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Interview with John Danylyk, January 15, 2008 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with John Danylyk, January 15, 2008
January 15, 2008
Interview with John Danylyk, president of the Friends of the New Hanover County Library, who discusses his career with the CIA's Office of Economic Research and his work to improve the NHC Library system.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Danylyk, John Interviewer: Jones, Carroll Date of Interview: 1/15/2008 Series: SENC Notables Length 100 minutes

Jones: Tuesday January 15th, 2008. I'm Carroll Jones with Chris Malpass and we're with the Randall Library special collections oral history program. Our special guest this morning is John Danlyk, president of the Friends of the New Hanover County Library and John has had an interesting career in Washington DC which I am not going to attempt to even touch on, we'll let him talk about it. But for the time being let's say good morning to you John, thanks for coming and tell us a little bit about yourself. Let's go back to where you were from.

Danylyk: Okay, well, originally I was from Cleveland, Ohio and actually I was born on January, 19th, 1940, there was a blizzard, 10 degrees below zero and I was born at home, the doctor actually came to the house because they couldn't make it to the hospital. I was born in the east side of Cleveland, grew up on the south side of Cleveland and then we moved out to Brooklyn Village when I was 10 years old. But that's where I was from originally but more recently I was from Northern Virginia, my wife Suzanne and I came down here in January of 2005. I like to joke that our daughter absconded with our grandchildren and we naturally had to follow them despite all the best advice.

Jones: So that's what you did, you came to be with the kids?

Danylyk: Came to be with the kids, the best advice of the retirement seminars say "Don't follow your children" but, you know, c'est la vie and it's a decision we've never regretted and basically when we came down from Washington I retired from the Department of State in November of 2002. Wrapping up 37 years in economic intelligence.

Jones: When you told me that I started to question you, I thought no, this sounds too good, we'll save it. Tell us what economic intelligence is, I mean, it doesn't, I mean, it means more than just balancing your checkbook.

Danylyk: It's really a lot of fun, I thoroughly enjoyed my career, I started in 1965 at the Central Intelligence Agency in what was first called the Office of Research and Reports and within a matter of months it was reorganized into the Office of Economic Research and the Office of something or other, else that was but I remained with the Office of Economic Research and--

Jones: And the Secret Service?

Danylyk: No, at the CIA, Central Intelligence Agency.

Jones: Central Intelligence. In Langley?

Danylyk: In Langley, my two employers during my professional career had been the CIA from 1965 until 1981 although I went on detail to the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research in the summer of 1979 and then they decided they wanted to keep me there and I rather liked what I was doing, I was doing, I was babysitting a job, the fellow that had, whose division I took, wanted to do deeper research which you can do at CIA's Office of Economic Research and so I was asked to babysit his job for a year where I'm non reimbursable detail, in other words Department of State continued to pay my friend and CIA continued to pay me even though I was working at the Department of State. And the name of the division that I took over from him was called The Communist Economic Relations Division.

Jones: Wait a minute now. Go ahead. Now, let's see. Communists economics?

Danylyk: Communists economics.

Jones: Division.

Danylyk: Relations division.

Jones: Economic relations.

Danylyk: Everything in the Department of State was always relations, you know, so you stick relations in there some and you got it okay.

Jones: Explain what that was.

Danylyk: Okay basically we prepared economic analysis in primarily political economic analysis based on all source intelligence which means what you read in the daily newspaper, what you hear on radio, TV, from the foreign press, you know, everything from the unclassified level up to the highest level of classification which would be of, you know, your NSA intercepts, CIA clandestine service reports, State Department traffic from the embassy's around the world. Work that our colleagues in other intelligence community agencies would be doing and we've kind of pulled it all together and we would write analyses on things pertaining to issues that our policy makers had on their agenda or things that there would soon be on their agenda. Always the notion was premonitory intelligence, you know, looking down the road, what do our policy makers need to know and it was a lot of fun because we call always tell them the unvarnished truth. That was a great thing about working in intelligence is that we never had a political axe to grind. A lot of people these days think that, you know, they're cooking the intelligence or whatever but I think they're not giving them the analysts a fair shake on that, it's always been, it's always been nice. That doesn't mean to say that some people don't have ideas that they wanna push but the vetting process and everything else is spectacular.

Jones: This is, this whole thing could be just one interview itself because, all right, let me ask you this, why do you feel in today's world the general public, most of whom probably don't read newspapers anymore, they read online or they read blogs, they may listen to the radio, I don't know, but we have not gotten-- we're brainwashed to believe that what we get out of Washington is not the truth. How much of what you were involved in, once it got to the public was truthful or did you just talk among yourselves and have somebody else interpret?

Danylyk: We, let's put it this way, we strove to produce the truth because it would always redound on us if we didn't and the last thing that anybody, whatever you're employed as, the last thing you wanna do is have your boss be surprised and, you know, things will always come in from left field, right field, behind home plate, whatever, I'm using the sports analogy and, you know, you always do the best that you possibly can in terms of presenting the facts as they're available and the facts aren't always all that clear and so there's a certain amount of interpretation that has to go into it too.

Jones: But you were presenting facts to people on your level who had a need to know and a right to know?

Danylyk: Mmm-hmm. Correct and my level and the higher and higher. I had a lot of fun, I was able to deal with some very, very interesting people in the world and it was kinda neat.

Jones: How about on the international side, did you co-op or deal with those outside?

Danylyk: Yeah, when I was at the Department of State I basically led the US Delegation to the Economics Committee that met at, you know, the NATO Economics Committee in Brussels and I would go there typically once a year, sometimes twice a year. Often times I would send one of my colleagues because we like to share our limited travel budget and it's, you know, that's one of the perks, getting in.

Jones: What did you call this committee?

Danylyk: The NATO Economics Committee.

Jones: So you were working with those people?

Danylyk: Right and typically it would be the intelligence services of the NATO countries and the thing that was really amazing after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, some of the Czechs and the Poles became extremely active in these committees in terms of contributing. Quite often the producers of papers would be the US Delegation and the British Delegation, the German Delegation to a little bit, the French Delegation once in a while and that reflected really the staffing. I mean we had, we threw more resources at these issues than a lot of these countries did. But some of the smaller countries like the Dutch, extremely perceptive people, I mean by and large these were just great people to work with and the fun of it was afterwards we'd go pub hopping with the Brits leading the way, they knew where all the pubs were in Brussels, they're amazing places to drink.

Jones: Let's go back a little and lead up to this because this is absolutely fascinating but where did you go to school, what kind of education did you have that prepared you for something like this, did you set out to work in the economic field internationally or was this one of those things where someone said "Come here I wanna talk to you."

Danylyk: Well all my life I wanted to be, I wanted to be in the military and I always wanted to go to West Point and when I finally graduated from Brooklyn High School in 1958, there was no congression and this is a suburb of Cleveland and Cleveland, one suburb to the other, the only way you know you're in a different part of town is that the police cars are different. There's Cleveland Police, Palmer Police, Brooklyn Police, there's no real division it's just one big accomplice so to speak. But I had always wanted to go to West Point my whole life and when I graduate from high school there was no appointment. So I went to the Ohio State University and I was in engineering and I was going to be majoring in engineering/physics. In my sophomore year at Ohio State I suddenly became the recipient of a Congressional Appointment to Annapolis. I thought well okay Annapolis; I went to Great Lakes Naval Base in Waukegan, Illinois and had a full day of physical and mental examinations and whatnot. But then I turned down the appointment because I was at Ohio State-- well I have this fondness, sweetness for redheads and I was dating a redhead up in Cleveland, a very charming young lady and it was tough enough to be away separated just from Columbus to Cleveland okay and the idea of Annapolis and I really knew nothing about Annapolis. Subsequently when I learned about Annapolis I thought, gee maybe I should have. But I turned it down and Anthony Celebrese's son went in my place. Now Tony Celebrese was a former mayor of Cleveland and he was also the first Secretary of Health and Services in the Kennedy Administration I believe and I was told that his son got my appointment after I turned it down. But I never got a thank you note from them, so I don't know, that's sad, sad. But at any rate, making a longer story short I was in the.

Jones: So what class would you have been in at Annapolis?

