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00:00:00 - Childhood Games

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Partial Transcript: WN: Velma is going to tell us about some of her early childhood and growing up.

VC: Well, I can remember playing hide and seek out here behind all these big trees, and, of course, it was quite a nice place to play hide and seek.

WN: [Indecipherable] who is we?

VC: Well, it was all just the children in the family. Minna Karl (Minna Karl Ekdahl), Etta Feild (Etta Feild Caves) [indecipherable] and, mostly, just the children in the family.

Segment Synopsis: Velma recalls playing games such as hide and seek and paper dolls with the children in her family.

Keywords: !Goraseb, M. G. A.; Etta Feild Caves; childhood games; Minna Karl Ekdahl

Subjects: childhood games

00:02:29 - Music Education

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Partial Transcript: WN: Well, tell us about your school years. [Inaudible] I found a thing in the paper where you and Etta Feild (Etta Feild Caves) [indecipherable] for the radio station.

VC: I had forgotten that, yes. We took piano religiously. They saw to it that there was a good teacher [indecipherable] I mean, somebody in the family [indecipherable] and we had a good piano teacher. It was unfortunate that I didn’t become a great pianist, because that’s what they would have liked for me to have done. And then every Saturday, we went to classes with the same teacher. We studied history of music and theory of music every Saturday morning.

Segment Synopsis: Velma talks about her love of music and music theory and having excellent piano teachers while she was growing up.

Keywords: Elaine Shelton; Kansas City (Mo.); Minna Karl Ekdahl; Minnie Burrows; Vern Tomlinson; piano; Etta Feild Caves

Subjects: music education

00:05:13 - College

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Partial Transcript: WN: Well, and you’re reading, too, because everybody read so prolifically.

VC: I tried to read a lot. I wouldn’t read some of the books I read as a child now. You couldn’t get the modern-day children to read them [inaudible]. But anyway, we did read. I went off to college pretty young. Daddy thought I was too young. Well, anyway, I was just 16, and he decided that was just much too young to graduate and go away from home, so he made drop a subject, so I wouldn’t have enough credits to graduate. Now I was crushed, just crushed! Well, Mrs. Hutton, Mrs. C.E. Hutton, the wife of the superintendent, was also the math teacher. I guess she felt sorry for me. Anyway, she arranged for me to take math, one of the subjects that I needed, or could use, in a study hall. And I didn’t say anything to my father. Well, when graduation time came, I had my credits. Now, he was pretty angry with me, but he couldn’t keep me from getting my diploma, so I went off to college. I wanted to go to Randolph-Macon (College), but Randolph-Macon at that time required four years of Latin to enter.

Segment Synopsis: Velma discusses graduating early and wanting to attend a co-ed college, but her father didn't approve. She talks about her time at Ward-Belmont College.

Keywords: Carl Albert; Kappa Kappa Gamma; Nashville (Tenn.); Randolph-Macon College; Speaker of the House; University of Oklahoma; Ward-Belmont College (Nashville, Tenn.); Mrs. C. E. Hutton

00:12:22 - Camp Care-Away

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Partial Transcript: WN: Uh, the camp (Camp Care-Away) was at Galena?

VC: Galena, Missouri. It was out from that little town on the river.

WN: Is that camp still there today as you know it?

VC: I’m not sure. It was such a beautiful little spot, but they built a dam somewhere down the river, the James River, and the government said it would be flooded, so they required mother, at that time because she owned it, to move the camp up on a bluff. Well, that took away the charm of it because it was down there...

WN: By the river.

Segment Synopsis: Velma recalls the camp her father, R. L. Jones, founded called Camp Care-Away in Galena, Missouri.

Keywords: Camp Care-Away; James River; Galena (Mo.)

00:14:56 - High Expectations

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Partial Transcript: WN: He really expected a lot of you, I think.

VC: Oh my, did they. When I say children were seen and not heard in my day, I mean literally. That keeps you from being able to communicate.

WN: Socially, really.

VC: Uh-huh. And Etta Feild (Etta Feild Caves) and I talked about it. She was, and you know, not to show your emotions when I grew up, no. If you were sad, don’t show it. If you were, don’t act like a hoodlum and laugh all the time, see. I don’t know how to explain it except that children had their place in that era. Well, I, I can’t think of anything that I might have left out. You were talking about games, I can remember as a child playing jacks. Oh, I would wear my fingers out playing jacks.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers her father, R. L. Jones, having extremely high expectations of her as a young person.

Keywords: Jacks; Etta Feild Caves

Subjects: high expectations

00:16:01 - Childhood Games

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Partial Transcript: WN: I don’t think I’ve seen any children playing jacks or hide and seek or anything in…

VC: NO! And, oh, we had all kinds of games and different parts of the jacks game. I can remember playing marbles. [Indecipherable] used to love to tell about the time I beat him playing marbles, and it made him so mad because a little old squirt of a girl beat him. It was probably just that one time. Anyway, I loved to do that as a child. I really did.

WN: Yeah. And they played games like Jack Straws and pick up sticks.

Segment Synopsis: Velma recalls the different games she played as a child.

Keywords: Jacks; jack straws; pick up sticks; Hide and seek

00:17:13 - R. L. Jones' Generosity

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Partial Transcript: WN: I can remember Lyle Thurman coming out here and practicing organ and that was the highlight of his life. And look what led to for Lyle.

VC: That’s right. Daddy was good to people…awfully good to people. If they tried to be worthy.

WN: This was important to him.

VC: Uh-huh it was and that was good training. And that’s why I used to get, inwardly, so upset when I would see the boys smoking after he had given them a hundred-dollar bill to give it up. Daddy was good. Some people…

WN: He was trusting.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers how generous her father was to people in the community.

