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Transcript of interview with Ellen DeLand by Dennis McBride, January 19-20, 1996


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Ellen DeLand was born on April 1, 1931 and went to Santa Monica High School. She was very active in the Las Vegas LGBT community. She was interviewed January 19, 1996.

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DeLand, Ellen Interview, 1996 January 19-20. OH-00216. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Ora! History !nterview with E)!en DeLand 1996 Phot ogt aphs following payo 1. EHen Terry at 16 in 1947....................................................................................................6 2. Caroie DeLand at 16.........................................................................................................24 3. EHen Terry Roan in 1965................................................................................................. 45 4. Ellen and Carole DeLand opening presents at their wedding reception, August 28,1971................................................................................................................. 45 5. Marriage of Ellen Terry Roan and Carole DeLand, August 28,1971................. 48 6. Marriage of Ellen Terry Roan and Carole DeLand, August 28,1971................. 49 7. Motel 6 in Nogales, Arizona...........................................................................................66 8. Marriage of EHen DeLand and Sean Kelley DeLand, May 1985............................83 9. Ellen DeLand at work at the Imperial Inn Motel in Pasadena, California, 1987...................................................................................................................87 10. EHen and KeHey DeLand, 1993-94.............................................................................107 11. Kelley's good-bye letter to EHen, January 13,1992...............................................107 * * * * ii Ac k nowl e dgme nt s I'd like to thank Ellen DeLand and Joanne Kisicki for their patience with me through this long interview process, and for their hospitality in allowing me to visit their home and borrow photographs to include in this oral history. The staff of the Boulder City Library; the Special Collections Department of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas library; and the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society at Lorenzi Park in Las Vegas were helpful in compiling the annotations, while the excellent photo reproductions were made by Ihla Crowley and Chris Dittman at Desert Data in Boulder City, Nevada. X * X * iii Las Vegas Gay Archives Ora! History Project Interview with E)!en DeLand conducted by Dennis McBride January 19 and 2 0 , 1 9 9 6 This is Deaais McBride anti Ehe/r De7ar:d. 7'a: iateroie77aag E//ea as part o/^ a series o^ ora/ /astones 7 iatead coa^:rctiag wit/: iarpo? taat arerahers o/ t/:e gay coaaaaaiti/ ia Las Vegas. E//ea /aag/:s 7ohea 7 say iaywrtaat, hat it's trne. She certaa;/y is aa ext? aon7;aan/ 7ooarar: aad roe're aery /achy to /woe her. We're at Ei/ea's diaiag rooar tah/e at 7349 North Be/cher ia Las Vegas. Aad today is Enday, /aaaan/ 79, 7996. What 7 7oaat to hao7o^irst, E//ea, i^yoa coa/d gioe are some q^yonr hachgroa?7d; 77'/rea yo!7 77^ere hora aad rohere yo;r 7oere hora, brothers aad sisters aad so oa. OK. I was bom in Santa Monica. I have one sister that's my whole sister. I had two half brothers and one half sister. One of the half brothers is already dead, and the half sister is dead now. 1 was not close to the half brothers. 1 roas to the half sister. 1 Do yoa aaad saying 7ohea yon were hora? --------------------------------------- ——------------------------------------------------------- *s 2 1931. April Fool's Day. As a chdd, d;d yoa /MW a /mppy chddhood? We//, that's a re/at/oe term. Yes, reasonably happy. I thought 1 had a loving home. And, naturally, everything's hard in the Depression.^ Was t/o;/rya?Hi/t/ had/y //nu t/ Ft/ the Depression? Yes. They lost pretty much everything in the Crash. 3 They were both from families that had money and they were down to nothing and were horr/h/y ashamed. They didn't want people to know how poor we were. You know, "Don't tell anybody about this." Or, "Don't tell anybody your father doesn't have a job." Or anything like that. [/aa^hs] I didn't know everybody else was in the same situation. I thought we were the only ones that were poor, [/aaghs] Chat's sad/ What job did your father haoe? My father was a steam fitter. And, of course, steam fitters aren't hardly needed anymore. Who was he worZd?y?