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Interview with Paul Wilkes,  November 30, 2005 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Title:
Interview with Paul Wilkes,  November 30, 2005
Date:
November 30, 2005
Description:
Paul Wilkes, author/journalist and professor of creative writing, shares anecdotes involving his personal life and his career. Wilkes is the author of nineteen books and has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker. He has been a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Columbia University, and the University of Notre Dame, among others.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Wilkes, Paul Interviewer: Riggins, Adina Date of Interview: 11/30/2005 Series: SENC Notables Length 58 minutes

Riggins: Hello, today is November 30, 2005. I'm at the home of Paul Wilkes, for the third in our series of "Visual Oral History Interviews." Very glad to be here ...

Paul Wilkes: Third and ... it'd be thirty by the time we get through with this life of mine ...

Riggins: That's perfectly great!

Paul Wilkes: (laughs) Yeah, ok.

Riggins: I'd like to welcome Paul Wilkes ... back and welcome myself ... back into his home, on his lovely porch. And, let's pick up where we left off two weeks ago ... how you met the second Mrs. Wilkes.

Paul Wilkes: The second and she always tells me ... "Last Mrs. Wilkes!." And, I think that is the case. Um... I'm ... Tracie and I met at that party that I talked about and um ... you know she ... uh we danced a few times and she was very attractive and kinda' peppy and I liked her. So, uh ... I remembered what her name was ... I looked her up and she was in the telephone book. So, I called her [pauses for technical camera problem]. So, uh ... I looked her up in the telephone book, g-o-c-h-b-e-r-g, and found Tracie on James Street and called her at 9:00 on Sunday morning, which of course in New York City is about uh ... as acceptable as serving pork to uh ... uh ... you know ... an Orthodox Rabbi. So, but anyhow Tracy was there and I says, "Hi, Paul Wilkes from last night and uh ... "I want you to come over for a cup of coffee.." And, um ... she's says, "Sure!" ... 'cause I lived on West 10th Street which is not far away and I said, "On your way over ... if you pick up the Times and you know ... we'll talk and read the Times and stuff." So, Tracie came over ... I had a wonderful Pavoni, p-a-v-o-n-i, espresso machine. Made Tracie a cup of uh ... cappuccino, sprinkled a little cinnamon on top which later she would tell me she thought this was a fabulous thing. [Noticing some technical difficulty with the audio ...asks the Interviewer the question, "Are we catching static or what? What?.".. ] So, um ... um ... we sit and we talk. Now, in those days, in those wild days of mine ... uh ... I was always sizing-up ladies for what uh ... you know ... might happen. But, you know, with Tracie ... I don't know ... it was kinda' different in a way um ... I just said, to himself, "Don't push this one, buddy. Don't ... don't do anything." And so we just talked and ... and ... she was 25 years old, at the time. I was thirty ... nine! And, so she was young, and she was like bouncing all over the couch and so full of energy and stuff like that, and I said "Oh, boy ... maybe this girl will grow up some day.." But, anyhow I dated a lot of girls like this and she was young and she was fresh and she was wonderful. Working in an Advertising Agency.

Paul Wilkes: So, anyhow, we just sat and talked. Had our cappuccino, looked at the New York Times and that was it for the quote-unquote "first date." Um ... second date was kinda' interesting because we went to see a Truffeau movie called, "The Man Who Loved Women." And, the movie starts with this beautiful pan shot of all these sets of legs around ... it appears ... you don't know what it is but it's the grave of this guy, who has died, and he was the guy, "the man who loved women," and all these women had come out for his funeral. Now, for a guy that was um ... running around with a lot of women, this was probably not the best movie to take somebody to but ... we had a great time and as I thought back on the movie and I thought about all those great legs, I looked down at her's and she had a beautiful set of boots on ... that ... I'll never forget ... we're riding on Fifth Avenue, on the bus, fabulous boots ... Italian-made ... nice, soft leather. I said, "Hmmm ... this is nice.." So, we began to date and uh ... I remember uh ... one of the first dates. We went to uh ... a very fancy party on the East Side. And, Julian Bock was an Agent and uh ... you know ... really high-toned party but Tracie is the kind of a person that's always "in your face." She's like always ... always there and I thought she was kinda' flirting and kinda' you know ... being too forward and stuff like that and was really getting ticked-off and you know ... I walked out of the party and says, "Hey, do you have to be in everybody's face like that ... you know, I mean ... uh ... she says "Wha ... its just the way that I talk.." I says, "Well, you know, I don't like it. You know, you're with me and that's the way its supposed to be.." And, anyhow ... so we're going down as ... which would ... the first of about ... conservatively ... one million arguments. We have an argument ... about 15 or 20 times a day. So, this was just the start of something that we had ... would be a pattern for the rest of our lives. So, anyhow ... I'm getting angrier and angrier and we're walking past a big trash bin ... one of the big trash bins on Madison Avenue and I just picked her up and ... butt first ... put her in the trash can. And, she's in there like, "Let me out of here! Let me out of here!" And, uh ... so I uh ... eventually did let her out of there ... and, uh ... the beat went on ... but, I guess I wanted to make a point. You know, "I'm the man and when you're with me, you're with me!." So, I'm kind of a jealous guy and I like my women ... woman ... to be ... not that she doesn't have to like be right under my armpit ... but I like her to know that ... she's with me.

Paul Wilkes: So, anyhow, we started dating and uh ... things are moving along pretty nicely. And, uh ... I said, "Well, you know, Trace, why don't we live together?." This was a big thing ... you know, the "Seventies." So, she said, "Well, I don't know." She had a wonderful apartment on Jane (?) Street with a nice fireplace and stuff like that but she really loved me ... I could tell that. And, so ... um ... so, we moved in together ... into my co-op apartment on ... on 45 W. 10th Street. The only reason I tell this story is because that lasted from about September to Christmas Eve. We're going across the Brooklyn Bridge ... I should have been thrown off it ... I said, "You know, Trace, this isn't working out. In other words, you're going to have to move out. This is not working out. You're probably ...." I didn't say, "You're going to have to move out.," but that was the implication. "You're not age appropriate.." In other words, she was too young and too ... you know ... wild and ... not wild in any way that I was wild but just ... you know ... kinda' ... maybe immature and uh ... but anyhow, we had lived together for three or four months. We even had a dog and here was Paul Wilkes ready to move on.

