Jack Campion and Susan Campion
DescriptionJack talks with his daughter about his small-town childhood, his work in finance, and his thoughts about his future.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Jack Campion
- Susan Campion
Recording LocationMobileBooth West
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00:00 Here we go.
00:03 My name is Susan Campion. I'm 38 years old today is July 2nd 2005 and we are in PG Plaza in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I am with my father.
00:15 I'm Jack Campion. I'm 69 years old. It's July 2nd 2005 or in Downtown Minneapolis. And I'm with my daughter Susan.
00:23 And where did you grow up grow in Prior Lake which is about 20 miles south of Minneapolis and white tanith. Like where was the city with world's because it was only about four or five hundred people, but we are right close to Minneapolis. And I remember one time I must have been in the 1940s and there was an article to Minneapolis pay for them Prior Lake was wiped out because the number of people I think the population was 3:49 at the 1940 census was the number of people that have been killed in car accidents in mini in Minnesota that year before so they use as an example, but it was a small town and I've always said Susan's moved out to a small town. That's nice thing about a small-town, you know everybody in the worst thing. Everybody knows you but they're there when you need you that's nice and people come to your to your help if you needed somebody while we drive you into Minneapolis. Well, there was nothing to keep me in prayer as far as a youngster would even we don't have a theater a lot of times. We did part come to ball games or when you want.
01:23 Did you give me the Minneapolis so was nice to have both and all our family. My mother's family lived in St. Paul. My dad's in Minneapolis and almost every Sunday we came in and visit one side or the other as I was growing up. The other thing that was interesting in those days. It was a camp Savage we came to Savage Minnesota and it was made up of Japanese-American what they called me see soldiers and they beheld hitchhiking and Sunday and we pick him up and bring him in. Our members have them gave me their dog tags and maybe from California or Hawaii and places like that. And I never knew what it was about to about 10 years ago. I was out to you as Smithsonian in DC. It's all right up at it out there and then their History Center at if they were I thought that location and how they are being trained as interpreters and things like that and also is very interesting. This is Joy. This was during the war anyway,
02:30 And tell me a more about Grandma and Grandpa about your parents. Well, I had wonderful parents. My dad was very easy-going person is Health was real bad. I can't ever remember him when he was when I was young boy died doing much more than going out and playing catch for 5 minutes cuz he did he was sickly. He'd been in St. Mary's Hospital for six months with pneumonia and they didn't think he was going to live to get a blood clot in his leg. That could have taken me. How old are you then I was too when he went to say Mary's and his health is always bad and then he died of emphysema 5090 also had tuberculosis when I was in college. So but he was a wonderful person. My mother was a feisty Irish lady and went to battle the only time I really I was working on the Faribault after I got out of college and living down to becoming on weekends and I don't remember what it was about my mother and I got in a fight and I didn't come home from
03:30 Lot 6 weeks, but other than that we got along. Okay, and she died fairly young to she was 64 your dad do a small town Barber and Mom just stayed home and took care of you know, my sister like my sister is 4 years younger than I am Charlotte High School and the doctor at that time treated if I'm making her stay home. She finished her school year, you know but in bed so she missed the whole year of school, but made them made the work out by doing it at home. So and left her without a romantic heart which many people in those days got so she didn't get that. So romantic harp they called it. It's from a cocoa Park condition from rheumatic fever like a side effect of the desert rain later. Okay. And what did you do as a kid? What did you like to do in your network?
04:30 Can I Sports in those days it was just everybody you know is the boys when we get the we all had bikes and we got to be about 10 years old. It was all me. Whatever the playground was at the 1:00. And if there was 10 guys will be 5 and decide. You know me. We just choose up and tell me to bring a ball in the bath and I'll have her sit there was an actual in the winter time was I got a little bit older wrong 1415. We had a skating rink behind the Catholic church, but we had a flat if there was another fire department which is volunteers or bring the big hose it down and we've got our own drink and I think they're like in Prior Lake fishing in things like that too, but it was a nice nice quiet lifestyle.
05:17 Just a hole.