^br at the t/me? He talked about having put all the steam heat into the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. He named all kinds of big companies like that that he had put steam heat into. But eventually, steam fitters weren't needed. D/d your parents come out to Ca/(/dr/na a/fer the Crash? No, they came out in '26. So they were already out there /irb:g when the Crash came? Yes. And they owned a home in Los Angeles—which they lost. All of a sudden the amount of money they owed on the house was more than they could possibly sell it for. 1 don't know what the actual figures were. For instance, if a house cost $20,000 and you put $5,000 down on it, you owe $15,000. [But] ail it's worth now is about $7,000. There's no sense in continuing to pay. That great [ecoaonnc] de-/7nfion at that fane. Oh, terrible. /I tot o/ people in the Depression went hungry, ran out o/^ eoen ?ohat we cat/ haste necessities nozo. Was it eoer that had with your jaunty? Well, it was rough. We had some pretty meager meals, and we were in the city, you know. It wasn't like a lot of people that are on a farm and there's always food. We had food stamps and all that kind of stuff. 7 didn't hnow they hadJbod stamps then. Not just like they are now, but they were called food stamps. There were yellow ones and blue ones. Did your dad ?oorh cert/ much at ah during tizat period? Very little. My mother was a school teacher so she more or less supported us. See, she'd been a school teacher in Michigan. She was from Michigan. She didn't have credentials in California, but she could get jobs like [in] the child care center on the school grounds during the summer. And crafts teacher. She d teach crafts to kids who came on the school grounds whose parents were working and didn't have anyplace to send their kids. So she preiiy wed hepf a yob during that time. Pretty much. Whaf Dad o/^zwrh did your dad do/row time to time? Oh, he got a job as a crossing guard. And he often got little odd jobs in people's homes. People that had money, you know. Doing gardening and that sort of 4 thing. And then, of course, the war changed everything. Everybody had a job in the war. Where did yon go to school ? Santa Monica High School. Was yourfamily very religions? My mother had been a Christian Scientist. And Christian Science has kind of gone out of style, [loughs] Christian Science is so different from other religions, that any other religion always seemed rather foolish to me. I was raised with Christian Science up until I was about 16. And my sister became a Baptist, which I could never understand because it was so completely different. Did she become a Baptist a/ter she married? No. She was a teenager. She joined the Baptist Church. Yon hod fold me once that your parents were ynite older when yon were born. Yes. My mother was almost 40, and my father was 44 when I was born. And yonr sister was older or yoanger? She was two years older than me. blow did [yonr parents] prepare you^br adnlt !i/e and adnlt love? My mother was always the type that if she didn't know the answer to a question, she'd say, "Let's go to the library and get a book on it." So when I asked about sex, that's what we did. So she wasn't reluctant to discuss anything with you? 5 I don't think it was that she was reluctant. I think she just plain didn't /mow. She was raised in a time when nobody talked about sex. And when you asked something about sex she didn't know, [she said], "Well, we ll get a book about it, then." And then eventually, after we d all been reading it—my sister and me— she [my mother] read it too. She sat down and cried. She didn't know women were supposed to enjoy sex. And here she was over 50. [laughs] I guess my father must not have been a very good lover. But she nursed me until I was almost 4 years old. Thai's very unusual. Well, I think that it could have been that maybe she didn't have enough to feed everybody. I don't know. I don t really know why. She was definitely in favor of nursing. In fact, if we'd go to the grocery store and somebody had a baby in a buggy and if they had a bottle with them, oh! that was terrible! This person was showing the world that something was wrong with them. That they couldn't nurse. Thai's a vert/ progressive attitude and an interesting perspective, ioo. Back then, 1 guess, everybody nursed. And the only time you didn t nurse was if something was wrong. You know, this woman had something terribly wrong with her that she had no milk. Do you thinh that iitai attitude ?uay have had something to do with her heiug a Christian Scientist? I don't know. I never thought of it that way. I suppose it could have, t thiuh they do heep away^roni