Paul Wilkes: So, here was a nice guy ... New Year's ... Christmas Eve ... Brooklyn Bridge ... "You gotta go ...." So, anyhow, instead of shooting me, which she should have done, we went back to my apartment after that and I had a lot of cockroaches and we had to fumigate the place. And, I'm sure she wanted to lock me in there to fumigate me along with the cockroaches. But then we went out to her parents' ... her mother's house out in Ossining. Visited out there and uh ... and then .... we had to search for an apartment for her. So, we found a very nice apartment that was twice as expensive with half the space. Now, why this woman didn't kill me right then ... I don't know ... but she didn't. She moves into the apartment. We continue to date. We go off. We go on. I don't want to bore you with the details but we dated ... off and on ... for about three years ... where I finally came to the point where I said, "Trace ... (pauses) ... I got this monastic calling and I'm really going to take a look at it and see if I should be a monk ... a Trappist monk. This girl has been through everything. We made up ... we broke up ... we did this ... we did that. Why she didn't shoot me again ... I don't know? But, anyhow, so I sublet my apartment and moved up to a small cabin in ... Spencer, Massachusetts ... near the Trappist Monastery of St. Joseph's Abbey. My idea was to stay there for a year and to figure out whether, indeed, I was going to be a Trappist Monk or not. Now, my great role model, at this time, and really ... throughout my life was Thomas Merton who I read all his books and I really felt this kinda' calling to solitude and ... and ... prayer and uh... I ... I just had to do it. And, um ... of course, Tracie said "That's fine. You go do what you're going to do ... but to me you're dead. Number one, you're dead! But if I ever do see you again you better come back with an engagement ring and a blood test.." I move up to the country and live in this ... right by a lake there in Spencer ... very cold house ... I remembered because it was a summer cabin. Then I got a little bit of a bigger place. One of the monks ... guy had been a farmer and he was a monk that moved ... moved out. And, so I lived up there and worked with uh ... a farmer called uh ... Prescott Adams. And, he would ... I would help him on the farm with his ... hay and all that kind of stuff and all that ... I would .... I would work [some technical difficulties] (To Interviewer: I'll wait until ... ok ... ok?) Um ... I would ... I would work on the farm with him and help him out with hay and doing all that stuff and I ... made a big garden in my backyard but, there I was praying ... living the monastic life ... getting up at three o'clock in the morning ... praying ... doing physical labor ... and then being in bed by eight or nine o'clock at night. But, you know, everything was conspiring to tell me that it was 99% right and 100% wrong. I prayed. I tried. I meditated. I met with a monk on a weekly basis. I really was searching for my vocation. I thought it was to be a Trappist Monk. So, after this year, I really realize that this was not what was going to happen. This was not going to be my life. I could not be a Trappist Monk. I remember what Tracie had told me ...

Riggins: Why is that? Why was it 99% right and 100% wrong?

Paul Wilkes: Being uh ... uh ... marriage and ... and ... religious vocations are alike. You have to fall in love with it. You know, its not rational ... its not ... you can't like say ... you can't like do a uh ... uh ... a ... Excel Sheet on this and say "pro" and "con." It doesn't work that way. Marriages don't work that way. Its just something instinctual says, "This is the person I want to be with. This is the life I want to live.." I never had ... I never felt in love with it. I felt "in like" with it. I tried ... it was like (inaudible) ... see ... it was a variation on the same thing. "I wanna be this really holy and good person." First of all, I wanted to be Dorothy Day and work with the poor. Second of all, I want to be Thoman Merton, and be a Trappist Monk. Eventually, I would only find out that I was going to be myself. I didn't know that yet.

Paul Wilkes: But, so ... at the end of this year, I said to myself, "This is not me ... it's not my ... life. It is not something .... I love prayer. I love contemplation, I love being ... you know ... going to Mass, everyday. But, it wasn't the right thing, for me. I was visiting a friend in Cap... in Provencetown, Massachusetts 'cause I was in Masachusetts. I walked into a jewelry store, bought a beautiful sapphire ring. I went to the Health Department. Had my blood drawn and tested for a marriage license. Got a very nice case ... about this big ... put the blood test inside the ring ... put it in the case ... got in my car ... and drove to New York City at one hundred and fifty miles an hour ... pulled up into Times Square, had to park the car, went up to Tracie's office, in her advertising agency ... knocked on the door ... she opened the door and said, "What are you doing here?." I closed the door behind me. I put this little case on her desk and I said, "Will you marry me?." She said, "What? I haven't seen you for a year. What ... what's going on here?" . I said, "I don't know but you're the one.." So, she said, "I don't know.." She had gone on with her life, you know, she wasn't waiting around for me, you know, just kind of waiting for the Monk to decide. So, I think she was seeing somebody at the time. So, she said, 'No ... I ... I ... can't give you an answer on that...." But, she gave me the keys to her apartment and said, "Just go back there and rest for awhile. You look like you need it.." And, so I went back to her apartment and I remember it being a warm ... a very warm day in New York ... but I was freezing. And, I got under covers ... and I just ... I ... I ...don't know what was going on? My whole body was just out of whack and the telephone rings and I'm thinking, "Oh, boy, its one of her boyfriends or something like that ... but, anyhow, it was her ... late in the afternoon. She says, "We're celebrating, here.." And, I said, "What?." She says, "I'm getting married.." I said, "To me?." She says, "Yes, you dummie!." So, that was it. So, we were going to get married. This was in ... this was about the end of the summer of nineteen-eighty ... two ... and, we would be married in nineteen ... in December ... I'm sorry ... in 1981. And, we would be married in January of '82 at St. Joseph's Church in Greenwich Village which oddly enough, she had been attending and I had been attending but we never met each other there. But, its this gorgeous ... its one of the first churches in New York City ... Greek Revival ... gorgeous ... right on Sixth Avenue.

