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Interview with Gene Huguelet, February 9, 2006 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Gene Huguelet, February 9, 2006
February 9, 2006
Gene Huguelet, retired Director of Library Services at UNCW's Randall Library from 1977 to 1996, shares professional reminiscences which include the formation of the Coastal Library Consortium and the automation and expansion of Randall Library. He also discusses his relationships with and memories of other well-known members of UNCW's faculty and staff, including Helen Hagan, Charles Cahill, and Dr. Randall himself.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Huguelet, Gene Interviewer: Cody, Sue / Riggins, Adina Date of Interview: 2/9/2006 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Cody: Today is February 9th, 2006, and my name is Sue Cody and I'm associate university librarian for public services at UNCW, that's Randall Library, and I'm here with Gene Huguelet, who was our director of library services for 19 years, 1977 to 1996...

Gene Huguelet: June the 1st, '77 'til June the 30th, '96.

Cody: You know exactly how many days. And also with Adina Riggins, our university archivist. So we're trying to get a oral history documented of that period when you were director but, first, we want to start with sort of your birth, background, education, how you got here. So were you born in Hamlet?

Gene Huguelet: I was born in-- my family is from Charleston, South Carolina.

Cody: Ah, Charleston.

Gene Huguelet: But I was born in Hamlet and went to school there and spent many summers at Wrightsville Beach and uh... so this sort of feels like home to me. Then uh... I went off to Chapel Hill after graduating from high school uh... and went into the army, spent two year-- in Kor-- I was in Korea. I was at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Fort Lewis, Washington, served in Korea...

Cody: My father was at both of those camps, too.

Gene Huguelet: I remember hearing you talk of that. I think I remember hearing him say that. We've talked about it at our backyard on Oleander Drive. And then I came back and I went to Chapel-- back to Chapel Hill. I left-- I joined the army because I didn't know what I wanted to major in so I said, well, let's join the army so...

Cody: Where you could be a major.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. So I had a great time in the army. I loved the whole thing and uh... tried to stay in Japan but they said I'd have to come back to the United States and then hope to get back. If they had let me stay in the Far East, I would have stayed. (laughs) But I came back to Chapel Hill and got a degree in English and met my-- Joyce, my, my wife. We got married...

Cody: Y'all have been married how many years?

Gene Huguelet: Uh.. it will be 48 years, I think, April the 3rd. And we're gonna celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary by running the Cooper River Bridge Run on April the 3rd, two years from now we hope. Uh... and then uhm... I started-- I entered the graduate school in the English department at Chapel Hill but uh... and Joyce started teaching in Chapel Hill High School but, all of a sudden, she was pregnant.

Cody: Uh oh. (laughs)

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. Don't know how that happened but it was uh... and so we had to leave. We thought that we would go down to Bath, North Carolina, on the coast and teach in high school for a couple of years and then go back to Chapel Hill. Well, we went to Bath and liked it so much we stayed there several years and, meanwhile, I started going over to ECU taking history classes but then I got a master's degree in English from ECU. And then I went uh... down to Mississippi, to Cleveland, what was then Cleveland State College in the Mississippi Delta and taught English. And then I thought, well, if I'm gonna do this, I need to have a Ph.D. in English and so I applied at Vanderbilt and I was ac-accepted and I was on the way to Vanderbilt but, then, I decided, you know, I don't think I want to do that. I think I'd rather work in a library. And so I went over to Emery University and Guy Lyle, who was the director of the library then, uh... gave me a job in the circulation department and I went to the library school and got the degree from Emery. And that must have been '66. And my first, first professional job was at Bowden College in Brunswick, Maine, and I worked with uhm... Richard Harwell, who was the, the great bibliographer of all the uh... "Gone With the Wind", "The Atlanta", the southern material. Worked with him. And then I went down, after that, for awhile, I went down to Trenton State University and worked with Felix Hirsch, who was the uhm... I think he was college and university library section, the ALA, he'd just finished being the executive director of that. And so I liked him. And so we went to New Jersey and then back to North Carolina, to ECU in 1970 and, in 1970-- and worked there and I was the director of technical services, associate director and acting director for a year there. And then, after that year, I had a call from uhm... Dr. Wagoner, who was chancellor at that time, and asked me if I would like to come to UNCW. And I said, "Well, Dr. Wagoner, thank you but uh... I just accepted a job in Richmond as the director of the research library in Richmond." He said, "Well, come on down to see us anyway."

Riggins: Was that the University of Richmond?

Gene Huguelet: No, it was at the state library downtown. They have a research library there with the state library. And I had been up for an interview and I had then taken-- accepted and I had almost accepted the job but-- when he called. And so I came and Dan Plowler[ph?], who was the dean then, uh... met me down at the Blockade Runner and we had dinner at the Neptune uh... and I thought to myself, "This is where I'd like to be, Wilmington. It's like home." You know? And I like the ocean, being close to the ocean so I came and that was June the 1st I started, 1977. And Dr. Wagoner said, "We have two things we want to think about doing. We're going to get an approval for a graduate degree." That was the-- MED in education. And uh... he said, "We're gonna have to really bone up the library in that area and, I'd also like you to see coming, that's not gonna be the only graduate degree. We're going to branch out and we're going to have to enlarge the library." And he knew that I had been involved in two enlarge-- enlarging-- two projects to enlarge the library.

Riggins: Where?

Cody: ECU and in New Jersey. And I said, "Sounds good." So I came and we enlarged the library...

Cody: You sure did.

Gene Huguelet: you remember, Sue.

Cody: I sure do.

Gene Huguelet: Uh... it took two years in all to do, once the work started and I think that, if I remember correctly, we moved in in 1988, in the spring semester of '88.

Cody: '86.

Gene Huguelet: '86, was it?

Cody: Mm hm. Yeah, it was '86, '87.

Gene Huguelet: Okay. That...

Cody: Because we had to move everything over to one side.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. And when-- moved everything back over, over to the new side while they did the...

Cody: Renovated the old side.

Gene Huguelet: Renovated the old side. It was a job. But it was-- I think it turned out very well. We had a good time doing it. And uh...

Cody: So you worked with the Boneys?

Gene Huguelet: Yes, with Charlie Boney primarily and Leslie but primarily Charlie Boney and, once in awhile, Paul, who would come over, who's now, I think, doing most of the work.

Cody: Right. And there was a moving company that helped us with that. Was that William B. Meyer?

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: I remember that, yes.

Cody: Because I was so fascinated by how they were gonna do that.

Gene Huguelet: Right. We took bids on a moving company. We knew that we couldn't do it here with the facil-- with the people on the campus. It was a big job, even though I think, at that time, we had only around 120,000 volumes. Uh... but it was a job because it all had to be moved twice so we had a moving company come and we did it.

Cody: They were experts, too.

Gene Huguelet: They were great.

Cody: I was surprised.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. Yeah, it took a great deal of planning and uh... and thinking about how to do it but it worked and we finally got settled.

Cody: Yeah. We did a lot of technology then, too. Did we have OCLC when you came?

Gene Huguelet: Yes. OCLC I think that uh... Betty Sue Westbrook, who was the cataloguing librarian at that time, had been instrumental in getting a computer terminal so that we could have OCLC. That was the first automated business in the library. And uhm... when we were doing the move, Sue, you might help me remember this, but, in the process of moving, we were also-- we had LS-2000.

Cody: Right. Yeah, we profiled for LS-2000.

Gene Huguelet: Profiled for LS-2000 and we got on that at the time that we were in this building project. And uh... we were on OCL-- on the OCLC LS-2000 system until, somehow, that became not adequate.

Cody: Right. Well, Ameritech bought LS-2000.

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: And then they didn't support it so we had to move to a new system.

Gene Huguelet: Right. So there was a great deal of work with the other librarians and the insti-- other 15 institutions in the, in the university uh... system. Uh... which system are we going to get?

Riggins: Oh, because all of them were on LS-2000 or a lot of them were?

Gene Huguelet: Most of them...

Cody: Well, most of them.

Gene Huguelet: Charlotte had, I think, made a move to VTLS, that-- the-- that was generated in Blacksburg. That was the big competition. But several of us felt-- and uh... you, I think, Arlene Hennerfeld, and Ron Johnson felt that-- we all talked about it for a long time and we felt the consensus was that Innovative Interfaces from Berkeley would be the better-- the best system. So, if I remember correctly, we uh... 12 of the campuses.

Cody: Mm hm. And they didn't want us each to have our own computer, that-- the state didn't, right?

Gene Huguelet: That's right. That's right.

Cody: So that's when we formed the Coastal Library Consortium and...

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: The Western Consortium may have already existed because of some other things they were doing but-- so there's that one and there's the central one.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. We, we had-- that was a move to have consortia in the state and we, of course, joined with uh... Pembroke State University and Fayetteville State University and I think that ECU was with Elizabeth City. Those two formed their own unit.

Cody: Mm hm. Right.

Gene Huguelet: But we were-- if I remember correctly, I think that the Randall Library was the first fully automated library in the university-- in North Carolina at that time. Don't-- isn't that right?

Cody: Yeah, I think that's right.

Gene Huguelet: It was true.

Riggins: That's amazing.

Gene Huguelet: I think. Uhm...

Cody: Some of the big places were goin' with their own homegrown...

Gene Huguelet: Homegrown system, Chapel Hill, for example, and uhm... it was a difficult time.

Riggins: When were you automated? When would you say that happened?

Cody: Well, '87.

Gene Huguelet: I would...

Cody: '86, actually, 'cause...

Gene Huguelet: Uh.. yes.

Cody: ...when we opened up the new building-- because I remember we had to put the conduit in the floor.

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: For the terminals and that was so new to us to have to think about that.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. (laughter)

Riggins: And that was for the LS-2000?