05:19 The whole situation I can't pick out any one thing. I know your next question is it was the worst memory and that's very and I started writing those stories. I don't know if you've met him yet about growing up yet. And the first story I wrote was called the day Bobby died and I was about 12 or 13 then was in the fall. We are playing football after school in my backyard and my best friend baby Landon was there and Bobby lived out in the highway and it was killed by a car going home tonight. And I took this paper out. I was first time I was a pallbearer and whenever I go out to Prior Lake to visit the cemetery always visit Bobby's grave and that was a mean pretty tragic for a small town and I would be hurled being your little like that.
06:14 Well, I think that one of the questions on here is where you happy and it sounds like you know, you guys had a pretty worried about you and that this was also a time that was hard for the country at this time. Well, I was about to win the war was over but I remember in May of 45 when the war ended in Europe. We did a made a big parade and everything, you know, just the kids are mixed up their bikes and everything and and was my cousin the peak came home that they came out to Prior Lake and he just got back from flying bum and Ethan shot down over France. And so we are so glad to see him. That's Mike's older brother in the family was lost in the war. No, no nobody was
07:09 The next question is on there and it feels like more of a question. That would go at the end. Well, how about this? What would you ask your father if he was alive today? What do you feel? I mean he died young and or you know, I think I think a man many times has growing up measures of success and hope he looks in the eyes of his father and there were only two men in my life growing up Dad and Uncle Tom and Uncle Tom was younger and dad. That was Mother's younger brother, but that's how dad met mother cuz he know, running around and Uncle Tom and Aunt Pat didn't have any children. I was one of their godson and I lost them both about the same time just as I was starting to raise a family and I always regretted that he wasn't there for me. So can he live long enough to Anita and
07:59 And Maureen and I remember dad was better than the fact he has emphysema. So he needed two tanks of oxygen a day. And so he had a bell by the bed and we were staying with him cuz I was in training on Wall Street and dad would bring his bail and Marine and run right to him and see what he what Grandpa needed at like 3 to 3 and for your dad died in 66 grandma died in the 70 and our favorite story about grandmother's funeral was Susan was a little girl then about two or three years old and was very upset because she couldn't go to the funeral and she said I miss all the fun things and funerals and wakes and all the fun times, but that's a story about you and the family stories and I still get mad if I miss. Thanks.
08:53 And are there.
08:57 How has your life been different than they then what you would imagine? You're a story. I wanted to tell them what the good and bad was the bad things. I did Growing Up. I was about six or seven years on the first or second grade my friend, then we'll see and I after school one afternoon when I think it was in the fall decide to walk out to Spring Lake which is about two miles away. But we went to the cross country. We didn't take the highway to the fields and everything and unbeknownst us a course about 7 at night and we're heading back everyone in town is looking for us because he were missing we were missing and I don't remember who found this. But I remember my father found me later. I was a junior we had job it was Charlie Before Christmas by junior high school and there's several days before that or we'd had a ptomaine poisoning the thing at school or a lot of kids got sick.
09:57 And so they didn't know who was absent and so my friend Roy clay and I don't know how it came about we decided one day just said we got to school. We're going to skip school and go to Minneapolis and we can it was Roy and Ray LaMontagne through the girls from our junior class. And we dropped the girls off in front of what was in the Alvin Theatre, which was the big strip joint in town at the time. And the three of us guys went over to Dayton's and then being before Christmas. We visit Santa Claus and we had a signed note from Santa Claus. Excuse me from school, which didn't go over a bit when we got back now if you have to realize our school was new and it just opened in September, so there were no rules. There was no Traditions. Everybody was trying to see what they can get away with how Janie and Jim Harris the principal was married to Margaret camp in my Dad's cousin. So he was always keeping an eye on me anyway, and then what they did a difficulty in those days the three boys get kicked out of school for 3 days. He didn't do anything to the girls.