Paul Wilkes: Ok, so we're going to get married and this is not an easy marriage 'cause her father is now an Orthodox Jew ... her ... she has a mother ... a step-mother that wants nothing to do with her or anything else so ... who we haven't seen. We saw her at the wedding and that was it. Uh ... so, it was a difficult wedding to kinda' ... stage, but we did it. And, uh ... I had a powder blue Toyota pickup truck, at the time, and I joked to Tracie, "Unless I find a parking place, we're not getting married.." I found a parking place right on Sixth Avenue. Yeah, and we did get married. Only thing about the marriage ... two things about the marriage that were kinda' interesting ... the wedding ... one was ... when we talk to the ... his name was Robert Lott, it was a priest, really nice guy, and he said uh ... I said, "Uh, Father, go a little easy on the Jesus stuff, you know, we got some Jews in the crowd here, so ... lets's not ... ." "Fine ... fine ... fine." So, anyhow, everything is going along smoothly. Old Testament. Old Testament. And, then finally, during one part of the Mass this screeching voice, "Ahhh ... Ave Ma ...reee ... a ...." You know, the most Catholic of Catholic hymns is sung. And we could just see her father kinda' sinking like a ... melting candle in his row (?). But, anyhow, we did get married and we um ... then uh ... went on a little honeymoon and began our life. I really wanted to get out of New York. I was through with it but I didn't. I ... I ... just ... you know ... uh ... lived there and we went on. So, after a while ... after a couple of years ... we lived there ... Tracie became pregnant with Noah, our first son, and was also ... her job was going south. She was an Account Executive for an advertising agency and her account was Radio City Music Hall, the "Rockettes" and all that. But, the job was going sour so we said, "Let's get out of here.." So, we moved to that little cabin of mine up in the country. Now, um ... so ... and then our first son, Noah, is born. It was a horrible delivery ... bloody ... she almost dies because of loss of blood. She's khaki-colored ... you know ... I mean I have pictures ... it ... it ... it's like ... looked like the slaughter house. I had pictures of the birth and every part of it has ...

Riggins: It was a very hard delivery?

Paul Wilkes: Oh, my God! It was ... cause she's very wide hip but she has a narrow birth canal and its coming face up and his head was about this long ... like a purple banana, by the time he got out of there. It just beat the living ... bejesus out of him. So, our son is born and we then buy a little bigger house called "Goat Hill Farm" which is our place that we lived in ten years ... but my writing life is just ... not going well.

Riggins: I have a question. It sounds like Tracie's a good match. Sounds like she's an aggressive person ...

Paul Wilkes: Ohhh!

Riggins: Its like you've met your match because if you were with a completely quiet person ...

Paul Wilkes: Yeah ... I would ... I would ... yeah! And, and ... I dated completely quiet ... kinda' ... "Oh, yes, Paul..".. kinda' ... "Oh, yes, dear!" ... kinda' things and I don't like it. I ...I don't like ... I not that good, smart, or intuitive to know what I'm doing all the time so its better to have somebody say, "Hey, buddy... well, what was that about?." And, Tracie is very much that person. I have a fair amount... I think I have some gile. She is completely gileless ... she ... whatever she's ... and to a fault. Whatever's on her mind comes out of her mouth, you know. I say, "Would you process that a little bit, please. And, I always felt ... I always said about our marriage ... my first marriage ... everything was underneath the carpet ... on the surface, we were perfect! This marriage ... I'd say couldn't get something under the carpet because we're always ... you know ... we're ... it doesn't matter whose around or whatever it is ... if we disagree, we disagree. We don't say, "We'll talk about it later.." We do it right there. We try not to make ourselves ugly about it but ... we're pretty open. So ...

Riggins: You were saying she was unhappy in her job ...

Paul Wilkes: Yeah and we ... and so we mov ... we had the baby and we're up in the country. And, my writing life is really, really not going well. We're going to a Catholic Church ... pitiful Catholic Church ... uh ...

Riggins: You mean very small?

Paul Wilkes: Small and the pastor of it would eventually be ... I would eventually write about him in the New Yorker. He was taking pictures of little boys at a swimming pool ... that's when he would take them on ... uh ... swimming trips ... and take pictures in the locker rooms. So, he was kinda' a ... uh ... pornographer ... you know ... for the ... this ... just unsavory. But, anyhow, at this time ... again ... my writing ... I don't know what I was living on? We raised ... we had sheep, chickens, we had ... I raised a couple hogs before ... we had a big garden ... we heated with wood ... we had really "gone back to the land." But, I wasn't really making any money. I was teaching part-time at Clark University, at the time. And, I don't know what we were living on? We must have been eating shredded newspaper because when I look back on my IRS statements ... I wasn't making any money and Tracie wasn't working. Anyhow, we were there one night ... some friends had come up from New York and we were having a couple drinks and getting supper together ... phone rings ... Tracie answers it, "Wilkes house!." "Uh ... is Mr. Wilkes, there?." "Yeah, sure ... hey Paul ...." "Hello?." "Uh, Mr. Wilkes?." "Yes.." "This is Bob Gottlieb (sp?) of the New Yorker." I go, "Ba ... ba ... ba... baba ... baba ... ."

Riggins: Who was he?

Paul Wilkes: Bob Gottlieb was the premier editor in all of America. He had been an editor at Knopf and then he was the editor of the New Yorker Magazine. I mean, for a writer to get a phone call from the editor of the New Yorker Magazine, late on a Friday night, was akin to a Second Coming, ok, or for you ... the First Coming. So, anyhow, I had sent him a query about an article I wanted to do on a priest that I had met and I wanted to do a parallel story ... there's a classic work called "Diary of a Country Priest," George Bernanos (?) ... and George Bernanos' book chronicled this fictional country priest whose trying so hard to do right and everything goes wrong but he's a very holy man ... he's dying of cancer. I wanted to do a story on a priest dying and what happens to his faith life and I'd found a really interesting guy. So, I quer ... I said, "This is kinda' a New Yorker profile, this would be very good.." So, I queried the New Yorker. I got a very quick response back from Gottlieb saying "We don't commission articles by writers ... we don't know. Write the article and we'll take a look at it.." You don't want to do that. You don't want to go through all that work. So, I sent him back an article I'd written for the New York Times Magazine on the Episcopal Church on some subject I'd written about ... 'cause I was doing some magazine articles, at the time, too. And, I said to myself, "What is a New Yorker profile sound like? I had never read the New Yorker but I kinda' knew ... you know ... back in my mind, someplace ... where maybe I'd picked one up someplace. "In the town of Native (?) Massachusetts, the Highspire Church, Father Joseph Greer of bu bu bu ba ...." I wrote the first page and a half of that in about ten minutes. I sent off those page and a half and that's who he responded to ... and, he pu ... he commissioned me to do this profile of Father Greer. And he said, "Call the office on Monday and ... make all the arrangements.." So, I called the office. I didn't know what I was going to get paid for this thing. So, she said, "Would you like an advance?." And, I said, "Yeah, it'd be nice.." I'd never gotten an advance before ... books, I had ... but not on a magazine article. "Uh ... how much would you like?." I said, "Well, maybe a thousand ... five thousand ... oh, yeah ... yeah ... five thousand will be just about right.." The article would eventually be $15,000 for the piece and a couple thousand dollars for expenses. And, I mean the check was waiting in my mailbox, the next day. "Whoa!," I said, "This is the way to do it!."