Danylyk: Well let's see if I got-- when I originally graduated from high school, I graduated from high school in 1958 so that would have been the class of '62 and if I took it later I would have been in the class of-- if I had accepted that appointment I would have been in the class of '63 if my math is still functioning here.

Jones: Okay. Yeah you were too far behind John F.K.

Danylyk: Correct and I managed to avoid a lot of that, although when I-- then my years at Ohio State were interrupted by 2 years, 9 months and 2 days when I was in the Army.

Jones: Okay so you were still part of that draft?

Danylyk: Yeah I was, I had some difficulties at the time and I thought well I may as well just go in the Army. I was supposed to be going to Mexico City College for the winter quarter, they had a program at Ohio State you can go and you could for about the same as it cost to-- for room and board at Ohio State University, you can live in Mexico City, go to Mexico City College and I was going to learn Spanish and learn to play Spanish Guitar and sing Spanish love songs but it didn't go anywhere. I ended up instead enlisting in the Army on December 31st, 1959. Spent my first week at home on Administrative leave which I think is a delightful way to start off in the military. But any rate I was originally selected for the Army Security Agency and--

Jones: You adjusted to that well?

Danylyk: I adjusted to that well and then my first assignment after basic training and whatnot was to go to the Army Language School at Presidio of Monterey in California.

Jones: Well, that's too bad!

Danylyk: Where I studied Russian.

Jones: This was in the Army?

Danylyk: This is in the Army now.

Jones: So wait a minute, it was Army Security?

Danylyk: Army Security Agency.

Jones: Agency.

Danylyk: Yeah, I understand their motto was "We won't fight and you can't make us." The idea is that it's a lot of fun.

Jones: Okay so then you went to the Presidio and studied...?

Danylyk: Russian.

Jones: Russian.

Danylyk: I was in a 9 month translator's course but one third of the way through I got talked into, see, I still wanted to go to West Point at this time and I was feeling--

Jones: How old were you at this point?

Danylyk: Well 1959, I was 19 years old, 1959, 19 years old. Well I was 20, I was 20 at this point, yeah, I guess we're in 1960 now, and it's always a plum in a Commandant's cap to send somebody off to the Academy and he selected me to be their candidate to go to the Academy, another way of going in and-- but doing it that way, one had to go to the Military Prep School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and so I happily went along with the program. Sometimes I think I just... happily bouncing around through life.

Jones: You had no strings.

Danylyk: No strings attached.

Jones: So you were footloose and fancy free in just about everything.

Danylyk: Absolutely and so I ended up at Fort Belvoir and that was the most horrible place. The guys got up at like five o'clock.

Jones: It's an engineering.

Danylyk: Yeah Fort Belvoir's the engineer center training regiment on south post, north post is the home of the combat engineers and the military prep school was on north post. But the idea of the regimented life. If I were a little bit younger maybe I could have fit into it but a couple of years can make a difference. But the saddest part about the military prep school was that they were doing nothing but reviewing high school math and English, preparing kids who got congressional appointments, you know, the regular way but their high school grades weren't really up to par.

Jones: That's amazing; I didn't realize that they were even taken.

Danylyk: That's what the military prep school was for, preparing you for-- like I say review of high school math and English and at this time I'd been in an engineering curriculum, I was through integral calculus, I had proficient most of freshman English at Ohio State, which I got a proficiency credit for and I thought what am I doing here and so now at the time the Army had a policy that if you made a bad choice, you can go back to your previous assignment, you pay for the transportation yourself, time lost comes out of your annual leave. And so I said okay I'll bite the bullet, I'll go back to the Army Language School, that's really wonderful there, they had civilian KPs, it was fantastic and but at that particular time Congress was doing a lot of investigating of extravagant spending on military posts. At Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio for example a General there, the commanding General had done his office in real walnut, I think the memory goes. So the folks at Fort Belvoir didn't want to bring any attention so I was stuck there at the home of the combat engineers and then walking around miserable now for a while. Then I heard music, music is one of my passions and it was coming from the 75th Army band. Now in my youth I was a jazz drummer, I never, in high school I was a jock. In high school I was basically a jock, I was an academic and a jock. In fact I was salutatorian of my class, I would have been valedictorian except that every time I made a wise comment, my grade would drop a little bit and my good friend Tom McCarty who was very well behaved, beat me out by a couple of tenths of a point. It's the problem with these lovely girls around you, you know, they were so distracting. At any rate though.

Jones: Are you a bad influence on your grandkids?

Danylyk: Absolutely not, I'm a wonderful influence, they're learning from all my mistakes. They're learning from my mistakes. But well in high school we had a great musician Kenny Offmute [ph?] who played piano, also played accordion like Art Van Damme, if you're familiar with Art Van Damme, Jazz accordionist. But our group was piano based vibes, drums and occasional reed man I was even a member of local number 4, the American Federation of Musicians out at Cleveland, Ohio so we could play gigs. We didn't play any funerals, I didn't play funeral until in the Army band but we'd play weddings, bar mitzvahs at the country club, whatever it was, we always had a good time and always had money in our pockets. It was really great if you're in high school, the best thing to be is a working musician because you always have a little extra spending money. At any rate I heard this music coming out of the 75th Army band, so I walked in, auditioned and got accepted. But I had never marched with a drum in my life and so in the marching band I would crash cymbals, in concert band I would play bells or crash cymbals or whatever it was and then we also had a dance band and we had obligatory gigs that we had to play. Once a week we'd have to play a dance at the service club on post, once a month a dance at the USO on Lafayette Square, it used to be right on Lafayette Square in DC and then we were free to play anything else we wanted to play and while I was in the Army band I had so much spare time, I was actually a full time student at night at George Washington University. I was getting back to Russian, I was taking some business administration course, I was doing a little, but I was carrying 12 semester hours at night at George Washington University, which was a lot of fun.

Jones: And right down town.

Danylyk: And right down town, yeah it was very, very nice and but at any rate that's my Army life as you could see is kind of varied.

Jones: Where did you get a degree from, are you through, had you gone onto some more colleges and stuff?

Danylyk: Well I also took some courses from University of Maryland while I was in the Army, they offered courses at-- actually right outside of-- it's now called Reagan International Airport, that airport right there they have some classes in there and that's where I actually had my first economics course was there.

Jones: At the University of Maryland?

Danylyk: At University of Maryland, Dr. Poppy, an Austrian, very brilliant man and it was kinda fun, I kind of liked it and so when it was time for me to get out of the Army, in fact I got an 89 day early release and I joke I was in the Army for 2 years, 9 months and 2 days, that was the 89 day early release and the Army would give you an early release if you're going back to school and like get on the semester system and what not. But Ohio State as you might know is on the quarter system, so there was no reason for me to get an early release because I could have gone back winter quarter and I had to search through that catalogue for some course that was a 2 year sequence that if I didn't get into it then I couldn't get out of it at all and in 1962, the Ohio State catalogue was about that thick. The only course that met those requirements was Advanced ROTC, so I wrote this beautiful little story about how I always wanted to be an officer. I joked that off. In the Army I learned the fine art of BS but so I wrote this up and assigned to this one company on north post at the time and the tenant there, he and I were really good friends and he said "John, whatever you do on your spare time is your own business." But anyway that got the 89 day early release and I went back to Ohio State University and at this time I didn't wanna be an engineer anymore and I rather liked economics and I also rather liked Russian and Slavic literature, I got interested in that. So I was.

Jones: What nationality are you?

Danylyk: Ukrainian, my grandfather on my father's side came over and 1905 and on my mother's side they came over a little earlier I believe. I'm Ukrainian on my father's side and Ruthinian or Cuthapathianrose on my mother's side.

Jones: Let me interrupt you and ask a good question.

Danylyk: Andy Warhol was a Ruthinian in case you're wondering what a Ruthinian is.

Jones: Yeah right, probably would love beer cans and Coke cans. My understanding is Russia, when you speak of Russian or anybody says Russian, they have so many dialects. Is the accepted Russian language just called Russian?

Danylyk: Yes but like.

Jones: I have a friend from Ukraine.

Danylyk: Ukrainian is entirely different.

Jones: That's quite a dialect; she was criticizing the way she spoke.

