Interview with Michael Utech, 04/26/2018

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Bailey Miller, Interviewer | uwocs_Michael_Utech_04262018_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |

0:00

BM: Alright, so it's uh April 26 we are here in sage hall at UW-Oshkosh. Uh, my name is Bailey Miller and I'm with--

MU: Mike Utech

BM: --and uh, this is the campus stories oral history project. And I guess to start off and just start off with uh, you live in Appleton now and uh, where did you grow up from? Is it in this area too?

MU: Yeah, I was actually born in Oshkosh. Spent seven years growing up in different cities because my dad got transferred. Then I got, then we ended up back in Oshkosh, So.  

BM: And then like the people you grew up around, like friends and family, did they typically go into college too or?

MU: Um, did they? Well, that's a good question. I uh, I don't know the answer that she because I, uh, I was in and out. I went, I started in 63 and I graduated in 72 and I was here for a few years. I was at the Technical Institute 1:00for a few years. I got drafted for a few years know, so at [unclear], I don't know that they did, didn't have, didn't have that many, you know, friends necessarily or close friends in high school, so I didn't plan our futures together.

BM: Uh, what types of work did your parents do?

MU: Uh, my father worked for the jewel tea company, so he was as a supervisor and a salesman. A familiar with the jewel tea at that time it was the grocery store to your door. He told him around in big trucks with groceries in them and went to people's houses and they bought what they had with them or ordered what they wanted to deliver the next time. And then my mother, uh, most of the time did not work out of the home, but she wasn't Avon representative. 

BM: Okay. Um, you grew up in Oshkosh. How has it, how has it changed from when 2:00you were growing up to now? From what you've seen?

MU: [unclear] From the campus perspective, there's a lot more buildings here. I actually went to the, see if I can come up with the name, the Oshkosh training school. It might've been called, know right over it was right on, right on the campus. It was where the student teachers taught. I actually went to school there to, you know, I began my grade school education, but we moved away when I was in like second grade, so I wasn't there.

BM: Where did you move to?

MU: And then we moved to whiting Wisconsin just outside of Stevens point. Then we moved into Steven's point, then we moved to Milwaukee and then we moved back here. 

BM: Oh okay, so moving around a lot. Um, what, uh, I guess so--

3:00

MU: I have three sisters. None of them graduated from college, as a traditional student. I was the first member of the family to graduate. I since one of my sisters since has graduated and you know. But she did that much later.

BM: And then like what types of jobs did they get after it?

MU: That's my tone on my phone. See my one sister became uh essentially a housewife, raised a family. Other one, uh, ran a secretarial service. One of the buildings that was the right here, right her office was in one of the buildings over by Steiger Park. Now [unclear] in the Radford building and then my other 4:00sister was a just sort of had, you know, different types of jobs and then she went on. She was a, a head start coordinator supervisor or something at one point. She now happens to be a Lutheran Minister of, semi-retired Lutheran minister, but she didn't go to a, she didn't become a minister until she was over 60 years old.

BM: Oh, okay. So, um, you mentioned that, you mentioned one of your schools here at Oshkosh, do you remember, or you can tell me about some of the other grade schools and high school and stuff?

MU: Well, because my family moved around. I had a very interesting grade school education. I had that training school. I uh, when we went in, lived in Whiting, Wisconsin, I lived, I went to a rural school where we had more grades in one room kind of thing. You had half the grades in one room and half the grades were in the other. Uh, then I went to, uh, I was in a junior high only because 5:00there was overcrowding so in fifth grade I was part of a junior high atmosphere. Oh, 

then I went to a parochial school for two years and then I know we moved back to Oshkosh and I went to Merrill, Oshkosh High School. I went to high school in the, what is now the city hall building. I went one year there and then two years at what is now west.

BM: And it was just called Oshkosh because now they have like north and west?

MU: Yeah, right. West, that was the only one that was that was the first one. That was the one I went to. Then I went to UW-Oshkosh.

BM: So, what do you think, what do you think like was what you learned from going through so many different schools like that? Is when you were younger, [unclear] if anything?

MU: Well I think part of the. You didn't end up with close friends, didn't end 6:00up with friends you went to school all your life with a kind of thing. So, during those years I thought the different, the different educations were, school atmospheres were kind of cool. You know, they've got to try this one, try that one and, you know, look back at it. But you didn't end up develop a whole lot of friends during grade school. I was on the basketball team in eighth grade. I was at a parochial school. Everybody wanted to be, was on the basketball, you know, in the eighth grade, uh, when I came up to back to Oshkosh and in ninth grade, uh, I wanted to be on the basketball team, but there was no way one, my skill level wasn't good enough. And two, I hadn't been part of that basketball program since grade school, you know. Which is why my skills weren't as good as the other ones were. So, I just, my, my claim to fame in high school 7:00was selling fundraising candy. We sold the Mets turtles, and if you're familiar with that candy, it's the caramel pecan in chocolate, and they're still around. But uh, we, we sold them as fundraisers for the foreign exchange student program. And I was the top seller the three years in high school when we were still allowed to sell sugar treat. 

