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Transcript of interview with Margo Mink Colbert by Barbara Tabach, November 11, 2014







Interview with Margo Mink Colbert by Barbara Tabach on November 11, 2014. Colbert discusses her upbringing in New York and her schooling at the High School of Performing Arts and Julliard. She is a choreographer and faculty member at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Margot Mink Colbert was born in 1935 in New York City, to parents of different economic backgrounds who shared a Jewish immigrant heritage. She attended Julliard and studied under modern dance pioneers like Martha Graham and Jose Limon. Margot honed her skill for choreography, and took her first job in academia as a Senior Lecturer in the dance department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1991, she moved to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to take a one-year appointment as an instructor. A year later, she was hired into a tenure track position. Margot is now a Professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, assistant chairperson of and Director of Ballet in its Department of Dance. In addition, she continues to direct Ballet Mink, a dance company she founded in 1970.

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Margot Mink Colbert oral history interview, 2014 November 11. OH-02182. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Margot Mink Colbert An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries ?Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV - University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White Editors and Project Assistants: Maggie Lopes, Stefani Evans Ylll The recorded Interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Community Digital Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas Ylll Preface Margot Mink Colbert was born in 1935 in New York City, to parents of different economic backgrounds who shared a Jewish immigrant heritage. Growing up in Midtown Manhattan, Margot took advantage of the many educational and cultural opportunities afforded to her. It was watching her sister, Jane, whom she adored, in a dance recital that perked her interest in dance. When it came time to start high school, she auditioned for and was amongst the first class to attend the High School of Performing Arts. At the age of sixteen, Margot headed to Antioch College. However, after a year of academic rigor and having to find her own dance instruction off-campus, she left college to take classes at Jacob's Pillow dance festival in Massachusetts. There she met her idol Antony Tudor who suggested she audition for Juilliard. Margot did, was accepted, and studied under modern dance pioneers like Martha Graham and Jose Limon. After sometime, she began to question her passion for dancing and quit school, only to re-audition - and re-enroll - months later. Upon returning to Juilliard, Margot honed her skill for, and possibilities with, choreography. Choreography was a medium through which she could express her political beliefs, literary interests, and later, her Jewish heritage. Margot's first job in academia as a Senior Lecturer in the dance department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and continued to raise her two Ylll children. In 1991, she moved to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas to take a one-year appointment as an instructor. A year later, she was hired into a tenure track position. Aside from following her sister to Sunday school as a child, Margot largely shied away from identifying as a Jewish person. It wasn't until her father passed away as well as discovering how much she related to Jewish students at Wisconsin that she began to embrace her Jewish background. When moving to Las Vegas, Margot found a sense of comfort at Congregation Ner Tamid and started attending its Saturday morning discussion group. More recently, Margot wrote a three-part ballet entitled "TRANSIT(ION) Trilogy," which traces the Jewish-American experience from "emigrant to immigrant to citizen." Margot is now a Professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, assistant chairperson of and Director of Ballet in its Department of Dance. In addition, she continues to direct Ballet Mink, a dance company she founded in 1970. Ylll Table of Contents Interview with Margot Mink Colbert on November 11, 2014 by Barbara Tabach in Las Vegas, Nevada Preface..........................................................................................................iv Discusses family history; father's family moving from Poland to Lower East Side of New York City; mother's family immigration from Austria; father becoming dentist. Describes differences between sides of family, class differences; closeness with maternal side of family, especially grandmother. Talks about role of Judaism in childhood; Sunday school.....................................1-6 Talks about childhood education; attending Hunter College Elementary School and Junior High; later going to High School of Performing Arts during its first years. Shares how she started dancing, which began with ice skating lessons. Reflects upon privileged upbringing in Midtown Manhattan. Talks about struggling with commitment to dance; judgments of the profession at the time; desire to attend Horace Mann School, but