arti/icini sorts o/^ health care. Oh, yes. You know, 1 never went to a doctor until I was pregnant the first time. How old were you when your parents died? I was 19 when my mother died, and 30 when my father died. 6 When were you worried the/irst tuue? 16. Just a few weeks before f turned 17.4 Whot 7z?ere the circuzz:stouces? How did yo:z meet this /no?:? He was a girlfriend's boyfriend and she was going to break up with him. And he had a heouti/id car. [toughs] Otd story/ He had a beautiful Buick four-door sedan convertible. Can you believe that? That big a convertible? [toughs] It was a touch/ car. Wos he ?nuch otder thou you? 3 -1/2 years. Not much older. And he had a job, of course, which made a big difference. He was a lineman. A tiuemou ? Yes, on telephone poles for the [Southern California] Edison Company. How tong did you go together he/bre you worried? About six months. Something like that. At this point your mother wos ... Very ill. Very itt. Bock up Just o tittie hit. [Your mother] wos uery /brthcowiug ohout your sex rdufut;oM. Whot ohout os Jdr os howosexuoi;ty goes? Eiien DeLand at 16, perched on the fender of Fred Roan's Buick in 1947. fp/n)?a couffes</ of f/Zen negof/^e /n fAe co//ecf/on of Peon/^? 7 It was never mentioned. I don't think my mother ... . She may not have even known it existed. [laughs] Tbzzf waszz'f such an aaasaa/ thing. No, because she was an old maid school teacher that somebody finally married. Nora oM mas she when she warned? 32. That is quite a hit oMer than zzzosi wo?nen warned tizen. Had yozzr ^zther been zzzarz ied he/bre hez*?5 Yes. That's where the other kids [came from]. The twin boys and Peggy [who] was the oldest. Were yozz aware at ah q/there being gay yeoyie? I knew they were out there somewhere, but I didn't think I'd ever meet one. How was it that yozz becanze aware o/thezn ont there? Well, of course, I had admired different women before. I think I probably told you that my husband thought that a woman should stay home and do nothing, should not work. And so I finally got somebody to teach me to drive the car. And I was working in a little place that was an electronics factory, and one of the other girls, I became really good friends with her. And she eventually told me that she was gay. And here I was still married. And she said she knew just the right person she knew that I would like. I said, "I don't want to meet any of your old qzzfcr friends. I can make friends of my own." Well, she kept pushing and pushing, and she was doing the same thing to Kelley^. She wanted Kelley to meet this married woman with three children. And Kelley didn't want to meet me. But she [the friend] kept pushing so hard I finally said, "Well, all right!" And gosh, the minute 1 met Kelley, I knew I was madly in love with her. / want to get into fizaf a izttic Fit later. WlMt 1 ?(wnf to & is DIF a; znore detail aFozzt yozzr znaniage. Do you re?ueniFor tl:e exact cu*cuznstaz:ces under wiaciz yozz zuet yozzr IzzzsFazzd? Cazz yozz gine Izis z;azzze? Fred. Fred Roan. Like a horse: R-o-a-n. I had a friend named Joanne [Davis] who was real dose, real cute, too. Real cute girl. She looked kind of like Diana Lynn.7 Very pretty little blonde. And she was dating [Fred]. We double-dated. I had another boyfriend at the time and we double-dated. And one time all the people on the double date came to my house to pick me up and my sister had sold Fred an engagement ring not for the [girl] he was going with zzow, but for a previous girlfriend! [lazzglzs] And my sister said the next day, "You know that fella that was here? Lie's the one that bought the diamond ring for Pat." Because I knew Pat before. "Oh," I said. "Is that right?" Well, eventually he gave zne the ring. After Joanne told me she was going to break up with him, then, why not? He asked me to go out, and so I did. And he was a ^z&M?OMS dancer. That was really the big thing about him, that he was a wonderful dancer. Wlzat land of places did you used to go dazzci?zg in? The Aragon Ballroom. The Palladium. [After we were married] we moved to the town of El Segundo^ down by the airport. In about 1950. We got married in '48. You were only 16-1/2? Um-hm. WFat did your parents tlziuL aFouf your wanting to Fe ?anrried so young? Well, my mother was very ill. My sister had gotten married and left, and I was just kind of left there with my folks, and I really felt that I had no place to go. That I was better off to get married and get out. My mother eventually died of a stroke, but I think she was having little strokes all the time. But nobody talked about strokes back then. I didn't know what was wrong with her. She was just getting