Lewis J. Stein

Dartmouth College Oral History Program

Dartmouth Vietnam Project

August 17, 2016

Transcribed by Mim Eisenberg/WordCraft




BLIEK:                        Good afternoon. This is Bryan Bliek [pronounced BLEEK], and I am on campus at Dartmouth College, in Rauner Special Collections Library, located in Hanover, New Hampshire. The narrator I’m speaking to today is Mr. [Lewis J.] “Lew” Stein, who is phoning in from his residence in Vernon, Connecticut. The date is Wednesday, August 17th, 2016.


                                    So Lew, let’s start at the very beginning. So when and where were you born?


STEIN:                        New York City, February 2nd, 1947.


BLIEK:                        Okay. And did you have any siblings?


STEIN:                        Two brothers.


BLIEK:                        And where are you in terms of age? Are you the middle, the oldest, the youngest?


STEIN:                        I am the oldest.


BLIEK:                        All right. And did you—did you all grow up in New York?


STEIN:                        Yep.


BLIEK:                        Okay. So let’s talk about your parents, quickly. Who—who are your parents?


STEIN:                        My mother was named Sarah [Stein], and my father was Harry [Stein].


BLIEK:                        And what were their occupations?


STEIN:                        Mother worked for Detecto Scales [sic; Detecto Scale Company] in Brooklyn, and my father was in the garment industry. He set up trimming machines to make various kinds of lace trimming.


BLIEK:                        And this was all in New York?


STEIN:                        Yes, that was in Manhattan, in the Garment District.


BLIEK:                        Okay. So in terms of personality, how would you describe your parents?


STEIN:                        Oh, my father was fairly outgoing. He belonged to the synagogue and went around the Bingo games, and my mother was—for the most part, was a stay-at-home mom until the last few years that she took a job in the office of Detecto Scales.


BLIEK:                        Now, you mentioned the synagogue. So they were Jewish?


STEIN: Absolutely.


BLIEK:                        And did they raise you and your brothers the same way?


STEIN:                        Yes, they did.


BLIEK:                        So—so what did that involve? Were you also participating in the synagogue, growing up?


STEIN:                        Yeah, and at 13, of course, I had a Bar Mitzvah, as did both brothers.


BLIEK:                        And which—do you remember the name of the synagogue you went to?


STEIN:                        Yes, Shellbank [Jewish Center], in Brooklyn.


BLIEK:                        And you were there regularly?


STEIN: Most—mostly, yeah, on Saturdays, until I got—I had my Bar Mitzvah, and then, as most people my age, faded away.


BLIEK:                        Okay. So what—what was—so growing up in New York City, it was, you know, just after World War II ended. What was everyday life like growing up as a child in that environment?


STEIN:                        We played a lot of ball in the school yard—basketball, softball, stickball—pretty much every day.


BLIEK:                        Do you have—did you have a lot of kids in the neighborhood?


STEIN: Absolutely.


BLIEK:                        And what—what was sort of the makeup of your neighborhood? And also, if you wouldn’t mind, which—which neighborhood or which street did you live on?


STEIN:                        Oh, sure. Sheepshead Bay was the neighborhood. Lived on Bragg Street and Avenue W. And the makeup in our buildings: a number of Jewish people. In the neighboring neighborhood there were the projects across the street, so you had some lower income, but they were well-kept projects; they weren’t bad or—they were pretty good housing. And on the other side of us, we had small, private homes. A lot of that was Italian.


BLIEK:                        So, were— Okay. So were you in an apartment then or a townhouse or—


STEIN:                        In an apartment.


BLIEK:                        —an individual house? Okay.


STEIN:                        A six-story building.


BLIEK:                        So where—where did you end up going to—to school? Was that within the Sheepshead Bay area?


STEIN: Absolutely, Sheepshead Bay High School.


BLIEK:                        Now, if I understand correctly, Sheepshead Bay High School is actually a fairly new construction at the time, correct?


STEIN:                        At the time. That was back in 1964. That was back—I graduated in ’64.


BLIEK:                        So, then, you would have entered high school around 1960, then?


STEIN:                        That is correct.


BLIEK:                        So how would you describe the composition of the student body at the time? Was it similar to the composition of your neighborhood?


STEIN:                        Yep, very mixed. I had friends of all religions.


BLIEK:                        So for the most part, did—did everyone in the student body get along?


STEIN:                        Oh, absolutely.


BLIEK:                        Did you ever notice any—any problems between the different groups?


STEIN:                        No.


BLIEK:                        Okay. Well, let’s talk about your experience at the high school. So how would you describe yourself as a student at that time?


STEIN:                        I got by. I was never a great student.


BLIEK:                        And why do you describe yourself that way?


STEIN:                        I didn’t like to study.


BLIEK:                        Which parts of the high school experience did you like?


STEIN:                        Oh, I enjoyed—I enjoyed going to school. It was walking distance from the house. We’d walk in the morning with—with our friends, go to class, walk home and then play ball.


BLIEK:                        And—and on the—on the walk to and from school, was it—was it a fairly safe thing to do?


STEIN: Absolutely.


BLIEK:                        Were you involved in any extracurriculars when you were in high school?


STEIN:                        Not in high school.


BLIEK:                        While you were in high school, did you start to build an awareness of the things that were going on around you, particularly in terms of the—in terms of the Cold War?


STEIN:                        Not too much. A lot of that simply didn’t faze me at that point.


BLIEK:                        And—and why do you think that is?


STEIN:                        We didn’t have news stations 24 hours a day. Again, I was more interested in playing ball than what was going on in the world.


BLIEK:                        Sure. Did you—since you were living, you know, in New York, did you ever have to conduct any sort of nuclear drills or any sort of, you know, crisis drills?


STEIN:                        There might have been some—some drills, yeah. You know, getting under the desk. I think I remember that now.


BLIEK:                        And how—how did—you know, how did you and, you know, the kids your age react to that?


STEIN:                        It was just something we did. We were told to do it, and we did it.


BLIEK:                        And—and so do you think for—for most of the—the people your age, it was sort of just a routinized part of—of going to school?


STEIN:                        Yeah. And it wasn’t often. It might have been once every six months, once a year.


BLIEK:                        Sure. So by the time you graduated, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do next?


STEIN: Absolutely not.


BLIEK:                        So what—so what did you end up doing once you graduated?


STEIN:                        Went to college. That’s where all my friends went. It wasn’t even a question of “if” or, you know, meaning—we all went to college. And I did not get into my first choice, which was Brooklyn College. I got into another city school, which was Hunter College in Manhattan. Brooklyn College would have been just a short bus ride. Hunter College was a bus ride and a train ride, so about an hour commute each way.


BLIEK:                        And so—so it sounds like this was fairly typical, at least among the people that you were associating yourself with, that you would just go to college right after—


STEIN: Absolutely.


BLIEK:                        —after high school.


STEIN:                        We all went.


BLIEK:                        And you never considered any sort of alternative path?


STEIN:                        Nope.


BLIEK:                        Were there people in—in your high school graduating class that chose to do something else?


STEIN: Amongst my friends, virtually everybody went to college.


BLIEK:                        Were you the first in your family to go to college, or had, you know, your—your parents gone before you?


STEIN:                        No, they had not. But all my cousins went, virtually across the board. We all went. We were just expected to go.


BLIEK:                        So what was the application process like at the time?


STEIN:                        At the time, it was pretty simple. Very simple. I don’t remember the total details, but, you know, I remember I tried to get into Brooklyn College and did not have the grades, but Hunter College accepted me, which was another city school. And at that time, the cost was absolutely minimal for city residents going to a city college. I earned enough money for a whole year of college when I came up and worked in Connecticut as a waiter in a resort hotel. I made enough money in the summer to support me for the whole year.


BLIEK:                        Do you remember which resort in Connecticut you were working at?


STEIN:                        Sure, Grand Lake Lodge, in Lebanon.


BLIEK:                        And what was that like?


STEIN:                        Oh, that was great. I started the first year as a busboy, and then the next couple of years, I was a waiter. And by those standards at the time, made an awful lot of money in just ten weeks.


BLIEK:                        And so it sounds like you had started this before you ended up at—at Hunter.


STEIN:                        No, I think my first year.


BLIEK:                        Oh, okay. So what—so what’s—what was the premise of the resort? Was it sort of like an outdoor resort?


STEIN:                        It was like they had in the Catskills (the Catskill Mountains), a Jewish resort hotel where you threw lots of food at people and they tipped you well.


BLIEK:                        Was there anything you didn’t like about working there?


STEIN:                        No, it was—it was great. And it didn’t matter that I worked the entire summer with a couple of—maybe a couple of days off. I don’t even know if we had regular days off. We just worked.


BLIEK:                        So were you lodged on site?


STEIN:                        Oh, yeah, like in almost chicken coops. I think they were old chicken coops,—


BLIEK: [Chuckles.]


STEIN:                        —like, with bunks and—just like a camp.


BLIEK:                        And how did you manage the transportation there?


STEIN:                        Oh, initially I took the bus from New York all the way to Colchester [Connecticut], then got picked up in Colchester and brought to the resort, which was about seven miles away. Then, the last couple of years, I had a car.


BLIEK:                        And so that was what you did during your summers while you were at Hunter?


STEIN:                        That is correct. Worked the entire summer in order to have money to go to college.


BLIEK:                        All right. Well, let’s talk about Hunter, then. So what was Hunter like when you entered as a freshmen in 1964?