BM: Oh yeah. There is a lot of dietary restrictions--there's a lot of diet restrictions now. Um, did you, like. What were your, uh, what types of goals and aspirations did you have when you were younger? Did you always kind of know what you're going to college or did you have any jobs in mind when you were younger? 

MU: I thought I was always going to college. I in, I in high school I took Latin and one semester of Latin was enough for me. Uh, I wasn't doing well. I think 8:00it's like chemistry. I think the instructor says, I'll give you a passing grade if you promise not to take it again. Um, so the only thing that was offered a second semester in high school where I could start the year in the middle was bookkeeping. So, I took bookkeeping in thought that sounded like fun, enjoyed it, and did all that. And so, I came in and enrolled in, in UW- Oshkosh, in accounting and psychotic psychology major. That was not a good idea. But anyway, that's what I know. That's what I signed up for to begin with. I worked a part time while I was in school because I lived right in town. I lived at home. So again, didn't make a lot of campus connections either. I got involved with the, uh, advanced titan or at that time the advance, I think it just had the name 9:00advance on it. Um, and was the advertising salesperson manager for, for the school newspaper. Um, when I came back from service a, I've changed my, changed to journalism and a political science. Political science and journalism and then I became the advertising manager, the of the newspaper and you know, hung with hung with that group, although they engaged in a lot more partying activities than I did because at that point now I'm four years older than all of that as well. 

BM: So, did, so did like, uh, that sort of like a becoming part of the school newspaper. Did that like, did that change what you wanted to major in or did your decision? 

MU: Yeah well, I had a good eye and I was trying to figure it out, how I, how I 10:00made that because I became good friends with the head of the department journalism department, Dave Lippert at that time and he suggested that I get involved in journalism, and so I did you know, and then I was always interested in political science, so I did that. I did that as well. Now, my major was political science. My minor was journalism, um but yeah, I was, yeah, I wasn't doing the editorial, the writing, I wasn't doing that type of thing. I was doing advertising, advertising, sales, design, layout, uh, that type of thing. The printed a summer issue of the advance titan over the years I was here until, I think it's the only time they ever did one during the summer, uh, I was making so much money. I couldn't afford to graduate because I was, I had the GI bill, I 11:00had work study, [unclear] other money coming in. It was, it was good, and they did that. Uh, so I was selling advertising and getting work study and stuff during the summer as well. And Dave Lippert, who was the head of the journalism department, sort of took this on as a project and had a lot of photos in a lot of community stuff in it and I think he did that as a, as a project and it proved to be, less, less beneficial, less successful than he thought. So, it didn't, it didn't continue, but I was a part of that and it's how I got involved in journalism.

BM: What types of skills and stuff do you think you picked up from being involved in that kind of stuff? 

MU: Well, the obviously the advertising sales stuff in layout, you know brochures and fliers and stuff, you know, from laying out ads. Um, the uh, I did 12:00for the city of Oshkosh, uh, for 10 years I did the, I published the visitor guide and sold all the advertising, did all the editorial. I got people to submit articles. I didn't write everything that was in and I got to submit articles, you know, the on the tourist attractions and stuff like that. And I would. And you'd see the same articles appearing, you know, each time I did it because, you know, the painting art center was still the painting art center. It had the same story. The museum had the same story, right? EAA had the same story. The dates changed, but I did that a 24-page tabloid three times three times a year for 10 years. And then I sold it off to the people who were doing the printing and then they all went to the magazine style format. So, you've got to wait from the tabloid. But I used to work on with a 24-page tabloid with the newspaper. So yeah, I continued to use, you know, from that. And then the uh, the political science stuff, I did a, did help all in, got paid, not a lot 13:00but got paid out a couple of occasions to, to work on political campaigns. And then I also served on the Winnebago County Board of supervisors for 18 years as an elected official.

BM: I was going to say, I did see that, and you ran for uh, common council.

MU: And I ran for city council. I ran for city council prior to 18 year olds having the right to vote, I got 666 votes. There were like 10 candidates. They went down to six and a primary and I was maybe eight. There were two people I think that did worse than I did, and they were not students. Then they lowered the voting age to 18 and David [Cruses?]. So. UW-Oshkosh student ran and was elected to the council for a number of years. But I ran as a student because I was bored, and I came back from the service, you know, look into some of the. 14:00Then I, uh, I got involved in, in uh, one of the candidates that were running besides me happened to be one of the, uh, political science professors and I got involved with this campaign after I only got 666 votes and it took about three, four thousand to win. So, I was a little short. I, I'd really like to meet those 600 people. What's the matter with them?

