Special Collections Oral History Program
Carroll Haeske (1905-2001)
Two-year Teaching certificate, 1922
Three-year Teaching certificate, 1923
Interviewer: Dr. Al Froderberg, Director of Planned Giving
Date of Interview: April 8, 1998
Location of Interview: Bremerton, Washington
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CH: I am supposed to give a slight account of the hard times and tribulations of one C.M. Haeske of Arcadia, California. I will start in by saying that I missed being a subject of Queen Victoria by 50 feet from the Canadian border on the American side. Therefore, I missed, as I said, being an English subject by a matter of only some one hundred feet.
My father named me Carroll [originally spelled "Carol"] because he was a Latinist of sort, and Carroll is really Chuck or Charles. Later on that had a very interesting effect on me because…well, I’ll tell you later.
I was brought up in the city of Blaine, Washington, and there is one interesting thing, as I remember. The first day of school I was put in a wastepaper basket, actually. What happened was this. I did not understand a single word of English because the family always spoke German at home. And so when the teacher said, "Stand up," I didn’t know what she was talking about. "Sit down." I was put in a waste paper basket. And what happened? I skipped the third grade because they figured I was too fast. So I learned the English language. Incidentally, a generation or so later I passed my orals at Stanford University for the doctorate in what language? English, which was a little bit silly. Oh by the way, I flunked the minor – what was the minor? German.
Oh, I’ve got to tell you about that, you would be a little bit interested because I passed the oral – the main part of my examination with flying colors. The second part the professor asked me, now Mr. Haeske, will you discuss the problems that Goethe had in the writing of Faust? That I knew backwards and I started in, and he interrupted me and said, "No, not in English, in German." I failed rather miserably because finally the fellow said, "What part of Pennsylvania did you come from?" Well, it was no answer. "Well, go back to Bellingham."
I graduated from high school in 1919 and I started in what was then the Normal School in 1920. At that time, the Normal School, I would say, had a population of maybe 500-600. Say three out of every four people were women. I don’t remember much about the ins and outs of the school in those days. I don’t think I ever talked personally to the President of the University. When I went to Stanford I was over at David Starr Jordan’s place, actually, at least two times or maybe three times a month. The way he would be pontificating! He always had an open house there and all the students were invited that wished to come, and Mrs. Jordan served tea and biscuits and David Starr would talk to all of us sitting around. Incidentally, it was fascinating because in the room he had about a half a dozen fish tanks. Most of the fish had been named after him because he was an ichthyologist.
But to get back to Bellingham, I went to school only in the mornings because I had a job playing at the theatres in those days. Those were the days of the black and white movies, and they had vaudeville on the side, a little offshoot of the Pantages circuit, and there was nothing for me to do in the morning, so I figured out, "Well, I might as well go to school." Well, the courses that I would like to have taken over at the Normal School were – most of them – in the afternoon. There were some good ones in the morning and I would go there, and I would be there every morning and taking some of the assigned courses.
A few things I remember … there was Mabel Zoe Wilson. I spent some of my time in the libraries down there, and we became pretty good friends, and she would direct me to reading things. Of course, by that time, I had an interest in collecting books. I started collecting and she gave advice. Life went on very nicely down there. I worked my way through school that way and for some unknown reason I found myself in 1922 the president of the student body.
Well, during that time we were interested in various things and I think the big thing that happened is that there was some property for sale on Lake Whatcom. That property, lakefront property, was about sixty acres, and I think the price at that time was, I’m fairly sure it was $600 – they say it was $900, but I think it was $600. It was a fairly decent price, and so I had a vision of, wouldn’t it be fine if the school had a crew and they could be on Lake Whatcom. I was always interested in the crew because – I was only interested in Lake Whatcom. I had spent a lot of time going over there and fishing regularly. I remember my brother and I once caught, this is a horrible thing to say, about a hundred – over a hundred silvers, there was no limit in those days. And mother took – we took them – father came over and helped me take them up and we went back and I think we canned them herring-style, because mother would say that when she was a girl they would go over to the mouth of the Memel River and would get a big barrel full of herring. And they would take the herring and salt it down and there they had "kartoffel mit schwanz" which is potatoes and herring, and would last the entire year. Let’s see, where am I now?