STEIN:                        Oh, it was—it was very interesting. I was part of the first male class in what had been an all-female college, so it was kind of strange sometimes getting on the elevator and I was the only guy.


BLIEK:                        And how—how did you react to that? Was that, like, a common sentiment among the—among the other men in your class?


STEIN:                        Yeah, it didn’t faze me much, but, you know again, there were far more women at the college than there were men because we were part of the very first male class.


BLIEK:                        So what was your lodging situation like then?


STEIN: [Chuckles.] I lived at home. Got up in the morning, took a bus to the subway, took the subway to college and repeated the process in reverse, you know, let’s say three or four days a week when I had classes. I did not go in when I didn't have classes. It was a long trek.


BLIEK:                        Would there have been an option for you to live on campus if you had wanted to?


STEIN:                        No. Nope, there was no lodging, no dorms.


BLIEK:                        So did that impact your sense of community on campus?


STEIN:                        Not really. You know, I was commuting to school. I didn’t live there, didn’t spend extra time there. The only thing I got involved in other than school was intramural wrestling. But other than that, I was not involved with anything going on at the college.


BLIEK:                        Why did you—what was the appeal of intramural wrestling for you?


STEIN:                        Oh, it was one sport that I could be competitive in at my weight class.


BLIEK:                        All right. And so I would assume that was, like, a males only club?


STEIN:                        Yes.


BLIEK:                        And were there other options that were tailored explicitly to the men on campus, or were most things co-ed?


STEIN:                        No, I would think most things were co-ed. There were other clubs.


BLIEK:                        But you weren’t a part of clubs beyond im [intralmural] wrestling?


STEIN:                        That is correct.


BLIEK:                        Was there any sort of Greek presence on campus at the time?


STEIN:                        Yeah. The interesting thing was I joined a fraternity. We had a house in Brooklyn, with a bunch of the other guys who came from Brooklyn. So there must have been about 20 of us.


BLIEK:                        And which fraternity was this?


STEIN:                        AEPi [alpha Epsilon Pi].


BLIEK:                        And what about—and when did you rush AEPi?


STEIN:                        Must have been probably my second or third year at school.


BLIEK:                        And so did you—did you live there and commute out of that house?


STEIN:                        No, no one lived there. It was just a—literally, like, an upstairs apartment in a two-family, that we’d simply get together and have some parties in.


BLIEK:                        So what was the initial appeal of the fraternity to you?


STEIN:                        Other guys who were coming from Brooklyn. All of us lived at home. This was some place to get together. Wasn’t far from where I lived, and the second and third—the last couple of years, I had a car, which—not everybody had one, so I was able to provide transportation to the guys—some of the guys.


BLIEK:                        And what sort of places did you go to, aside from the apartment?


STEIN:                        Well, as a group? So we’d to go places like Madison Square Garden. At that time, the New York Rangers hockey team—we would get student discount tickets, which were very, very inexpensive—you know, up in the upper deck? They—


BLIEK:                        Sure.


STEIN:                        —they weren’t filling up the—the Garden, so they brought—you know, they let us students buy in for a minimal amount of money, basically to fill seats. The irony of that is that just this year at the UConn [University of Connecticut] Final Four Women’s [Women’s Final Four, NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament], the last game at Storrs [Connecticut], they gave tickets to the students to fill it up.


BLIEK:                        I see.


                                    So anyway, as a student at Hunter, what—what did you come in planning to study?


STEIN:                        Oh, I—I definitely signed up for marine biology.


BLIEK:                        And did you stick with that the four years you were at Hunter?


STEIN:                        I did, until I got a D in invertebrate zoology. In other words—


BLIEK:                        And then what happ-


STEIN:                        —I didn’t make the grade. Then I saw the door to the psychology office open and asked if I could take that as a major so I could get out of college, which I did.


BLIEK:                        So did you graduate in four years, then, as a—as a psych major?


STEIN:                        That is correct.


BLIEK:                        So initially what had you been planning to do with the marine biology major?


STEIN:                        Oh, study fisheries. I was thinking of going to the University of Miami, and we simply didn’t have the resources.


BLIEK:                        And where did that interest in marine biology come from? Was that something—just a personal preference,—


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        —or did it develop at a certain point?


STEIN:                        Oh, my father was taking me fishing when I was a little kid. I’ve been fishing ever since.


BLIEK:                        Well, after you, you know, got your D in marine biology [sic] and then switched to your psych major, did you initially have an idea of what you were going to do with the psych major instead?


STEIN:                        Not at all.


BLIEK:                        So what ended up happening once you graduated from Hunter with the psych—with the psych major?


STEIN:                        Ah, one time they brought in a guest speaker from the Peace Corps, towards the end of my senior year, and that’s when [John F.] Kennedy was president, and his famous saying is is the glass half empty or half full? And it sounded like a good idea because I had no idea what to do with the rest of my life. If I didn’t go—go somewhere, I was going to get drafted. I had a low draft number. All my friends went on to graduate school or something. Nobody I know went into the [U.S.] Army. Everybody found some way of continuing their education. And I joined the Peace Corps, figuring that would keep me out. And give me something to do.


BLIEK:                        Now, going back to what you just said: So all of your friends—you said a lot of them, at least, went to graduate school.


STEIN:                        Yes.


BLIEK:                        Now, had they been planning to go to graduate school anyway, or did they do so mostly to avoid the draft?


STEIN:                        Some might have gone to avoid the draft, but others went to simply further their education, in accounting, in architecture. Again, teaching. The people I grew up with, college was an automatic. And almost graduate school was an automatic. This is simply what you did.


BLIEK:                        So for you, then, was the Peace Corps, you know, mostly for the—for the sense of purpose and to give you something to do, or were you also, you know, looking to stay out of the Army as well?


STEIN:                        No, I think the Army was secondary. It was a sense of purpose, and at that stage in my life, you’re going to go out there and change the world.


BLIEK:                        What had you heard about the Army at this—at this point in time? So—


STEIN:                        That was I think the height of the Vietnam War, right? Was—you know, it was pretty gruesome.


BLIEK:                        And to be clear, what—what year are we referring to here, around 1968?


STEIN:                        That’s correct.


BLIEK:                        So what had you heard at this point?


STEIN:                        Just what I saw on the news.


BLIEK:                        And what sort of things? Are there any specific things that you remember being gruesome?


STEIN:                        Well, the pictures of the bombing and napalm, and I remember the protests. You know, I thought about going to some of the protests. I don’t believe I ever went to anything, quote-unquote, “significant.” But I certainly listened to those people who were protesting.


BLIEK:                        Even though you didn’t go to any of the protests, would you have considered yourself at least sympathetic to some of their—you know, to some of their causes?


STEIN: Absolutely.


BLIEK:                        What things in particular did you not like about the Vietnam War at this point in time?


STEIN: Whether we should have been there at all.


BLIEK:                        So what—so what was your position on that issue?


STEIN:                        No, I certainly didn’t think that we should have intervened.


BLIEK:                        And what was—what was your reasoning for that?


STEIN:                        It cost a lot of American lives, and basically when it was all over, you know, what was really accomplished?


BLIEK:                        So while—while the Vietnam War was going on, like, did you—did you start—when you first became aware of the Vietnam War, was this the initial position you took, that you were opposed to the war?


STEIN:                        Well, I—you know, as the war was progressing and then when they implemented the draft, and then I got a low enough number, you know, everything started becoming more real. In other words, they could take me into the Army. I thought of the [U.S.] Coast Guard.


BLIEK:                        So—but appar- —it sounds like you didn’t go through with the Coast Guard.


STEIN:                        Nope. I simply thought about it. Didn’t pursue it.


BLIEK:                        Can you—do you—do you remember anything at all about—about what sorts of things you were weighing during that, you know, thought process, however brief it was?


STEIN:                        Yeah, even thinking of going to Canada. But it was—


BLIEK:                        Did you—I’m sorry, please continue.


STEIN:                        No, no, I’m thinking that, you know, yeah, that was an option, a long-shot option because I really didn’t want to leave this country, but I wasn’t really—wasn’t really set on going overseas, you know, with a gun in my hand, so the Peace Corps might have been a convenient, quote-unquote, way to delay, you know, this decision. But then when I got back, I found out I was still ready to be drafted. A lot of people would have thought, Well, you did two years in the Peace Corps. That should count for something.


                                    But by then, after living with another culture for two years in a foreign country and never having locked the door and never fearing for anything, I really didn’t want to go and shoot anybody who was different, because—just because they believed something different. It became pretty evident that I was not going to go into the Army, no matter what.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. Well, definitely we—I will come back to that, but just to get a little bit more on the Peace Corps, do you think that a lot of other—you know, among your peers, at least, there were other people who were in a similar dilemma to you, considering things like going to—you know, avoiding the Army through, you know, the Peace Corps or going to—even, you know, going to Canada?


STEIN:                        Oh, yes. A lot of the—a lot of the volunteers were certainly, you know, more anti war than the general population, absolutely.


BLIEK:                        And were—were—do you know if any of them had actively participated in protests or anything like that?


STEIN:                        I believe some had, yeah.


BLIEK:                        Were your brothers also in a similar position to you? Did they receive draft numbers as well?


STEIN:                        No, they were younger. By the time they became eligible, I believe it was—you know, it was winding down.


BLIEK:                        All right.