BM: What made you decide to do something like that? Was it just kind of looking for something to do or was it like--

MU: Well, I had been involved in local politics before I got drafted in the city of Oshkosh had a, a constant segment of the community that was after [unclear] going back to the mayor form of government. We had a city manager and city has a mat, a mayor now, right. But they didn't have, and we have a city 15:00administrator who takes care of that. You know city manager takes care of everything as a mayor would if you were in a mayor system and the mayor people primarily south side of Oshkosh, predominantly south side of Oshkosh was always pushing to try to go back to the mayor system of government uh, the compromise eventually was they started calling the president of the council, mayor, instead of president. So now we have a mayor kind of thing, but we still have the city managers, the you know, so. But I had been involved in that and there'd been a couple of referendums and I'd been involved and knew the people are so I was familiar when I came back from service. I attended every meeting, the city council for a year, then I ran. Um, no, nobody has ever done that. That runs. Usually they don't know, they don't attend. They want to maybe attended one or two, but I wanted to know what it was like and uh, so I attended them all for, 16:00you know, for a year. Then I ran and got 666 votes. Did I say that before? 

BM: What was the interest in, I mean obviously a political science interests, but like, what made you want to go and like to sit in on meetings and stuff?

MU: I thought that maybe I'd run. I wanted to see what was going on at the time and just decided to go to the meetings. I didn't go to county board meeting. Ultimately, I ended up running for the county board and I had, I hadn't been going to those meetings were here. The uh, the conservative south side of Oshkosh had a representative on the council, council woman, had a representative on the council and she also was on the county board and then she got off the council and that was on the county board and I lived on the north side of town and then when I bought a house after the service, I moved to the south side. I 17:00moved into her district and then she decided not to run for reelection. And so, I called her and told her that I thought I was going to, that I was thinking about running and she said, oh, that'd be good Mike, go ahead and pursue that. So, I sort of had her support. Um, now, there are people in city government that probably didn't think that was a good thing, but it was her district. And so, I ran and I think I might've run. I ran, see [unclear] on 18. I ran nine times and I think seven of the nine I ran on a poles or six, maybe six of the night. I ran out of poles. So, um, but yeah, so I ended up taking her place on, on the county board in the, uh, that was the more conservative part of the part of the city. Although at that point, conservative Democrat part of the city, the, uh, the district I represented on the county board generally 18:00supported the Democrat candidate for president in the Democrat candidate for governor. I, by the way, was not a Democrat. I would have been a Republican, in fact, one of the things you didn't ask me, but when I was at UW-Oshkosh student I belonged to, I was a member of the second largest group student group on campus Ski Heilers and I don't know if that ski group still exists, but these were people who did know downhill and cross country skiing. That was the largest group. College Republicans was the second largest group on campus.

BM: And you're a part of both?

MU: And I was not in the ski group. I was part of the College Republicans. The, uh, the editor of the newspaper, who I was also dating at the time was a member of the College Republicans also. Have you ever heard of the name Dave Blaska??

19:00

BM: I don't think so. Who was he?

MU: Dave Blaska was the lone Democrat. Lone liberal. On the staff when the Republicans were running the university newspaper and he hung in there and eventually he got his turn to be the editor. At that point the paper turned considerably more liberal and went on to have more liberal editors, you know, after that, Dave Blaska? is now a very well-known now say respected, I don't a conservative blogger in Madison. You know, so he was, you know, hung with all the, all the Conservatives on the newspaper until he got to be the editor then he was very liberal editor and now he's a conservative, conservative blogger. I talked to him on the phone. I told him I was going to look up some of his editorials send them to him, but I never did. But yeah, the uh, the campus was 20:00very, very republican oriented at that time. So.

BM: What was, what was like the campaign process like? Whether you're running yourself or supporting somebody else?

MU: Um, do you, you're talking about political science aspect of the campaign?

BM: Yea, like when you're, like, when you're actually running, like what was the process like that?

