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Title: Oral History Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 18, 1985. Interview K-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Herzenberg, Joseph A., interviewee
Interview conducted by Dexter, Mary L.
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Kristin Shaffer
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2004
Size of electronic edition: 108 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2004.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2008-00-00, Wanda Gunther and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2008-12-08, Kristin Shaffer finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 18, 1985. Interview K-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0008)
Author: Mary L. Dexter
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 18, 1985. Interview K-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0008)
Author: Joseph A. Herzenberg
Description: 174 Mb
Description: 24 p.
Note: Interview conducted on November 18, 1985, by Mary L. Dexter; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series K. Southern Communities, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Joseph A. Herzenberg, November 18, 1985.
Interview K-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Herzenberg, Joseph A., interviewee


Interview Participants

    JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG, interviewee
    MARY L. DEXTER, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I'm in favor of Cane Creek.
MARY L. DEXTER:
In favor of it being above water or below?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I'm in favor of having the best water supply for the people of Chapel Hill and surrounding areas and that's why I'm in favor of the Cane Creek reservoir, because under the circumstances it's the best supply of water.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Is that true no matter where it is as long as the ultimate is the best supply of water?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Within reason. There may be a glacier in Montana . . . . Even though I'm a democrat, small "d," and believe in the rule of the people, and the majority of the people, I do not underestimate the problem of the tyranny of the majority. But there are times, when it comes to questions of health and public safety—then I think that the majority must rule.

Page 2
MARY L. DEXTER:
The purity of the water is the driving force behind [your arguement]?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
The quality of the water.
MARY L. DEXTER:
There were other options. Jordan Lake. What was Jordan Lake set up for?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
A flood control project. They never thought of drinking it. That was the last thing they thought of. It WAS the last—and they're thinking of it now. It was primarily intended as flood control. In the middle 1950's there was a serious flood in the Cape Fear-Fayetteville. I don't know the particulars of it at all. That was the thing that got the project moving with the Corp of Engineers. It's to prevent flooding further down the Cape Fear Valley-the Haw goes into the Cape Fear at some point.
And the second reason was an after thought,—a very common afterthought with the Corps of Engineers to make these projects more palatable politically—was recreation. That's important too, but I don't think they ever thought initially of drinking the water. They are now though, of course.
MARY L. DEXTER:
When was University Lake set up out there?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
In the late '20s.
MARY L. DEXTER:
What was in mind then. . . . the source of drinking water for Chapel Hill?

Page 3
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yeah. I don't know what they used before that, if they had wells . . . a lot of wells.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Its capacity is something like three million gallons a day.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I'm not at all good on the numbers.
MARY L. DEXTER:
It's capacity in 1980 was determined to be three million gallons a day, and the needs at that time for this area was between four and seven million gallons a day, probably higher now, but in that range.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That doesn't sound exactly right because by and large University Lake has met, well almost met, the need. Now the problem is not the rainfall in this area. The storage capacity at University Lake is nowhere near adequate, and so what happens during the summer is that the water evaporates before it can be used.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Raising the level of University Lake adds another seven million gallons of water and brings it up to capacity. Is the water in University Lake acceptable?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Yes, it's acceptable. It's not as good as the water from Cane Creek will be, but it's very good. I don't accept your figures, not because I have a problem in there being yours,—it's been a while since I read this stuff, it's been four years. I don't trust my own memory at all.

Page 4
MARY L. DEXTER:
What was going on four years ago that you were involved . . . ?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I was on the Town Council.
The reason why you can't raise the level of the dam on University Lake is that there are hundreds, say two hundred houses that have been built over the years awfully close to the existing lake, and if you raise the level of the lake the septic tanks would begin to seriously pollute University Lake. Only within the last two years did Carrboro—in whose planning jurisdiction University Lake falls—take steps to keep additional houses from being built in that area. There are just too many houses that have been built in the last, well, fifty or sixty years, that are too close to the lake.
MARY L. DEXTER:
It's a pollution problem then, not the houses themselves—pollution from septic tanks into the lake rather than a dislocation of people in those houses?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Oh, that would be a problem. There's no legal way-you'd have to condemn all that property.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Right. Well they can get permission to condemn whatever they want to in Cane Creek.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I know, it's just the expense and dislocation of people would be even greater than in Cane Creek.

