Kelsey: When and where were you
born and raised?
Holl: I was born in
1927, and I was raised in various communities. We
Ohio as a
youngster, I lived in
Berea. And then I
went back to
Boston, and I came
down here when I was fifteen years old.
Kelsey: When you moved here, where did you
Holl: I lived in
Rutherford, New Jersey,
Rutherford High School.
Kelsey: And when did you graduate?
Holl: I didn’t graduate from
Rutherford, I’m a
Kelsey: So you left school before you got your
Holl: That’s correct.
Kelsey: And what did you do then?
Holl: I went to work. I worked in
Newark, New Jersey.
I worked for
Bond Clothing Stores,
in the credit office. And then I worked for the
Credit Bureau in
Newark, and got
Kelsey: What year was that?
Holl: I was married in 1949.
Kelsey: How did you find out about the
County College of Morris?
Holl: Well, a few years after we were
married, we moved to
Denville, New Jersey,
and my children were approaching college age, and I
really wanted to go to work, help Charlie with the
expenses of college for two children. And there was
an ad in the paper.
Kelsey: Which paper, do you remember?
Holl: I believe it was what we know as The
Kelsey: So how were you recruited and hired?
Holl: I came to the college. Of course
the library wasn’t open at the time, so I went down
to the main building, main offices down below.
Kelsey: In Henderson
Holl: Henderson Hall. I couldn’t think of
the name of it! That’s terrible.
Kelsey: When was that?
Holl: That had to be in 1969. I had been
St. Mary’s Church
Denville, New Jersey,
as a volunteer school librarian, and really kind of
liked it, but it was a volunteer situation. With my
oldest child going off to college, I thought, “I’d
better get a job!” And I had just enough experience
and enough nerve, I guess, to say, “I’ll try for
this library job.”
Kelsey: And what was the job?
Holl: I was just a clerk of the works, in
the sense that I was to assist the head
Kelsey: And when did you actually start
Holl: I cannot recall the date. I know it
must have been in September of 1969.
Kelsey: And where was the library located when
you started working?
Holl: It was down in
initially, such as it was. We came up here in
October. That I do remember. It was late October.
The windows behind the circulation desk were not in
place, they were not installed, and it was cool.
Kelsey: When you first started working and you
were still in Henderson Hall, can you describe what
it was like there?
Holl: Cramped. And I’d had the first
experience of working with somebody who was
Asian, getting to
know her. And of course this was a new experience
for her, although she had worked in library service
in other communities. I don’t honestly recall all
that much about it. I do remember it was cramped.
And of course I really didn’t have any background
things we took into the school were already
cataloged by the
Library of Congress,
and so all I had to do was put them on the
shelf—make up cards. I could make up a card for the
card file—I knew how to do that. But I had to be
trained in something that I had no real familiarity
Kelsey: And who did the training?
Kelsey: Do you remember how many people were
in the library when you first started?
Holl: It wasn’t a full complement of
staff that was for sure.
Probably about a dozen, probably about twelve
people: Mr. Bunnell, his
secretary, the assistant director—her name was
Virginia as well, as I recall. She’s gone, she has
died. I would say about a dozen people.
Kelsey: And they were all in this one little
room in Henderson Hall?
Holl: No, not really. I think some of
them were up here—I’m not sure, we were kind of
scattered around. I don’t remember being in one
little room at all. I don’t remember where Mr.
Bunnell was. I don’t remember working, sitting
beside him, or having him in the same space that I
was—not at all.
Kelsey: Were there books for the
students to use at that point
in Henderson Hall?
Holl: Not really, no. I don’t recall
books—there may have been a few, but not really.
And we may have been in two or three different
rooms. We may have been scattered around a little
bit. But I’m not able to recall—I wish I could.
Kelsey: Describe what it was like to work in
the new library with no windows.
Holl: Well, as I said, it was cool, very
cool. But of course there was a lot of hustle and
bustle and getting books on the shelves so that the
students would have access to the materials that
they should have. Of course the college had
operated someplace down in, I believe,
East Hanover. I
don’t know how much of a library they had. I don’t
remember being able to dispense books to students
when we were down in Henderson Hall. Maybe I’m
misremembering. But the object, when we came up
here, was to get the books on the shelves, get a
card catalog set up
to use. Nothing, of course, as we have it now. I’m
sure everything’s on a computer now. It was hard
work in many ways and sometimes very confusing. But
we got it done.
