Hugh Holmes Norton,
Eleanor Katz, Elliott Macis,
Mary Sue Valenti,
INT: Do you think it was very important that all the presidents through the late fifties to the end of the sixties, were God-fearing - quite committed in their beliefs?
TERRY: Well you know, I, like I said, I voted for what president was at the time; but each one of them, each one of them done something good, real good that I admired, you know. And then, but like I said, no president has been perfect. I have, you know, like I always said, if you want to know ....... ........ that was perfect, was Jesus Christ. And that's, you know, and you know what they did to Him, so I always said that nobody is perfect. I'm, you know, I'm not perfect, and then so it's, I try to do my best, but as far as, but as far as the presidents and all that, you know, even in all your foreign countries they have, they have their presidents, they have their prime ministers and stuff, and some of them don't do everything a hundred percent. So like Kennedy, he done a little something; Nixon, well he has little problems; Reagan - he was good; Carter, you know, Bush, they were all, you know.
INT: But you voted for Kennedy, didn't you?
TERRY: Yes I did.
INT: Tell me why you voted for Kennedy, and what the Kennedy's meant to you.
TERRY: Because he was the first -
INT: Make a statement.
TERRY: I voted for Kennedy because he was the first Catholic to ever run for president - and that is the reason why I voted for him, because we've never had a Catholic president, and being that's my religion, you know; but the others, I did not ever care what religion they were: I voted for like for Reagan - I voted for him, he was a Californian, and I voted for him because I'm Californian. I had little reasons for each one of them, you know, that's you know, and but like I said, I'm not sorry how I voted, you know. Carter was good - he was from down South, and he was good; he didn't last long but he's doing so much now.
INT: What did you think of the Russians during this time?
TERRY: Well I'll tell you: I thought it was, I know they were very hard on their people. I had, I had gone to 1972, I went to Europe, and we went over to, we crossed over the Berlin Wall, and we went on a trip, and the first thing they told us about, and took us to see, was this big statue, and they called it Mother Russia. But the people were working so hard. I, not one, I couldn't see a smile on any of the people there at all. There was no smiles on them, they were like, you know, I felt so sorry for them.
INT: Were you afraid that Russia would attack the United States?
TERRY: No I, no I don't think, no I never was afraid of that. the reason why, because they knew that we had enough, that we could really, we could take care of ourselves, you know. No I was never afraid of that.
INT: But you supported the Vietnam War.
TERRY: Well the Vietnam war, because I really, myself I didn't really, I hate to see a country split up, you know - half one and half the other, that was my only reason, and, you know, it, that's what bothered me so much, you know; but by us going there, by, and to begin with - France left, they were, France was there for many years, you know, in Vietnam, and but it's it was, it's, I think, still think it's a shame that they're split up in half like that, you know - half communist and half, you know that's my feeling, you know.
INT: But were you proud to be working in the defense industry - that you were in some way contributing towards your country?
TERRY: I was, I was proud of the fact that I had a good job; we had a very, very good supervisors, and Howard Hughes was a very good man to work for. and like I said, when you're raising three children you don't think that much about the war. And one thing is I do know, is that we had relatives in Lithuania, and you send them, you'd send them money - they very seldom ever got the money in a letter. They, as a matter of fact, we'd send them anything, we'd send them clothes - we'd, we used to wash them first, so it looked like they were old, and send it to them, they would get it. But other than that, Russian, they used to check everything that came from different countries, for, even for Lithuania, or for Poland, or wherever you sent things for, you know. As I've heard of from other friends that had relatives there, that had happened to them too, the same way.
INT: You told me that you planned to go into the services, and were in fact working in the defense industry. Is that true?
TERRY: Well I wanted to when I was younger - I wanted to go on the, I wanted to go on the service before the, well, you know, the first world, the second world war; but the only thing is, I was I was a little too short. I had to be five foot, and the only way I could be five foot is if I had high heels. I would have, I would've gone, yes, yes.
INT: What did the death of Kennedy meant to you, and what were you doing at the time you heard?
TERRY: I was at work; it was announced to us at work, and everybody stopped, and I would say about, I would say about one third of the people were so, punched out and went home - they couldn't take it any more. And of course, went home, and it really hurt to think that, you know, they didn't give the man a chance, you know. and for what, the reason, you know. And so it did hurt. and then of course when the when LBJ took over, he didn't, you know, they were still, everybody still was mourning Kennedy more so, so he didn't get much of a chance, you know. But he tried, you know.
INT: Did you like the whole Kennedy family?
TERRY: Oh yes, I thought they were - the only thing that bothered me was when Jack, Jackie died, and they buried her there, but to me, she'd already married this Greek man, and so basically she had a different name. So I don't know why they buried her over the same person - they have their own reasons, you know, but I don't know, you know.