going to another public school.................7-12 Describes senior year, attending academic division of Julia Richmond High School; school's European immigrant diversity; leftist views getting her in trouble. Mentions going to work camps when younger. Talks about attending Antioch College; exchanging letters with friend Ruthie Hoffman; getting into dance again; finding teacher outside school who had been with Jooss Company. Leaves college to take dance classes at Jacob's Pillow; auditions for Juilliard and gets in..................................................................................................................................13-21 Reflects upon support received over the years, contributing in her success as student and professional. Discusses relationship with Jewish identity as young adult; recalls conference with Martha Graham while at Juilliard, story from summer camp. Decides to quit Juilliard and see Freudian psychoanalyst; later returns to Juilliard, dedicated to becoming a choreographer, given aptitude for it, and as medium to express other interests, views..............................................22-27 Graduates from Juilliard; meets husband, a writer. Describes shows produced together. Talks about divorcing, moving out with two children, losing job at New Dance Group Studio; eventually gets job at University of Wisconsin-Madison. After a department restructure at Madison, receives offer to teach at UNLV. Describes connecting with Jewish heritage first while in Wisconsin, discovering common cultural values with Jewish students...............................28-33 Talks about visiting Las Vegas' synagogues upon moving; likes Congregation Ner Tamid and Rabbi Akselrad; attends Ner Tamid's Saturday morning discussion group. Mentions Al Espin, inspiring her to create ballet trilogy based on Jewish-American history; turning to her sister Jane for help with music. Remarks on family history during World War II, hiding from Nazis; an uncle's involvement with French Resistance. Describes TRANSIT(ION) Trilogy production, show's reception in Denmark, Israel.......................................................................................34-39 Ylll Reflects upon the opportunities the city has afforded her; respect for colleagues, under appreciation for quality of UNLV's dance program. Considers what the next generation of dance holds; the impact dance performance can have on lives. Talks about Las Vegas' evolution as a city for professional dancers; compares to trajectory of musicians. Muses about ballet, modern dance appearing in pop culture.................................................................................................40-45 Index.........................................................................................................................................46-47 Appendix.....................................................................................................48 Family photos Dance photos TRANSI(TION) Trilogy Ylll THE SOUTHERN NEVADA JEWISH COMMUNITY DIGITAL HERITAGE PROJECT at UNLV University Libraries Use Agreement Name of Narrator: )i_ Ma^jaf/UiaK Colbert Name of Interviewer: "BART3A~feA _ We, the above named, give to the Oral History Research Center of UNLV, the recorded interview(s) initiated on H " l( - "Z-Q along with typed transcripts as an unrestricted gift, to be used for such scholarly and educational purposes as shall be determined, and transfer to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, legal title and all literary property rights including copyright. This gift does not preclude the right of the interviewer, as a representative of UNLV, to use the recordings and related materials for scholarly pursuits. I understand that my interview will be made available to researchers and may be quoted from, published, distributed, placed on the Internet or broadcast in any medium that the Oral History Research Center and UNLV Libraries deem appropriate including future forms of electronic and digital media. There will be no compensation for any interviews. Signature of Narrator Date Signature of Interviewer Date Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 457010, Las Vegas, NV 89154-7010 702.895.2222 Ylll Today is November 11th, 2014. I'm sitting with Margot in my office at UNLV Libraries. This is Barbara Tabach. Margot, if you would start by spelling your name so that the transcriber will have the correct spelling, that would be great. First name, M-A-R-G-O-T. Middle name, or second name now, Mink, M-I-N-K. And third name, Colbert, C-O-L-B-E-R-T. Great. Thank you. Today we're going to start with what you know about your family ancestry. Take me back wherever you can remember that your family started, your family tree, anyway. My father was born in Poland. After much digging, according to my sister who's more academic than I am, apparently he didn't come over until he was about eleven, somewhere between nine and eleven, and I always thought he came over when he was four or five. But that can be verified and my sister's probably right because she usually is. So he came over with his mother and father. When they were in Poland, my grandfather apparently was a yeshiva bucha. He was a scholar. The mother did all the work. That's the way my father characterized it. They had a combination grocery store beer saloon in