Published on January 19, 2016
1. Jake Shannon Interviews Gene "Judo" LeBell Gene LeBell: Halfway back, we stopped at this eating place. It was really great. They used to make home cooking—mom’s home cooking. And they had big, fluffy biscuits. They used to make hamburger steaks—big, round hamburger steaks with baked potatoes and garden fresh vegetables. I mean, after wrestling, you stop in this town. It was not expensive and they had the best soups that you ever tasted. Hunks of meat in them. I go in and I’m sitting on a stool. Two of the guys that were in the preliminaries are there, and they nod—it’s on television that the heels and the babyfaces don’t talk to each other. And so they’re looking. It’s raining hard. The door swings open, and here comes a guy all full of mud in a suit. And it’s Vic. He comes and sits at a stool, right next to me, mud all over his body. I’m thinking, Oh, God. I screwed him up, because I couldn’t take a swerve. I'm a jerk. I’ll never do it again. What can I do to do the right thing? And so I’m looking at him. He takes his time. The gal comes up and said, “What do you want to eat?” Now, you’ve got to see. All around the top are these different signs, “Jesus Loves You,” and all those very religious things. He’s there, and he said, “Wah!” [Makes whining noise] I’m trying to help him out. He wants some soup. And he finally said, “Soup!” Jake Shannon: [Laughing] Gene LeBell: He tries to pick up this big spoon and to eat the soup. He can’t pick it up. And he’s trying, and he starts to have hysterics. He can’t pick up the spoon. He begins to try to pick up the bowl, and he’s still part of it. And she said, “Wait a minute.” I think he’s working, so I didn’t want to take a chance. I said, “Excuse me, lady. I’ll feed him.” And she pinched me on the forearm, and it hurt! And she said, “There but for the grace of God go you!” Jake Shannon: [Laughing] Gene LeBell: So, she feeds him the bowl, and it’s going down his face. I mean, it’s all over the place. I really felt like I did something. And God forgive me; you’ve got to see it in person. And then he said, “Ah, ah, ah. Hahhh! How much? How much? “How-oww much?” She said, “Twenty-five cents.” It’s a big bowl of soup. I mean, it’s a dinner in itself. He’s reaching in his pocket. I’m reaching in my pocket, because I’m going to pay for it. I start to get close, and she doesn’t look at me. She looks at him in the eye, and shoves my arm away. “Get out of here.” And he finally goes into this thing where you keep your watches and a double-breasted suit. And he pulls out a quarter: a muddy, dirty, old, wet quarter. He’s looking at it really close to make sure it’s a quarter, not a nickel. Then she’s reaching her hand out, shaking, to grab it. He flips it in the air, and grabs it, and slams it on the counter there, and said, “That’s the best damn service I’ve ever had.” And I fell over off the chair, because it had no back on it. I hit my head and hurt myself. And the wrestlers thought I was just working. I said, “Oh, my God—he’s alive!” I can’t explain it. I’m in my twenties. What did I know? Early twenties. Off he goes, out the door. Page 1 of 1 Jake Shannon of ScientificWrestling.com interviews Gene "Judo" LeBell about life as a catch-as-catch-can wrestler in the mid-twentieth century. Mr. Shannon interviewed several famous catch-as-catch-can wrestlers. The interviews were published in the book "Say Uncle! Catch-As-Catch-Can Wrestling and the Roots of Ultimate Fighting, Pro Wrestling & Modern Grappling."