Keywords: Organ and instruments; generosity; Lyle Thurman

Subjects: R. L. Jones' Generosity

00:18:03 - Children - Rowland and Roger

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Partial Transcript: WN: Okay, now then, if you can’t think of anything at this point in time about your early days, tell us about your two sons.

VC: Oh, well, I used to say I wanted four children. Well, I thought they were a little bit different than that. I had to settle for two. But I waited a long time to get the second one. It just didn’t happen that way. They were different as daylight and dawn which often the case in families, no two are alike. Rowland (Rowland Lee Collins) was precocious right from the beginning. I don’t whether it was because I had to entertain him so much when he was recovering from surgery on his hands when he'd had the terrible burn. I did spend a lot of time…

Segment Synopsis: Velma tells about her two children, Rowland and Roger.

Keywords: Princeton University; St. Louis (Mo.); opera; plastic surgery; Rowland Lee Collins

Subjects: John Roger Collins; Rowland Lee Collins; children

00:21:10 - Princeton University

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Partial Transcript: WN: Well, that was an honor in itself.

VC: Right. There wasn’t many, very many students from this part of the country at that time going east as there are now. Well, then when Roger (John Roger Collins) came along, he had that in mind, too, but he was afraid he couldn’t get in, however, he did. So, those were busy years, and I can remember when Roger went off to school, I said, you may not like it, but I think you better go on the train while it’s still going. So when he went to college, he had a roommate, or whatever they call them and went to Princeton and that was the last time he ever did because they began to fail, you know…

WN: No more trains running.

VC: Right! That’s right. But he went to college on the train.

WN: Well, that’s a nice remembrance for Roger.

Segment Synopsis: Velma talks about both of her sons attending Princeton University.

Keywords: Princeton University; Rowland Lee Collins; John Roger Collins

Subjects: Princeton University

00:23:50 - Rowland's Trip to England

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Partial Transcript: WN: Tell about Rowland going to England. I think that was wonderful, honestly.

VC: Oh, Rowland got some grants that took him to England. He had a trip to Europe that was just fantastic, he and one of his friends. And that’s before there was so much travel in Europe. And that then later years, Sarah, his wife and I, did some of same route that he took. We found it very interesting, rather tiring, because it was so inclusive, but it was great, great. Then he stayed in England one year. He began to find things that were in his field. Now the one thing that Rowland did that was very, very outstanding was that when he began to teach out of college, he got his doctorate degree from Stanford, and I think he was, if not the youngest, the next to the youngest to graduate to get a doctorate’s degree. And John and I had said, well, why not go ahead and get it. We can help you a little bit now, and if you wait until you are married and have kids, by then it will be ten times harder. So, if you can, get it now, well, he did. Then he went to teach in Indiana. Well, Rowland was such an inquisitive mind that he went through some manuscripts in the library.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers Rowland being awarded grants that allowed for him to take a trip to England. She also recalls him receiving his Doctorate Degree from Stanford and having an exhibit of Old English manuscripts at the J. Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.

Keywords: Europe; Guggenheim Grant; J. Pierpont Morgan Library; New York (Ny.); Old English manuscripts; Princeton University; Rowland Lee Collins; Stanford University; England

Subjects: Doctorate Degree; England trip

00:28:05 - Roger's Trip to the Middle East

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Partial Transcript: VC: Uh-huh. Now Roger had a good trip with Billy Farha (Bill Farha, Jr.).

WN: Yes, to the Middle East.

VC: To the Middle East. I look on Roger as being a definite brunette and kind of dark. They described him as a blonde when he was in those countries. They said who’s that blonde with you? Both boys were good in French. I’ve always wanted to be able to speak French fluently. I think it’s a little late now to start, but both of them had a good tongue or lip or something for French. They worked at it, though, because the, Roger I don’t think had ever had any French until he got to college. College French is extremely hard.

Segment Synopsis: Velma remembers Roger taking a trip to the Middle East and being able to fluently speak French.

Keywords: French; Middle East; Rowland Lee Collins; John Roger Collins

Subjects: Middle East trip

00:29:44 - Rowland's Honors and Death

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Partial Transcript: Rowland’s were in the literary field and he attained lots of honors.

WN: And he wrote a book.

VC: He wrote a book. He edited several books. He had, I can’t tell you all the honors because they’re in certain fields of literature at Rochester. He was, he was head of the English department there at Rochester for nine years. I don’t think anybody had served that long. Finally, he said, oh mom, I can’t take it any longer. He said all the professors were prima donnas. Some were, you know, pretty high on themselves. Well, they’re experts in their fields. They liked him, though, and he enjoyed it there very much, and it was a shame he had to be taken so young.

Segment Synopsis: Velma talks about the different honors Rowland received throughout his life and talks about his early death.

Keywords: Rochester (N.Y.); Rowland Lee Collins; John Roger Collins

Subjects: death; honors

00:31:23 - Roger's Business Accomplishments

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Partial Transcript: WN: Yes, and you still have Roger and he’s done wonderfully well in the business world.

VC: Yes, Roger, has different talents. He’s had some fantastic experiences.

WN: Tell me some of the companies that he’s, just name some of the companies that he’s worked for.

VC: Okay, he worked for Vanply, Inc., which is the subsidiary of Skelly. He was stationed out in, lived out in Washington there for several months. During that time, it seems there was some skullduggery going on in the business and a lot of mismanagement. So, at one time, they sent him to North Carolina, somewhere down there, and the situation was SO bad, here was quite young, I don’t know why they solicited a man so young, but they did.

Segment Synopsis: Velma discusses the different successful business ventures Roger had.

Keywords: John Roger Collins; Nordam Group; Paris (France); Parker Drilling Co.; Rowland Lee Collins; Skelly Oil Company; Vanply, Inc.

Subjects: business accomplishments