                                    So let’s talk about how you actually got into the Peace Corps. So once—once you heard this guest recruiter on campus—do you remember what year that—that was in?


STEIN:                        Yeah, that was my senior year, which would have been 1968. It was probably soon before I graduated. Yeah.


BLIEK:                        And—and what sort of—


STEIN:                        And there were lots of people in the auditorium. I remember that, meaning they draw a big crowd. And I’m pretty sure I—I basically took the paperwork home and signed up right there.


BLIEK:                        So you—so what did your—what did your parents think of that decision? Did you consult them first?


STEIN:                        You know, I think I might have—it was only my father who was alive at the time, and I might have told him, “Dad, this is what I’m gonna do.”


BLIEK:                        And how did he react to that?


STEIN:                        Very positively.


BLIEK:                        So did he—did he encourage you to—to go ahead with it?


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        So once you had the signed paperwork in—in hand, what was the next step in the application process to go into the Peace Corps?


STEIN:                        The next step was going for a physical and interview, and then once I had got—I really was totally accepted, training—for some reason, everything was delayed a little, and I was be- —I remember, behind the eight ball. Had to get on a small plane to Dartmouth to meet the training, to get there on time. So out of—out of [John F.] Kennedy [International] Airport or LaGuardia [Airport], whatever it was, got on a little puddle jumper to Hanover, New Hampshire.


BLIEK:                        Let’s take a step back for a second. So more on the application process. Do you—do you remember—so why was there a physical component—a physical evaluation to the—to the Peace Corps?


STEIN:                        Yeah, that was part of the procedure.


BLIEK:                        And what did they evaluate you for, just general health?


STEIN:                        Yes, physical—physical health.


BLIEK:                        And then in the interview, what—what sort of things were they asking you about?


STEIN:                        That, I don’t remember.


BLIEK:                        Okay. Well—do you remember how long it took for you—what sort of time span it was between turning in your paperwork and then, as you said, becoming, you know, totally accepted into the program?


STEIN:                        Not long at all, a couple of weeks. And then I remember I  had to catch up with the class that was already starting training.


BLIEK:                        Were there a lot of people in—in the sort of recruitment center that you—you would have gone through? Did you notice that there were a lot of other people also applying for the Peace Corps?


STEIN:                        At that time, yes. That might have been some of the height of the Peace Corps popularity.


BLIEK:                        And what do you think their motivations were? Were they similar to yours, do you think?


STEIN:                        Yeah. No, a lot of us really believed we could change the world.


BLIEK:                        All right, so let’s talk about getting—getting to Dartmouth. So you did Peace Corps training at Dartmouth College.


STEIN:                        That is correct.


BLIEK:                        And about what year? So what year is this?


STEIN:                        Yeah, it was definitely ’68, ’68, the summer of 1968.


BLIEK:                        And so when—had you ever been to, you know, that part of New Hampshire before?


STEIN:                        Don’t think so. That might have been my first time up there.


BLIEK:                        And what was your impression when you got to campus?


STEIN:                        It was beautiful, lush and beautiful, absolutely beautiful campus. I remember the fire tower. I used to climb up to take pictures. We were only there—you know, this is a total immersion training program, where we, you know, learned a bit about the culture, but more importantly, we were immersed in the French language because all of us were going to French West Africa.


BLIEK:                        And so how long were you actually at Dartmouth for?


STEIN: Probably eight weeks.


BLIEK:                        And so did you have any choice over where you were going to be trained? Was Dartmouth assigned to you, or did you choose—


STEIN:                        Ah! No, that’s where they were training for French West Africa.


BLIEK:                        Now, did you have a choice over—over French West Africa, or was that also assigned?


STEIN:                        Yes, my—my initial—my choice was Micronesia. Again, with the fisheries. The reason they put me in French West Africa: They needed teachers, and I had French in college, for what it was worth.


BLIEK:                        And so apparently that wasn’t a deal breaker for you, then.


STEIN:                        No.


BLIEK:                        Having gotten, like,—


STEIN:                        No.


BLIEK:                        Okay. So let’s talk a little bit more about, you know, the total immersion, as you described it. So what exactly did that entail?


STEIN:                        You know, six, eight hours of classes a day, speaking French all the time, even when you’re not in class. Very effective way to learn a language.


BLIEK:                        And do you remember who was in charge of that program?


STEIN:                        Not—not by name. There were numerous teachers, small classes. I mean, they—they did it right. They taught us to speak French.  Now, of course, when we got to French West Africa, only the government officials spoke French. The town—the people who lived in the towns spoke their own local languages.


BLIEK:                        Yeah, that’s pretty interesting, and certainly I’ll—I’ll come back to that.


                                    Just a couple of other things about your time at Dartmouth. So was—who—who was running the—the program for you guys? So was it Dartmouth faculty, or was it, like, a representative of the Peace Corps program?


STEIN:                        I believe it was the Peace Corps. They had simply used Dartmouth as the facility. We used the dorms and the classrooms for our little program.


BLIEK:                        And do you remember any of the specific, you know, dorms or buildings you would have been in?


STEIN:                        Not specifically. I remember it was—I mean, it was all very pretty. The campus was lovely. Remember, I’m coming from New York City. [Laughs.] So all that green—[Laughs.]


BLIEK:                        Did you have any free time while you were doing the training, or you were mostly just busy?


STEIN:                        Not much. Not much. I think came home a weekend or two during the whole training, or maybe one during and one when we were done. Part of the training, then, after Dartmouth was going up to Quebec and leaving with a French family for a few weeks—again, to further learn French.


BLIEK: Does—does the name John [A.] Rassias sound familiar to you at all?


STEIN:                        No.


BLIEK:                        Okay. Well, he was—he was a language teacher at Dartmouth who would have been there around the time that you were there. And he was—he had a relationship with the Peace Corps, and he was the director of language programs. So I was just curious if he had, you know, any sort of relationship to the Peace Corps. He very well might have, but apparently you don’t know him.


STEIN:                        I don’t know the name.


BLIEK:                        What was the sort of cultural—so you sort of mentioned that total immersion included cultural as well as—as well as language training, so what were some of the cultural things that they were telling you about French West Africa?


STEIN:                        Well, one of the big things where that was significantly different from the way we were brought up was the fact that in that society, a number of families—the man could have three or four or five wives. And it was—you know, that was the norm in certain villages. I mean, that’s one that stood out.


                                    It was interesting: In my village for a long time, I was the only white man, and they had a name for me, [“Anasara”? 45:03], which meant “the white man.”


BLIEK:                        And which language was that?


STEIN: Kotokoli. There’d be another language every 20 miles. [Chuckles.]


BLIEK:                        So when you—


STEIN:                        And nobody spoke French.


BLIEK:                        Right, right. So when they were giving you the cultural training, did they just refer to it sort of as the region of French West Africa and sort of just generalized your cultural training to that? Or did they—


STEIN:                        Yeah, absolutely, because we’re all going to different places.


BLIEK:                        So you didn’t receive, you know, country-specific—it was more regional based?


STEIN:                        No. More general. Kind of a little bit of what you might expect, what kind of foods they had, what to be aware of—you know, medically, what not to eat. I remember we had to boil all our water. Meat was a luxury.


BLIEK:                        And so at any point during this sort of cultural training, did—did any of those things that they were telling you about where you would be come as a shock to you?


STEIN:                        There were—I remember there were a lot of teachers from the region who came over, both to teach French and to talk about the culture, so they were Togolese or people from the Ivory Coast, you know, who lived—and I remember also there were a number of cross marriages—you know, folks who lived from Africa and married Americans, vice versa. You know, very interesting couples.


BLIEK:                        So after you received, you know, this cultural training, was there—was there ever a moment where you were, like, you know, Gee, I don’t know if this is still for me?


STEIN:                        Not really. I was kind of up for a new adventure. You know, there was—there was nothing earth-shattering that we were told. Remember, this is a different time in history. Things were safe. And Americans were wanted. We were welcome.


BLIEK:                        Do you think, you know, things were actually safe, or was that just the perception—


STEIN:                        No, they were safe! I never locked the door in two years!


BLIEK:                        Yeah. I will certainly come back to that as well.


                                    My last question about Dartmouth for you is were there any Dartmouth students who were also participating in the Peace Corps?


STEIN:                        Not that I believe. If there would have been one or two, it would have been pure coincidence, you know?


BLIEK:                        Sure.


STEIN:                        All over the country. That, I remember. All over! You know, we came from all walks of life, all parts of the country, and the one common denominator: Most of us were idealists.


BLIEK:                        And how was that experience, getting to meet all of these different people—


STEIN:                        Oh, that was great.


BLIEK:                        —from around the country?


STEIN:                        That was great, because it took me out of my own little, you know, circle in Brooklyn to meet all different kinds of people. No, lots of—lots of ideas.


BLIEK:                        Did you—


STEIN:                        We met missionaries and—you know, you meet a whole different group of people that weren’t all out just for themselves.


BLIEK:                        So did you have—was there any interaction between the Peace Corps trainees and the Dartmouth students, or were you mostly both just doing your own thing?


STEIN:                        No. I don’t know if there were any—this was the summer. I don’t know if there were any students hanging around. Or a handful.


BLIEK:                        All right. So let’s talk about the process of actually getting to Togo. So when did you find out that you were—were—so when did you actually find out your were being deployed to Togo specifically?


STEIN:                        Well, towards the end of training.


BLIEK:                        And then what happened at the end of training? Did you immediately—you know, were you immediately deployed, or did you have some time off?