Page 5
MARY L. DEXTER:
The thought is that maybe only two people would be totally dislocated out in Cane Creek, and a few other farms that might have some land lost, but they could continue farming. Farming in general wouldn't be disrupted out there. Why would not the run off from the farms, pesticides etc., going into that lake contaminate that water supply?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I can't answer any of these technical questions. I never could to be frank. But even after four years of not reading about this stuff I'm in no position to comment. All I can say is the last opportunity I had to examine articles of this sort OWASA was taking, what I would regard as adequate precautions about run-off from the farms.
MARY L. DEXTER:
You mean limiting the farms in what they could do?
The people out there simply don't want to be dislocated. Does it always apply that the good of the majority, the hell with everybody else?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, as I said in my opening remarks, I am a democrat and believe in a rule of the majority of the people. I am very aware of the tyranny of the majority. The argument that d'Toucqueville makes in his great study of American government; it is why we have a Bill of Rights against that tyranny. There are times,

Page 6
especially when the public's health and safety are involved when I am afraid, although a few people will quite truly have to suffer, that the will of the majority has to be taken into account. And this is such a case, I believe.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Do you think that if a state senator or Bill Friday or one of the members of the Town Council lived in Cane Creek and was effected by this. . . I see it as "a nobody" living out there to put any force behind what anybody says at all. "They're just farmers," or urban sprawl people, and they can just all move someplace else.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No. I never heard anybody make that statement that the people out there were "nobodys." No member of the Town Council could live out there, that would be illegal. It's not in Chapel Hill.
MARY L. DEXTER:
I was thinking of someone on the OWASA board.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
There is somebody now. OWASA hasn't been around that long. There is somebody now who lives reasonably close to that area, Eddie Mann.
MARY L. DEXTER:
That's the name.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He's the head of Orange Savings and Loan, up here on the corner of Columbia and Rosemary Streets. He was specifically put on the Board to represent Cane Creek. He is one of the two county

Page 7
members of the Board. It has a five/two/two—Chapel Hill/Carrboro/County split. The other county member is my neighbor once removed, , in the red house down here.
It might have made some difference if somebody of considerable political power did live out there. But I never heard people talk of the people of Cane Creek in a condescending way. I've never seen people looking down on them.
MARY L. DEXTER:
I think that part of that comes from the way the thing started. It was planned. They went out there and had a meeting. The first meeting with the people there was in 1977, and their attitude at that meeting was "Well, there's going to be a dam here, and we're glad you are here to support our [project]. They were dumbfounded that anyone would say "No, you can't come out here!"
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I don't doubt that at all. Cane Creek was planned long before 1977, you know.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Yes, it was discussed.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
When was OWASA created?
MARY L. DEXTER:
Late '76, I think.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Okay.
MARY L. DEXTER:
About the same time that it passed from the hands of the University to OWASA-a water authority established by the state.

Page 8
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
General Assembly.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Was that to get it out away from Chapel Hill—the University had it before?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
It's much more complicated that that. The University made the initial decisions. I'm not trying to blame somebody else, except to the extent that I'm sure that . . .
MARY L. DEXTER:
The choice of Cane Creek from the available options was the University's?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well the consultants that the University hired. People with the highest ranking. I don't really know when that was. My impression was in the late fifties or early sixties.
MARY L. DEXTER:
I didn't think it was that early.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Certainly it was long before OWASA was created. And I have no doubt that the way that the University treated the people in Cane Creek was in an arrogant fashion. And to a degree that problem has continued because OWASA hired Everett Billingsly who had been the University's waterperson continue to run OWASA. But the basic decision about [utilities] was made by the University. It was not just water, but telephone and electric power as well. The Town of Chapel Hill tried very hard in the middle seventies when that was going on to get control of the utilities. That failed. The