Danylyk: It's not a dialect, it's language, it's a language like Portuguese is to French and Polish is a language, Slovak is a language, Slovenian is a language, Belarusian is a language although, what was that last-- in fact I think he's probably still Prime Minister of Belarus, what it his name but when he took over, most of the-- after the Soviet Union imploded, these folks found their nationality but Lukas Schenko [ph] I think his name was, he continued to speak Russian. He said "Russian's good enough for me," even though he was a Belarusian.

Jones: So when you say you took Russian, it was just Russian?

Danylyk: It was Russian, it was Russian. As a matter of fact I was so proud of when I was at the Army Language School, they also had a student chorus there and I was in the student chorus and the chorus before us had recorded some albums of, you know, the Russian songs and so I brought 'em back to my grandfather and he would listen to 'em and when they were, when it was religious music, he listened to it. But then when it got into Guidavide [ph?] he says "This is Russian, I don't wanna hear it." People are like that.

Jones: So in communicating with people in Russia they must speak the same and foreigners and you would be considered as a foreigner.

Danylyk: Well during the Soviet period there was the great russification going on but the other languages, the common language spoken was Russian. A number of people did know English and if they found that you were an English speaking person they'd like to practice with you.

Jones: I didn't wanna digress too much it's just that this was for clarification for people listening to you really. So anyway now we're back to you're taking Russian.

Danylyk: Yeah and so at any rate I enrolled in Advanced ROTC and there I was at Ohio State University with a double major in-- I was majoring in economics in the college of Commerce Administration and Slavic literature in the College of Arts and Sciences. Now at Ohio State you can major in economics in either the college of Arts and Sciences or Commerce. The difference being if you went the route I did you had a basic core of business courses as well, basic business law and a number of things like that and accounting and things of that nature. But then when I was hanging out in the Slavic Department I notice on the bulletin board that they were beginning to offer Polish and it was going to be a two year program and they didn't repeat anything along the way and I thought this is fantastic. So I immediately dropped Advanced ROTC and added Polish, so I met my requirements. I was gonna do what I had to do, you know, I had agreed to something and but then I met the thing and I began my-- well that's my first little bit into Polish and after a while, after about into my second year back from the Army I decided that pursuing two bachelor's degrees, you know, the two things was two BSs was too much BS, pardon my humor here, and I decided I'd rather spend that additional year in graduate school.

Jones: What were your two degrees in?

Danylyk: Well they would have been.

Jones: They would have been, okay.

Danylyk: I would have had a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in economics and a Bachelor of Science, I mean, I'm sorry, Bachelor of Arts in Slavic Language and Literature. That would have been my two degrees.

Jones: But you go to graduate school, what was your...?

Danylyk: I wanted to just major in economics and I spent that additional year in grad school and I completed everything for my masters except the master's thesis which I never completed and the moral of the story for anybody who listens to this, finish your master's thesis. Making a long story short on that end, after I in 1965 I was employed by CIA, I missed the CIA recruiters when they were on campus, but I saw again in the Economics Department there on the bulletin board they had a little thing, CIA was doing recruiting, they're interested in people that had backgrounds in Soviet Economy, east west trade and that sort of thing and that's the area that I kind of gravitated towards. In fact my master's thesis was going to be on east west trade, the history of and where it was going and all that sort of thing. But my god, somebody wants to pay me for what I like to do, you know, that was wonderful and actually that was the only job I ever applied for in my whole life where I, you know, went knocking on a door saying I'd like to go work for you.

Jones: As an economist?

Danylyk: As an economist at CIA. Over spring break, my wife's family lived in Springfield, Virginia, so we visited with them and--

Jones: When were you married?

Danylyk: I was married, we got married on May 11th, 1963, '63, it seems like it was yesterday; I can't really remember that far back.

Jones: Aren't you nice, you can't remember the date but it seems like it was yesterday.

Danylyk: It just seems like, I don't know. No, May 29th, May 11th is my wife's birthday, I knew it comes to the fore immediately.

Jones: Now I'll ask you a question, it's not necessary. While you are busy taking all these courses, preparing yourself for multi years doing wondrous things down the road, was your wife working or was she in school?

Danylyk: Well actually I met my wife when I was at Fort Belvoir, she had a summer job at a Howard Johnsons, she went to Madison College in Virginia and she had a summer job at Howard Johnsons right in Franconia in Springfield area and at this particular time I was in the US Army band and we had so much spare time we just hung-- that Howard Johnsons was one of our favorite watering holes. There wasn't really a lot at that particular time.

Jones: Not in Springfield, or even Northern Virginia at that time.

Danylyk: Or even Northern Virginia at that time there wasn't really much of anything.

Jones: There was a big Howard Johnsons down there as you know over the 14th Street Bridge or before, you know.

Danylyk: And finding anything open at night to eat.

Jones: Of course it was a dry state at that time, little--

Danylyk: True, but that wouldn't-- people still eat and, you know, but at any rate we met and things developed and she's a redhead, she met the criteria and but at any rate after I got out of the Army her-- let's see I got out of the Army in 1962 and we got married in 1963 and then she supported me for a while, while she was working at a bank in Columbus, Ohio and for while until I finished school and then we moved off back to Washington, to Northern Virginia.

Jones: Yeah, so all right. So you answered the call from the CIA recruiters?

Danylyk: Yeah I went-- they had this announcement on the bulletin board and so they had a personnel office across from the Mayflower Hotel on Connecticut Avenue.

Jones: Everybody knew where they were! They were so "secret."

Danylyk: So I just walked in and told 'em about what I was applying for, they sat me down, they had like a little exam with like essay questions and things of this nature and then had interviews and I told 'em at that particular time, I said, "You know I'm not the most punctual person in the world, I don't like getting up in the morning but you're going to get more than an honest 8 hours day out of me." So I was up front with them right from the beginning, I told you before, a diller, a dollar, the ten o'clock scholar and, well, if we-- whatever but so I had the interview, later I got-- they sent me a letter and they were interested and they wanted me to--

Jones: Take a lie detector test.

Danylyk: Not, not yet, not yet. They wanted me to interview with more on a sub stent level with the folks who I would actually be working for and Gertrude Schroeder who since became Gertrude Schroeder-Greenslade and Art Ashbrook were the two people that interviewed me. Gertrude ended up teaching Russian, Soviet Russian economics at the University of Virginia, and when our daughter Tanya went to school she did her undergraduate work at University of Virginia majoring in international relations and I said, "Tanya, if you're there and Gertrude is there, it'll be a mortal sin not to take one of her courses." But of course to take her courses you had to have the core courses in economics first, you know, kinda 101, 102, 103. So she dutifully did that to take Gertrude's courses and Gertrude always said when she bumps in with me, she said "How's Tanya doing," you know, so just a lovely lady, and Art Ashbrook was a real China scholar, they were the division chiefs of the China Division and the Soviet Division respectively. And I--

Jones: Where did you work at that time; you were hired, right?

Danylyk: I was hired.

Jones: Did you work for both of them?

Danylyk: No I ended up--

Jones: Just for Gertrude?

Danylyk: Well I worked for the Branch Chief, I worked for the Branch Chief but as in the Soviet side and was in what they actually had was a trade and transportation branch and it was a very large branch. It must have had about 12 analysts in it and they had analysts working on Soviet foreign trade, on East European foreign trade, on Soviet transportation, one East European transportation. On trade controls because that was during the period when you did not want to license high technology to Soviet Union and you fought with your allies to keep them from exporting high technology to, you know, and there are a variety of trade controls and things. So all of these trade and transportation functions were concentrated in this one branch dealing with the USSR and Eastern Europe and my first job was basically working Soviet trade with Eastern Europe, that was my first assignment.

Jones: Well that was right up your alley.

Danylyk: That was right up my-- I said I was getting paid for what I liked to do, I don't know what could be better.

Jones: Nothing.

Danylyk: And the nicest thing about it is they started me off as a GS9 on the assumption that I would-- I had completed all the requirements for master's degree and to start as a 9 you had to have a master's degree but they started me as that.

Jones: So they trusted you?

Danylyk: They trusted me and even though I never got it, they never took it away from me but that's a whole different story.

Jones: How long were you there?

Danylyk: I started in October of 1965 and in June of 1979 I went on detail to the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research that I alluded to before.