STEIN:                        I had a couple of days back home, maybe a week, let’s say, to wrap up everything. We were all given these big trunks, like you see on the Titanic—you know, the movie?—big steamer trunks, and we were only able to fill up as much as would fit in. And, you know, given a list—you know, toothpaste, whatever—you know?—to bring. And minimal clothing. I mean, you know, really. You only had so much room. And, you know, got on a plane at JFK. Went to France. Spent the night in France. Got on a plane a day later and went to Togo.


BLIEK:                        So let’s talk about that process of wrapping things up at home. So how were you feeling at that point between—you know, you’ve just come off and finished your training, and now you’re about to go for a two-year deployment in French West Africa.


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        So how—how were you feeling at that point?


STEIN:                        Oh, I—looking forward to it, looking forward to it. It was time to break away from home. Turned over the keys to my car ad registration to my brother. Just, “Here, it’s yours. I’ll pick it up when I get home.” Of course, it wasn’t there by then. He rolled it over a few times. But the point is, no, that was the only asset that I owned, so I simply gave it to him. And broke off a relationship. And got on a plane.


BLIEK:                        And how about your dad? How did you wrap things up with him?


STEIN:                        Simply that I needed to do this. You know, “I’m kind of on my own, and I’ll see you in two years,” which I then did. In other words, I moved back home for a short time.


BLIEK:                        And how did your dad handle you going? Was—was he—you know, did he handle it well?


STEIN:                        Yes. I think he realized that, you know, I had graduated college and time to leave the nest.


BLIEK:                        Did you have—did you run into any sort of last-minute hesitations before you left, or what—or were you—you know, just you knew you wanted to go?


STEIN:                        Nope, I think at that point it was pretty well set that this is what I was going to do, and he supported me.


BLIEK:                        So then physically—you mentioned some of the things you were able to pack. So you got a trunk. You mentioned toiletries. You mentioned clothes.


STEIN:                        Yep.


BLIEK:                        Was there—was there room for—


STEIN:                        Yep. Minor clothes, yep.


BLIEK:                        —anything else?


STEIN:                        Boy, you know, think about it: One steamer trunk, you know, four-foot long, three feet high, whatever. That was it. I had a radio, where I can listen to the ballgames on Armed Forces Radio [and Television Service, now Armed Forces Network]. Not much! Camera. And just some clothes.


BLIEK:                        And did—so did most of those things last while you were in Africa, or did you run into—


STEIN:                        Oh, I then bought—I bought indigenous clothes, clothing, which is much lighter and more comfortable.


BLIEK:                        And what about the radio? Were you able to keep—keep batteries?


STEIN:                        Yeah, you could buy batteries. They had, like, little general stores where you could buy batteries, you could buy cans of tuna fish, you know, sardines. Minimal stuff. You know, minimal variety, but enough to survive. You know—and what the Peace Corps paid us was basically a small fortune by their standards—you know, the local people, because they paid us in real money. And most people there—it was a subsistence economy. Most of the people were farmers. They sold what they grew at the market, and they just had enough to get by. So Peace Corps—let’s—let’s say it was a hundred dollars a month at the time. That was a fortune.


BLIEK:                        So what—what did you—what would you do with that money? Did—would—did—


STEIN:                        Oh, buy great food. I had a motorcycle. Buy gas. Do some traveling on my vacations.


BLIEK:                        So were you paid in U.S. dollars, or were you paid in the local currency?


STEIN: Francs, French Francs.


BLIEK:                        And—and that’s what they used locally?


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK:                        And—and—and the motorcycle. You were able to afford that on the Peace Corps salary?


STEIN:                        Yeah. I kind of think of where I might have had some of my own money. I don’t think they gave it to me. I think I had to purchase it. That, I don’t remember, whether it was given to me or was purchased. A little 50 cc DKW [Dampf-Kraft-Wagen]—you know, like here it would be almost considered a mobilette, but there was—perfectly sufficient to get me around.


BLIEK:                        And did it last you the—the whole time you were in Togo?


STEIN:                        Oh, yeah. Absolutely.


BLIEK:                        Did you—so what sort of things did you use the motorcycle for?


STEIN:                        Oh, to get to—visit the other volunteers in different towns, because for a long time I was the only volunteer in my town. And the next town might have been 12 miles away and another one, 20 miles away. And none of the roads were paved, so you’re using a motorcycle on washboard roads. And it needed gas, you know, to keep it running.


                                    The work week was very light. You taught for a couple of hours in the morning, had a siesta, taught for two more hours in the afternoon, and that was it. In other words, the amount of work time was fairly light compared to off time.


BLIEK:                        How did you acquire that motorcycle in the first place in a town that you said, you know, the biggest commerce is really in the form of a couple general stores?


STEIN:                        Yeah. I must—I got it in the capital city. I just don’t remember whether I paid for it or the Peace Corps actually gave it to me. I don’t think they would have given it to me. I’m trying to th- —all the bunch of us had motorcycles. And these are small motorbikes, by the way.


BLIEK:                        Yeah.


STEIN:                        They were not expensive machines, so I could have just as well paid for it with one paycheck, you know?


BLIEK:                        Sure.


STEIN:                        And that’s what—


BLIEK:                        So—


STEIN:                        —we used to get around.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. So let’s backtrack for a second. So let’s—let’s go back to first arriving in Togo.


STEIN:                        Yes.


BLIEK:                        So what—what was your first—first of all, where did you land?


STEIN:                        Lomé, which is the capital.


BLIEK:                        And—and what—what was your first impression when you landed in Togo?


STEIN:                        It was war- —it was hot. There were palm trees. It was lush. There were virtually no tall buildings at all. The government center might have been three stories high. That was it!


BLIEK:                        And ostensibly you didn’t stay in the capital too long because you mentioned you were deployed to—


STEIN: They—yeah. Did some more—did some training right outside of the capital, let’s say an hour away. Did some more training for another couple of weeks before we were assigned the cities. And I think I might have had some say in what type of environment. I certainly wanted to be in the country, which I was.


BLIEK:                        What sort of training was going on at that time?


STEIN:                        I remember we were—we were taught gardening. That, I remember distinctly. More language, of course. Hmm. And probably some more cultural stuff. It wasn’t very intense. More relaxing.


BLIEK:                        So where did you end up being deployed? So you said the countryside,


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        —so after the training, where did you eventually end up?


STEIN:                        Bafilo [pronounced BAH-fee-low], which is a small town, oh, a couple of hours up country.


BLIEK:                        And is that where you stayed the entire two years?


STEIN:                        Yes.


BLIEK:                        Okay. Well, so when you arrived in that—so tell me a little bit more about that town. Like, how many—how many people were living there, roughly?


STEIN:                        Oh, maybe a couple of thousand. And I remember they first showed me a house with a tin roof. That was a status symbol. And for whatever reason, I said, you know, “I’d like a mud hut with a thatch roof.” I might have been told that those are more comfortable. The tin roofs heat up during the daytime. Duh. And when it pours in the monsoons, the rain pounds on them. So they took me up—it might have been a former volunteer’s house. You know, I’m saying I don’t know how the Peace Corps acquired these houses. But it was literally a little mud hut with a kitchen and a bedroom, and a thatched roof.


BLIEK:                        And so what was your—what was your first impression on seeing that sort of lodging for you?


STEIN:                        Oh, that’s exactly what I would like to think, you know, Africa was all about. And it’s just like you see on TV sometimes, these compounds of mud huts that are encircled, that all come together. You know, a family compound. So different members of the family would have their own little hut—you know, huts, but they’d all be attached and encircled by, let’s say, a wall. And mine was, oh, about half a mile from the school, so I needed that motorbike, yeah, to get back and forth.


BLIEK:                        Sure.


                                    So who—who actually was in charge of putting you in the lodging? Was it some sort of local, you know, official?


STEIN:                        No, the Peace Corps.


BLIEK:                        Okay.


STEIN:                        The Peace Corps—a local—the country director and his, you know, regional people. They drove you up, set you up in your lodging, helped you move in your trunk, and you’re on your own. [Laughs.]


BLIEK:                        And—and so I’m—I’m guessing that they were not deployed in the same place you were.


STEIN:                        No. No one. There were no other Americans at the time.


BLIEK:                        Were there other foreigners, or were you the only foreigner?


STEIN:                        In my village? Mine was a small village, a couple of thousand people at best. I don’t know if there were any other—not in my village. In neighboring vil- —you know, towns, some of the bigger towns, there were French, Israeli, maybe some German, various other types of Peace Corps and missionaries. Agricultural people. That, I remember. Some from Israel. A lot those involved in agriculture.


BLIEK:                        But in your—But in—in your village, it was just you.


STEIN:                        In my village, for the first six months. Then another health volunteer moved in, a lady who was married to a guy in the next village, another Peace Corps volunteer, who ran a fisheries program to raise tilapia. Very interesting. This was long before we saw tilapia in the stores.


BLIEK:                        And what—what’s the—what was the—why—why tilapia, of all the things you could grow?


STEIN:                        They grow very fast.


BLIEK:                        All right.


                                    Let’s—let’s talk about, you know,—again, let’s talk a little bit about the first couple months you—you were in Togo.


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        So what—what was the Peace Corps—so the Peace Corps deployed you alone to this village of a couple thousand people.


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK:                        What were they expecting you to achieve?


STEIN:                        I was a teacher at the local high school, and I was assigned to teach English and math.