AF: Do you remember who you bought the property from?
CH: I haven’t the slightest idea from whom we bought the property, but it had been for sale…there was no road there at all but it was property – there was even a little chuck of an island near there.
Well, anyhow, let’s see, I am completely lost now. Am I at Stanford or…Oh, incidentally, after I left the Normal School then I went back to the University of Washington where I graduated. The interesting thing there was, I wanted to go into histology, or something ridiculous like that, but after I didn’t have enough credits – oh, I couldn’t have gone into it for the very simple reason that it would take longer. They would admit me as a senior with my credits from Bellingham but only as a sophomore with my credits from Bellingham in the other field. So I went into education, and I graduated from the University of Washington and then my dad said – oh, incidentally, I worked my way through the University of Washington by playing in what we would call a "speakeasy" on Yesler Way. Very fascinating, but I can’t go into that in detail.
AF: What instrument did you play?
CH: Oh, I played the saxophone, the flute and the clarinet. And I even twangled a little bit on the banjo. But anyhow, my father finally said to me, "Well, son, you’ve worked your way though school (without any expense to him), and I’ll put you through for the next couple of years." And so, first of all I picked Strasbourg. My father said, "Strasbourg. Why?" I said, "Well, it’s a fine German university." He said, "That’s not a German university. It’s in France!" I didn’t know that, but thought that somebody like Nietzsche had gone there. Well, Stanford sounded like a pretty good school. It was a little bit expensive there though at that time. The tuition was $75 a year.
AF: $75 for the entire year.
CH: $75 for the entire year. Well, you see, Stanford was formed for the poor kids that couldn’t afford to go to the rich University of California. But then it was perfectly fascinating, for that’s where the word ‘Carroll’ came into effect. Because, in those days they only allowed 500 girls in the university. So, I had registered and I came with two suitcases to the place where I was assigned, and the place was a dormitory. And when I came in there, there was nothing but girls, and here I came with a suitcase. They looked at me, I looked at them, somebody came up to them and I showed them my admission things. I had been admitted to Stanford as a girl. Well, there’s only one thing to do. I had to have a sex change, and I did that very easily. All I did was take Carol and add another ‘r" and another ‘l’ to my name. And it made one girl, I imagine, very happy, because after all they only admitted 500 and I was one of the 500.
Let’s see, what else happened to me then. Oh, yes. Then I…later on I decided to earn an honest living, and so applied for jobs. Well, the very strangest thing happened. Those were the days when English teachers and everything else – oh, I had been working for my doctorate, but I put that off for a while, I hadn’t taken my examination yet, and I found out: no jobs in English, but there were a lot of calls for music teachers. And so, having been a professional musician, there was no difficulty. I got a job and I went to the town of Escalon, and I was teaching music there.
AF: Where was Escalon?
CH: Escalon is in the corn and Bible belt of the San Joaquin valley, near the town of Modesto. One great adventure, I shouldn’t be telling this, but it may be of interest. One time the principal came to me and he says, "Mr. Haeske, you are in great trouble." I said, "What do you mean?" His name, by the way, was Benjamin Franklin Brown, isn’t that interesting that I still remember that? He says, "You are in great trouble." I says, "What do you mean?" "It’s come to my notice that you have seduced one of your students." I said, "What?!" He said, "It has come to my notice that you are in great trouble." I said, "Well, who is the student?" And he mentioned her name, and yes, it was one of the girls I had in class. Then I said, "Well, when was this supposed to have happened?" Well, what happened was this: the gal said the dastardly event had taken place on such and such a day, and fortunately she mentioned the day. Fortunately, I had gone to San Francisco on that day. Fortunately, it was the future president of Poland who had been playing the piano, his name was Paderewski. I had the ticket stub showing I had been there, and when we approached the little darling, she confessed at once that she just made it up, and she was telling some of her friends. Her friends told their parents, they went to the principal, and the principal went to me.