Kelsey: Did you actually open for business in
October when you moved …
Kelsey: … or was there a time period before….
Holl: There was a time period when we were
getting set up, yes.
Kelsey: And when did you actually open?
Holl: That I don’t recall. I would
probably say on into November. And somewhere in
there, the windows arrived. (laughter)
Kelsey: What was the physical campus like at
Holl: Well, of course, as far as acreage
was concerned, I believe it was the same as it is
today. As far as building facilities, it was very
much smaller. And I haven’t been on this campus in
about ten years. I think I came up here for
something for the library at one point. But I’ve
watched it, driving by it, living close by it, too,
watching it expand. No, it was very much smaller.
It was just Henderson Hall.
Phys Ed Building wasn’t complete, as I recall. And
the library was up here. And there were three
academic buildings, as I recall. I hope that’s
accurate. I’m not doing too well here!
Kelsey: Where did you park?
Holl: I generally parked down below, down
under the hill. I think I was on an exercise kick
at the time. I thought, “Oh, that’s just great,
I’ll climb the hill every day!”
Kelsey: So you continued to climb the hill,
even when the library opened?
Holl: Oh yes. And if it rained, of course
I would come up and park behind here.
Kelsey: Do you remember where you ate, where
you had lunch?
Holl: I believe I had it at my desk. I
don’t think I was spending money for lunch at that
time. And I don’t recall when the student community
building opened—I really don’t. That wasn’t open
when we opened the library, that I recall.
Kelsey: Do you remember a
cafeteria in Henderson
Holl: A place to grab something, yes. Not
that much was offered, I don’t think—again, a space
Kelsey: What were the rules regarding
smoking in the
Holl: Well, if it was a no
it was not observed. (chuckles) And there were
sometimes some very fragrant smells of
smoke. There was
no question about that. That would be—I imagine it
marijuana, I’m not
Kelsey: Well, that’s interesting! Did both
the students and
Holl: Some [faculty]
smoked. I don’t
remember the students
were people on the staff that definitely
Mr. Bunnell was a heavy
Kelsey: And they
smoked in the
Kelsey: What was the atmosphere like on campus
when you first arrived?
Holl: I think the sense of newness, the
Morris County had a
and for those of us who were adult, even then, of a
certain age, we felt that this was one of the best
things that could happen to the community of
students who couldn’t tootle off to
Rutgers or some of
the more expensive schools up and down the East
Coast, had an opportunity to test their own need for
higher education, or ability to pay for it. Many of
these students did pay for
their own education. That was very apparent. Not
all of them, but many were paying their own freight
here. And I found that quite gratifying.
Kelsey: Do you remember what the age range of
the students was?
Holl: By and large they were eighteen,
nineteen, twenty years old. Of course you had your
evening students as you opened up the evening
programs, and of course those people were older.
And some of the younger students would have to go to
an evening program, if they found that they had to
earn more money. There’s no question about that.
But there was a sense of newness. I think the other
thing that I felt—and I think many of the students
did too—was that it was a pretty campus. It was up
on this hill, up on this rise, and it was
attractive. It didn’t have the feel of a
something tucked in the corner of
something like that. It was pretty up here, and
attractive, and I think the students felt it.
Kelsey: What was going on in terms of
political involvement? That was a time when there
were a lot of
Did you see that kind of activity?
Holl: I don’t think that…. I don’t
remember any overt activity in that regard. Yes, I
can remember what the nation was doing, but I don’t
remember anything too outstanding up here. These
people were, at the time, again, involved with both
going to school, and by and large, going to work. I
think they were too busy to get…. There would be a
few maybe that might have gotten involved in that
kind of thing, but I imagine the other
students just didn’t have
the time for it.
Kelsey: Do you remember if you ever
encountered any veterans?
Holl: Yes, we did have veterans here. I
remember a fellow in a wheelchair, and I cannot
recall his name. I believe he went on to
Rutgers. But that
was the first…. Well, it wasn’t, for me, the first
time seeing a veteran. Of course I remember
World War II. But
different atmosphere, obviously, about those wars.