BLIEK:                        And what was the—what was—what was the Peace Corps hoping the end result would be? Or was that the end result?


STEIN:                        I believe—other than imparting a bit of knowledge, you know, general relations. A lot of it was PR. You know, you’re showing that Americans were capable of being not all bad and overruling and that they could do something positive. Remember, you had other countries offering services also, in agriculture, engineering, building bridges. So it wasn’t just America. But they took people like me, who didn’t have any, quote-unquote, “mechanical skills” or technical skills, and I’d be, you know, a teacher. Anybody could have been a teacher. You know, really. Because I speak English; therefore, I can teach English.


BLIEK:                        So despite not having, you know, a formalized degree in education,—


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK:                        —the Peace Corps still felt that you were qualified to—to teach at the high school.


STEIN: Absolutely.


BLIEK:                        Did you feel qualified?


STEIN:                        I picked up on it pretty quick.


BLIEK:                        So what—what was your daily routine like?


STEIN:                        A couple of classes in the morning, and these classes would be anywhere at times from 60 to 80 students, and then a couple of classes in the afternoon. Then a—a siesta for two hours. Come back and teach a couple of hours in the afternoon. Pretty light day. You know, it wasn’t—it wasn’t a seven- or eight-hour day, no. Maybe four or five hours.


BLIEK:                        Mm-hm. And was it just you teaching 60 to 80 students at once?


STEIN:                        Yeah. Yeah, when it was my class, that’s what everybody did. You know, there are X number of teachers for the whole school—you know, like, a half dozen. [Laughs.]


BLIEK:                        So did you find this to ever be unmanageable, having a 60 to 80 to one student—


STEIN:                        No, no, because—because the kids really were exceptionally well behaved, and many of them really wanted to learn.


BLIEK:                        What sort of resources did you have available to you to—to help teach at the high school level?


STEIN: [Laughs.] If I’m not mistaken, we barely had enough books to go around, if we had enough.


BLIEK:                        So how did you adjust to some of these deficiencies?


STEIN: Remember, I had never taught anywhere else, so it just—dealt with what I had.


BLIEK:                        Did—did you bring it to the attention of your Peace Corps supervisors?


STEIN:                        Oh, they were well aware of the situation. You know, education was not of the highest priority in these places. Getting enough food to eat was.


BLIEK:                        Was that ever frustrating to you?


STEIN:                        No. The priority was getting enough food to eat.


BLIEK:                        Did you—did you see—were there signs of hunger in the village that you were in?


STEIN:                        Yes, malnutrition, yes. Protein was extremely limited.


BLIEK:                        What did the—and why was that? Was it a result of the type of food that was available to eat, the quantity of food available to eat, or both?


STEIN:                        Well, the type. When they had the market one day a week, you know, they might slaughter one cow and sell it for the entire village. Now, of course, I can afford to buy it. The government officials could buy it. The regular people could only buy a little piece. Chickens were scrawny. They didn’t have Kentucky Fried [Chicken, commonly known as KFC]. Fish were almost nonexistent, and they were tiny because we were way up, inland. Do it—it wasn’t a whole lot of protein. It was a Muslim village, so no pork. Very little protein. The basic diet consisted of millet ground into a paste and eaten with a sauce, or, like, they call it ignams, like giant potatoes, also were pounded into a paste.


BLIEK:                        Were you referring to cassava?


STEIN:                        Yeah. Also cassava. Also. So there are various root crops that the soil was so poor that they had to mound the soil up to get enough good soil to grow the stuff. And it grew, you know, but it was—it was pure starch.


BLIEK:                        How did you avoid malnutrition? Like, you mentioned that you were able—


STEIN:                        I could afford anything. People would bring me chickens, and I’d automatically buy them. They’d bring me eggs, and I’d automatically buy them.


BLIEK:                        Did you have any—did you, you know, ever try the local diet?


STEIN:                        Oh, yeah!


BLIEK:                        The local food?


STEIN:                        It was excellent. But, you know—but I had protein. That was the big difference. I could afford cans of tuna or sardines.


BLIEK: What—so you mentioned that a lot of the, you know, other development programs were focusing on improving agricultural practices—


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK:                        —and so on and so forth. Did you—did—did you see them have a tangible effect in the villages?


STEIN: Somewhat marginal. I did a lot of school agriculture, and we had our school gardens, but most of the kids that went to school wanted—went to school so they could do something other than following in their parents’ footsteps, and that being a subsistence farmer. But it was difficult to break out of that role because you only had so many jobs to, quote-unquote, that were government officials or teachers. Virtually, in these small towns you had no manufacturing, so everybody grew food so that you can eat.


BLIEK:                        So what ended up happening to a lot of the students you have? It sounds like—you know—I’ll reiterate that. What ended up happening?


STEIN:                        Many of them went—went back to the land, to work the—the land.


BLIEK:                        And was that ever—you know, how did you feel about that?


STEIN:                        You know, it was simply the way it had to be because there were not jobs of the middle echelon. Either you were a government official—a policeman or something or an army; some went into the army—or you were a farmer.


BLIEK:                        What was the government presence in the town that you were in?


STEIN:                        When I was there, the country was a friendly dictatorship.


BLIEK:                        Were there—I’m sorry, go ahead.


STEIN:                        No, no. It was a friendly dictatorship. You better like the president because he is the president, to the point where they had cloth woven with the president’s picture on it, and it wasn’t unusual for the schoolgirls at the holidays to wear dresses made of his cloth—his, you know, picture. Not unusual at all.


BLIEK:                        Did the government have any sort of physical presence in your town, though, in terms of, you know, any sort of administrative centers, police stations, anything like that?


STEIN: Minimal, in my little town. Maybe in the bigger towns.


BLIEK:                        So how was—you know, how—how were services provided to the people, and how was law and order kept? Or was the village basically self-sufficient?


STEIN:                        Pretty much self-sufficient. Crime was not a big issue, if at all. I think the worst thing that can happen [was] if you were thrown out of the village, if you did something terrible.


BLIEK:                        And who would be—who would be in charge of that? Was—was there any sort of leadership hierarchy within the village?


STEIN:                        Hmm. You had your—your elders, the village elders, and would meet and make decisions. I can’t think of a situation in the two years that I was there where there’s a, quote-unquote, “criminal offense.” But the elders were still important to the village in terms of what to plant, when to harvest. In other words, they weren’t thrown out into a nursing home. They were—they were kept in—in the loop and decision making.


BLIEK:                        Did—did being kept in the loop extend to the Peace Corps presence there? Was there any sort of coordination over what sort of projects would be undertaken?


STEIN:                        Yeah!


BLIEK:                        Was that a joint decision?


STEIN:                        Yes. Yeah. In fact, we built a small bridge—you know, I got a $500 grant for from the Peace Corps or something. And that was—you know, the decisions were left up to the village elders as to exactly how to proceed.


BLIEK:                        And what sort of other things were they looking for?


STEIN:                        Well, a lot of Peace Corps volunteers were involved in well building. That was critical. Sanitation. You know, agriculture, of course.


BLIEK:                        And how successful were these projects?


STEIN:                        Oh, I would say very successful. You know, we accomplished our goals. We built what needed to be built. Wells got dug. Yeah, I guess—and we’re not talking a ton of money. You know, just—just—most of the—the labor was—was volunteer, from the people who lived in the town, because it was simply a matter of purchasing materials.


BLIEK:                        And after, you know, these pieces of infrastructure  were constr- —were built, was maintenance turned over to the local villagers?


STEIN:                        Yes.


BLIEK:                        And were they able to successfully maintain these things?


STEIN:                        Oh, for the period I was there, yes.


BLIEK:                        Let me backtrack to something you mentioned earlier. So you—you said that this was a Muslim village.


STEIN:                        Yes.


BLIEK:                        How—how did you know that this was a Muslim village?


STEIN:                        Oh, I—I didn’t until I got there. When—when some of the—the families consisted of one man and three or four husbands—I mean, one man and three or four wives. And you needed that many wives to keep the family going. You had to carry water, carry firewood, work the fields.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. So what was, you know, everyday life like for—for most of these villagers?


STEIN:                        Tend to the crops. So you have food.


BLIEK:                        And was there a division of labor between the—the men and the women?


STEIN:                        Yeah, I think the men would do the heavy digging in the fields, and the women would do—do all the cooking, carry the water. We didn’t have running water at all.


BLIEK:                        So did that ever create, you know, any sanitation issues for you?


STEIN:                        I had a latrine. Had to boil the water to use it, to eat. Had to wash the vegetables with an iodine solution. But I also had a servant who could do all that while I was out teaching. In other words, it’s a lot harder to survive there than it is here, where you have refrigeration, hot and cold running water, you know? We didn’t have that.


BLIEK:                        So who—who was this servant, and how was he—


STEIN:                        A young boy. I even remember his name, [Isafoo? pronounced EE-suh-foo; 1:26:36].


BLIEK:                        And how did he come to be your servant?


STEIN:                        Oh, he was the grandson of one of the elders, meaning in the same compound, so it was very convenient.


BLIEK:                        And—and so was he paid—


STEIN:                        Yes—


BLIEK:                        —or was he sort of—


STEIN:                        I paid him.


BLIEK:                        Okay.


STEIN:                        But, again, a few dollars goes a long way when nobody has anything.