Jones: So '65 to '79.

Danylyk: But I was still a CIA employee until I resigned from the agency in I think it was January or February of 1981 to become a permanent employee of the Department of State.

Jones: So, but, well, still, I guess you were paid by CIA.

Danylyk: Yes I was paid by-- up until that time.

Jones: You were assigned to what now? I want to get that right.

Danylyk: The--

Jones: This is for the abstract.

Danylyk: The abstract?

Jones: I mean they're going to listen and watch, but I've got to do the abstract first.

Danylyk: The Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and within the Bureau of Intelligence and Research I was in the Office of Economic Analysis and I was babysitting a division called the Communist Economic Relations Division which was size 3. As the Division Chief I did all analysis on the Soviet Union, internal, the Soviet internal economy as well as the Soviet external economic relations. I had a foreign service officer working for me who did the East European countries and I had another civil servant who was working on China and so we did the USSR, Eastern Europe and China.

Jones: Now this information you got, now I'm not gonna go into a lot of this because--

Danylyk: I'd have to shoot myself.

Jones: That's right, you'd have to kill yourself, kill me first and then kill yourself.

Danylyk: And I'm too young and you're too sweet.

Jones: Your information that you were receiving obviously came through sources that the Departments and the Agency had all over the world, I guess.

Danylyk: Correct.

Jones: So was there a filtering system before it would get to you or did you get the raw material?

Danylyk: Raw stuff, whatever was produced it was raw and one of the most amazing things was over this, the time frame that I served how the information was disseminated from a very tedious slow process of hard copy to finally arriving in digital form. So I remember that in the early days, this is before word processors, you know, the fancy word processor was an IBM Selectric typewriter that had the little correction ribbon in it, you know, and the way things changed over the time. But in the very beginning for example our office had I think about 7 secretaries and they had their first task in the morning would be to go down to the mail room in INR and pick up all the material because it was just dumped, just an incredible data dump. Whether it was wire service reports, State Department cables, CIA stuff, it was all just one big amorphous mess and they would sort it out-- well we were within the Office Economic Analysis, we covered the entire world, you know, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Central, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the whole thing. So we had like my division dealt with one part of the world, there was another division the West European Division, there's another division the Africa something, they called it the LDC Division and LDC and raw materials, or something, I forget. But it was broken down geographically so that what these ladies would do would sort it all out on a geographical basis and then it would get dumped to us. You know, fast forward 20 years and entering the digital age the idea is to get out of and what that actually meant is it really slowed down the dissemination of information to you. When you fast forward to the digital age you created your own profile and the information would come in from whether it was press reports, CIA traffic, NSA traffic, State Department traffic, Defense Intelligence Agency traffic, whatever it was, it would all come to you on your computer right there.

Jones: You know it's amazing to me having lived there for 28 years in that environment, not the same environment as you of course, what all these agencies basically counter-checking one another, all these intelligence agencies, it is a wonder that the facts were ever gleaned and intelligence was ever able to come together and agree on one single thing, to pass along to those people who were there ready to push a button somewhere.

Danylyk: It was not that difficult, I mean you had--.

Jones: From National Security Agency to Defense Intelligence Agency; do they work together well or is...?

Danylyk: I think so, I think so. The interagency meetings that I attended would-- now they would get together for national intelligence estimates, things of that nature, NIEs, national intelligence studies that was an earlier thing, that was done really very much in depth but that's been superseded over the years. But you would have your various experts representing the individual agencies, they would be brought together by the National Intelligence Officer on this or that, whatever the subject was. Typically we would all assemble in Langley and we would agree on first of all what this-- the National Intelligence Officer is the one who decided the subject that that was his role and then we would get together and work on the outline, where it was gonna go and certain folks would be tasked to write certain portions or certain folks would volunteer to write certain portions. Then the things would be distributed and you would get back to your particular agency and you would vet it through like for example in the Office of Economic Analysis, everything that we did had to be vetted through our political science counterparts to see what the spin was and we'd get a department a state position that we would then take to the table and the arguments were won on the merit of the argument. The final paper and we would typically reach an agreement and those times when you couldn't, we would take a footnote saying like the Secretary of State or takes, you know, what takes issue with this conclusion because and so you would have that. So you would always have the possibility of an agency that disagreed strongly with something and a lot of times you can get around it by traces of words like whether how strongly you believe something or there's an off chance or we just don't know. But, it seems the evidence points in this direction but being honest about, you know, what you know and what you don't know. Because really it's as important to communicate what you don't know as well as what you do know.

Jones: I can imagine.

Danylyk: And now but it's always been a lot of fun.

Jones: How long did you stay in this area, you said that you were loaned from one agency to another, was it always in intelligence, was it always in analysis?

Danylyk: Always in analysis, correct, that's why I say my 37 years career was in economic intelligence, working that and then at Department of State in INR. As the world changed, our portfolios changed a little bit. As a matter of fact the division that I originally inherited was the Communist Economic Relations Division. Then when Communism started declining we reorganized a little bit and I had the Europe, North America Division and I would joke, I covered Europe from Vancouver to Vladivostok the long way around. But I'd have an analyst working on Western Europe and still an analyst working on Eastern Europe. Myself working on-- well actually at this juncture I got help, I had an analyst to work on Soviet External, then I took Soviet Internal.

Jones: Did you ever travel over there?

Danylyk: Oh yeah, my first trip to the Soviet Union was in 1976 and at the time I was at CIA and I had a summer detail, summer TDY, it means temporary duty at our embassy in Moscow in the Economic Section and that was kind of interesting because just there I was, I was gonna be going to Moscow for this job and--

Jones: What time of year was this?

Danylyk: Summer, it was gonna be June 15th to September 15th were the original dates that I was to be there. But in December of the previous year there was-- what was his name now, David, I forget the gentleman's name but I still have Washington Post clippings on it, Satter, David Satter. S-A-T-T-E-R. He was found to be a spy for East German Intelligence and I was theoretically one of his contacts. The way the story evolved was that I was at the time working on well Soviet external trade and finance and one of my portfolios which I've wrote a couple of papers on was Soviet owned banks in the west and at this time David Satter was working for the Atlantic Council, a little think tank in Washington. A lot of the people at Atlantic Council were former State Department, former CIA and whatnot and he was writing something for the Atlantic Council on Soviet activities and the Euro dollar market which was one of my specialties on one of my portfolios. So I was told to okay help him out on an unclassified basis in which I did. Well then it came that this fellow Satter was said to be dropping my name and a colleague of mine's name around town as his contacts at CIA. Around town happened to be, the town happened to be East Berlin where he was doing this name dropping and it was picked up I guess through our contacts elsewhere and making a long story short, the FBI investigated him and whatnot and he was never charged but had to register because there was the foreign something registration act, if you were a foreign lobbyist, Foreign Lobby Registration Act. So to avoid prosecution he had to register as a lobby for East German intelligence. He did that and the very next day he and his Chilean born wife flew to Mexico City, he left the country. So I'm getting ready for my Moscow assignment and I had passports and visas and the folks at the Department of State approved my going, but I had interviews with them because they weren't gonna just let anybody go and sit in their embassy.

Jones: Did your wife have to stay here?

Danylyk: Yes she had to stay, we had two children at that time and it's only 3 months and I said "Did anybody tell the Ambassador about the David Satter affair?" And they said "David Satter affair?" I said "You don't remember?" Well they had a briefing at CIA of all the people that he had contact with at CIA and they had it up on the 7th floor at the CIA and the room that we were in was about maybe 1 1/2 times the size of this room and it was filled with people that this fellow had contact with and they said "Well no but we'll do so." So they sent a cable off and basically the Ambassador was free at his discretion to say that he had an analyst from CIA who had been working at the embassy during the summer.

Jones: But that wasn't unusual though to have someone?

Danylyk: No they typically knew that because I was not undercover, I was on the overt side, I was in the Deputy Directorate for Intelligence as opposed to the Deputy Director for Operations, the DDO.

Jones: Did you work at Langley or did you work for example down on Rosland or...?

Danylyk: No I worked in Langley, at Langley, beautiful place.

Jones: Yeah, it is kinda nice and everybody in the world knows where it is.

