Mitzvah by the way too.

Interviewer: All right. Okay, so you were continuing?

Wolman:      Yes.

Interviewer: I remember that your Dad, of blessed memory, was very active in putting together a go Hebrew School.For this community.He was a prime mover.

Wolman:     My grandfather on my Mother’s side was active in that too. Interviewer: Interesting, that’s in the back of my mind. I remember Abe Wolman, really an aggressive, a well-engineered aggression, I’m going to put it that way.

Wolman:      Well and he was ….

Interviewer: He’d go and get it done.

Wolman:      and he was into the Columbus Torah Academy.

Interviewer: Torah Academy?

Wolman:      Later and, and he, he….

Interviewer: Yeah, we’ll get into that later.

Wolman:      he was really the organizer of what’s now Heritage House, Wexner Heritage House, et cetera, but yeah….Yeah, it’s a separate channel.

Interviewer: Down the line here, we would like….we’ll get into that and I’m looking at the watch here. And I want to stop in about five minutes. Can we pick up another day at another time?

Wolman:      Sure, absolutely.

Interviewer: I’ve got a ton of stuff to go over with you. If you don’t mind.

Wolman:      No not at all. Hey I love to talk (Laughs).

Interviewer: Well, but the point is, (Laughs) Benson Wolman ….

Wolman:      It’s good history.

Interviewer: and Herbert Wolman are the lynch pins here of a family, of two families that have contributed an awful lot to the growth of the Jewish community here in Columbus and I, and it’s a, it’s a shame that we didn’t get this sooner, when your Dad was also available.

Wolman:  Uh huh. Well, as I think I mentioned to you, I do have a recording of Bubbe Wolman which I recorded in the last year of her life, talking about the old country and a little bit about here.

Interviewer: So this is ….

Wolman:      That, that’d be 1960. I think there is, it should be on file with the CJHS.

Interviewer: Well this is what we’ve covered so far.We covered some basic beginnings of the families. We’ve looked, we haven’t discussed what I’m looking at yet, the family tree, and the maps  and so forth…which we will get into, the Danziger/Wolman connection. The romance, the, the, uh

Wolman:      Ah yes.

Interviewer: beginnings of the new generation of Wolmans. School activities. We put, we haven’t, several names of Hebrew teachers. We have the growing-up years. And a tremendous diary in the background that your Mother wrote.Oh listen, we’re going to put this together.

Wolman:      Yeah, by the way, to my knowledge, my Father and Mother were always Democrats of course, but I do have memories, in fact, of my Father having political campaign signs. I remember when we lived on Linwood Avenue, I remember seeing….

Interviewer: That was in the forties.

Wolman:      Roosevelt/Truman signs that he had.

Interviewer: Oh my, that would be 1944.

Wolman:      That’s right, 1944 against ‘course, Dewey and Bricker. And what was fascinating, there’s a separate little memory about that in, ‘course later on in forty-eight, Dewey. Forty-four….

Interviewer: Forty, forty

Wolman:      no that’s forty.

Interviewer: What was forty?

Wolman:      Yeah, forty-four was Dewey and Bricker.

Interviewer: Dewey and Bricker, okay.

Wolman:      And then it was Dewey and, was it Earl Warren who ran with Dewey?

Interviewer: Earl Warren.

Wolman:      Well I taught modern American history at one point in my life, so, but what I have a special memory of is that, during World War H, my Father, and I have even earlier memories, my Father would substitute as a Chaplain at the Ohio Penitentiary and that’s one of the ways I became interested in prison systems, ’cause I would go with him from time to time. Later on he would substitute for Rabbi Zelizer as the Chaplain. And then later on, when Zelizer couldn’t make it, and maybe my Father couldn’t make it, I would go do some services there. But I also remember my Dad would be a substitute Chaplain out at Lockbourne Air Base during World War DL And Lockbourne Air Force Base, I mean, I’d go out there on Friday evenings when he’d be conducting services and, I know he developed some friends there, including one guy named George Shapiro, who later after the War, became a close aide to Thomas Dewey.

Interviewer: Shapiro?