Page 9
Commission appointed by the [Assembly], a right-wing Senator of Henderson, John Church,—a man who I once heard say he could not say either the word gay or homosexual—his Comission decided against the Town in most matters. They gave the phone company to Bell, the power company to Duke,—Davis Library was built with all this money—and at the time the water system and sewer system were half-owned by the Town and half by the University. I think that's how it was—fifty/fifty, Chapel Hill/University. So with that precedent already in place it was easier for the Town to get a hold on the water and sewer system. I don't know if people were consciously thinking about the political problems that Cane Creek might be, I have no evidence one way or the other on that. I do know . . .
MARY L. DEXTER:
Well, I would say initially they didn't think it was going to be any kind of a political problem. They seemed to think that what they said would be welcomed by those people with open arms.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I would caution you—unless you talk to people-Jimmy Wallace, or Joe Nasiff, or someone who was intimately involved—I don't think there is any way of knowing what they were thinking. Although I read the papers back then, there was nothing in the papers about what they were really thinking in terms of anticipating

Page 10
problems in Cane Creek. I don't frankly remember any at all.
It is true that Chapel Hill, as opposed to the County, per se, or Carrboro, had much more political clout in the General Assembly, not just because the Town is Chapel Hill, but because we would have the support of the University's forces in the General Assembly. So when they created the Authority I remember there was considerable debate on how many votes to give Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the County on the OWASA Board. As it is, Chapel Hill actually has fewer votes than it deserves. That is, it has five-ninths of the vote, right? But we have by far more than five-ninths of the users of OWASA, or the usage of OWASA. By any standard you use we have more than five-ninths. It was kind of a gesture to give Carrboro and the County a little more than they deserved to make them accept the system.
MARY L. DEXTER:
But since that was probably where [additional] population was going to come from, within any reasonable distance, it was going to be in these other areas.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
No, I don't think that was what they were. I may be wrong, but I don't recall any people thinking this would make it easier one way or the other to deal with Cane Creek. I just see it as trying to set up a political body that could function well, and Jimmy

Page 11
Wallace, who was mayor then, and soon to be again in a couple of weeks, he wanted Chapel Hill to have more representation. He wanted to give the county and Carrboro one person, something like that, a seven member Board,a compromise was worked out 5/2/2.
Now the [Council] probably knowing that they had to be a little cautious with this, they appointed one of their two people from Chapel Hill— —now holding that position. In terms of residence of OWASA members it's been 6/2/1, Chapel Hill/Carrboro/County.
The part of the county that is served by OWASA gets smaller all the time, both in terms of land and in terms of people. The Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill have annexed county land that is served by OWASA and that will continue over the years.
So when they were setting this body up, they weren't thinking of Cane Creek, because Cane Creek isn't served by OWASA. They were thinking about the parts of county that were closer to Chapel Hill and Carrboro and will be annexed in the next decade or two.
MARY L. DEXTER:
At some point it was brought up that once the lake is in place they have no access to the water out there and won't be given any access. It will all come in here.

Page 12
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I don't think you can say that they'll never be given access to the lake but you're right at least in the short run they won't be given access to it.
MARY L. DEXTER:
In looking at the E.I.S. I guess you look at crystal clear pure water is the best—I just have trouble with [why] they don't utilize University Lake. You say you raise the level of that dam twenty inches, and it would require a lot of moving of septic tanks, very few displacement of homeowners, in that fashion. Just move the drainage system. Were all these houses and septic tanks in place after University Lake got there? There is no drainage into the lake now, and raising it twenty inches . . .
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Most built later.
MARY L. DEXTER:
If spending 10-20 million on a dam, more due to lengthy delay . . .
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Very temporary dam in place-go look at it. It was an emergency measure, won't last a couple years. . .Town Council 79/81. . .only time OWASA came up was to appoint commissioners, overlapping terms.
OWASA Board (former) Paul Morris (retired foreign service officer,) was one of county appointees. Jonathan Howes (Lee's boss)
At first OWASA commissioners were elected— [started a]