INT: The sixties were tumultuous times: the race riots were going on -
TERRY: Yes, oh yes - but yes, I worked with a girl that she was an American/African girl, and she lived in a white area, and she was afraid to go home. So I said to her, I said, you can come and stay with me. And I said 'cos that's, I won't let you go home. So she stayed with me, and for the one night, she couldn't even get a call through to her husband, and so when she stayed with me the next, the next afternoon she called him, and he said, well things were a little better, but to stay there; and he drove out and brought her some clothes, because she wore the same thing for two days, you know, she showered, you know. Yes, she stayed there for another day before she went back, and when she went back there it was, I can't remember everything she said today, but it was really, really bad, you know. Why, I don't understand.
INT: What did you make of all the student protest that was going on - in Northern California there were the students at Berkeley, the hippies etc.
TERRY: You mean at that time?
TERRY: Well you know, I, to this day they're doing their thing, you know. They, why I feel like if you want to speak out and say something, speak out, but don't cause a big riot or anything; but I feel we all have freedom of the speech, and we all have our rights to say things. so, so if they want to, fine - talk about it, talk to people, talk some, but don't cause any fighting or anything to where police have to go there, or national guards or anything to do it, you know. that's how I feel about it, because it's, you know to this day they're, well they're picketing, I belong to the union and the people used to picket before, and everything, if they had objections of anything, you know; but to damage buildings and stuff, I just don't, that I don't, you know, think should be done, you know - it's, say what you have to say, but say it within reason, you know.
INT: You said that Hughes made life very pleasant for you, and they organized events etc. Can you tell me a little bit about what it was like to work there.
TERRY: Well I'll tell you: at Christmas time we used to always have a party, but we would have to pay a percentage, you know, like they'd say, OK, they had a party over at a Disneyland hotel, and they had their dancing, everything - and we had to pay a percentage and go there, and it was very nice. Once a year they used to have a picnic - we had a place that where, I worked over there, and we had ......... and they called it a Picnic ........ And we'd all go there for a picnic, and people would help out and everything. It was mostly the supervisors that done the cooking, and we were in, like the, you know, the employees, we would be the ones that were to enjoy it, because they used to make the food, we would dance and play games; and we still, to this day, we have a once a year, all the retirees meet, and we meet in LA, at the that's the only place left, as far as there is to picnic in, and Eddie Murphy is one of them that that were in charge of it. And we'd all of us would go, and we would sit, our section, we were called the Ground Systems, and so we had a section there, and then there, different sections would sit; and we'd get there, and we would say, oh my God, you're still living - we used to talk like that, you know. I've seen several bosses that I haven't seen in many years - they have moved up to O......., but they would come down for it. And when we worked there, if we worked hard and the contract got out, they used to once in a while, at lunchtime, they would turn around and they'd bring out a big sandwich like that, and cut up, that would be for all of us as a little gift. They used to give us a little cup for that contract that we worked on. And then once in a while they used to say, alright, now after work if you want, we're going to have a little party over at the pizza place, and it's going to be from four to six, and you come over there; and then we would go there, and they would buy so many pizzas for us after work. But they were very good. We worked hard for them, and they showed their appreciation. I could not have worked for any better company than Hughes Aircraft.
INT: You used to love to dance as well, didn't you?
TERRY: Yes, yes I love to dance. They used to have, every once in a while they would have, like I said, Christmas parties and stuff, and we had, and I would, yes, we, I would dance.
INT: What sort of music did you like?
TERRY: Well would, the music would be like Benny Goodman, and like there's music like in the forties and fifties, because a lot of them - then they would also have some music for the sixties, you know; but most of the music - because most of those people were like my age, which I'm not going to tell you - they were, they were my age then, so they all wanted to dance. So we'd go and we'd dance with some of our bosses and stuff, and being fr...... like that, nobody ever thought nothing, you know. you could, you know, but we used to have good times, very good times, yes.
INT: Tell me about your husband working in the police.
TERRY: When we moved out here to California, he started working -
INT: Make a statement mentioning your husband.
TERRY: When we moved out here to California, my husband got a job with the with the bus company, and then after that we moved out here to California, I mean sorry, to .........
INT: Again please.
TERRY: When we moved out here to California, he got himself a job in LA, driving the bus, and then after that we moved out here -
INT: Say, "my husband".
TERRY: When we came out here to LA, my husband got a job with the bus company; and then after that, then after that we turned around and we moved out here, into ......... and my husband got a job with the police department. And I got a job with Hughes Aircraft; and he worked there for many years, and we, and then he retired, and then I retired.