This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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Nicholas (Nick) Haddad grew up in Red Hook, New York. He moved to New York City to attend Columbia University and went on to graduate school at the School of International Affairs. He lived in the Middle East (Saudia Arabia) for about five years, working in international business, and then returned to New York City, where he met and married his wife, Carrie. They have three children. In 1985, they moved to Clermont, New York and established businesses in Hudson, to which they moved full time about ten years ago. Nick ran an electrical supply business in Hudson for 25 years, his wife opened several art galleries and helped build the arts community, and they also developed property in town. He has recently retired from his business. Nick, his wife and his son have each served on the Common Council; Nick also ran for mayor twice, although he was not elected. Nick discusses the changes he has observed in Hudson over the past thirty years, especially in the business community. He touches on his early life and how he came to settle in Hudson; ethnic divisions among Hudson's Catholics and his family's relations with the Catholic community; and Hudson's character as a "rough around the edges" town. Discussed at length are Hudson's changing economy and its emergence as an arts and antique center; the role of entrepreneurship in Hudson's economic development; the city's economic challenges and strategies, particularly as a small city with a restricted tax base; civic culture; the political climate in Hudson and his role within the political community; and the lack of "cohesiveness" among city inhabitants. He also briefly talks about the problems confronting the city's educational system as well as its continued development.
This interview would be of interest to those concerned with Hudson's economic transformation since the 1980s; Hudson politics; social collaboration and conflict; economic challenges for small cities; economic development; relations between "insiders" and "outsiders"; Hudson's religious culture.
Andrea Friedman is a professor of History and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She is collaborating with a local grassroots history project, the St. Louis LGBT History Project, on several public history efforts, including creating a community oral history archive as well as a digital map of twentieth-century LGBTQ history in the St. Louis metropolitan region. She is new to oral history and is excited to learn about it and share it with her students.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”