10:57 I remember the school board was very upset. He said they skip school so you give them three more days off and then would happen if we're supposed to get Zero's those days and I remember it's the only day I got in high school and history and but Larry Woods who was our superintendent thought the only classy talk was physics and I got an A-Plus headphones from Larry's but that was fun. So when were you a clown that was in college? We were there was a bunch of us. We used to carpool to University of Minnesota. And Prior Lake was going to have a Summer Festival in one of the guys crazy Otto decided that we should dress up as clowns and then some of the game it was guys and girls they got clown suits and I fixed up an offer like a like an old bum and we we did that and of course nobody knew who we were only carried squirt guns were escorting everybody which didn't go through it. And then we had to add candy to the kids well,
11:57 We decided to keep it up on for about four or five years we go to Lake Pulaski Days Inn Montgomery, and we went over to Amy Wisconsin for yours or Hopkins raspberry parade festival and event sponsor us for the parade see and then that would just about cover a beer bill for the ball and we painted it real Goofy and use that as our car and yeah, we had guys and girls and I was funny couple of girls ran over about six feet tall and we had these regular balloon looking clown suits and the Austin Chronicle will come up behind and run her hand on the girls back. Don't wait till the guys in the girls if they had a bra on but that was fun. We did that for about five years and I can't find my picture when I was working at forever. We did Jesse James days Northfield and the paper ran a picture of me. This is one of our staff, you know.
12:57 And I can't stand. When did you want a boat out of college three of us v u e from Shakopee and Frank Hartman die Frank worked at a cabinet shop over in Farmington and somebody had a big old boating on the sound. We worked on that for months trying to get where to put all new weatherstripping everything out and then we put it on Prior Lake. And the first time we took it out it was it was begin and end it with a bunch of people on it. And I just had me looking up at back and grandfather with his two branches cut across her wake and tipped over we had to go around rescuing but we kept it for a few years. We never used it too much. It was big and clumsy, but then that's when we had to let me know you'll know I had about I think Mom has a picture of the boat.
13:57 I know it because I know that that is she told me the story of the boat, but I don't even and I have a picture of the boat in my head. And so I don't know if there's an actual picture or it's just that whatever magic monkey look it look almost like a tugboat to Uncle Tom is a discount. We bought a motor from them. And so it was just kind of fun to do you guys had a pretty good group of guys?
14:29 What do you feel was the greatest influence on your life?
14:38 What one situation that happened when I was down we were living in Fairborn your mother and I got married. We're living out in Faribault and I was working for the Faribault Daily News selling advertising and then I'd majored in journalism at the University but in the advertising they had no I tistic Talent. So if I was going to be in journalism and advertising was selling everything and then there was no future in a small tank was almost order-taking when you're in a small town paper and I've done in the hospital for surgery one right after the first of the year and started reading the Wall Street Journal. Am I the man that owns the newspaper used to pass on his copy the Wall Street to me and I get interested and a friend of mine from that I met down in Faribault. Jim Cook was really into it and Jim Jim's dad on an insurance agency and Jim work for him and Jim we got the idea here about 25 years old. They were going to start our own brokerage office. So Jim Harris who I mentioned was my principal. It was a math teacher and I've gone to work for Spirit.
15:38 Antonyms of one of the five founders of Control Data, so I called him to see if he had any contacts that you put me in touch with the president of The Inn at that Jay. I was jammed and at that time is Notre Dame's last name of you going to know what to even call today. So we were down there and we wanted to open an office in Mankato maneuverable wasn't being a new experience. Anyway, got me into positive thinking that Napoleon Hill's book on Think and Grow Rich and Dale Carnegie's, you know, and things like that and it really gang I think it changed my attitude about things and we interviewed several other firms and I went to Francis I Dupont they were the second largest firm in the business and Gemini both interviewed with the hairy Edelstein who is the manager and he said, I mean you interested in you a bit and then it's just your friendly seems like too much of a hot dog ears. So anyway, I know I need a bitter experience. So I took a job in Las Vegas with the Review-Journal it was
16:39 I did, you know was a big city was probably the smallest city in the United States was two competing newspapers when it says when you were married this was what Marine was a baby with three of us robot to Las Vegas and I only stayed there a little less than a year because I got in the call the DuPont was ready to hire me and when I left the paper, I had the two biggest accounts. I had the Sears Roebuck and the big supermarket chain. So I done real well down there and it was like 10 people on the staff. It was very tough. We had sales meetings 5 when we Works 5 1/2 days a week and we couldn't take a Saturday off unless we're going to be out of town and we were tallit. He's a member work Memorial Day. Somebody had to be there if you know and we had sales me in 5 days or week only date we didn't have Wednesday because somebody else use the conference room and we were the afternoon paper in the bigger paper and the managers of the department would go to the paper every
