TK: Okay, so now we're recording. Ummm. Could you just tell us what your nameis please?
RR: My names Rob Richardson.
TK: Alright, ummm. Today is April 24th, ummm. Where did you grow up?
RR: Six blocks for the university.
TK: Does that have any, is that why you chose Oshkosh?
RR: It was a money and location were two big things and i was familiar with thecampus from going to the campus school.
TK: Did your parents, did the people you grow up around typically go to college?
RR: For the most part most of my friends went to college. Yeah.
TK: What were your parents/ grandparents like? Did they go to college? Or?
RR: My grandmother did not they kept her down on the farm, but my grandfather1:00was working on a PhD when he died down in the state capital in his office.
RR: And then my mom has an undergraduate degree from down in UW Madison
TK: UW Madison. Was your mom from the Madison area?
RR: She was born in Columbus and lived in sun prairie and then ultimately wentto UW Madison from sun prairie.
TK: Oh nice. Did she commute from home or did she?
RR: Oh no not these days, this was during world war two. She lived on campus.
TK: She lived on campus
RR: She went through college pretty much through the war years, so gas waspretty expensive.
TK: Oh yeah. Were either of her parents in the army?
RR: Ummm, no they weren't in the army. My step dad was in the army but none ofmy mom's parents were in the military 2:00
TK: Oh okay. What did your mom go to school for? What did she end up doing withher degree?
RR: Went into home ec, probably a major they don't even have any more. But shewent and she used to teach home ec., home economics is what it stands for, classes at fox valley technical college, in Oshkosh actually.
TK: Oh nice.
RR: In the building that's actually city hall.
TK: Oh, that's cool. I took plenty of home ec classes in high school but iHaven't heard about any in college.
RR: Yeah that was her major, I think she minored in Chemistry
TK: Oh, chemistry nice. So, since you grew up in Oshkosh, did you, was in kindof like going to high school and then transitioning into college or how was that?
RR: Well I started on the UW Oshkosh Campus when it was WSUO, Wisconsin State3:00College in 1959 when I was a kindergartener. You know where the Swart building is on campus?
RR: That used to be the Swart Campus school.
RR: So I went from kindergarten through 9th grade at Campus school, so in asense I was on college campus from 1959 to 1976. Then went to Oshkosh, now Oshkosh West, at that time it was Oshkosh High school, it was all in one.
RR: And then went back and got my degree at UW Oshkosh.
TK: Oh nice. My first college class I actually started out in Swart. And itscompared to all the other ones it's so outdated. They haven't really done
RR: Well yeah it goes back to when I was a kid!
TK: Well yeah, I see that now
RR: Actually, the whole university grew out of the normal school system.4:00
RR: So, my grandfather actually was a principal at a normal school in SunPrairie when my mom was growing up and to give you a perspective my mom is almost 95.
TK: Oh, jeez and you're just now, she's just leaving home or what?
RR: Yeah, we're just working on an assisted living right now
TK: Oh nice, so have you ever
RR: we age well
TK: How have you, have you ever, sorry. How many kids do you have?
RR: I have two
TK: Have they both gone to college?
RR: My son is a graduate of UW Parkside, and my daughter is a graduate of theGateway Technical college, in physical therapy assistant, so they both have some kind of education beyond high school.
TK: Nice, did you try and get them to go to college, or was that their choice on5:00their own?
RR: Well, some, yeah, he's got a bachelor's degree at UW Parkside in IT and mydaughter actually did go to Oshkosh for three semesters. But didn't like it and wanted to go into what she went into which is really worked out she's very successful and then my wife also has a bachelor's degree out of Parkside also. So, each one of our kids tried on of our campuses from our day.
TK: Yeah, that's cool. Did you meet your wife through college? Or?
RR: Nope met her after I had been teaching for a number of years
TK: Oh, where did you teach?
RR: Well I started teaching at Case High School right out of college. I came outof college with three majors, Radio/TV/Film, Journalism, and education
TK: Yup, I see that on your paper here
RR: and so I started out as a teacher in Case High School in Racine, that'swhere I met my wife, then I taught 5 and a half years in Hartland and then had a 6:00full degree in IT which I can tell you about whenever you want to hear that.
TK: Yeah, cool, once we get to UW Oshkosh more we'll probably talk about that.So, what was it like growing up in your house?