MU: We had to circulate nomination papers. And that had, that was done in January and I did all my own. I didn't have somebody else, I knocked on doors and it got all my own signatures. Um, and then the, uh, then I would pass out a little, a little card with my picture on it and you know, some things about me and some things I stood for, continue going door to door afterwards, knocking on the doors and passing off the car and then coming up on election night, successfully except the last time, the reapportionment committee of the county 21:00board, the ones that are going to redesign the districts found me too liberal for their liking. And I never considered myself a liberal, but they found me too liberal for their liking. So, when they redid the district lines, they put two of us in the district together. Now the person they put me in with was a Democrat, typically far more liberal than I would be. But again, back then they were, you know, he was a conservative, pretty conservative also. He had been on the city council, he owned the bowling alley and the district had been president of the church Catholic Church Council in the, in the district. Uh, and even though the Oshkosh Northwestern endorsed me, I don't know if that was good or bad, but they get endorsement and they sent the other gentleman's time. He had outlived his time his usefulness in this kind of thing. He'd been around. He, 22:00he, whenever he was considerably older than I was at the time. Uh, but he did go on and beat me. He went, he won. So that's why I only had 18. I wanted to serve 20 years. I wanted one more turn. I would have had 20 years on the county board and I would have been under the age of 50. Now have you ever checked with the aids of county board members? They're almost all over the age of 50. I would have been 20 years on the board and still under the age of 50, but I, so I had 18 years under the, under the age of 50, but uh, I would've liked that two more than I wasn't gonna run again anyway, but the voters decided, you know, he was in a popularity vote. He was certainly more popular than I was part of the community more than I was. And by the way, his last name was, [putzer], you ever heard of [putzer] big and tall shops, a men's clothing store and stuff, but he 23:00wasn't part of that, [putzer] family. But there was a [putzer] menswear store in the district. He was, he was the owner of the recreational bowling lanes and that was also in the district and my county board district had more taverns per capita than per land use or whatever than any other county board district in the county. And that was the south side all the way down South Main Street in downtown, uh, Oregon and whatever. And he was part of that, you know, that culture as well. But, So, that's what happened to that. But yeah, we went out and did to door when I managed the campaign and worked on the campaign management. That was the same type of thing was the key, was door to door. I took a, a person who had a five percent name recognition running against a person with a 95 percent name recognition and he won. The big thing is, is those 24:00five people that knew my candidate all liked him. Only a half the people that knew his opponent like him, you know. So, it was one of those kinds of situations plus, um, and that I think, that's changed now, but at the time, anytime a council person tried to run for partisan office, they did not win the partisan office. They were unable to [unclear] from one of the first ones that I was in. First campaigns I was involved in was a gentleman who was on the council, owned the paint store. Wally, Wally [Zon?] was his name and he had, you know, but he did not. He did not win a seat for, for Congress or our seat for the state legislature, Congress, state legislatures. And my candidate, uh, was 25:00on a county board. We were in business together at the time and his opponent was on the city council in the primaries, opponent was on the city council and the general just general candidate was on. He was also a member of the city council and she was after the election, she was very disappointed and very upset with the people who supported her in her council race but wouldn't have anything to do with her in the partisan race. [unclear] her know she had a lot of apparently republican support in an inter council race, but they didn't stick with her and she was really surprised about that. But again, he did door to door, you know, so.

BM: I read a, I read a, I was looking at some of the older articles from the advance titan and I read something there like a, some sort of dispute over like t-shirts or something. One time you ran or something like that, that it wasn't allowed or something. They're like giving away uh, t-shirts?

26:00

MU: Oh. The other thing that you should be aware of is there was a university professor with the same last name as mine who ran for Congress. Okay. A last name was Utech his first name was Franklin, who was an art professor. His wife was very active in the Democratic Party, very active. Uh, she was a national committee woman or, or whatever, uh, but he ran for Congress and at the time that he ran for Congress, I was the driver for Congressman Steiger during the campaign of summer camp summer campaign. And the, uh, I had a bumper sticker on my car that said another Utech for Steiger just to drive this guy crazy. Uh and we didn't drive places in my car, we always had rental cars or his car. But yeah, I would go to events and they hear that Utech was there and they put a 27:00place at the head table. [unclear] One place in Oshkosh actually rearranged their head table so that both candidates could sit at the table and then they discovered I wasn't the candidate. I was just his driver, you know. Oh. But yeah, there was another person in the only, the only person in and we were not related at all. You know, the only person that I was related to uh, in town was where my parents and my sisters, there was also a Uttech's bar. Maybe there's still is. They had an extra "t" in their name. I wasn't related to them either, chief of police, last name was Uttech with an extra "t" in is name. I wasn't related to him either. But the from, back to your question about campaign, you can't give things of value away. Greater than the value of a book of matches and now right now nobody would know what a book of matches was worth because it'd be a collector's item. Nobody really carries those around too much anymore. But uh, yeah, they were in. So that was. No, that was a, an issue in one in some 28:00campaigns about how much they were spending.

BM: All right. Um, I guess you, try bringing, bringing it back a little bit. Um, did you, like when you were growing up, did your parents have like, goals in mind for you or did they just Kind of let you decide what you wanted to do on your own?