slower and slower. And I didn't want to be left just with my father. H o w COMIC? I don't know. It isn't that I wasn't close with him because he was a loving person. But he certainly wasn t any companion for me. /s if /air to say fiiaf you Miarricd more to change your situation than yon did out o/ iooe /or Fred? Yes, 1 think so. Do yon fiiinF fiiaf this is a coMiMion filing? Possibly. Did yon/aii in any Find q^iooc with Fred? Yes. Wiiaf Find o/^four did you hnoe/br Fred? 1 realized as time went on that he really didn't love me. And I always felt that 1 loved him more than he loved me. Always? Yes. But he definitely wanted me there under his thumb all the time, you know, preparing wonderful meals and taking care of the children. He didn't mind that I got active in the Women's Club and the Cancer Society and all that kind of thing. At fizaf time, when you were 76-7/2, iiad you fiiougiif at ait about wiiaf tore was or what if meant /or you? Or was fi:is an issue wifi: you at aii at fiiaf time? 10 I certainly didn't think that I didn't know what love was. But you're right, [the marriage] never was what 1 really thought that love should be. But then I didn't know what love was. [laughs] That came inter. Yes! Did yon get pregnant right away? Yes. Terry was born when I was just 17, and Chris was born when I was 18. And then Mary was born when I was 22. Birth control wasn t that good back then. What hind of hirth control tons there? 1 had a diaphragm. But the main problem with a diaphragm is it doesn't work unless you use it. Oiz—yon didn't use it. Oh, I did! But I know there were times 1 was negligent about it. What's the difference between a diaphragm from 1948 and a diaphragm from 1996? I imagine they're just the same. I don't know. I haven't seen one lately, [laughs] But there was one time when I had what they called a pesary,9 which was an IUD. And apparently everybody that uses one of those things gets an infection, and 1 did. They took it out and that was the end of that. After you got into the marriage and you were pregnant and you iiad your first child, did you feel, !oohing hach with hindsight, that this marriage, this institution that you were iauo!oed in, was what you expected it to he? 11 I suppose to a certain extent, yes. But the idea of divorce never occurred to me. You know, if things didn't turn out exactiy the way you wanted it, you just lived with it. As the woman yon tired with it. Um, hm. You made your bed, you'll lie in it. [ianghs] But Fred was young. He was just 20 when we got married. And he was used to going out with the boys. And he did! It was just what he'd been doing, and everybody else did it, the fellas that he ran around with. And he seemed to think it was perfectly all right for him to go out when a bunch of the fellas [were] going to the show or something. And I was left home with two babies in diapers. Did yon resent tizat at the tizzze? Yeah, I did, but I didn't know what to do about it. Wed, f guess at tizat tizne that Dad o/ ii/e ?oasn 't zza;zszzni. We hare to he care/id zzot to iooh uzith oar eyes today at the zoay thizzgs ?oez*e idea aad idea ;zzdge erezyhody. I was washing clothes by hand every single day with two babies in diapers. I mean my hands were callused from rubbing the clothes [?aoi:oas rzzbhizzg a ?oasddoa?'d). One day, it was Friday night, [Fred] brought one of the fellows home, one of the other linemen came home, and they were shooting craps on the living room floor. And as the evening wore on, [Fred] was just getting really thrilled with his good luck and how well he was doing, and he said to the other fella, "Let s go to Las Vegas." And the other fella said, "I can't do that. My wife would have a fit!" And Fred proudly said, "I can do anything I want. Ellen doesn't care." And yon heard this? Yeah! And away they went. Bnt yon did?:'t say anything? 12 I didn't say anything. I got up the next morning, went right down to McMahon s Furniture and ordered the most expensive washing machine they had and had it delivered when he got back [from Las Vegas] broke! [laughs] D;d he continue that way in your carriage? Yes. Pretty much. Of course, as soon as he saw [the washing machine, he said], "It's going back. We re not going to have this!" And 1 said, "Yes we are. We re gonna keep it." Fell aw about the sex li/e you had with Fred. Actually he was a good lover. He spent 18 years learning to make love to me. Were you a oirgiu when you /Married? No, but he didn't know it. [laughs] So yoM bad bad some experience be/bre and [sex with Fred] was something that you [couid] compare with an exper:eucc before. Well, nobody else was any good, either. When you say that, what did you judge by? I think that most men are clumsy. And Joanne^O and I talk about that kind of thing. She said she had one boyfriend that was a wonderful lover. I imagine it was a long time ago. She's from Nebraska. So you were ?nore or less satis/ied with the sex [in your marriage]? Yeah. A tot o/people, in their mind or in their heart, [/eel] a dichotomy between sex li/e and tore li/e. And the ideal is to hare then/ together. But looking at the marriage you had with Fred, what did you haue in this respect? 