Wolman:      And he was never somebody you’d think of, you know, but he was a close aide. He was in Dewey/Ballentine, in that law firm when there probably weren’t too many Jews in it (Laughs). And, oh well, and he went into the administration of Dewey, as Governor.

Interviewer: In New York State?

Wolman:      Yeah and they thought the election was won because I remember my Dad telling me of a conversation with George Shapiro, how they had had their inaugural suits tailored. That’s how sure they were. They were getting that out of the way.

Interviewer: This was forty-four?

Wolman:      Forty-eight.

Interviewer: Oh forty-eight.

Wolman:      This is forty-eight. Yeah, ’cause he kept contact, that’s right, that’s right.

Interviewer: Okay. That’s the first time that I voted. I had just turned twenty-one and I voted for Harry Truman. I was torn, I wanted to vote for Wallace. And I tossed a coin. I literally tossed a coin, because my Father influenced me and my Grandfather influenced me. They were all Democrats and they didn’t trust Wallace.Because they just, not so much him, but something in the peripheral thing.Then my Dad was an old soldier from the First World War with the American Army and he liked Captain Truman.

Wolman:      Uh huh, ‘kay, there you are. Well and it’s interesting because I know that George Shapiro would, you know, was calling, talking to my Dad about the campaign stuff. But my Dad voted for Harry Truman, even though his friend, George Shapiro, wasn’t getting a job (Laughs).

Interviewer: And, you know, there was a big movement on Ohio State Campus, there was a big Wallace movement.

Wolman:      Uh huh, oh sure, on any college campus.

Interviewer: Big Wallace movement.

Wolman:      And Glenn Taylor. He ran with Glenn Taylor before …. Interviewer: I was a veteran and I had come home from the army …. Wolman:      Uh huh.

Interviewer:  1940-46,1 was out. And I went in when I was seventeen. I’m not being interviewed.

Wolman:      And Strom, no, and Strom Thurman was running (Laughs) in the Democratic ticket, yeah. Anyway….

Interviewer: So this Shapiro, did your Dad keep in touch with him?

Wolman:      Yes, oh yeah, yeah. I don’t, he may be dead now. I just don’t know. He was younger than my Father because my Father missed the eligibilities for, well he was born in 1901, so in forty-one he was already forty. But I remember he did that and he was also from time to time an air raid warden in the neighborhood. I remember the blackouts, the intentional blackouts (Laughs) as opposed to what we sometimes see with….

Interviewer: We can make this tape because this is the day, the week after the big blackout in the….

Wolman:      New York City. Interviewer: New York City area. August ’03.

Interviewer: Well we …. back pretty well. We have a lot to do yet, Benson. I just want to say that this is more fun for me than I think it is for you. This is a stressful….

Wolman:      Well I don’t know. I’m enjoying, well I’m enjoying it.  You by the way, you asked about my Mother and her organizations.

Interviewer: Can we pick up on that later?

Wolman:      Yeah, yeah, just, since I nave it here, she was of course, a life trustee of the Wexner Heritage Village. She had been President of the Agudas Achim Sisterhood early on. She was a life member of Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women. She was a member of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. She also became an ACLU member, though that was probably more because of me, and although she had liberal tendencies, (Laughs) it’s funny ’cause I was interviewed by Nina Totenberg for National Public Radio when I argued the case for the Ku Klux Klan in US. Supreme Court and so in the course of the conversation with Nina Totenberg, she says to me, Nina says, “What’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing representing the Ku Klux Klan?”

Interviewer: This is on the air or….

Wolman:      Yeah, this is later broadcast. I knew it was going to be broadcast ’cause of line that came up, so I then told her, I said, “Well my Mother asked me, you know, about this case that I was going to argue at the U.S. Supreme Court. At that time my Mother was ninety-three and she says, so I’m telling Nina Totenberg the story and I said, she says, “What’s a nice Jewish boy like this doing, you know, arguing for the Ku Klux Klan?” I’d give her, you know, about ten seconds of the First Amendment. I said, “But I suppose you should know my ninety-three-year-old Jewish Mother said to me, ‘I hope you lose.'” (Laughs). It’s a wonderful story and of course, I knew that it’d be broadcast, which it was. But any ….