RR: What was it like? It was like, it was a blended family, and education was apriority, both of my dad and my mom had college degrees and I also was expected to go onto college. And umm my two sisters and I all have college degrees.
TK: Okay, so then did you kind of bring that into your kids, kind of encouragethem to, were they expected to go to college?
RR: They were expected to go to college for a four year or like my daughter, atwo year, to get some education beyond high school, right. 7:00
RR: That's the way we were brought up, we were brought up that it was expected.One of my sisters has a masters, I have a master's degree. And the other one has two different bachelor's degrees.
TK: Did you get your masters from Oshkosh as well?
RR: No, I got that through Cardinal Stritch.
TK: Oh, okay cool. Did Oshkosh change a lot while you were growing up or did itkind of stay the same?
RR: ohh, from kindergarten the big growth spurt for the UW Oshkosh campus was inthe 60s and so for the going in between buildings for different classes as a child, we were looking out the windows if the classes got boring at the campus school we watched the science building go up, you know the whole thing on the umm the what side of street it's on, the other side of the street from the school. But that was homes and restaurants and a laundromat when I was growing 8:00up. To what it is now, Clow and that parking lot. So, it went from basically a couple homes in the neighborhood to what it is now today.
TK: That, that's crazy to think about now there's buildings everywhere around campus.
RR: When I was growing up where the Arts and Comm building and the Theatre andall that I think it was a nursing home in that block and houses and even the Miles Kimball, the original Miles Kimball had a house in that block, I think it was on the other side of that street.
TK: Yeah, so definitely a lot has changed since you started here, that'sinteresting. So, is your current neighborhood just about the same as Oshkosh or?
RR: Well you mean were I am here in Mount Pleasant? No, it's actually quite a9:00bit different
TK: Quite a bit different, is it smaller there?
RR: Well thee, depends, the neighborhood is much more rural. I'm part of a muchlarger population, Racine county has a lot more population for instance than Winnebago county. I mean Oshkosh now is up to about 62,000 and when I was there it was about 50 and the metro area where I'm at is almost 100,000.
TK: Oh yeah, so definitely bigger.
TK: So, obviously growing up how were the teachers, since you've been throughOshkosh, were they the same all the time, what kind of subjects did you have to take?
RR: Actually, university wise?
TK: For your, just throughout, let's just start with your high school, was that10:00kind of general or did you have classes you could enroll in?
RR: The Oshkosh High School which is now known as Oshkosh West, I mean when youthink about the Oshkosh School system versus the Racine School System the Oshkosh School system had PhD's and a lot of master's degree teachers much like campus school, a lot of them were working on their degrees. So, we were kind of like guinea pigs. So, I think throughout most of my college I went through like a guinea pig. I mean campus school was deigned to train teachers, you had student teachers and interns all the time as regular teachers, I remember when I was at Oshkosh High School one of my history teachers, one of my favorite teachers in fact of all time, was working on a master's degree that was a 11:00complete independent study, and so we were one of the first ones to do that as part of his thesis. It was quite interesting to do that kind of education where they were trying that out on us.
TK: Yeah that's super cool. Is that kind of why you chose education, or did youthink it was interesting?
RR: Well yeah, I mean I like technology hence Radio/ TV
RR: And obviously the education piece at the time is where I started but itisn't where I ended up, I ended up in a completely different career plus at the time that's where the innovation was, I mean when I was doing tv they hadn't come out with VHS or DVDs and stuff, this was two inch video tape you had to manually wind on to spools and clean the VCR heads every couple hours, a lot 12:00different than it was maybe 10 or 15 years later.
TK: Oh yeah, that's interesting. Do you not do anything with Radio/TV/Film anymore?
RR: Well when I was in my second teaching career they put me in charge ofcomputers and the theory was that they hooked the TVs up so that I should be able to figure them out. You can't make this stuff up, that's literally how I got into computers.
TK: That's cool
RR: Before I started my job, two weeks before I started my job at HartlandArrowhead the guy said you're going to be in charge of our computer program and I said what brought you to that conclusion. He said huh you hooked up TV sets. You can figure it out, you got weeks.
RR: So, I learned computers in two weeks and never had a computer course in my life.
TK: So, did you go to school for that or did you just--
RR: Nope, figured it out. I have worked on the team that worked on the first13:00artificial intelligence, I designed clusters, I designed massively parallel stuff and I've never had a computer course
TK: Oh wow, that's pretty cool
RR: I taught em. I taught computer courses.
