Daniel William Spencer III
The following interview is published with the subject's permission.by Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
Q: What is your name?
A: Daniel William Spencer III
Q: When were you born?
A: April 9th 1932
Q: Where were you born?
Q: Where were your ancestors from?
A: Originally from England and Scotland
Q: What were your parent’s jobs?
A: My father was an automobile mechanic and my mother worked in a typewriter factory, and later in an orange packing plant.
Q: What were your grandparent’s jobs?
A: My grandfather on my mother’s side ran an A&P grocery store and my grandmother on my mother’s side was a nurse’s aid. I don’t remember much about my grandparents on my father’s side.
Q: Was life simpler back then?
A: Yes very much so. We didn’t have to worry about much crime. We could ride our bikes anywhere or walk and not have to worry about so much traffic. We always kept our doors unlocked. Also there weren’t so many rules or laws back then.
Q: What do you remember most about your childhood?
A: I remember that I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (they practically raised me). My grandfather took me everywhere and would tell everyone I was his son.
Q: Do you remember stuff about the great depression?
A: No, I was too young to worry about it.
Q: What kind of lifestyle did you live?
A: A simple life, school, friends, Saturday evening movies, occasionally attending church with one of my friends.
Q: Did you think everything was cheap or expensive back then when everything
was a nickel and dime?
A: Things seemed expensive even at that price because I didn’t get much money unless I worked odd jobs for it.
Q: What were your teen years like?
A: I didn’t have much ambition except that I have worked since 9 or 10. Shining shoes, delivering papers, caddying for golf. I didn’t like to study so school wasn’t important for me. As for fashion bow ties were very stylish then and I wore one. As for spare time I worked, played some sports, went horseback riding.
Q: How has WWII changed your life?
A: WWII made me appreciate everything more. During the war we weren’t able to get a lot of things because all the factories were making things for the war. I was an adolescent during the war so candy and cokes are what I missed the most. After the war they started making new things like cars etc. and the economy was great then.
Q: During WWII did you build bomb shelters out side your house? Were you scared
of spies in your neighborhood?
A: We didn’t build a bomb shelter in our yard but they did have one near by. We had to keep our house lights off at certain times in the evening. No, we weren’t afraid of spies.
Q: What did you think of Hitler? Hirohito? Stalin?
A: They were all enemies.
Q: How has the Vietnam War changed your life?
A: I was actually in Vietnam during the war and it made me appreciate life in the States very much. Because of rocket attacks I still jump when I hear a loud noise. No one appreciated the military when that war was over because they hated the war.
Q: What did you think of the Cuban Missile Crises? Were you scared? How old
were you? What did your parents think?
A: I was around 30 years old living in Homestead Florida near Miami which is 90 miles from Cuba. We (my wife and 4 kids) were stationed at the Air Force Base there and the base was on alert. I wasn’t really scared because I knew that our president and military would make the right decisions. My parents weren’t worried my wife’s parents wanted her and the kids to leave Homestead but they didn’t.
Q: Did you really think that Russia/Cuba would blow up America?
Q: What did you think of Roosevelt? Kennedy?
A: I thought FDR was a good president. I liked Kennedy but I didn’t like his morals.
Q: Do you believe that man landed on the moon? Did you watch it on TV? Were
A: Yes, yes, yes
Q: What was racial tension like back then?
A: I don’t remember much racial tension. I was in the military and it was pretty much integrated. As a child I would hear about things going on but it was not close to us.
Q: Were you amazed at the change over time in America?
Q: What was the most surprising thing that has changed over time in America
for you? Invention? Event?
A: Morals have changed drastically and taking prayer out of schools and trying to take God out of everything. Greatest invention is TV and of course computers. Events was getting married at 18 and having 5 wonderful children.
Q: What did you think of America as a child and as an adult? What do you think
about it now?
A: As a child I always took America and what it stands for granted but as an adult I have become more patriotic and more interested in voting and politics.
Q: If you could choose any decade to live in which decade would you live in?
A: Probably the 50’s or 60’s because life was much simpler then and more family oriented but if I could be young in the 2000’s I would really enjoy all of the gadgets and technology.
Q: Is history important to learn? Why?
A: Yes, because it teaches what happened back then, for the good and the bad.
As an interview, the following disclaimer does not apply: