Charles Delong Interview

Primary tabs

  • Jessica Stutman
    Jessica: My name is Jessica Stutman. I'm conducting an interview with Charles Delong of Grinnell, Iowa today April 21, 1993.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Alright you got it turned on now?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: uh huh..go ahead.Charles: Well let's see. Well, probabl y I can start with my father who was a born and raised in a little country town out here called Mountour.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He and his brother and four sisters all graduated from Grinnell. This was in the 1890's. (coughs) They were born on a farm and uh every year they would take a farm wagon loaded with food and they would drive it down to Grinnell and uh they rented a house and this house used to be catty corner from cottage five.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: (cough) and uh all six of them graduated from Grinnell. (coughs) Both the boys became doctors. (cough) My father ended up practicing medicine in the town of Gary, Indiana. (coughs)
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Gary was a town that was built from scratch, started in about 1900.. 1906 or seven. And uh my dad moved there, I think, probably about uh 19 odd 7 and my mother came from New York state also from a farm they ..
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: my dad had three children and uh uh Gary was the town where they built the great big steel mill from scratch (coughs) and uh (coughs) and uh they got the labor by the strong young men from Europe come over to the United States and some of them had experience with the steel mills. (coughs)
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: At any rate, Gary ended up being a town which grew very fast. They had uh their high schools won the football, Indiana football, championships seven years in a row.Jessica: Wow (laughs)
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They uh the football coach was hired from Gary in 1920..25. Came out and was a football coach at Ames for good many years and they named the Vicars golf course up there for him
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: (coughs), at any rate, that's that's the my back around as far as (coughs) uh (coughs) and uh folks sent all three youngsters out to Grinnell.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: So were you raised in Gary?Charles: Yes, (coughs) all three of us born and raised in Gary and in high school I was uh I graduated I came to Grinnell when I was still sixteen and uh which was.. skipped a year..two grades ..in Gary. I really don't know why.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: Uh..was never particularly good grades and so forth but I got a letter in tennis and swimming and our team won the state swimming championship.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Uh my high school was Emerson High and they also won the state football champions for seven years in a row because they had these great big strong young men that would come there.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: (clears throat)..and their children would be big strong children..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: yeah ..Charles: And uh, so anywa y (clears throat) there were two high schools in Gary, now both of them are closed and they've got, I think, three or four now.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Gary uh is uh probably 95% negro now and uh (clears throat) and the Mafia from Chicago is moved down there a little bit and I went back to my fiftieth reunion here quite a while back and uh uh not to many of my friends were there.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: The ones that were had all moved out of town uh and they have racial problems there but I figured people continue to watch the basketball..Jessica: (laughs)
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: ..well they'll realize that the negroes are anything but an inferior race. Well anyway, to get me through college my brother came out, my brother was he was two years older than I but was only one year ahead of me in high school. (clears throat)
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And he played on the basketball team and he was the star and he was the uh uery good basketball player but he came out to Grinnell..why he...uhh (clears throat) I played on the class basketball team and I didn't even go out for swimming until the season was mostly over (clears throat)
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: but uh, at any rate when they had the semifinal meet in the counties and so forth why I went out and uhh, let's see, uh I went out and I was..their diver was not real good .. so I went out and dove and I think that's all I did in high school.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: The folks had a cottage out at the sand dunes at [Angandune] (clears throat) and off at the beach there's a big..they put up a.. oh..a place to hold a diving board so that's where I could learn to dive a little bit..did n't have to be too good .
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: (clears throat) But uh uh then I came to Grinnell as a freshman. My brother was uh a sophomore then. My sister came out two years after that.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Why Grinnell?Charles: Pardon?Jessica: Why Grinnell?Charles: Well because my brother..err my father graduated from here.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Oh, he came here also.Charles: And uh ahhh it uh ahhh I thought that Grinnell was just absolutely lovely. When I..the first two or three months I was here I thought the boys were just fantastic.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I lived in Dibble Hall and that was the the hall of the intermural sports..uhh always won. They had most of the athletes there and intermural was a real big item at that time.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And uh oh yes so my freshman year ..oh Dibble Hall ..it was great fun to be there. I uhh..the first year I roomed with Paul Smiley who was a real handsome, tall, real nice guy in a suite on the second floor. Uhh and uh there were four of us there and uh...
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: What year was this?Charles: This was in 1927. I came out in 27. I graduated in '27..high school ..and I came out that fall and I was..let's see..I was sixteen. Turned seventeen after I'd been here about a month. (clears throat) Well the girls ..I didn't think the girls were quite up to standa rd ..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: ..but that was in the fall. By spring they had taught me differentl y.Jessica: ohhhh...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And uh the important socia l event then was dancing. There'd be at least one big dance every Saturday and uh the cottages would have teas and so forth inbetween there. Anyway my four years at Grinnell were just a delight.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Umm let's see..I met my..my wife ..went here and her brother went here and her father went here and he was in the school when my dad was and uh.. Katie was a good golfer ..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Katie is your wife?Charles: Uhh all of our kids were very athletic. They uhh all three of the boys played basketball. One of the boys went to Cornell College and uh he..he was not only all conference player ..he was five-eleven ..one of my boys was six feet three, the other was about six feet two. but the shortest one was the best...
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: His team won the championship. And then [Chady] went to Carleton and uh he he his team won the midwest conference title. They tied for it one year. And he was very good.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And then my son David, my third son, he went to Grinnell, actually he went to Carleton, grades weren't good enough, they didn't want him back so uh so he went to Grinnell...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: and he ended up being on the Dean's list so he fought his way through that pretty well and he's a basketball player and his his their mother Kate was a real good golfer. She was the Des Moines City Champion and she also was a medalist in the state a couple years and uh so the boys were great golfers.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Two of them were particularly good because the midwest conference had a..they have a conference every year and all the teams bring their golfers there. They have a two or three day af fair. (clears throat)
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Both my youngest son Tim and David were the medalists in that. Everybod y turns their scores in and they were the lowest. And they were really fantastic golfers. (clears throat)
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: One of them has given up golf, plays tennis now, and, well, my oldest son doesn't play golf, except at the family reunion. But he also plays tennis. and uh Tim still plays golf. Tennis is our big event when we have our family reunion.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: How often do you have your reunion?Charles: Pardon?Jessica: How often is your family reunion?Charles: Well, once a year and uh sometimes we've been meeting out on the east coast...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: and then we were up at [Okabogie] and we really haven't decided where we're going to be this summer but I want them to come to Grinnell because they've got enough tennis courts to take care everybody now.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs) Is it your family that meets or your wife's family?Charles: Now tell me that again..Jessica: Is it your family ..the reunion..or your wife's family?