TK: Oh yeah? And you didn't go to school at all for it
RR: Yeah, I haven't taken a computer course and I've invented stuff. That's theironic part.
TK: That's pretty cool, obviously it was something you liked so it wasn't tohard learn it
RR: It seems to be the way my brain works believe it or not. I passed it down tomy son.
RR: He can do the same stuff, probably better than I can
TK: That's awesome, was it one of those things where he's like my dad does thisso I want to get into or just was interested?
RR: I think he found it interesting, he actually has a degree in it. I, ya knowby the time he went through it they actually had degrees for that stuff. When I 14:00went into IT it was just literally, apple was just coming out of the garage, commodore, Atari, anyways so umm that's just the way it evolved, I was in when it was evolving so I, even when I was a teacher we were putting in things for the first time for IBM and when they couldn't figure it out, I had to figure out how to make it work.
RR: So, then they'd send engineers to ask me how to figure out how I'd maketheir stuff work. And that's how I got into IBM.
TK: That's pretty cool and basically you had no education and they probably did
RR: Well yeah, they were trained engineers and I just figured it out. I hadeducation it just wasn't in computers.
TK: Yeah, cool. Is that what you wanted to. When you were younger did you have15:00an idea of what you wanted to do when you want to college?
RR: Yeah, I wanted to work somehow in Radio/TV.
TK: And then that ended up changing, is there a reason that changed?
TK: Yeah, definitely
RR: Like you know this was before they had told you to plan on changing yourcareer three or four times.
RR: It's just the way it went
TK: Did you? Sorry go ahead
RR: I was fortunate enough to marry a professional who also had a job so when Ineeded to make changes it wasn't like we were gonna be ya know homeless or anything, so we were able to do a lot of different things.
TK: Yeah. Did your parents have, did they want you to do whatever you wanted todo just as long as you went to college or did they want you to go on a certain path?
RR: Ummm, they wanted me to go to college, my dad did not want me to go into the16:00public sector, he did not want me to be a teacher, which I did all those things
RR: So, I kind of blazed my own trail
TK: Cool, Ummm. Was there anything that interested you about UW Oshkosh or didyou just go because you were close or was this one of the better colleges?
RR: I went because it was close and economically, I mean in those days you hadto do what you had to do financially to make it work. Ummm, I also because of growing up in Oshkosh and the stuff I did in high school I got to learn a lot of the professors.
TK: Oh Yeah.
RR: And so, I liked that interaction, when I was in high school I was actuallydoing stuff sometimes with college, projects too 17:00
TK: Yeah. Was there advanced courses for that or where you just kind of
RR: I kind of just free wheeled it into different things, some of my contactswere able to do things outside of the curriculum.
TK: Oh yeah, cool. Did a lot of your friends go to UW Oshkosh too?
RR: Quite a few, I mean some went to Madison, I'm trying to think, some went toMadison, a lot went to Oshkosh, some went far field but quite a few went to Oshkosh.
TK: Oh cool. So then did you. What were the dorms like then? Did they have?
RR: They had dorms then, I didn't stay in them. I lived six blocks away it wasquicker to walk to school.
TK: Oh yeah
RR: And a lot cheaper, I didn't. I mean I had friends in the dorm and I'd govisit them but that's the closest I'd get to the dorms.
TK: That's cool. I would much rather stay at home than the dorm, but an hour and18:00a half drive every day is a bit too much for that.
RR: Oh yeah, for me it was a six-block walk
TK: That would be nice. Do you remember much about your first day coming toschool? Was it just like high school?
RR: I think because I had spent so many years at campus school, it wasn't toointimidating, ummm. When I went to Oshkosh high school. It was the biggest high school in the state because the next year they split it into two. So if you weren't in a class you were expected to be gone, in high school, because it was just overloaded. It literally had teachers come in two shifts.
TK: Oh really?
RR: And they ran from, I think, seven in the morning to five at night. They hadteachers come in in shifts because there was so many students, the school was built for like 1500 and we had almost 3000. 19:00
TK: Holy cow, that would be nuts.
RR: And so you were already so independent in high school that bouncing fromclass to class in college just wasn't that much different
TK: Yeah, I couldn't imagine that. I graduated with 32 kids and coming tocollege was just like, this is insane, like I've never seen this many people
RR: My graduating class was 850
TK: My high school was like 200, maybe.
TK: So being in a class of what I graduated with, of my high school, in some ofthese pit lectures was so weird.
