Joe Davis and Barbara Davis

Recorded November 28, 2021 Archived November 28, 2021 41:30 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby021265


Siblings, Barbara Davis (61) and Joe Davis (54), reminisce about their childhood in Miami, FL, tell stories about their family traditions, and reflect on how their parents helped shape who they are today.

Subject Log / Time Code

BD talks about her parents' upbringing.
BD describes her parents' roles in their family.
JD explains how his upbringing helped him to become an archaeologist and wildlife biologist.
BD recalls how her father cultivated a "jungle paradise" in the back yard of their childhood home.
BD talks about the many pets their family had growing up.
JD discusses how his father's interest in antique firearms and chemistry influenced him.
BD describes their family's 4th of July tradition of shooting an antique muzzleloader.
BD talks about the food their parents made them growing up and the food their extended family now cooks at reunions.
JD and BD remember the international visitors their family consistently hosted in their childhood home.
BD explains how Hurricane Andrew's destruction ultimately led JD's orchid collection to begin growing from the trees in their back yard.
JD describes the Caesar salad his father always made for their hunting trips.
BD discusses how her parents' interest in photography influenced her.
BD and JD share the story of how their parents met.


  • Joe Davis
  • Barbara Davis

Recording Location

LeRoy Collins Leon County Main Library


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00:01 Hi, my name is Barbara Davis, and I'm 61 years old. I am the 6th of 7 children, and I'm here with my brother. Joe today. We mainly are here to talk about our mom and dad, Joe and rosemary.

00:18 And I'm Joe Davis. I'm the last of 7 kids. And they only boy age 54.

00:26 All right. Well,

00:31 My mom was born Rose, Marie laurencin. She was born in 1925 in North Dakota. She was raised mostly in a little place called Warner. I don't even think it's there anymore. Yeah, when the railroad came through, it bypassed their town and their Town disappeared. She went to a reunions years later and they had to drive that, you know, they went to kill there, but they had to drive over to where their Town had existed and all. There were some brick Chimneys in the overgrown, grass, and

01:06 Anyway, she spent most of her childhood in North Dakota during the Depression, and my dad was Joseph Harrison Davis and he was born in 1924 and was raised mainly in Scarsdale New York, very, very different. Upbringings. My mother's family was very poor and my father's family was fairly well-to-do and my dad was the chief medical examiner for Miami-Dade County for 40 years, and he was really renowned in the field of forensic pathology and amongst medical examiner's. We could tell stories for hours for days about him and his cases and the impact he had on public health, but it seems like that's what most people talk about when they talk about our family and I thought it would be

02:02 More fun or just a little more interesting for us to talk about Mom and Dad as a family, a little bit of Dad's forensics May interject itself here and there but in general just who we are as a family because of mom and dad. They were really interesting team and dad always said that he could not have had the career he had if it wasn't for Mom because of who she was and she raised the seven of us. She ran all the finances in the house here in the household. She was in charge of what he was going to school and going to church every Sunday. And he just knew that sometimes he would work 7 days a week. He was on call at night. You know, there was a big plane crash, you might be gone for days, but the household was just mom's domain. And anyway, babe together had a big impact on who we

03:02 So I thought I would start off by talking about one way that I think Mom and Dad had a big influence on us. Joe. You were trained as an archaeologist and worked many years as an archaeologist and now you're a biologist a wildlife biologist with Florida, Fish and Wildlife.

03:27 But even before you got into those fields, when we were growing up, you had this photographic memory for anything. You were interested in, you know, if you read about a certain plant or animal or geography or history. It was like, you automatically knew what you were like an encyclopedia of what you were interested in. And and I think that led you into archaeology and wildlife biology, but what are some of the ways that your upbringing LED you to that? What is it about mom or dad? That the biggest thing is they were always reading to me, as before I could even speak every night. Mom would read and it wasn't little kids books. Usually, it was National Geographic or Scientific American or whatever magazine that was sitting on the on the bed stand.