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Well, it's the Delong reunion and uh my wife was a [Cogashaw] and uh her dad was a real good athlete, football player a t Grinnell. (clears throat) Her brother was an incredible athlete. He was a nationally ranked tennis pla yer.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Wow...Charles: He's the only Iowa born tennis player that was invited into the hall of fame in Iowa and uh they used to have a tournament in Chicago.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Well, I'll think of the name of it here in a minute..big tournament.. national tournament where it had the Davis cup players from the rest of the world and he won that for a couple of years.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And uh now he's in a rest home in Des Moines and very uh going down hill very fast. I really don't know what it is but it breaks your heart to go out and visit him. Anyway, I spent the morning out at St. Francis here.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I'm on a board out there, a care board, where they give each one of us...have fi fteen people out there and they are all retired and seventy percent of them need all k inds of help and uh anyway, I feel awfully sorry for the people that end up that way and particularly for [Cagey].
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Now let's see. That get's me through college, through college. uh let's see...(pick s up Grinnell College yearbook) this is a book of.. that has a little stuff in it. let's see..here's the track team at Grinnell, here's the swim team.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: yeah ..I was captain my senior yea r. I swam the breaststoke and the uh anyway this is basketball, I usually am in the basketball picture because I'd always go out for basketball but when team swimming started ..why ..these are the basketball pla yers.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Was your brother pla ying basketball this yea r?Charles: I don't think so. No, let's see, I could find ..this is 1931 when this happened. Let's see...Katie will be back pretty quick. Your last name was what?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: It's Stutman. s-t-u-t-m-a-n.Charles: Al right..and that wonderful first name again was?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: JessicaCharles: Jessica ..let's see..here's Dibble Hall. That is I (points to picture) (Katie Delong enters)Jessica: Hi..Charles: Katie, this is Jessica . . This is my wife, Kate.
  • Jessica Stutman
    Jessica: It's very nice to meet you.
  • Kate Delong
    Kate: It's nice to meet you too.
  • Charles Delong & Kate Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: We've got the recording device going on, Kate.Kate: Oh! excuse me..Charles: So it's alright ..Jessica: Well, if you'd like to sit down and talk with us..
  • Kate Delong & Charles Delong
    Kate: Oh..no thank you.Charles: Katie can help me..well, this is Dibble and that's my picture there. I don't know if you noticed when I said , "That is I" that that's a grammatical error that most people make..they say "That is me."
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: And I've got three of the college presiden ts corrected on that. Well anywa y ..that shows you a little of that. It might be a good idea to just show you the pictures on the walls of the kids.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Yeah...! would like that. [background noise]Charles: Alright. Our daughter went to...Katie, where did Annie go to college? Did you hear what she said?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Lawrence?Charles: Yes, and she met this fellow there. That's Ashley Haas and {picks up newspaper article) this was taken from the New York Times just in March.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He's been working on..he's a brilliant guy ..he was Phi Beta Kappa and uh they wouldn't give him his key right away at graduation time because he turned his uh annual theme in, or whatever it is, he turned it in wearing shorts.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: ..so they wouldn't give him his Phi Beta Kappa key. When they graduated, why all the Magna Cum Laude people got their keys and sat down and one guy was still left. He was a [Summa]. So I guess they did finally give him the key.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: He deserved it!Charles: Well, this is our oldest boy [Chady]. He's a psychiatrist . It takes a long time to get to be that. He makes more money than he should.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: And uh I spent four days skiing with him. He's got a condominium.Jessica: Ohh..that must have been nice.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: An that's Katie when she was little..these are other pictures of Chady. This is David during the war; he was a naval lieutenant. My daughter Annie (she's beautiful). She married Ashley. Our son, Tim. That is Kate and that is I.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Is this when you were in college?Charles: Pardon?Jessica: Is this from when you were in college?Charles: Yes that is about the time I think ..let's see..this is the Grinnell Football team and this is Harris Haydn Cogashall. And uh..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Is that your wife's brother?Charles: No, that's her father. These were taken in '95..1895. Kate and her brother..these were our three youngsters, when we only had three.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: That's Timmy, that's Ashley..that's Chady. This is when I had a little jacket factor y in my basement. These jackets are worn by..that's our little Timmy and this is one of of our partners and Tim in their leather jackets.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I'll tell you about the leather jacket business. (sits down) Well, when I grad uated from Grinnell in 1931 there were no jobs. I think two of the boys had jobs with their pa rents...the best of them.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: One of my roommates had taken..had a car and he spent the summer selling magazine subscriptions. So I took a job with him and we went to Chicago, taking most of the summer (clears throat)
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Then when college started my father let me use one of his cars so I got a crew of young men and for almost a year we traveled in Indiana and Iowa, Illinois and Chicago selling magazine subscriptions for the Good Housekeeping/ Cosmopolitan.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: There were a couple of them. Not a very rewarding thing but it was a job. Then they opened up the hiring in the steel mills. The steel mills were running on ten percent.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They started to get some orders so I ended up going out there and standing in line to see if I could get a job. Came up ten feet of the window and they close it. No more hiring.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Was this in Iowa?Charles: No, this was in Gary, Indiana. And a friend of mine and I had gone out to stand in that line so when they closed it, he and I, we went into the mill and everyone who looked like a foreman we'd stop and ask for a job.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And we had three of them when we came out and I took the one I thought looked the toughest uh..it was work ing with a roller on an old fashioned roller mill which would take an [ingot] and roll it out into a sheet maybe eight feet long and three feet wide..something like that.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They used to make auto bodies and that sort of thing. And uh so I took that job. The pay a t that time was thirty-seven and a half cents an hour. Can you just imagine that?
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And uh then when they ran out of orders, why a neighbor of mine down the street was head of the brick layers department so when that would happen, why I could possibly get a day's work as an assistant to a brick layer.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And they actually, while work ing on the labor force, built a new mill called a coal reduction mill that they didn't heat the steel, they got it in big coils about that thick and they ran it through a big powerful mill with four rollers which would put pressure on it going through and also put tension on it so it would be stretched and flattened .
