[inaudible 00:00:00] and I'm all ready for you.
Andy Sturt: I'm all ready for you.
Scotti Feeley: Is the machine working?
Andy Sturt: Yes, I got all the technical difficulties sorted out.
Scotti Feeley: Good. Listen, which way would you like to do it? It might be easier if I told you all the places I've been very fast, and then you ask me any questions. What do you think?
Andy Sturt: So, we have a formula we followed for all the other 50-
Scotti Feeley: Okay, go ahead.
Andy Sturt: ... so I'm going to go ahead.
Scotti Feeley: Follow your formula.
Andy Sturt: Also, I know that some of the questions I'm going to ask you at the beginning, we already went over.
Scotti Feeley: Right.
Andy Sturt: But that audio, I can't use, so I'm going to have... We're going to have to do a couple of the same things.
Scotti Feeley: Do that over again. That's fine with me. I've got no place to go, Andy.
Andy Sturt: No place to go? You're not going to the casinos in Vegas?
Scotti Feeley: I think you're kidding, aren't you?
Andy Sturt: Totally.00:01:00
Scotti Feeley: Good. I'm locked in my room. We can't even go out to the dining room, for example. Okay, go ahead.
Andy Sturt: They don't even let you go to the dining room?
Scotti Feeley: Well, no, because everybody else is there, and they don't want us next to anybody. So, we get fed in our rooms. They're very pleasant. They're very nice. But this is happening all over the country. Anyway, do it your way. Start whatever you want, whatever you want to do.
Andy Sturt: All right. I start with the really easy question. If you could please say your first and last name, and your maiden name, and could you spell your maiden and last name for me?
Scotti Feeley: Okay, all right. My first name is... I was a civilian under the name of Agnes, A-G-N-E-S, Ruth, R-U-T-H, Philips, P-H-I-L-I-P-S, Agnes Ruth Philips. That's how I ended the Navy, okay?
Andy Sturt: Okay. What was your married name after you got out of the Navy?
Scotti Feeley: Okay. When I finally was lucky enough to find an Irishman, I married a man named Frances J. "Frank" Feeley. Last name Feely, F as in Frank, double E, L-E-Y, Frank Feeley.00:02:00
Andy Sturt: Okay. You have a nickname, Scotti, right?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, yeah. You know what? My mother's name was also Agnes, and she didn't want me called Aggie. So, when I was about eight years old I had a little Scotch cap, and the only thing I could think of, so I called myself Scotti. I spell that S-C-O-T-T-I, no E at the end.
Andy Sturt: Okay. Do you call yourself Scotti now?
Scotti Feeley: Yeah. Everybody knows me as Scotti except officially when I haveto sign papers.
Andy Sturt: I got you. So, Scotti, where did you grow up?
Scotti Feeley: I grew up in Brooklyn, New York.
Andy Sturt: Okay. Is that where you graduated high school?00:03:00
Scotti Feeley: Yes. Yeah.
Andy Sturt: Tell me about your family. What did your mom and dad do? Did you have brothers and sisters?
Scotti Feeley: Okay, okay. I'm an only child of a father who... Of course, he served in World War I, but his job, he was a traveling salesman. My mother was a homemaker. Actually, way back then, most women didn't work. I was an only child. We lived in various apartments in Flatbush, Brooklyn, which was small and unimportant then, but it's getting very important and very expensive to live there now. I graduated from Erasmus Hall High School, which is a very well-known high school because, for example, some famous people... Who's that singer that went there? Anyway, a lot of people do know Erasmus Hall High School. Graduated from high school, and I guess then they dropped the bomb, but I wasn't 20, and you have to be 20 years old to join the Navy. So, I got myself a job at Travelers Insurance Company. I was just a young kid, just a file clerk. That's all I was. I think I told you yesterday the middle-aged lady in charge of the file department had a bad time with us, because we used to be playing hide and seek games in the file department instead of doing our work. Okay?00:04:00
Andy Sturt: While you were hiding... You should have just told her you were hiding files. You were looking for that hidden file that you couldn't find.
Scotti Feeley: I wasn't that smart then. But I'll use that if I ever need it again. Anyway, as soon as I became 20, I knew I wanted to join the WAVES. I have an interesting story, if you want to hear it, of how luck I was to get into the WAVES. Do you want to hear the story?00:05:00
Andy Sturt: Of course I do. That's what we're here for.
Scotti Feeley: Oh, okay. As I say, when I became 20, I went into... I don'tremember when stuff was. But there must have been about a dozen of us, all very young. To join the WAVES, you had to be between 20 and 32 years old. But this group filling out applications, they were all as young as I was. While I was 00:06:00waiting, a girl who went in to see the doctor before me came out crying. I said to her, "What's wrong? What's wrong?" because she was really crying kind of bad. I said, "What's wrong?" She said, "They're not going to take me. I have flat feet." Well, I thought that over for a minute and I walked over, knocked on the doctor's door and went in. I said, "Sir, a girl came out crying. She can't join the Navy because she's got flat feet. I've got flat feet." You like that story, G?
Andy Sturt: Yeah, so what did he say?
Scotti Feeley: I stood there, as much at attention as I would, and he looked me up and down. He said, "Did I mention your feet?" I said, "No, sir." He said, "Well, get out of here and wait your turn," and out I went, waited my turn. He passed me.00:07:00
Andy Sturt: So, how did you hear about the WAVES?
Scotti Feeley: What did you say?
Andy Sturt: How did you hear about the WAVES?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, I think as soon as Japan started fighting with them, that was all over the newspapers. I mean, everything. The WACS joined first. They had a tougher time than we did, the girls in the Army. They even got to places like Guam, and some of them were even taken. They took time. But by the time I was 20, the Navy was second nature to me.
Andy Sturt: Okay. When did you serve? What years? What year did you join? You said you were 20.
Scotti Feeley: Okay, I may be not exact, but I think the first day I joined... As I said, I had to wait until I was 20 years old... was January 8th, 1943.00:08:00
Andy Sturt: Okay. How old are you now?