Fortunately, I was cleared, but I decided I didn’t like the town so much any more and so I suddenly wrote – applied to the University of Oregon, and lo and behold, they admitted me as a part-time instructor, in English, yes. All right, I went there and had a beautiful year, and met a lot of fine people that are quite well known at the present time, and we had a glorious year. Then I decided, ‘Oh well, I shall go back to California and do a little part-time work and go back and try to get my doctorate.’ So the first job I got there, of course, was again in music. Well, in all of my work in college somebody gave me one credit in music. One. I didn’t even ask for it, I don’t know how I got it, and something like 180 in the other subjects. I taught band and orchestra at Red Bluff High School. What do I remember about Red Bluff? Well, somebody by the name of Charles Lindbergh flew over the school there, so that must have been in 1926 or so.
Then I decided to go on to bigger and better things, and I decided to apply for a junior college job. And I got one over in the town of Porterville. Now there was an interesting thing [about] Porterville. They had an ROTC, only this was run by the State of California National Guard. The head man over there, Colonel, I can’t think of his name, I’ll think of it in a moment, he had a band, it was a junior college and high school combined, but they had an ROTC band and I was directing the band. And that’s how I became a major in the California National Guard, because one time the Colonel came to me and he said, "Haeske, it’s ridiculous. Here we are running a parade and everybody’s in uniform, I’m in uniform, and you are the only civilian. Do you mind if I get you a commission?" I says, "Sure Colonel." And one thing I did not realize was that the Colonel (who had graduated from West Point) …his best friend was the Adjutant General of the State of California National Guard, and the governor was the best friend of the Adjutant General. And lo and behold, one time the Colonel came to me and he says, "Major Haeske, here’s your commission." I became an instant Major in the National Guard, and so that went on very nicely.
Well, I became permanent teacher over there, but I decided to go after my doctorate and so I went back to Stanford and got a half-time job at Sunnyvale High School, and there, what did I teach? Well, naturally, band and orchestra. They had some very good bands and a fairly decent orchestra. And they kept on going very nicely, and oh, by the way, I was making $90 a month then. I passed up a nice job which was paying a horrendous salary of $5,000 a year, which was great money back in the ‘20s. Well, anyhow, I decided at that time to go back to what I was teaching in Sunnyvale. I insisted on just having afternoon classes and so, I went to Stanford in the morning and went to earn my money and keep in the afternoon. Oh, incidentally, the rent that I was paying there was a little bit outrageous, as I think it was something like $12 a month.
Well, I was going to Stanford and I then stayed there for a while, took classes, exhausted a few classes, and various fields. Because the depression was on, blowing great guns at those times. And so, at that time I was working with Louis Terman. I was taking some psychology courses, and it is so interesting, I looked up the IQ of all these people, he was doing, shall we say, the exceptional children’s study, and I found a gal who had an IQ of 150. Well, I figured, this would be very interesting. So I found her, dated her, and we got married in 1934. And then by that time I decided that…oh, I took my doctoral examination essay, passed the major, but flunked the minor, which was German Philology, in which I couldn’t talk about the problems Goethe had in writing Faust, in German. But I thought I could always come back to that.
In the meantime, I got a very fine job in the city of Los Angeles, doing what? Band and orchestra. See, I’d been absolutely preparing for it all the years of college I don’t know…one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten…I don’t know, about oh, ten fifteen years. Well, I taught music there until I decided it was getting a little bit too noisy…
AF: Where did you teach in Los Angeles?
CH: I taught at the Polytechnic High School for a while, very interesting school as it is the only school that taught pipe organ. It was a giant organ there and we had some very excellent musicians. Well, I finally decided that I didn’t like to live in the city any more so I moved over to Arcadia and still kept on teaching, and moved over to a place called Wilson High School, where I taught music. Then finally I decided to go into what I really had prepared for, and that was teaching English. But what they really gave me were the very bright ones, and the ones that weren’t so very bright. Well, anyhow, I kept that on until I decided to retire, and I retired in ’66. It’s a few years ago. I’d been an entrepreneur in all these days.