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: The, at any rate, when we got it finished , why, they gave me a job as gage man on this big machine and all I did was put on a couple wheels and measured the thickness of the steel going through and uh, at any rate, my salary was at that time I think one hund red and seventy five dollars a month which was quite a bit then.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But one of my roommates in school, a fellow named Lee Solsbey from Waterloo, he got a job in town with the Grinnell Glove Factory with Mr. Lannom. Right down by the rail road tracks is a big building..it's where they've got the jacket factory now. Don't know if you've ever seen the Delong jacket factory down there.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: I haven't.Charles: I'll uh tell you a little bit about how that happened .
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: At any rate, I ended up being able to get a job selling gloves and so I quit at the steel mill job which was paying me $175.00 a month and I took this one and to get a job a t a salesman you had to work in the factory for six months at $75.00 a month. Is that right? Yes.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: That's a big cut.Charles: At any rate, after six months I got on the road . And eh it ended up being a good job, one I liked because I could sell the gloves and you'd start out in January and February, March and April and May you'd have the factory pretty well sold up and you could do anything you want to the rest of the year.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: So, by that time Kate and I had two youngsters and we lived in South Bend, Indiana and eh..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: When were you and Kate married?Charles: Let's see, three years after we graduated . It would be real close to June..Katie, are you listening?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: So '34?Charles: '34..something like that, yes. So..in the next four years we had three children and so I, when I had spare time.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I started a little factory in my little house in South Bend, Indiana, When I was off the road, why we made jackets and uh we made a little jacket for men with a wool body and a leather sleeve..no, wool body, oh yes, and a leather sleeve.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Who was making the jackets?Charles: Pardon?Jessica: Who was sewing the jackets?
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Well, I ended up having two sewers in their own house..we fixed their basement up with a cutting table and a power knife for cutting the lining and things and uh an a cutting board to cut.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And there was a husband and his wife and uh his wife's mother and it was a very interesting little situation. When I was on the road, I of course was selling and we had made a better jacket than our competitors but we had no overhead.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They got a percent of ..they got oh..let's see..every jacket made I figure on every jacket made there was a profit of one dollar per jacket then and I made my living selling commissions on the other and uh these people added to their income so it worked out very fine and the jackets were great.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: The people just loved them. (clears throat) Well that went on for a couple years and they added salesmen to do what I was doing and so they asked Mr. Lannom to uh set it up so that they could sell jackets.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So he asked me if I would come to Grinnell and sell them out so I did and umm we ended up mouing out to Grinnell in the summertime and that fall I designed a line of jackets and taught the girls how to sew them and when we went on the road the next year, the boys had both gloves and jackets.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: We loved it because the war was developing..it hadn't started yet..business was good and the boys..instead of coming out of the store with a two hundred dollar order, they'd have a seven hundred dollar order. They loved it.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Well, that lasted about two, two and a half years but the things were..the war was now started and uh and when that happened ..why they know that uh it's going to be hard to get supplies such as skin.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Leather market just went way up and uh so they decided to put the jackets aside and just continue with the gloves because they's had fifty years experience with gloves.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: These were men's and boys' dress gloves. So uh they went out of the jacket business. But when the war was on..why it used to take us six months to sell out but we could sell her out in four weeks now but we made sure that we called on every customer and let them buy what they bought the year before.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: It was much more honest (coughs) than most firms would (coughs) who would get them whatever price they sold out of them. But we came in and what you bought last year, you could have it again.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They just loved that. But it also let us sell out in four weeks. So we had, the rest of that time. So one of the cutters in the glove factory was a guy named Claude Ahrens. He built this house next door.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And when I first met him was when I spent six months in the factory; he was a cutter down in the basement, cutting gloves with a dye and a hammer and [skimmed] and making about a dollar a day. And eh..which was pretty standard in those days.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But I got to know him so I had free time in my six months, I'd go down and stand next to him at a cutting table. I'd cut a few gloves for him and I tease him about it now. Anyway ...uh when, yes ..let's see..now Claude was..no, I haven't got it..got us in the jacket business yet here...
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: So when they stopped making jackets, stopped making jackets at the glove factory, why I decided to continue.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Kate and I were living in a house with five bedrooms and a great big basement so I went down into the basement and hired a neighbor girl and just got my self together some equipment to make jackets and so all during the war..
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And by this time my roommate, who had gone to work for Mr Lannom first, was set to Talahoma Tennessee and ran the tannery there. They tanned their own leather. So he ran the tannery and he wanted to go into business by himself so as, when he would get a chance, he would buy a piece of machinery and put it in storage. And uh so anyway ..
  • Jessica Stutman
    Jessica: [tape change]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: so when Mr. Lannom went out of the jacket business I went back in and hired one or two neighborhood girls and made jackets in my spare time. And uh oh yes ..the local undertaker, Snap James, was a good friend of mine.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He graduated a couple years after I did and he had a undertaking business, a real good profitable business. He came by to pick me up to go play golf and I told him he'd have to wait a little; I still had two more jackets to cut.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So he'd wait and I said, "What you want to do, why when I go on the road why this thing stops. Why don't you but a half interest in it?'' He said "Sure, how much do you want?'' So he bought a half interest in the business for a hundred and eighty nine dollars.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: (laughs) And it turned out he loved it. It wasn't too long before we had that basement..oh we probably had twelve people coming to work in the basement.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Sewers and cutters. And uh we moved downtown uh oh got an upstairs building near the rail road tracks. And then we had the upstairs and we had the basement also. Then from there we jumped two blocks away, right across from where the fire department is.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: There was a big building there, three story building. It's torn down now. We rented the second floor there. And then Claude Ahrens had..let's see..he ended up getting a job selling seed corn for [Garst] of Coon Rapids.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They were the former pioneer hybrid seed corn company. And this was when it was first coming in... He was a good salesman so he got the line and he went down into Oklahoma and Missouri selling hybrid seed corn.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He did such a good job that uh he then decided to go into the seed corn business by himself. He got a farmer here to back him financially so he started in the seed corn business.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He had a father ..all these names are going to get you mixed up .. but his father lived in the little town up here called, couple miles, eight miles up there, called Gillman and he'd made a merry-go-round for children with a wooden stand with things to stand up on them on.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He installed it on a little slant. So a kid would get on up the high part and it would go down by itself. When it got down at the bottom he would go up the other end and he could make it go around just by shifting his weight.