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Oral History Commons

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Interview No. 1610, Rod Champney 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1610, Rod Champney

Combined Interviews

Rod Champney worked for Farah for about 10 years as a pilot and an engineer. His father had established himself in El Paso, Texas during World War II and his mother was born in El Paso. Champney, born in 1946, graduated from Burgess High School and then The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a degree in physics. It was while he attended UTEP when he accepted a position at Farah to fly one of two Lear jets owned by the company in 1968. As a pilot, Champney recalled a close relationship to Willy Farah because he was ...


Interview No. 1603, Bill Lawson 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1603, Bill Lawson

Combined Interviews

Bill Lawson was the Military Sales Director for the West Coast and Pacific Rim for Farah; he was born in El Centro, CA; he mentions that there was no prejudice where he grew up; his father worked for Chevrolet Garage; he reveals that Farah was his only job for over twenty eight years, required him to travel constantly. Mr. Lawson recounts his time in sales for Farah; he mentions the stress his travel had on his wife, worked on commission so his pay was unpredictable; describes how items that became very popular in a short time could create supply and ...


Interview No. 1606, Joe Chemali Jr. 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1606, Joe Chemali Jr.

Combined Interviews

Joe Chemali Jr. was born in Colorado City, TX on August 30, 1926; grandfather was Andrew Farah, brother of Farah Company founder Mansour Farah; family was of Lebanese ancestry, described as patriotic Americans; He grew up in Marfa, TX; Mr. Chemali was in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Mr. Chemali describes his first work as a foreman at a cotton warehouse in Alpine, TX; He recalls making deliveries to El Paso and how this eventually resulted him working for Willie Farah in 1950; He explains decision to work for Farah, company was rapidly expanding; states Farah had ...


Interview With Jane O’Connor By Brien Williams, Jane F. O'Connor 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Jane O’Connor By Brien Williams, Jane F. O'Connor

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Jane Frances O’Connor was born on March 13, 1960, in Augusta, Maine. She was one of twelve children born to Barbara Louise (Murray) and Dr. Francis J. O’Connor, both from Dorchester, Massachusetts. Her father was head of radiology at Augusta General Hospital; her mother was an artist and musician who stayed at home while her children were young. After growing up in Augusta in a nonpolitical family, Jane attended the University of Southern Maine and, later, Trinity College in Washington, DC. In the summer of 1980, she became an intern for Beverly Bustin-Hatheway, accompanying her around ...


Interview No. 1607, Joe Gomez 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1607, Joe Gomez

Combined Interviews

Joe Gomez was born in Cayay, Puerto Rico on September 20, 1947; his father was in the military, his mother was a housewife; he has four brothers and sisters; he came to El Paso and could not speak English, told that he had to learn English or he would be dropped from school; later moved to Germany for three years, he came back to graduate from Burges High School and went to UTEP. Mr. Gomez recalls that he got a job at Firestone Tires to support his family, explains difficulty in finding a good job at the time; explains he ...


Interview No. 1605, Emma Acosta 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1605, Emma Acosta

Combined Interviews

Emma Acosta born in El Paso, Texas in 1953 was employed at Farah for the summer program in 1969 and 1970. Acosta’s limited family income was the main reason why she sought a job while she attended El Paso High School. Acosta would use half her wages to help support the family and the other half as extra spending money. Her job duties working for Farah originally were to sew a few stitches on children’s pants. Acosta became bored with the receptiveness of the work. Her supervisor noticed a decline in the quality of her work, and she ...


Interview With Walter Corey By Andrea L’Hommedieu, Walter E. Corey III 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Walter Corey By Andrea L’Hommedieu, Walter E. Corey Iii

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Walter Ellsworth Corey III was born June 19, 1941, in White Plains, New York, to Walter E., Jr. and Theresa (Stallone) Corey and grew up mainly on Staten Island. His father was an insurance executive with Metropolitan Life and his mother was a homemaker. They divided their time between New York and Ogunquit, Maine. He attended Yale Law School, then moved to Maine to join the Portland law firm Bernstein Shur; he left the firm to serve in the Ken Curtis administration as Maine’s first federal coordinator. He was active in several of Mitchell’s campaigns, for ...