Cody: With LS-2000.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. But we were fully automated by 1991 totally. Total-- every system, interlibrary loan, everything, circulation, serials, everything was uh... integrated and automated at that time. We felt good about that.

Riggins: And you have your crew to thank for that as well as you.

Cody: It was a lot of work.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, mostly my crew. Yes, Sue and Arlene and Ron Johnson uh... and who, who else, Sue, was...

Cody: Louise.

Gene Huguelet: Louise Jackson. Uhm... yes. It's hard to remember.

Cody: Yeah, it is. And we had a lot of pretty labor-intensive work to do to make that happen, too, because we had to-- remember, we had to target all the books with uh...

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: strips?

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes. We did that in the middle of the move-- in the middle of the construction, we had to bar code all the books and put-- and then we got a-- when I first came, we had two people sitting at the front door who would check book bags, you know, in the, in the old way when people went out. But we got the 3M system and we had to-- consequently, we had to target each book, put, put a strip in each book-- spine of each book. But we did that.

Cody: It really kind of pulled us all together, I think. (laughs)

Riggins: Why do I imagine Arlene involved with that?

Cody: Yeah, boy, she could organize.

Riggins: She could organize. Was she directing? Were there students involved? Student workers?

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Cody: And all the staff.

Gene Huguelet: I think every...

Riggins: Was Arlene involved? Am I wrong?

Cody: She was involved.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes, Arlene was involved, Sue. Everybody was involved. Uh... we even had volunteers come. Uh... my wife, I think, came-- Joyce came one day and she couldn't-- she didn't like to do that. (laughter) Too long.

Riggins: I don't think anyone could do it.

Gene Huguelet: But it was, it was a, a job. But, all of a sudden, we had an, an electronic security system at the front gate, which was something very new to us.

Riggins: I think you-- we were talking about some of the dates before you arrived and I think you were early for that because I went to college in the mid-'80s and I think, when I graduated, they still had people checking book bags.

Gene Huguelet: And where, where were you?

Riggins: American University in Washington, D.C.

Gene Huguelet: And you, and you had-- yeah.

Riggins: I know-- I think we were just starting to get in OPAC when I was leaving.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes. Well, I'll have to say that this campus has always been-- the library has been well supported here. Dr. Wagoner, Chancellor Wagoner uh... was very supportive and, of course, my uh... boss, Charles Cahill, who was provost at that time, and we had a great deal of support for wh-- and we-- consequently, we got the money for what we needed to do. And uh... that was fortunate, very fortunate.

Cody: And we also automated the serials with Fraxon[ph?]. I remember we got another...

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: One of those dedicated terminals for the Fraxon system.

Gene Huguelet: Then, I think, with that-- with innovative interfaces, it was all integrated with one system.

Cody: Yeah, right. So we didn't need all these different kinds of...

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. But if I'm, if I'm correct, I think that the Randall Library was the first fully automated. Of course, we had an eas-easier integrated uh... library. We had an easier time of it. I think a large place like Chapel Hill or State, I mean, that's-- the job is amazing.

Cody: Yeah, 'cause the volume of volumes. (laughs)

Gene Huguelet: The volume of-- sheer volume. And we were lucky here with-- 'cause we got started at a good time and had the resources at, at a good time to do it.

Cody: And good people.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes, yes. When I think back, yes. We had to have a lot of good people to do it because I'm totally ignorant about, about electronic-- automation and computers. I just uh...

Cody: Well, I remember when you first-- when we first got email and then you discovered that you had email that had been sitting there for weeks and weeks...

Gene Huguelet: Oh, a year. (laughter)

Cody: A year? (laughter)

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: Because you just, you know, weren't used to it.

Gene Huguelet: I, I was not uh... attuned to that. I, I got into the library business because I liked books. (laughs) And, somehow or another, I just always did and always have. But uh... I certainly was aware of the necessity to automate and, and the great things that it could do. So I was lucky, also, to have good people to do it. And they, they did a great job.

Cody: And you built a good collection, too, I mean...

Gene Huguelet: We have a good...

Cody: ...further developing the collections.

Gene Huguelet: We had a good collection started here primarily uhm... well, everybody selected but we, we were fortunate with faculty here. We had a lot of interested faculty in the development to-- who wanted to have a part in the development of the collection and also I came along, lucky again, when money was coming down from Chapel Hill to all the libraries for book budgets uh... at a time-- we had money to buy and to uh... to subscribe to journals. That became very expensive. That became a big worry after awhile but uh... we were very lucky to have the support that we had here.

Cody: Got that close to having an approval plan, I remember...

Gene Huguelet: Yes, I, I-- we were. I remember that. I was thinkin' about, about that.

Cody: What, we met with uh... the folks at Yankee Book Peddler?

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Riggins: What does that mean, an approval plan?

Cody: You set up a sort of uhm... algorithm, you know, you say what...

Gene Huguelet: A closed file, yeah.

Cody: ...publishers you want and what subject areas you want and, when it matches, it hits and you get either the book or you get a slip to say, you know, to look at to decide...

Gene Huguelet: If I remember, we were going to have the university presses only and maybe a few more, like uh... well, I don't know, Prentice Hall, uh... Random House...

Cody: Right. The big ones.

Gene Huguelet: The big ones.

Cody: Just a basic approval...

Gene Huguelet: Yes, a basic approval plan.

Riggins: And this would have been ongoing?

Cody: So stuff would have automatically...

Gene Huguelet: It would just automatically come at, at publication.

Riggins: We don't...

Cody: We don't have one, no.

Gene Huguelet: But we, we didn't uhm... that was a big thing in libraries back in the '70s and uh... and early '80s, when money was really coming to libraries around the country. So I, I remember going to a seminar at the University of California, San Diego, and it was two weeks of talk about the value of having an approval plan.

Riggins: Well, I can see it would save time.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. Especially in large libraries. They were buying at, at San Diego, for example, at Berkeley, they were buying everything that the university presses were publishing so uhm... yes, it was good.

Cody: Streamlined it.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes.

Cody: That's what we were always looking for was...

Gene Huguelet: Streamline.

Cody: to streamline.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. The idea was to free librarians for working with the students, the users of the library. That was always my goal uh... as much as possible.

Cody: And we did some other kinda little things, like a paperback exchange.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. And we, we had a suggest-suggestion box. Do you remember that?

Cody: Mm hm.

Gene Huguelet: Uh... yeah. That was uh... something that I learned working with Ralph Russell, who went down to Georgia State University to become the librarian and he and I put up a suggestion box at East Carolina University at the Joyner Library and uh... we had some interesting suggestions. (laughter) Here, I mean, some good ones and here and there. And I see you still have one here.

Cody: We do. And now we have an online one, too.

Gene Huguelet: Online. Everything's online.

Cody: That's right. I'm gonna ask you about some people. I mean, recently, when we were talking, you mentioned Dr. Randall.

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: You said he came and talked to you about the Middle East but...

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: ...but what do you remember about Dr. Randall?

Gene Huguelet: Well, Dr. Randall came into my office uhm... to, to meet me, of course. Uh... he was still active then and he would come over to the campus and over to the administration building uh... fre-frequently, to talk and he-- of course, the library was his first thing. Uh... and so he would come in and we would talk about uhm... books and then I remember the first time that I ever heard Shiites, Sunis because, in the World War II, he was in that part of the world in intelligence work and he would tell me about the Shiites and the Sunis and he would also talk about the University of Chicago and he'd talk about libraries and how they've changed.

Cody: Right.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. I often think, if he could see it now.

Cody: Right.

Gene Huguelet: What he would, what he would think. But the lib-libraries, of course, uhm... that was his main interest in, in life and uhm.. I think that this campus was very lucky to have him here.

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: Of course.

Cody: Several people have talked about him, about how they tried, when he was still president of Wilmington College, they'd try to schedule their coffee break so they could come when he would be in the break room over in Alderman Hall.

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: Hear what he had to say.

Gene Huguelet: Absolutely. He was that kind of person. I mean, he would come in and you'd be-- I would think, I've got to do this and Dr. Randall's here and then all-- and I would forget what I had to do 'cause I-- you'd be spellbound listening. He was an interesting, a very vital man, very experienced and interested in what you were doing, especially in this building.

Riggins: Very scholarly?

Cody: Oh, yes.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes.

Cody: And he had his office in the northwest corner?

Gene Huguelet: Yes, he did. He...

Cody: Because I remember, when I came, he was still...

Gene Huguelet: He was still-- yes, he had an office, as Melton McLaurin has now, I think.

Cody: Right.

Gene Huguelet: Uh... but, yes, he was up there in an office and-- but he was, he was always really interested in what we were doing here and how things were, you know? He liked to talk about libraries.

Cody: And Miss Hagen came back and visited a few times, didn't she?

Gene Huguelet: Helen Hagen-- yes, you know, she was one of my teachers at Emory.

Cody: Oh, was she?

Gene Huguelet: Yes. Uh... in 1964 when I started the graduate school at Emory, I had uh... two classes because I was working full-time at the library and I had Helen Hagen for uhm... I don't remember the name of the course. It was not reference. It was library administration and she had been at Emory. She's from Georgia, of course, she was, from, I think, Sylvania, Georgia, grew up there, and, about a year after I was there, the word came around that Miss Hagen was going to Wilmington, North Carolina, to be the director of the library at Wilmington College and I said, I know where Wilmington is. (laughs) So she came here. And uh...

Riggins: What do you remember about her?

Gene Huguelet: Well, a very, uh.. a very gracious lady uhm.. interested in uhm... in how to make a good library uh... of course. Uh... she was very personable, yeah, and we used to talk about uh... Eudora Welty together, Flannery O'Connor. We used to read all these Georgia writers, uh... I was into that at that time and uh... and so...

Cody: 'Cause you did your thesis on Faulkner, didn't you?

Gene Huguelet: No, actually, I, I didn't.