Scotti Feeley: 97.
Andy Sturt: You can't tell over the phone.
Scotti Feeley: Are you sitting down? I'm 97.
Andy Sturt: Hey, 97 years young.
Scotti Feeley: You never can tell. If my money holds out, I may stick around a long time. You never can tell.
Andy Sturt: So, when World War II started, you were still in Brooklyn?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, yes. I lived there until I went into the Navy.
Andy Sturt: Okay. Tell me about how you heard about Pearl Harbor for the first time.
Scotti Feeley: You know what? When you're that young, and you're just out of high school, and you've got a new job, it comes over the radio, not television. It comes over the radio, comes in the papers. It's exciting, but you're still kind of young. You know?00:09:00
Andy Sturt: Right.
Scotti Feeley: It's dramatic, and your first reaction is, "I want to join up," but then I've got to wait a year and a half until I'm old enough.
Andy Sturt: Well, and it seems like back then it was a very different time from now in terms of patriotism and military service, so like...
Scotti Feeley: Oh, absolutely.
Andy Sturt: Tell me your impressions of what it was like back then with patriotism and military service.
Scotti Feeley: Well, as I say, I was young, so most of my friends were also young. But all of the boyfriends we ever had, they all joined up immediately. Everybody wanted to join up. My mother ended up working, while I was away, because she was lonely anyway, she was working in a bomb factory making bombs. A woman who had never worked before, had been a homemaker. It was 100% patriotic. It's not like it is today. It's 100% Americans.00:10:00
Andy Sturt: I can't even imagine. I've never been alive for that.
Scotti Feeley: How old are you? How are you?
Andy Sturt: I'm 39.
Scotti Feeley: Oh, you're still a kid. Okay. Go ahead.
Andy Sturt: So yeah. I mean, it sounds like a much different time than anything I've ever experienced.
Scotti Feeley: Actually, considering we were suddenly at war, it was a wonderful time, because everybody was patriotic. There would be no such thing as not standing at attention when they played the Anthem, or the flag. Nobody would kneel down on their knee. I mean, that wasn't what we had. We had a 100% patriotic country.00:11:00
Andy Sturt: I'm a little curious, and this may be off-topic. What do you think about the people that are like today's world, kneeling during the National...
Scotti Feeley: I'm 100% Republican. I think they're a disgrace. Obviously, they'reabsolutely... I really think that anybody on a team should stand at attention and do what they do. They can kneel and be insulting to our flag when they're on their own time, but not when... They're a disgrace, okay?
Andy Sturt: All right.
Scotti Feeley: Are you getting all this taped, on tape?
Andy Sturt: I'm getting it all taped.
Scotti Feeley: Okay.
Andy Sturt: Well, anyway, it's interesting because I think about... was it Ted Williams who was in the Navy? He left baseball and was fighting and flying planes.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, that's it. So were a lot... I don't remember them all, but so were a lot of the movie stars, like Tyrone Power and people like that. They were all giving up their careers and wanting to win the war for this country. It was a whole different situation.00:12:00
Andy Sturt: Now, were they giving up their careers, or were some of them drafted?
Scotti Feeley: I know, really, most of the movie stars, they gave up their careers. They didn't wait to be drafted. They really didn't. That wasn't what they were. Most young men didn't even wait to be drafted. They all volunteered, "Hey, come on. Let's beat these Japs. Let's beat these Germans." That's what we wanted to do. Completely different country than we have today.
Andy Sturt: Completely different.
Scotti Feeley: Completely different.
Andy Sturt: So, before you joined the military, were you... because you had to wait till you were 20. So, in that year and a half, while you were working, were you also doing anything to help the war effort, like volunteer stuff?00:13:00
Scotti Feeley: Actually, no, I wasn't. I don't know why I wasn't, but there was nothing much that we had to do. There wasn't nothing for us to do at the time. They weren't that organized yet. You'd buy war bonds, but that's... No, I really didn't do any volunteer work.
Andy Sturt: Okay. The next question is how did you first hear... I could skip that one. What was your family's reaction? You said your dad had fought in World War I.
Scotti Feeley: He did.
Andy Sturt: Was he proud of you for joining up?00:14:00
Scotti Feeley: Did you say was he pleased that I joined up, did you say?
Andy Sturt: Yeah, was he proud?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, of course. Of course. I was a very spoiled only child. Everything I did was right and wonderful, as far as they were concerned. I had a fabulous family, and of course they were proud of me.
Andy Sturt: So, your dad was proud. Your mom was really proud, too?
Scotti Feeley: Of course, of course.
Andy Sturt: So, tell me about your trip to boot camp. I imagine you got on a train in Brooklyn, right?
Scotti Feeley: Well, boot camp was up at Hunter College in New York.
Andy Sturt: Okay.
Scotti Feeley: You didn't go far. You rode on the subway and you went up to boot camp, okay?00:15:00
Andy Sturt: Yeah. I've only interviewed one other lady, and she had a much further trip. Then, I've been reading through the other 50 ladies' interviews, and it seems like a lot of them were coming from places like Nebraska and getting to see parts of the country. But for you, you just stayed in New York.
Scotti Feeley: I just got on a subway and went to New York, where before that, maybe I went to New York and went to the Paramount, to the theater. This time, I went to boot camp. Do you want me to tell you what we did in boot camp?
Andy Sturt: That was my next question.
Scotti Feeley: Okay. In boot camp, what they did in the first place, seems to me they injected us. We had to get a couple of shots. They asked us-
Andy Sturt: Did they tell you what the shots were, or did they just stick you?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, no. They don't tell you anything. They line you up and whatever. But we had shots. They gave us spiels on the Naval history. They gave us the background of the Navy. As I say, I think most of us were about 20 years old. Most of the people... They weren't older. They weren't 32. They were all as young as I was, most of them. But we got the history. We got lectures on health, and that kind of thing. Health, how to take care of yourself and so forth. Then, of course, they interviewed you to see what you were interested in. Now, I did not want to be either a yeoman or a storekeeper, or any clerical thing. I wanted to deal with airplanes, if I possibly could. That was why they assigned me to an aviation machinist mate's school. In other words, they did try to put you in the job you were interested in.00:17:0000:16:00
Andy Sturt: Well, that's pretty awesome.
Scotti Feeley: Oh, they were great all the way. All the way. That was boot camp, and then-
Andy Sturt: Now, how long was boot camp?
Scotti Feeley: I think it was six weeks. I think it was six weeks. I'm debating whether it was four or six, but to my memory, it was quite a while. It was about six weeks to get all of that accomplished.
Andy Sturt: What was it like when you first got to boot camp? What was your rooming situation? Did you have your own room? Did you share a room with some ladies?
Scotti Feeley: You know, Andy, it's so long ago, I'm half-guessing at some of this. Certainly, you didn't get your own room. Usually, to my knowledge, there were four of us in one room. It was two double-decker bunks.
Andy Sturt: Did you become close to the ladies that you shared a room with?
Scotti Feeley: Well, you did at the time. Of course, we've long since forgotten00:18:00each other. But while you were there for six weeks, you got to be pretty closely friendly. On the other hand, you did know that you were all going in different directions, because they were scheduling you for different schools.
Andy Sturt: Yeah, so it was like you didn't want to get too close with someone, knowing that you'd probably never see them again.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah. In other words, we're all very young and very friendly, but it's a temporary friendship because we're moving on.
Andy Sturt: I've had many of those in my years.
Scotti Feeley: I bet you.
Andy Sturt: What was the toughest part about boot camp for you?
Scotti Feeley: There was nothing tough. It was just interesting, completely. You know, I'm trying to remember. We probably learned how to march a little bit, come to think of it. Then, of course, I forgot to say we had to get fitted for our uniforms. In other words, there was a lot of that kind of thing going on. There was nothing that was difficult. Not a thing, not for me. Nothing difficult.00:19:00
Andy Sturt: So, tell me about your uniform. A lot of the women who we've interviewed loved the uniform. I've even read some interviews that it played a factor in their joining WAVES.
Scotti Feeley: It wasn't a factor in my joining, but once I got there, I loved the uniform. As a matter of fact, one of my sons is a judge in Kentucky, and he got friendly with a woman who was writing about the WAVES. My uniform is in a very small museum in Kentucky. My uniform is, not the skirt, but the jacket part is in a museum in Kentucky with my ribbons attached to it.00:20:00
Andy Sturt: Wow. That's really amazing.
Scotti Feeley: Well, my sons are very proud of the fact I was in the Navy, and they keep telling people about it. I was complimented that Mike, apparently, got in touch with your outfit and got involved.
Andy Sturt: Yeah, he was the one who reached out to us. I think he read about my advisor's project. Is he an alumni of CU?
Scotti Feeley: Is he what?
Andy Sturt: Where did your son go to college?
Scotti Feeley: Boulder. Boulder College. [crosstalk 00:20:38]-
Andy Sturt: Okay, yeah, so he read about-
Scotti Feeley: [crosstalk 00:20:40] in Colorado.
Andy Sturt: Yeah, so that's where I am. I'm getting my PhD at Boulder.
Scotti Feeley: Good.
Andy Sturt: Your son read about our project in an alumni thing.
Scotti Feeley: That's it. I didn't know my sons would [inaudible 00:20:57] so much for their mother's publicity or were that proud of it, but apparently they were. They are. I'm delighted. I'm delighted. Anyway.00:21:00
Andy Sturt: After... Well, let me backtrack. Is there anything more about your uniform you want to talk about?
Scotti Feeley: Not especially. You know what the Navy, you've seen the Navy uniform, of course. I think it looked good on most of us. When we went to Hawaii, of course, we had really more like dresses. They were gray and white striped. I don't know if you've ever seen any of our summer dresses. But in Hawaii, they were gray and white striped dresses, which ended up, I guess, looking like uniforms. If you walked down the street, you might not say, "Hey, that's a WAVE."
Andy Sturt: How long has your uniform been in the museum?00:22:00
Scotti Feeley: Probably certainly a year and a half, anyway. It just came up, and I finally sent the uniform to my son in Kentucky. Luckily, the dogs didn't get it. The dogs got a lot of other things I sent. But the uniform was okay.
Andy Sturt: Was that something that you had taken with you to the assisted living community?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, sure. It's something, you never threw it away. You might throw your house dresses away, but you never threw the uniform away.
Andy Sturt: Yeah, the woman that I spoke with yesterday has her uniform in a case on the wall, is what her daughter told me.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, really. You might even throw your husband away, but you didn't throw your uniform away, okay? By the way, I did not throw my husband away.00:23:00
Andy Sturt: I didn't think so. I mean, you told me you got some sons, so I figured you hung onto the husband.
Scotti Feeley: I sure did.
Andy Sturt: We'll get to that a little later in the interview. We'll talk about him.
Scotti Feeley: Go ahead.
Andy Sturt: After boot camp, where did you go for further training?
Scotti Feeley: Okay. Because I wanted something with airplanes, they assigned me to Norman, Oklahoma as a training. That really was six months. That was six months aviation machinist mate training. That was in Norman, Oklahoma.
Andy Sturt: So, that was your first choice for your job? Did they give you achoice of bases, or were you assigned... Was that basically the only-
Scotti Feeley: That was it. If I was going to be an aviation machinist mate, if I wanted airplanes, I was going to Norman, Oklahoma, to that school.00:24:00
Andy Sturt: All right.
Scotti Feeley: There was no choice. Your choices ended. That was it. It was a very intensive school for six months. You really did learn. One thing that you won't think to ask because you won't know, while I was in Norman, Oklahoma, at one point they grabbed me in my uniform and took me... I didn't know where I was going. They took me to where wrestlers were going to fight. You know, in a big arena?