RR: Yeah, for you it was probably a lot more traumatic than it was for me
TK: Yeah, I was totally freaking out. I was like I don't know how I'm going todo this, I don't know how I'm going to make friends, like I'm used to having to make friends because everyone's in the same class as me. So, it was definitely a big jump. 20:00
RR: I was familiar with the campus, I was familiar with the independencealready, so it wasn't too unsettling for me
TK: No, so were you like in the same classrooms or were you in different buildings?
RR: We were in different buildings, Swart at that time was still the campus school.
TK: Oh yeah. So you..
RR: I never took any college classes in Swart, sometimes I'd walk through justfor yucks but I'd never, it wasn't like I had any classes, I know the college classrooms now because I know a former art teacher that I still keep in touch with, believe it or not, all these years later, umm, was, he had pictures from when they cleaned out his art room
TK: Oh that's cool. And that was your high school art class, you'd stop by there?
RR: Junior high school. Junior high school.
TK: Oh wow21:00
RR: Yup, he's up in Amherst now and I see him every summer at least once or twice
TK: Oh cool. So, do you remember any of your college professors?
RR: Well I remember a number of them, in fact I've run into a couple of them inlife around in different places, I was at a turkey dinner once in Franksville Wisconsin, which I'm sure you have no idea where it is.
TK: Nope, No idea
RR: And I was at a turkey dinner waiting to go in and the guy behind me goes,you're Rob Richardson, Right? Yup. He says remember me I was your college professor. I said I'll be darned. He goes, it was an education college professor.
TK: That's so cool
RR: So, I mean there's people that know me all over the world so it's kind of abizarre thing. I mean that's were these people ran into me.
TK: Talking with your kids are the general education classes seem to be the same22:00or are they kind of different know than they used to be?
RR: I think general ed is pretty much general ed.
RR: It's really your specialty courses that make your degree.
TK: Oh yeah
RR: I don't know if you can still test out, the nice part was in my day youcould test out of some classes.
TK: Yeah, I guess when you take the ACT you can test up in math or if you don'treally need a lot of math courses you don't really need to take math if you're super good at it I guess.
RR: I tested out of trig or I tested out of calculus. I've never taken calculus.
TK: So I tested out of the 100 level math courses and then I got to go prettymuch to the business classes. Which I mean was kind of nice but coming from such a small school it was kind of hard getting in to the harder classes. 23:00
RR: Yeah, I remember we could test out of a couple of different things.
RR: Time well spent
TK: Yeah, where did you spend most if your time on campus? Was there a ummm,like we kind of have reeve union, was reeve union here then?
RR: Oh yeah, I spent time. I used to meet a couple of different people and we'dplay pool because if it was just an hour or so I'd just come and go down there I was on the radio station, so I had an office up in the radio station for about two years, so I could go up there.
TK: Oh cool. So, were you a student that was on campus most of the time or ifyou had time would you go home?
RR: Well if I had a couple hours and I had an off-campus job so If I had acouple hours sometimes I'd go to work for a while, if I had an hour here or there, like I said I had an office on campus for like two years.
TK: Yeah. Did you spend most of your time studying or did you go out and party24:00with everyone?
RR: Oh, I would love to tell you I was studious, but I wasn't. I found theparties too.
TK: Oh yeah, how did your parents feel about that? Or would you not go homeafter parties?
RR: Ohhh, they probably didn't know
TK: They probably didn't know?
RR: Probably not
TK: Did you just come home late at night or would you?
RR: Oh yeah
TK: Just quiet enough they didn't question it?
RR: Sometimes they were awake, it depended if it was one o'clock or three, itjust depended
TK: Yeah, so did you meet a lot of people from different places or did you kindof keep your friend group from Oshkosh?
RR: Oh no, I met people from all over. Umm, I was in such diverse majors firstoff, three majors, and I even had to sort of because they'd usually run into 25:00people that it was a major and a minor.
RR: They even had to figure out if I needed a minor after I had two majors, thatwas actually a decision at the dean level that had to be made.
TK: Oh wow. And you still graduated in four years with three majors?
RR: I graduated in four years with two majors and I was missing student teachingto finish off the third major, so I came back after I graduated and did student teaching, so I could get the third major. I did two and a half majors or all except student teaching I did in four years. Some semesters I did 21 credits
TK: Oh wow, I couldn't even imagine 21 credits, that would be insane
RR: That's what I did
TK: Yeah, that's insane. 15 is hard to keep up with sometimes
RR: I did the work. I think I graduated with 163 credits and I think you needed128 to graduate.