Poland; that's the way my father described it. The other thing my father used to say, which I never understood until recently, was they came from Russia Poland." I used to think, what's wrong with you? Why don't you make up your mind? Where do you come from, Russia or Poland? And then, of course, later I found out that there was no Poland during that period of time, so he came from the part of Poland that was run by Russia. Got it. I never met his parents. The mother was a saint, according to my father, and the father was angry all the time, according to my father; he was angry because he had to work on Shabbos when he 1 came to America. He was never happy about that and then he gave up religion. What kind of work did he go into, do you know? I think in a factory. I think they all did Leggings in New York City. They came to the Lower East Side. I mean that's the connection with my ballet the "TRANSIT(ION): the life on the Lower East Side and what they found and made there." So they lived in the Lower East Side. In fact, they lived in Columbia Street, not all the time maybe. My daughter is currently on a list for an apartment on Columbia Street, which, of course, is not the same crowded tenement area as in the early twentieth century. Wow. So everything comes full circle. I can't wait. I want her to get it. I want her to live on Columbia Street. Of course, it's very different now than it was. So they worked in factories. He had a lot of older siblings and they worked in factories. They were mostly female and they worked in Leggings, sewing and things of that sort. He was one of nine children, I believe, and I think one died. I didn't know that side of the family as much as I knew the other side. And he was very bright. He went to Stuyvesant High School, which is a competitive public high school. I have friends who went to Stuyvesant High School. You get in by examination. Then he went to New York University's dental school, which in those days was only a two-year college program. Then he became a dentist. Wow. He actually did the best of anybody in his family. They were basically workers and lower class, the rest of them. He had one brother who was a union printer, which was a little better. The others were all sisters, and they worked in the factories sewing. He did have one sister who we knew very well and loved who was a factory worker, but she had a lot of class. I don't know how she 2 managed it, but she did. She lived with us. She used to wear high heels and prance around. She was really cute and I loved her. So on my father's side, basically they had the immigrant, lower class life, but very bright, at least in his case; I don't know about the rest of them. He became a middle class professional in New York. My mother was born in the States. Her mother came over from Austria, which I then found out was also really Poland, but it was Austria. But they came from Austria; they didn't come from Poland. Austria was higher up there. They were more classy. So there was a distinction even though it was geographically more or less the same. Yes. Economically and culturally, they were a superior breed. Her mother died or something of that sort and she was brought up by a stepmother; and so she left as quickly as she could and she got on a boat when she was sixteen from somewhere in Austria. She came over by herself when she was sixteen years old and she met Max. That's one of my grandson's name. And this is your father? No, this is my mother's father. Okay. So this is your grandfather. So there was Anna. Her name was Hanna and she met Max, who was also maybe only seventeen or eighteen years old and came over by himself from the same town. They married and they lived in Queens. They didn't live in the Lower East Side. As my mother used to say, "We had an arbor [pronouncing ah-buh]." They had a single-family home with a grape arbor. Ah-ba. Oh, so that was her New York accent saying arbor. Yes. "We had an arbor." But she didn't speak like that until she was getting in her declining years. She had very good speech. When she was really old and started losing it, she reverted to 3 New York accent. I never knew she had one until she was older. Did they have immigrant influences? Did they speak Yiddish or anything like that? Yes, but they didn't speak Yiddish at my house. The upbringing of the two, mother and father, was very different. My grandma on my mother's side, who I was very close to, was observant, but she didn't impose being observant on anybody else. She only had three children. She understood about birth control; things like that. She was a very modern woman with a very, very strong accent. She would speak Yiddish to my mother; Yiddish was her comfortable language. Just to give you an example of how upwardly striving my parents were, we didn't speak Yiddish in the house; and when my grandma would speak Yiddish, I would say, "Grandma, speak English; you're in America now," and nobody objected to my saying that. So I never learned Yiddish. Of course, I know a lot of phrases. They were definitely Americanizing. My father's family was lower class. They lived in America and they spoke English and all that. But there was a class distinction and we were supposed to go with the higher-class side. I don't know if my sister would agree with this, but I think she would. On my mother's side, they were academically