What did I do in all my time? Well, I had about, oh, 20 or 30 hobbies. I still collected books. My wife and I would go to England and we would hound the bookstores. We traveled a bit. I still have a little over 15,000 books. I have an acre. I’m a member of the Unusual Fruit Society. Strange fruit. I’ve put in over 150 trees, no two alike, and right now, after about, let’s see, that was over 30 – I moved in there about 40 years ago, and the trees are still growing. I have macadamia nuts, I have sapotes, I have cheramoyas, I have about five kinds of…even macadamia nuts, which are growing beautifully, and the Unusual Fruit Society has been very interesting. I got meetings.
I still collect instruments. I just picked up a bass clarinet which I promised I was going to play. And I have a Mozart piano which was built, it says, by special appointment to the Emperor Napoleon, but it was Napoleon III, the nephew of Bonaparte. And I can tune it myself. I’ve got a nice violin. I own a few dozen instruments around. And animals. I keep geese and the neighbors are so happy that I have the geese because before I had them there were burglaries on all sides of me, even on my place. One time I came home and somebody had left a lot of things in the front room, all my good stuff, and somebody ran out to a woman with a baby in the car. They took off and radios piled up, a TV piled up, a 200-year-old clock on the floor. Oh, incidentally, I have, among my collections, a Samurai sword and a Japanese helmet, which were taken at Palau in 1944. What other strange things do I have? Oh, a lot of unusual things.
AF: You have quite a cookbook collection.
CH: In living in Arcadia for 30 years, I have never eaten out locally. My wife passed away five years ago, we didn’t eat out once. Of course when we were traveling, naturally, we did, but because she was an excellent cook, and I’m just as good as she was, I can cook in any language except I’m in big trouble in Turkish because I can’t read it. I have a couple of Turkish cookbooks. And outside of that, I am in good health. I am in my 95th year, and I’m planning to hit 100 because my grandfather, poor fellow, father never drank much because his father had his own still. And my father says, in the morning his father would have a glass of whiskey which he made himself, schnapps. At noon he’d have a glass of whiskey which he’d made himself. More schnapps. In the evening he’d have two glasses of whiskey, called schnapps, which he’d made himself. I hope he cut it because as you know alcohol comes in 200 proof, and of course it is never 200 proof because it takes too much water, so he must have cut it otherwise it would kill him! Of course it did finally, because the poor guy only lived to be 96.
What was the name of the director there at Bellingham Normal? Hoppe? The drama coach.
AF: He went into politics later in life.
CH: He did, really?
CH: What was his first name? Not Victor.
AF: I can’t remember.
CH: I know it because I don’t know if it was in my spare time that I was in the Merchant of Venice. It was done outdoors in the – oh, this was after I came back from Stanford – I was going to Stanford – and I came back and I went to Summer Session and then for some unknown reason, I don’t think it was in the summer time – Victor Hoppe is was – that he put on the Romeo and Juliet and the Merchant of Venice, he did Shakespearean plays, The Passing of the Third Floor Back, and the Beckett things. I was Mercutio and we even did an unexpurgated version. I remember the one time [in the] unexpurgated version, the nurse asked Mercutio, "Tell me sir, what is the time of day?" Balthasar: "The bawdy hand and the dial is on the prick of noon." And you know, a few tittles went up. Shakespeare is very outspoken on some things.
I was a fencing coach because at Stanford when I went to graduate school, even graduate students, everybody had to take a sport. It didn’t matter what. You could take boxing, Steinbeck took boxing, believe it or not. He was a student about the same time I was there.
AF: John Steinbeck…
CH: Oh, I knew him. They…he was a tremendous writer. As a person I didn’t approve of him. His wife, who even suggested the title, "Grapes of Wrath," gave him the title. She did all of his typing for him. She actually supported him. After he became famous he dropped her. The first woman to move in with him was a chorus girl from Broadway – I mean from New York. They had two boys who never turned out to be worth a hoot. And his second marriage was good, she was a pretty good person.