13 It was more sex than love. But 1 da? iove him. I can't say that I didn't iove him. I kept hoping that he would love me. And, of course, he abused my children something horrible. A b a s e d fbe?H ?!OW? He beat them. CM;. P?n/sica/ [abuse]. Yes. And the middle child, for some reason, he beat more than the others. One time he nearly killed poor Chris. I mean, he would just get so angry that he would keep hitting him and hitting him with a belt. His back was just raw. And I kept him home from school because he was hurt so badly. It happened at lunch time— Fred used to come home for lunch. He went back out to the car and 1 ran out after him and I said, "Come in here and look at this." And he came in and looked at Chris, and he realized that he'd really beat him too much. It was terrible. And I said, "If you ever hit one of my kids again, I'll leave you." Of course, he had no idea whether I meant it or not. Well, it was only about a week later he slapped Terry. I mean just slapped him rea? bard across the face [ motions ]. And so without a word I went in and got every stitch of [Fred's] clothes and carried them out to the car and said, "Get out!" DM? ?M %O ? He drove around for a couple of hours and pretty soon came back and said, "I don't have any place to go." Don '? f?;ey always ? So I said, "All right, but this is the last chance you'll get." And I don't think that he hit any of the kids any more after that. But then, he probably did after they kicked me out and I couldn't go back. Da? ?w ever /a? yoa or abase yoa p?;ys;ca??y ? 14 One time he knocked me down and stomped on me with his engineer's boots. But he claimed it was self-defense, [l%ugi:s] You wcuhoucd tl:uf you A:cpf wu:fu:g/or luu: to love you, so obo:ousiy you /cif B:crc zoos sowHluug uussu:g out o/ ti:c rciuliouslup. He never, oner said, "I love you." Would Niaf lu:oc boon enough? I don't know. But you went on zo:th the umniuge. By that time the kids were in their teens. The boys were 16 and 17 when I finally left, and Mary was 12. She'd turned 13 when she was with me. Did you haue u good relationship with your children at that time, when you were raising then: ? Yes. Yes. Actually, Fred by that time was an automobile mechanic working on the police cars and fire engines, and he had Sunday and Monday off, so he worked on Saturday. And Saturday was the day I had with just the kids then because they were off school, and we did things together. Lots of times just sitting around the kitchen table with a cup of tea. This was one of the fun things we did was sit around the kitchen table and drink tea together. We d bake cookies, and I'd spread down newspapers and paper towels and everything so they could make cookies of different kinds. We still haven't found the recipe for the cookies that Mary wants to make. She's always asking me, "Did you ever find that recipe?" How ?uucl: /rccdou: did your l:ushuud glue you iu ll:c u;urriogc? Not much. I could go to the Women's Club and things like that. But you see, most of the time I didn't drive. 15 yon didn't Anow Aow, or Aecanse Ae wo:ddn'f ief yon? didn t know how. I didn't have a driver's license, and he didn't want me to [have one]. S' t/t'M iwd Ho way to get oni? ! hat s right. I had no freedom really to do anything. It feels, even now, today, tt tcels wonderful to get out in the car at) by myself and drive. ;.i yon eoer asA Aim, "Let me (trine. 7eacA me." Oh, yeah. He didn't want any part of that. He would have been a terrible teacher, anyway. . '"i iw let you in at at/ on running tAefinances oftAe Aouse? Yes. We took turns, sort of. He would decide that he didn't like the way that I nas running the finances and Ae was gonna do it. And then I would decide that 1 dtdn t tike the way he was doing it and I'd do it. And this happened all the way through the marriage. Some o/^ oar mnfnaf friends say fAaf you Aad Area a society matron in Ei Segundo. .