MU: No, they really didn't. Uh, I mean I was pretty old and my mother was still asking me what I was going to do when I grow up. Um, you know, they didn't know. They encouraged me to go to college. They didn't insist I go, they wouldn't have cared if I hadn't gone I don't think, my dad, my dad didn't go to college and he ended up in his job training people initially, but because they had a college degree they were able to pass him and then later became his boss. He had the ability to train them to be so, so there was that, that understanding that my 29:00dad couldn't rise to the level in the company that he would have liked to because he didn't have a college degree. So, I thought, you know, that college degree probably be a good idea. So, I did it. I had one sister that was older, uh, she was married at 18 to a 22 year old and they're still married. They had two boys and you know, uh, and so she was never in the, never really in the workforce at all, so but yeah. So, then I was the next one and then I went on to college in partial, that partially because of my dad's my dad's situation, but I don't think they would have, you know, my other sisters didn't know either.

BM: Um, when you were deciding on what college to go to, were there any other--

MU: I wasn't deciding, I lived in Oshkosh, so I went to Oshkosh. I earned my own tuition money. My parents didn't pay for my college since I earned my own by, I 30:00was always working, but if I remember correctly, and you might want to mark the spot on the tape because your friends aren't going to believe this. I think my first semester's tuition was $167. That number is always stuck in my head that I've been saying that for a long time and I've never gone back to check now. That would have been in 63, 63, 64. I graduated from high school in 63. So, um, but yeah, no, I think it was $167. So, it was a lot easier for me to raise my own, you know, get a part time job and raise my own money. And I lived at home. I ate at home as I sort of paid, uh, after college I sort of, I paid room and board as long as I stayed at home. Uh, but I didn't pay, didn't pay a lot. Yeah. So yeah, it uh, and I always, like I said, I always worked. 

31:00

BM: So, like you basically just, you knew once you decided to go to college that it was Oshkosh?

MU: Yea, I, I lived here, I didn't think of any, didn't think of going anywhere else. My, my grades weren't that outstanding. A state university you had to take me. So, I didn't send off to colleges and get rejection letters or anything either because I didn't have any desire to go anywhere other than here I was going to graduate from college. I was just going to go graduate and as you can see how long it took me, I wasn't what you'd call a "grade A" student.

BM: Um, so I imagine being in the area. You knew a lot about the university before you came here?

MU: It was here. You know, I do know that, uh, they had, they had problems with students, you know, wanting to be able to cross the street anywhere they, 32:00anywhere they could or the fences and things still up for the guard rails or something?

BM: Some places they are.

MU: I was part, I was part of a committee one time that, that helped, you know, helped talk about what to what to do because the concern was that because of the high traffic volume on High and Algoma, it was just a disaster waiting to happen. If people could cross the street any place they wanted to. They weren't even looking at their phones back then. They were reading books.

BM: Yea, I think that's still a little bit of an issue. Um, um, do you, uh, what, uh, what was the general education like back then? Because it's like you have like the general education, then you have your major, right? like that structured like that or? 

MU: Yeah. We had, you know, the uh, English we had the most interesting thing. 33:00I'll tell you that you're learn about how bad a student I was uh, they had an English department had a departmental test. And if you didn't pass the departmental, you didn't pass freshman English no matter what your grades were or how good your stuff was, whatever. If you didn't pass that departmental test, you did not pass. I took freshman English so many times you had a thought I was majoring in it. I finally got an instructor who corrected my work, gave it back to me and said fix it and redo it. So, I actually learned, you know, from a, from an instructor, um, you know, but yeah, it uh, I did a little trouble with freshmen because I did not take English my senior year in high school. Because you didn't have to. Oh, it was, it was a literature thing in most cases also, 34:00but I never did. Never was real keen on, on grammar and spelling and whatever. And the, which by the way is why I didn't go into the story writing aspect of journalism. Now I got spell check than even grammar or grammatical check on a computer. But yeah, so I had struggled with that, but that, uh, you know, and then you just had your other basic, you know basic courses. I was okay with most of you know most of those. I can't even remember what they were, but I wasn't, you know, because you see I went started in 63 and so my first year I was looking at accounting and psychiatry, psychology. So, I knew that there was a basic psychology course that you took, psychology 101 and you took introduction to the arts, you know, art 101 and I mean there was a bunch of 101's, you know, 35:00that you had to take. And then the second semester, but then I went because I wasn't doing that good at it. I went to Fox valley, uh, I think it was actually Oshkosh Institute of Technology at the time. I think that's what it was called. It was in the building next to what is now city hall. And city hall has since expanded into it as well. But you had the high school here and then you had to technical college right next to it. Now it's all city hall, but the uh, I went to a, so then I went there for that I did market and I took marketing their marketing courses there. And then when I ended up getting drafted and you know why you get drafted if you're a college student is because you're not a very good one. Okay. So, they finally caught up with me and I wasn't able to convince somebody I was still a college student. So, I spent two years in the service, one year in Vietnam. And then when I came back I probably could have gone back 36:00to the technical college and got a marketing degree from them. But I want. But I still had that goal to graduate from college. So, then I came back and decided that, you know, I was matured enough to settle down and you know, you know get out of get out of accounting and psychology and getting into something that I could actually enjoy and like, and I went into political science and journalism and did much better. Yeah. I had, I used to kid people. I used to say I had a four point, cumulative four point, and they look at me and they'd say 'what?' that was until I found out you were supposed to divide it by the number of semesters you attended. Excuse me. There wasn't really that bad, but yeah, I was not a good, you know, I mean I didn't. I went to high school without take, you know I never took any homework home. I never had any. You know, I did it the 37:00class beforehand or whatever. So, I've never real good studious student. [unclear] Yeah. When I came back and switched to political science and journalism, then I was, you know, then my grades were considerably higher. They're all above 'c' level, b's and a's in there even.

