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  • Text: just had to keep practicing all the time. So, I took up keyboard. And I really enjoyed that. And I could make, you know, music sound pretty nice. But anyway, that was…But then, you know, things started to go. My eyes—I couldn’t see as well as I used to be able to. So… Interviewe...
Adams, Rita (Interview transcript and video), 2021

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  • Text: ...though “Gee, that’s great you’re gonna go to New Orleans they got jazz!” Well I didn’t like jazz I liked classical music and when I got to New Orleans and I found it was this very badly managed city, and I had grown up in the north Canton, Ohio, Cleveland, they originated the city...
Ryman, Donald (Interview transcript and video), 2019
LeeRoy Stelter was born April 7th, 1948 in Coloma, Michigan where he grew up and stayed until transferring his senior year from Coloma High School to St. Joseph High School. He graduated in 1966 and immediately went to work in a factory making record players. Stelter enlisted in the military after his cousin suggested it might help his career, taking an interest in the potential for a background in electronics as a microwave radio repairman. He started basic training in 1967 in Fort Knox, Kentucky and says he had no trouble adjusting to the army because his parents raised him to do as he was told. Two months later Stelter was flown to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey to begin his training as a microwave radio repairman learning basic electronics, how to operate gear, and solid state equipment. In 1968, Stelter recalled watching other groups perform drills preparing them for evacuations and riots in the wake of several political events. Stelter finished training at Fort Monmouth in May. He was deployed to Vietnam after a 30 day leave, assigned to the 327th Signal Company in Long Binh. After several months he was then reassigned to Vinh Long to replace a soldier who was lost in a mortar attack. Vinh Long was part of a radio relay set up by the signal company between Dong Tam and Can Tho, and Stelter recalled that it “was under attack every night…it was like the 4th of July, the whole place was incoming rounds, outgoing mortar fire” for three or four months, gradually deescalating. Stelter stayed at Vinh Long until June 1969 after which he took a 30 day leave before returning to Vietnam for a second time and being assigned to Can Tho. In all 8 months of his second term, he never heard any mortars or incoming rounds and was free to come and go from the village. In April 1970, Stelter returned home from Vietnam on a commercial flight and went back to work at the same factory he had as a teenager, making record players. In 1972, he married his wife who he said helped him return to some degree of normalcy. He attended Lake Michigan College before transferring to Western Michigan University and obtaining a degree in Industrial Engineering, after which he worked in manufacturing for the next 35 years.
Stelter, LeeRoy (Interview transcript and video), 2017

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  • Text: ...s or places where you get drinks, the people from the opera house used to come in and perform. I really heard some wonderful music and I was used to that from home. And so, now I got to see it and hear it. And so, I was really thrilled with that. But they told these guys that I was deaf and...
Talmadge, Roger (Interview transcript and video, part 1), 2017
Jim Rosin was born in September 1947 in Bay City, Michigan. Rosin lived there all his adolescent life and graduated from Bay City Central High School in 1965. Upon graduation Rosin went to work for a company in Saginaw, Michigan that sold bakery equipment. However, in the summer of 1966 Rosin was summoned to Detroit where he had to get a physical for the military. Eventually Rosin was cleared for military service. October 20, 1966 was the day Rosin was to report for military duty. He then began the trek down from Bay City to Detroit to then Fort Wayne. Eventually, Rosin and his peers were taken down to Fort Knox in Lexington, Kentucky. Rosin and the rest of his group were eventually split up and Rosin was selected to head to Fort Hood in Texas to complete his basic training. Here Rosin took an aptitude test and was selected to be an Army Medic. In the summer of 1967 Rosin traveled to Vietnam where he served in the 46th Infantry. Because of his time in Vietnam, Rosin was awarded two Bronze Stars. One for putting his obstetric training to use and delivering a baby, and the other for meritorious service. Rosin service ended when he eventually rotated out on October 1st 1968. He returned back home and continued to work for the company selling bakery equipment.
Rosin, James (Interview transcript and video), 2021