Danylyk: Absolutely, in the very beginning they only used to say Bureau of Transportation or something like that or Bureau of Public Roads I think was the only sign that was going into there.

Jones: Yeah well the ones that are in the high rise down at Rosland had some covers for a while until everybody knew where they were, too.

Danylyk: Well one of the things--

Jones: 23rd Street that's where they (inaudible).

Danylyk: I don't know if it's well known but one thing that I was told that, you know, where George Washington Memorial Parkway goes out that parkway was built largely to allow traffic to get to Langley.

Jones: Oh I didn't hear that.

Danylyk: But it also connected eventually with the-- I mean it was part of a bigger plan but that parkway was built long before the beltway was even started.

Jones: Well, we lived in Mt Vernon and then, of course, when Langley was... it was a big secret, whereas it was behind the trees, well, just take the parkway and get your left out there.

Danylyk: If you think logistically you have to have a good highway to allow 5000 people to go to work.

Jones: True, amazing. So you went to the Soviet Union, and you went to Moscow. That must have been sort of like you got the brass ring at that point.

Danylyk: Oh it was wonderful, it was absolutely fabulous and I had a fantastic travel budget, plus it was dirt cheap to travel around the Soviet Union.

Jones: And you were allowed to?

Danylyk: Oh yeah, let's see, I got-- rode the Trans-Sib as far as Irkutsk and then on one side of Lake Baikal then onto Ulan-Ude on the other side of Lake Baikal and flew back. I had a trip, I called that my picnic to Siberia because I traveled with 3 ladies, 3 Americans in a 4 berth thing.

Jones: Any redheads?

Danylyk: No, no redheads, no redheads and basically I was in charge of provisions. I went to the Diplomatic Gastronome beforehand and got hard salamis, hard cheeses, fruictoviovada [ph?], fruit waters, wines, whatnot, and it was my job, when the train made stops, to get off and make sure we had our ice cream and stuff like that. And, when it was time to retire for the day, I exited the cart and the ladies changed into their pajamas and then for me to get in my pajamas, I had to go down to the bathroom at the end of the cart. If you ever rode on a railroad in the Soviet Union, the longer you are on that train, the fouler, the more foul the odor became because--

Jones: Because they couldn't...?

Danylyk: Well they had-- their disinfectant that they used was extremely primitive and it just had a terrible, terrible smell to it. So but you kept the windows open, then you got a lot of soot in, it was kinda fun.

Jones: What was your impression of the Russian people in Moscow, because you could communicate with the people because you spoke the language?

Danylyk: They were basically like people anywhere, you know, Russians really, first of all they love their children, they just absolutely dote on 'em and, like parents anywhere, they're always wanting what's best for them in the way of education and opportunity and things of that nature. And, once you get politics out of the discussion, you know, people tend to-- well some people are still nasty but by and large most people are-- tend to be nice and agreeable. And the other thing that was interesting, in fact this was one of my colleagues there, a gentleman by the name of Igor Belusovich who actually is from the Department of State but he had a temporary assignment in the embassy in the Political Section and I travelled with him through Soviet Central Asia and when he would start a conversation with somebody he'd say "You know I've noticed that just like in the United States when you get out of the big cities and you get out into the countryside, it's a lot easier to talk to people" and that was his icebreaker. But it was absolutely true, like in the big cities, New York or even in DC, people are hustling and bustling and moving around. You get into smaller towns and, you know, what's the hurry and more relaxed and people-- you'll see more smiles on people's faces and whatnot.

Jones: Well, let's stop here a second so we can change tapes.

Danylyk: Okay.

(tape change)

Jones: It's Tuesday, December, excuse me, January 15th. This is tape 2, and our guest is John Danlyk, and an absolutely fascinating conversation about his TDY to the embassy in Moscow, 1976. John, while we were waiting for the tape to come in, you told me about all the areas that you did manage to go to. Maybe, once again, just reiterate these places, because I couldn't possibly begin to pronounce them correctly.

Danylyk: Okay. No, I wish I'd brought a map with me. I took a, I rode the Trans Siberian railroad, as far as Irkutsk. And we spent a night at Lake Baikal. The next day, we went on to Ulan-Ude, which is in the Beiret-Mongol region of what was then the Soviet Union, and then we flew back to Moscow. On another trip, several of us flew out to Amati. It was Armata back then, but it's Amati now, in Kyrgyzstan. And then we worked our way back through Frunze-- oh, some of these names now I can't remember, but we went through like Samarkand, Ashgabad. We went to Tajikistan. There was a little archeological dig at Penjikent that was just like a half-hour drive from Samarkand, which-- and I'd always wanted to go and see Tamerlane's tomb, which I managed to do there. Ended up going to Bukhara and Baku, and back to Moscow. Now, a lot of this travel, at least in Kochi where people are doing-- were spending taxpayers' dollars, well first of all, it was dirt cheap to travel in the Soviet Union. Plus, what we were doing is, we're always fact-finding. For example, 1975 had been a disastrous green harvest for the Soviet Union. There was-- importing a lot of grain, and there were food supply problems. There were a lot of meat shortages in the country. And, one of the jobs that we had in the embassy-- and this was something that everybody in the embassy partook of. The economic section was responsible for organizing it. But, it was to make a survey of the availability and the quantities, as well as quality, and also the prices for various staple foods. And we were-- we had these market surveys that we did repeatedly in Moscow, around Moscow. And then, anybody who traveled outside of Moscow was required to fill in one of these reports, as well. And then, how much, you know, bread available, meat available. What did it look like, and what not. And, I recall seeing so many empty meat stalls in the markets, because there just wasn't any meat. Or, what you saw looked, geez, the best thing that could be done would be ground up into dog food or something, from our standards, our perspectives. But, that was the way things were. Now, that was at the-- now that the markets, they were tiered. You had the regular market, then you had the collective markets, where, sometimes, better quality food would be available, at a slightly higher price. So, you would make these-- you would take these kinds of surveys. So, we weren't just, you know, wandering around the Soviet Union. We did have a mission, so to speak.

Jones: That kind of throws out the window the early Communist theory that everybody's going to be equal, I guess, so.

Danylyk: Well, they were, but they had equal access to empty stores is what it amounted to, except for those who were in the apparatus, the oh, what was the word, I forget the word now, Russian word that the special, the party elites. They had special stores that only they can go to.

Jones: I heard that.

Danylyk: The prices were the same prices that would be charged anywhere else, but the goods were there, and they were higher quality. But the prices were still the same, low price. So, it was the Nomenclature. That was the name of the folks that were the Apparatchiks and what not, the Nomenclature, the elite in this classless society that was the '70s.

Jones: To be sent somewhere like this for TDY, was that considered another notch up the ring?

Danylyk: That was aplomb. That was a little reward. it was kind of nice, yeah. And...

Jones: So, that was in 1976. You were, let's see, 19- all right. You were there, in this position for the CIA until 1979, was that it? Not going to Russia.

Danylyk: Not to Russia, no. But, they in my, yeah, my time for actually working in Langley was 1965 to 1979. And then, my place of, where I actually hung my hat, even though I didn't wear a hat, was the Department of State, downtown, 1979 to my retirement in 2002. Although, the first two years of that, in Washington, I was still on CIA's payroll. But, just to round out a little bit of the travel in the Soviet Union, besides going through Soviet Central Asia it seems I also went to Mermansk and Arkhangelsk, and then Minsk and Kiev, and to Leningrad. I made it to Leningrad, as well.

Jones: Is that a beautiful city?

Danylyk: That's a gorgeous city. And one of the...

Jones: Cold.

Danylyk: Well, this was the summer, so, it was nice. So, it was the summer, so it was nice. But, a person, a Soviet citizen who was employed at our Consulate General in Leningrad, had a brother or sister, or somebody, a relative, who was a curator at the Hermitage. And, they arranged for a private tour of the Gold Room for me, which was absolutely wonderful, and seeing the Scythian Gold Collection that they had there.

Jones: Unbelievable. What a treasure.

Danylyk: And then, I realized that there was some symbols that are age-old. One, for example, the notion of a rider on a horse that's, you know, raised up on its hind legs and looking down, the St. George thing, the dragon. That same motif was on the Scythian Gold objects. Just amazing.