BM: So how long? How long were you here until you went to the technical college?

MU: I do not. I do not know the look up those dates, but I really, I don't really know. I started in 63. I got drafted in 67. So. And I had like three semesters at technical college. Because I like was a semester short that they had a two-year program. So, what? I was here first then I went there, then I came back and then I went there again, you know, so I was, I was going back and forth a partially avoided by staying a student. You know, where you ended up on 38:00probation because my grades weren't good enough. So, then I go over to there and then they come back here. And so, I started in 63 and I graduated in our or I, yeah, I went there. I got drafted in 67 and I graduated in 72. 

BM: Um, do you, do you remember any. I mean you mentioned one before, any professors that were especially influential in your time here? 

MU: Well, that English, that English teacher that I had that made me actually learn something, whose name I do not remember. Dr. Lippert Journalism Department. He was obviously influential because he convinced me to do journalism. And that worked out fairly well. There were a couple of political science professors. The one who ran for city council. That was Dr. Charles Goff, 39:00both by the way, both of these, all of these professors that I'm referring to, are deceased now. Dave [Lippert] was killed in an automobile accident. I know, uh, Charlie I think just died of old age. Um, and then there was a Dr. [Gruberg] who was to the left of, well everybody who, he, he was, he was the American civil liberties representative on campus in a very liberal. And he taught he taught some political science courses that I don't think he particularly liked my conservative leanings, but he treated me find you know I wasn't, I didn't get harassed or picked on or, or whatever. In fact, um, as soon as another a side, I had tropical fish and stuff like that and I talked to him about topical because he went on vacation one time and he had me going over to his house and 40:00feeding his turtle and the turtle had a special food that he had for his turtle. He needed somebody to feed him, so he had me doing that. You know, that didn't have anything to do with politics at all. But, uh, he was, he was a good source for the other side. Uh, and then there were some other [Coll] was uh, was uh, oh, I think he became chairman of the department after, after, uh, Dr. [Lippert?], uh, but he was always a more liberal politically liberal person. Then Dr. [Lippert?], [unclear]. It was, you know, saw the changing in those nine years. I saw the changing, of the campus.

BM: Um, well, how many do you think, there was like a, I guess, let me rephrase 41:00that, you mentioned you, so you commuted here?

MU: Yes.

BM: Was it, do you think there was a lot of students who did that? Or is it most of them just living in dorms and stuff or didn't you know? 

MU: No, there was, you know, quite a few that I think, that I think commuted the. You had that the two-year campus up in, up in Menasha. You know, then obviously kept many people who lived up in the northern part of the county from driving here because they would drive there because it was closer. Um, but yeah, there was you know, again, because I worked, I didn't have a whole lot of association. I lived, I lived within walking distance, although I didn't necessarily want to walk here every day. I might have taken a bike or something, but I didn't drive. I certainly didn't drive to campus. I lived out on Wisconsin Avenue. Wisconsin and Prospect is where my family lived. So fairly convenient to 42:00walk if I had to. 

BM: Um, do you remember, do you remember any like important, like social or political issues while you were here? like major stuff on campus? 