Cody: Oh, okay. I thought you did.

Gene Huguelet: The Spectator papers.

Cody: Oh, okay.

Gene Huguelet: Addison and uh... Joseph Addison I did and literary criticism in the Spectator papers in the early 18th century but uh... Faulkner uhm... has always been one of my favorites and so you ask about Helen Hagen. We would talk about southern writers together. I remember. Yeah.

Cody: And Ron tells a story about she'd come deliver everybody's paycheck to them individually and say, "Here's your paycheck, I wish it could be more."

Gene Huguelet: Is that right? Yeah.

Cody: Yeah. "Keep up the good work."

Gene Huguelet: I can imagine. She came back to Wilmington uhm... she-- when she retired, she went back to Georgia but she came back for visits and uh... the most-- she'd come back and I'd see her sometimes. She'd stop in and she and Louise and Betty Sue Westbrook would go to lunch. At that time, it was over at the uh... Long Leaf Mall, they had a K &...

Cody: Cafeteria?

Gene Huguelet: Yeah, a cafeteria.

Cody: I can't remember...

Gene Huguelet: I don't remember what it was.

Cody: They'd go there on a regular basis.

Gene Huguelet: Right. That was their favorite place to go and uh... talk.

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: But she was quite a gracious lady. Yes.

Cody: And then Lennox Cooper was the librarian you replaced?

Gene Huguelet: I replaced Lennox. Lennox was working, if I remember correctly, uh... Lennox, who is from Wilmington, by the way, uh... Lennox was working in Nashville at uh... where Ron got his grad-- library degree, I can't recall, not Vanderbilt.

Cody: Uhm... George Peabody.

Gene Huguelet: Peabody. I think that Lennox was working there, somewhere in Tennessee and then he came over to Wilmington and uhm... we used to go to meetings together. I was at ECU and uh... so I knew Lennox there. Uhm... and he went to school at Chapel Hill so we had a lot in common. And, after two years, Lennox decided to go into his father's business, into the real estate business. Uh... in fact, he was our real estate person when we bought that house on Oleander Drive that you know very well.

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: Uh... and then-- yes, so Lennox stayed two years and I replaced him when he decided to go into business. So that's when I came down. And uhm... haven't seen Lennox in a good while.

Cody: He's still around.

Gene Huguelet: He's still here but I, I haven't seen him in awhile.

Cody: But, when I came to interview and came down to find a place to live, you sure made me feel comfortable and at home and...

Gene Huguelet: Well, good.

Cody: Have you heard the story about how-- when we came, Michael and I stayed in a hotel the first night and then Gene said, "Well, you should come and stay with Joyce and me" and so we stayed at their house while we were looking for an apartment so we're sittin' out in the backyard, havin' a glass of wine and relaxing and we noticed the people next door were showing their garage apartment so, as soon as that couple left, we went over and rented it. So then we could enjoy the rest of our time in Wilmington and not have to worry about finding a place to live because we were right there.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. And you were, you were there for a number of years.

Cody: Yes.

Gene Huguelet: Uh... well, the story that I remember, Sue, and that, in 1979, was when uh... you told Mike that you were coming to an interview for a job in Wilmington, North Carolina, and uh... you said that the director, he'll probably be, was it Mike's, or he will probably come up and be...

Cody: I said he'd be all pasty and pudgy and driving a Chrysler or a Dodge or something. (laughter) So Gene picks me up all tanned and thin and drivin' a Fiat Spider. (laughter) So as we were driving away from the airport, I'm sort of chuckling under my breath so...

Gene Huguelet: Those, those were the days. I think, when you-- when I came here, there were 2,700 students and, when you came, maybe it'd gotten to 3,000.

Cody: About 3,000.

Gene Huguelet: But, when I came down uhm... College Road had just started. They were just making the four lanes when we...

Cody: It was all pine trees over there where...

Gene Huguelet: Pine trees. Yes, it was.

Cody: ...Sam's Club and all that.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, it was all-- it was a beautiful road out in the country.

Cody: You mentioned Dr. Cahill. How about some of the faculty. I know Brooks Dodson was a good friend...

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: a good friend.

Gene Huguelet: Brooks was the chairman of the English department and, of course, he retired last year and they moved back to Wisconsin, O'Claire[ph?], I think, they're living in O'Claire. Uh... Melton McLaurin was-- came the same year that I did and Milton and I had shared an office at ECU in 1963. I was teaching at ECU while I was doing that masters degree and-- teaching English and Milton was working on his masters degree in history and they put us-- and we shared an office, Milton and I. And so, when I got to Wilmington, there's Milton coming as chairman of the history department. So we've been knowing each other since 1962.

Cody: Wow.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. And we're still-- we still see each other and talk about problems in the world.

Cody: Solve everything. (laughter)

Gene Huguelet: Solve everything.

Cody: And Eddie Olszewski.

Gene Huguelet: Eddie Olszewski was here. Kathleen Kowal uh... was in the psychology department. Kathy Kowal. John Williams.

Cody: Right. In psychology.

Gene Huguelet: In psychology. Andy Jackson was there at that time and uhm... oh, Roy Harkin was here.

Cody: Right. Dean of School of Ed.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah, he was the chairman of the school of ed and uh... he became a great friend. And, and I was very upset with Eddie's-- when he died last-- recently. Uhm... so Roy Harkin was over there. Jim Megivern.

Cody: Yes.

Gene Huguelet: Was chairman of the philosophy and religion department. And Jim McGowan was in that department and we eventually built a house next door to the McGowan's and uh... now they spend half the year in the France and half the year here. And uhm... let's see, Sue, who some of the other ones uhm... who were here. Oh, gosh. David Miller over in phys ed. Dave Miller.

Cody: You had a bunch of running buddies.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. Dave Miller and uhm... we had a group who ran every day at lunch for 10 years and uh... well, just about every day. Uh... it was whenever we could and that included uh... Ron Sizemore who is now still coming over to run at lunch. He's down on the uh... the new facility down on Masonboro.

Cody: The Center for Marine Science.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. But he comes up to run with Dan Geddie, who's still here. And uh... Courtney Hackney in the biology department was one of the runners.

Cody: And Bill Vereen.

Gene Huguelet: Bill Vereen was running then and Lee Johnston in political science. And uh... I think-- I was tryin' to remember, Larry Honeycutt was at that time. And uh...

Riggins: What about Calvin Lane?

Gene Huguelet: I knew Calvin but he was not one of the runners. No, Calvin was not...

Riggins: He's an athletic person.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. I was just trying to think, you know...

Cody: There was Calvin Dawcett, too.

Gene Huguelet: Calvin Dawcett in the school of education. He worked with Roy all that time. Uhm... the basketball coach...

Cody: Mel?

Gene Huguelet: Mel Gibson was one of the runners with us, too, outside basket-- he was too busy during that time but then, in the spring, after that was over, he would run. And Mark Scalf, who's the baseball coach. Mark's father was an associate...

Cody: John Scalf.

Gene Huguelet: ...John Scalf was associate sociologist uhm... here then.

Cody: He was one of my regular customers for library instruction.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes.

Cody: Dr. Scalf.

Gene Huguelet: Dr. Scalf, yeah. And who...

Cody: Dr. Mosley? Remember Tom Mosley?

Gene Huguelet: Tom? Oh, yes, the history department. Tom Mosley. Uhm.. Carol Fink, our friend Carol Fink.

Cody: She still comes back every...

Gene Huguelet: She does?

Cody: Yes.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, she does. And she is in?

Cody: Columbus, Ohio.

Gene Huguelet: Columbus. Ohio State now, yes.

Cody: Ohio State.

Gene Huguelet: There were so many. You know, and so many are still here...

Riggins: Sounds like you knew so many faculty personally. I mean...

Gene Huguelet: Well, it was...

Riggins: Like by name...

Gene Huguelet: I did. It was smaller then. Like Gary Faulkner now. I still see some of these people. Uh... Gary Faulkner I see at the Wilmington Athletic Club frequently. Uhm... and his wife, Diane, and she was at the yoga class today. So I, I see Diane and uh... we, we've had a close community and I suspect that it's still close with the newer faculty. They have their group, too.

Cody: Yeah, kinda smaller sub-groups, though, rather than...

Gene Huguelet: Right.

Cody: ...diversified.

Gene Huguelet: Then, yes, uhm... in the early days, before the faculty grew uh... so much, it was, was a family kind of place. We had a Christmas party every year for the entire faculty and staff.

Cody: We'd all go to-- well, we went to Kenan House...

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: ...and it got-- then, when it got too big for everybody to go the same night, they split it and so, if your invitation wasn't the same night as the people you wanted to go with, you'd trade invitations for other people so that you could be there.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. (laughter) It got uh... I can still see uh... Bill Wagoner and Madeline standing at the door.

Cody: Very elegant.

Gene Huguelet: Elegant in the Kenan house...

Cody: Very gracious.

Gene Huguelet: ...greeting all of us but we, at that time, we could get everybody from the staff, faculty, there at one time.

Cody: Do you remember the story about the Bouguereau painting at the Keen-- at Kenan House that uhm... the director of the high museum came and recognized that as something that had been lost to the art...

Gene Huguelet: I remember hearing Dr. Wagoner talk about it.

Cody: Yes.

Gene Huguelet: I think? It was-- it had been hanging in the front of the house, when you walked in, on the right.

Cody: That's right.

Gene Huguelet: That one. Yes. I remember hearing about that.

Cody: And so the high museum did a exhibition of French salon paintings and that was the painting on the cover of the...

Riggins: You had no idea it was so...

Cody: Right. Right.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. I remember that, yes.

Cody: You got drafted to teach an English class one year, I remember.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. Brooks Dodson had-- need-needed someone to teach one class and so he, he asked me if I would like to and I said, "Well, I don't know that I would like to but uh... I'll do it for you." Brooks, I think that he had more students-- we started growing fast. And so he said, "If you will do that, we'll let you teach it in the library auditorium." Is the auditorium still?

