AudioHarold Goble interview
Ross Hay (00:01):
I am at the home of Harold W. Goble, the class of 1931. It's Ross Hay is doing the interviewing for the University of Guelph Alumni Association, Alumni-in-Action branch. Prof Goble was a professor of entomology at the university or at what we would term Ontario Agricultural College, as well as the provincial entomologist. That is an entomologist for the province of Ontario from 1935 to 1973. Could you tell us, Harold, where was your original home?
Harold Goble (00:49):
My home was at Woodstock on a farm just about a mile from the city. If you cut through the back fields we were about three miles from where we delivered the milk to Woodstock city where it was delivered.
Ross Hay (01:06):
And you were a farm boy then?
Harold Goble (01:09):
Ross Hay (01:09):
Yes. Well, Harold, you must have come to OAC in 1927?
Harold Goble (01:18):
Ross Hay (01:18):
What factors would influence you to come to OAC at that time?
Harold Goble (01:23):
Well, I think it was partly that my father had graduated at OAC in 1900, and one magazine that always came in every week at that. When I was little, I didn't know what it was, but was the OAC review.
Ross Hay (01:42):
It came in every week?
Harold Goble (01:44):
Yes, I think every week, but it was there regularly anyway. I don't know if every week or once a month or something, Ross. And I think also partly I was on the farm. I really expected that I would be continuing with the farm at some time. I think another one that might have had an effect was the agricultural representative we had, GR Green, and some will know GR is probably one of the best ag reps we ever had. I think those factors had a lot to do with it.
Ross Hay (02:20):
And what was campus life like back in 1927? Was there a hazing then? What do you call hazing or initiation?
Harold Goble (02:31):
Yes. Yes. There was very definitely an initiation. I think the neighbor across the road, Hilton Hardy and I came together and we hadn't been out in the gang like OAC at that time from the farm. And I think we worried a little about hazing, but it was really fun. And I think it really tended to bring the whole year '31 together as a tight group. I might say also with our year, there was no distinction in residence or where we stayed, whether you were associate or degree. We had a very large associate course. I think there were twice as many as degree, a great many of them were from England and Scotland. It didn't matter when we went in to register whether we roomed with a degree or associate. And our '31 group, when we have a reunion still that's the same way that the associates and the degree all are listed.
Ross Hay (03:38):
Do you ever realize or know why there were so many from the British Isles?
Harold Goble (03:46):
Well, I think there was some scheme under which they came out either an assistance from England or from Ontario here, but I don't really know what it was, but I know there was some scheme in which they came out. And I think that if they weren't from a farm in England, they had to work on a farm here for at least one year before they registered. They came in under that type of a program.
Ross Hay (04:14):
Yes. Well, I came in under that program too.
Harold Goble (04:17):
Is that right?
Ross Hay (04:17):
Yes. When I applied, I had to get a farmer to sign that I lived on a farm.
Harold Goble (04:24):
Ross Hay (04:25):
Or worked on a farm.
Harold Goble (04:26):
Ross Hay (04:27):
For a year. Well, what about the hazing?
Harold Goble (04:33):
Ross Hay (04:33):
Do you remember anything about it?
Harold Goble (04:35):
Yes, we had to go through a routine all right. I don't know why they call this hazing or not, but we had an odd situation concerning what they call The Betos Affair.
Ross Hay (04:53):
Oh yes. Yes.
Harold Goble (04:57):
Eddie Betos was a very big guy and very outspoken, and well known by the year almost immediately.
Ross Hay (05:09):
Harold Goble (05:09):
Well, I guess he'd be well over six foot and I don't know what weight, but it'd be pretty big. So anyway, he was made right away president of the year, temporarily, and then things didn't go too well. Everybody thought that he was too officious and I think it was the second year that really started us on this. They said, if we didn't give him an extra hazing, they would. So a result of this one night the gang went and got them from the room, and took him down by the barns and put him in a pictory on the democrat and a couple got a hold of his [inaudible] and away they went downtown and auctioned him off in front of the theater. Just about the time the people were coming out.
Ross Hay (06:03):
What's the democrat?
Harold Goble (06:05):
Well, a democrat was the-
Ross Hay (06:09):
Two wheels or four wheels?
Harold Goble (06:10):
Yeah. Four wheels.