BLIEK:                        And so—so what did—so did—did you know anything about the details of [Yisafoo’s, pronouncing it YEE-suh-foo’s; 1:27:28] life? Was he also at the school?


STEIN:                        Yes. I’m trying to remember if he—yeah, I believe—I believe he was at the same school that I taught at, yeah. Or he might have been in the younger grade. But I didn’t need somebody there all the time. I need somebody to take care of the water, do the cooking. Like, when you bought a chicken, you bought the—the live chicken. [Laughs.] Somebody had to chop its head off, take the feathers out. [Chuckles.]


                                    And when you went to the market to get meat, you didn’t buy rib eye or prime rib; you bought two kilos of beef, meaning with an ax, just chopped. Somebody had to prepare that. Everything there was—a lot of things there on the local level were made in—in sauces, with little bits of meat. No such thing as Chuck’s Steakhouse, you know?


BLIEK:                        Sure. So that sounds like [Yisafoo? 1:28:54] was sort of taking care of all of the domestic tasks.


STEIN:                        Yes, the critical domestic tasks of water, rinsing the salad greens—again, you had to wash everything. And, you know, preparing food, which took so much longer.


BLIEK:                        Sure.


                                    So one other thing you mentioned was that for six months you were the only, you know, foreigner in your town, until—


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK:                        —a woman—a woman health volunteer was deployed there as well.


STEIN:                        Right. That’s correct.


BLIEK:                        Did—did you ever feel lonely for those first six months?


STEIN:                        Not too—no, not really, because, you know, 10 miles away were other volunteers, and people I trained with were between 10 and 20 miles away. I used to get on my motorcycle and visit.


BLIEK:                        And was that relatively easy for you to do,—


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        —given how much free time you had?


STEIN:                        Yeah, especially on the weekends, when there were no commitments at all, and there were so many school holidays, it was ridiculous, so [chuckles]—everything was a holiday.


BLIEK:                        So besides—besides visiting the other Peace Corps volunteers, what would you do on—in your off time?


STEIN:                        I found a way to do some fishing.


BLIEK: [Chuckles.]


STEIN:                        Up in the river. Not very successfully, but it was—we tried.


BLIEK:                        And then when you were with the other Peace Corps volunteers, you know, what sort of things would you guys do together?


STEIN:                        Oh, we’d sit and drink beer, tell stories, talk about what’s going on back home, play chess. Yeah, played a lot of chess.


BLIEK:                        How—how did—how did you all stay up to date with news that was coming from home? And by “home,” I am assuming the United States.


STEIN:                        Armed Forces Radio. That was the key to everything, including listening to, let’s say, a football game in the middle of the night.


BLIEK: Where—where was Armed Forces Radio being broadcast out of? And was this United States—a United States channel?


STEIN:                        Yeah, between that and BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation]. I have no- —I can’t remember, but I do remember listening to ballgames, like at two o’clock in the morning. Yeah, that was our connection to the world. There was no TV. There were no newspapers where I was. Yeah, so it was all over the Armed Forces Radio.


BLIEK:                        Do you remember hearing anything, you know, spectacular over this radio while you were away?


STEIN:                        You know, I’m sure there were some major events, but they were so far removed that none of it—none of it kind of sticks in my mind.


BLIEK:                        Were you—were you all more focused, then, on the more immediate things that were happening—


STEIN:                        Oh, absolutely.


BLIEK:                        —in Togo and in your individual villages?


STEIN:                        Yeah. Not a lot’s happening. You know, the idea is to grow enough food to survive.


BLIEK:                        Right.


                                    I want to go back to—to the health volunteer that you mentioned—


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        —came to your village. What was—what was her role there?


STEIN:                        Health education.


BLIEK:                        And what—on what sort of topics?


STEIN:                        I would assume on a broad range of topics. She was trained technically as a health volunteer—you know, like a nurse. And she would—she would go around and attempt to make things better and more sanitary for her constituents.


BLIEK:                        Did—were—were the two of you on—on talking terms?


STEIN:                        Oh, absolutely. I was best friends with her husband, who was in the next—eight miles down the road, doing the fishery program. That was the very first time I ever heard about raising fish in a pond.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. So could—could you actually describe a little bit more about what the—the fishery program was seeking to do?


STEIN:                        Yeah, bring protein in. It was my friend, Jim Miller, with his assistant Bernard, who was Togolese, and an experimental fish farm with these tilapia that you now see in every supermarket on the face of the earth. They grow very fast. That’s the reason for tilapia. And they grow in all kinds of conditions. So the idea was to start a farm and then, you know, turn it over to the Togolese people. When I left—it was showing that, yeah, you could raise them, and I have no idea what happened after I left.


BLIEK:                        Sure.


                                    How did you—how did you manage communicating with the locals if the Peace Corps had sent you in with French but only the government ministers were speaking French—


STEIN:                        Ah, we learned—


BLIEK:                        —and they were—


STEIN:                        —just enough words of the local language. That’s how we do it. And then gestures.


BLIEK:                        Do you—do you think that the Peace Corps had properly prepared you to carry out your mission?


STEIN:                        You got to understand, every 30 miles there’s another language.


BLIEK:                        Right.


STEIN: [Laughs.] I mean, really. That part’s true. It’s unbelievable, but it’s true. In fact, even where we were, we ran into some of the Maasai tribes, the cattle herders that you hear about in Kenya and Tanzania? Well, there were some of these guys out our way, and they—they simply lived off the cattle, and they were nomads. So at least the people I were [sic] with had a mud hut. Very interesting.


BLIEK:                        Was there any sort of engagement with these Maasai tribes?


STEIN:                        They kept to themselves pretty good. Where we’d all convene would be in the one day a week there was a market, where is what everybody brought their produce and, you know, whatever—whatever was grown and whatever was for sale to the central market and exchanged goods.


BLIEK:                        What sort of things would be available at the market, aside from food?


STEIN:                        Aside from food? Cloth. Cloth. What else? Gasoline. Kerose- —yeah, kerosene. Yeah, what—we were running appliances on kerosene. Like, my tiny refrigerator was run on kerosene. Mostly food.


BLIEK:                        So where would you—


STEIN: Because that’s what counted.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. So where would you get these more, you know, processed things, like—like kerosene? Would that be coming out of the capital?


STEIN:                        Oh, yeah. Yep.


BLIEK:                        So going back to the fact that, like you said, every 20, 30 miles there’s a different language, was the language barrier an obstacle in carrying out your functions on behalf of the Peace Corps?


STEIN:                        Not really. Because, again, the official language was French. We taught in French. In other words, I taught math, but I taught it in French. I had enough of a knowledge of French to do that. Not that the local language[s] were discouraged, but in school, they liked the kids to speak the—the official language of the country, which is French.


BLIEK:                        Sure.


STEIN:                        As well as—you know, a little bit—well, English as a second language, you know?


BLIEK:                        Right.


STEIN:                        For what reason, who knows?—you know.


BLIEK: Were—were—were there other sorts of challenges you faced in carrying out your—your duties?


STEIN:                        Mmm, not too—not too many. No, the Peace Corps gave you enough of a support system and people to talk to if you got in trouble, whatever. You got enough time—again, because of the liberal school schedule—I mean, let’s say we got 180 days a year, whatever it is. There, they might have 120 [chuckles] of actual school. Every time you turn around, there’s another holiday. And so there’s plenty of time to spend time in the capital city, which was about three hours away. And there, we stayed in a Peace Corps hostel. You know, like, for a couple of bucks a night you got a bed, you know?


BLIEK:                        Yeah.


STEIN:                        And there, we went to restaurants and socialized. You know, there were a couple of favorite restaurants that the Americans preferred, and also the Germans and Israelis and French. There were other—there were other entities in Togo helping out with various projects, so it wasn’t just the Peace Corps.


BLIEK:                        How—how—did you have any contact with these other foreign nationals in Togo?


STEIN:                        Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. It was always good visiting—if you went to a strange town and ran into, you know, some of them, everybody was very friendly.


BLIEK:                        And what were some of their experiences like? Did you—did you talk about and compare your experiences with each other in—in Togo?


STEIN:                        Yeah. They—you know, a lot of them were there on some kind of agricultural project—you know, getting back to the premise that it was kind of important to have enough to eat before you can do much else. Again, a lot of babies, now that I think about it, were malnourished. Yeah, it’s—nutrition was a big factor. Not that there wasn’t food, just not the right kind of food.


BLIEK:                        Right.


STEIN:                        Too much starch, meaning everything was starch.


BLIEK:                        And what—what about the missionaries? Were they coming from a particular religion?


STEIN:                        There were different—yeah, different ones. I never got too much involved other than I remember a lot of them loved their wine. You know, I was invited to a dinner or something, there would always be good wine. That came from somewhere else, of course. Togo had its own beer, Beer Bénin [sic; La Béninoise], and it wasn’t half bad. And it was a duty-free port, so I could afford the best liqueurs in the world: Cointreau, Drambuie, Grand Marnier [Cordon Rouge]. You know, all the very best brandies in the world were very affordable because there was no tax on them. Yeah, that part I miss. [Both chuckle.] Buying a bottle of the best brandy in the world for 20 bucks or less, 12 bucks. Who knows? But that was again, that was a long, long time ago. You know, I’m just sayin’.  It was very affordable. That’s something we splurged on.


BLIEK:                        So—so to—to sort of conclude about your time in Togo—so after—after you spent your two years there, did you feel like you had made—did you feel like you had, you know, achieved something that would fulfill your sense of idealism that you came in with?