Page 13
controversy—legal question about joint office holding. Until a couple years ago Carrboro councilmen were OWASA Board Commissioners. Robert Epting, Lawyer. Betty Sanders, a specialist.
CWASA has always had a water and sewer technical person or two on the Board-she is one. She now works in President Friday's office. David Morrow, Planning Professor at University. Eddie Mann now chair.
MARY L. DEXTER:
OWASA Board all have ties to University? Would be hard not to, I guess.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
COG—Council of Government-level between state and county government: six counties—Wake, Durham, Orange, Lee and Chatham. Appointed by elected officials. Useful to small towns without resources; helpful getting grants; water and sewer, aging.
MARY L. DEXTER:
I wanted some other views, other than people in Cane Creek and of course they're not too many of them out there who are thrilled to death.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I wouldn't be either. Probably I'd be fighting along side them. In fact, it was in court for a long time, as long as the litigation continues.
MARY L. DEXTER:
They've still got something in court.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
But they lost the basic things; they may be appealing; they're not going to win. They never were going to win. They were fooling themselves

Page 14
if they thought they could win. They were always looking for little technicalities. When the legislature created OWASA they lost at that point.
Why they chose never to enter the political arena is beyond me. They kept the controversy a legal one and had no chance of winning in my view. All they could do was stall which, in a sense, is a shame. Stalling meant the cost of the thing would be much higher and also means that feelings will run higher because they've been fighting for such a long time. Frankly, I think they never had a chance. The Town Attorney, now dead, gave a briefing to Town Council, he discussed Cane Creek. He said it's only a matter of time; they can stall ten or twenty years but that's all it will be, because legislation for OWASA gave them eminent domain. OWASA bungled some things and gave Cane Creek people . . .
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A] [Lost conversation because recorder didn't cut off!]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]


Page 15
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B] [off the record-personal comment]
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I mean Everett [Billingsley] is just awful at P.R. We had a problem in this neighborhood with OWASA . . . put in new sewer lines a couple of years ago and made just a mess out of it, despite the fact that we had an OWASA commissioner on the street. Everytime he came here he just put his foot in his mouth. That's always been a problem. The people on the "other side" are often far more articulate.
I remember the first time I ever went to a public meeting on Cane Creek. It was a debate sponsored by the People's Alliance, a group still active in Chapel Hill. I remember Ed Johnson. He didn't actually speak. He had this slide show. Wonderful propaganda for the Cane Creek people. Then Everett Billingsly spoke on the other side. He was just awful . . . very slowly he gets his facts confused. He's not a very self assured person. Doesn't have any self confidence, I guess.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Yet he continues to stay in that position going on ten years. If this is a continuing complaint that

Page 16
seems to exacerbate the problem why hasn't he been [replaced?] Couldn't they have saved a lot of time and money?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
What they did do is appoint somebody else to deal with the press [Pat Davis]. One of the other staff people now makes most of the public statements for OWASA other than policy statements made by the chair of the authority.
If you understand the broader historical context of this struggle, coming out of the early seventies is the concern for water quality. OWASA, even though they bungled the P.R. work frequently, what they still had going for them was the interest in having the best quality water for people to drink. Nobody could ever speak against that, not very effectively anyway. Some people did on occasion but they were losers. No public official in Chapel Hill in the last twenty years has ever been willing to say that he, or she, was willing to drink the water from Jordan Lake, liberal, conservative, old neighborhood, new neighborhood-no one will say that. The only people who say that are people who are not well informed, out of touch with the general good of the community . . . .
The people of Pittsboro, who do drink from the Haw River are regarded as fools because that water is not