17:39 And if there was an ad in there that we didn't have for one of our customers me to answer for it. So it was really a tough good experience for me. So I came back and got into the brokerage business and stayed needle for 11 years and then I went with the bank and that was the best thing to ever happen again at Marquette put several years after I was with Mark at Jim Jim Cook had got on and started a company called investment Rarities. Which back in the Asia probably been the middle 80s when gold and silver took out was the biggest gold and silver company in the country and I was having lunch with Jim one day at the decathlon talking about the big year. I attend you told me 15 million the year before and you pretty much lost it all the next few years were silver, but he still in the business and he's talked to me about hiring me a couple times, but I'm not interested. So now I know so that I went with the
18:36 Marquette Bank and in the front and you mess with the apartment and that was a good good fit The Brokerage business is very tough. I spent 11 years in it. And when I left the market was lower than when I started my rambling so you better get back. What would you have done? If you weren't in the finance stuff, I mean probably start of this as far as you know, I don't have any money, but you can imagine with you know, five little kids walking straight Commission in the market. I told you I was telling some of the other day might be sold for we saw the big house in Colfax. I had made $9,600 a year in the property taxes were 1600, you know, besides the mortgage and raising two kids and all the other bills and if we hadn't had some savings
19:36 And it wouldn't go then we'll talk then I got with the bank and end up running investment apartment. And then the other thing in The Brokerage there was no pensions or anything. So I'd still be working. I'm sure if I'd have stayed in that business when I was out walking Tuesday Morning Jerry took a phone call from a fellow Tom Hedonism with Smith Barney and he called you turn 65 in October. Do you want to know about getting into arbitration? Like I haven't retired yet. If you want to see my broker who's your old and I am still working. So you planned well and were able to do what you want to do. But I guess you know, I've been divorced twice and you know me as well as any of them about the most stable person in the world and I think you know your mother and I could have any more different than two.
20:35 We may raise good kids and that's why I've never regretted it. And then I've never quite understand what the situation was the rosie for two and a half years and we had a good time. Is it everything in there? And I think she just left. I mean, I don't know what her problem was. I don't think I told her one time is the Rose. You're never going to be happy with love anybody else. Do you learn to love yourself? And that was the problem. I think they had a lot of baggage that she never do it. Well, she left a lot of stuff behind, you know, we've gone through therapy for a couple years and the other thing I don't know if you know this but about three years after she left she was off and I clean I was underneath the bed in the guest for my phone all our family pictures. She left the whole box.
21:21 And I gave him a ginger 5 and ginger and they got them to hurt you never I thought of that this morning for some reason. She never had to take care of his daughter. It doesn't know if you left a lot of other stuff behind too. But the thing that really amazed me was the family pictures cuz it was her kids growing up and it was for school pictures her folks when you don't when they were younger. I mean it was a big box paint and did not realize that something was missing and then to ask about them or something. I think I wrote this question and I and I don't quite know why but do you have experiences that you keep reliving over and over in your head like situations that has Ender how often I still have dreams that I'm working for the newspaper in Faribault, which is over 40 years ago, or I'm in The Brokerage business and it's the later years of The Brokerage business, you know.
22:21 Honda is a desert temperature supposed to be there. Yeah, but they're not especially with the brokerage there never a real Pleasant Hill business was tough for them. You know, it's maybe about the time I got out at 11 in those dreams the people involved V where many times your dreams you got people put together that don't belong together cuz I don't even know each other but I do maybe not so much anymore but a few years ago. I was getting a lot of those are not nightmares. I mean, they don't bother me or wake me up. Maybe it's reminding you while you're not supposed to be working more than I could just be the social list of things to you know, that's the part about about working that is needed. What are the most important lessons you've learned in life. I think you've said a lot of things I think friendships honesty.
23:12 I know I will always try to run my life that my children would be proud of me and
23:22 Someone I was telling somebody recently I said, you know when I started to make real big money for you at the bank when I was reading your message me for I never change my lifestyle. I didn't want my children to think it was easy. I hear a lot of people and I didn't really need anything. I don't you know, and of course when I retired then I didn't have to come down from anything. I didn't go out and buy a Mercedes or it was I remember good friend of mine. Dan role was head of the investment Farmers Mercantile Bank in St. Louis and we are on the first banks in the country to go on commission. He had been too but he said one day when the guys parked their Cadillac next to the chairman of the board next. Everybody was on I'm salary and I told the guys at work because they were everything but don't come down here with a Mercedes or a Cadillac have you don't like that? Because there was a lot of jealousy, you know, we were about to highest paid people in the bank, but we are working to Mission work me and feed on sale.