04:24 And that coupled with where we lived, which most people today, wouldn't believe. It was rural Dade County, and now it's totally developed. So, while we were houses around, it was also a lot of farmland and a lot of vacant property. So growing up was

04:52 Never one of these things where, you know, of course, it's pre-computer preview computer games and all that in the internet. But my memory of growing up was spending. Most of my time outside and not in the in the house except for Saturday morning, cartoons of them had a profound impact because of they always instill that interest and

05:24 And then Dad the big thing that man stuff, man. Stuff would be, do, you know, we can go out and go to one of the hunt camsore or go fishing, or, or go to. I remember he took me to the fair Dade County Fair in. He got a call while we were there. So, somewhere, in my shop. I've got a picture of me, probably 10 smiling and what you can't see in the background on that, the detectives are looking at a body and we're out in Four Corners end of the day, the day. The bad ones back in the day, where everybody party's west of Miami. And so that was

06:06 What we did, no time to take you home. You just had to get my car and go with them to the body and all that, but it was kept aside.

06:26 So that that was both of them and they're both of them are always interested in everything. My mother was an incredible Avid Reader, my father, any any topic that he found? No matter how far from what he normally dealt with. If he was interested in it. He would learn about it. Yeah, he could explain anything to you at the age and developmental level that you were. So I remember in sixth grade doing a report about cancer and he explained the mechanism of cancer and cells how they regrow, but they're supposed to turn off after they divide and regrow to fix, like, if you get a cut

07:15 And he said, but imagine if you keep getting cut in the same place over and over and over and the cells are supposed to regrow and turn off. But what if they stop turning off and they continue to grow cancer, cells are your own cells that are growing uncontrollably. And then he said, so imagine if you inhale a cigarette

07:36 And do that again. And again, he said that one, cigarette won't give you cancer but it's addictive and After Twenty or thirty years of irritating, your lungs in your throat that can happen, but he could turn around and speak with a PhD doing cancer research and they can talk on that level. So he was very good at explaining natural phenomenon to any age level. That thing was really good about that.

08:05 One of the things that I think was really influential about growing up. There is my Mom and Dad. Loved plants animals, get anything. They were interested in, they they would learn about it. Well, Miami's the subtropics. It's very Lush and everything grows there. And there's a place called Fairchild tropical gardens. That was begun. I believe in the 1930s, by David Fairchild, who was a wealthy naturalist, who traveled the world, and he collected, seedlings and cuttings and seeds from plants from all over the world and brought them to this huge tract of land in, what would you call that? Snot? Coral Gables current Coconut Grove area and and it is a gorgeous place and you can pay to go in and visit it once. But Dad bought a family membership. Every year, we could get a go anytime.

09:03 And tore that place and when people visited us from out of town or from other countries, that was one of the places that they love to take people cuz it was such an amazing place. But as members family with an annual membership, they would do a plant sale once a year. And I remember going there with Dad and they had little seedlings growing in milk cartons and you could pick to goodbye to and over the years, dad filled, our yard with all these exotic trees from all over. And he knew the name, the scientific name, the the common name and he taught all of that to us as kids. So we had a lychee will end some of this didn't come from Fairchild, tropical garden, some of it. He would go to Mikado mango and a lot of those friends.

10:01 Yeah, he would go there. But anyway, we'll we have like 13 different, variety of palm trees in our yard lychees, loquats Suriname Cherry, Barbados cherry carambolas. Those are the star fruit Carambola. Kumquat strawberry. Guava, papaya with passion, fruit Vines, tangelo grapefruit key, lime banana, avocado mango, and then a lot of other ones like

10:36 African mahogany. A huge frog in the backyard, in the front yard and tree and allspice tree and a bail Bob tree. So, Jacaranda, you know, we just had this, our backyard looks like a jungle paradise and he would, teach us the names of these things. And, you know, you really loved taking care of the yard. So when I was in 7th or 8th grade, I was at Gulliver academy and our science teacher assigned us a project. And we had to get the leaves from 50 different variety of plant and press them.