Page 17
safe to drink in the opinion of local authorities.
The editor of the Chapel Hill Newspaper, Roland Giddis, has at time talked about drinking Jordan Lake [water] but they're not to be taken seriously.
Jimmy Wallace [soon to be Chapel Hill Mayor again], a conservative, wrote one of his [many] masters theses on what the water of Jordon Lake would be like. He wrote it several years ago.
Chapel Hill sued the Corps of Engineers over not building Jordan Lake [they were party in a suit] but pulled out when it was obvious they wouldn't win.
MARY L. DEXTER:
I haven't heard [many] standing up for Jordan Lake as an alternative. I feel University Lake is a more viable alternative but the University itself seems to have a great deal to say in the matter and will not consider it as viable because people at the University own a great deal of the lake front property. They certainly don't want to be inconvenienced.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I agree that the University has never encouraged enlargement of University Lake. I assume because the consultants always recommended against it. I don't know how many studies have been done but there has been more than one over the years.
University Lake has been enlarged at least once...

Page 18
[tape problems] [Lengthy discussion concerning Chapel Hill exerting its authority/power against the wish of people who do not live in Chapel Hill—annexation situation.]
MARY L. DEXTER:
They [Cane Creek Authority] went at it from a legal standpoint and they should have done it politically? How?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
They should have made it a political issue in Chapel Hill. It never has been.
MARY L. DEXTER:
How a political issue? Where is the football? Who kicks it?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
The Town Council. The Town Council controls OWASA.
MARY L. DEXTER:
So how do the people out there make it a political issue in Chapel Hill?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, you see there are people out there. Do a census of the people out there; the people on the CCCA and find out where they are really from. Some of them have been out there forever, but some of them came yesterday or the day before. And even with the old timers, the Stanfords, they're from all over, not just from there. They're from here as well.
One of the Stanfords is a Judge here in Chapel Hill. Before that she was a member of the lower house

Page 19
of the General Assembly. She is probably one of the people who voted to create OWASA. Her son, Don Stanford, has run for State Senate twice, he's a Chapel Hill political figure, although he has connections with his family in Cane Creek.
Ed Johnson, who has been the leader of the CCCA—I like that, their "Authority" and our "Authority"—I'm sure that was deliberate—the college professor at the University. He grew up in Chapel Hill, his parents were both (pause)—very rare, his mother and father were professors—they have created this illusion that a bunch of old farmers—they are—they are farmers there, but they're more than just farmers. And my impression is that a good number of them, not just Ed Johnson, works in Chapel Hill. And he WILL drink our water in the day-time—maybe not at night (laughs).
I remember the first time I saw the slide show and heard them talk, they reminded me of a section of Richard Hofstader's Age of Reform, pages 28 to 56—early on in the book where he talks about the myth of the farm in American History. They have created this notion that they are wonderful family farmers out there—they are! But they're more than that and, believe me, one of the objections they have is that they would like to sell their land so it could be valuable land on the

Page 20
lake—and they aren't going to be able to do that because OWASA wants to protect the quality of the water so it's purchasing land so you won't be able to see the lake from. . . .
MARY L. DEXTER:
Someone's advertising "lake front homes", "lake-view homes", "lake-view property" or some such thing.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Really?
(Man approaching in our direction along Cobb Terrace).
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
He's somebody you should talk to. He is a sort of Sierra Cluber, one of the few people interested in local politics who I ever heard speak out against the Cane Creek Reservoir.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Who's that?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Ted Johnson, a native.
What I was trying to say earlier, despite the tremendous sympathy people may have with farmers, or anybody out there in Cane Creek, there was also a higher value [placed on] the quality of our own water supply.
MARY L. DEXTER:
I see and hear all your arguments, and I can't close myself off from those arguments. But, probably because I'm a basic traditionalist, I see Cane Creek as a small area, an incident, multiplied a zillion times. It happens because "it's a small area" ,"rather