And so he was…. It’s hard to explain. His peers
certainly looked after him, but he was an oddity
somehow. “There comes that kid in the wheelchair.”
I don’t know what his injuries were that caused it,
but everyone knew he was a veteran. A little later
on, there were a few that came in with the beards
and the caps and that kind of thing—kind of
designated themselves as veterans of the
Kelsey: But this was later?
Holl: A little bit later.
Kelsey: In the early seventies, into the early
Kelsey: Do you remember this gentleman in the
wheelchair from that ’69-’70 time period?
Holl: No, he was in the early seventies.
He went off to the war, as I recall. Again, I’m not
recalling well. But he was probably very early
seventies when he came here.
Kelsey: You said his peers kind of looked
Kelsey: Did you notice, was that pretty
standard? Did you notice that he suffered any
negative consequences because he was a veteran?
Holl: That was not apparent, no. The
answer to the question is no. I kind of had the
feeling—and I never spoke with him, really—well, I
spoke with him just very casually—it was a different
experience for him. You know, I kind of wondered if
he felt if he was going to be accepted here, and I
would say certainly by his peers he was. And I’m
sure the faculty recognized his needs. I don’t know
what sequence he was in, I don’t know what track he
was on at all.
Kelsey: What was the world like for you, what
concerned you as an adult who was working and had
Holl: Was I going to be able to keep up
with it all? And I wanted to go
to school myself, and ultimately I did. And I
had started some college work with
Kean, and then when
I came here, I started taking courses, and I did get
A.A. ultimately. I
was working, I was a student, and I still had a home
to keep, and a husband to take care of, and a home
to take care of. It was a new experience for people
like myself. I was then in my forties. You know,
it was a real turnaround, even though I had been
St. Mary’s. But I
hadn’t been out in the real serious labor market, by
no means. So this was the beginning of my working
life. I had worked before I was married, but not
for long afterwards—not at all. So I had a good
twenty-year period—more than twenty years—when I
hadn’t worked. And suddenly I’m turning around and
going to work. And I don’t think my husband much
appreciated it, but I kept saying something about,
“Well, how are we going to get these kids through
college? How are we going to get these kids through
college?” Well, the salary I had wasn’t going to
put them through college, but I
could keep myself going, and to a degree
contribute to the household budget, while he paid
Kelsey: So you took advantage of the…. Did
you have a tuition waiver at that time?
Holl: Yes I did. I think I paid two
dollars a course. I was smart enough to take
advantage of it.
Kelsey: What was your
Holl: Humanities/social science.
Kelsey: Was the student body and also the
staff diverse? Did you notice
a diversity in terms of
gender and ethnicity?
Holl: Probably. Of course
Asian. We didn’t
on the staff initially. We had women like myself
who were along in years. Virginia was one of the
professional women. The assistant director was a
woman. There was Mrs. Angoli on the desk. Of
course she was clerical. We had a male reference
librarian, and David Jones—he
was media at that time. I don’t think I was aware
enough, and I don’t think it was that pronounced
here. I really don’t think it was that obvious
here. Mr. Bunnell was very
good. He was a very diplomatic fellow, and he was a
good man to work for. I enjoyed working for him. I
think he knew how to keep an even keel. He
certainly didn’t have…. I think he liked working
with older women, in the sense that they had a sense
of being on time, doing what they had to do, that
kind of thing. And of course he had male
companionship in his reference librarian. The first
reference librarian wasn’t Bob
Wessels—another fellow. Wish I could remember
their names—I’m doing very badly in that regard.
Kelsey: What was the
social life like for people who worked at the
college at that time? Did people go out together,
were there places where people congregated?
Holl: No, we did not. If anything, we
stayed here. No, with the exception of Virginia. I
was friendly with people, and I meant to be, but I
didn’t form any lasting or ongoing friendships with
anybody here. I had a lot of respect for them, but
those of us who were in our forties and returning to
the workplace, again, it was that business of, well,
as soon as we left, we stopped at the
A&P which was
across the street over here, and go home and fix a
supper and throw a load of laundry in. So there
wasn’t a whole lot of time for it. We had parties
here for holidays, among ourselves, and brought
things in. But no.
