Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Robert E. Asher
Q: At that point, you were right at the cusp of the real problems of 1929. Did you feel that you were a part, as we are today, of pretty good times?
ASHER: Yes. Definitely. I think the 1920s may have left a number of people behind, just as the present prosperity has, but the notion was that those were boom times. The stock market was way up in the post-World War One years, the 1920s. The feeling was that people were going to be able to live comfortably forever. The stock market began tumbling in October 1929. It was a terrible shock, resulting in wholesale unemployment and breadlines. Devastating to many families. I don't think my father had any purchases on margin, he was pretty cautious with his finances, so that I could go to Dartmouth College after high school, and spend three years there.
Q: What prompted you to go from Chicago, you were sort of under the wing of the University of Chicago, and all of a sudden off you go to Dartmouth, which was also an all male college at that time?
ASHER: Well, this was a period, at least in our circle, in which the youngsters didn't have the vote. Their parents made these decisions. My father had made a trip east on which he had visited a nephew of his who was at Harvard, and sons of friends who were at Yale, and at Dartmouth. At Dartmouth, two people from Chicago, whose families we knew, took him around and evidently made him think this was a wonderful, quiet, rustic place for someone like me.
Q: Keep you out of trouble.
ASHER: One of the people who showed him around later became my brother-in-law, by marrying my younger sister. Obviously he had made an impression on my father before that. So Dad sort of said, “Dartmouth is the place for you.” Dartmouth had been in Chicago in 1924, to play the University of Chicago, the historic tie football game.
Q: Who was the coach at University of Chicago at that time?