\i(at's a society matron? \ married woman who does things in society. Like 1 said, I was the Women's (.tub president. I was Education Chairman for the American Cancer Society. I ^ t-nt to the Little League Women's Auxiliary and the PTA and all that kind of thmg. [iangAs] . . fAts ?oAat yon Aad enjoyed doing, or was if somefAing [yon jeif was reynired] of yon? vs, t enjoyed it. It was a reason to get dressed up and wear a hat and gloves uid the whole thing. W7zzzi kzzzd q/*zzcliviiics did ilzcsc orgzzzzizzziiozzs szz^?pori zzzzd prozzzolc? At least the way our Women's Club worked, you start the year with nothing. The club house pays for itself. You rent it out and that kind of thing so you don't have to worry about rent and that kind of thing. So you start out with nothing and you have a Ways and Means Committee that decides what we re gonna do to raise money. And we decide how were going to spczzd the money, what charities we like. One year we didn t have a lot of money and we supported Little League baseball teams. It just depends on what your particular board happens to like. Were yozz prcsidczz! o/several boards zzzzd orgazzzzafzozzs? No, just the Women's Club. But, like I say, I was Education Chairman for the American Cancer Society, which meant that I had to call all kinds of organizations to set up movies for them to see on breast cancer and that sort of thing. So yozz 'ue always—flzezz zzzzd zzow, wiziclz we ll gel zzzfo laler—beezz zzzvo!ved izz cozzzzzzzllee work and orgazzzzalzozzs azzd doing, proznolzug. Yes. Wbal kind q/*social li/e did yon Izave al llzai lizzzc? We went dancing a loi. There were many, many organizations that have dances every year, even the Catholic Church ha[d] a dance every year. And the Booster's Club, and the Firemen's Ball and the Policemen's Ball. And, of course, all the firemen and policemen were our friends because [Fred] was the automobile mechanic on the police cars and fire engines. And we would go to one of these community dances, and there was always somebody who would punch her husband and say, "Go ask [Ellen] to dance. 1 want to dance with [Fred]." [Izzzzgbs] So I had to dance with every fireman, every policeman, the mayor, the city manager. Yon were oery well-hz:owz: az:d well-lihed in El Seg;/zzdo a?noz:g that set. Oh, yes. 1/yon had to describe yozzr z/MZ*riage, yonr li/e—yozzr soczal h/e, yo:zr sex ii/e, yo;zr lone ii/e az;d ail q/this at tizat pez*zod, how azozzid yozz describe it? It was good except for the way the children were treated. The children were always treated badly. [Fred's] whole conversation with the children was, "Shut up! I'm watchin' television." Dai he eoer taih to you that way? Yes, to a certain extent. Not as bad as he did with the kids. But he never had any companionship with the kids at all. Dai yonr social ii/e, except /or the organization and cozzzznittee zwrh yozz tint, always inuo!oe yonr hzzsband? Pretty much, yes. So yon were zzeoer really Ellen? That's right. Yon were Mrs. Roan. Yes. When did yon/zrst begin to grow tired o/^that hind q/*iz/e? I suppose once I was able to drive and get a job and get out of the house. Yon nzentwaed brie/ly when we were talhiag on the telephone last weeh abont ho?<z yon cazzze to learn how to drioe. How did yon learn how to drioe? I had a friend^ who I met in the Women's Club who had had some mentai problems. On one occasion I even called a taxi to take me over to her house because she was gonna kill herself. So I spent a lot of time with her trying to help her. She said one day, "You've done so much for me, I'm going to do something for you. I'm going to come over eoery day until you get a driver's license and as soon as you do, I'm gonna make my husband give you a job in his office!" And 1 did and she did! Was if easy^br you to learn how to drioe? It wasn t a big problem. I didn't go on the freeway for quite a little while. But after that particular job [my friend arranged], then I got a job in the Santa Monica area where I had to drive 13 miles everyday, and actually took the Santa Monica Freeway. Did your husband hnow that yon were learning how to drioe? Yes. He would take the car to work and then we'd go to his shop and leave her car and take our car. And he didn't wind that yon were learning? He didn't seem to. He didn't act upset about it. I don't think he was real happy with it, but I guess he didn t know what else to do about it. He wasn t the smartest fellow in the world. He had an IQ of 92. Frniy? Truly! What's your IQ? 129. And yon—how can I put if ?