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Called it the Miracle Whirl. And it was a very tiny outfit..but Claude decided ..he was in the seed corn business..so while he was in that he started another little business making these Miracle Whirls.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And uh so when we were in that building across from the fire department, Claude was in the top floor and we were on the second floor and then he decided to go out of town and build a new factory ..so he went out and we went with him and we built two factories with a common wall. By this time, I forget how many people were employed.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: What year was this?Charles: Oh let's see...this was done after the war. Yes, after the war leather became available again and my roommate Lee Solsbey, by this time had a beautiful, big new tannery and he quit Mr. Lannom.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: When the war was over suddenly you could buy things you couldn't buy before. (clears throat) We uh..the customers were unable to get suede, suede leather, during the war and uh the [pinckle] skin for all of this came from New Zealand.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: In a single year we would use twenty-five dozen pinckle skins and Lee would use thirty thousand. So between the two of us we would use fifty five thousand dozen which is an incredible amount of sheep but we were doing something that no one had ever done before.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They cut jackets with a pattern with a brass edge and a draw knife, but in cutting gloves you put a dye on there..they've got a clinking machine on there so that it cuts the whole thing at once.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Well we pioneered that in the jacket business and (clears throat) when the war was over a fellow named Marty O'Connor, who's brother was Bucky O'Connor who was a basketball coach over at Iowa University, very well known in the midwest...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: he came back from the war and we gave him a job in the jacket factory and his health was not quite as good as it should have been so after about four or five years he, when the war was over, then we started to get competition from Japan and Hong Kong and it meant that we had to work a little harder.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He was perfectly willing to sell; we had given him a twenty percent interest in the business. So I talked to Mr Lannom's son and told him about Marty and he said that he'd be glad to buy Marty's interest.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So he did . And uh then the..let's see..then the unions came to town and the union unionized everybody in town except for our factory and our factory voted them down just because we treated the help better than everybody else, I guess.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They got bonuses every year. But they got Miracle Equipment which was by this time a pretty big outfit and uh the other factories are still controlled by the unions and unions are awful tough to work with, I'm sure.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: We, fortunately, didn't ever have to do it. Well..let's see.I get mixed up a little bit on my time and uh..oh yes ..so the Lannoms bought Marty's interest. So we then sold our half of the building to Claude and we moved all of the help down to the glove factory which was by this time not able to sell very many gloves.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They did decide to make a.. oh yes ..we had probably two or three years where they produced all the jackets for us and uh I went out with the salesmen and trained the salesmen and..let's see..oh yes, my partner, Snap James, he stayed and went to work for Claude.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: The factory they started over in Taiwan, they had a man go over there and after about five yea rs they decided it wasn't profitable because by this time, they ..oh yes ..then they, when they built the factory in Taiwan they didn't want us to have any part of it.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Which was alright with us. So they made an offer to buy us out. So they did. They bought Snap out and bought me out. What they did, all they did, we arrived at a certain price and then they paid ten percent down and the balance off and the same amount for nine years and it was beautiful for them;
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: it was fine for us because we had that money coming in. So with that money I started another business. An this time it was..uh well, let's see..well Claude had this factory going on out there making playground equipment and he came up with an idea, with these wooden seats in stadiums...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: why it wouldn't be a good idea to make a cover for them out of fiberglass and uh so it sounded good and he wanted me to help him get started because I'd broken the salesmen in for him when he went into the playground business and so let's see..where I am now..repeat just the last..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: They built the factory in Taiwan and then they bought you out and ..Charles: Yes..well anyway ..oh yes ..so Claude wanted me to help him promote this.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So I said "Okay" so I took these samples of molded fiberglass made to fit over the seat in the stadium and I went out on the road and I.. let's see... called on the University of Michigan. I put samples ..a sample seat in for the athletic trainer to look at.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I stopped at Purdue and..let's see..Notre Dame ..anyway, yes, when I was at Purdue I got an order for the whole stadium. It was the first real big order. So I went there and I supervised the installation and when I was there I tried to sell this idea to the park department.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Well, the park department said yes, they saw what we're doing out there. Then he told me to hop in his car and he took me out and showed me two stadiums, actually these were little band shell arenas with seating for maybe a hundred, one hundred and fifty people with theater-type seats...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: and these were all made with wood seats and backs. Well, here they had been replaced with an aluminum type extrusion and uh strip about that wide and about that long and they bent it and replaced the wood with that..
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: by this time, by the time I saw that it was about eight or nine years old but it looked brand new. So I got to think ing that aluminum would be a better idea then fiberglass. So uh I decided to take a shot at it which (picks up article) that little article appeared in the paper and uh..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: When is this article from?Charles: Well, that..that's when we were making...in the basement of this house we had the office for Stadiums in there...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: and we had oh probabl y nine or ten people coming to work every day here and we ended up building some nice factory buildings in the area there but this was when we were first getting started and I was telling you how I just got switched from fiberglass to aluminum.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: We immediately became a competitor of Claude. So for ten years, why we beat each others brains out from coast to coast...Jessica: (laughs)Charles: ..and our product was much better..it was fantastic.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Claude was still using fiberglass?Charles: Yes, he kept with his fiberglass and I punched through the aluminum and I'd attend these national conventions and get leads and would put salesmen on the road .
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Then we moved from here out to oh..where the..half way between downtown and the big highway out there..the factory on the left.. we've got three or four big buildings out there that used to be Stadiums.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They're not there anymore ..but I'll explain that when we get there. Now, we ended up making an aluminum cover to fit over these seats and that was quite a nice product but then I saw a uh an extrusion made for the floor plate of a cattle truck where it was made with a couple ...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: well it was extruded with some [indistinguishable] extruded right in it, that's the best way to explain it. It was strong enough so you could stand on it; it would hold it. You could have it any length that you wanted it.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So I had them make..give me samples of that and I went out and tried to interest people in it which turned out to be a wonderful idea. By this time Michigan had bought the fiberglass which I had sold them there and uh and I couldn't get this ready to go back and see if I could change their mind .
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: The first year, as the article explains, we sold maybe twenty five stadiums was all. And I figure we lost maybe, I don't know, thirty or forty thousand dollars.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: The next year we doubled that and broke even and the next year, why we were on the road doing very well. And uh within five years, eighty percent of all the big bowls had aluminum stadiums.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Wow!Charles: The Orange bowl, the Gator Bowl ..it was really a great deal but the battle for it was interesting in that Claude would say, "You can't use aluminum because you can fry eggs on it in the summer!"