But no, no, I had to take - everybody had to take a sport so I didn’t like swimming, I didn’t like running, and I had one great adventure in high school to show what a great sportsman [I was], "Carroll, get up on the high bar." I didn’t want to get up on a high bar, but they had a physical ed teacher who believed in the high bar. He said, "No, you grab it this way, you fall forward." I said, "Coach, I’ll fall on my face." "Listen, you grab it this way, you fall forward." "Coach, I’ll fall on my face." "Do what I say!" I did, I fell on my face. End of my…
And then I went out for football at Whatcom High School. I went out and after two days the coach said, "Carroll, go back to the debating team." But that football team at Whatcom High School I still think holds the world’s record. It got beaten over 125-0 and they stopped the game in the third quarter. It was at Everett High School during the days when Enoch Bagshaw was the head of it. Now Enoch Bagshaw had a high school team that could beat most college teams. He would go up into the forest and go find some big Swede down there and said, "Olaf, would you like to play football?" "Vot ban football?" "Well, it’s a game. Will you come down here, down there…" He could pick up kids that came over, foreigners, kids about 18 or 19 years old, and convince them that with education you succeed. He brought them in. They played football.
Everett High School theoretically won the national championship. They had a fellow named Wilson on the fullback, I think All-American at that time, at the high school. And when they were playing Whatcom High School, all they did was line up in a punt formation with George – was it George Wilson? – threw the ball at him and each time he ran for a touchdown in a straight formation – zzzz- because they were big kids, they were grown kids playing against other high school kids, and Bagshaw afterwards became the coach at the University of Washington. And they even played in the Rose Bowl.
AF: How did you develop you interest in crew, in rowing?
CH: Well, I had a little boat and I was in the yacht club for a while in Bellingham, I had a Star boat. I was the only one with a sail boat. I still remember Heim, who came from Pullman, he was the captain of a New York professional team. He used to row all the time around the bay. He wanted to go to the University of Washington, but I think his brother went to Pullman and so he decided to go to Pullman and became an All-American there, and then he became a professional. But, there’s one thing I should have told you, I played in the Rose Bowl in 1925?
AF: And what did you play?
CH: Well, that’s the time Ernie and I were playing against Notre Dame. Ernie Nevers made more yardage than the four horsemen combined, but Stanford lost the game though, as Notre Dame had Knute Rochne. Ernie Nevers played fullback, I played piccolo.
AF: You were in the marching band. How many instruments do you play?
CH: Well, when you’re teaching, about all of them. And so you can handle all of them…I play about 8 or 9 instruments badly. I played well enough to earn my living, so…
AF: You played the silent theatres in Bellingham?
CH: Oh yes, yes. So interesting. All the black and whites. What they did was give you a big stack of music like this and they come down there and they play hurry up music, sentimental music, anything… I forget, the Grand Theatre, I think it was, they had three theatres in my time, I think.
AF: The Mt. Baker Theatre must have been running.
CH: No, there was no Mt. Baker Theatre.
AF: Oh, it came later then.
CH: Well, one, two, three. Well, anyhow. That was a year or two ago.
AF: Did you start the Normal School right away after high school?
CH: Yeah. I was offered a job in a bank. I was a lousy mathematician, so I figured, what the hell am I going to work in a bank for? What would have happened had I gone into banks?
AF: You probably would have been president of the bank.
CH: In your own lifetime, Al, certain things happen that, ‘if,’ ‘if’ – A Polish proverb says, "If is king." I remember in my own time, two times this has happened. I was offered a job at Lingnan University, it’s when I was going to Stanford, at Lingnan University in China, that’s right outside of Canton. Sounded pretty good. Fascinating. I don’t know…Carroll? OK, flip a coin, heads you go, tails you don’t. And I did. Tails. If it had gone up heads…
AF: Who knows what would have happened.
CH: No, I know what would have happened. The Japs blew the hell out of that university.