Andy Sturt: Yeah.
Scotti Feeley: They put me in the middle of the ring, with the wrestlers sittingat the side, and they said, "This is little Ruthie Philips. If you buy a lot of war bonds," they said to all the people sitting there, the thousands of people 00:25:00of sitting there, "If you buy enough war bonds, little Ruthie Philips will get to go home on a free vacation that won't be charged against her. So please, everybody, let little Ruthie Philips get home. Buy a lot of war bonds." Apparently, they bought a lot of war bonds, and I got to shake hands with the wrestlers, and then they took me back and put me back on base.
Andy Sturt: That's really interesting, actually.
Scotti Feeley: You know, Andy, for some reason, and I don't know why, you'll see it in the rest of the places I go, a lot of us were trained to be aviation machinist mates. Mostly, they'd end up in the A&R, assembly and repair shops. For some reason, they always picked me out and put me someplace where I was by myself doing something different and interesting, so I think I was very lucky.
Andy Sturt: It sounds like it. It sounds like you got to do some amazing things.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah. I thought that was funny when they just picked me up and... Of course, what I looked like in the uniform. "Everybody buy war bonds." So, I think those people bought a lot of war bonds, and I shook hands with the great big wrestlers. Then, they took back to the base.00:26:00
Andy Sturt: Yeah, actually, in some of the other interviews that I've readthrough, I've read similar stories, where the women were used for publicity stuff.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, yeah.
Andy Sturt: Was that the only time that you were ever used for publicity in your uniform?
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, actually, that was. That was the only time I ever heard of that ever happening, so I thought I'd mention it to you.
Andy Sturt: Well, thank you for mentioning it. So, you were in Norman, Oklahoma for six months.
Scotti Feeley: Right.
Andy Sturt: Tell me about your advanced training.
Scotti Feeley: What did you say?
Andy Sturt: Tell me about those six months. What did they have you doing while... You said you were working a lot by yourself. What were the types of projects you were doing?00:27:00
Scotti Feeley: Well, actually, you went to class. They showed you how to... The kind of airplanes you got trained on were called, they're called Stearman. They're bilevel, two radial engines. What they trained you, you're in a classroomlearning how to fix a radial engine. You were learning how to put the chucks under the wheels of an airplane. You learned everything about the nomenclature of the aircraft. I'm sure I've forgotten half of it by now, of course. But you actually learned every part, so supposedly, if you were out in a Stearman 00:28:00biplane and it broke down for any reason, you could fix it.
Andy Sturt: Wow. What were you doing in your spare time? During your advanced training, did you guys go out on the town?
Scotti Feeley: Well, yeah. You had movies. There was sailors in the class. Some of them dated. Some of them didn't. No big deal. You had a full day of getting to meals three times a day, and maybe having a movie at night, or maybe not, just talking. You had a full day of work. It wasn't a short day. It probably started about 8:00 and ended up at about 5:30 or 6:00. It was a big day. You didn't go play tennis. I mean, that's not what you did.00:29:00
Andy Sturt: You were there to work.
Scotti Feeley: You maybe went back to your room, which of course you shared. Oh, and of course, what we moved into in Norman, Oklahoma, what had been sailors' barracks, of course. I happened to be topside. I was up in the top deck, and we were all in double-decker bunks, and that kind of thing. I always selected the top bunks so that people didn't sit on my bunk and mess me up.
Andy Sturt: Did you become close to some of those women there, or...
Scotti Feeley: Yes. You were there for six months, so you really made several good friends. Then, when you moved on to your next place, you didn't see those friends anymore.
Andy Sturt: Did you keep up with any of them after the war, after your time?
Scotti Feeley: One of them, I did. She came to New York. She wanted to be a singer, and she came to New York. Actually, we went out to dinner one night in our uniforms. We went to a very expensive restaurant that I'd heard of, but now I don't remember its name. But we just figured we still had some of our mustering-out pay, we'd go to a really expensive restaurant. But we went in uniform. When I asked for the check, the waiter said it had been taken care of. A husband and wife took care of our check.00:30:00
Andy Sturt: Wow, that's amazing. That's really nice.
Scotti Feeley: That's how things were those days, anyway. Even that short time right after the war, people were still patriotic. Anyway, I took you off your message. So, yes, I made friends, but we didn't do anything exciting in that six months except...You went home and studied, too. When the six months was over and they gave the exam, we all got our AMM 3-C, meaning aviation machinist mate third class. Every one of us passed.00:31:00
Andy Sturt: But you were the star.
Scotti Feeley: I don't think so. I think every one of us probably thought wewere the star.
Andy Sturt: But let's just say, for the interview purposes, you were.
Scotti Feeley: Okay, thank you. Thank you.
Andy Sturt: After your advanced training, where did you get stationed?
Scotti Feeley: Okay, then I got stationed in Dallas, Texas. Andy, you had no choice. I mean, you were sent where you were sent. There was no choice. I was sent to Dallas, Texas, and there again, I was lucky. Most of the girls went into the assembly and repair shops, which I never even saw, so I think of them as maybe like a factory thing. I don't know. But I was assigned all by myself in what they called the parachute loft. That's where anybody who required a parachute, I had to hand it to them, select one and hand it to them. Then, when they returned it, different people would return it, zip it open to make sure nothing was left00:32:00inside of the parachute, and then check them off and so forth. Now, my claim to fame there, I'm going to say this name, Robert Taylor. Have you ever heard of the actor Robert Taylor?
Andy Sturt: I have not.
Scotti Feeley: Okay, anyway, he was very well-known. My claim to fame was that Robert Taylor came and I was right there at the counter at the parachute loft. He handed me his parachute, and I unzipped it to make sure everything was all right. I handed Robert Taylor, a famous movie star, his dirty socks that I took00:33:00out of the parachute where he had it in with his parachute. That was my claim to fame.
Andy Sturt: I would have kept one of the sock and said, "I have Robert Taylor's sock."