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: But what happens is that aluminum is twenty five degrees cheaper that fiberglass under the sun.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They said that if you sit on it you'll be electrocuted in a thunderstorm and [indistinguishable] didn't know the answer to that one. Well, anyway, I could tell you a lot of stories like that that aren't too important.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But uh when I got to be sixty-two I could retire. So I decided to retire and my son David had come in and he was running the business so I made him president of the company and I retired .
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And I drew five thousand dollars a year is all, salary from him. And trusting that they would grow, and they did, they got it up to where it ended, book value of one point nine million dollars, something like that.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Then he got in trouble with the government. They sold about ten percent of the business and they sold the government business amounted to about ten percent of the whole business.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But some way or another, they claimed, that they had overcharged the gouernment which was.. at this time I was retired, I knew nothing about this. Uh, they, any item that the government thought that we had overcharged I or they could go and they could sell it, just like that, at the same price the government was accusing us of.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: We..and for the government we had a special catalogue made with a ten percent discount on the..to the government and I never did find out what happened with that...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: at any rate, they, first thing they did, they had a man come up and when I finally found out about it, I called him up and he came over and I talked to him here for the first time and I really didn't know much of what was going on down there.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: The first thing they did was not bond any of these big orders. When you get these big million dollar orders you haveto bond them in order to finance it. They just withheld the bonds until it was just too late.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So that lovely, wonderful company went down the d rain. And ..let's see, (pick s up catalogue) this is a catalogue of..we started to sell a lot of this stuff ouerseas. I knew nothing about that, my son David traueled ouer the seas but there'll be pictures of some of the stadiums.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Now here's fiberglass pictures. Fiberglass fades under the sun and you can't sit on it because the fibers come to the surface and uh when you sit you get a lot of needle-like things in your fanny.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And but let's see, the Uniuersity of Wisconsin bought fiberglass after I called up; they have since switched .Ames bought fiberglass over aluminum when they had the choice because they gaue fift y thousand dollars to the athletic department.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: (laughs)Charles: So that's..oh, I can list quite a few more. But in the last few years these people came back and redid their stadium.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: See, that's what ours looks like. And uh..(turns page ) then this was made for the ouerseas. Down in Venezuela we shipped , oh, I don't know how many stadiums down there for these big American games. (turns page )
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But uh this was part of that order going down there. (turns page ) They would have the spectators have uniforms on so that they could change so that they would spell ..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: different words...Charles: Yeah, here's...that's Columbia. This is all done on our aluminum stadiums and (turns pages )
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Anyway ..that's what they look like when they're done. And I got some real big catalogues... don't where I would find them. Here's some things that you might be interested in...this is, I mentioned the Miracle Recreation Department ..Jessica: Oh, yeah ..
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: This Claude Ahrens, he invited me down, I spent nine days down with him a month ago, down, he lost his wife last week . He lives over there and we fought each other, tooth and nail, for ten years and now that the shootings all over with.. and he's the one that gave that nine million dollar pa rk out there. Have you euer seen that out there?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: No, I haven 't.Charles: Well, on that side of town, they're just in the process of building it. And I guess, it's not a nine million dollar one but it's certainly a three million dollar one.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: That's prett y high!Charles: But this is the type of thing that he's making.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Was he making this at the same time he was making the fiberglass seating?Charles: Yes, but nothing like this, back in those days it was just, maybe a...(pick s up Delong's Catalogue) this is some of the Delong's Sportswear.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: After, I don't know whether I told you, yes, Sharp bought Snap and me out and uh and they decided to go into the sporting ..now this thing here, they claim that they can make one week delivery and uh..oh this is..
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: So did he buy you out before you began selling aluminum stadiums?Charles: Before.Jessica: Just trying to be sure of my facts.Charles: Yes, he... this is...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: they keep this stuff cut ahead so that when the order comes in they can fill it within ten days. Very often they get behind on it but they've got ten or twelve little cubby holes there and with a girl sitting there with an IBM machine right here and uh taking orders over the phone and you call in...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: they may put you in hold until one of these girls becomes available, but the girl grabs a phone, finds out who it is, punches that button and their last order appears right in front of them with the price and everything.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Oh, neat...Charles: Uh, it's incredible to me because we got our orders by going out after them.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: These people will call in every Monday, they'll call in the orders for the week and these people are doing about thirty million dollars a year which is unheard of. And they've got a big factory down there.
  • Jessica Stutman
    Jessica: [pause]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: There's a bowling hall outside of town here and that went bankrupt and so they bought that and put a new edition on that. What they found out, was they found out that after the war was over...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: they started to get these Taiwanese cheap labor things and now the Taiwanese have trouble because they've got places that are making things much cheaper than they are.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But uh...they found out that they could buy any garment factory in the world because they knew that it was going to have real tough going. But they found that if they do that it would only cost me ten percent down and ten percent next year.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Well, it really would n't cost them anything because by that time they had bought another factory and with their..the profit that they could keep would run enough to pay for the other factory.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So it was a brilliant..they made a lot of mistakes when they bought our business but they hung right in there and swallowed their mistakes and ended up doing a real good job.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: What does your son David do now?Charles: Well, Dave..let's see..went to jail, which was the most horrible thing I ever heard of and...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: they gave him six months and then they found out that they had made a mistake but by that time he had already served three months or something like that. And uh..anywa y, he got a job selling ..
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: he didn't want to have anything to do with the jacket business, but there's a concern down in Oskaloosa that makes lighting for football fields and so forth.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: It's [Muskie] and he got a job as a salesman for them and they just gave him a wristwatch like this. (shows watch) It looks like that only it's a thirty-five hundred dollar one. This one cost nineteen dollars down at the Wal-Mart.