Paul Wilkes: But, Father Greer, besides my first New Yorker article and a real breakthrough in my writing life, showed me what it could be ... how a sinner could also be a saint ... 'cause I felt like a sinner and not a saint. Father Greer had violated his vow of celibacy during the time when priests were leaving the priesthood ... he didn't leave but he bought a nice tweed jacket, went to the cocktail lounge and did more than hold a few ladies hands. So, he was really ... had walked on the wild side also but yet he was such a great pastor and so intuitive and so good with people. I remember one story he told me about a young couple came in ... you know ... yuppies kinda' thing, "Oh, we're going to get married. We love your church. " And, stuff like that. And, he said, "Well ... what about ... are you going to invite Jesus to this wedding? ... I don't hear him being mentioned.." "Oh, well ... yeah, yeah, yeah.." I said, "Well, let me help you out a little bit, here. How about if you do this. I know how hard it is ... you're living together. How about if you just spend a week apart before you get married and really try to think about what's going to happen ...." He wasn't one to say, "You're condemned to Hell! You have to move out of the apartment, immediately!." He was very pragmatic ... very existential about what people could do and he gave them that kinda' room. And they did move apart for a week. And, they did get married and they became very good practicing Catholics, in his parrish. But, I saw in him a kinda' practical Catholicism ... a holy, wholesome real way to live a Catholic life that would then influence not only me but influence my writing from that day forward. He had multiple myleoma (?) ... that's what he was dying from. And, I followed Joe Greer, I never called him Joe Greer, Father Joseph Greer, from that article ... and I eventually wrote a book, "In Mysterious Ways ... the Death and Life of a Parrish Priest." And, I took him through ... in that book, a bone marrow transplant ... so he had horrible ... in those days it was ... it was almost like butchery ... its fifteen years ago. And, so that book was a "Book of the Month Club" selection and uh... won awards and stuff like that so it was ... it was really kinda' of a very central point in my own writing ... writing life. So, um ... Father Greer uh would come out to the house. I have a wonderful tape of him with a home Mass with my boys, Noah and Daniel being kinda' the altar boy ... oh, altar boys. They were very, very young, at the time, maybe five and three, or six and four ... something ... very young. Uh, Daniel was the second child ... uh, he was born in ... Noah was born in '84, Daniel was born in 1986. And, Daniel's birth was very uneventful. It was a caes... because of the way the first child was ... it was a C-section. Bingo! Open it up. Nice pink baby and a big one. He was over eight pounds. He's about 6'3," today. And, Noah's about my size. But, uh ... so we have these two boys and we're living on the farm ... this very, very rural life ... very close to nature. And, the reason I had stayed up in that neck of the woods is that I wanted them to be close to that monastery, 'cause I had really wanted to be a Trappist Monk. But, my life was taking me away from that. I was going to go to Mass, every morning and uh ... well, I went to Mass some mornings but ... I didn't (laughs) ... I didn't continue my monastic life ... I became a father ... I became a husband!

Riggins: And, your writing, also ...

Paul Wilkes: And, my ... and my writing life and, and, I was teaching ... you know ... at Clark University ... or, and uh ... yeah, its in Wooster. So, uh ... my ... my uh ... my writing life after Father Greer really kinda' began to blossom. Also, at that time, I had written a novel that was based on ... kinda' based on my year of being ... uh ... Monk-man (?) ... and it was called ... a novelette was eventually published also called, "Temptations." Random House bought both the Fa... "In Mysterious Ways" and "Temptations," a two-book deal, Sam Vaughan (sp?) ... wonderful editor ... bought both books ... and so ... one came out and then the other one came out shortly thereafter. And, it was vaguely about that year and it had a woman ... kinda' like Tracie in it ... although she wasn't really up there or around at that time. But, I had her coming in and being ... you know ... the foil for this guy trying to be a monk and yet this woman is calling him out of his ... you know ... monkhood. So, uh ... my writing life was taking off uh... I eventually then, for the New Yorker, went to Bosnia and covered the War there and Mostar (sp?) ... the place where the bridge was that was eventually bombed. I went to El Salvador, during the War there to do a profile of Rembrandt Leekland (sp?), who was a Bishop ... Arch-Bishop of Milwaukee ... was a two-parte, in the New Yorker. So, my writing life really ... uh ... really ... really uh took off. And, uh ... as I sit here today, I've written 18 ... I think it's 18 nonfiction books and 1 novel. And, so I ... and I've written for the New Yorker, the New York Times, Atlantic ... um ... you know ... a lot of ... lot of publications ... and I've been on television a lot but, that ... that ... section ... that Father Joseph Greer ... was really crucial ... that was the hinge and then things ... things went forward. And, I think my life as a father ... really was the vocation I was called for ... called to do ... it called me out of my self as I had never been called out of before. I didn't ever want children, really. Tracie said, "If you're getting married to me, we're having children.." "Oh, ok.." So, we have these two wonderful boys, today. And ... and, I think that ... that what God was doing through all, really, was kinda' ... I was saying, "I want this ... I want this ...." And, God was just saying, "Just wait a minute, you know, you're not going to be a street worker, you're not going to be living with the poor, you're not going to be a monk in a monastery. You're going to be like every other guy ... you're going to be a father and a husband.." You know, which to me, seemed so ordinary and so ... uh ... banal is not the right word but I mean just really, "Everybody does that!." But, really it was the key to my life. I ... when I had all that time in New York City, I got nothing done as a writer. When I had two hours as a father, between the kids feeding and waking up and all that kinda' of stuff, I got something done. It was the most productive part of my life!

Riggins: Like having the structure ...

Paul Wilkes: Time pressure. You gotta' do it, if I'm not ... this is the time. I don't ... I can't ... I can't mess around, I gotta' do it right now.

Riggins: Did you schedule in time for meditation?