Scotti Feeley: I didn't think of it. Anyway, so I was there in Dallas for a year. Now, that's the same thing. You're bunked in what had been sailors' quarters. Of course, they didn't build new quarters for WAVES. I'm hearing something. Is that one of our phones?
Andy Sturt: I got a text message. Don't worry about it.
Scotti Feeley: Are you okay?00:34:00
Andy Sturt: Yeah, I'm good.
Scotti Feeley: This is a story I wouldn't tell everybody, but I'm getting to know you fairly well. One of the funny things in the WAVE barracks, of course there were WAVE offices and then there were lower-deck and upper-deck and so forth. But at one time, in the very front, the beginning of the barracks, there were two urinals. I realized that the WAVE officer had put flowers in them. She put false flowers in the urinals, and I said, "Why? What did you do that?" Because she caught somebody brushing their teeth in the urinals. In other words, the girls had never seen that before. All this was brand-new to them. Anyway, I lived in my parachute loft. I was there for a year, okay?00:35:00
Andy Sturt: Okay. When you were there for the year, I asked this question earlier, what did you do in your spare time? What did you and the other WAVES do when you had free time?
Scotti Feeley: Okay, now that, what we did was interesting. Okay, now that was Dallas, Texas. Right?
Andy Sturt: A lot more exciting than Norman, Oklahoma.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, see, Norman, Oklahoma was just a little town. We didn't do much. But now, Dallas, Texas, okay? Then, of course, all of us went, when we had an afternoon off or whatever, then the buses would take us into Dallas, the main part of Dallas. All of us, or at least my friends, all opened charge accounts in places like Neiman Marcus and Titche-Goettinger, because we realized people couldn't tell... We were in uniform. They couldn't tell if we came from very rich families or what. We never really bought anything, but we all had very famous charge accounts in the famous stores in Dallas, Texas.00:36:00
Andy Sturt: You'd go shopping on the town, but just...
Scotti Feeley: Didn't buy a thing.
Andy Sturt: ... didn't buy anything, just looking around.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah. You know, if your parents were trying to send you a present, what they could send you, for example, was a ladies slip, a white slip, or white gloves. There was nothing else they could send you. There was nothing else you could...Writing paper. But in other words, for presents, your family was more inclined to send you money so that you could go out in Dallas and have some fun.
Andy Sturt: Tell me about what... When you say, "Have some fun," what do you mean?00:37:00
Scotti Feeley: Oh, really just maybe taking a bus ride in the suburbs just to see what it was like. Maybe going to a movie. Fun meant different things to us then... by then, I was 21... than it means to a 16-year-old here. Fun doesn't mean the same thing.
Andy Sturt: Oh, absolutely.
Scotti Feeley: We were all so young and innocent. It was wonderful.
Andy Sturt: You were there for a year. Then, did you get stationed somewhere else after that?
Scotti Feeley: Yes, then they sent me back to Norman, Oklahoma. They sent me back to Norman, Oklahoma, and that was where I had the best job I've ever had in my life. You want to hear about it?
Andy Sturt: Absolutely.
Scotti Feeley: Okay. Once again, I was selected all by myself to be on the flight line. Back in Norman, Oklahoma, the officers were training cadets to fly. In other words, they were teaching them how to fly. What I did was assign the planes. I was the gal... Of course, those days, I was dressed in dungarees. I was dressed like a sailor. I wasn't dressed in a white uniform. I had a big, great big board, a00:38:00chart board, made of wood, of course, about 12 feet by 12 feet, something like that, with every era plane number listed on it. It was called the pegboard.
Scotti Feeley: You had a peg if the plane was on the flight line, or you moved it if it flew away, and you put it out in another peg until it came back. Then, you moved it back where it belonged. Now, the only thing, there must have been about 200 of those Stearman I told you about. We used to call them yellow perils. They were biplanes, and that's what we had learned how to fix if they needed fixing, which I never did that part. What I really had to know to assign the planes to the officers and cadets, if it was a routine flight, none of them were being taught that day, the propeller was wood. It was a wooden propeller. If it was a flight test, they got a [inaudible 00:39:19] propeller, a metal propeller. That, I had to know the difference to what they were doing that day, and assign them the correct plane, and then move the peg when they brought the plane back safely.00:39:00
Andy Sturt: Is that another one of the instances where it was just you?
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, it was just me. One of my girlfriends ran the little scooter thing that would take the disabled planes to the hanger to be fixed. She drove the broken planes back. Then, I had one other girlfriend who could relieve me now and then so I could go to lunch or something like that. But otherwise... We worked from about 8:00 in the morning, the first officers and cadets came out, and we'd work till about 6:00 at night. By the way, part of that, you also stood duty. So, when you're on duty, you might be on duty at night from 12:00 to 4:00 or 4:00 to 8:00. You're out there on the flight line. It could be 1:00 in the morning, and you're out there guarding the planes. We were guarding the planes from the00:40:00Japanese coming over and stealing our planes in Oklahoma. 00:41:00
Andy Sturt: Did they give you guns to guard the planes?
Scotti Feeley: No. Actually, I forgot to tell you. When we were in mech school, while we were training to be mechs, we also had carbine training, how to shoot a carbine. Now, we never used it. We just learned how to shoot. But that was one of the other things we learned to do.
Andy Sturt: You said when we were in Mexico?
Scotti Feeley: No.
Andy Sturt: Where was that, that they taught you how to shoot?
Scotti Feeley: When we were at the aviation machinist mate school.
Andy Sturt: Oh, okay, okay. I heard Mexico.
Scotti Feeley: Not Mexico, no. The mech school. That's one of the things that they taught. I think it was the carbine. I don't know why we... But what I think is funny is that by the time I was on midnight or 1:00 on duty in Oklahoma, guarding the airplanes from the Japanese coming over and stealing the little planes, we all thought that was hysterical.00:42:00
Andy Sturt: Yeah, that is pretty funny.