CH: Destroyed it. And the other time I did the same thing, I was offered one over at Los Banos University in the Philippines. I would have hit that during war time too, and I turned that down – I changed my mind more or less because I found out we were paid in Hong Kong dollars, which wasn’t good. But I think the crazy things that one does…I had a good job over at Porterville at a Junior College and which at that time, I was the highest paid teacher at that school, I was a music teacher, a rare animal, and here I took a job at $90 a month, when I was making $5,000 a year.
AF: In the 20’s, was it?
AF: A lot of money.
CH: A lot of money.
AF: Well, your father was a tailor.
CH: Yeah. Oh, I’ve got to tell you a story about the tailor. You’ve heard the name, ‘Poindexter’ in Bellingham? Mr. Poindexter, who was one of the first governors of the islands before it became a state, and the quote, "I don’t know what this country is coming to, a tailor with a new car, a new Ford," now whether that…this is outrageous!
AF: Well, you family got its first car in 1911? A Model T?
CH: A tailor with a new car!
AF: A new car, yes! Well, your father owned property at Post Point, and down at the yacht harbor, and on Guemes Island…
CH: I asked him, "What did you do with the Guemes Island property? He says, "It’s too much, and hundred dollars a year tax."
AF: So he let it go for taxes.
CH: Worth millions and millions.
AF: That was probably during the depression.
CH: Well, it was too much taxes to have. He let three properties slide for the taxes because what he would do is, he would lend money, take land as a – inherit the land until he got his money back, then figured out this just wasn’t a good deal, so he’d just let it slide. But if he’d hung on…but you see what has happened to property.
AF: Oh yes. Did you have brothers and sisters?
CH: Yes, the brother was a very interesting kid. He loved football. He was a big boy, and one time he weighed around 300 pounds. He was one of the large kids. He played football, and went to about half a dozen schools just to play football! He’s go out there and after the season was over, he’s flunk out and try another one. He’d take his high school credentials and start another one. Then he went into the service and went through the war very nicely.
AF: Was he older than you?
CH: No, he was younger, but he was…I still remember that he was, shall we say, not a dirty player, but he would announce sometimes to the kids in high school that, "You know, I hope you’re lucky. The last two guys I played against, their legs were broken." Even in high school he weighed about 260 pounds. That was big. He was a very good noseguard. Why do they call them noseguards? I taught fencing at Western Washington, which was then the Normal School, scared to death that some of these kids would get their eyes poked out.
AF: And when did you finish at Western, at the Normal School?
CH: In 1923.
AF: Well, you were a very young graduate from high school, just short of 16.
CH: Well, almost 16. An old man. But things were so interesting there in Bellingham. I still remember the big races they used to have, the climbing of Mt. Baker.
AF: All the way to the top of Mt. Baker.
CH: Yes, but a different thing. By train, by car, by motorcycle. And as I recall, when you came back you could take your choice of what you wanted to go back in, if you were the first one back, because the finish line was to the top and back down to Chuckanut Drive.
AF: That’s a long race.
CH: It was exciting. In those days they also had Tulip Queens. The Tulip Festival – we were going to try to imitate the Rose Parade and the Portland Rose Festival. So we had a Tulip Festival!
AF: Well, that’s come back in Mt. Vernon.
CH: Well, they’ve always had good tulip grounds around there. But that was interesting. And then one thing was always fascinating. If you had snow in Bellingham, people could take off from High Street and there were several times when you had these big snow falls, very few times though. When we had them, they were good.
AF: Ride your sleds down High Street. And where did your family live in Bellingham?
CH: Well, on 1416 Humboldt Street, I still remember the number, and 209 West Holly. My father had a building there, and his tailor shop was at the bottom, and the living quarters on the top. And then that had certain advantages, because I would walk down the wharf, put in a crab net, catch crabs.
AF: And your parents moved from Blaine to Bellingham when you were fairly young, I guess.
CH: Yes, oh yes. I started, about the second grade, in Bellingham and then I skipped the third and went to fourth grade. Why they did that I have no idea. Maybe they had more room in the fourth.
AF: Well, maybe you were a quick learner. Do you remember any of the instructors at the Normal School?