Interview With Diane Dewhirst (2) By Mike Hastings, Diane Dewhirst 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Diane Dewhirst (2) By Mike Hastings, Diane Dewhirst

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Diane Dewhirst was born on May 28, 1957, in Framingham, Massachusetts, to Joan Priscilla Audubon and Robert Thornton Dewhirst. She grew up in Boston and Philadelphia. Her father worked in sales for an energy firm. Majoring in journalism at the University of Ohio and then transferring to Northwestern, she was graduated with a degree in political science. She worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign in 1976, as an intern for Common Cause, the Democratic National Committee, and briefly for ABC News on delegate selection rules, covering the 1984 presidential election. She then became press secretary for the ...


Interview No. 1479, Robert Navarro 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1479, Robert Navarro

Combined Interviews

Robert Navarro was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and attended school in El Paso. After Robert graduated from high school, he attended Texas Western College in El Paso, Texas and graduated in 1961 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He entered the United States Army via the ROTC program for two years. After the Army, Robert attended New Mexico State University and received his Masters in Structural Engineering. During his time as a graduate student, Robert worked for A.B. Peinado and Sons. After graduating, he continued to work for that company. A.B. Peinado and Sons ...


Interview No. 1479, Robert Navarro 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1479, Robert Navarro

Paso del Norte Entrepreneurship Oral History Project

Robert Navarro was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and attended school in El Paso. After Robert graduated from high school, he attended Texas Western College in El Paso, Texas and graduated in 1961 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He entered the United States Army via the ROTC program for two years. After the Army, Robert attended New Mexico State University and received his Masters in Structural Engineering. During his time as a graduate student, Robert worked for A.B. Peinado and Sons. After graduating, he continued to work for that company. A.B. Peinado and Sons ...


Interview No. 1478, Robert Wingo 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1478, Robert Wingo

Combined Interviews

Robert Wingo was born in Columbus, Ohio but spent the majority of his life in El Paso, Texas. Robert attended elementary and high school in El Paso. After graduating from high school, Robert was drafted into the Vietnam War. After the serving his time in the Vietnam War, Robert attended The University of Texas at El Paso and in 1973 he got his BBA in Marketing. While attending UTEP, Robert worked for BDM Corporation on Fort Bliss. After graduating, Robert started working for Billy the Kid and ended up as the VP of Advertising. In 1983, the company was sold ...


Interview No. 1618, Josephine Maceyra 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1618, Josephine Maceyra

Combined Interviews

Josephine Maceyra in 1958 left a job as a supervisor of surgery in a hospital to take an industrial nurse position at the Farah Company at the insistence of Willie and James Farah; Mrs. Maceyra initially worked at 3rd street location; she eventually was placed in charge of all clinics in each factory and the hospital for the company; she explains that medical care was provided free of charge for all employees; she recalls the personalities of Willie and James Farah; Mrs. Maceyra mentions James having a very friendly personality, recounts the time he had a heart attack at work ...


Interview No. 1478, Robert Wingo 2010 University of Texas at El Paso

Interview No. 1478, Robert Wingo

Paso del Norte Entrepreneurship Oral History Project

Robert Wingo was born in Columbus, Ohio but spent the majority of his life in El Paso, Texas. Robert attended elementary and high school in El Paso. After graduating from high school, Robert was drafted into the Vietnam War. After the serving his time in the Vietnam War, Robert attended The University of Texas at El Paso and in 1973 he got his BBA in Marketing. While attending UTEP, Robert worked for BDM Corporation on Fort Bliss. After graduating, Robert started working for Billy the Kid and ended up as the VP of Advertising. In 1983, the company was sold ...


Interview With Harold Decker By Brien Williams, Harold J. Decker 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Harold Decker By Brien Williams, Harold J. Decker

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Harold James Decker was born February 23, 1945, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His parents were Harold and Dena (Bouma) Decker, both children of Dutch immigrants. He was graduated from Kalamazoo College majoring in political science, joined the Army in 1968 and served during the Vietnam War. In 1973, he took his law degree from Southwestern Law School and subsequently practiced law in southern California for six years. He then worked for the pharmaceutical manufacturer Upjohn for eighteen years. In February, 2001, he was asked by Dr. Bernadine Healy to redesign the legal function of the American Red Cross. In ...


