Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Lesley Dorman
DORMAN: Oh, yes, terribly emotional. And I always recall that we went to every denomination. I remember at this Jewish synagogue, there was a host of butterflies which came in, and one got under the collar of one of our men. They were all wearing the yarmulkes (Jewish caps). The men were separated from the women. This man didn't know what to do because of this butterfly. There was all this heaving and it was terribly funny, yet we daren't laugh, you know, because it was a serious time. We had a very nice cathedral in Lusaka. Anglican, which is my church, Church of England, Episcopalian. I was really very impressed.
And then we had gas rationing; petrol here, gas to you and me. And we were riding bicycles. I remember going down to the dentist and having some awful thing done on a tooth and having to bicycle home again. I had just enough gas in the car to get one of the children either to or from school. The streets were very quiet there then. The Africans were just beginning to drive more, but the streets were fairly quiet in the morning. I had my bicycle, and my son, Tim, had his. I would condition reflex him. He was a little fellow to go on the roads, turn right, and eventually I got him so he could go on his bike to school every morning. I went enough behind him in the beginning, and he didn't even know that I was there.
Q: Was it safe?
DORMAN: Absolutely safe. And then I picked him up. One has to take a chance in this life. You cannot molly-coddle children, particularly Foreign Service children.
I remember one night somebody tried to rob us. Unusual, but it did happen. We were at a friend's house and we got a phone call from our son, who was actually at school at Peterhouse in Marandellas, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Peterhouse was run on British School lines, had a British headmaster, and most of the staff were British. He was home for vacation and had gone across the street to some neighbors. He called us from there and said he thought the house was being burglarized. It was quite traumatic, you know, but children have to be adaptable in the Foreign Service.
Q: And they do, and yours have turned our magnificently, Lesley, tell me a little bit about Haile Selassie. When did you meet him and what were the circumstances?
DORMAN: Well, he came to Zambia on an official tour, and I simply met him really through dinner and the usual business we get involved in.
Q: When did you go to Zambia again?