  • Jessica Stutman
    Jessica: (laughs) I'd say you got the better deal there! Charles|But Dave is doing very well. He did it all on his own. He got this job and this is the second year he's lead all the salesmen from [Musk ie] so they gave him that wristwatch for doing so well.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And he lives in Florida. My son Timmy travels for the IBM company out of Des Moines and he's been there long enough, he's a senior salesman now. Let's see, oh Chady, our psychiatrist, uh is practicing in Palo Alto.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: When he graduated he had real good training from the very best. He went out to Palo Alto. He could have gotten in with any hospital but he did it on his own and he's glad he did.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He's got a great reputation. He does things that other people don't think is possible. One of the things is to cure people, help people, without using drugs. By..as soon as you put them on drugs, why, their doom is sealed;
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: they never recover from it. I don't know much about it but he uh..I get to see him every year. He makes more money than he should but uh anyway, I think his customers are happier than most. Let's see...who is left? What is left?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Your daughter..Charles: Oh Annie ..Annie went to Lawrence and she married this Ashley Haas and they have two girls and a boy and uh let's see..they still have a boy in college.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: The two girls are grad uated. One of them is teaching school on the west coast and the other uh is..well the other taught school in some foreign country. Not Taiwan but one of the islands down there somewhere.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Then she traveled with a friend and spent, I don't know, five, six weeks in China just going by any transportation she could get. She found that her friend was pregnant after the sixth day so she made the trip herself.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: She never at any time going through China did she have any problems. They just always made sure that she had a place to sleep which is quite interesting. Anyway, she, uh, married a young man a year ago and.. maybe it's two years ago..at any rate, they just had a little baby a week ago.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Congratulations..Charles: Yes, and she just attended medical school and here she's..they baby was born within a week of graduation time..something like that.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Doesn't bother her a bit. Her mother, my daughter, went out and helped her with the first two weeks with eh baby and Annie will be here tomorrow. She lives in Minneapolis, a real snooty place there.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Uh..oh, I can't think of the name of it but they've got a beautiful home there. Yes, and her husband, when they..let's see..yes Ash has got a fantastic experience. He's traveled all around the world because he knows more about AIDS than anybody else.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He had a government..he had a group of people under him in San Francisco, in the big Army hospital there, where they're working on the..a lot of their customers had AIDS and the rest of the world knew nothing about it. And so he came up with something that was mentioned in that thing there. (points to article)
  • Jessica Stutman
    Jessica: [tape change]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He proved that, these bacterias that tie themselves in a cell and this here would show up 15 years later, that sort of thing. And he's spent some time all by himself going over in one of these Islam countries and looking, trying to find the disease which caused the black plague- I forgot the name of it.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: If they ever did find it in that whole thing there. But, when the AID thing hit, by then the universities all wanted somebody. Well he knew more than anybody about it because he had been working through this national insitute of health, out there.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And they'd gotten him all these great big grants where- so- and this picture explains a little bit about it, but I ask him what he found of, if we're getting a cure, he told me that he didn't think it would happen in my lifetime.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I think he said mine, he either said his or mine. Anyway, it's a- but he had his choice of many different universities and he's the head of the, of this particular department, the two top floors of the medical building in Minneapolis.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Katie can you hear me? [mumbling] [laughing] Alright, well anyway, if, yes, the point I was making, Ash is, they invite him all over the country, all over the world, they just, and he called and said they were going down to some island...
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Down in Carribean, Ash is going to give a speach down there to somebody so Anne tags along.Jessica: I would tag along to the Carribean.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Well, let's see.Jessica: Tell me about your college years.Charles: The college days, well, I told you that it took me till spring came around to realise how lovely the girls were.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And the, I really think, and I hope that the folks that go to Grinnell have a little jump on other people because I think they learn to think for themselves and they, and I hope that that's true.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And I, the thing that I notice more than anything else, than any group of people, wether they are 1 or 2 or 3 Grinnellians [undistinguishable] why the Grinnellians are all so glad to see each other and all the most interesting people and that can't be actually true, but it, wherever I went, when there were Grinnellians, why there's a lot of acitivity...
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: going on, and I hope that that's true.Jessica: It is. Where did you meet Mrs Delong?Charles: Yes, now Katie was elected the most popular girl in school [laughs]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I should spend some time, more time telling you Katie's good deeds. And back when she was in school, they didn't have any girls athletics of any kind, they had the dancing and the...the art of dancing when I was in school was a must.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: It was ballroom dancing in those times, and you would take a little lady out and hug her and dance with her. That happened at least every Saturday and very often the cottages would have a tea dance or something.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But it was a great place to learn about girls. Let's see, what- my sister Ruth came out and went here 2 years. And one of my roomates, Eddie Brown, graduated and went to work for a meat packing plant down at [town name indistinguishable]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And he was given the area of Southbend to travel. So, Ruthie went here two years and then she married Eddie and Eddie worked for that- Merrel's meat company, it was big out- and he was transfered to Philadelphia...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And he ran the Philadelphia outfit for them for quite a while. Let's see. Children, we just had our first great-grandchild, that was this young lady and her mother just got her diploma and her daughter chose just the time.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: That's wonderful. [indistinguishable question]Charles: Well I majored in business administration and economics, and I always took, I think 19 hours, sometimes 20, very little studying. They had something called the Brown Derby Drag.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I'll have to tell you about that. Brown Derby Drag is a dance where prizes are given to various people for various things that they've done. And, for instance, they gave Katie a lily for being the, Katie, anyway, she was the most virtous girl of all, out of everybody in College.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: And then they had the, a fellow who'd boast alot. Anyway this roomate of mine had a big voice and they gave him a leather medal for being the biggest BSer in school.Jessica: Oh no [laughs]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Then the Dirt Brown Derby was given to the student who got by best with the least effort and Ben Douglass was one of the most popular guys in school. Wonderful athlete, 9 letter man, and I always thought he should get it. He gave it to me instead.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: AndJessica: Must have been proud?Charles: Well, yeah it was very interesting, but I'm not sure that I deserved it.Jessica: [laughs]
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: I don't know know if it's an honour or...?Charles: Yes. Well, I certainly, well I tried to get by without much effort because I very seldom bought a textbook.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Oh really?Charles: But my folks were paying the bills so I always never missed any classes and I failed a couple subjects but I got a pretty good assortment of Ds, I played in the College Dance Band.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: Oh what did you play?Charles: [every year] I played the trumpet. Are you musical by any chance?Jessica: I am. I play the flute and the piccolo.Charles: Oh you do?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: I play in the orchestra.Charles: Well, I still play the trumpet and I've got a lot of music stuff down in the basement. Before you leave I'll take you down for 3 or 4 minutes and show you.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But that was always great fun. I hated to miss the dancing, but we- my freshman year, they had a dance band in town called the Mississipi 6. Had a big long black [indistinguishable] and they would play jobs around ehre.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So, they needed trumpet players so I tried out and got the job, so for the first 4 or 5 months I, let's see, my grades, oh yes, after the first 4 or 5 months...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: My grades were a -28. -28 grade points, they had grade points in those days. So that caused some disturbance. So I quit the band and I joined the College band. And I got my grades up so it was alright.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Don't know how my folks ever took it but they were very nice about it. Never got violent about it very much. The, let's see, there's one other thing. I got this out when you were coming over and I want to get to Dibble Hall here.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Let's see, I saw a picture of my sister there. [coughs] Let's see, this is...