11:22 And then Mount them on pages and find it together in a notebook with the scientific name, and the common name and where the plant originated from, and all my friends, Tina Wesley and everybody. They were like groaning, like, you know, what, a project 50 different plants. And this is before the internet and before Google or anything. I mean, you had a library in the Dewey Decimal System and it was, I thought it was. I was excited and I got everything from our yard, every single one, from our yard, and I knew the names of most of them. And my dad helped me with the ones. I didn't know. So, the only thing I did have to do, was go to a library and try to look up the scientific names of the ones. He didn't know and verify, you know where they were originally from.

12:12 But the yeah, our yard was something and we had cats and dogs, and I had a pony and then when I was a little older, I had a horse in the backyard goat. We had to go to for a while. We had bunnies when he was, when my brother, Joe was born. My mom was almost 42. She was about six or seven months shy of turning 42 when you were born.

12:39 And there were six girls and they weren't trying to have you. I mean, they thought they weren't having any more kids and you were a surprise. And my mom and dad's best friend at the time, as a joke, a gag gift, the gift. They gave him at the baby shower were was a pair of rabbits, a female, and a male rabbit, which my parents named after these friends, George and Gloria, who gave them to him. And, you know, Dad built a cage for the kids. You got rabbits and then we ended up with a whole bunch of, so he had to keep giving them away to kids in the neighborhood.

13:16 But we had only there were parakeets and, you know, somebody would bring home a gerbil or mice or something was always pets in our household.

13:26 Pets in the yard.

13:31 Another thing I wanted to ask you about you build muscle loaders, and the accoutrements like the powder horns, and you'd shoot muzzleloaders and hunt and you know how to do your own reloading. So I wanted to ask you a little bit about that with you and Dad and some of the places you would go. He grew up at a time. Where is a teenager who get on the train? Going to New York City to Grand Central Station. Take the ferry to Bannerman's Island.

14:06 Bannerman's Island was somewhere up there. The Hudson in the the guy his whole operation was basically a huge military surplus, only not close. It was cannons ships guns at his told the joke was, he can outfit a small army if you had the money, but it was all the kind of things that were the four ways, the result being some of the greatest collections today. There's stuff. I'm sure in the Smithsonian Civil War artillery or dents and weapons. That the Bannerman had swept up in a minute cuz people were just getting rid of this stuff in the government, was getting rid of it cuz it's obsolete.

14:49 And dad would go down there and buy, you know, Springfield 1960 or 1860 Springfield for a dollar, which today would be worth 12 $1,500 and slinging on the shoulder and got to walk to Grand Central Station and go home with and nobody, you know, back then nobody cared. It was an issue and he always had and everybody shot even in New York City. That was very common to have shooting clubs. So firearm safety, do you suppose the fact of life? He was always interested in an antique firearms as a result.

15:28 And out and had quite a collection, but would he after the war ended?

15:34 He was still signed up. That's how we ended up in Madison and they put them in the Public Health Service and he became an officer at the cat that and that maybe they still do it this way. But if you were in the Coast Guard, if you were in the Public Health, Service is a medical officer and when he was moved around and so many places he gave away and sold off. A lot of these things growing up. We still had like that at Harpers Ferry from 1819 in a number of goals are blocked and I became a lab rat working here at the conservation lab.

16:16 It was because of that interest. In antique firearms that I got to be good friends with the lab director, who James lady, who's a phenomenal. He was the consummate fire, antique firearms through and build muzzleloaders and that's so dads interest. He never built them, but he was always interested in in the mechanisms and how the flintlock work and how the guns were made, and that's what it still needs some time today, following that path.

16:50 But I remember.

16:54 When he was growing up, he was also very much in the chemistry.

17:00 And,

17:02 Well, I've always loved chemistry and science, I lack his.