Cody: Uh huh.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, it is. Still up there. So I taught the class, that English class in uh... in the au-- library auditorium.

Cody: Yeah, the auditorium is used primarily for classes now.

Gene Huguelet: Is it?

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: Good.

Cody: Yeah.

Riggins: That wasn't something you repeated in following semesters?

Gene Huguelet: No, uh... he hired (laughs) he-- I was asked to but I, I decided-- we got into this building and I said, no, I, I think that maybe I would not be able to uhm... because I take teaching very seriously. (laughter) It's a hard job. I mean, it is a hard job.

Cody: Yes, it's very time consuming.

Gene Huguelet: It is very time consuming, especially teaching freshman English composition.

Cody: Lots of reading and...

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes, and I said, "No, Brooks, I think maybe I shouldn't" because I started talking with Charles Boney and the Boney-- Leslie Boney, oh, five or six years before we-- actually, as soon as I got here because they were aware, from Dr. Wagoner, that a-- that a project was in the mill for the campus.

Cody: And that project more than doubled the size of the building.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, it did. Uhm... it doubled it plus about 20 more yards, I think, something like that, yes.

Cody: I remember one time I was touring a group of fourth graders through the building and I said, "Okay, any questions?" And one little child raised her hand and said, "How long does it take to vacuum this place?" (laughter) And I came in and asked you and you knew how they did it because they did a, they did a section each night and I think you said it took a week.

Gene Huguelet: It took a week to get around the building.

Cody: To do the entire building.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. Well, she was-- the, the student was-- that was a good question.

Cody: Yeah, it is.

Gene Huguelet: Because this space seems so large and, and uh... yes, it, it took a week to get around the building.

Cody: Yes.

Gene Huguelet: And it was not-- at that time, we had no eating and no drinking... (laughter)

Cody: Right.

Gene Huguelet: the library and it-- so it was a little cleaner. Now, I imagine, it's a terrific job now.

Cody: Yes, and we're about to run out of those carpet tiles that you so wisely stockpiled. Remember when we bought...

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: What'd we buy, 25% more...

Gene Huguelet: Yes, we did.

Cody: ...than what we needed?

Gene Huguelet: Mm hm.

Cody: 20 years later, we're about to run out.

Gene Huguelet: Still using those. How about that?

Cody: Well, we're kinda, you know, now we're starting to take 'em out of office space and-- like this space, we can take 'em out of here and just put regular carpet in here to use 'em out...

Gene Huguelet: That, that was done at the suggestion of uhm... 'cause I didn't know that you could buy extra stuff, uhm... I was tryin' to think of his name. He's reti-- who's the head of the physical plant.

Cody: Oh, well, Jerry Hunter was head of business affairs.

Gene Huguelet: Jerry was head of the business affairs. Jerry, who then soon after that went down to Charleston...

Cody: Right.

Gene Huguelet:, to be the president of the school at Trident.

Cody: Uh huh.

Gene Huguelet: In Charleston. But I was trying...

Cody: Fry? Was it...

Gene Huguelet: Yeah, Fry.

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: He suggested...

Cody: Not Bob Fry, the other...

Gene Huguelet: Right. Had two Frys.

Cody: Two Frys here.

Gene Huguelet: But, yes, he suggested that we buy over on those because, at that time, we were using tiles and that was pretty uhm... pretty up to date then.

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: That was...

Cody: That was the latest greatest.

Gene Huguelet: ...really doing something, having tiles down, you know, to replace them. And uh...

Cody: I know the Boneys have been real proud of this building.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes.

Cody: They brought, you know, they came in, took photos of it to show, portfolios...

Gene Huguelet: Yes. I think-- Charlie Boney has told me since that they were proudest-- of all the things they've done, they were proud of the Davis Library in Chapel Hill and the Randall Library because this was home to them. They, they took a great deal of interest in this.

Riggins: Because they're from...

Gene Huguelet: They're from Wilmington. Oh, of course.

Riggins: They built all over the state and...

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes. Oh, yes, all over the southeast, yes. They built the Davis Library in Chapel Hill.

Riggins: I didn't know that.

Gene Huguelet: They built the uh... they built a high school up in Beaufort County where, where Joyce is from, yeah. Dr. Wagoner even went-- that's where he graduated from school. That's where he's from, too. And he went up to speak at the first uhm...

Cody: The dedication?

Gene Huguelet: The dedication was the first graduating class of, at that new school that the Boneys did-- yes, they worked all around the state.

Cody: Let's talk about the state level, the library world at the state and regional level. You were active in ULAC, of course. I think you were chair of it when the whole LS-2000 thing...

Gene Huguelet: I was the, the ULAC was the U-University Library Advisory Council. Uh... and that was a group that met-- the library directors from the 16 campuses met in Chapel Hill oh, theoretically, three times, four times a year. But, when we got on to serious things like this-- when LS-2000 was proving not to work and Ameritech and all of that business, uh... we knew we had to have a different vendor, and what were we going to do, and how were we going to get the money? So we met-- I was up there every two weeks and we were lucky because uh... the-- Bill Friday's uh... President Friday's uh... right-hand man was a, a gentleman named Raymond Dawson.

Cody: Oh, yes, I remember him.

Gene Huguelet: Who came here and spent a year teaching in the political science department but he was the uh... associate president of the university system for academic affairs and had a strong interest in libraries. And they also had an old teacher of mine and friend, Robert Williams, who was at Chapel Hill in the general administration and he met-- at Dr. Friday's request, he met with the librarians because his wife was a librarian, she and I worked together at ECU. Uh... so we met-- the ULAC met at least four times a year regularly and we'd talk about library issues and we made a budget request. I mean, we would talk about ways to get the campuses to give us enough money uh.. the money that we needed for automation, for enhancing the book budget, materials budget, and all of that.

Cody: And then--what were you going to say? At the state library association, I know you were chair of the college and university library section.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, I was.

Cody: One of those early years when I came in.

Gene Huguelet: One of those early years, yes. That must have been about 1981, 1982. Yeah.

Cody: Remember we went to that conference in Charlotte? Shortly after I came, we went to a conference in Charlotte.

Gene Huguelet: In Charlotte, Debbie Babel, you, I, Arlene, Joanna Wright, yes.

Cody: And that was the year that Charles Carault[ph?] was supposed to keynote and I think there was a-- the Iran, was at the Iran hostage crisis, Tom Wicker came instead and you knew Tom Wicker from...

Gene Huguelet: Yes. Tom Wicker grew up in Hamlet, where I grew up. He was, he was older. Uh... he's my brother-- he and my brother went off-- were in high school together and uh... went off to Chapel Hill together and Tom Wicker became-- went to be the speaker, that's right. Charles Carault was...

Cody: Was called back...

Gene Huguelet: Was he with-- I think it was CBS?

Cody: CBS. Uh huh.

Gene Huguelet: Uh... yeah.

Cody: So I remember you were-- I think you were as pleased to hear Tom Wicker as Charles Carault any day. (laughter)

Gene Huguelet: And then-- and I told Dr. Wagoner about it and Dr. Wagoner, next thing I know, Tom Wicker was coming to speak at the commensurate.

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: And so I went over to see him at Kenan House when he was here. I remember, yes.

Cody: And now your brother was a professor at Western?

Gene Huguelet: Yes, he was in the English department at Western for-- he was at North Texas State for a couple of years and then back to North Carolin-- we always have a way of getting back, back to North Carolina and he went to Culawee for 30-- and he was there in the English department for 30 years.

Cody: Yeah.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. And my sister-in-law now is still working in the library.

Cody: Oh, is she?

Gene Huguelet: Yes. She, she's a librarian and uh... works at the uh... Jackson-- I don't remember the name of the library. Is it the Jackson Library?

Cody: I think it's Jackson.

Gene Huguelet: At Culawee, yes, with Bill Curwin and now Bill Stahl.

Cody: Right.

Gene Huguelet: He was at Charlotte; is the director there.

Cody: And then there's some other cast of characters, like Gene Lanier.

Gene Huguelet: (laughter) That-- we go back a long ways.

Cody: Do you?

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. Gene Lanier was the uhm... he was the acquisitions librarian at Joyner Library when I was there in graduate-- back in the '60s. Then he went to Chapel Hill and got a Ph.D. and went back as head of the library science department at East Carolina. And uh.. he just graduated...

Cody: He just...

Gene Huguelet: He just retired. He was the oldest-- had the most tenure of any faculty member at ECU. I saw him not too long ago and uhm... told him I didn't know how he was standing up so long but he, he's still okay. And...

Cody: Yeah, he's a bundle of energy.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah. I think he was 42 years at East Carolina University.

Cody: Wow.

Gene Huguelet: Just retired a couple of years ago, I think.

Riggins: Was he a character?

Cody: He is a character. He's a wild man.

Gene Huguelet: He's wild. (laughter) He's, he's...

Cody: And he's just delightful.

Riggins: He wilder than you? (laughter)

Gene Huguelet: Well, I'm very sedate. (laughter) Really. Uh... Gene, we had a-- I don't know whether you went to the-- when the Southeastern Library Association met in Knoxville?

Cody: No.

Gene Huguelet: Did you go? And Gene was-- he was-- Gene was president of the NCLA then, at that time. And we-- that's the last time I've seen him in action. (laughter) And that's awhile back. Maybe 22, 23 years ago. And I uhm... over at Davidson was uhm...

Cody: Leland Park.

Gene Huguelet: Leland Park.

Cody: He's just now retired.

Gene Huguelet: Is he retired?

Cody: Yes, it was this year.