24:22 Right Banks didn't understand that and then that was some of the frustration that's why I finally walked away from it, too. I think you didn't raise us that we had what we needed and we always had what we needed but we didn't have everything with the Joneses had and it was because of the choices you always well, I was talking to somebody recently was a woman who taught and she still practice for a part-time teaching but home isn't like it was if you don't they teach about money things and all these and I was telling her I said some of the things we did with you kids. Remember the trip out to Washington DC where I gave you $20 you can have anything you want it but that was just so you know, and that member we're at the Smithsonian injury picked up her Red Baron airplane. He's going to have that it was 495. I said sure comes out of your money only puts the right back. Are you with him and you don't want you got then she got that and you know things like that in the other thing that I remember and your mother was very good to us, and we never denied you kids.
25:22 If if the fair Levi's in those days was $30 and we thought it should be 20 you can have the $30 one. But you had to pay the difference might well, you know and then things like that they say what you do. I think we put instilled you do remember I don't remember the night was KSTP came to television became an interview this for hours for was that number for a family of money? You don't like that when I was in the first grade and coarse salt that at the barbershop and I'd go over after school and he give me neck when I go get something and we did that every night and finally said I'm going to give you a quarter that's you know, that's your allowance got last doll.
26:21 Taking a course Monday. I spent 1/4 on Tuesday and he said well now okay. I'll do it this time but next week when I give you the quarter cow last a week or so. I spend it on Monday and Tuesday Wednesday Thursday or Friday. There were no nickel and how to deal with things and I think it's it's allowing children to
26:51 Below more addled at a younger age, you know when there's a member on the trip to Washington because Catherine was only five and so she didn't have to pay for anything. But then we got to Wisconsin Dells in the last day and the cars are worthy of money left in the all went through your buddy else's.
27:19 Next one goes into kind of the belief in afterlife and I think it has to do with kind of the as you get older. And I know you just had a situation where you were unhealthy for the first time in his long as I can remember. What do you think about the Heaven and the afterlife in kind of what the plan is your cousin Norma Las Jan last year and you know, they figure the end of the hook up in heaven and I'm starting to think I'm going to be alone up there to you know, it start to think about it. If everybody pears off the same way they were down here. Where does that leave people who aren't with anybody not quite a lot of people have been married and had a lot of love so it's hard to say.
28:06 I haven't been as religious lately. They should be as far as may be going to church. It was funny when after Rosie left. It was the hardest place to go because it's what we've always been there together. It's all couples. And when I got my phone myself doing was going over to the church in the middle of the week and just going in the chapel for half an hour on my own, you know, a meditative time then part of the community of it.
28:35 What have I think we did this? When what have you learned from Life the most important things? I think you've talked about that.
28:44 I think a person should live on how you want to be seen in the eyes of your family not anybody else and
28:53 I think you know money's never been real important to me. I've always felt that money was the availability of money was important. So you always had the freedom to do what you want but not the not the money in his sake that you have to have everything now that you can buy with it, but the freedom that it allows you I don't mind being I'm not worried about getting old not worried about being poor by do you old and bored and I am really sad and maybe 20 years ago. It was specially when I was alone. I was saying that in my mind the money you said if my health goes completely I can hire somebody come and take care of me. You don't know if your burden anybody else and somebody was asking me the other day, but don't you have insurance for you do nursing home? And I said I'd die in 3 months. So I was supposed to play I'm not going to worry about it because if I got to that point at which the other condo would be sold and everything.
29:53 It would be money available. And so it doesn't cost much love in my laundry room or is it you is there anything else you want to talk about that we didn't talk about. Well, I think I've had a good life. One thing that was kind of regrettable as the class. I was in grown-up just fell through the cracks. I mean the graduation class through School class the class I was in was mostly Farm kids. There was only Shirley caracal chili sauce was the only kid in a small town. I went to from first to through high school with and I sit down and think of like shards class in the ones and back in front of me. Most of them have eight or 10 kids. I went to school together and I didn't and then when I got to where we started at shocking because when they were high school till I was in junior and there was four or five of us guys around around and then our sophomore year Prior Lake open the school and Jerry.