17:08 Mental abilities. Show it skipped a generation both my boys are good at it. But I'm not. But he had a laboratory in his basement which meant that, the, when there was a huge explosion and saw right outside of Scarsdale, the sheriff knew exactly whose house to go to cuz it was my dad and his friends detonated and I can't remember what that particular thing was. It was a mixture of different stuff. They're trying to get rid of that. They didn't want to get in the house anymore, but it made enough noise that rattle Windows. I'm all the way in this is right, you know, I'm on the cusp of World War 2. Some people are a little jumpy.

17:50 But that's the other. The other thing that his interest in.

17:55 Black powder cannons and whatnot led to in our friendship with mcclellan's and Steve condella on people that were Cain and collectors. Yeah. There are a group of people out there that are interested in that sort of thing and then an artist or bronze casters and we created these things and in their Foundry and as a result, he somehow one of our fellow medical examiner who is also interested, this sort of stuff, got him a copy. There were three made for the bicentennial of a political little bronze howitzer.

18:33 And two are owned by the federal government in the National Park Service. We on the 3rd for kids. I mean, I'm talking to, you know, late 60s on the 4th of July, dad would bring out one of those muzzleloaders that he had was. I don't know if it was the one that said, Harpers Ferry 1819, Harpers Ferry and he would bring out some black powder and wadding and of course, he wouldn't put a projectile and nobody knew about firearm safety. And the the destruction Firearms can

19:14 In a ring upon Humanity, being the medical examiner, and it was really into safety. But he would bring that out and load it up and put the wadding in and then let us kids take turns weak and he didn't want to fire it too many times, but we take turns and each one get to fire this off with a huge. It's so heavy. He have to hold the end of the barrel for us and it's a being a ball of fire comes out and all the stuff from the watering and it makes a lot of noise, but it was always exciting. You knew on the 4th of July. You would hear this. Muzzleloader go off a couple times. And of course, nowadays, you would do that in a neighborhood in that neighborhood. Wouldn't be. So real anymore, either. You just couldn't do those kind. But I remember one time somebody had to have called the cops because they heard this and thought they just heard gunfire somewhere.

20:11 Until the cops came around real slowly looking and we're out in the front yard and, you know, Dad's there with it, and they pull into the driveway and get out and they're walking up and I was there and I remember as a kid, the top looked and we said what Joe Davis, how are you? And they shook hands and, you know, everybody knew the medical examiner. And then, you know, dad showed him. Oh, yeah, there's no projectile it. So, it's a Flintlock, in Harpers Ferry. This is great. Can I shoot it? And so, then the cop shot and then they drove away, but yeah, different time but different place.

20:50 I thought, one of the things we might talk about is food because food played such a big part of our family day-to-day life and Gatherings, mom, and dad, you know, when they started off and they will get back to how they met and everything. But how early on mom made very simple dishes, you know, growing up, it would be like meat and potatoes or grilled roasted chicken, or some goulash or something like that. Like a exotic thing was to make lasagna, but it wasn't the same way. It's considered. Now, like now, there's an ethnic restaurants everywhere and food from all around the world, but when I was growing up in Miami, you know, I remember when there were no Thai food restaurants, Italian, you would find and

21:50 Was up north, you know near downtown you didn't even have that near our neighborhood at all. And I remember when Benihana of Tokyo opened in near us where the false is now and that was considered like pretty exotic have Benihana, you know, but Dad traveled a lot. He he traveled a lot in the US and he traveled internationally for his work as well. And over the years, the more that Mom and Dad traveled, they came home and and gift books were a big thing in our family to get as a gift. I still have many books on my, in my library and Scribe to me by mom or dad that were gifts. They gave me. But Dad, gave Mom a lot, cookbooks, and she experimented. And as we got older,

22:40 The kind of food they cook to just really expanded and mom was a great cook. And and so is Dad. I remember one of the books. Cookbooks. They loved was Vincent Price's cookbook, a treasury of great recipes and mom was real game to try new things as they went to Japan in 1972. And when they came back Mom, started cooking more asian-inspired dishes, but my dad was a real foodie. I mean that man loved to eat and listen to jeans because we're all like that and now we have a couple of chefs in the family. Kim. Your wife, Kim is a chef who won money creates Mike. My sister's husband. Mike is a a chef