Kelsey: How did you dress to go to work?
Holl: Well, Mr. Bunnell said we had to,
for the first few weeks we were here, we had to wear
slacks. And then I think he kind of expected us to
wear skirts and tops. And of course it became more
prevalent to wear slacks to work, and for most of us
that was a godsend, it was great.
Kelsey: And that was probably also the early
Kelsey: What kind of car did you
Holl: Well, my husband was a
and as a matter of fact, I had a
Camaro. I had two
or three of them, one after the other, because I
would then … they would sell. I don’t think
Camaros any more—in
fact, I know they don’t. And so I had these red or
green or blue
Camaros, and they
were very much admired. They were a sports car of
sorts. If I parked down below, the kids were eyeing
it. In fact, I sold one off the parking lot one
time. He had to go down to the agency where Charlie
worked, Connor Chevrolet. That was fun.
Kelsey: Describe what
Route 10 looked like at the time.
Holl: It was more narrow, and it wasn’t
nearly as busy as it is now. There wasn’t nearly
the traffic. There was some traffic coming in, in
the morning. I came in not the Dover-Chester
Road—Millbrook. Generally it was a little cramping
when you had to cut off at the end of that road and
get down to the college. Other than that, it was a
breeze, comparatively speaking. Now you can
scarcely get from where I live (laughs) which is up
motor vehicle agency,
down to the
A&P on any of these
roads, Route 10. And you have to pick your times.
We didn’t have to worry about that kind of thing.
It was much easier, much less traffic on the road.
Kelsey: You mentioned there was an
A&P on the corner
where there is currently an
Holl: Right, it’s in the [same] place
now—it’s just expanded now.
Kelsey: And do you remember what was on the
Holl: The diner was there—smaller, as I
recall. Where there’s a bank on the southwest
corner, there were two houses, and they’ve been torn
down. That’s fairly recent, as I recall. Hm. The
A&P had Morris
County Drug in it, which is down on Sussex Turnpike
now. That’s about all I can remember.
Kelsey: Describe a
typical day for you on campus.
Holl: Hm. I came in—we could get in the
back door of the library. I wonder if you still can
do that. And I simply had to see what
catalogued. I was in charge of student aides that
worked with us, with Virginia and myself. And so I
had to line up their work, if they were going to
shelve, were they taking books to the back room, who
was going to do the labeling, that kind of thing—set
up the student aide work, and then make sure that
the typing of the
catalog cards [was
accomplished], and also making sure that as soon as
the cards were typed, that they got into the
card catalog. And
usually I had to train students to
do that. And some were very good at it, knew their
ABC’s very well, and others were not. And I can
always remember that. I was astounded how poorly
they understood how we use the alphabet. But it was
tricky, too. The rules of filing in a
card catalog were
not always easy to understand.
Kelsey: So how many student aides did you
Holl: Usually two or three, and that
varied. They were on a student aid program.
Kelsey: About how many hours a week did they
Holl: I think that was actually
restricted, as I recall. I’m not sure of that, but
most of them worked four to six hours. It would
depend on the class load that they were carrying.
Kelsey: How did students dress?
Holl: Oh, it was jeans. For the young
people, they were beginning to really wear jeans.
Some students wore dresses, but not a lot. We were
really getting into the jeans period. I had sent my
daughter off to college, Eastern Pennsylvania, with
two or perhaps more, three or four outfits that were
skirts. When I picked her up at the end of her
first year, I can always remember they had hardly
been worn, and she managed to find herself a couple
pair of jeans. And this was down in
Amish—which was in
Kutztown, which is
Amish country. And
it kind of surprised me that they would permit it
down there, but of course they had, really, no
control over it.
Kelsey: How did students
Holl: Generally very well. We rarely had
any real upsets here. Some of them were dozing at
the desks—probably had been out too late the night
before, avoiding studying for a test, whatever. But
generally the students were well behaved. We rarely
had any problems here.
Kelsey: But you did mention you thought you
Holl: Yes, I did, and I may be wrong
marijuana has a
very sweet smell, so every once in a while, I think
somebody was…. And it was easy to come by. My
daughter was in Catholic high school—they had it
over there, there’s no question about that.