Ross Hay (06:11):
Harold Goble (06:11):
Four wheel rig that delivered the milk from the dairy and so on.
Ross Hay (06:16):
Okay. I'm sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to...
Harold Goble (06:18):
Yes, that's all right. And anyway, it created a great furor because we had all the people from England and Scotland in our year, and this was picked up by the press. There was such a fuss made that they had to designate somebody in police course. And I imagine Dick Sands probably did this. There were half a dozen names given. They were taken down and they were given a minimum fine of some type or other. Anyway, we all had a good time that night and the year all shipped in. And I think it cost each one of us, $3 to pay the fines for the other six.
Ross Hay (06:58):
That would be some night. Now you said, pardon me. You took them downtown. What did you do with them downtown?
Harold Goble (07:06):
Oh, we just wheeled him down the street in the pictory. Had it closed in, so he couldn't get out. And just auctioned him off in the front of the theater.
Ross Hay (07:16):
In front of the theater.
Harold Goble (07:17):
Then we had to pull that democrat and everything back up the hill up to the college again about midnight.
Ross Hay (07:28):
Do you remember what you got for him?
Harold Goble (07:29):
Well, all we got was six of the guys were pinched.
Ross Hay (07:37):
Well, that's really so something. I've never heard one like that before. How did OAC prepare you for your life after you left the institution? Of course you never really left the institution, but you were away from it for four years and then you were there. But how did it prepare you for life after the university?
Harold Goble (08:05):
Well, I think that the courses we had, some of them were I suppose fairly ordinary. Some I liked very well. I remember particularly Dr. Stevenson who was head of the English department and he was well noted. And I think that this was excellent for us to have a course of this type at the agricultural college. And I think otherwise it was largely getting to know everybody at the university and then continuing on from there. And then went on to graduate work from there as a result of the animal husbandry work and so on.
Ross Hay (08:53):
You took graduate work?
Harold Goble (08:55):
Yes. I went to Iowa State for a year and got my masters over there in Ames, Iowa.
Ross Hay (09:05):
I should have mentioned that at the beginning, Harold.
Harold Goble (09:07):
Ross Hay (09:07):
Sorry about that. Did you meet your wife at Guelph?
Harold Goble (09:17):
Yes. I met Jean at Guelph in my last year. And we're still going together and-
Ross Hay (09:29):
Harold Goble (09:30):
... And have been ever since then. On marriage for five or six years after that, but we were still always going together.
Ross Hay (09:39):
Where was Jean's home away from Guelph?
Harold Goble (09:42):
She's a Guelphite. And she has always been in Guelph. So this is still her home.
Ross Hay (09:48):
Oh, great. Was there anything else you want to tell me about your time at Guelph?
Harold Goble (09:58):
Well, I think that's mainly the big deal. I think there's quite a number that wonder how I got over into entomology eventually from the animal husbandry. And I think this was largely from my graduate work. When I went to Ames, I was in dairy science and my courses were in vet physiology, physiological chemistry and work of this type. And as a result of that, Ralph Baker gave me a call when I finished to come up and demonstrate at the OAC. And it when on from there into entomology and the agricultural phase of entomology.
Ross Hay (10:42):
That must have been very interesting work. I know that I have been up to you with disease on a leaf or something like that.
Harold Goble (10:54):
Yes, well it was extension-
Ross Hay (10:55):
And a great help to the people.
Harold Goble (10:57):
... It was extension work that I enjoyed and enjoyed particularly working with all the fruit and vegetable specialists and the nurseryman. And I got involved particularly with nurseries. I've forgotten the names of all the plants that they used to have, but I knew them fairly well, I guess back a while. And I think I enjoyed that. And worked particularly with Prof Chuck Kelly, as an entomologist and plant pathologist at the fruit growers and vegetable growers meetings. And this was very enjoyable.
Ross Hay (11:28):
Yes, I am sure it was. So Harold, I want to thank you very much for this interview. I know now you're in your 81st year and you're soon going to be moving. And this house will be sold. So it's been a great pleasure talking to you.
Harold Goble (11:48):
Well, it's been awful nice to have you up, Ross. Because I remember you as a student. I don't remember you as being a difficult student of all. You just were all right.
Ross Hay (11:58):
Thanks Harold. And thank you very much for your time.