Paul Wilkes: Yeah, oh yeah ... every ... I pray every morning. I usually read the morning Scripture or uh ... I read a "Saint for the day" or some of the Book of Psalms ... but I'll always ... I always try to start that way and sometimes I go to Mass in the morning. But, mostly, its my own private prayers that I do. So, um ... we're going through our life in Massachusetts ... I'm teaching at Clark ... uh ... books are coming out and stuff like that. About 12 years ago, 13 years ago ... this is now 19 ... 92 ... there's nothing much to say in there from '82 ... have two children, doing a lot writing ... uh ... living on the farm ... uh ... having what eventually would be pedofile priest as our pastor. That was an interesting story, by the way, pause at that one. He was just pulled out of the church one day. Wasn't there the next Sunday. And, the ... another priest was there and nobody was saying anything. And, then, I saw him three or four months later. And, I said, "Hey, how ya' doing.." "Oh, I'm much better. I got rested. I was really working hard and stuff ...." He was a really weird guy. He sent everybody birthday cards and Christmas cards and cards every fifteen minutes. But, you never could get him to go to dinner. Or, he always was with the kids. We should have known something, at that time.

Riggins: He was private ...

Paul Wilkes: He was private but he was always with kids, you know. He had trading ... card nights and wrestling matches and it was ... I mean ... when you think about today you get ... queasy but that's the way he was, Ronald Provost, p-r-o-v-o-s-t, was his name. And, now we saw him and said, "You know, Father Provost, I've really been thinking about doing some more ... really ... more conscious prayer." And, in the Catholic tradition they have a thing called the ... the priest have a Brevery (sp?) ... four volumes and it has all the readings for ... all cycles ... all year. He says, "I... I'm thinking of getting a set.." "Oh ...," he says, "don't get a set. I'll give you mine, I never use them." Should have been a signal, right then. I mean, if he's not using them, his prayer life is ... in the toilet also. Anyhow, he gives me his Breveries. The next week, the Wo ... the "Worchester Telegram & Gazette" headline, "Ronald Provost Accused Of Pornography ... Taking Pictures Of Little Boys." What he would do is organize swim trips and then he'd get a kid off to the side, in the locker room, and have him kinda' ... show his butt or the pictures that they showed, the little boy would put his finger through his fly ... you know ... to simulate his ... penis. And, and .. it was just sickening stuff! And, he had a whole collection of these of kids ... down through the years. And, I was thinking, my boys were still too young but they could have been in those pictures, eventually, too. So, I wrote that one for the New Yorker Magazine. This was 1990. And ...

Riggins: Did you feel betrayed?

Paul Wilkes: I think I was just sickened by it all. I don't know about betrayed? I just felt like, "Oh, God! ... Oh!." I ... it ... I just felt disgusted. I just felt disgusted. And, when I wrote that article, this was really the time ... I consider this article the line when we knew that not only was there a lot of it in the Catholic Church but that it was like the color of your eyes ... it was not something like ... you know, you go away for a couple weeks and you can get rid of it. That's what they were thinking. You know, give them a new parrish and they'll be better. No! Its ... right ... that's what turns you on are kids and its always going to turn you on and we better get you away from them.

Riggins: ...year...

Paul Wilkes: 1990 ... 1990 for the New York ... right on it but ... no...

Riggins: (inaudible)

Paul Wilkes: ... that was it! And, so when ... but the Bishops of the Catholic Church, like Cardinal Law and those ... fought against any controls or any oversight and ... they came to rue the day that did that because that's exactly what was needed. It was right there, at that time, and that article said it... that he was doing it ... other people were doing it and that it ... it was ... it was imbedded in their personality. You weren't going to cure ... cure them of this. But anyhow, the article was ... you know ... well received and all that and he was ... he did not go to jail. He was sentenced to probation and eventually became a grave digger at the Diocesan Cemetery because he couldn't get another job. His brother was also a child molester. It was a sickening ... sick ... sick ... sick ... sick situation. So, anyhow, we're in uh ... we're about ... uh I was a Selectman in my town, I was elected to the Board of Selectman. I campaigned for office and I served three years. And, I was like the Mayor of my little town, there. And, I help to build ... a school and to get a cop ... a Xerox machine and all ...

Riggins: Were you elected?

Paul Wilkes: I was elected. Yeah. Yeah.

Riggins: You had a foray in politics.

Paul Wilkes: I did have a foray in politics but my platform was ... I will serve one term and one term only. I owe nothing to anybody. I ... I had no favors to grant or give. I'm going to try to be as fair as I can be ...

Riggins: And, did you stick to ...

Paul Wilkes: And, I did. I served three years. I did not make a career out of being a politician. That ... I'm terrible on meeting, anyhow, I have the shortest attention span of any person in the world and the meetings used to go on for three hours. My meetings went on for forty-five minutes. I was like a buzz saw. My famous line was, "If you have something new to say, say it, otherwise, we're going to vote." (slaps his hands) Debate ended just like that. I mean, I... I ... was ... people would go on and on and say the same thing over and over again. I really ... I cured them of that! But anyhow ... so that was the Chairman of the Board of the Selectmen of the town of Hardwick, Massuachusetts, where we lived. So, one ... I'm Chairman of the Board of Selectment and one February night, I'll never forget it, snow plows are going through, I kinda' had to oversee that or be aware ... snow plows and all that stuff. Snow plows going by for about the fourth time, that night for about the fifteenth storm of the season ... I had a nice tall glass of Scotch in my hand ... I was ... I never ... I never considered myself an alcoholic ... but I was a good drinker. I really liked to drink. I like the taste, I like the feeling, I like everything about it. I would eventually give this up but, I didn't at that time. Anyhow, I'm sitting there with this glass of Scotch and I said to Tracie, "I don't think I want to die here. I don't want to live here for the rest of my life. Let's go south. So, I pulled out the map and I just traced down the east coast. I says, "I want warm and on the water." And, I traced down. And, I'm doing down the map and I New Jersey, "No, it gets too cold." Virginia only had Norfolk and Virginia Beach. I'd been in the Navy ... I'd done it (?). I hit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I said, "Oh, God, golfing. That's the stupidest game in the world. I bounced up and found this little town called Wilmington. (laughter in the background) And, I had never heard of it ... Wilm... never heard of Wilmington. I never heard of it. And, I said to Tracie, "Let's move to Wilmington." She said, "Delaware?" "No, no, no," I said, "Wilmington, North Carolina. Its right on the beach, you know, near the ocean and ...

Riggins: You'd never heard of it?

