I have hours and hours of interviews from 7 or so years ago. I was working on the Baked Beans books, and through a series of lucky breaks, I was able to interview six plankowners (and one Marine officer.) The guys were in their mid-80’s, and the interviews “tapes” are free-wheeling recordings. My intent was to get their words down accurately, so I could transcribe what they said accurately into the books.

The recordings are a mess.  They were done casually, with plenty of ambient noise and yours-truly yakking away during these free-form “chats.”  Only two or three of them were one-on-ones in relatively quiet rooms. For example,  I met with John Farkas at his home in Florida; when I play back the tapes I hear John, me, John’s wife Theresa, his son Joe, and their dog.  I visited Pat Fedele several times, and in his tapes I hear Pat, me, my sons (on one visit), Pat’s wife Sandra, phone conversations, gardeners making a racket outside the back door, etc. etc.

Anyway, I began (at least in spirit) the daunting task of listening to some of the tapes to see if anything is “salvageable” enough to publish bits and pieces of the interviews. The answer is a weak “yes.”  I wanted to start with some of their answers to “what was it like when you got to Boston.”    That caused me to start listening to the interviews, – all gazillion hours of them.  You will be hearing some of these in the future (note: there is a serious file-size limit on audio files in WordPress  –  at least as far as I can tell.)

I am happy to share two highly edited and chopped to bare bones files of a small chunk of time with Pat Fedele.  In the first file, Pat and I were talking about how he put together the ship’s singing trio, the “Three B’s,” as we looked at pictures in the Cruise Book.  The second file needs no explanation.

To our friends and readers who celebrate Christmas, we wish you Merry Christmas.  To our friends who celebrate Hannukah, we wish you Happy Hannukah.  To our friends who celebrate the various other year-end holidays, we wish you peace.  Happy Holidays!



One Reply to “Interviews”

  1. I’ve heard many stories over the years from my own PlankOwner, my Dad Albert V Zollo. He passed in 2008. But I still remember many hours of rapt entertainment as he used to tell his stories to anyone who would listen. Happy Holidays to you & thanks for keeping the USS Boston 69 alive in our hearts .

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