Interview With Barbara Mikulski By Brien Williams, Barbara A. Mikulski 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Barbara Mikulski By Brien Williams, Barbara A. Mikulski

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Barbara Ann Mikulski was born on July 20, 1936, and grew up in the Highlandtown neighborhood of East Baltimore, Maryland. She attended Mount Saint Agnes College and received her M.S.W. from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She became a social worker, community organizer, and Baltimore city councilor, and she made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 1974 before winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976. After serving in the House for ten years, she ran for the U.S. Senate in 1986, becoming the first elected ...


Interview With Ed Bonney By Andrea L’Hommedieu, Edward 'Ed' M. Bonney 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Ed Bonney By Andrea L’Hommedieu, Edward 'Ed' M. Bonney

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Edward Mason “Ed” Bonney was born April 5, 1933, in Buckfield, Maine, and grew up in Lisbon Falls, Maine. His parents, Mason Turner and Beatrice Evelyn (Dean) Bonney, were Roosevelt Democrats. Ed served four years in the Air Force and later became an air traffic controller in New York for several years. He and his wife moved back to Maine to raise their family and became involved in Maine Democratic politics. Ed served as chair of the Cumberland County Democratic Committee, where he first met George Mitchell, and later was executive director of the Maine Democratic Party when ...


Interview With Sherman Saperstein By Andrea L’Hommedieu, Sherman H. Saperstein 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Sherman Saperstein By Andrea L’Hommedieu, Sherman H. Saperstein

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Sherman Saperstein was born in Waterville, Maine, on March 16, 1932, to Rose (Rosenthal) and Edward Saperstein, entered the family business in 1954, and remained there until the business was sold in 1997. A childhood friend of the Mitchell family, he was also a fund raiser for George Mitchell’s campaigns. At the time of this interview, he was a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Summary
Interview includes discussion of: early family life in Waterville, Maine; being a classmate and childhood friend of George Mitchell et al.; Mitchell’s traits and personality; his selection to Boys State and election ...


Interview With Jim Sasser By Diane Dewhirst, James 'Jim' R. Sasser 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Jim Sasser By Diane Dewhirst, James 'Jim' R. Sasser

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
James R. “Jim” Sasser was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 30, 1936. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he was awarded a law degree in 1961, admitted to the Tennessee bar, and became active in the Democratic Party; he managed Albert Gore Sr.’s unsuccessful 1970 campaign. In 1976 he sought election and won a seat in the U.S. Senate; he was reelected to two further terms, serving until 1995. He first met George Mitchell in 1972 when they were both working on Ed Muskie’s presidential primary campaign. He worked with Senator Mitchell on the Democratic ...


Interview With Kelly Currie By Brien Williams, Kelly T. Currie 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Kelly Currie By Brien Williams, Kelly T. Currie

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Kelly T. Currie was born on September 11, 1963, in Lewistown, Montana, to Edmund and Bette Currie, and grew up in Farmington, Maine. His father was a professor at the University of Maine, Farmington and his mother was a nurse. He attended the University of Virginia and was graduated in 1986, serving a summer internship with Senator Mitchell’s office between his junior and senior year. In the fall of 1986, he worked on Jim Tierney’s Maine gubernatorial campaign. He joined Senator Mitchell’s Senate staff full-time in January of 1987 as a legislative correspondent dealing with ...


Interview With Beverly Sherman By Andrea L’Hommedieu, Beverly M. Sherman 2010 Bowdoin College

Interview With Beverly Sherman By Andrea L’Hommedieu, Beverly M. Sherman

George J. Mitchell Oral History Project

Biographical Note
Beverly (Marshall) Sherman was born in 1937 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, to Ruth and Norris Marshall. She attended the University of Michigan and the University of Southern Maine. She had slight involvement in Mitchell’s 1982 U.S. Senate campaign and was more deeply involved with events and fund-raising for his 1988 Senate reelection campaign. She also worked with Mitchell’s staff to organize several events, including visits from President Clinton and New York Governor Cuomo, as well as the “thank you” event in Maine upon Senator Mitchell’s retirement announcement.

Summary
Interview includes discussion of: family ...


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