30:53 Bowler wants to Chaska one of the other guys. We had that we had some left hands and found that it come in after the war and one of my close friends going to his daughters.
31:04 Moved in the Minneapolis. So I once I was by myself again, you know it just all these kids Jack I acting all these are going to different schools. And so I see people that like cousin Mike can that that that I've Got Friends do they get together with about 10 or 15 people and Bob Leominster through kissing with that grade school with and I don't have any of that and then maybe one of the drawbacks of growing up in a small town, but it just seemed like my class fell through the cracks and so I don't really have a nice summer night. Maybe see me every 3 years Frank Hartman and Frankie Muniz my junior high school cuz he had gotten the lakefill and Ice the last three times. I saw Frank in the last 5 years were placed, you know, his son's wedding in his mother's funeral. He's up in Princeton Minnesota, and I kind of lost track well.
32:03 Solve some of my friends from the last 10 years divorce, but there was four months and it seemed like I was always calling them. So the first year I kind of quit calling him and her phone. So I guess it's my family is where I'm at right now when you were talking about the close friends thing cuz I think that I think that all of us do see our family has three people that we hang with an well, that's why I'm so glad I really feel you three older girls are very close to each other and I'm glad you're he's kind of made amends with everybody in was glad to see him come home last week and a couple years now and it's been really fun getting to know her as an adult and mature mean
33:02 And I ate it is scary being alone, and I'll be 17 extra and it is scary knowing that you're much more vulnerable being alone than if you were with somebody and they don't want to be a burden on anybody either in that. I think the trip I had last well made of the hospital that they'll really wipe me out for a while. I tell people I said, I think I had a look at the future how I feel twenty years because I have no energy I couldn't do anything tonight. You know what?
33:35 And if they do, you know, I just wiped out in that question, you know, I do a lot of volunteer work and I deal with people I've dealt with the elderly is what I feel comfortable doing man. I'm seeing now to respite care with Catholic Charities is 85 years old and his wife probably 84 and I don't think together the way 200 pounds. I know you don't weigh a hundred and I try to help one of us will check into his wheelchair the other day and there's nothing there when they touch your shoulder. It's just Bolognese and a but his mind is as sharp as giving you quick me out of 75 cents playing cribbage again and his wife to She's Got
34:12 She's sick right now. And so but again, but they're still in their house in me on Richfield and there is still there for each other. But as they say you get much more vulnerable. If you're alone. I've seen situations. Well the first several people I took care of one at all simers when a Parkinson's and they were still living at home with his wife was there and there's no way they could have been alone if they if you know if they didn't have a spouse unless they could bring somebody on so that's on my mind, but I'm not going to worry about it with girlfriend doesn't got no lie about being kind of there for each other when we get older, but I also know that if if they're partnered up for whatever than that does root remove that
35:04 Well, that's that's about it. I guess I thought we were going to cover my childhood and we pretty well covered everything and I've always been amazed with the stress. I went through in the early years in The Brokerage business that I that it didn't ruin my health talk about not seeing me sick. I'm in the hospital 26 times in my life for most of it was early in life. But when I was in the hospital or when I was at memory living out in Bloomington, I get stomach cramps so bad. I have diarrhea at those times. I had to crawl back to bed and couldn't get them. The next I need Santa was just trust and you know what? I mean? I made it through that time and then if they say I got at the bank and I always knew that if I ever got in charge of a situation that I could do a good job, and when I took over the investment department at the bank
36:04 Doing $359 a year, when I resign are we doing fight billions? And we just made a ton of money, but I just got tired of fighting the battle, but I think you've been getting tan cuz you
36:16 I see I still tell people that statement you made you took me out for my birthday month was before the kids were here. So six or seven years ago and weird rate down the street or buy things and you said
36:27 You know, I say I like you. You know I sent you know, we all have to love each other but it's nice to hear somebody say they like two of those times. We don't like each other. I love you. Okay. Well, that's that's what all I've got it.