23:30 And then are all my sisters are great cook. So when we get together, now, it's all about family gatherings and nobody brings like potato salad from the grocery store, or store-bought rolls. I mean everything, our family does is made from scratch. The pies, the cakes, the main courses,

23:53 When we get to it together, what one of the things I wanted to bring up is just how much I feel like you and Kim have sort of Taken on that mantle to fill that void. That is gone that the mom and dad are gone because their home in Miami, you know, it was on an acre of land and it was a house big enough to raise the kids. So we would gather there for Thanksgiving and Christmas and christenings and things and we had a lot of big family events at that house in Miami. And now that Mom and Dad are gone. You have that big piece of land in Monticello and then you bought a cabin up in Moody Hollow in Georgia where our family used to go. And so for Thanksgiving with the norm for us is like 32 to 35 people, for Thanksgiving generations of kids running around play.

24:52 With your cousins and people camping and all these chefs in all the food. And we plan meals for night after night after night, and the food is just unbelievable.

25:04 And it's a lot cuz you, you know, you guys have people sleeping in your house and in tents, and trailers on your property, for for five nights. So it's kind of an extended Thanksgiving, but I feel like that's, that's what how it was with Mom and Dad. And you guys have sort of there were always people in the growing up in Miami. They're always residents and police and doctors and students from all over the world.

25:33 You're staying at our house. So, you know, I don't recall ever having a quote on quote room of my own until I was late high school. I just kind of slept wherever there was an open space and got moved around a lot and you come home and there be, you know, people from. So remember that the best for the Chinese delegation of from mainland China, it was early on with one of the first groups of Chinese delegates to come open part of the their medical legal profession. So they're both police and and pathologist.

26:10 And the state department brought them over and they went to the medical examiner's, office and gave lectures and learn to learn how we do things. And when they were, they came to our house for dinner, my parents are able to entertain them and the state department goons were all about how you can do this and that. And, and now we're just going to do it the way we do. It just my parents and of the Chinese doctors loved it. Most of them couldn't speak English good. So we had a couple of interpreters, but it was always people from a very Cosmopolitan, people from all over the world and we had a lot of students, when Hurricane Andrew hit, there was a Welsh medical student named Eric Harris. Harris, that was staying for a couple of months, doing a, a residency or fellowship at the office.

27:10 And a Hurricane Andrew hit. So he ended up spending about six weeks, not going to the office. I'm working on the property, you know, everything was destroyed and his poor parents.

27:23 In Wales, you know, I think it was like 24 hours before they heard that he was okay. Although it was at this huge hurricane hit Miami where their only son was. But yeah, when when residents or or or even just visitors would come either from up, north or another country. One of the big things was my parents had this extra freezer and they had wonderful mangoes in the yard. And when mangoes were right there, be so many, they would peel and slice him, and put him in, sip lock bags, in this freezer and all year round. Even if there weren't mangoes, my mom would get him out and make these mango Daiquiris. And of course, he had cold beer and wine and then they go walk around the yard, which was just Lush with all these exotic trees and indigenous trees. And one thing we didn't bring up. Another thing about my brother, when he was little, he got into orchids and started to collect.

28:23 Buy and collect indigenous orchids, the really small like Miniatures that grow in the Everglades, the Orchid Growers for providing and you can see them here in Tallahassee. When you, you know, go down the wall color orchid, plant in the trees. Only only one species in the trees, but there's a bunch of terrestrial species out of there. And yeah, I saw that was the Horsepen got turned into the Orchid House. Yeah. When I I had a pony and a horse that later, a horse and my dad built this. The pain in the backyard and then when I was a senior in high school, they gave the, you know, when I started driving and Cymbalta the yearbook and that kind of outgrew, I wasn't giving the horse as much time. And my parents said to me, you know, you really should consider which we should give the horse to a younger.