inclined. They only had three children, not nine; they had three and one was an engineer and one became a doctor and my mother later in life became a social worker. So they were upwardly mobile. On my father's side, as I said, they were factory workers and the highest [achieving] of his immediate siblings was the one who became a union printer. So he made a very good living and he only had one child; they didn't have a bunch of children. My family, really we bonded with my mother's side of the family and we didn't have that much to do with my [father's side]...except for one bunch, which was his sister's daughter, who I'm still friends with the granddaughter who became a gymnast and I've had a bit of interactions with her. So the closer connection was with my mother's family. The objective, the trajectory was the 4 mother's side, the upwardly mobile and Americanization. We didn't have any Judaism in the house except? Oh, none? Practically none except every once in a while when my mother and father wanted to say something they didn't want us to hear, my mother would speak in Yiddish and my father would grunt and assent that he understood it. We did have the holidays with my grandma. In fact, we used to often take the train out to Queens and have Friday night dinner with my grandma. So we had it, but we didn't...they didn't even want to go to synagogue. Apparently, it was my sister?I don't know where my sister got her ideas; she was three years older than myself?she wanted to go. I guess she met a friend in school who went to synagogue or went to Sunday school. At some point when I was maybe ten or eleven, they decided to let us go to Sunday school. We went to the most reform synagogue in the city, which was Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, who was apparently?I didn't know this at the time?the son of this famous Rabbi Wise. I don't know too much about it. But he was very famous and very reform. Part of the reform issue was that we met on Sunday, not on Saturday. We went to Sunday school just like the Christians. This was Central Synagogue. It's still there. It's a huge synagogue. It's a beautiful place. It was mostly learning history and socializing with the other children. Then my mother would take us out to Hamburger Heaven on Sunday when she picked us up and I got to eat two hamburgers; that was the best thing about Sunday school. This is like a neighborhood burger joint? It was on the east side. We lived on the west side. It was a very nice neighborhood. They would never take us to anywhere that wasn't a nice neighborhood. But it was a good experience. I liked Rabbi Wise. He said good singing was loud singing. 5 So we could just all kind of let it out. We learned a little bit of history. I learned the 23rd Psalm. I was supposed to recite it at an assembly or something, and then they had to curtail the program and I was crying. They said, "Oh, it's too bad you're not going to recite it." But I was crying because I didn't want to do it. I was scared. So that was a funny thing that I experienced where my emotions were being sympathized with but for the wrong reason. It was kind of funny. I still know that Psalm. That's about the only religious quote I know other than a lot of Christian hymns that I've learned from my friends. Did you celebrate the High Holy Days? Yes. We had Passover and we had Hanukkah; that was about it. It was fun. We had Friday night. We would go to my grandma's often when we were children. My grandmother was a wonderful, wonderful person. She told me when I was a young teenager?she's making me cry?if I ever was in trouble I should only come to her. Special relationship. She was...sympathetic. I don't know if my sister had the same relationship with her. It was such a wonderful thing because I was hanging out with all the juvenile delinquents and all this stuff. I had to be cool. You were? In high school. Wow. Oh, yes. So she told me that. And she was thinking pregnant, of course. She was great. Well, that was a different era and all that. So your education, you went to public school? Yes, but we went to special public schools. We didn't go to any old public school. I went to a regular kindergarten and first grade, PS69 on W. 54th Street. But then we tested for Hunter 6 College Elementary School (HCES), a school for little geniuses, and we got in. Interestingly, in those days almost all the students?it was a high IQ thing; you had to qualify. So I tested my children. Of course, my husband had a very low IQ, which was too bad. But not only that all the children [in the neighborhood} were Asian whereas when I was there all the kids were Jewish. We had like two or three non-Jewish people in the class of twenty-five. So whatever the newer immigrant or whatever was smarter..! don't really know how it went. But in 7th grade I went to Hunter Junior High School, which was really up there. Academically I didn't qualify, but because I was in Hunter Elementary and it only went to sixth grade, they allowed me into Hunter Junior High, though I wasn't very diligent academically. I may have had a high IQ, but I had a fast run and that was more interesting to me. You were having fun. Yes and I was athletic. I was very athletic and I was very strong. Okay. I guess now they would have?I've had a lot of conversations about this?they would have said I was ADHD or ADD or