Jones: What an opportunity. Oh, you were allowed to take photos of all these things?

Danylyk: Oh, yeah. In fact, the folks at CIA gave me 15 rolls of 36-exposure, 35-millimeter film, and free of charge. And, they processed it free of charge. All I had to do was identify what they were, so they'd make copies for themselves. But, I've got-- in fact, one of my projects that I have to do is, I want to digitalize all of these, and then put them on a DVD with a real nice soundtrack in the back.

Jones: Oh, that would be terrific.

Danylyk: I used to have slideshows with a carousel projector. But, boy, technology is so wonderful in the digital age.

Jones: How was it moving to the Department of State then? What were you doing over there?

Danylyk: It was fabulous. It was a lot of-- I keep saying, my job was a lot of fun. And, it really was. It's been truly-- I absolutely enjoyed it.

Jones: You are a lucky man.

Danylyk: And, one of the things that I-- now, at CIA we didn't really have contact with-- things have changed an awful lot at CIA, since the time I was there. But, when I was there, you did not have contact with people from other governments and other-- with people within the intelligence community around town, but not with the embassy sort of, or whatever.

Jones: Right. You weren't on the birthday party list for the embassies.

Danylyk: Yeah, and I inherited. Right, yeah. Like I said, I took over a division called, "The Communist Economic Relations Division." And, I inherited contacts with the East German embassy and the Polish embassy. And, I thought it was my patriotic duty, to have these folks take me out to lunch as often as I could, to help deplete their foreign exchange holdings. And so they would take me out to a restaurant here, a restaurant there, and we'd talk in generalities about things. And, I got very lovely Christmas cards from them. At the time, when the Poles were-- the Poles have always had a soft spot in our hearts. I think this is largely a function of the huge Polish community in Chicago, and therefore, the-- in fact, the two East European countries that had the most, you might say, what's the word-- at any rate a lot of public support for were Yugoslavia and Poland. Yugoslavia, because, you know, Tito long ago tweaked Stalin's nose, and the whole idea of trying to separate East Europeans from Moscow as much as possible, was always part of our policy. And, so, I forget where I was going with this now.

Jones: Yeah, you were just talking about moving over to the State Department in 1979, and, that you were making friends, I guess.

Danylyk: Oh, right. And, they would take me to lunch, and what not. And, they would give me information. Everything was unclassified, the exchange. And, I had to do duly-- because there were rules in place, that anytime I had contact with a member of a Communist nation, I always had to write up a little report afterwards, and it had a regular routing that it went through. So, all these things were on the up and up. But then you get to attend some of their festivities at their embassies, and that's kind of nice.

Jones: Well, this is what I was going to ask you, once you were over at State, I should think that it would be almost sort of a given that you would be on the list for a number of embassies for their national day, the queen's birthday, on and on and on.

Danylyk: Well, there were a number of opportunities. There was the Young-- it's called the Young Diplomats of Washington, or something like that. And, the information was floating around the building. And, if you wanted to attend these things, you could. It's kind of nice. Getting back to my contacts at the East German and Polish embassies, at CIA, I did not have calling cards. But, at the Department of State I did. So, I had one made up, and it was my name, and Chief-- Division Chief, Communist Economic Relations, and what not. And the fellow whose job I was babysitting, never bothered to have cards made up. So, he never gave anything to his East German or Polish contacts. When I did, their jaws literally dropped, because, it was the first time they ever saw the word, "Communist" on a U.S. Government calling card.

Jones: That would make you take another look.

Danylyk: So, it was kind of cute. I liked that.

Jones: Incur your loss right away.

Danylyk: Yes, it was kind of fun. I liked that.

Jones: All right. So, you worked there. I don't know where I got this in my head, but some of the info I got was that you did work at the White House, or for the White House at one time.

Danylyk: Oh, when I was still at CIA, I had a stint-- when I came back from my Moscow TDY, I was on the NID staff. The NID staff, that stands for National Intelligence Daily. The National Intelligence, that office was responsible for preparing that, as well as the President's daily brief. And, there was a CIA briefer for our various cabinet officials, that, when he would go on leave, or wasn't going to be available, he'd ask me to take over some of his briefing assignments. So, I was at one time I would go-- what's his name now? He was our first Secretary of Energy and a Communist now. What is his name? Should have my notes with me. Well he was in the West Wing of the White House, and I briefed him there. I briefed the Secretary of Labor there. I briefed some folks at the Security and Exchange Commission on things in their area. And, these, again, would be all-source, because these folks had the highest classifications. And, I would go around, and I would lay it all out. I will tell a little story about what it was, so on and so forth. And if they wanted to see the materials, I'd pass it across the desk, and then they would give it back to me.

Jones: You were too young in 1979. Well actually, that's when you went to the Department of State.

Danylyk: Yes.

Jones: How long did you work at the Department of State?

Danylyk: I ended up, well, I was on detail June '79, until I think it was January or February of '82. And, I stayed there until November of 2002 when I retired.

Jones: Where were you in '82.

Danylyk: At the Department of State. That's when I transferred permanently. I resigned from the CIA, which is a-- that was a very tough decision to make, because I had a lot of happy things there, you know. But, I joke I traded in the cloak and dagger for the barbed pen.

Jones: So, that was until 1982. You were at the Department of State until 1982.

Danylyk: No, 2002.

Jones: Oh, 2002.

Danylyk: Yeah.

Jones: Okay. I'm glad I asked that. But, that's when you retired.

Danylyk: That's when I retired. And then...

Jones: How does one retire from all of that?

Danylyk: Well, there comes a time when you think, gee, when they, when they...

Jones: The world was changing so quickly. You're not going to be a part of what's really going on?

Danylyk: Yeah, but there's so much still going on, and you get so much-- life is so fantastic, to begin with. And, the idea of-- well, first of all, it was no longer getting to be so much fun, largely because of a software problem, I'll have to say. One of my responsibilities in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research was to prepare the morning briefings for the Deputy Secretary of State for Economics, and for the-- oh wait, the Undersecretary of State for Economics and the Assistant Secretary of State for Economics and Business Affairs. And this again was all-source. And, the program that we had was-- oh, we had a software program that was really horrible, because this stuff is coming in electronically. And we would have this printed package that I would produce late at night, so that it was in their pouch the first thing they arrived in the morning. And, it had all kinds of formatting problems, and it was just miserable. It took about 30 minutes to assemble the materials, and it took about sometimes another 30 to 40 minutes to sometimes two-and-a-half hours to fix it up. After I left, my successor-- we had one analyst who was gifted in many, many ways. And, he'd like to do things that weren't really in his portfolio. But one of them was, he could write software. And, he wrote a beautiful program that my friend, who took over my job, said, John, now the whole thing just takes 45 minutes, from start to finish. So, it was lovely. But making a long story short, I found myself spending more time working on what could have and should have been a clerical function. And it took me away from also doing analyses, because even though I was a supervisor, and I-- well, I supervised anywhere from time-to-time, from three to eight or ten economists. I still had substitute responsibilities for preparing analyses, which was a lot of fun. But, I had less and less time to do that. And, I was getting up in the morning saying, I hate this job. I hate this job. So, then you know that's when it's time to go.

Jones: That's time to go.

Danylyk: That's when it's time to go. And, at that stage, I had, well, with 37 years plus my military, plus my-- I had over two-and-a half-years of accrued sick leave, which it counts towards. I was near the top of...

Jones: Here you were, yeah.

Danylyk: My marginal income and, say, being an economist, my marginal income was so small, in terms of what I was making. I thought, you know, it wasn't worth it anymore. And so, I wanted to do something else, and I decided to retire.

Jones: Now, how long were you retired before you and your wife-- what's her first name?

Danylyk: Suzanne.

Jones: I met her.

Danylyk: Yes. All together.

Jones: I'm sure she is. How long before you moved to Wilmington? And, you just explained, early on, I think before we were on camera, that the reason was because a daughter is here and grandchildren.

Danylyk: Correct. She and her family moved here in late 2003, I think, late 2003, somewhere around that timeframe. And, the only thing we were doing in Washington, basically, I was invited to be a docent at the Library of Congress, which this is how I got involved with the libraries in general.

Jones: I think that sounds familiar.