CH: Oh yes. Fischer I remember. He was good, an austere sort of fellow. Kibbe – I remember him for a very interesting reason. He once said, "Carroll, you are going to make a good principal." I said, "Jeeze, be a principal?" I never was. Then there’s Nora Bayes.
AF: What did Fischer teach?
CH: He wrote a book, "Education for the Needs of Life."[Ed. note: authored by Irving Miller] Another thing I remember about Fischer is he was a very Germanic teacher. Good. But the thing I remember most about him is Fischer and his son, the place on Chuckanut. Son about the age of five on the beach, and I was standing right next to him. "Father, observe the shellfish." From what I heard, the son finally ended up as a teacher in either Yale, Harvard or Princeton. All for what? Observing shellfish.
AF: And you had courses from Mr. Kibbe, and Bond must have been…
CH: Oh yes, Bond. And he was one of the people who had a great deal to do with the property at Lake Whatcom.
AF: He was always interested – I think he was a hiker.
CH: Oh, Same Carver, I played tennis with him regularly. It was the only sport I was fairly decent at, oh, and fencing, I was pretty good at fencing. But Sam and I would be playing regularly. Oh, the one thing that’s so interesting, the only building when I was going there was Old Main. The gymnasium was in Old Main. The basketball court, about three times the size of this room, they played basketball in there. It was about half regulation size, but they played basketball. But I remember one thing that was fascinating. There was only one boy that earned his way through school to pay for it because he actually did this – he put up a little sign in the gymnasium. That was the whole athletic department there, see? "Haircuts 25 cents." I got my haircuts there, and everybody else. For two bits you got a haircut. He earned a living there.
AF: Right in Old Main?
CH: Right in Old Main. He gave us haircuts. Well, all the fellows knew – everybody knew and he didn’t even have to have a sign. He had a chair there, had his clippers handy, and he was very good. After all, to get a regular haircut, it would cost you fifty cents.
AF: Is that right?
CH: Yes, downtown.
AF: There were no residence halls in those days.
CH: No, there were no residence hall. Edens Hall was just…hadn’t even been built yet, but when I came back from Stanford it had been finished. That was a year or two ago.
AF: Yes, it was 70 years ago, I think. 1926, 27, 28?
AF: And you were on the debate team with Curtis Bell. And you started teaching in Arcadia in 1936, I guess. In fact, I think you told me once today you arrived at Arcadia the day that Seabiscuit won the handicap. That’s a good way to remember that date.
CH: And one thing that’s sort of interesting. Once I bought one share in Santa Anita. One…
CH: One share. 1400 shares now. 1440 to be exact.
AF: Is that right? All from splits?
CH: All from splits. But if I would have been earlier, the first shares of Santa Anita went for $5,000 apiece. But they paid $5,000 in dividends the first year.
AF: Is that right?
CH: Then they started splitting.
AF: So you have 1440 shares from one? That’s amazing. You’re going to have to calculate your cost basis some day.
CH: No, because right now is a fascinating thing – Santa Anita was bought out by MediTrust. The MediTrust is an REIT outfit, they buy out nothing but properties. I don’t know why they bought, but anyhow they bought out for $30 a share, so theoretically I have 1,400 shares at $30 a share. But the thing is, you don’t have to pay any taxes on the dividends you receive.
AF: You don’t? How is that?
CH: Figure that out. They lose money. This is REIT. They are two different companies. Hollywood Park is doing the same thing. They are splitting it into two different companies, and it’s a – I don’t know how on earth they do it, but they have an operating company, a developing company, a "whoozits" company all in one, and some legal beagle has figured out a way that theoretically, Santa Anita is losing money. So they pay dividends that you don’t have to declare. So figure that out.
AF: It’s beyond me.
CH: Well, we’ve lost so much on Property "X".
AF: Property has gone down in value?
CH: Oh, dropped tremendously in value. Well, golly, put them both together, there’s a paper loss. Of course, we still have to pay the dividends for the poor stockholders, especially the ones that have three million shares.
Ed. note: Carroll Haeske passed away January 28, 2001, at the age of 96.