TK: Yeah, that sounds about right, that's pretty cool. So, what are some of the26:00memories you have of your college days? Is there any that stick out?
RR: Well, we had fun, umm. One interim a bunch of different majors me and thecollege put together a plane and went over to England and France for two weeks.
TK: Oh cool
RR: So, we gallivanted around England and France for two weeks and had the timeof our lives. Got a couple of credits for sitting through some tours and lectures and saw the world it was pretty fun, that was a good time, Uhhh. Remember uhhh that was the era of streaking, so I remember that around the mall. We had a lot of fun in the radio station doing a lot of things in radio and ummm TV and some of the people I worked with in the TV nature were pretty fun. We had 27:00one of our professors at the time had come from Disney.
TK: From Disney?
RR: From Disney, so he had a lot of contacts.
TK: Oh yeah
RR: So he got a lot of major stars at the time to come in and do long seminarsand thinks like that, I don't know if you ever heard of the TV program Cannon?
TK: Yeah, I've heard of that before
RR: Well Bill Conrad was the star, you know, 300 plus pound star, he spent aweek with us.
TK: Oh cool
RR: and I still remember the first time I met him. Ummm, the elevator doorsopened in the basement of the Arts and Comm building and I looked at him and said oh gee I guess there's no room, so I'll have to wait for the next elevator and his comment was shut up wise, you finish the sentence because I know you're recording, get in here! And that started a week of just non-stop entertainment 28:00parties. The guy was a party animal but since I had wised off to hi the first time I met him he was an instant friend and we had like so much fun and he brought out takes from when, he was the original Matt Dillon, on the radio gun smoke
TK: Oh cool
RR: he brought a whole out take tape, which I still have, it's a hoot to listento. But ya know those are the kind of things that are just interesting, at different ya know professors put together from the European tour to the special people that would come on campus that I think you know really made them special.
TK: Yeah, that's
RR: PJ Woreck in journalism and stuff like that
TK: That's super cool, like some of the people you meet, like you said, youwised off to him right away and it's kind of just like weird how it starts out to become friends or how you become close or start talking right away 29:00
TK: So it says here that you were part of the Alpha Epsilon Rho Radio/TV/Filmhonor society?
TK: Correct, and that's the honor society for electronic media students, so didyou get into that because of your Radio/TV/Film?
RR: Right, Radio/TV/Film was what we were in for.
TK: And what did you, what was that like?
RR: It was an honor society, so it was a regular meeting, I was the treasurer atone point, we had our meetings and our gatherings, our initiations, it was fun group of people, these were the people that because it was an honor society, these people were the top of the major.
RR: And and, so we did special projects and just had a good time.
TK: So, did you help out like the, since you were the smarter people, quote30:00un-quote, would you help the with other people that needed the help?
RR: Actually umm, I forget how many credits I got but I wound up for gettingcredits for teaching a total of I think four different college classes while I was a student
TK: Oh cool, just for helping out?
RR: Well what I would do is after I took the course then they would bring meback and I forget what it was called, and you would get a couple of credits for helping teach the class.
TK: Oh nice
RR: So, I got that and then one course I took in education the professor knewwhat I was doing through Radio/TV and some volunteer work at the high school and he actually asked me to teach certain units because he didn't know how to teach them and so part of the deal was I would get an A on that one because I was teaching most of the course so they could learn it. 31:00
TK: That's pretty cool
RR: I had a bizarre career in education, that got more interesting as life went on
TK: Yeah, you kind of went with everything and got to learn a lot. Were you inany clubs or organizations or were you just kind of part of that one?
RR: Just that one
TK: Just that one
TK: Did you go to sporting events?
RR: Yeah, I liked football
TK: You liked football
RR: Yeah, so we, when I was in college working with the school district, thepublic-school district, we started the first televising of the high school and the college football games out at the stadium
TK: Oh, that's cool
RR: It was all black and white back in those days
TK: Yeah, but if you started that
RR: Yeah, I actually directed the cameras and the coverage and we had a couple32:00of people that would do the on air verbal stuff and give the analyst type thing, we call it now days, and I directed all the camera shots and the transitions and everything else I was the director and sometimes the producer and it was a pretty skeleton crew in those days, and yeah we recorded. I know the stadium very well
TK: So, would you put that on the TV then?