29:23 Who will take care of it every day, like you used to your moving on. So I agreed to that and they gave the horse to, I think, like a twelve-year-old or a 13 year old that they knew. But so at that point that horse pen was empty, but our patio was filled with hundreds of orchids that you had purchased or collected and so Dad built this Orchid House in the backyard and it was filled with orchids. And then when Hurricane Andrew hit that completely got destroyed. I mean, the yard and everything was like, for really destroyed. And so you, and Dad you were at Cambridge and Mom and Dad were supposed to fly to England to see him, his graduation from Cambridge, was a master's degree or master's degree, and then Andrew hit. So they had to cancel that trip. And you flew home. I think they sent you your diploma. You weren't even there.

30:23 Or just for the fun of, it came home and spent like the next year living at Mom and Dad's helping with the yard, but all the orchids they found, you know, around about just got put up into the crooks of the trees. And then they grew and there were bromeliads in orchids hanging off of all of these trees and plants in the yard. And then the visitors from around the world would come and dad would take them. There's the pool out in the patio and then he take him around the yard with a mango Daiquiri and it it just was like, paradise. That's all remember, Dr. Haima. He was my father's successor as the chief medical examiner.

31:09 Or one of one of the successors and he came down from where was it?

31:16 I forget where he was from buddy. Was from up North Minnesota, or somewhere like that.

31:21 And he just came down for a one-year fellowship with his wife and they got the grand tour of the backyard. And and you know, after that year and he was offered to stay and become one of the medical examiner's and in Miami was just so Lush and beautiful. And I think the yard really sold him. He they ended up staying, it was so beautiful.

31:49 10. Oh my gosh, we didn't even get to half of the stuff. But one thing I wanted to throw in there about food. You know, Mom was a great cook and she got better and better, you know, started off simple. And over the years. She just became a phenomenal cook. And my dad was really busy with work, but when he, when they were entertaining, when he did, he was also a very good cook. And one thing about Dad. He was really great about cleaning up. And I think I seem to recall him mentioning one time, that that came from being a medical examiner because you have to keep everything you have to scrub and clean yourself in the instruments and keep everything clean. But if we had a big dinner party, you know, Not only was dead. The kind of got a clean as he went. So there weren't pots and pans piled up. But at the end of the night, the countertops, the sink, everything would be scrubbed, really clean. He was a

32:49 And I'm really good at that when he did cook and clean one of his Specialties was dad's Caesar salad. It was, you know, it's great, our family still doesn't we still make it the way he did, but maybe you can talk about when you guys would go hunting in Inverness or it with a group of guys. And you know, how he would do Caesar salad. Just her hunting trips, but a lot of the lot of the Florida and mise we'll get together for their meetings and instead of picking near Tampa or Miami or they go to somebody's property out in the sticks or hunting camp where they could just relax. Don't have phones, don't have to deal with anything.

33:35 And what he did was to create the whole salad in a trash bag and mix it, cuz you could put the trash bags with a cut, lettuce in the in the cooler is easy to transport. And just when you get a shake shake the, the ingredients together in the trash bag, and that's how we always did that. And you know, how these camps the problem is today, are used to still do that. But now I can't find trash bags. I don't send it or have some kind of odd smell too. I'm so now what I usually do, like when we go out to the score Campo 9:00 meeting. I'll bring a couple big, big bowls and make the salad that way. But, yeah, they came to stand by to the point that I can't go to any of these places. Now, without people wanting that salad, you know, he would take the croutons and it doesn't matter for croutons flavored. He was going to olive oil and butter and fresh garlic and make the

34:35 Tom's. And he taught us to fill the sink with clean, the sink, and fill it with cold water, and cut the head, to have the whole heads of Romaine. Not these, romaine hearts are pre cut and cut it, and soak it in that water. And then you rinse it, and, and put it in the fridge. And if you do that several hours ahead of time or overnight, that really crisp sit up. And then he would make up a stand of with the anchovy and everything is just, it was great.