Scotti Feeley: I mean, that's ridiculous. Of course, while we were on duty, when it was freezing cold, we'd all climb into the cockpits, those of us on duty. It wasmore than one. I mean, there'd be six of us on duty, maybe. We'd climb into the cockpits to try to stay warm, until somebody told us the officer was coming, and then we'd jump out and stand at attention. Didn't I have a good time in the Navy, you see?
Andy Sturt: You sure did. Sounds like it. Was Norman where you were stationed when the end of the war happened?00:43:00
Scotti Feeley: Actually, another year on that pegboard with the officers and cadets, maybe a year and a half. Then the war in Europe ended. The war ended in May in Europe. That's when they came up with the idea of sending some of us to Hawaii.
Andy Sturt: Oh, cool, so you got to go to Hawaii, too?
Scotti Feeley: Yep. Yep, as I say, the war in Europe was ended, and now we're all going to concentrate on the Pacific. They came up with did anybody want to go to... What they said, "If you sign up to go to Hawaii, you'll be there for the duration of the war plus end." [inaudible 00:43:44]. But anyway, I signed up. I think I probably was the first [inaudible 00:43:52] of the WAVES that went over there, but I'm not sure. I'm not sure. They flew us over there. Now, what's your next question?00:44:00
Andy Sturt: So, how long were you in Hawaii?
Scotti Feeley: Okay. Here's how Hawaii went. They flew us over there. Have you ever been to Hawaii?
Andy Sturt: Believe it or not, I've been to 47 states, and that's one of the only ones...
Scotti Feeley: Well, you've got to get there. Anyway, they flew us to Hawaii, and we were put up. I don't know, maybe there were about 20 of us WAVES. That's all I remember. We were billeted on, the name of the place is Ford Island, F-O-R-D, Ford Island. You have to take a launch to get from Ford Island where you were sleeping to the main land, just a short launch ride. Anyway, they put us up at Ford Island. It was about... I think early on. At any rate, Andy, when we got there, 10 days later we dropped the bomb. We were only in Hawaii for the first 10 days, and then we dropped the bomb on the Japanese. Okay?00:45:00
Andy Sturt: Okay.
Scotti Feeley: Okay. Then they didn't give up, so we dropped the second bomb. Now then, we'd only been there about 10 days. We hardly had time to even get any assignments or anything. But at one point, then, all of a sudden in the middle of the night, somebody got a bus and drove it on Ford Island. Drove around to the barracks and called out to all of us. There were sailors and WAVES, and we all came out in our pajamas and jumped in the bus. "The war is over. The war is over." So, after the second bomb was dropped, then the Japanese gave up.00:46:00
Andy Sturt: So, that's how you heard about it.
Scotti Feeley: That's how we heard about it.
Andy Sturt: What did you do next? They took you in the bus, and then did you go back to...
Scotti Feeley: Well, that was the middle of the night that we heard. They drove the bus around just to tell us all and to celebrate. We just drove around Ford Island screaming, "The war is over, the war is over," and so forth. Now, I was still...So, now I'm in Hawaii and so are the other girls and so forth, for about twomonths before they finally got everything organized and sent us back home. But now we're in Hawaii without a war going on. That was really very pleasant. What you did, you made friends. Of course, I made friends and boyfriends and so forth. You hitchhiked... I was enlisted, of course. You couldn't go out with an 00:47:00officer. But the other friends I had, you hitchhiked all over the island, in uniform of course. That's the only clothes you had. You didn't have any other clothes. Everybody picked you up, drove you all around the island.
Scotti Feeley: The war was over, so you had about two months there till they got completely organized and finally sent us home. They sent... I don't know about everybody else, but I ended up on a... what's that? A ship that was used for sick people, the hurt people. What do you call that? A hospital ship, hospital ship. I was sent home, and I can remember sitting on the upper deck with all my friends00:48:00coming back across the Pacific on just a beautiful night, coming back to San Francisco. The war is over, and that's it.
Andy Sturt: So, you said those two months, you hitchhiked around and did a lot of fun stuff. Did you have work you had to do after the war during those two months?
Scotti Feeley: You know what? If I had a job to do, or any of us had a job to do, I don't even remember it. We supposedly were going every day and working in a hangar. It must have been some dumb little clerical thing, but the war was over. Nobody was in the mood to do any work. We had to show up, but maybe by about 1:00 in the afternoon, "Hey, you're free. Enjoy yourself. Get the launch and ride to the main land and do whatever you feel like doing, have dinner, do whatever you want to do." Or, stay there and eat, if you didn't feel that adventurous. But I made enough friends. We just hitchhiked around Hawaii. I just got to know all about Hawaii.00:49:00
Andy Sturt: Then, when you get back and the war's over, tell me about what it was like going back to civilian life. Is that when you met your husband?
Scotti Feeley: Okay. Okay, they landed us back in San Francisco, which is nice, because I got to see San Francisco, the waterfront and the whole thing. We must have been there for about three days, and they mustered us out in San Francisco. So, in other words, you were a civilian by the time you left San Francisco. To my knowledge, we got $200 mustering out pay, to my knowledge. By the way, when I was an aviation machinist and made second class, the salary was $96 a month. Okay?00:50:00
Andy Sturt: Wow.
Scotti Feeley: Anyway, now you want to know what happened when I got back in the States?
Andy Sturt: Yeah, so you get back and then you go around San Francisco. I assume, after that, you went back to New York?
Scotti Feeley: Yep. I think that they flew us back. I mean, everything was paid for by the Navy. But I got back to New York, and I think my mother met me in a taxi and we drove to Brooklyn. Anyway, what my plans were then, of course, now I've got the GI Bill. You know all about the GI Bill, I'm sure.
Andy Sturt: That was going to be one of my next questions, but go on.