Interviewer: Well you were successful.

Wolman:  Anyway, she was into all of those things. We’ll get on with some other stuff

Interviewer: But the woman of ninety-three could have that….

Wolman:      Oh yeah.

Interviewer: that sharpness of. …

Wolman:      Oh yeah, yeah and, you know, she was taking pride in me during this. But you know….

Interviewer: with Nazis.

Wolman:      But with Nazis and Ku Klux Klan, it would give her pause.

Interviewer: She didn’t want to have any …. with that organization.

Wolman:      Right, right.

Interviewer: Well what are some of the things you want to talk about in our next meeting. Any …. I’m looking at the …. We want to bring in your Dad. And his activities. We want to bring in the family, the insurance business.

Wolman:      Yep, that’s right. And my brother then going on into that, and…

Interviewer: And certainly we, I want to get into the basics of this family tree which I’m looking at. It’s amazing, and the geography and the maps, how you came

Wolman:      It, by the way ….

Interviewer: how you came into this.

Wolman:      In junior high I wasn’t, well I had some rebellious tendencies. I wasn’t quite yet the liberal. In the first place, I was too young to be a liberal. I’m not going to reflect. I know that I had some mixed feelings in the early stages of the MacCarthy Era about communism, about Soviet style of communism, of course. But I do particularly recollect, by the time I was in the, well let’s see, when did Macarthur, when was he, removed from his command?

Interviewer: Fifty-two, fifty-one.

Wolman:      Was it fifty-one? No I think it had to be a little earlier.

Interviewer: I was ready to go back to Korea and ….

Wolman:      Yeah that’s about right.

Interviewer: By that time I was married and my reserve unit didn’t click so I was saved from that.

Wolman:      Well I remem ….

Interviewer: I think it was fifty-one or maybe fifty-two. It was fifty it started, the Chinese came through fifty or fifty-one.

Wolman:      Yeah that’s right, that’s right. Then the crossing of the Yalu River

Interviewer: And the Yalu. It was late fifty-one that MacArthur was fired.

Wolman:      Uh huh, yeah, and oh I remember. That’s the Pusan Perimeter. I had a map of Korea with map tacks on it.

Interviewer: The Pusan, yeah, the Pusan ….

Wolman:      Yeah that was the lower perimeter, yeah.

Interviewer: That was right at the tip and it was on fire.

Wolman:      Anyway, I remember my initial reaction, as any school kid of the day, to MacArthur being fired. My initial reaction to that was, of course, you know, here was the legend and it was sympathetic to MacArthur initially. But I remember my father.

Interviewer: He deserved being fired.

Wolman:      Oh absolutely, there’s no question in my mind. At the time, you know, this is, you know, this is the hero of the War, of the great World War II, that I…

Interviewer: He was a great tactician.

Wolman:      That’s right and, but I remember being upset that he was fired. And I remember my father then laying out why it was proper.

Interviewer: Your father probably made sense.

Wolman: Oh yea, absolutely. And then I also remember at the junior high level, I was outraged that the history teacher, Miss Pierce, because she was a classic case of revisionist history on how the Democrats, knowing that a Depression was coming, nominated a Catholic in 1928, knowing he would lose, so that the Republicans would then be in power. And there would be, they knew the Depression was coming and that the Republicans would then get blamed for it. So the Democrats would then be in control for years later. I remember that and….

Interviewer: She was….

Wolman:      At that point I was already shifting my political

Interviewer: Did you ever discuss it with her openly?

Wolman:      No, no.

Interviewer: Revisionism.

Wolman:      Yeah, I mean that’s, that’s classic revisionist history. But

Interviewer: Well as a teacher of history you, you know there are patterns that revisionists. That come in in every ….

Wolman:      Oh with everything, yeah, of course. I taught Modern American History at Ohio State as a teaching assistant.  I had a good time with that. Then I decided to become ACLU Director. Interviewer: I taught, I’m gonna’, I’m gonna’ stop it here. We’ll pick up again. I promise this tape will pick up again. (Benson laughs.)