2. Customer Service in the 21st Century by Jane Smith I am standing there with the bags, and literally had a moment of insanity thinking, You know, if she turned on me with my travel schedule, it would be weeks before they would find my body. No one will be asking, “Where’d Jane go? I don’t know. She’s in Chicago, or something. Eh, I’m not clear.” I turn around. The driver’s side door is hanging from the top hinge, with its bottom corner on the ground of my garage. I call the dealership. I said, “Driver door. Fell off.” And no lie (my apologies to anybody from the South, but this is how this guy sounded) he actually said to me, “Well, can ya drahv et?” I had that moment where I was thinking, Well, I could ... “No, I can’t drive it! The door fell off!” He said, “Well, I guess we’re gonna hafta come git it.” I replied, “Well, I guess you are!” It takes them two days to send a tow truck to come get the car. They tell me it will take a week to get the car done. Of course, it’s not done on time. I don't see the car for probably three and one-half weeks. Now, every time I drive through a car wash, I have to wear rain gear because it leaks inside the door. A couple of months after that, I am sitting at my desk. The phone rings. I pick up the phone. "Jane Smith.” A woman says, “Yes, Ms. Smith, do you have a few moments? You’ve been randomly selected for a customer satisfaction survey.” “No, no, no. The question is do ... you ... have ... a few moments?” I grabbed a cup of coffee, put my feet up, and had car therapy. I chitchatted with this gal for about twenty minutes. I talked about the dealership, and the glue, and the doohickey, and the helmet I had to get. At the end, I said, “Well, that’s about it. Hello? Hello?” She said, “Yes. I’m still here, and I’m so sorry.” I said, “No, that’s okay. This is like purging. This is great. I feel so much better. Thank you.” She said, “Well, no, that’s not it. I have a bit of a problem.” I said, “Oh?” She continued. “Well, we only have little boxes we can check.” And I started my mantra. It’s not her fault. It’s not her fault. It’s not her fault. I said, “Well, let me ask you this. Is there like a really, really angry box?“ Page 1 of 1 This is part of a speech given by a prominent organizational consultant. Both the title of the speech and name of the speaker have been changed for privacy.
3. Clayton Perry Interviews Roscoe Brown Clayton Perry: Long before you became a Tuskegee Airman, at what point in your childhood did you become interested in aviation? Roscoe Brown: At that time aviation was very new, and Charles Lindbergh had flown across the Atlantic Ocean. When I was a kid about six years old, my parents took me to the Smithsonian Institution to look at the Spirit of St. Louis plane, and I became interested in aviation. Aviation was only about thirty years old when Lindbergh flew across the ocean. During the 1930s, they had air races. Many of us made airplane models, and we flew models of World War II planes and racing planes. Many of us wanted to be pilots; but because of the racism and the segregation, we didn’t have the opportunity. I grew up in Washington, D.C., which was a segregated city, and we went to all-black schools. That opportunity didn’t come until the beginning of World War II when they started the Tuskegee Airmen. Clayton Perry: Before joining the Air Force, you attended Springfield College. What was your area of study? Roscoe Brown: Springfield College was an integrated college. There were sixteen blacks out of about 650 students. I ended up being the valedictorian of my class. I majored in health and physical education, which is now known as sports medicine. I had a triple major in chemistry and premedical studies. When I came back from the service I went for my PhD, which I got in the field of exercise physiology and sports medicine. Clayton Perry: When you arrived at Tuskegee, what was your initial impression of Alabama? Roscoe Brown: Well, as you know, the Southern part of the country was racially segregated, and the segregation was very brutal in some instances and very demeaning in other instances. You couldn’t go to restaurants. You couldn’t go to theatres. That was the law of the land in the Southern part of the country, and we couldn’t do anything about it. The reason they picked Tuskegee is that there was a famous college there (Tuskegee Institute) which was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881. They had a substantial number of black professionals: doctors, lawyers, and professors. That environment was a positive environment. In addition, following the stupidity of segregation, the military spent a million dollars to build a separate air base to train the Tuskegee Airmen. The pilots that trained us were white pilots, most of who really believed that we could learn to fly. The ones who didn’t were eventually transferred. So, we had some good instruction and some good support, and it’s because of that support, our own energy, and our own desire to be the best we could be that we ended up to be as good we were. Page 1 of 1 Clayton Perry, a prolific interviewer of cultural and historical icons, interviews Roscoe Brown of the Tuskegee Airmen.