STEIN:                        Well, a little bit. But, you know, you quickly realize you’re not going to go change the world. I think the biggest success I had was doing some school gardening and introducing some vegetables that were—again, all the seeds provided by—by the Peace Corps—you know, radishes, carrots, beets, things that were not grown normally. Their repertoire was very simple: tomatoes that you’d never know looked like tomatoes. We call them heirloom tomatoes now with all the bumps on them? Well, they just grew tomatoes that—it had been inbred for a thousand years, you know? The seeds. They take one. They keep on using the same seed over and over, and by the time you’re done with it, it doesn’t even look like a tomato anymore. But they—they were tasty, it’s just they were ugly. They never grew cucumbers. That was kind of a waste. Okra was big for sauces. Pepper—pimentos and cayenne peppers, little peppers for spice. And salad greens.


                                    Not a—you know, not a tremendous variety. No broccoli, no cauliflower, no potatoes. But they had the yams, ignams. They ate yams. Starch. Starch with a handful of greens and vegetables. It was pretty consistent, when you went to one little fa- —you know, stand, just like we have our food trucks? Well, they’d have the little stand in the middle of town, where somebody would be selling the—the tofu, they called it, was ground-up millet or cassava in a paste. Make like a dough, and you dip it in sauce, and you eat it. If there was any meat, it was little chunks, little tiny pieces of meat in the sauce.


BLIEK:                        How was that realization for you, in your words, that you weren’t going to change the world? How—how did you—


STEIN:                        Oh, wait, then I came back, and I—I—then I came back, went to graduate school in special ed, and then I went into human services for 20 years, when I ran programs for developmentally disabled adults. So I never gave up on that. In other words, I went back into social service the minute I got home.


BLIEK:                        Oh, okay. Let’s talk about that process, then. So how—so what was the process of wrapping things up in Togo once you were nearing the end of your two- —your two-month—sorry, two-year deployment?


STEIN:                        Wrap it up? Simple. Plan a vacation on the way back home, through North Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, and then flying—flying out. So about a month of travel on the way back, with a good friend of mine from the Peace Corps, and, you know, to see a bit of the world.


BLIEK:                        And how was that?


STEIN:                        Oh, that was great! Yeah, I got to see some—Marrakesh in Morocco was unreal. The Ivory Coast was beautiful. Portugal. Spain. Yeah, meaning it was quite a trip, but only—you only had 30 days or so. And then wound up on a plane and got off back at JFK and was told I didn’t have a car anymore.


BLIEK: [Chuckles.]


STEIN: [Chuckles.] And back to my apartment in Brooklyn, where they replaced my bed with a pool table.


BLIEK: [Laughs.]


STEIN:                        Yeah, they did. My brothers. So I slept on the couch until I linked up with a roommate from the Peace Corps, and we took a place in Manhattan. But getting back was extremely difficult because all my friends were getting married, starting families, building careers, buying houses, and here I was, starting from point zero.


BLIEK:                        So what—what did you do when—when you got back? How did you—what was your first step? So you came back.


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        You’re at point zero, like you said. So what’s your first step after that?


STEIN:                        I went to see my Cousin George in Connecticut. My father says, “When in doubt, go see Cousin George.” He’s a professor at Southern [Connecticut State University]. And he says, “I know somebody at UConn, and he’d probably take you into the program.” At that point, I had no education credits, but I had taught for—


                                    Well, first I had to deal with being a conscientious objector. That took two years. Yeah, I had to write a paper, go before a hearing board, get my status approved, then be assigned an alternative service job, which happened to be a great job in Manhattan, in Harlem. And I taught adult ed for two years. In fact, that was a great job.


                                    When that was winding down, then I went to see Cousin George, who got me up to UConn. But at this point, I’m still trying to, you know, figure out what I want to do. I mean, teaching wasn’t bad. But I didn’t have any—again, any credits.


BLIEK:                        Right. So let’s—let me go through that in a little bit more detail.


STEIN:                        Yep.


BLIEK: Let’s—yeah. Let’s—let’s go back to, you know, you just—you’re just coming back to New York.


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK:                        And you’re sleeping on a couch.


STEIN:                        Yeah, literally.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. So was there anything you had realized that you had missed about living in the United States once you came back?


STEIN:                        Not really. Not initially. Things were a whole lot slower over there.


BLIEK:                        And was there anything—


STEIN:                        Most of my friends had moved on with their life, so most of my friends weren’t around anymore. It was a hard time adjusting. I didn’t know what to do. But the draft board made it imperative that I deal with that situation immediately, because I was not really going to be drafted. That’s when Canada became a real option.


BLIEK:                        So—so what—so let’s talk about the draft board. So was it as—it sounds like that happened relatively soon after you arrived—


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        —back in the States.

STEIN: Pretty—yeah, almost immediately.


BLIEK:                        And so what—what was that like? So how did you find out, first of all, that you had received, you know, a draft call? And also what year is—are we talking about?


STEIN:                        That would have been 1970.


BLIEK:                        And so how did you find out that you had been—received— you were—


STEIN:                        I get—it was an official letter.


BLIEK:                        —eligible for the draft? And do you remember anything about that letter, what was in there?


STEIN:                        Not a whole lot, other than it summoned me to take action. I remember I went to see my rabbi, and he says, “If you really believe in what you believe, you know, go ahead and—and fight it”—“fight it” meaning become a conscientious objector. So I wrote a thesis. And they accepted it. That all took place very quickly. Then I was given an assignment to do alternative service. And somehow they came up with this teaching job in Manhattan, which turned out to be an excellent job. And I did that for two years, and I was one of the very few white teachers there, in the entire school. Most minority. And it was adult education. And I was a pretty good teacher. You know, individualized programs in math. Did a lot of math. I taught math a lot. And, yeah, enjoyed that job a lot.


                                    But that was winding down, for whatever reason. Then I went to see my cousin, who got me into UConn, to go see a professor up here. And they took me into the special ed administration program without having any prior credits in education, which I thought was pretty neat. But, again, I was never going to be a teacher, in my mind. I was going to,  you know, be a program administrator, director, which is what I wound up doing.


BLIEK:                        Let me go through a couple of these things—


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        —a little bit more slowly. And, by the way, we are about at the two-hour mark.


STEIN:                        Okay.


BLIEK:                        So I want—so I want to just check in with you. Are you looking to take a break at all?


STEIN:                        No, no, no. As we’re talking, you see how many times this phone has rung? None.


BLIEK:                        All right.


STEIN:                        In other words, you’re not interrupting my business because no one loves me no more. That’s a whole separate story. [Laughs.]


BLIEK:                        All right, we’ll continue, then.


STEIN:                        Yes!


BLIEK:                        So let me take you back to the draft board.


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        So you’ve—you wrote the thesis. Do you remember what—what argument you forwarded?


STEIN:                        Yeah, that I had spent two years in another culture, living with different people and that there was no way that I could pick up a gun. That was the premise.


BLIEK:                        And so did you have to defend your thesis in person—


STEIN:                        No.


BLIEK:                        —in front of this draft board?


STEIN:                        No, they bought it. I’m trying to remember if I did this in pers- —I think I was there in person, and, you know, talked about it, and the decision was quick, and—yeah. You know, you know, give this guy alternative service. I was a little scared of what would happen—I mean, you know, if they called—if they called me to the task. [Laughs.]


BLIEK:                        Yeah. Who—so you mentioned that you consulted your rabbi—


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK:                        —before you went ahead and registered as a CO.


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK:                        Was there anyone else you talked to, or was this mostly between you and your rabbi?


STEIN:                        And my father.


BLIEK:                        And what did he recommend?


STEIN:                        That’s about it. I didn’t talk to any friends about it.


BLIEK:                        What did your father recommend to you?


STEIN:                        You know, basically do what you believe.


BLIEK:                        And then—


STEIN:                        You know, it was one of a few times in life when I had to, you know, stand on principle and—and be willing not to back down.


BLIEK:                        Right. Why did you choose not to consult your friends? Was that because you didn’t want to tell them or because, you know, they just weren’t around anymore by that time?


STEIN:                        A lot of them weren’t around, the close friends. And they hadn’t been through what I had been through. But, again, every single one of them did not go to Vietnam. Somehow, they all avoided it. A lot went to graduate school, and by the time they were done with graduate school, it was over. Or winding down, you know?


BLIEK:                        Right.


STEIN:                        So—


BLIEK:                        Did you—


STEIN:                        Yeah?


BLIEK:                        Did you know anybody who did take up the draft call and enlist?


STEIN: [Laughs.] Of my friends, no. That’s the amazing thing. I didn’t have that many close friends, but the ones I had—nobody went.


BLIEK:                        So once—so then at some point you got your alternative service. So what was the turnaround time on that? Was that relatively quick?


STEIN:                        Yeah, very quick. Very quick.


BLIEK:                        And so when—so you mentioned adult education in Manhattan,—


STEIN:                        Right.


BLIEK: correct?


STEIN:                        That’s correct.


BLIEK:                        And so—I spoke to you yesterday, and you mentioned Harlem, so was it Harlem or Manhattan?


STEIN:                        Well, Harlem is in Manhattan.


BLIEK:                        Okay.


STEIN: Harlem is the section of Manhattan, 125th Street, that [former President William J.] “Bill” Clinton has recently made famous.


BLIEK:                        Okay. So were—were you in the Harlem part of Manhattan or somewhere else?