—sabanffed to this ?nun ail those years [who had] an IQ so inferior to yours? Yes. [laughs] DM? he hazze azzy hzzzd q/zzziagi'zzzzfiozi ? Not much. He zuas /iist a watch-TV, zzieat-azzd-potatoes hizzd o/^guy? Yes. You zuust luzzze heezt shaming at the teas?! a?? those years. [laughs] But when you have children, you have to take care of them. It's one of those things. I'd sit on the floor and play with the kids. What year, zzzhat period are ?oe iaihizzg about that yoii hegazz iearzzzzzg hozzz to drz'zze? Let's see. I was about 33, so what year would that be? 1964. Ho?o did yoii /eel when yoii/irsf sat down hehzzzd die zzzheel, and your lady /i ieiid—zo/iat was her ziazue? Her name was Margaret [Gerrughty]. Hozo did yoiz/eel when Margaret said, "Pat the hey hi the igzutiozi." Oh, I was thrilled! [laughs] Did you see this as a way ... To escape? Yes, I guess I did. I liked the idea of going to work every day. Had you ezzer had a /oh he/bre you ziMzrried? No. When we first got married I did a little modeling for a cartoonist. A CHrfooH;'sf ? Yeah. A fella that drew like the cartoons in Esquire, back then. Now it would be the kind of cartoons you see in P?%y&oi/ where the girls always look dumb, have their toes turned it. I had to pose with my toes turned in looking real stupid. OX. You're on the road now. 77ns is about 7964. Year cinidren are teenagers. Margaret said she'd get you a fob in her husband's firm. What did he do? He had an insurance agency. What hind of fob did he gioe yon ? Giving information over the telephone as well as preparing insurance policies to go out. Just getting them ready to mail and mailing them. Was this the/irst tone that you'd ever had money ofyour own? Well, I didn t keep it myself. 1 pooled it along with my husband's money. But if was money that you had earned. Well, 1 had worked for awhile in a discount store that was right close to the house so I could walk. It was only four or five blocks away. So 1 had worked there. But it was the same thing. I put the money in the checking account for both of us. It wasn't as if I were keeping it. And I earned enough money at that discount store to buy him a car, which he put only in his name! [laughs] How long did you worh in the insurancefirm ? Oh, just a very short time. Just a couple of months. He didn't really need me. He put me in there because his wife wanted him to do it. What did you learn from wording there that brief period? 1 don't wean learn in terms of the fob, but learn in terms of yourself and "Where do 1 go from here?" 21 I definitely wanted to continue working. And then I got a job in Culver City at this electronics place where this girl told me that she was gay. At that time we weren't calling it gay. W?Mf did you ca?? if? Just homosexual. They weren't using the word gay yet. About a year later they started using gay. This is in a wry short period whore yon 're teamed how fo drire, you 're been working, unci you're carnet? some oj^your own money. You're teamed f?Mf you want io go on with f?:is. Did you ?Mre a sense at f?Mf time o/^mow'ng jbr?rard in your ?ije, tuowug azray jrom f?:e ?ije f?Mf you'd been tiring ruth your husband.? Yes, I think so. But, of course, 1 still had my kids, you know. From there I got a job at Douglas. It was Douglas then, it wasn't McDonnell- Douglas.12 This was in Santa Monica. The Culver City job was a place called Avnet, which 1 thought must mean aviation network or something like that, but it wasn't. There had been a person named Bob Avnet who had killed himself about a month before I worked there. I worked at Douglas as a purchasing secretary and was quite happy there. Was the Santa Monica Job bejbre or ajter f?:e Cu?rer City job? After. And Cu?rer City came ajter the insurance job? Yes. That's right. And if was in Cu?rer City f?:af you met the ?ady [who fo?d you she was gay]? Yes. Digress jzzsf a ?zff?e ?zzf, azzz? f?zzs /s a ^zzesfzozz f?zaf //My //of ?Moe //// azzszoez', f?zaf zzzzzy zy/?ecf //zo7'f ///y zgzzoz*azzce f?zazz azzyf?zzzzg. Bzzf z?zz? yo// ?zzwe a sezzse of f?zaf fzzzze q/* yozzrse?/?zezzzga woman? O/yoz/rwoz/M/zhood? Docs f?zaf zzaz?re sezzse? Yes. It definitely seemed exciting to me. It was really something that I was very interested in. But it's kind of hard to explain. I kind of thought this was the direction I wanted to go. But I didn't know what I was going to do about Fred, [?azzg?zs] 77ze ?az?y f?zaf yozz zzzef zzz Cz/forr Czfy of yozzz* ;'o&. Be?? zzze f?ze cozzzzeafzozz yozz /zrsf z/Mz?e [wzf?z ?zer]. Well, we ate lunch together every day and we talked a lot. I don't know how we got into personal things, and she eventually ... . Well, it was a long time before she actually admitted that she was gay. Eventually she did and told me that she lived with a girl, a woman who was 42 years old and was very, very masculine. And after I met Kelley, after she introduced me to Kelley, I met this woman that was very, very masculine, and she was very, very masculine! She actually had a crewcut and worked as an oper