Scotti Feeley: Okay, okay. Now, in Brooklyn, I could have walked to Brooklyn College. It was within walking distance. Brooklyn College is free. If you've got a good enough grade, you can get into it. It's free. Instead of that, I wanted a prestigious college. I wanted Barnard, which is the girls' very, very snooty college that's affiliated with Columbia. Okay?00:51:00
Andy Sturt: Yeah.
Scotti Feeley: So, instead of just walking to class in Brooklyn College, I traveled an hour each way on the subway just to get up to Barnard in New York to use my GI Bill on a very exclusive college.
Andy Sturt: Okay, so you used your GI Bill. What degree did you get?
Scotti Feeley: I got a degree in political science. I went summer and winter. In other words, I got home before Christmas, and I signed up immediately for the February term and went. But I took an hour each way on the subway because I wanted a snooty college. That's what I did. Now, the GI Bill paid for all your books. I think it even paid for your pencils and your pads. It really was very generous, and it also, the GI Bill paid you $60 allowance a month.00:52:00
Andy Sturt: Oh, wow.
Scotti Feeley: So, of course I lived at home, obviously, and I had $60 a month from the Navy allowance. Then, I always took little part-time jobs just to get a little extra money to.... you know.
Andy Sturt: So now, when did you meet your husband?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, you really want that? That's a serious story. You really want that story?
Andy Sturt Only if you want to share it.
Scotti Feeley: I'd love to share it. Okay, I'm going to tell you the honesttruth. You ready? Okay. After I graduated, I got a job on a magazine. My job was 00:53:00to walk around New York or drive around New York, and look at furniture and lamps and then write about them. That was my job. So, part of my job, I made a friend who kept telling me about her cousin, Frank, "My cousin, Frank, my cousin, Frank." You really have time for all this?
Andy Sturt: I got time.
Scotti Feeley: Okay. She told me about her cousin, Frank. Now, her cousin, Frank, had joined the Marines right out of high school. He joined when he was 17. Of course, he went into the Marines. He lost his leg on Tinian. Tinian is the island that we sent the bomb from, okay?
Andy Sturt: Okay.
Scotti Feeley: He lost his leg on Tinian. His family thought, "What good is he?"He had two sisters and a brother. "What good is he? He's a cripple. What good's he going to be?" All right? I heard about that. He worked for RCA, and spent two 00:54:00years over in Korea after the war was over and everything, just as a job. Then, he came back and was going to go back again, but I heard that his family thought, "What good is he?" That made me kind of mad. That was my Brooklyn mad. So, when my girlfriend was giving him a farewell party because he had to go back again to Korea, he had signed up for another two years, when she was giving him the farewell party and of course, invited me, I was completely... I was going to make such a big fuss over him that they got an idea that maybe he was pretty important after all. I had that idea.
Andy Sturt: Then you fell in love with him.
Scotti Feeley: Huh?
Andy Sturt: Then you fell in love with him.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, well, that comes later, but let me tell you this part, because you won't believe this, what a nervy thing I was. At the party, I said, "Can I help? Can I do anything for you?" She said, "Well, hand out the peanuts." I came to you and I said, "Andy, you want some peanuts? Matilda, do you want some peanuts?" and so forth. I went over to Frank, and I had just seen him for the first time. I said, "Frank, would you like a peanut?" He nodded, so I took the peanut, put it in my mouth, and put it in his mouth. He fell in love then, okay? That was it. I think he thought that he was getting a hot tamale, and he wasn't. From then on...00:55:00
Scotti Feeley: But that's how we met. Simply because I wanted to... I never sawhim. I didn't know what he looked like or anything. I didn't know what he was like, but I just didn't want his sisters to think he was a cripple and couldn't 00:56:00end up to be anything. The end of the story is we dated for a year and a half. He only had high school. He went to college, he went to law school, he ended up as a judge. We had four kids.
Andy Sturt: Where did you end up? Was that in Kentucky?
Scotti Feeley: We ended up in New Jersey, actually.
Andy Sturt: Okay.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, we ended up in New Jersey. But it took me a year and a half to fall in love. You know, when you haven't even met anybody and you decide you want to make him be important, that was funny. When I gave him the peanut that way, I don't know what he thought. Anyway, it worked out.
Andy Sturt: You have four kids. I know one of them's a judge, you mentioned. What did the other three do?00:57:00
Scotti Feeley: What did you say? What about my kids?
Andy Sturt: Yeah, what did the other three do? Did any of them ever end up in the service?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, that's one of my great prides. One of the things I brag about. You can't help but know it when you finally meet me. Of course, obviously, my husband and I were both in the service. We have three sons and a daughter. The three boys went into... The Marine Corps, that's Mike, that's the one who you're dealing with. That Mike, that's the one that got in touch with you, your group. He went into the Marines. The second guy went into the Air Force Academy. The third guy went into the Army. My three sons were in the service. Now, I end up with six grandchildren. You ready for this? Number two son has two sons, and the third guy has three girls and a boy. All six of them went into the service.
Andy Sturt: Oh, wow.00:58:00
Scotti Feeley: So, that's one of the things I'm proud of. I do have a 17-year-old extra grandchild, but she's not old enough to do that yet. But when three sons and six grandkids all went into the service, that's one of the things I'm proud of.
Andy Sturt: Well, I mean, you were a trailblazer. The women of the WAVES weretrailblazers. You tell me how proud your sons are of your time in the service, so I imagine that that trailblazer of sorts had a big impact on them joining up.
Scotti Feeley: I guess so. I didn't realize my sons were that pleased with me, but I'm delighted to find out that they are. I'm kind of thrilled.
Andy Sturt: Did you realize at the time that you were in WAVES that you were a trailblazer?
Scotti Feeley: No. As far as I'm concerned, I was nothing special at all.00:59:00
Andy Sturt: So, you still don't consider yourself a trailblazer?
Scotti Feeley: No, there's a lot of people like me, a lot of us, probably. Although, lasting until 97, I think, is pretty spiffy.
Andy Sturt: You are all there, too.
Scotti Feeley: I hope so. I hope so.