Page 21
insignificant", "the myth of the farm" — it's all in the way—that's what it is! One of these days you're going to be "in the way" and "we" don't count Joe!
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
That's why I was careful in saying I don't think I ever heard people say "they don't count." I've heard some snide comments about people in Cane Creek but nobody said they didn't count. People are pretty careful about talking that way.
I just thought of something I haven't thought of before. I grew up in northern New Jersey and one reason why the area I grew up in was so beautiful was because it was full of reservoirs. The City of Newark owned the mountain to the east of my hometown. It was a part of the Newark watershed. Then Jersey City and other places owned large tracts of land nearby. It was really nice and it prevented that land from being developed. Maybe this was always in the back of my mind. Once there is a lake out there it would also prevent some of that land from being developed.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Does farming have to become a totally mechanized thing, no more of this type of farming—it's obsolete? This is the front edge, or even the middle [of the move toward obsolescence]. Are these the holdouts and they can't see the writing on the wall?

Page 22
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I don't know enough about the econonics of dairy farming to know. People have said those are really very productive dairy farms out there.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Statistics-wise they're near the top in the state.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
And two of them won't be there any more.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Right.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
TWO! TWO WHOLE FARMS!
MARY L. DEXTER:
I think it's going to be more than that. It'll effect the majority [of the farms] eventually.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Why?
MARY L. DEXTER:
OWASA isn't going to tell'em to stop putting pesticides and fertilizer on the ground and eventually in the streams and lake, but the E.P.A. is. Somebody else is going to say it.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
I think they already are doing it, requiring certain holding areas to keep run off out of [streams].
MARY L. DEXTER:
These types of restrictions create bigger and bigger problems for the farmer. Nobody needs more problems. There's equipment cost, maintenance, vet bills, feed. Then somebody comes in and says you can't use chemicals, or spread manure here—it was alright before the lake but now you have to make other arrangements.

Page 23
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, change is hard to deal with. Particularly when you have something you're fond of—you're losing that, or you think you're losing it—it's hard, I know.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Coy Armstrong knows. He's lost his.
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, I'm sorry, but you know to be American means having to deal with change. That is what is so strikingly obvious to me about what American History is all about. We have been, for more than two centuries now, a very dynamic country where things are always changing. It's difficult for people to deal with that and accept that, even though we have a tradition for it. We're still biologically pretty much the same as people in China, or Italy, or Iceland where the rate of change is much slower.
MARY L. DEXTER:
Because I'm American I have to change, whether I want to or not?
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
Well, you have to deal with it. And it's real hard.
MARY L. DEXTER:
[I feel as though] I'm getting out of the way constantly!
JOSEPH A. HERZENBERG:
You don't have to look beyond me because here in this neighborhood we've had to think about Rosemary Square a good deal in the last year or so and a rezoning effort up the street which we're fighting

Page 24
to temporarily stop. We're convinced certain kinds of change are bad and other kinds might not be so bad. My neighbor fought against that house (points across the street) going in—thought it was awful. I don't think it is awful. The people in that house never get invited to neighborhood parties, [and] not because they're Republicans.
[END OF INTERVIEW]

Endnotes:[About Joe Herzbenberg, Interviewee]


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Joseph Herzenberg, a native of Franklin, New Jersey was born in 1941, professes a Master's Degree in European History from Yale University. Tired of being a student, and following the removal of a kidney, he "was tired and needed a rest" so he undertook a teaching position at Tougaloo [Mississippi] College where upon he came to realize that he was "never [more] tired in my life. It was exhausting!" He has been a resident of Chapel Hill since 1969, currently sharing his abode with one "Harriet Levy" who was reluctant (by omission) to espouse the interviewee's political allignment—democrat, "both kinds". Asked to wrap up his feelings about this issue in nutshell, Herzenberg magnanimously responded, "I'm sorry if people have to suffer sometimes, particularly if they're straight."