Gene Huguelet: I was going to ask you about Leland. He went to Davidson and uhm... decided that-- he's from Florida and uh... the Panhandle somewhere, not one of the exciting places like Daytona Beach or Fort Lauderdale but he went up to Davidson to school uh... and decided he wanted-- that's where he wanted to live. So he went back to uh... Florida State and got a library degree and went up to Davidson to work and then he went back to Florida State and he and-- that was when he and Ralph Russell worked on the Ph.D.s in library science at Florida-- in Tallahassee. And then he came back and spent his whole-- from the time that he was 18 years old until he just retired at Davidson College. Yeah. They were lucky. He was good.

Cody: And Eddie Cowan?

Gene Huguelet: Eddie Cowan has just retired, two years ago. Uh... he's still living in Culawee and he and I worked at Emory together and then at Bowden together and then I came back-- we always had a plan that I would-- he didn't want to be an administrator of a library. Eddie's a reference librarian.

Cody: He is, yeah. (laughs)

Gene Huguelet: He's, he's...

Cody: He's one of the born reference librarians.

Gene Huguelet: He was. And uh... so he said, I don't-- he said, "I'm following you once again. I followed you to Maine and now and I thought maybe we would work and you'd be the director and I'd be the head of public services and we would go off into the sunset together. But," he said, "I'm going to Culawee." So Bill Kerwin got it...

Cody: Yeah, Bill Kerwin.

Gene Huguelet: Bill Kerwin got it and Eddie was head of the public services there in that library for 20-- maybe 23, 24 years or something like that. Just retired two years ago.

Cody: And then David Cohen?

Gene Huguelet: David Cohen...

Cody: I guess they're no relation.

Gene Huguelet: No. No relation. David Cohen is from Darlington. Eddie Cowan is from Charleston, West Virginia.

Cody: Okay.

Gene Huguelet: And went over to the Wharton School to college and was going to go back home to the family business and did but he didn't like business. So I ran into him, his wife, Renee, was teaching with my wife in Atlanta and they-- she said, "I have this friend, Renee, and she's coming over Friday night to eat dinner with us," and I said, "Well, great." And she said, "Her husband's not working." He had just-- they just picked up. He didn't like the business world. So they just moved to Atlanta. He got a-- she got a job teaching in the high school and so they came over and I said, "Well, I'm in library school" and he said...

Cody: Sounds good to me.

Gene Huguelet: He said, "You know, that's-- that's what I want to do." And so he came at the beginning of the next semester and graduated and went up to Bowden and we worked together at Bowden and then he stayed at Bowden for about seven or eight years and then he came straight down to Culawee. That's where he spent his time. And he and Renee have retired. She was teacher at the community college in-- there for all those years and they've retired and we spent a wonderful weekend with them at Myrtle Beach last spring. Yeah, talking about-- with the-- her two-- they have two daughters. One is a lawyer in Culawee and the other is a uhm... I don't know what Heather is doing but she lives in Chapel Hill.

Riggins: He was director at Western?

Cody: He was reference.

Gene Huguelet: Reference. Oh, he would never, he would never want to be a director.

Riggins: That's too much like business.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. He did not want that. He loved to work with students and he-- what he liked most of all was a difficult question.

Cody: Right.

Gene Huguelet: And he would pursue it until midnight. (laughter) So that was Eddie.

Riggins: Was that, like, Louise, too?

Gene Huguelet: He was very much like Louise. Yeah. Very much like Louise. Outgoing, just-- the pleasure was in helping, liked people but I've seen Eddie's face light up when he's come across-- and chasing somebody outside the library, "I found it, I found it! I found what you wanted! Come back!" (laughter) Yeah. Lib-- the library profession is uh... it's a great profession. You run into people like, like that, you know? And-- who have an interest in people and, and doing a good job like with that information.

Cody: I emailed Eddie Cowan last night to find out about their staffing, something Sherman asked me to find out about, and he asked me about you so I said, well, by the way, we're talking today. So he sends greetings.

Gene Huguelet: Good, I'm glad to hear.

Cody: So he's still director at College of Charleston.

Gene Huguelet: Eddie? You mean...

Cody: David Cohen.

Gene Huguelet: David Cohen. Oh, you talked to David?

Cody: Well, I emailed him.

Gene Huguelet: Emailed David?

Cody: Mm hm.

Gene Huguelet: Well, David Cohen, yes, he was at Charl-- came to Charleston and uhm... College of Charleston and we had a friend here, you will remember Bill Schneider.

Cody: Yes.

Gene Huguelet: Bill Schneider and David Cohen were Ph.D. students at University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, I guess, in the history department. Uh... also, and, and David Cohen and Bill Schneider told me one day, he said, "I got a friend who's a librarian down in-- going to Charleston as a librarian" and I said, "Good." "David Cohen, and he's coming up here." So we got together and we became friends and uhm... he-- his father was interesting to me because, at that time, I had a great interest in Herman Melville and David Cohen's father, Hennig Cohen, is the-- was the...

Cody: Expert.

Gene Huguelet: Was the-- he edited all of Melville's work. And uh... so I, I liked that. Never did get a chance to meet Dr. Cohen but uhm... I met his mother down in Charleston. We used to go-- we'd go to Charleston frequently anyway and so sometimes we would go over and I would talk to David's mother and he uh... as I understand it now, David is in administration some of the time and they're building a new library at the College of Charleston.

Cody: Yes, he said, it's time, he said, he always admired your building. Now it's time for you to come see his. (laughter)

Gene Huguelet: Well, I'm going to Charleston on March the 31st to run the Bridge Run and I haven't missed it in 20 years, straight, and don't intend to, uh... so I'll, I'll go by to see him. I knew that they were doing that. It's a wonderful school.

Cody: Yes, it is. We're always looking to see what they're doing.

Gene Huguelet: David Cohen is, he's a great librarian.

Cody: Yes. We mentioned Betty Sue, Louise. George Gamone[ph?]?

Gene Huguelet: George Gamone? Yes, you know George, of course, uhm... got out of...

Cody: I think I took his position, didn't I?

Gene Huguelet: George...

Cody: Because he wasn't...

Gene Huguelet: You didn't work with George?

Cody: I didn't-- I've met him but...

Gene Huguelet: Well, George came, uh... Phil Smith, who was head of reference, the reference library, Phil was retired navy pilot and went to library school and they wanted to live here. Now, his, his wife is from Faison, North Carolina, right up the road.

Cody: Sampson County?

Gene Huguelet: Sampson? One of those counties up near Mount Olive but-- so that's how Phil-- they got to, to North Carol-- down in this part of the wo-world to live in. And Phil came over and worked with uh.. Helen Hagen hired Phil and Phil hired George Gamone, who was just out of the navy. Uh... he had been in the naval ROTC at University of South Carolina and so he hired George. When I came here, it was Phil and George in reference. And George decided, after a year or two, couple of years, he wanted to go for the Ph.D. in Chapel Hill. They had just started that in Chapel Hill and my old colleague from ECU was the-- Joanne Bell, who was head of the medical school library at ECU was the first graduate of that-- in that program, yes. And-- but, anyway, George went to Chapel Hill and then I think maybe, Sue, you came in George's position. When he graduated from there, got his degree, he went down to Georgia Southern, if I'm not mistaken, and spent a long-- a lot of time in Georgia as a head of the library at Georgia Southern.

Cody: Uh huh.

Gene Huguelet: And then Phil retired not too long after you came.

Cody: Right. Just a few years ago.

Gene Huguelet: And Joanna Wright came.

Cody: Mm hm. And then she started her own internet service business and decided to...

Gene Huguelet: That's right. Downtown.

Cody: devote full time to that.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. She went...

Cody: Now she's in Raleigh.

Gene Huguelet: She's in Raleigh, right. And I understand her little girl is married and grown up.

Cody: Married. Yeah, a chemical engineer.

Gene Huguelet: Uh huh.

Riggins: She spent quite a long time here, though.

Gene Huguelet: Joanna was here for a number of years.

Cody: Yeah, she started as a support staff person.

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: And got her library degree.

Gene Huguelet: Like Arlene. Joanna went to Chapel Hill and Arlene went up to Chapel Hill. Uh... Arlene was uhm... came here in '78, if I remember, and was working in inter-library loan with Phil, doing it, as a matter of fact. I think Arlene was just pretty much took the interlibrary loan and then-- oh, maybe-- and two years later, she went up to Chapel Hill, if you remember it, and took a leave, and came back. Of course.

Cody: Mm hm. She was saying, I guess it was '76 because she's saying she has reached her 30 year mark.

Gene Huguelet: Was it '76? Yes, it was. I came in '77. She had been here a year when, when I came here. That's right. So Arlene is 30 years.

Cody: Yeah. She can retire any time she wants to.

Riggins: Like Debbie Price.

Cody: And Debbie Price can.

Gene Huguelet: Debbie Price was here when I came, too, about that same year. She'd been here with Arlene, came about the same time that Arlene came and uh... yeah. I, I remember a lot of 'em with their maternity leaves. I remember...

Cody: A lot of folks got pregnant all at once. Arlene and Debbie Babel...

Gene Huguelet: Debbie Babel and uh...

Riggins: Debbie Price.

Cody: And Debbie Price got-- she was pregnant with Stephanie about the same time.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. Now Stephanie is in graduate school in Pennsylvania.

Cody: And there was Ruth MacLeod, your secretary.

Gene Huguelet: Ruth MacLeod, yes.

Cody: And her...

Gene Huguelet: Her husband, Ruth's husband was uhm... the administrator at the Cape Fear Memorial Hospital out on Wrightsville Avenue and Ruth, they came down here from Chicago for a little uh... they, they came down-- one of the-- they were some of the first to live at Boiling Springs Lakes down near Southport and they didn't like that for some reason and moved up to Wilmington and Ruth started working with Helen Hagen as secretary and she was here when I came. She was...

Cody: She was old school, she was very...

Gene Huguelet: Very-- yes, old school.