Paul Wilkes: Never heard of it. Never heard of it. Never heard of it.

Riggins: (inaudible)

Paul Wilkes: With this finger. This finger.

Riggins: Had you at least ... did you read anything about it before ...?

Paul Wilkes: Well, I ... then I looked and I said, "Well, there is a University there and ... you know... and I might ... you know ... get a part time job there or not. You know, I never had ... I always would go where I wanted to go and then it seemed like things would work out. And, I've taught at Columbia, I've taught at Clark, I taught at the University of Pittsburgh. I ... you know... I would eventually teach at Norte Dame and also at UNCW. But, I just said, "Let's move to Wilmington." She said, "You gotta' stop drinking." I said, "Oh, no, no, no, it's not the drinking." So, anyhow, we get on a plane in a couple weeks, after that, and we go, we stay at Shell Island Resort. I'm an early riser. I come out on the balcony, its maybe 5:30 ... 6:00 in the morning. And, its soft light over the salt marsh that yellowish, mustard-colored light. And, I just said, as Brigham Young said when he got to Utah, "This is the place!'

Riggins: That's amazing. Now, from what I understand of Tracie, she's not a passive person so was she just as ...

Paul Wilkes: She was ... I ... she was ... I, I think we were both feeling a little bit ... our house ... you could not see another house from it or to it. I mean it was very isolated ... our kids did not know what a streetlight was ...

Riggins: (inaudible) back to school ...

Paul Wilkes: They ... yeah, when they ... when we came to Wilmington, they were going into the third and fifth grade. So, they were ... uh 8 and 10 years old. But, we really were feeling a little "cabin fever." It was a very small town and you know, we really wanted to ... we had done ... we had gone back to the land. We had lived on the land for ten years. We had raised our ... you know, we had done the whole thing. And, uh... we were really ready to kinda' come back ... a little bit into civilization. Never to suburbia or anything like that. I mean that never appealed. So, anyhow ... so I said ... we came down Shell Island, kids played on the beach, we talked, said, "Let's do it!." So, we moved here. We ... we came on another trip ... back to find a place to rent. Keep the house in Massachusetts, in case we want to go back. Rent a house here. We come for a weekend ... there was zero to rent, at that time. This is 19 ... 92. Nothing! Now you see 55,000 "For Rent" signs around for houses. Nothing! We wake up on Sunday morning, ready to go to the airport, without a place to stay. We had already sublet our house in Massachusetts. I look in the newspaper ... Country Club Road ... you know ... house. I says, "Maybe this one?." Its seven o'clock in the morning, we had to be at the airport at nine, to turn in our rented car. Alright, so anyhow, I call this guy, John Debnam d e b n a m. John is a very prominent Wilmingtonian ... owns a lot of property. And, so I call him, I said "Uh ... I'd like to look at ...." He says, "Well, he wasn't going to church, yet." We went over. I looked at the house for about five minutes. I said, "We'll take it." He says, "I don't know." He had to decide whether we were right or not. "Do you have a dog?" I says, "Yes, we do have a dog." . "Is it an indoor or outdoor dog?." I said, "What do you want it to be. You want it to be an indoor dog. It'll be an indoor dog."

Riggins: This is the owner or the realtor?

Paul Wilkes: He was the owner of the house. I says, "You want an indoor dog. He'll be indoor. You want an outdoor ... out ...." I didn't quite say it like that, but ...

Riggins: (inaudible)

Paul Wilkes: No, this was ... this is 1413 Haw ... this is 1417 ... uh ... Country Club Road.

Riggins: Not far ...

Paul Wilkes: No. No. It's four blocks away and we lived there for about four years. We had a hard time selling the house in Massachusetts. Right now, we probably wouldn't have that problem, but we did at that time. So uh ... so we ... its during the summer time. We moved to ... we get a moving company and we move all our stuff and we're here in Wilmington, North Carolina. As we're moving, my kids are saying, "I don't want to go." Tracie saying, "I don't think we're making the right decision." Everybody is moaning and weeping and crying ...

Riggins: (inaudible) ... come to the South ...

Paul Wilkes: Don't sympathize with my children and me wife (laughter). So, here was Brigham Young saying, "This is the place." And, they're saying, "I don't want to know about it."

Riggins: You had the vision.

Paul Wilkes: Yeah well ... So, anyhow, we pull into Wilmington. It's August. It is 178 degrees and 300 degree ... 300 percent humidity ...

Riggins: What year is this?

Paul Wilkes: This is 1992.

Riggins: I did not realize you'd been here this long.

Paul Wilkes: 1992.

Riggins: But, I know you left a little ... you came to look after that ...

Paul Wilkes: Yeah. So ... 1992 and uh ... we get here ... open the car and are greeted by this blast furnace of a city. Its really hot. Really humid. We open up the house. Its stinky and musty and old. John had these old rugs that had been there since Jesus was a teenager. I mean the whole place ... nothing was right. Our furniture was in corners and stuff like that. So, we went out to Taco Bell to eat. Taco Bell, first of all is pretty disgusting ... this was the worst Taco Bell in America. Nothing was cooked. The dough was still half-frozen and stuff like that. So, everybody is sitting there at the table. My wife is sobbing. My kids are complaining. The Taco Bell stuff is terrible. And, I'm saying to myself, "My God, what have I done to my family and myself?." But, anyhow, we eventually got into it and ... and ... uh for the UNCW part. I applied to a number of places. Uh, I think I sent to Chapel Hill, I sent to ... probably Wake Forest ... you know ... that I would commute or do whatever I needed to do. But, also to UNCW. Joan Sipple was then um ... Dean of the English Department and uh ... she called me in and talked to me. And, uh... Dick Vite (sp?) was very instrumental in pushing this thing through. He saw that it would be very good to have a real "quote-unquote" real writer. IJ don't want to get into any political uh ... tussles on this one. But, a real ...

Riggins: What did you mean by that?

Paul Wilkes: I mean, not an academic, I mean I didn't have a PhD. I was a real writer! I mean I wrote for the New Yorker, I wrote real books.

Riggins: Right.

Paul Wilkes: I wasn't a teacher, by profession. I was a teacher by avocation. And, so that was my ... but Dick saw that this would be a good thing for the English Department. I was interviewed and they said, "Well, you're going to help students." I said, "Well, wait a minute. You know, I'm not ...