Danylyk: And, so that was the only thing I was doing. On Wednesday afternoons, I would conduct tours of the Jefferson Building, which is the most beautiful public building in downtown Washington. It's absolutely gorgeous. Italian renaissance on the outside, Beaux Arts on the inside, a fabulous place. And I would lead tours on Wednesday afternoons. And, so that was the only thing really keeping us in Washington. We have a son, Gregory, who's a pharmacist in Delaware, and so, what was to keep us in Washington? And so, we ended up coming down here in Wilmington.

Jones: Do you know anybody else here besides your daughter?

Danylyk: Now I do, quite a few people.

Jones: Well, I know, but at that time?

Danylyk: At that time, no. No, at that time, no.

Jones: So, that was another new adventure.

Danylyk: That was a new adventure. We put our house on the market. And the timing was perfect, because it was a seller's market when we left, and when we got here, it was a buyer's market.

Jones: Where did you live?

Danylyk: We'd lived in Sterling, Virginia in Loudoun County. And, our house sold within three days, or something like that. Then they paid more than we wanted, what we were asking. And, it was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. So, we came down, and we rented an oceanfront condo in Kure Beach, for three months, while we were house hunting.

Jones: I remember you told me that, yeah.

Danylyk: And then, we got a place that backs on Bradley Creek Marsh, which is really very nice. And, we really love that.

Jones: That's nice, too. Well, that's great. So, you dove in looking around for something to become involved in here?

Danylyk: Well, not exactly. I seem to get recruited, though. That's been the story of my life. People say, you want to do this, you want to do that? Hey, yeah. I'll do this.

Jones: Wait a second. You can't be recruited unless you know people.

Danylyk: Well the--

Jones: Or, did you go volunteer for some activities?

Danylyk: Well, first of all, when we came here and naturally our first responsibility or chore mission, whatever-- our mission was to dote on our grandchildren.

Jones: How old were they at that time?

Danylyk: At that-- well, currently. I ain't going to do the math backwards. Currently, they're nine years old and six years old.

Jones: Okay. So, they're were small.

Danylyk: Very, very young, yeah. And, so, we became members of the aquarium and the children's museum, and the arboretum, and Airlie Gardens, and The Cameron, so we can take them around. And, the great thing about these memberships-- now, the children's museum, incidentally-- I've got a bone to pick with them here. When you're with children, sometimes they want to stay a long time, and a lot of times, they get tired, get bored very quickly, and they want to leave. And, the great thing about just the flat fee for a year, was that if they're only going to be there for ten minutes, it doesn't make any difference. And, if they're going to stay longer, that's fabulous. And so at any rate we were in the arboretum, and I was talking with a lady behind the counter. And very few people are from Wilmington. So, okay, "Where are you from? You know. And, it turned out that this one lady that was working in this tool shed, or in the little-- at the arboretum, her father, I think it was, that taught-- was in the engineering faculty at Ohio State University. And, so, we talked about him. I studied engineering, and we talked about-- that's where I learned how to print, because when you're in engineering, drawing is something everybody has to take. And then, if you ever look at blueprints, it looks like the writing could have come from-- the same person could have done it all, because there's a very precise style that they demand. And, so, we're talking, in general, about this and that. Then I just mentioned that, well-- they said, What else are you doing?" And I said, "Well, I'm a volunteer docent at the Library of Congress." And, even when we moved down here I'm now a docent-at-large, so I'll go up on the fifth Saturday of the month, which occurs about four times a year, because I like, I really enjoy that. And so, I can keep doing that.

Jones: You still do that now?

Danylyk: I still do that now. In fact, I'm in the process of putting together a PowerPoint presentation of a, let's see, a little virtual tour of the Library of Congress, that I'm going to be doing up at Plantation Village in February. And, the thing that got me started on this was, when I was distributing publicity for the book sale of the Friends of the Library book sale, Pat Burn, she's the librarian at St. Mark Catholic School, got very interested and said, "Could you give a presentation, talk about the Library of Congress to my students? And, I said, well, I could talk about it. But, you can't-- the tour itself isn't talking so much as pointing out and seeing. So, we have to have something. So, I ended up saying, "Well, I could put together a slideshow." And, so that's what I'm in the process of doing. And I almost have it wrapped up.

Jones: How did you get involved with, or was just a sequence of events and inevitability, or how did you get involved with the new Hanover County Library?

Danylyk: Well, at the Arboretum, the lady I was talking to said, when she found out that I had this association with the Library of Congress, she said, "Well, would you be interested in really being with the Friends, or are you interested in being a Board member with the Friends of the Library?" And, I said, "Well, what does that entail?" And, she said, "Because the president of the Friends is...," she's sharing that, that was Shay Petillo. Shay was the president of the last two years before I took over.

Jones: She came after Marion.

Danylyk: After, yeah. At any rate, so I was asked if I would like to do this, and I said, "Yeah, that sounds interesting. It sounds like they'll be fun." And again, I'm always in pursuit of fun. If it's not fun, it's not worth doing. And, that's really the bottom line. And, so, I wrote a little biography of myself and submitted it to their committee for review. And, I got a telephone call, an email and a telephone call saying, yeah, so it will be nice, and would you like to attend one of our meetings. Then I started that the next year. Let's see, that was 2005 when that happened, so I started in 2006. And, I was on the publicity committee, and that's when I started advertising our book sales. And then, the next year, I became president, because nobody else wanted to be president. You know, it's kind of like would you be willing to do it, and I like to schmooze, so it's, you know, it's kind of nice.

Jones: They've done a wonderful job down there, as you know, the progression they've come from. And, it was difficult some years ago, getting the funds.

Danylyk: I understand.

Jones: My husband was on the Board at that time. Mary Hatcher was the president. And, they had to fight tooth and nail, our City Council, for just five cents, and give them 18 ways why they needed the space and the storage, et cetera, et cetera. So, we're all just marveling at how well everything is going, you know, particularly at this point. And all programs which are available to people, I think it's fascinating.

Danylyk: And well, I'm saying any music is one of my passions, history is another. And part of this history is learning the early history of the library here in Wilmington. And, it seems that it has been an age-old struggle of getting-- when I read in the little calendar that was produced on the-- for the centennial celebration at the library that the town fathers turned down a Carnegie Library, I thought, my God, how-- you know, it's just amazing. So...

Jones: So, bring us up to date, as president of the New Hanover County Library.

Danylyk: Friends.

Jones: Friends. Excuse me.

Danylyk: That's okay. I don't want to take David Painter's [ph?] job. He's got more than enough work to do.

Jones: Yeah, his wife is right down the hall. Yes, he does have a lot to do, that's for sure.

Danylyk: He certainly does. They are understaffed woefully, at the library. In fact...

Jones: Right. What's needed now?

Danylyk: Well, we have two main missions. In fact, well, late last year, we added a new committee to the Friends of the Library, and that's an advocacy committee. And, one of the things at the top of our priority-- our top priority is to advocate for a new branch at Myrtle Grove, because that...

Jones: That's small.

Danylyk: It's extremely small. It's extremely busy. It cannot be expanded on, because of the lot size and other limitations. And, there was a parks library bond issue. And so, we're kind of tied into a bond issue, at least for like studies, because there's only some $500,000 allocated to the library, which could only, basically fund a study of even what you're going to do. But, our major, our first concern, our highest priority is to light a fire under the county managers and what not, to start moving on. The library's not going to get built until you start moving. And, Tammy Henshaw is our-- the chair of that committee. And, she actually has been volunteering at Myrtle Grove for a very long time herself. And, she's been doing an outstanding job to date of getting people involved. They even just had an interview with-- there was a very nice story in the Star News a month or so ago, about what she's up to. So, that's our top priority, to get moving on Myrtle Grove. And then, after that, we would like to work to increase staff at the library. The library is fortunate to have so many volunteers without which they couldn't do anything. But part of the problem, when you have a lot of volunteers, is that people don't give what's really due. It's my understanding, is that New Hanover County itself, is one of the-- on a per capita basis is one of the wealthier counties in the state, per capita.

Jones: Seventh in the state, per capita, and it leads the way in people who live here, with Master's degrees and PhDs. Amazing.