Andy Sturt: I have a friend that's in the other room studying, and she sent me a text message that said, "I need to know her secret at 97."
Scotti Feeley: Tell her, "You know what the secret is? You find a wonderful husband to fall in love with and marry, and stay married to him."
Andy Sturt: [Talia 00:59:40], did you hear that?
Talia: I took notes.
Andy Sturt: She took notes.
Scotti Feeley: Fall in love and stay in love. I mean, that's... Have kids, andall. Hey, by the way, are you married?
Andy Sturt: I am not.
Scotti Feeley: Okay, then you have all that to look ahead at. Okay.
Andy Sturt: One day.
Scotti Feeley: I won't ask about your kids, then, okay. Go ahead.01:00:00
Andy Sturt: If I got kids, I don't know about them.
Scotti Feeley: Okay.
Andy Sturt: If you could have stayed in the WAVES after the war, would you have stayed in?
Scotti Feeley: No, no. Actually, it was a wonderful experience, but the war was over, and I wanted to go to college. Hey, by the way, do the WAVES still exist? I don't know anything about them.
Andy Sturt: You know, I've got to be honest. I don't know. I've been working on this project, but the project... I'm working on archives, so I don't know anythingabout if they still exist. But I'll look into it and I'll get back to you on that.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, find out and let me know. Really. When we got out of the Navy, as far as I'm concerned, they didn't need us and didn't want us. Every WAVE, to my knowledge, got out. I didn't know if... I didn't even know if the WACS still exist.01:01:00
Andy Sturt: I would assume, because women can now serve as soldiers...
Scotti Feeley: Yes, yeah.
Andy Sturt: I would assume that the WAVES are no longer a thing, but I-
Scotti Feeley: I don't think they are. I don't know. But I'd like to know. Look, Andy, there was a war on. The whole country was patriotic. It was a wonderful time. It was a wonderful time. And, as I said, my husband losing a leg, he made out well, too. He came back, ended up as a judge.
Andy Sturt: Because he had a strong woman behind him.
Scotti Feeley: That's what some people tell me. I think the fact that when he met me, I already had my degree. That probably got onto him in the first place.01:02:00
Andy Sturt: That gave him a kick in the ass to want to get his degree.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah. At one time, I remember he said to me, "Scotti, if I go..." He had to first go to college, then to law school. "If I do that, then will you marry me? I do remember, my exact words were, "It doesn't matter whether I marry you. Whoever's lucky enough to get you will be glad you did that." It took him a year and a half to get me married.
Andy Sturt: Do you think your life would have been different if you hadn't served?
Scotti Feeley: Oh, I'm sure it would have been. If we'd had a war and I hadn't done anything more than work in an insurance company, oh, that would have been terrible. Yeah.That's a very important part of my life.01:03:00
Andy Sturt: Okay. So, is there any... I don't really have any other questions, but ifthere's anything else you'd like to add, or anything else you think is important?
Scotti Feeley: I can't think offhand of anything.
Andy Sturt: Well, then, thank you so much for your time. This has truly been a pleasure.
Scotti Feeley: Oh, it's been a pleasure for me, too. Hey, you find yourself the right girl, will you?
Andy Sturt: I'll keep looking.
Scotti Feeley: It may happen to you all at once. You never can tell, right?
Andy Sturt: It always happens when you're not expecting it.
Scotti Feeley: Absolutely. Listen, it's been a pleasure talking to you. I hope I made some sense.01:04:00
Andy Sturt: You made all the sense in the world. This was a great experience forme, because it's a lot different to actually be able to do an interview than to read through the transcripts of them-
Scotti Feeley: Oh, I'm sure it is.
Andy Sturt: ... and to hear the stories firsthand.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, because they tell you some of the silly things that happened. But anyway, listen, it's been a pleasure, and thank you very much.
Andy Sturt: Thank you very much. I'm going to-
Scotti Feeley: Will I eventually get to see the results or anything?
Andy Sturt: Absolutely. What happens next is I'm going to have the interview transcribed. Then, I have to send... I believe I emailed your son the release form.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah.
Andy Sturt: But I'll double-check on that. Then, once the interview's transcribed... It gets transcribed, but then I have to go through it again. Then I'll send you that, so that you can... if there's anything you want to edit in it.
Scotti Feeley: Oh, I bet you I don't. You know what? I can't read anymore.01:05:00
Andy Sturt: Okay.
Scotti Feeley: So, my son could read it to me.
Andy Sturt: Well, I'll send it to your son.
Scotti Feeley: They'll read it to me, the best I can do. I'm lucky I'm doingthis well at 97, right?
Andy Sturt: Oh, you're amazing at 97. Then, I'm also going to ask your son if he has any high-resolution pictures of you in uniform for us to put on the website.
Scotti Feeley: Yeah, I think Mike said he has one picture of me in uniform.
Andy Sturt: Okay.
Scotti Feeley: But you know what? I wasn't special, but looking back on all the things that I got to do as the only one to do them, now I'm thinking maybe I was special way back then.
Andy Sturt: So, wait. I guess, at 97 years old, you're realizing you were a trailblazer now.
Scotti Feeley: I don't know. But it was a great experience, and the whole rest of the life was great, too. Listen, it was lovely talking to you.
Andy Sturt: It was lovely talking to you, too.
Scotti Feeley: Keep in touch, all right?01:06:00
Andy Sturt: I was going to say, if when the quarantine's over, I find myself in Nevada, I'll stop by.
Scotti Feeley: Oh, I'd love that. I'd love that. We can have dinner. The foodhere is very good. See, right now, seriously, we are confined to our rooms. They have to be so careful, you know?
Andy Sturt: Yeah.
Scotti Feeley: But let's hope we get over all this very soon, okay?
Andy Sturt: I hope so. You take care of yourself. Thank you again for your time.
Scotti Feeley: You, too. Okay.
Andy Sturt: Okay.
Scotti Feeley: Bye-bye.
Andy Sturt: Bye.