Riggins: (inaudible)

Paul Wilkes: Well, you know, yeah. I says, "You know ... yeah, I'll be available. But, when I'm here, I'm here, and when I'm not here, I'm not here.." I had my writing life to uh... attend to ... but, when I'm here I'll be here for my days and stuff like that. I was not going to be a ... I was just going to be a parttimer ... I was going to teach three courses and I was going to do a good job for the time that I was there. And, I could kept that promise. When I was in that classroom, they had me. In my Office Hour, I always spent a day on campus for every class that I had ... I always spent an entire day. Anytime the student could come in to see me, I was there. Uh... the rest of my life, you can send me an email or something like that but I'm not going back to the office. I'm not going to be hanging around the Library and stuff like that. But, I was very good about responded to emails, phone calls, anything ... and I was ... I think I was very good ... to the students and I gave them as much time as they wanted. My great disappointment, I think, in the UNCW years, was that I really didn't have a lot of really inspired writers ...

Riggins: Around ...

Paul Wilkes: In class.

Riggins: Oh, students. You were with the Department of English, then.

Paul Wilkes: Then it went to Creative Writing and then uh ... Mark Cox and I ... Mark Cox came in and we really didn't see eye-to-eye. I mean it was really oil and water situation.

Riggins: He was the Chair.

Paul Wilkes: He was the Chair, at the time, and he was this ... I don't know, I don't want to bad...

Riggins: (inaudible)

Paul Wilkes: Yeah, I don't want to bad mouth the guy. But, you know, it was just really a personality differences so I went back to the English Department and then lived out my years, there. Uh ... meanwhile, you know, I was continuing my writing and but I ... back to the colleges stuff ... I really felt so often that the English majors that I was getting were people that had probably started with Marine Biology and then figured out that you had to take Biology, you were not going to be Jacques Cousteau and then they went to Political Science and then said, "Let's see, I speak English don't I so why don't I major in English. You know exactly what I'm talking about. And, they were really not the best and the brightest. One semester, I went to Notre Dame to teach and I had twenty students in a Writing Class and they had to have a paper a week, they had to be in my email box by Saturday at midnight. (snaps his fingers) Twenty papers were in there. No coulda'-woulda'-shoulda' ... the cat ate my ... you know ... disk. Uh, my mother-in-law is sick. You know, none of that stuff. They were really on task. So, it kinda' you know ... I saw what ... and I also taught at Columbia, earlier, where I went to Journalism School, and I really like writers that are possessed by this thing called writing ... 'cause that's the way I feel about writing. I feel possessed by it! Like ... like... I see something and I say, "Man, I got this story I want to tell you. I got this person that ... that you should know about. I had this pornographer that's a priest that's doing this to kids. Its like the excitement of journalism. I really love it. See, in Journalism, in an English Department is like uh ... like journalism ... journalism.

Riggins: Yeah, they're out there ...

Paul Wilkes: Yeah. I mean ... I mean ... and they're writing ... yeah, they're reading ... they're writing articles for these ... you know ... journals that you know... four people read and you know ... about Shakespeare's nose hairs or something like that. You know, I ... I ... was a real ... real journalist and a writer. So, uh... I really um ... when I had a student that had that passion ... man, I gave them everything. One of my ... one of my shining stars was a kid by the name of Joe Venafrow v e n a f r o w, oh ... no "w" at the end. Joe Venafro was a really good student. Graduated. Took a job with IBM. Calls me. I told him, "Don't take this job, Joe, you're not going to like it. Its corporate America, its not for you." Calls me, "I am calling you from Raleigh, Paul, from my office ... third floor office ... window ... nice, beautiful office ... I'm wearing a suit." And I said, "How you doing, Joe?" . He says, "Um ... I hate it. And, and I hate this office. So, I said, "Why, Joe?." He says, "Its on the third floor." . I said, "Well, whats wrong with that?." He says, "When I open the window and jump out, I'll only be a paraplegic. I want to be on the 17th floor so when I jump out I'll kill myself 'cause I hate it so much." So, he says, "I want to go to Journalism School at Columbia." And, I says "Joe, you're not going to go from IBM to Columbia, they're not going to go for it, you got to get something in between there." I got him a job in China at a middle school communist ... very fancy Chinese middle school, in a part of China that no Westerner had ever been in. I don't know how I ever worked this out. But, anyhow ...

Riggins: You knew people ...

Paul Wilkes: Well, I don't know ... some program or something like that. So, anyhow I steered him on to a program. I even forget how I did it. But, anyhow, he ... Joe ... Joe goes over there and he's eating rat's eyes and his mother wants to shoot me and stuff like that. But, I said, "When you come back, I guarantee you'll get into Columbia Journalism School. So, Joe Venafro does this year in China ... has a great experience ... comes back ... applies to Journalism School ... and doesn't get in. He's on the Waiting List. Nothing is moving. The semester is about to begin. The Dean of the Journalism School, at that time, was named Tom Goldstein, who was a buddy of mine from Sag Harbor days ... the Hamptons days. We were ... as they used to say ... running game together ... we were chasing women and drinking and smoking dope and being crazy. So, anyhow, I knew him back when. So, I said, "Tom, you got to do me a favor, this kid has got to get in." He said, "Paul, I can't, there's only so many seats." I says, "Tom, I don't think you understood me, the kid has to get in!." "I'll see what I can do." (slaps his hands) Got a phone call that afternoon, he was accepted to Journalism School. So, Joe Venafro ... who is now a big uh ... TV Camera man down in Miami ... and Producer and stuff like that. So, he's like a success story. But, there weren't too many of them. And, they're all good kids. I love them all. I look at them ... I care about them ... but they didn't have the fire in the belly that I have and I really demand of my students. Maybe I wasn't a great teacher ... maybe I didn't light the fire in their stomach...

Riggins: What kind of courses did you teach?

Paul Wilkes: I taught Magazine Writing. I taught sometimes the Senior Seminar ... Feature Writing and then some Documentary Film classes. And, those were better. Those ... the Documentary Film Classes were better. People would go out and when we began to get equipment like this they would go out and make Documentaries. And, the ... the ... ask over there now, they say the ... the films from my class were the best that have ever been produced from that ... I mean ... I've heard that ... 'cause I'm very demanding of my students. I mean, I would ... in my classes at UNCW ... I could ... I could almost count that the 20 or 22 people that showed up for the first class would be reduced to 10 or 12. Yeah. Without a doubt. Sometimes 8. 'Cause I didn't ... I ...