Danylyk: Yes. And on a per capita basis we are woefully behind other counties, in terms of how the library is staffed, you know, in terms of population, in general. So, we're looking to start lobbying for that, as well. Those are our two biggest missions. An in the interim, we'll sell books. Last year, our book sales...

Jones: How often do you have book sales?

Danylyk: We have the Spring and Fall book sale. Typically...

Jones: No, this is the downtown and out of south?

Danylyk: No, it's only at Northeast Regional. The book sale's only at Northeast Regional. In the Spring it's in April, in the Spring, and in October, late September early October. And, last year, we rose-- we raised something like a little over $80,000 for the library. And, that goes directly to the library. It doesn't go to the Friends of the Library. Our revenues are all from memberships as well as gifts, other gifts to Friends.

Jones: You've got some very talented people working there. And, I know that with these lines that are moving quickly, there's always ideas of bringing people into the library. And, I think that out there off Military Cutoff Road, you've got all kinds of spaces, evidently. Are they for rent, at anytime, by groups, or are they just made available in advance? Or even downtown there's some rooms, upstairs conference rooms where meetings can be held, et cetera. How does one go about doing that?

Danylyk: Well, we're getting into David Paynter realm here now, a little bit. But anybody can reserve a room, if it's not already reserved. And I believe you can do that online if you went to the library's website. So, you can make these reservations for a room, online, or you can call. They're extremely service-oriented at these libraries.

Jones: They are. They have wonderful online book discussion groups, et cetera, that you can join, I guess, and whatever. It's good to know about. What would you like to see happen? As somebody who's familiar with the Library of Congress, and who can beat that, someone who has traveled and done all the things you've done, you're from out of town, who's brought all your expertise here, which is what has helped make South Eastern North Carolina and New Hanover County into a very special place. All these Yankees have come in here, they have so. (chuckle) What would you and the people on your Board like to see happen as far as the library is concerned?

Danylyk: Gee, you might just say more of the same. Basically, the money is being, the money that comes to the library is very, very well spent, in terms of programs for the community, community enrichment. And, we'd just like to see more of that, and, better facilities at North-- at Myrtle Grove. Eventually down the road, would be some type of facility in Northwest, because that's a growing area there, too. But, the demographics right now, the situation is most urgent in the Myrtle Grove area. So, general expansion, and then just more programs to fund. And the Friends of the Library underwrite a number of things at the-- for the library. And, just more of the same. We, as part of this centennial-- I don't know if you've noticed it, but in the main library, there are these artwork by Fritzer Hubert that are hanging in the atrium-like area was our gift for that. There used to be some very old, dusty banners that were hanging there. So, we hope that the people like what they see in there. Some things still that I-- that I find kind of interesting. Well now, the Library Foundation, you know, they have a function coming up, by Thalian Hall, at the end of January. And, one of the things they're doing is putting together book endowment funds. The idea that, you know, get together a big chunk of money and then the interest or the earnings, the dividends that those investments make, this will augment the book budget for the library. Along these lines, I've been intrigued. I haven't really been there as much as I really would want to be. In fact, I have to confess, maybe only one time in a real sense and that was when William Powell was there signing his book, The Encyclopedia of North Carolina. But the North Carolina Room is very intriguing to me, and, I would like to see maybe getting more books, you know, that are like a rare book, a quality book, an old book, something rather unique. And, I get the catalog from Bauman's Rare Books. And, when I go through there, I see some of the most fantastic things. I think these would be great additions to the North Carolina Library, for example, the North Carolina Room.

Jones: How about the, being open on Sundays? Have you had any problems with the vagrants and such down there? I know that's always been something people have complained about.

Danylyk: Oh, at the downtown? I'm not familiar with that, but I would imagine like in any city, anywhere, when you get into an-- now, inner city, Wilmington is not like inner city D.C. or inner city Detroit. I mean, you know, it's not the same thing. But, you will have similar issues with vagrants or homeless, or what not. But your mentioning this to me, this is really the first time that this has been-- I haven't really read about that as a problem, but...

Jones: I think that the problem has been pursued by people wanting to use the library and as you walk in, on the ground floor, aside from sleeping outside. And, this is mostly in the winter. It gets filled with people who obviously are homeless. And, the story was going around, and I heard this from somebody from my newspaper who I can't say is that buses would drop them off in front of the library, because it was a space to get inside, out of the cold, and take them from homes, and things like that, as unreasonable as that sounds. But, that's been the story that's going around, that's what I wanted to ask you.

Danylyk: I'm unaware of it. If it's true, it's sad. And, the other issue, I guess-- it's sad from a couple perspectives: first, the plight of those people, and then the people who are deterred from going to the library. And it sounds like there should be-- it sounds like a really minor security issue.

Jones: Well, the library is a public space. It's there for all of us. But, I think that, in some cases that had developed into an issue. I'm not trying to put you on the spot. It's just it was. Again, this has to do with the changes that have gone on in this area. We've grown. We're no longer a tiny hamlet. If you have a city you've got these problems.

Danylyk: And, you have to deal with them.

Jones: You have to deal with them.

Danylyk: In a constructive manner.

Jones: Is there anything particularly you'd like to touch on, concerning what you're doing here with the library, or anything else that you're involved in, in Wilmington?

Danylyk: I think we've pretty much exhausted it. I really enjoy what I'm doing. It's been great. I'm looking forward to, you know, this year being-- hope that the Friends of the Library will do more for the library. One thing that's coming up is we're supposed to have a coffee kiosk in the entry room at Northeast Regional. Apparently, one that they had at-- where the county offices are, it didn't meet county code for a county building, but, it's okay for a library. So, we're going to have that kiosk there, which will fit in nicely, in the sense that because, you know, the libraries have gone wireless. In fact, you know, if you have your own laptop, you can take your laptop to any of the libraries, except, sadly, for the Carolina Beach, and that's because this is, you know, this is a Time Warner thing, and Carolina Beach is some other cable company. But, making a long story short, you can take your laptop and access-- get on the Internet at any of the libraries. So, you don't have to just be dependent upon what hardware, you know, the libraries' own computers. You could use your own laptop there. And having the coffee kiosk right there, you know, all the little tables already set up so you could sit there in the vestibule there and have a cup of coffee, and play with your laptop, and do what you have to do. One thing that's kind of amusing, not as sad as this situation of these homeless folks trying to stay warm on the doorsteps of the library, but the notion that the library's rooms are open for anybody for a meeting. So, if like homeowners' associations might want to schedule it for a meeting they are...

Jones: This is what I was going to, yeah.

Danylyk: Right. There's a situation where one fellow was coming in, and, you might say, turning it into his own personal office on a daily basis, and complaining when other people were making noise. So, that created a sensitive issue for the library's administration, but that they handled it okay.

Jones: There's all kinds of people.

Danylyk: There's all kinds of people, yes. And that's, you know, that's what makes life interesting, all kinds of people, yes.

Jones: John, you're lucky man.

Danylyk: If we're all homogenous, you know, we'd be bored.

Jones: Yeah, I know. I know. Well, I have to say, keep up the good work, as far as the library is concerned. I know that a lot of people are very much enjoying many of the things that are offered, even the genealogy research, and that sort of thing. You've got some very talented people there, Beverly Tetterton and Dorothy Horton the whole group.

Danylyk: Oh, Dorothy Horton makes the whole thing work, because it makes-- in terms of planning programs and things, and publicity, you could always depend on her. And the folks, David Paynter, Harry Tuchmayer are just fabulous people. And, they are really working hard for the-- I was going to say not just the citizens, but the residents, whoever comes into New Hanover County and has access to the library. And, we've got good people there to do the job for us.

Jones: Well, it's a wonderful place. And Northeast is terrific, too. That was a need.

Danylyk: Ben Jomens [ph?] is doing a fabulous job there.

Jones: I want to thank you so much for visiting with us. It's been fun. I think I learned a lot of things, and I'm sure- about your career, you as a person. I'm glad that someone like you is president of the Friends. That makes a melding of ideas of all kinds of people bringing programs in. And, your grandkids are going to enjoy this even more as they get older.

Danylyk: I hope so.

Jones: Yes, they will. Thank you very much, John.

Danylyk: Oh, you're welcome. Thank you.

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