Kelsey: What do you remember most about that
first year that you worked at
Holl: How much I learned about working
with people, the business of being in a library,
what I had to do, what I shouldn’t do, how to behave
in a work place. I consider myself fortunate that I
do—because I learned a tremendous amount from her,
and she often…. I don’t think she bargained for
somebody like myself, because I can become a little
independent. But she was very patient with me at
times, when I don’t think she really wanted to be.
Virginia comes from a very well-educated family, so
she was dealing with somebody that was minimally
educated, to supervise. And I think it was her
first real supervisory position too. At first, I
think she assumed that I knew more than I did, and
didn’t realize I required some training. And when
she caught onto that, then she did very well. She
did very well. It pleases me that we’re still
friends, even though we don’t see each other a great
deal, but we can get together and enjoy one
another’s company, and that’s a joy.
Kelsey: Have you kept in touch with anyone
else that you worked with?
Holl: No, I haven’t. In fact, when I was
with people that were associated with the college
yesterday in the diner, among that party they
recognized Ken Leary, and
were chatting with him. And I’m saying to somebody
else in our party, “I can’t remember who that is.”
I know I’m getting older, but I don’t expect
somebody like Ken to get older. I expect them to
look like they did when I was here. I just flat-out
could not recognize him. And then I was
reintroduced to him, which was fine.
Kelsey: How do you think
CCM or colleges in
general and their students have changed since ’69?
Holl: I think more young people take
college for granted in that they will go to
college. We still weren’t in that groove yet where
it was assumed that parents were going to send you
to college, or that you would go off to college—even
in a fairly wealthy county, as is
Only the group of students with very good grades and
with money were going to get into college. And
that’s changed, I think, for the better. I
certainly can’t speak for the quality of education
that they’re getting, and I certainly can’t speak
CCM. I assume it
was good when I was here, I’m assuming that they’ve
grown in that respect. I’d like to think [so]. I’m
sure that there’s a very much larger, a greater
variety of tracks that they can get on, degree
programs that they can get into. The
nursing program has
always been outstanding. I am acquainted with a
young woman in my apartment
community that has been applying, applying, and
applying to get into the nursing program, and she’s
qualified, and she’s finally been able to get into
it, which is great. In other words, the enrollment
for the nursing program is still—this is the school
to go to if you want to get into a good nursing
program. So I’d like to think that
CCM and any
university is growing in that respect. And the
requirements for the workplace have so changed in
this period. You’re talking 1970 to 2000. I mean,
it’s almost impossible to make a comparison, what’s
required of people going out into the workplace.
You have to be prepared to go to college or
certainly go beyond high school. And you have to
work like the dickens if you want to get into a good
program. Everybody—I was in the company of my son,
his wife obviously—they both have
His oldest boy is four years at
New Jersey Institute of
Technology, zippo, isn’t paying
anything. He’s our family nerd. But Kevin
anticipates that all four of his children will go.
Kevin’s wife is an identical twin. All three of her
[nieces] are going. One’s going to be a physics
major, one’s going into early education major, the
other one’s into theology, that kind of thing. You
didn’t hear about that very much—I’ll use the
term—in my class, and in my age group, when I
started to work here. It’s very gratifying. My
daughter has a
master’s. Her son
will go on for a
master’s, his wife
will have a
kind of thing. That’s what has expanded, almost
beyond measure. But now that’s the way it is.
That’s very different from when I came back to work,
and into the workplace.
Kelsey: And do you think that having
and the opportunity to go to college at a reasonable
cost contributed to that?
Holl: Yes, I do. Yes, I do. And it
offers anybody who immigrates into this
country—legally, preferably, obviously—a chance that
they may not have even in their own countries
today. And I’m talking about those who are going to
be—I don’t like the term—but working-class people,
who are going to go out and work. But they come to
this country with the idea that they have that
opportunity, and get here and realize that if they
don’t take advantage of it, they’re going to not
fare as well. And I think that’s great.
Kelsey: Is there anything else you’d like to
Holl: Not really, no.
Kelsey: Okay, well thank you very much, this
was a great interview.
Holl: Thank you!
Denville, New Jersey,
Dress, 11, 13
Newark, New Jersey,
Rutherford, New Jersey,