Riggins: They would drop the course.

Paul Wilkes: They would drop the course.

Riggins: You were ...

Paul Wilkes: I had a rep for ... this guy is a toughie ... this you ... if you're looking for ...

Riggins: (inaudible)

Paul Wilkes: If you're looking for ...

Riggins: How about in the university setting ... it seems like sometimes the Professor is a friend, but not really a friend ...

Paul Wilkes: The thing of it is, Adina, I think a lot of people play ... a lot of teachers play to the ... that "End of the Semester" Evaluation. They want their students to like them. They want to get a good Evaluation so that they're going to get hired or rehired or Student Evaluation. I didn't give a damn about the Student Evaluations. If they liked me that was ok. I was there to do a job and they were paying money for and I was never mean ... I was never demeaning to students, I'd never say, "Oh, God, that's a stupid ... you know...." I would go for, "No, no that idea is not ... I know you're cat Mitsy is a wonderful cat but your trip to the veterinarian is not a great story. You're not going to do that." I would tell them, "You're not going to do that.." "Oh, well that's really a good idea, Mitsy's really ... oh, the veterinarian's office is so wonderful and has these pictures.." I'd say, "There's no story there, folks." So, I was very tough, like that. They had to read the New York Times, every day. So, my students either loved me or hated me.

Riggins: I'll bet you're respected.

Paul Wilkes: You would only have to asked them. I don't know. I know I was hated by some. And, I was loved by others. Some would say, "It's the best class I ever had. Some would say, "Who is that jackass, I'm glad I dropped the course.." Uh, but I had many ... not ... I've had a good number of students that came bace and said, "You know, I really hated you during that class but you really taught me how to think ... what was the story ... what wasn't a story ... that writing is rewriting. It isn't your first draft. You got to think ... you got to think about the words and stuff like that. And, when students were up to that task ... see some of the times that had to do it. They were going to graduate. And, some of them stayed in biting their tongue the whole time. I just had a girl send me an email, saying "I hated you! I hated you! I hated walking into that class, every Monday afternoon but it was one of the best classes I ever had. So, my Evaluations usually were pretty good, actually ... after all was said and done. Sometimes they would ... you know ... "This is a real turkey. He demeans students. He looks down on us." Maybe that's the attitude ... maybe they got that from me but I didn't feel that way. I just said, "I want to make you the best you possibly can be. That's my job, here." Like a Drill Sergent at Parris Island. And, and its ... to tell you the truth, it's the only way I can teach. I get too bored the other way. "Oh, Adina, oh that's a really ... wow that's a good sentence. Or, what ...that's a nice use of the word ... admirably ... No! 'cause I see that all the time in the English Department. I don't want to name any names but they just say, "Oh, that's a ... there ... that's a awesome writer.." I get this kid in class ... is this the same person?

Riggins: Yes.

Paul Wilkes: I mean, what's wrong with this picture? And so ...

Riggins: They're trying to ... they have different views ...

Paul Wilkes: Kiss up to them ... suck up to them ... I'm ...

Riggins: Impressions of the word mentoring ...

Paul Wilkes: Yeah! And ...

Riggins: Mentoring is ...

Paul Wilkes: Well ... I ... maybe its tough love or whatever you want to call ... its like teaching ... its like teaching. Its not like babysitting or saying you know, that's kinda' ok. Its not kinda' ok. And, believe me, though, anybody that tried and showed up got at least a "B." Probably grade inflation ... but ... anybody that really went for it ... they didn't know that at the beginning of the semester because they thought they were all going to fail. But, they got good grades ... as ... as... better grades then they probably expected. If they were in it, I was in it with them. If they weren't, I was their worst enemy. I don't want to hear your excuses and you know ... I had so many you know ... I ... my car broke down ... you've heard all those things. So, so my teaching years at uh... UNCW ... I had a few that really did it. I... I ... think a few that want to kill me ... and I think a reasonable number that say, "I remember that guy, what was his name again ... and I got a lot out of that class. Um, maybe a little reflection on the university ... um I think it had a homier spirit back when I joined it that it doesn't have as much now. I think we're getting a better class of student, now, but I still do not think this is a school that has reached its potential at all. I don't think we're demanding enough of the students. I think we uh... I think there is too much grade inflation. I do think there is too much pandering to students! I mean what's the worst way to be a teacher than to pander to students. I mean, I just .... I can't see it. I mean ... they like m ... they kinda' like me ... most of them. You know, I was always friendly and colloquial and stuff like that but I would never ... never pander to them and just kinda' take their uh ... kinda' their ... effort. They gotta' really go for it in my classes. Um ... so, so what we ... [to Interviewer: how much is left ... do we have ... ]

Riggins: We only have about five more minutes so...

Paul Wilkes: Maybe ... maybe we could wrap things up ... I don't know. Uh ... I continued to write for the New Yorker, um... I continued to write books ... I got two, three Lily Endowment Grants while I was at UNCW to study parishes and what makes parishes work. I did a Documentary about excellent parishes throughout the country. I've really gotten more seriously into the Catholic Church ... into why people believe, what they believe. I was recently in Rome to cover the uh ... funeral of Pope John Paul the 23rd and the election of Benedict the 16th so I've been a commentator on CNN, I've been on "Larry King," I've been on "Good Morning, America," I've been on a lot of MSNBC ... a lot of shows ... uh ... in my day. And uh ... I don't know, I wrap up with uh ... kinda' where I began. I found a vocation as a father, writing is something that's gotta' burn inside of you or else it doesn't really matter at all. Uh ... I fear for Wilmington, to tell you the truth, the way its growing. I think we've really got a city here that's on the cusp of being another Myrtle Beach 'cause of spineless people in City government who think that development is the most wonderful thing in the world and uh ... I would say I'm very thankful to UNCW. They gave me a lot of room at that school and so I have nothing but tender feelings and especially about Sherm the deal (?) Librarian who has uh ... who I think has really taken that ... your Library into a new realm. I think he goes for excellence and he's innovative and kicky and "Let's try something" that we never had before. You know, there were books and you took them out. But, that wasn't really the way with Sherm. And, um ... I think that's it unless you have anything else?

Riggins: Well, I'm not sure if were finished for ever ...

Paul Wilkes: Ok.

Riggins: But, we can wrap it up, today. And, I thank you very much for your participation!

Paul Wilkes: Ok!

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