ADPP. They would put some letters with it. Yes, because I couldn't stand still and I was jumping all over the place all the time and I haven't changed too much though I force myself to accomplish a few things. So they let me into the junior high school because I was in the lower school. For two years, I went to a very academically rigorous school, thank God, because that's the only place?I only had two years there and one year in my first year of college where I had any academic rigor that I really had to toe the mark. It was the best thing that ever happened to me and I got out of there as soon as I could because then, when it was time for high school, I was dancing. I was taking dancing lessons. I guess I liked it. 7 So I had two options. One was I wanted to go where my sister went, because she was my idol, and that was Bronx High School of Science. Then I met a girl in my ballet class who was auditioning for the High School of Performing Arts, which was just opening that coming season. So I tried out for both. I didn't get into Science; I got into PA. So I went to PA, which was a pretty amazing, wonderful thing. Those were the first years of its existence. The movie Fame? That's the school. But it wasn't really like that. It wasn't? No. We didn't sing this the streets and stop traffic. Take me back just a little bit. When did you start dancing? Oh, you know what? I told this story on the last tape that you made. I listened to the last one you did with me. Yes, we did that Story Corps conversation. Right. Again, my sister was my idol. My sister was taking some kind of interpretive dance lesson or something, and I went to see a recital and she played, I think, Peter Pan or something like that. She ran around with a scarf floating behind her and I thought it was the most wonderful thing I'd ever seen in my life. My father had a friend who was a figure skater. So we were taking figure skating lessons?it was during World War II?at Madison Square Garden, from my father's friend who was a professional figure skater. I guess he was a dental patient or something like that. I loved figure skating. I could put my right heel into the ice and circle around and end up in a split; I could go on one leg and put my leg up in the back. It was a lot of great fun and I enjoyed it a lot. But then it was during the war. You couldn't get skates because of the shortage of metal. It was very, very expensive. I didn't think about that. 8 I don't know where I got the idea, no doubt from my sister except she didn't take ballet lessons. Apparently, when I had grown out of the skates and I needed new skates, my father had a patient who was a pianist. She was a Polish immigrant pianist in ballet school at Carnegie Hall, which was right...we lived on 57th Street. So I said, "Well, why don't you just send me to ballet lessons because we can't get the skates, anyway? It's ridiculous. It's too expensive." So I started taking ballet lessons when I was about eight or nine, and I just went to the ballet lessons. I knew the pianist. I'm sure they paid for it. Of course, I was in luck again. Our friend Roberta?you know Roberta Sabbath? Yes. I was with her and her cousin the other day. I lived in Midtown Manhattan. Her cousin said to me, "Well, I consider that you were really privileged." I was like, "What do you mean privileged?" She said, "Well, you lived in Manhattan; I lived in Queens. I couldn't get to these places." Suddenly I realized how privileged I was. It was through foresight of my mother mostly because she wanted that. We lived in Midtown Manhattan. I could go to Carnegie Hall, the best ballet school in the U.S. I could go to Performing Arts High School or Hunter. It was all right there. I took a bus or I walked. I was extremely privileged. I never thought of it that way. But by virtue of where you were placed geographically. But they placed us there. They weren't going to live in the Lower East Side or Queens. Your parents were strategic about what was? Extremely. They really had it figured out, how to maximize what was available from an academic and an aesthetic and a health point of view. That's pretty awesome. Yes. That was so interesting that she said that. I was like, "What do you mean by privileged?" 9 Right down the street?we lived midblock between Eighth and Ninth Avenues?if you went to the right, you were in business district and all this nice; if you went to the left, you were in the ghetto. What was that called? Devil?not devil. It was Ninth Avenue, Tenth Avenue. I don't know the neighborhoods well enough to know the name. Hell's Kitchen. It was considered overcrowded, a very bad neighborhood. I never thought, but she's right; I was extremely privileged by location and insight that my parents had. So then in high school, because of dance, did you settle down and get focused? No. I didn't want to be a dancer. It wasn't on a trajectory because my mother said, "Oh, I don't want her to be a hoofer." Dancing was for whores, practically. It still is a little bit, but not as much. It's a lot better now. But at that time it was not as highly regarded? No. I mean to be a dancer? As one of my male friends said, "Dancers...they just want people to look at their bodies." Basically dancing was whoredom. It still is in large part. I have to give an anecdote from contemporary times. I heard something on the radio that just