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Yeah, I don't want Kate to hear me say this. [something] Delong could do everything well, most everything well. And he was captain of the swimming team. Anyway, I thought that was pretty nice.Jessica: It's very nice.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: That's a big honour.Charles: Let's see if I can get... I saw my sister's picture somewhere there. Yeah.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: I've forgotten what cottage she was in. [mumbled] it must have been here, yeah Ruth Delong... [looking in book] Well... Well she was nice looking.Jessica: Sure she was.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: So you were going to tell me about Katie and her achievements.Charles: About what?Jessica: About Katie and her achievements.Charles: Her achievments?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: You were going to tell me.Charles: Well, let's see, she went to a- her parents had more money than we certainly had, in Des Moines. And they sent her to school, the last 2 years in high school to a fancy girls school...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: In Washington. Katie, what's the name of your girls' school in Washington? Say it again? What is the name of your school in Washington DC? Yeah, Mrs Madera scool.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: It was for girls only and it's still in operation because I think the president, new president's daughter is going there. Anyway, Katie only went there a year or so before she came to Grinnell.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But, oh yes, in there it will show a picture of Katie as the most popular girl. It seemed to me that everybody liked to be that. Let me just find where it might be.
  • Charles Delong & Kate Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Katie? I'm trying to find out a picture of you when you were elected most popular- there is my brother.Kate: I don't know if I want to be reminded of it?Jessica: Why not? [laughs]
  • Charles Delong & Kate Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Well Katie, it was your senior year wasn't it? Women's athletics...Kate: What time is your dinner service served over there?Jessica: Oh no, I'm fine, I'll eat when I get back [indistinguishable]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: My sister is coming back for her reunion and this young lady that is going to meet her is Evie Arnold, she was one of the school beauties. Real good dancer. Well this is interesting cause the College is trying to get all kinds of information...
  • Charles Delong & Kate Delong
    Charles: And people graduate and it, a wonderful way to do it. I don't know if there is anything down there that is going to do you much good. I wish I'd have a picture, picture and catalogues...Kate: Did you find out where her family comes from?
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman & Kate Delong
    Charles: Yes. She came from the West Coast?Jessica: I come from from Southern California, Southern Los Angeles. Kate [mumbled]Jessica: It's got a nice beach.Kate: Yes.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: And how did you ever happen to hear about Grinnell?Jessica: I didn't want to go to a school in California, it's very crowded and dirty so Iowa was pretty different from California. I took a lot of advancement placement examinations when I was in high school...
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: And so my name was on a lot of lists.Charles: I seeJessica: And Grinnell started sending me pamphlets, tons and tons of info and so...Charles: Well, I'm glad to hear that...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Let's see, Bob, you know who he is, he discovered the chip and whatever he is and we knew him when he was in town here and he, he was one of the people that's from [indistinguishable] and making the college and I think...
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: The most, the best endowed college, per student capita in the world. Now that's a big statement but their endowment, oh, 2 years ago was over 300 million dollars.Jessica: [mumbled]Charles: Just imagine that. At 300 million they can afford to pay each student 55 thousand dollars a year...
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: To come or stay home or whatever they want to do, without dipping into the principle, without getting a dime from the students. And I think it's fantastic and I just think it's wonderfuk...Jessica: I'd like to get my hand on 55 thousand
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: To sit back and watch what they do, they're bound to make mistakes, nobody can handle that amount of money without making mistakes. So far they've done pretty well. The, let's see, the I've got a golf cart and this story might interest you.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I got a call a couple years ago from some lady in Michigan. And she had just called the Country Club and talked to the pro there because she had a son here who played on the football team and he broke his leg, he was in a cast.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And she wanted to know if the country club would rent them a golf cart. And the pro told them no, they couldn't cause the insurance would cause a problem. So, the pro gave the lady my name and said I had a golf cart. So she called me...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And she told me the story and I told her sure, I'd be glad to have him use it. She said, well how much can I pay you? And I told her I was just glad to see she was a good mother and I'm glad for her to use the golf cart at no charge.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Well, she just missed it by saying, well I'll make a donation in your name and we changed the subject. And so I took it over to the young man and he used it and brought it back. Then I got a letter from the lady president, Mrs. Ferguson, sending me a copy of the letter she had written, the lady in Grand Rapids.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And it was a wonderful letter, he thanked her for a wonderful gift and was interested in Mr. Delong with an e on the end of it had something to do with whatever it was. And so I was telling Grant Gale about it, I said why don't you find out how much it is.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So, when I went to play tennis one morning, Mrs. Ferguson was out with her dogs so I stopped and I told her, Grant thought it would be interesting to let me know what she sent, she said well she thought it was 400 hundred dollars.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Well I thought that was quite incredible.Jessica: Yeah.Charles: Paticularly cause the lady had in no time made any effort to let me know what it was or and I've got write her and tell her that it was absolutely a wonderful thing, that she did well.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Shortly after that I got a call from some girl over at the College, well you know, I considered letting them use my golf cart, from, I thought she said 11 till 3 o'clock in the morning. And I talked to Katie about it and Kate thought the insurance would be a problem...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And I mentioned that, and they said no, and then, so I didn't make any decision, so they called again so I went over this and I said "Why don't you"- the [indistinguishable] building has got an easy go-cart like mine, only it's built like a truck.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And 2 people can sit in it and I said why don't you use that. And they said, no, we'd like to have this one. I said the only other thing I can do is have you buy a half interest in the cart and you can use it in the wintertime and I can use it in the summer. They thought that was a great idea.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I said, well, the cart when it was new cost close to 3000 dollars, it's worth about half that now, so if you'll pay half of the 1500 dollars why then I'd think it would work fine. They thought it was great.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So I took it over and not too long they sent me a check for 650 dollars, whatever it was, they offered to sent the 1500 dollars and I said no, it's only half of that. So, anyway, it should have been less than half of that. They sent me 50 dollars more than I thought they should.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But, anyway, and I don't know where they'd keep it. I called them and asked them and they said yes, everything is working fine. They had a couple flat tires by the kids running over the curb but anyway...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: That, I'm glad, hope they got a bargain in there and I think they did. What they use it for is to make sure that the college students never have to walk alone during the winter or something like that. This is done before the pick up by the bus.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Anything else that you can think of?Jessica: Well, I was thinking when you were talking about the endowment do you remember what your tuition was when you started?Charles: Yes.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: It's was 1000 dollars, took care of the tuition, but the meals, plus it included 10 dollars, 2 10 dollar bills is what it cost to take the train from there into Chicago. But we'd hitch hike home. And I had a for out here...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I had a 5 dollar Ford when I came out as a freshman and I remember one trip, my freshman year, we drove the old Ford, which was a five astar car with no top, painted with red, yellow, blue and green stripes squares.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: We drove to Ames and on the way back we had, we took a couple spare tires along, we ended up, the last tire came off, but we drove on, and the wheel came off just before we got to Grinnell. So we actually ended up coming in on the spokes only.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: [laughs]Charles: And that was one fall my freshman year. And then, let's see, my dad let me use one of his cars, when my brother- when we were juniors, so we bought it in for spring vacation, after spring vacation.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And my brother and I and a member of the football team drove into Illinois. And I was driving when we crossed the Mississipi river and we came to a turn in the road and I turned and the car tipped over.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Absolutely stew driving. Turned over on my brother's foot and we tried to lift it off but we couldn't get it off. So I got out of the way and the football player lifted him off. Took him to a doctor and the doctor patched him up.Jessica: [laughs]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: No charge because we were doctor's children. Ended up driving up by the house. And mother looked and wondered what had been done with the car, because it was- the windshield was all busted out. So when we went back the next year, we...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: We got the foot fired off just off the back just like a fancy automobile. My folks, another my dad, when I decided to go on the road selling, my car was through, well he let me use his packard car.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: And, I've often thought what a great guy he was, to be able to take all the problems of his children.Jessica: What happened when the Depression started and you were in college?Charles: Now tell me that again?