4. Interview with Mary Smith (Class of 1973) [00:18:02] ...if I can work in the dish room; I can surely, you know, stand up and perform the solo here and, you know, do all of those things equally well and that they're all important. So, that was my first real live experience of saying and under-, and living that there's no task in the arts that's too big or too small for me to consider and for me to do. So, that was my first real live experience of saying and under-, and living that there's no task in the arts that's too big or too small for me to consider and for me to do. [00:18:52] Gosh, where do I even begin? I, okay. So I'll begin… And this is not in order of preference, so please know, um… [00:19:00] I would have to begin with the Lamberts because they, um, were not only my precalculus and, um, and trig teachers, but they also were my host family for my first, um, few months of being there, and not only creating a home away from home, but also teaching us the, um, that the value of downtime and the value of creative downtime. So, uh, you know, our time(s) in their home was, you know, we would make dinner. But in addition to that, we're, you know, doing math-like things. Fun math things. Math puzzles and such. [00:19:42] Um, the Lamberts were a very large influence, you know, on me. I'd also have to say, uh, Mr. Wallace, who was my calculus teacher with, you know, the patience of Job, and everything that comes with that. I mean, he was really a really wonderful, wonderful person. The (clears throat)… [00:20:05] The other faculty member I'd have to name that was really just life changing, um, was Peter Jones. And, I, I, can't begin to tell… He was someone who really taught me the value of critical thinking and that there was no, there's no opinion in literature that is, um, not worthy of discussing. And, you know, everything he asked me to read I read, and we talked about it (clears throat)… Sorry, I'm having these voice problems. I'll try it again. [00:20:39] Um, everything that he asked me to read I read. We talked about it. We, you know, his knowledge of everything from pop culture to, I don't know, pre-Shakespeare literature, it's, it's, he was an incredible influence on my life and the way that I look at literature. I mean, I'm to this day… I'm in this job fifty hours a week. I have two children. A husband. And I'm in a book club, and we read on average 500- page novels every month. And myself and all of these mothers. And I would not be as passionate about it had I not had him as a teacher. That I know for sure. [00:21:18] I had an understanding of what I had left to complete high school, like just what were the fundamentals that I needed to complete high school, and I didn't think that I would have to give up the academics, because I was in a kind of academically-challenged high school in Emerald City. I went to the same high school as Mary Politico did. So it wasn't like I went to a "slacker" high school, either. So, I knew I didn't have to give that up or I wasn't giving that up, coming to School A. I just didn't know that all of the instructors would be like my honors biology and honors chemistry classes. Page 1 of 1 A transcript with time stamps capturing every utterance of the speaker. This format was designed to help a video production company extract short clips from hours of raw footage. Edited for privacy.
5. Klaus Bravenboer Reads Dr. Seuss's "Zode in the Road" I've just come across a wonderful poem by Dr. Seuss (the author of children’s books). It has brought me much joy, and I'd like to share it with you now. It’s called “Zode in the Road.” Did I ever tell you about the young Zode, who came to two signs at the fork in the road? One said to Place One, and the other, Place Two So the Zode had to make up his mind what to do. Well, the Zode scratched his head, and his chin, and his pants, And he said to himself, I'll be taking a chance If I go to Place One, now that place may be hot! And so, how do I know if I'll like it or not? On the other hand, though, I'll be sort of a fool If I go to Place Two and I find it too cool. In that case, I may catch a chill and turn blue! So maybe Place One is the best, not Place Two But then again, what if Place One is too high? I may catch a terrible earache and die! So Place Two may be best. On the other hand, though… What might happen to me if Place Two is too low? I might get some very strange pain in my toe! So Place One might be best, and he started to go, Then he stopped and he said, On the other hand, though… On the other hand… other hand… other hand though… And for 36 hours and a half, that poor Zode Made starts and made stops at the fork in the road. Saying, Don't take a chance. No! You may not be right. Then he got an idea that was wonderfully bright! Play safe, cried the Zode. I'll play safe. I'm no dunce! I'll simply start out from both places at once! And that's how the Zode, who could not take a chance Got no place at all with a split in his pants… Page 1 of 1 Klaus "Caveman Klaus" Bravenboer, a British life coach, reads Dr. Seuss's "Zode in the Road" at the end of a video he recorded.