35:02 He was really, really good. Cook both of them or

35:13 Another thing I would say that you and I both got from from them was along with the love of reading and learning from Reading was photography. Dad was really into photography, both for his profession and for just the the documentation of life with it, the cameras. They used at the medical examiner office, early on were speed, graphic cameras. And so there's rails that come out and you actually move. The lens board is on front and comes in and out with a Bellows and you can have the shutter in the lens, or you could have it, you know, back at the, where the film plate was and that was pretty much the standard. In fact, the earliest images for the Emmy office for glass slide. So like 4 X 5 slides really heavy.

36:06 And I remember Dad saying that he was at a scene in a swampy area, like the Everglades and he was in muck and peed and Sawgrass and trying to get a picture and the lens board came off of the cracks, and he was trying to fix the camera. And that was right around the time that 35. Mm, slrs came about or, or becoming the popular. And so, he packed it all in and gave up and switch to 35, m m. And when they mom and dad went to Japan in 1972, he brought back to Minolta SRT. 101 said, a bunch of different lenses. And that's when he taught me photography, taught me the aperture and shutter speed, and ISO, full Emmanuel cameras, and I've been carrying a camera mount shooting ever since many years, and you've always had a really good eye, but Dad, he had a good eye for composition.

37:06 Light and he shot slides, hide films of us growing up and I have at home boxes and boxes of 35, mm slide. When we were kids. Dad would get the slides back from a trip. You know, where if we went on a vacation and Mom would make big bowls of popcorn, and dad would set up the slide screen, and the projector, and it was like movie night cuz Dad would just slides from our vacations. And he had pictures, he climbed Mount Rainier, Mount Rainier with the both of them. Maybe just Lou Whitaker. But anyway, yeah, he had all these crime rate.

37:50 So we're almost out of time. We didn't even get to how his abscess had a meet Mom. I'll try to throw that into we have a minute. Okay? Well, I'll just say this. My father was really interested in engineering, chemistry and engineering and he wanted to go to school study engineering. He graduated high school in 1942, and he went to Lehigh University signed up and the result was fast-tracked into University for military engineering. You're nearing at Lehigh and if he had finished basic training with his cohort, that's where he would have gone. But what happened was he got a pharyngeal abscess in the back of his throat and he missed a couple of weeks of basic training and by the time he and he lost weight and you know, he's really sick and by the time he got better, he had to his cohort was gone.

38:50 Many had to get in with a new group and while he was there, they came in. They said we need doctors and they herded like 500 of these recruits right into this room. And he said, you had like an hour. They gave you all these books and pages and pictures to look at. And you looked at it and then they herded you into this room and you took a test and based on that. He was one of just a couple of guys like two or three guys, they selected and he was sent to medical school and instead of shipping off. And so by the time WWII ended, he had gotten through. I think the first two or three years of medical school, but he had the GI bill. So we finished medical school on the GI bill. So he never really completed his first four years of college. She kind of ended up going right into medical school.

39:43 And based on that, he joined the Public Health Service and was assigned to the Indian Health Service, and he worked and numb Washington and a text in several different reservation in Montana and Washington, maybe Oregon. But anyway, of a huge area and when, and he had a station wagon, and he was the doctor, the dentist, the administrator, he just drove reservation to reservation. But when he had a patient that needed surgery, they would go to the Tacoma Indian Hospital in Tacoma Washington. And my mom was a nurse there and that's how they met. And in fact, I have a page from he kept logbooks of every autopsy he ever performed and on the very second page. It's about the 10th or 11th autopsy that he ever performed was John Running Wolf.

40:41 And that was one of my mom's patience and she said, nobody really cared. You know, that was the white doctors, who didn't care so much about why the Indians died, but my father was very interested and would ask permission to, because they didn't know what was wrong with him. And yet he died. And he asked permission of the family and did the autopsy. He had cancer. And anyway, that's how my mom and dad met. So if he hadn't gotten that upset us, he wouldn't have become a doctor met mom and we wouldn't be sitting here at storycorps.