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: When the Depression started, '29, what happened in Grinnell?Charles: When the buses started did you say?Jessica: When the Depression started.Charles: Oh the Depression started... Oh
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: What happened then, well, the, after the Depression hit about 1930 was it or '29, I think '29 and the professors, Les Duke, athletic director and the football coach...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: His salary was 750 dollars a year and, let's see I was trying to think. The newer teachers got less than that. And the salaries now are so high that my wife accused me of not liking children because I think the school teachers earn too much.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But, and I tell this story, that I mentioned Marty O'Connor being one of the partners in the garnment business, his wife Betty, they had 2 children and when the children reached a certain age, where they could go to school, why then she went back to teaching.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And when she, and this was after the war and her salalry was probably 5700 dollars. My daughter graduated from college that year and she and 3 of her friends were hired by a superintendent from a town up on the same island as...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: New York City, but a school on the North part of the island. And their wages were 5200 dollars. Well, in the newspaper, it mentioned that Betty O'Connor who was making 5900 was slated to make over 9000 dollars...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: It was in 2 years. When I read that, I said they've opened a Pandora Box they'll never be able to close. Of course Betty O'Connor, she didn't like that at all. My wife thinks I don't like children because I think the fact, the scarcity of teachers when the baby boom started, why the superintendent of schools couldn't get enough teachers...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: They'd try and steal them from the next county and offer them more money until it ended up just the way what happened to the unions, they go up 10% a year or, at the end of 3 years they'll be making 30% more...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: With 10% on that. And that went on until they got these fancy figures 4 or 5 years ago and since then they've gone up. I think schoolteachers, well any group that's a member of a union will try and make as much money as they can.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And the longer you ask that question, I want to give you two other things that are most important. During the last election, nobody mentioned the fact that the population of the world is out of control.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And they're going to have to do- the population will be double in 50 years. And I assume that those things are true, so the only way to cure it is to do what the Chinese have done. And that is to limit each family to one child.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Immediately they all come back at you and that won't work. They're making work in China because they've got and there will be mistakes, the chinese, some of the parents don't want baby girls, they want baby boys...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: So they will kill it. At any rate, I think that that's something that needs to be done. And one child per family and then that would solve a lot of other problems. There would be a lot less rape, a lot less everything...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: If, because the, lots of the law breakers are not brought up [tape change]
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: He, because my idea of how to cure the school teachers, have all government employees should do the one thing which will, the way they got in position they are now is down on that 10% a year.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: I would like to see the president and the governor of every state immediately take an automatic 10% cut in his salary. And everybody else in the country try and do the same.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: That's the best way to that because it wouldn't be noticeable. The reason it would be important, half the people in the world, that's China. The average wage there is 50 cents an hour.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Now, that was true 5 years ago. It's true right now and as long as that's true, these people are way up here, they don't do something to come down the higher they go, the farther they stretch this rubber band.
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: And if they get too far, the things going break because of the added bomb involved. So why not prove to them they can go down 10% at a time and get back, and they all set it up so these people could raise up and come a little closer to meeting them.
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Nobody mentions that or talks about it, making sure they cut salaries and so forth, but- what do you think of those too ideas?Jessica: Um.Charles: I shouldn't put you on the spot.Jessica: No, actually I can answer...
  • Jessica Stutman
    Jessica: The part about cutting salaries by 10% as you said I find it a bit flawed, just in the sense that if salaries are cut but prices don't go down, then there are going to problems because there are less consumers in the market and...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: Yes but, the prices of consumer goods would go down- nobody would buy them anymore. Their competitions would be the workers who produce the stuff, the farmers, they would accept, well that's an interesting thing you brought up there...
  • Charles Delong
    Charles: But, they'll never, one thing is for sure, there never going to get prices down if they leave things up here. But if they start working that down, don't worry, these people would love to be able to cut their prices. Cause you get them to where they were 30 years ago, you'll find that the goods...
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: are the same percentage down, where it is now, as the salaries. But most people think that that's not too bad an idea and also a lot of them, well they don't believe itJessica: [laughs]
  • Charles Delong & Jessica Stutman
    Charles: Any other subject that?Jessica: I don't really think so. It's been almost 2 hours and you dinner smells wonderful.
  • Jessica Stutman & Charles Delong
    Jessica: I guess I can just thank you for your time and when I get this all typed up I'll send you a copy of it.Charles: Oh really? I hope it's of interest to you.Jessica: Oh I had a wonderfultime-
Charles W. DeLong was born in Gary, Indiana, in 1910. He attended Grinnell College graduating with the Class of 1931. He was a business man who sold gloves for the glove factory, manufactured sportswear, and, later, stadium seats. He and his wife, Katherine Coggeshall, had four children.