Cody: Everything was done...

Gene Huguelet: Everything was done exactly right.

Riggins: Loyal secretary?

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes. Yes. Ruth was-- she, she helped me-- I'll tell ya, she helped me. Whew!

Cody: And she's at Brightmoor, I think.

Gene Huguelet: Did she come...

Cody: She moved to...

Gene Huguelet: She moved back-- her son is in Chicago. She's moved back?

Cody: Yes.

Gene Huguelet: Well, I need to uhm... see, I need to go to see her and uh... if I may add, at this point, you need to go with Joyce to see Daisy Curry, who's been calling us.

Cody: Yes, I'd love to.

Gene Huguelet: I'll tell Joyce.

Cody: Daisy was my landlady when I lived...

Gene Huguelet: Lived behind us, yes.

Cody: ...across the alley from Gene.

Gene Huguelet: And she's now-- her son bought her a place at Landfall. She has a little condo there and seems to be fine and she writes us and says please come.

Cody: George is gone.

Gene Huguelet: George died.

(tape change)

Cody: This is Tape 2 of our interview with Gene Huguelet. We were talking about some of the staff members that we had on the library staff back in the day and just was getting ready to mention Katherine Walls.

Gene Huguelet: Katherine Walls was working with Ron Johnson back in the-- Ron came here upon graduation at Peabody and Helen Hagan hired him and he came, I think he graduated; he told me he graduated on Friday and Monday he started work here. And, uh.. Katherine Walls worked with Ron in acquisitions and she also kept all the books for the library at that time.

Cody: She was an amazing woman.

Gene Huguelet: She was uh.. sh-she was a good one.

Cody: She chain-smoked.

Gene Huguelet: Chain-smoked Merits, that was in the day when, in the offices you just smoked, you know, in the building, not- not, we had no smoking in the stacks but we had a smoking room--

Cody: We had a smoking room on both floors.

Gene Huguelet: Both floors, right and yeah, that's, you think back. But, uhm.. yes, Katherine Walls was working with Ron and uh..

Cody: She was always so cheerful and helpful to me.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, sh-she was very good.

Cody: She was a funny lady.

Riggins: What surprised as a relative newcomer, I've been here for five years, is this just hard working, uh.. work ethic that permeates, it continues to this day. Some core people, but, you know, when you talk about Ron graduated on Friday and started his first job on a Monday, I mean, that's- that just reminds me of Sue and Arlene and then it's amazing that--

Gene Huguelet: They work too hard, they should take more vacations.

Riggins: Sure. Some of the people that have come since then, it's like they've picked up, you know, all this work ethic. I try to. We all try to.

Gene Huguelet: It's a good place to work.

Riggins: It's- it's very inspirational, there's this history.

Gene Huguelet: Well, now Ron Johnson, uh.. I'll talk about Ron because we just spent a, my wife and I just spent a week with Ron in his little hotel in Merida, Mexico. And, Ron was a great acquisitions librarian and then he- he wanted a change and he went to circulation, but- but I would see him messing with the computer terminal and so I thought hey. So, Ron became, I suspect one of the best in the state, systems lab.

Riggins: He was teaching himself.

Gene Huguelet: Well, yes, Ron's very smart and he uh.. taught himself.

Cody: He did. I remember it was one Christmas break and you said to Ron that you wanted him to be the systems librarian and he took the manuals home with him over the Christmas break.

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: When you came back in January he was ready to go.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. And, so we moved him into his office in the back, back here and uh.. all our success with automating and integrating systems, Ron was the leader in that. Uh.. yes, he- he has quite a reputation.

Cody: I think on the national level he has the reputation, especially with the innovative community.

Gene Huguelet: Exactly.

Riggins: This is great to hear because I started right after Ron ______, not long after. And, I've heard of course about his legacy, but it's great to hear--

Gene Huguelet: Yes, I said North Carolina, but, it's true all over the country, you know, people would call Ron about questions and he was self taught.

Cody: And, we hosted teams that were getting ready to implement innovative. We had a team that came from South Africa.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. I remember. Now, Ron, yes, he's- he's enjoying his retirement. But, I'll tell you the first thing I saw when I went into his place, was a computer. So, he's still sending messages back. He and Joyce, e-mail each other, talk about their plants in the yard in Ron's hotel.

Cody: I remember, every investment that the university offered he had money in. He was saving his money for that day and now he's got the hotel.

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Riggins: Did you have a good trip?

Gene Huguelet: Yes, we enjoyed it.

Riggins: He was a good host, I'm sure.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes, we talked until late hours every night and he, I think, it was, he- he was glad to see us, somebody from home. But, we talked and we uhm.. he has his truck down there. He drove it to Merida, it took ten days he said. He drove it, uh.. he wanted to take some things, like microwave oven, things that are less here and more expensive there. Uh.. he drove down and so he has his truck and so one day we got in his truck, we went to Wal-Mart, there's a beautiful Wal-Mart in Merida, Mexico. Very tasteful, you know, beautiful sign. Uhm.. and, we went up to Progreso one day to the beach, I think he, I heard he sent some pictures back. We had a great visit, it was really good.

Cody: But you all go to Belize a lot, too.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. We spent November in Belize. Yes. We've been going there for, you know, 20 years.

Cody: Talk about Leila [ph?] a little bit.

Gene Huguelet: Well, do you, you remember of course, Leila. Leila, we went to Belize first, I think i-in 1983 our friends from Charleston knew someone who had a house there on an island off the coast of Belize. And, they asked us if we'd like to go. And, we said, "Where?" I said, "You mean British Honduras?" "No, it's Belize now since 1981." So, we said "Yes, we'll go." Because David, my son, uh.. had other things to do that Christmas. So, we said, "Sure we will go." So, we went and we've been going ever since. And, we bought some land down there, early on, when it was buyable and uhm.. always intended to go and live when we retired. And, we still might, uh.. we go down frequently and, anyway, while we were there, we made, we became acquainted with uhm.. this teenage girl Leila Trayhold [ph?] uh.. on the island. And, we met her because our friends from Charleston, ou-our friend Betty has a daughter, Elsa [ph?], who was a teenager at that time, uhm.. and so she and Leila became friends. And, one day when we were getting ready to leave Elsa said that Leila wants to go back to go to high, to finish high school in the- in the United States and so, "Can- can she come and stay with you?" We said, "Yes, come on." So, we took about a year and a half to get all the paperwork done, and we got it, all of a sudden it worked because the twins' father, who are those boys?

Cody: The Busapi [ph?] boys.

Gene Huguelet: The Busapi twins, they were--

Cody: Bill and Paul Busapi.

Gene Huguelet: Right, their father had been for the University of Pennsylvania, the person who handled all of the visas for foreign students.

Cody: Right, International Programs.

Gene Huguelet: And, so Paul Busapi said, "Ask daddy." So Joyce did, and within two weeks we had her papers. And, she came up and we put her in school at, down at the Cape Fear Community College to get her GED. And, she worked hard, she studied and tried but she didn't pass it. At the end of the year, we all went to Belize to celebrate her GED and she didn't pass. So, we said, "Don't worry," --

Cody: Celebrated anyway, right?

Gene Huguelet: Yeah, we- we celebrated and we said, "Come on back with us and we'll send you to Hoggard High School." So, she came and graduated in two years in the National Honor Society. And, then she went back to Belize to San Pedro Town and worked for a year and a half and then she said she'd like to go, needs some more schooling. So, we said, "Come on." So, came back and she went to college. And, she's now living in San Pedro uhm.. and she has her- her own school. Her brother-in-law has helped finance it, her brother Hector works there. And, Leila [ph?] is the principal. And, she has a little girl now and the name is Joyce (laughter) after my wife. So, yes, so we- we still go, she was up here summer before last, I think, or last summer, I- I lose track. But, we go down there at least twice a year for three, four weeks and stay. And, uh.. still think about moving, I don't know, it's a lot of trouble. But, we enjoy Belize. It's been quite an experience.

Riggins: That's interesting, you just have a fondness for the country and you've known them a long time.

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: And, you've traveled a lot in your--

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: I know at Krazy's Pizza there's that picture of you. Tell us about that one.

Gene Huguelet: Well, do you know Krazy's? Everybody does.

Cody: It's an institution.

Gene Huguelet: They're friends, Peter and uhm.. Courtney and his wife have been friends for a long time. And, my wife and I went to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and we said, I- I told Courtney one day and Peter, I was over there eating lunch and I said, well, he said, "Where are you going next." And, I said, "Well, we're going to Africa in a week. We're going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro." And, they gave me two Krazy's T-shirts, and I said, she said, "Put these on at the top, and take a picture." We said, "Okay." So, we did, we got to the top, I put mine on, Joyce was too cold, she held hers up, it was about zero degrees up there and the wind was blowing. But, we took that picture and brought it back and I gave it Courtney and they framed it and put it up at Krazy's, you know. Well, we've traveled a lot, you know, Sue and- and my, well before I retired, I was uhm.. we've enjoyed that. We spent last June in, we had an apartment in London, at Notting Hill--

Cody: This is right after Joyce retired?

Gene Huguelet: Well, Joyce retired March the 4th last year from Winter Park and the next day, we went to Montreal for- for nine days and uh.. with our friends from Charleston and uh.. had a good time. And, then, let's see, we- we went somewhere, I think we went to Belize in the meanwhile. But, in June we had an apartment in London and then after that, we had a great time there. After that we uhm.. I went up to Leicester Sue.

Cody: Did you.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. Old times, speaking of old times we went and did our exchange in Leicester at De Montfort University in Leicester. Both of us were there.

Cody: Yes, Gene went one year and then I went the next.

Gene Huguelet: Well, we went, I got on the train and went up there. And, uhm.. then we went to Iceland on the way home.

Cody: You did? Did you go to that steam bath thing?