RR: Yeah, and it was broadcast multiple times on the local cable channel
TK: And did you, was that on the radio too or just TV?
RR: No that was all TV on the cable
TK: Oh cool
RR: I'm sure they had radio coverage, but I was part of the TV piece of it
TK: Cool. Did you go to football games all the time?
RR: Yeah (incomprehensible) I have a packer hat on now for what it's worth. But33:00yeah that's, first off, it got me into the games for free. Yeah, it was fun to do it
TK: Yeah, did you any intramural sports when you were in college?
RR: Nope, I was on the recording end of them, I am a great spectator
TK: Yeah, high school sports, those were fun but I could not do that again incollege, not with all the classes and everything.
RR: Well we had to do two physical education courses and I think mine was tennisand bowling and archery
TK: Oh wow
RR: And it was definitely low impact, high entertainment kind of stuff
TK: Yeah. I have a friend right now and he's in a jogging class and it's a onecredit class and he just jogs around like once a week and I was like that seems 34:00so easy
RR: We, I think it was in the basement of the Union or Albee, maybe Albee theyhad an archery range and I took archery and my specialty was hitting bulls eyes like three targets over and returning arrows off of the ducts beck to the starting line my aim was awful. It was entertaining as all get up.
TK: That's super cool, I don't know if they still do that down there, I've neverreally done any phy. ed classes or anything. So, did you go to any homecoming dances or anything?
RR: I think I went to one, it was a very nonevent one. And I came back to onehomecoming. I was supposed to meet a friend of mine from Minneapolis, due to 35:00whatever he never made it, so I only made one, because I didn't really know anybody and the people I knew didn't show up so it was, so I only did one of those and then when I was in college I did one homecoming dance but that was about it.
TK: Oh nice. What else would you do for fun on campus? Or off campus?
RR: Well, I ain't dumb for any money so I wound up doing a lot of working, I didwork year round
TK: Oh yeah
RR: So, most of my time was spent working
TK: Yeah, works, work can be fun I guess. I work at a restaurant, so I mean, itsdecently fun there
RR: I painted houses, so it was very solitary and messy
TK: Oh yeah. I could not do that
RR: Well I cracked a few ribs and fell off a ladder so that was a specialty36:00
TK: Oh jeez, yeah, painting. Ladders are not my thing, I did roofing one summerand ladders, I just hated them, I was like, being up on a roof, yeah that sucked, but
RR: The fall doesn't hurt but it's the landing that gets you every time
TK: Yeah, you're always just scared to hit the ground.
TK: So, did you go to bars often?
RR: Oh yeah
TK: What were the bars like?
RR: It was in the 70s, so it was a lot of disco and bell bottoms and that kindof stuff
TK: Did you go--
RR: Wisconsin street, you know the whole strip there was pretty much Andy'sLibrary and Kelly's and a little bit
TK: Did you stay on Wisconsin Street most of the time or was there main streetbars then?
RR: That or just basically on by the campus and then sometimes house parties.37:00
TK: Yeah, there's plenty of house parties now a day
RR: Well there was back then too
RR: Wop parties
TK: Would you that there were more women or men at Oshkosh?
RR: I think it was pretty balance
TK: Pretty balance
RR: Yeah, my time and my majors were all very, ya know, there was a pretty goodbalance male and female, in all the different majors
TK: Yeah, that's cool. Did you have relationships here at UWO or did you kindajust do your own thing?
RR: Oh, I had a couple of girlfriends through that time, yeah.
TK: Would you bring them home to your parents or would you kind of just stay on campus?38:00
RR: Basically, mostly just stuff on campus we'd do together
RR: Or in town, one of the unique things was I had a car and so it was an escapeto get off campus.
TK: Yeah. Was there campus issues while you were here?