MU: Well, when I came back from the service, I was more concerned about my wellbeing as a student than I was as a soldier in Vietnam because of the hostility that was going on. I remember two examples, one, they, uh, blocked the street is where they drove a bonfire and block the street, you know, anti-war protest, and I remember going because I was dating the editor of the Titan and I had a, a small cycle, 50 cc cycle. We were able to ride around and because she was the editor, we could get to places and they were involved when they walked 43:00out. We did not go up on the highway, but they walked out and blocked the highway, you know, a one time. It's the protests, they uh, they walked from the campus to downtown, from downtown out to the highway. We were on the fringes of that and I remember a, a meeting, uh, when this was all going on, students for democratic action or democratic society or something in the meeting I was getting, I was there covering it in the. Somebody came running into the meeting and said he'd just heard on the scanner that the national guard had been activated and they were coming into, into the city and that was a lie. They weren't, but it's certainly riled up. That riled up, that room, riled up that crowd, uh, the, you know, so that was known that was kind of, you know, 44:00different, different things. So, you know I got out of the surface in 69, so I would have started school probably again in 69. Then I graduated in 72, but the height of the, you know, the promotions of. And then when Nixon went into Cambodia, uh, because of my involvement in the young Republicans, College Republicans, we had gotten the advanced notice that that was going to happen, you know, and that we should be prepared on campus to meet that need to be able to counter that resistance and stuff like that. But yeah, there was a lot of, you know, anti-war stuff. There was an organization and I still have all this stuff on filed. There was an organization that was put together to try to get out the vote and they claim to be a nonpartisan get out the vote effort. But it 45:00truly was, was a, an antiwar. Get out to vote movement and an anti-Nixon get out to vote movement in the, you know, so uh, that type of, you know, that type of thing was going on. And, and again, I saw the campus switch from a very conservative Republican stronghold to a much more liberal democratic stronghold. The young Democrats never had much of an organization but the, but the more liberal movement on campus did in the anti-war stuff. 

BM: Well, what was, what was it like being drafted? Was that experience like being drafted and stuff? 

MU: Well, I sort of knew it would be coming. This was before they had the numbers before the everybody had number and you had a low number, you were 46:00subject to call. Oh, I just got the letter and said I was going to get drafted and so I was going to get drafted. I did. You know what I mean? It's, you know, I didn't, uh, didn't make a whole lot out of it at all. I just went uh, went to, uh, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Fort Dix, New Jersey, Fort Hood in Texas. And in Vietnam. 

BM: Was it, was most of the stuff, most of the antiwar stuff after you came back or was there still some, uh, before you got drafted too? 

MU: No, most after I, after I came back as the war was winding down uh, Nixon's Vietnamization of Vietnam, he was trying to get them to the citizens of Vietnam 47:00in the military of Vietnam to try to take over more and more of the role so that we could, you know, be withdrawing or pulling out a was taking place already, you know, when I was, when I was there. But uh, in fact I hadn't really thought much about it, but the last 30 days that I was there, the, when I was stationed with the first air cav, that whole first air cavalry unit, their headquarters moved down to closer to Saigon. That was part of that beginning of that withdrawal. And I didn't think of that when I was there and moved. But that's, that was the timeframe where the withdraw was coming into play. But yeah, the antiwar stuff was after, you know, after I came back from, from the service 

BM: And then we learned about black Thursday in our class. Was that before you came back?

MU: I was in Vietnam on black Thursday. Uh, and it did make the Armed Forces 48:00Stars and Stripes newspaper that we got in Vietnam. That was really the only news, you know, that we got, didn't have our phones, you know, didn't have the Internet. Um, but that was really the only news we got was the stars and stripes. And it was mentioned, it was mentioned in there, but it did, it took place while I was not here on campus. And the, when that took place I was not in the state when it took place. 

BM: Was there anything. When you got back, was there anything still going on about it or is it mostly just like? 

MU: The issues that were raised. Um, you know, they were working on trying to accommodate, you know, correct some of the, some of the things that were, that they viewed, needed correcting. But yeah, it was sort of, you know, it was referred to but it, but that was, that was really about it.

49:00

BM: There weren't any protests or anything? Nothing like that? 

MU: No. So, you know, and the chancellor at that time was Dr. Guiles. And I graduated from high school with his son, so I you know would hear, would hear about it from the students and stuff that were, that were here. Uh, John Guiles went on to become an attorney. He did not go to UW-Oshkosh. His dad was the chancellor, he went somewhere else, but I know after coming back then after meeting him and then he got involved in republican politics in the county here after he became an attorney and what have you. And you know, I would hear things from his perspective because his dad was the chancellor at the time, but otherwise there wasn't really that much, you know, daughter going on wasn't involved. 

BM: Um, I guess kind of switching gears here, one of the um, I kind one of the 50:00talked about issues on campus now today is like, the administrators are trying to get rid of like the stigma that this is like a party school or whatever it was. Was it, was it like that? Like when you were here? 