STEIN:                        Yep. No, I was in Harlem, you know. You get off the 125th Street train station, and you’re one of the very few white people, period.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. So what was—what was that experience like? So from my understanding, the early ‘70s in New York were a pretty difficult time, between, you know, urban decay, corruption,—


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        —crime, population displacement, strikes,—


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        —social unrest. What was the—what was the situation in Harlem at the time?


STEIN:                        Well, for me, surprisingly good! I never had an issue. Yeah! I get off the train in the morning and get on in the afternoon, and walk six blocks to where I taught.


BLIEK:                        Did you see any of those issues happening around you in—in Harlem?


STEIN:                        No. Nope.


BLIEK:                        So—so what—what—what was your path to Harlem then? So you get off the train, and then what sort of neighborhoods would you be walking through to get to your school?


STEIN:                        Oh, they were—they were halfway decent. They weren’t run down or—they were older buildings, older apartment buildings.


BLIEK:                        Did you—did you ever feel unsafe or out of place during your time at Harlem?


STEIN:                        I might have been a little out of place, but I never felt unsafe.


BLIEK:                        Let’s talk about your teaching experience, itself, then.


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        So you—you—so what was your role? You mentioned you taught adult ed, mathematics mostly.


STEIN: Correct. Math and English as a second language.


BLIEK:                        And do you remember the name of the—of the academy you were at?


STEIN:                        It was a—it was a public school that had been converted to adult ed. Do not remember the name.


BLIEK:                        And so what were—what was—who was—who were you accountable to as part of this alternative service?


STEIN:                        Okay. I was accountable to the head of the school. Principal.


BLIEK:                        And do you remember his name?


STEIN:                        Nope.


BLIEK:                        What were—so what did the principal expect you to do as—in—in your role at his school?


STEIN:                        Oh, to teach—you know, assign classes and teach.


BLIEK:                        What sort of—what sort of students were in your class?


STEIN:                        A lot of people from other countries, who had just come over. Limited—limited knowledge of English. And we were there to teach basic skills: math and English.


BLIEK:                        Was that challenging?


STEIN:                        Yeah. Yeah, because I took the teaching part pretty seriously. A lot of individualized instruction.


BLIEK:                        What sort of resources did you have available to you?


STEIN:                        Oh, basic, you know, textbooks. When we come to math, I would teach them—it was pretty basic math.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. And how do you—how—how were, you know, these adult ed students? How—how were they as students?


STEIN:                        Oh, exceptional because they actually really wanted to learn.


BLIEK:                        How long would they be in adult education for?


STEIN:                        Some of them went on to get a high school diploma—you know, pass the GED [General Educational Development].


BLIEK:                        Mm-hm.


STEIN:                        I think that was the goal for many of them.


BLIEK:                        And then aft- —afterwards, do you know what happened to these people?


STEIN:                        No. I assume they assimilated into New York life.


BLIEK:                        Yeah. So over all, then, what did you enjoy about the position, and were there any things that you struggled with?


STEIN:                        No, I enjoyed the teaching experience. Had lots of freedom to teach as I wished. I enjoyed the students.


BLIEK:                        Let’s go back to—


STEIN:                        Even had some pot luck dinners—I mean, it was a nice group of people, all from different countries.


BLIEK:                        Let’s go back, then, to something you mentioned about going to see your cousin in Connecticut.


STEIN:                        Yep.


BLIEK:                        So after—so you’ve now—you’ve—in 1970 you’ve completed—or you successfully applied to be a CO. Then you served your two years in adult ed in Harlem. So at the end of these two years, what did you do? Is this when you went to go see your cousin in Connecticut?


STEIN:                        That’s right. The teaching position was winding down. Whether they—I forgot whether they were closing the facility. I can’t remember why. But I was going to be out of a job. Or, simply, I had a two-year commitment, you know? And my father suggested I go see my cousin in Connecticut, who happened to be a professor of special ed. And I say, “George, what do I do with the rest of my life?”


BLIEK:                        And what did he advise you?


STEIN:                        To go see his good friend at the University of Connecticut here. And I followed him up on that, and they took me into the graduate master’s program in special ed.


BLIEK:                        And then, like you said, you became a special ed administrator for some time. Correct?


STEIN:                        Right. You know, I was—yeah. I got a six-year degree in special education administration.


BLIEK:                        And about—like, around what year were you at UConn doing this? Is this still in the ’70s?


STEIN:                        Yeah, ’70 to ’72.


BLIEK:                        And at the end of the six-year program. When was that?


STEIN:                        Yeah, that was probably ’72.


BLIEK:                        You—you finished the—the six-year program in ’72?


STEIN:                        Yeah, six-year meaning you got a master’s plus 30.


BLIEK:                        Okay.


STEIN: Then—okay, what do I do next? I’m connected to—from my professor at UConn connects me to a professor in Kentucky for a Ph.D. program. And I was accepted. However, at that point, I simply said, “I have been in school for enough. Leave it alone.” My cousin George—go back to George. He’s got a friend who runs a private school in—outside of Danbury—over the Danbury [Connecticut] line in New York. A private school for emotionally disturbed kids. And some of these kids were wildly disturbed.


                                    And we got a job there for a year as dorm parents. At that point, I’m married. Now, that was crazy. One year, living with—adjacent to 30 kids, young teenagers in a dorm, and teaching small classes, but also being responsible for the dorm. We fulfilled that contract to the day of a year.


BLIEK:                        And then?


STEIN:                        Then, when I was winding down there, I applied, again through my professor at UConn—there was a job available as executive director of the Manchester Association for Retarded Citizens, 1976. In between that, I might have done a little—I did a little teaching—you know, here and there.


BLIEK:                        Yeah.


STEIN:                        But nothing—not like an official job at a school. You know, some internships, some bang-bang-bang stuff.


BLIEK:                        Yeah.


STEIN:                        The bottom line is I got that job in ’76, and that’s what I did for the next 14 years. Manchester, and then the Vernon facility that I started.


BLIEK: Let’s—let’s—let’s go back briefly to—to the mid-’70s, though, around ’76. So in the—in the ’70s, the war in Vietnam is coming to an end. In ’72, the American soldiers are pulled out of Vietnam.


STEIN:                        Yeah.


BLIEK:                        What was—what was your reaction to that, having been a conscientious objector all of this time?


STEIN:                        I was very happy to see it wind down.


BLIEK:                        And what about in ’75, when the—when Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese?


STEIN:                        I’m trying to think back that far. [Long pause.] I’m running a blank here. Can’t remember that far back in terms of what I was thinking. I never—that whole Vietnam process—kind of put it on the back burner and went on with my life.


BLIEK:                        Yeah.


STEIN:                        Yeah, I got married in ’72, moved to Connecticut to go to the master’s program, spent the year as a dorm parent in Brewster, New York, and then took the job in Manchester [Connecticut] as the head of an agency, so, you know, anything—at that point, everything else was put on the back burner. I was busy with my own life.


BLIEK:                        Well—to wrap up our interview, then, I just have one—one last question for you.


STEIN:                        What?


BLIEK:                        So, finally, any time during or after the war, did you regret not serving—


STEIN:                        No.


BLIEK:                        —in the armed forces?


STEIN:                        No. No I felt—


BLIEK:                        Would there have been—


STEIN:                        —I felt I had two legitimate years in the Peace Corps, and that was not in lieu of, and then I did two years as a conscientious objector. You know, that’s—and then I spent an entire career in human services! By the way, at which point—never—in all those jobs did I earn more than $40,000 a year, where some of my friends had careers, you know, and had been able to afford a lot more. You know what I mean? I had—not that I sacrificed at all, but I—I—I took positions that were not economically lucrative. I wasn’t interested in the money end of it. So I don’t regret—I think I served in a different way. That’s—that’s what I’m saying.


BLIEK:                        And do you think that all comes back to sort of your—the Peace Corps and that first experience doing service for other people?


STEIN:                        Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, you know, even people would say to me—I never forget—when I ran the program at Hockanum Industries, the greenhouse on [Connecticut] Route 44. I’m always soliciting money all the time, so we had this business group come down from one of the big insurance companies, and one of them pulled me aside and says, “How can you do what you do?” I said, “Because this is what I do!”


                                    You know, there’s a lot more to running these programs than meets the eye in terms of the money behind the scenes and—oh, yeah. And negotiations with the State of Connecticut and all kinds of craziness that finally drove me to drink, and I left. Paperwork coming out of your ears.


                                    We’ve had clients at the Greenhouse that have been there 30 years now, okay?—since I took it over. Over 30 years, 35. They have literally reams of paperwork in binders on everything they’ve ever done. I mean, it gets—stupidity.


                                    And that eventually—said, I had enough of that. And then by chance, I became, quote-unquote, “a businessman.” By chance. It wasn’t by design. And one of the hardest things I have still to do is figure out, you know, how to allocate the money I earn fairly, so that everybody gets a little cut of my action, you know? Because I still go back to the human service days, and that’s why I vote for [2016 presidential candidate Bernard] “Bernie” [Sanders]. But he’s gone, so—


                                    So I guess the Peace Corps taught me a whole lot in terms of the way I conduct my business as of today.


BLIEK:                        Sure.


                                    Well, Lew, we are now at the two-hour eighteen mark.


STEIN:                        Okay!


BLIEK:                        That’s everything on my end, so I just want to take a moment to thank you very, very much for your time.


[End of interview]