RR: The campus issues, where I would say issues were when I was at campus schoolas a child and at junior high school. There was, they had just started integrating the campus in the 60s and I think it was 108 black students pretty much tore up the administration building and then crosses were burned, it's pretty well etched in my mind, that era. And they were all expelled but there were cross burned, it was a tough time in the 60s. 39:00
TK: Yeah, we kinda talked about that a little in class about how they weretearing up building, throwing desks, and everything
RR: I actually went through it as a kid, we had been swimming at Albee, Albeehall, and we and what they'd do they'd send us back to campus school unattended and at the time, it just happened, the PE teacher was a college professor at that time didn't know that the whole thing was just erupting, so they sent us back to campus school running through the snow. Right in front of the administration building with all these smoldering crosses. And all these debris in the yard and they had just cleared it. And so, I still have this etched memory of these burning black crosses and this debris and we're kind of scampering through there just as fast as our little feet could get us through there. 40:00
RR: Because we had no idea what was going on and I think they closed the campusfor a couple days afterward if I remember correctly and we were not we didn't go back swimming for a week or so
TK: Yeah, you definitely, that's one of those things where you kind of just wantto get away from when you're younger, you don't really want to find out what's going on
RR: Well they wound up realizing they had to tell us about it later in the day,but I mean sending us through there didn't endear us to the police because the police were still there trying to figure out what we were doing running through it
RR: You know, a bunch of junior high school kids. So yeah, that was probably themost, that was probably the most impressive thing I have. I mean I remember Ronald Reagan in the 70s I think it was the 76 election came and spoke at the gym in Albee and he, they egged his car and I remember some of that and 41:00streaking as I say we found out one of our friends was going to be streaking with a mask so we were yelling his name out, that really ticked him off, that was pretty entertaining.
TK: Yeah, that's funny. What would you say the--
RR: Especially when he turned his head in recognition, that was pretty funny.
TK: Oh yeah. What would you say the racial makeup of UWO was like while you were here?
RR: Well by the time I made it back to campus there was a growing minority,mainly black but some Hispanic, there was a black student union by then and black studies program, so for about a year after all the riots there was nothing but it grew back in by when I went in the 70s the rioting had been in the 60s, things had settled down and it was a growing population but it wasn't unusual to 42:00have some minority in the classroom while I was in college.
TK: So, would you say that everyone kind of got a long or was there fighting?
RR: I don't remember any trouble, I don't remember any trouble while I was incollege. Ya know, I'm more likely to have a joke or something, so I got along with everybody and there wasn't, I don't remember and real type of disturbance. I'm sure there was stuff, I'm sure there was stuff in the dorms, when you don't live there, I kind of came in and out so I'm sure I was a little clueless on some of it.
TK: Yeah and you kind of got a long with everyone.
RR: Yeah, I kinda had a wicked sense of humor so that was pretty disarming
TK: Oh yeah. Would you say that you learned a lot while you were here at UWO?
RR: Oh yeah. I mean I, people ask me how I was able to do what I did in my later43:00career and I think I learned how to learn.
TK: Kind of opened your eyes
RR: There's a lot said in the media now that colleges are (incomprehensible) butwhen I was there we were learning how to learn and you know because to the day people can't figure out how I can have a full career in IT I mean literally very high end IT that, the artificial intelligence and everything else how I could do that without taking a computer course and I tell people that it's just because I learned how to learn
TK: Yeah, that's cool. When you graduated did you kind of feel a sense of relieflike you were finally done with your four years?
RR: Well I think everybody has that, I mean and then you have ten years whereyou wake up and you think you missed a test or forgot to study for something and then you remember you're not in school anymore
RR: Well yeah, it's a bit of relief44:00
TK: Yeah, so when you graduated did you want to be a teacher right away or didyou kind of?
RR: I signed about a teacher contract about three weeks before I finishedstudent teaching in my semester after I graduated. So yeah, I went, literally right into the classroom after the semester after graduating.
TK: Yeah, cool. So, since after teaching you went right into IT. Is that kind ofwhat you stayed with then?
RR: I, yeah, literally as I told you when I was at my second teaching job theyput computers under me and I just was able to figure things out and when system engineers called the teacher at a high school to figure out how to make their lingering systems work they started to go why are you there and why aren't you here? And so after about five and a half years I went over to IBM and they hired 45:00me as a system engineer and I started out working with their proprietary systems until they found out they couldn't figure out the unit system and so I was in on the ground floor of the RS 6000 and the massively parallel systems that are basically the backbone of their mainframe now.
TK: Yeah, so did they send you through training then when, throughout yourcareer I guess?
TK: Nope, kinda just learned it all by yourself?