MU: Oh yeah. That you know, the thing about Johnny Carson saying this was the place to be on St Patrick's Day. It was interesting. I ended up playing a role, although maybe probably very small role is, I had gotten appointed to the governor's conference on women on families and children and I attended a seminar symposium kind of thing in Madison during St Patrick's Day weekend kind of thing. Uh, and it was, we were told that, you know, the reason we were able to be there and have access to the rooms and everything that we're doing is because 51:00they were on spring break. So, when I came back I said to people and I was politically active in the city particularly, I said, you know, I was down in Madison, you know, you know why they don't have a problem during, during St. Patrick's day because they're at spring break. That's why they all come here. You know, maybe we ought to think about having our spring break during St. Patrick's Day also. And ultimately they did. They changed this to spring break time so that, you know, because at the other campuses are all shut down, they go to Oshkosh, uh, the, uh, so yeah, it was, it was, you know, the Party School, uh, there are people in the city of Oshkosh who would not drive down High or Algoma because they didn't want to you know. They were afraid of the student population. I mean it was just, you know, there was concerns, but then there were, there were bars on campus, uh, that the, that the city hadn't bought out 52:00at the state hadn't brought up yet to turn into buildings. You know, on St Patrick's Day, you can get the green beer and you know, you could walk to green beer between client and drinking beer between classes and, you know, go to your next class because they were within walking distance, a lot even closer then Kelly's probably. There was probably some in this block right here because Rockwell, big employee union operation, you know, factory, you know, they had places where the guys, when they got off of work, they'd go have a shotgun, a beer or whatever it was, you know. So, they were, they were taverns in the area, not for the students to the area. So yeah, it was a party school. I mean it was known known for that, but I don't know that, you know, we were the only one that was known for that. 

BM: Was there a lot of people getting like, uh, in trouble for underage drinking 53:00and stuff or was that not regulated as much?

MU: No, it wasn't. I had a, a friend that was going to that bar that I went to, to get that green beer was going to that one on a regular basis and one day she forgot, forgot her purse. So, we looked at her purse to find out who she was and realized that she was under age, you know, and I gave her purse back and said, 'don't come in here again.' Didn't turn her in or anything like that. The uh, yeah, it was, it went on. It was no question about that. It went on a, I know Shakey's pizza. The college Republicans would, after their meeting would go out to Shakey's pizza. You have pizza and stuff and they serve beer out there. And we have some pictures that we took ourselves and stuff, but it had minors 54:00with beer in their hand. We realized after we took it that that was probably not a good idea. We shouldn't have those. But yeah, it was, it happened, but it didn't seem to be that big of an issue. I mean we had uh, girls had curfews and the doors they had to be back in on such and such a time on a week nights, and a little later on weekends. So, uh, the nursing school girls didn't have to, but the UW-Oshkosh students did. So, a double date was a UW-Oshkosh Gal, you know, early in the evening and then went to share to be back then you could have another date with the nursing students because they didn't have to be in so soon. But yeah, they had a, we probably had more people picked up for speeding uh, speed trap kind of stuff, trying to get the girls back to their dorms on 55:00time, you know than we had underage drinking type arrests.

BM: Alright, I guess to kind of round off the Interview. What advice would you give, if any, to current students?

MU: Study harder than I did and look to your future so that when you graduate there's, you're employable, you know, get an education that makes you employable. May not be as high up the chain of command as you'd like to start, but at least you know, to take courses that are going to get, you know, the next, the next step. Don't just come and take courses just to take courses. Because I started my, my accounting and psychology was sort of like that. I mean it was just, I just thought those would be, you know, I enjoyed it in high 56:00school and then just thought that'd be fun. But I had no future but what I was going to do. And then when I started thinking about what an accountant does all day long, I didn't want to do that, you know, it was a nice place to visit, but I want to live there kind of thing. But I think that's the, you know, that's the thing. And, you know, social media is all new to me. You know, I've not kept up with, with all of that, but there's so much more information and stuff that it's available now. So easy to get it that they have to. They can't forget that they need to learn. It's not how fast can you look it up. It's, can you remember it? And I know that was always an issue. You know, your, you studied, you crammed all nights, took your [unclear] tablets so you could pass the test the next day, but did you really learn anything when you, in the, in the process? I think, I think higher education is certainly important, but it ought to be 57:00something that you're planning to utilize afterwards. And if you're not then go get a job in, you know, in a factory or, or learn a trade or, or you know. Uh, I mean there are electricians, plumbers, those types of people who are making more money than college graduates are. Well, you know, don't believe me just hire, hire one sometime somebody must be making it because they're certainly charging, they're certainly charging, so. You know, the, uh, you don't need to you know, you don't need a college degree to be successful, even though on this college campus, I'm sure that's the attitude of all the counselors and instructors and everything else. Uh, but the, uh, you know, you don't have to have one. 

BM: Alright, I think that's good.

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