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.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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This interview was conducted with Richard “Ozzy” Osborn at Solaris in Hudson. Ozzy was born in 1937 in Binghamton, NY, grew up on a farm, spent four years in the Navy where he became a machinist, got married and had three children, and worked as the mechanic for the City of Hudson and caretaker of the Reservoir for 40 years. Some of the topics discussed in this interview include farm life and rationing during World War II, life in the Navy, working as a mechanic, caring for the water supply, industrial decline in Hudson, building the ship and the whale for Hudson parades, deer hunting, gun safety, old cars, family life and marriage, and the social scene at Debbie’s Restaurant.
This interview might be of interest to people who want to hear about changes in Hudson and the broader society from the mid-twentieth century to the present, issues of education and success, the work ethic in a society of declining opportunity, life as a Hudson city employee, and perspectives on a 44 year marriage.
I teach History and American Studies at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont. I am interested in oral history as a way to deepen and expand the historical record, highlight the relationship between individual experiences and broader social contexts, and introduce students to the work of deep listening and engaged learning.
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.”