RR: Part of the issue, what makes my career so bizarre is that I wound upcreating things, I created the cluster environment what's called high availability cluster multiprocessing which allows multiple systems to work off 46:00the same hard drives and if one processor goes down another system can take over, now days almost anybody can do it but back in the 80s even IBM couldn't do it until we found the right parts
TK: Oh wow
RR: And I had this nasty little habit, I kind of made friends, with variousplants and development groups and so I worked with a team in Austin initially to put together this program because we were trying to compete with Deck who had some system that could do it and we put it together and I wound up the first person in the world certified on the systems because I, it was kind of easy because I helped develop it, so I worked on stuff all over the world as far as that and as far as different types of complex storage systems at the time.
TK: That's cool, so you've definitely had an interesting career.
RR: Well yeah and then in the middle of that all they brought me into the firstgeneration of artificial intelligence 47:00
TK: Oh yeah
RR: And the all of this stuff doesn't sound like much anymore but put yourselfback in the 1988, 89,90, and the reason I was brought in for that one, first off was to field test it, to make sure it was actually useable, but nobody knew what it was, so to bring in the former teacher to be able to teach people about what it is and as a system engineer they would bring me into all these different projects because I could listen to what somebody need and then based on all of my ability to remember what all the parts and pieces were I could design systems in about an hour in front of the customer and show them how it would work and so I was literally taking from the time I would walk in they would say. You know, I have an example they would say, I have a warehouse, if it goes down I lose a 48:00million dollars an hour, what ca you do that if one of my systems goes down something else takes over and I'm up in like five minutes? Well I put the pieces together and they were happy to pay half a million dollars for that
TK: Yeah, absolutely
RR: And so, I did that on a daily basis for about eight years.
TK: Oh jeez, wow.
RR: and then that kind of got attention from this group in Austin that then usedme for these other projects because I learned the stuff quickly enough to learn how we could use it in the real world because a lot of this stuff was pie in the sky stuff
RR: And from there went out to Racine county and was the IT director there for13 years and then since I've retired, I've been retired about nine years, I volunteer at a local village and designed all of the infrastructure for all of 49:00the new buildings they built and right now I'm in the middle of the Foxconn Project
TK: Yeah cool, that's, I was googling the Foxconn Project after you emailed melast time and I was, it was interesting
RR: It's big
TK: Yeah, it seemed like
RR: It's the biggest foreign investment in a manufacturing facility in US history.
TK: and you have the opportunity to work on it so that's
RR: I'm the volunteer chairman of the community development authority
RR: And so, I've been in it since, I've been in it now about 14 months and,yeah, it was interesting, it started out as a little 4 million square foot facility and now it's up to between 22 and 32 million square feet
TK: Oh wow. That's definitely grown
RR: And 13,000 employees when it's done about 9,000 people work on the project50:00to build it
RR: And right now, we've got dirt moving 24 hours a day to get it done
TK: That's insane
RR: Yeah, it's been interesting
TK: Definitely, have you had much involvement in UWO since you graduated?
RR: I've been back a couple of times, kept in touch with a couple if theprofessors over the years, I came back for one homecoming, I toured a couple of the buildings that different people suggested, but that's about it
TK: Yeah, cool. What kind of advice would you give to current students?
RR: Learn how to learn
TK: Learn how to learn
RR: It sounds really goofy but it's important and the reason I've had the career51:00I've had is because I can figure things out, and I don't, like I say there's a lot of flak right now that people that college gets are getting (incomprehensible) I hope it's not true, we learned how to learn
RR: And we learned the basic on how to do x, y, and z learned that and we hadthe opportunity to apply it to make new projects, make new things, so by the time I get the real world, I wasn't afraid to try new things.
TK: Yeah, absolutely. Everyone's got to try something new all the time.
RR: Right, and you got to think for yourself and you know as I say you don't doas I did for a career if you're waiting for somebody to show you how to do it
TK: Yup, you got to learn how to learn.
RR: Not everybody can do it, not everybody can do it. Some people have to bebook fed everything, but I learned how to learn, and I learned how to learn there 52:00
TK: That's awesome
RR: Boy, that's profound.
TK: Well cool, thank you for your time, I really
RR: Is this going to bundle in to something that I'll be able to see or hear orview or what?
TK: So after this im going to transcribe this so we'll have words on it and thenas a group we're making a little iBook, so I think there's six or seven people in my group, so they're also interviewing people, so then we're all going to put in a little bit of our stories and we'll have some iBook out of it or some sort of book online that I can send you once I'm all done with it.
RR: Sounds good
TK: Awesome, thank you so much for your time
RR: You're welcome. Take care
TK: Yup. Bye