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: What is that thing called I can't remember. I've seen it on TV.

Gene Huguelet: I don't know. People get in it, you know.

Cody: Hot springs.

Gene Huguelet: Hot springs. It was hot in London when we got to Iceland it snowed. We wa- we walked down the street to find a coke and uhm.. it was sleet coming down, you know, it was about the first of July I think. But, we love Iceland.

Cody: Do you.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yeah, we loved it. And, plan to go back hiking. And, we've hiked. Gosh, we've- we've done a lot of hiking.

Cody: You've walked across England I remember.

Gene Huguelet: I've walked from Ireland now to the Irish Sea, across to the North Sea, cross England twice. I've done that twice.

Riggins: Are there hiking trails?

Gene Huguelet: It's a trail, coast to coast walk.

Riggins: It sort of like our Appalachian trail.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, it is. Uh.. you start over the Lake District, White Haven, and you walk through the Lake District and across the North Yorkshire Dales and uh.. into uh.. Whidbey or, yeah, I've- I've done it twice.

Riggins: Did Joyce go with you?

Gene Huguelet: Joyce did once. And, we walked from Cuseco up to Machu Picchu in Peru, that was quite a hike. That almost did me in. And, uh.. that was a tough walk, but I loved it. By the way, Jim Sibella and Kathy, who's, Sibella's they just got back from Peru Wednesday. And, we're- we're planning to go with them May the 6th we're going back to Ireland to hike and they're going with us this time. And, uhm.. I'm going to Dublin, I've been reading James Joyce again. I- I'm going to Dublin and take Leopold Bloom, The Walk, around Dublin and then come home. Uh.. and we've walked across the Alps several times and I've walked, and Joyce did also, from the, across the Pyrenees, from east to west, from Bilbao to Barcelona and I've walked from Barcelona up to Bilbao.

Riggins: Do you have Michelin guides?

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes. We go with a group uh.. from Berkeley and uh.. we hike and we- we stay in nice uh.. hotels and bed and breakfast, pubs, bed and breakfast, you know. And, we've walked in uhm..

Riggins: You meet some interesting people.

Gene Huguelet: Oh yeah. And, we like being outside and the hiking. And, yeah, I've- I've we walked in Scotland and uhm.. course I went on a bike trip with my friend from Charleston in Scotland one time. I don't know whether you remember that or not. We, Walter said uh.. he's a big biker uhm.. he thinks he's Lance Armstrong. But, we put our bikes in boxes, we planned this at the- at the Kiawah Island Marathon, I've done that six times. And, Walter and Betty from Charleston always would come down and spend the night. And, I would say, Walter would say, "Let's go biking." I'd say, "Okay." And, I said, he said, "Where can we go? And, I said, "Well, uh.. let's go to Scotland." So, he said, "Okay." So, he, we got plans and we, I met him in Atlanta where he's from and we uh.. had our bikes in big boxes and we flew to Glasgow, got off the airplane, fixed the bikes together and rode off from the airport. Two and a half weeks, we road up to uh.. to Inverness and then back down to Sterling and then to Edinburgh, we stopped for five days where he uhm.. has family and stayed with them. And, rode back from Edinburgh to Glasgow, put the bikes back in the boxes, flew back to Atlanta. Uh.. yeah, great bike trip. Joyce and I have hiked in Scotland, I love- I love Scotland, I love Great Britain the whole--

Cody: So, we did this exchange at De Montfort University in Leicester.

Gene Huguelet: Right.

Cody: And, your exchange partner was Val Bell. [ph?]

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: What did you do while you were there?

Gene Huguelet: I went because De Montfort University at that time was doing something very interesting. It was- it was a red brick, university uhm.. they were going to have branches, Milton Keynes, they're going to have one in Nottingham and uh.. Birmingham. Anyway, they were, they- they had planned to have about six branches of the university and they did not want to build a library at each place. And, so they said, "Well, your library is a little antiquated, just put it all on the computer."

Cody: This was in the early 1990s.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, they said- they said, "We'll put all the books that we need, the reserved books and everything, we'll just put them online." And, students could access, you know, like that. Well, that was a good idea and I went to see what--

Cody: Way before Google.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yeah. I went to see it, I mean, it blew my mind. They ran into a problem because the publishers would not give them clearance and I figured all along that that would be difficult. Because, they wanted to buy one book and put it online and let all the students use it. Publishers wouldn't give that away. So, I think that kind of uh.. had a- had an affect on their plans. But, we enjoyed De Montfort, wonderful people, great school and a good library right there.

Cody: Yes, they do. And, then Val came here.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, she came here and--

Cody: I remember she spent Thanksgiving with Robert and myself.

Gene Huguelet: That's right, I remember.

Cody: And, I still get a Christmas letter from her every year.

Gene Huguelet: That's great.

Cody: My exchange was the next year. I went and visited with library instruction librarian Judy Barton. [ph?] I get a card from her but she never writes a letter. She and her husband were delightful. They took me to the dorm where I was supposed to stay and she said, "Oh, this will not do." She took me home with her.

Gene Huguelet: That's right I remember.

Cody: The little village of Quorn.

Gene Huguelet: How far from Leicester was that?

Cody: Just about ten miles. So, we drove in everyday and then I took the train to York and went to the British Library Document Supply Center. Vicki [ph?] visited that facility too.

Gene Huguelet: Well, I went to uhm.. in London, speaking of England, when we were there in June I went to the British Museum, you know, they've moved all the books from there now but they've maintained the reading room uh.. as it- as it was. They still have the old desk in the center for the librarian and I sat where Karl Marx sat to write the Communist Manifesto, I sat there. And, they had maintained that as kind of a museum piece, but it was exciting. And, they still have the Elgin Marbles there.

Riggins: We had asked Sue about the Sunset Beach house. I've heard the stories.

Cody: The girls here going and renting your place at Sunset Beach.

Gene Huguelet: They didn't rent it.

Cody: Staying at your place at Sunset Beach. (laughs)

Riggins: Was there a core group?

Gene Huguelet: Yes, uh.. it seems to me for several years uh.. Mary Corcoran was the ring leader of that group, Beth Roberts, Debbie Packer and uhm..

Cody: Ms. Ethel, Carolyn Andrews.

Gene Huguelet: Yes, I think Ethel went, Carolyn Andrews went one time I remember. I don't know they used it, I don't know, lots of times. Uh.. I think they haven't lately--

Cody: Sophie, [ph?] maybe.

Gene Huguelet: Sophie, yes, Sophie was there, I think, I- I didn't go with them. (laughter) But, uhm.. I think that Mary was the one who engineered it all. And, uh.. I saw her not too long ago somewhere and uh.. she said, "I want to go back." I said, "Fine Mary, just let us know."

Cody: They'd all go down there and then they'd go shopping in Myrtle Beach, at the outlets.

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: And, then they'd come back and tell us about all the great bargains they found and what a great time they had.

Gene Huguelet: Yeah, they'd stay in that, our house down there and uhm..

Riggins: And, there was some partying going on.

Cody: There was some partying going on.

Gene Huguelet: I'm sure. I hope so.

Riggins: What happens in Sunset Beach stays in Sunset Beach.

Cody: That's right. (laughter)

Gene Huguelet: That's a rule we have, what happens there stays there uh.. we go down there, I'm down there a lot. Uhm.. now uhm.. especially in the early fall and spring I like it.

Cody: Yes, it's so beautiful.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. I like it down there.

Cody: There's just a few other staff people that I wanted to throw out for all of you. Doris Hadden.

Gene Huguelet: Doris was at circulation when I came and uhm.. I think she stayed, maybe it was, she was here when you came.

Cody: Yes, I was in awe of her.

Gene Huguelet: Doris.

Cody: She was very elegant, and she had to do all this walking and she wore these high heels and her blond hair.

Gene Huguelet: Blond hair and she ran that circulation desk and also, she was the caretaker of the 914 Xerox machine, that was in that room that was over on the other side, you remember. So, Doris took care of that, I've seen her in there, elegant or not, ripping paper out. (laughter) Yeah, Doris Hadden was at circulation and uh.. and, of course, she retired, she passed away.

Cody: She passed away. She transferred back to cataloguing before she retired.

Gene Huguelet: Did she? Was I here then?

Cody: Yes, you were.

Gene Huguelet: I don't remember.

Cody: Just the last couple of years. Her daughter wrote a book called, Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas. She's a Harvard graduate.

Gene Huguelet: I remember she was at Harvard. Yes.

Cody: In the history program and she's a professor in Florida, I'm not sure if it's the University of Florida or Florida State now.

Gene Huguelet: Did she have an essay in uh.. Democracy Betrayed?

Cody: She might have had.

Gene Huguelet: Uh.. you know, the- the--

Cody: Sally Hadden is her name.

Gene Huguelet: Sally Hadden, I'll look when I go home. I have a copy of that, it was David Cecelski and Timothy Tyson did this group of stories uh.. of essays on the 1898 business in Wilmington.

Cody: You know, that's another thing I remember. When I first came here I asked you what I should read to get to know the community. One of the first books you told me to read was the Marrow of Tradition.

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: Of course, later I did my thesis and now I go around the state talking about the Marrow of Tradition for the North Carolina Humanities Council.

Gene Huguelet: Wow, uhm.. you remember when Leon Prather published his book.

Cody: Yes, We Have Taken a City.

Gene Huguelet: That was the uhm.. published, I think, in 1986 or '84 or 86' one, uhm.. I remember reading it. I bought a copy when it came out and I remember reading that and thinking that, you know, I grew up and went to school in North Carolina. I went to uhm.. grades kindergarten through 12 public schools and I went to Chapel Hill and I had Hugh Lefler, who was the Dean of North Carolina Historians. I never heard one thing about what happened here in 1898. And, I started reading about it, when I read Leon Prather's book, I started thinking, my goodness, isn't this, there must be papers, documents down at the library somewhere. But, it was never mentioned.