made my blood boil. It was about the Louisiana governor's race and it said that there were a huge number of people on the ballot and very varied, everything including a dance teacher and ex-con, which to me shows that the idea of being a dancer has not changed. Of course, there are all kinds of dancers and ballet is respected to some extent now. It's creeping into the media. Like the Taylor Swift, these contemporary kids singing, they have ballet dancers in their imagery, in their video imagery. But when I heard that I just was like, yeah, things haven't really changed that much. What could be lower, a dance teacher and an ex-con? I think the ex-con won the election, by the way; I'm not sure. oh, really? [Laughing] 10 Not the dance teacher. I didn't follow it up. But as a kid I can remember idolizing the movements of ballet. My parents, they went to the ballet. They went to the opera. But I wasn't supposed to be a dancer. My mother came to High School of Performing Arts on Parents Day and she said to the teacher, "Well, we don't want her to be a hoofer." It was hoofer; that was the word? Yes, that was the hoofer. My mother's best friend had been a hoofer, actually, and she had a huge influence on me. She was wonderful. But anyway, where was I? So I got to high school. Then I got all conflicted. I didn't want to be a dancer, but, of course, I kept dancing. I discovered three things when I was in Performing Arts. One was at the two years at Hunter Junior High I had study skills way over anybody else in that school. In that school I learned to cheat. I learned not to do my homework. I learned to copy from other people's papers. They had all these skills that I didn't know anything about. So that was interesting. Actually, a lot of quite famous people came out of that school. The only one I can think of right now is Herb Gardner, who was the author of a good number of Broadway plays. He was at that school with us. Then a lot of very important people in dance, very important people like Broadway choreographers. Not so much solo dancers, but the teachers were...we had the best. We had great teachers. So I wasn't supposed to be a dancer and I was dancing. In my senior year I was very conflicted. I was busy folk dancing and being socially aware and being left wing, from my sister again. She led the way, so I did it. I had once cheated on a test and this teacher had caught me. So between thinking I didn't want to be a dancer...that teacher was going to be my senior adviser and I knew all these non-Jewish upscale people who went to the Horace Mann School, and so suddenly I wanted to go to Horace Mann for my last year. There was 11 another name for it, but it was part of the Horace Mann School. These were some Jewish, some non-Jewish intellectuals who had started that whole American liberal trend. I talked to them at that school. They said I could come. They said I had to read a bunch of books that I hadn't read before to catch up with the others and everything was all good. And I was happy I was going to go with the rich non-Jewish people into this nice school. I wasn't dancing. Then I quit taking the regular ballet lessons and I was just folk dancing. I was folk dancing all the time because this was the people's dance and that was good. It came fall, ready to go to the school, and my father says, "You're not going there." My father had a few principles. One was that you don't go to private school. He did not believe in private schools. He probably knew that there were a whole lot of non-Jewish people there. He said, "You're not going." Then they gave me a scholarship, but that wasn't enough for me to not go. He had a patient who was the principal of Julia Richman High School Country School. The way the large schools were organized in those days?I don't know if they still are?Julia Richman was like the lowest of the low because I went to Hunter two blocks over, which was the highest of the high and then there was this lower class thing, Julia Richman, some huge high school with all sorts of people with no education. So the idea of going to Julia Richman was just like horrific. But they had something called the Country School and that was for the academically advanced people and it was separate. They had little schools within the school?they had trade schools; they had college prep schools. So his patient was the principal of the Country School. I talked to her and she said I could go. So I went because he wasn't going to pay for the other school and I couldn't go back to PA; I was ashamed. That was another thing; I might have tried to go back to PA, but didn't even occur to me. I was so embarrassed. 12 So I went to the Country School and it was academically rigorous. There we go, another experience with academic standards. [Pause] So you just said that neighborhood we couldn't think of was Hell's Kitchen. Hell's Kitchen was...when you got out of my apartment building, to the left was Hell's Kitchen and to the right was Carnegie Hall. Got it. It does have a famous history, doesn't it? Oh, yes. I know. That's why I had to get the right name. It wasn't just any old slum. [Laughing] So you're in this crazy point in your life as a senior. There I am at Julia Richman, completely confused. Started smoking. That was important because you had to smoke if you were going to be pretty. About what year would this have