Cody: The silence was deafening.

Gene Huguelet: The silence was deafening and true. And, I've been reading all I can get my hands since then, of course, and uhm..

Cody: And, now we have the draft copy of the State Commission Report on the riot.

Gene Huguelet: Is that- is that given to the legislature or--

Cody: Right, I think in either May or August, they'll present it to the legislature and then it'll be published.

Gene Huguelet: Well, last Wednesday night, was it last Wednesday or the Wednesday before, I think I told you Joyce and I got tickets early. As soon as I knew that Ben Chavis was, because I've had an interest in following him since- since Oxford. Uh.. and, we went down to that church on uhm.. The Gregory Congregational Church, whatever it is, uhm.. and to hear, and they had the Wilmington Ten, there was Ben Chavis and I think, six others, couple had died and I think six, uh.. that was a very interesting evening and uhm..

Cody: I wish I could've been there.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, you yes, it was good.

Riggins: You were here during all that.

Gene Huguelet: No, I was not, uh.. I came in, I was in Greenville. I remember reading about it, what little was talked about. I read The News and Observer in Greenville, and The News and Observer never really carried a great deal of it. They didn't carry very much about the thing that uh.. that the incident in Oxford that uh..

Cody: Right, the Henry Marrow murder.

Gene Huguelet: Tim Tyson, right. We didn't, they didn't, there was not, some how or another I think it was felt that you just don't talk about (sighs) what happens--

Cody: Such unpleasantness.

Gene Huguelet: Right, delayed unpleasantness. But, uh.. that thing that happened in Wilmington in 1898, was uhm.. that's the only time in the history of our country, where a legitimate government was overthrown by force and we heard nothing about it. College, 16 years of schooling the state never mentioned. Well, that's another story. But, the Wilmington Ten story it seems to me what I knew about that was Thad Dankel, [ph?] who was teaching here and came to teach from, he and Susan came down from Princeton, I think, they were there when they came.

Cody: They met at Duke and then they went to Princeton.

Gene Huguelet: They met at Duke and, maybe Thad, after leaving Princeton, he came to Duke to teach and met Susan there, maybe that was what it was. And, they came down though and I remember Fad sitting there talking about it when they came into Wilmington on their, in their VW Bug, it was going on with riots on- on Dawson Street, coming in after you come over the bridge, I think that's Dawson, but that's what I heard about. But, I remember reading about it. Speaking of Thad, that was, when we got back from Belize, we heard about his death, that was very sad, we were good friends and uhm.. I. And, Tom Burke I understand.

Cody: Yeah, Tom's gone.

Gene Huguelet: Is gone. And, uhm.. nobody else.

Cody: Dargan Frierson and Fletcher Norris are still over there in the math department.

Gene Huguelet: Fletcher's not.

Cody: He's retired but he's still--

Gene Huguelet: Is he still teaching.

Cody: He still teaches.

Gene Huguelet: Well, we see Dargan because on Thursday nights we've been in the habit of going down to the Harper Peterson's uhm.. place--

Cody: Water Street.

Gene Huguelet: Water Street and Dargan is with a Group singing down there on Thursday nights. They have a group and Dargan's singing. So, we go down with Jenny Wright [ph?] and- and uh.. sit and listen to him sing. Yes. So, I still see Dargan.

Riggins: Who else from business school you mentioned earlier?

Gene Huguelet: Uh..

Cody: Dean Kaylor.

Gene Huguelet: Dean Kaylor whose daughter, (laughter)

Cody: Is our own Beth.

Gene Huguelet: That's right. Beth, I remember when she was uh..

Cody: Steven Harper.

Gene Huguelet: Steven, is he still teaching. Steve Harper.

Cody: Roger Hill.

Gene Huguelet: Roger's still, he's retired isn't he.

Cody: He's retired.

Gene Huguelet: And, uh.. the economist, uh..

Cody: Luther Lawson.

Gene Huguelet: No, not Luther uh..

Riggins: John Anderson.

Gene Huguelet: Is John still--

Cody: John Anderson is retired.

Gene Huguelet: No, I'm thinking of uhm.. Oh, my gosh, I'm sorry, I can't, I lose- I lose track. He works with, they--

Cody: Claude Farell.

Gene Huguelet: Claude Farell, yes, and Woody Hall, Claude I was trying to think of. He's--

Riggins: He's always quoted in the _______.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes, Claude uh.. yes, uh.. I haven't seen him in so long.

Cody: His wife was a school teacher.

Gene Huguelet: Teacher, yes. She taught with Joyce uh.. they knew each other in the school system, uh.. they came down from Raleigh, he went to NC State and they came down here. And, he's been here, and he's still here huh?

Cody: Yes.

Gene Huguelet: Hasn't retired.

Cody: I think he's in phased retirement, maybe.

Gene Huguelet: Jim Sibella is in phased. Uhm.. Gary Faulkner tells me he's going to be soon. Lots of changes.

Cody: Do you remember Dootsy Tanken. [ph?]

Gene Huguelet: Yes.

Cody: And, her husband, Bubba. He would come to the back door every day at lunch time and go and get her and take her home for lunch.

Gene Huguelet: That's right.

Cody: And, bring her back.

Gene Huguelet: That's right, Dootsy, they lived over on, you know, Forest Hills area, yeah, that street that's uh.. right down the street from where Bill Snyder lived.

Cody: Bill Snyder is chair of the history department at IUPUY [ph?].

Gene Huguelet: Yes, he went up there as chair, but now, I think he's doing, he's working on a new book uhm.. you know, he published the book, he went to France, to Paris it was to work in Bibliothéque Internationale. Uh.. he was working on a book on eugenics.

Cody: Right. He was working on eugenics here.

Gene Huguelet: And, because Joyce and I visited him in Paris. We spent a week in Paris one time and uh.. yes, he- he had an apartment there. And, we- we stayed, we were, that summer we used the apartment of Odell, Jim McGowan's wife, Odell you remember, we went to Dijon and stayed about six weeks in their apartment. And, yeah, that was a wonderful summer. But, during that summer, we went up to see Bill in Paris on the train and uh.. But, anyway, yes, Dootsy [ph?] lived down the street from the Snyders. And, uhm.. they were old Wilmington folks and when the railroad left here, they had to go to Jacksonville, Florida, where that coast line was--

Cody: Moving its headquarters.

Gene Huguelet: Right, and so they went to Jacksonville, reluctantly, but they had to. And, uhm.. soon as they retired, soon as they could, came right back to Wilmington and she came here to work in the library. She was good friends with Katherine, that group, Katherine and Ruth MacLeod.

Cody: A real tight knit group. Everybody got along.

Gene Huguelet: Oh, yes.

Cody: That's the thing about this library.

Gene Huguelet: It's true. I-it's very true. Because I have been in different situations and uh.. where that was the leading problem with cliques, difficulties. But, the Randall Library has, seems always to have had that kind of uh.. ambiance, if you wish.

Riggins: _________ is a different place.

Cody: That's right.

Gene Huguelet: Yes. Well uh..

Cody: What else do you want to tell us.

Gene Huguelet: That's about- that's about all I know. It's been a wonderful time here. And, uhm.. right now what I'm doing, I read, I go, I'm running a lot, still, while I can. I've done 24 Marathons and I want one more and I think it might be London again. I've done it twice.

Cody: And, you've done the original Marathon in Greece.

Gene Huguelet: In Athens, yes. And, uh.. Venice, Paris and uh.. Anchorage and Berlin and--

Riggins: New York.

Gene Huguelet: New York, I've done a lot, and I want to try to do one more. But, right now, what I'm doing is, I go to the gym and uhm.. and do my yoga classes and then usually in the afternoon I read. I've had a problem with my eyes and uh.. I have glaucoma and had a surgery on this one. But, I can still read two, three hours at a time. Where as, it used to be maybe I could, six hours. But, I'm- I'm reading uhm.. Alice Monroe, you know the Canadian Alice. I'm reading her short stories, I'm infatuated with how southern it is. She and Flannery O'Connor would have gotten along well. Just very southern, gothic, but it's good, good stories. So, I'm reading her and uh.. and James Joyce and that's about it.

Cody: That sounds great. Retirement sounds pretty good.

Gene Huguelet: Well, it has- it has been. Yes, it has been. I've had time to read.

Riggins: How many marathons has your wife run?

Gene Huguelet: Three. She ran, one year we ran uhm.. we went to Venice in October and she ran that one with me. We went out to the road, on the road to Verona. I feel, when I get into these places in the world, I'm, it's like magic to me, you know, I think of the two gentlemen __________ the ______________ (laughter) and- and we ran in, across the causeway and then down across those canals. I was running along and I looked at a sign and it said, "Arrow, where Vivaldi wrote Four Seasons." It just turns me on so much and it's so exciting to be there. And, we, anyway the finish line was down at San Marcus Square and we stayed out at the Lido, while we were there and we stayed in the hotel on the floor, where Thomas Mann wrote Death in Venice. It was an exciting time. I guess the most exciting uhm.. marathon probably would be, well, they're all exciting when you think you're gonna finish and get done with. But, Athens, when I ran from the Village of Marathon, then we ran up and I got to the top of the hill, I think about mile 14, and I looked down and I saw the Parthenon. It was magic, "Oh, Oh, Oh, It's Magic."

Cody: Life is good.

Gene Huguelet: Life is good. But, London is good and I'd like, probably make that my last one. Because it's so nice to see Big Ben looming in the distance and you know you're about to Buckingham Palace where the finish line is. And, it's such a good restaurant we have there. (laughter) Well, this has been very nice, thank you.

Cody: Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Gene Huguelet: They're all good memories.

Riggins: Wonderful, wonderful interview. Thank you.

Gene Huguelet: Thank ya'll.

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