That Friday, the Daily Trojan had this
story about these two hicks from Colorado
who didn’t know the difference between
USC and UCLA.
Q: And from there on to law school.
A: The only law school I applied to was
Q: Your talent for foreign languages—
USC. When I went to enroll, I had to sign
this affidavit that I agree not to work during
my freshman year. I said, “I cannot sign this
in good conscience.” They said, “What do
you mean?” I said, “I have a bad habit. I like
to eat. If I don’t work, I’m not going to be
able to nurse my habit.” They said, “Well,
you can’t work and go to law school.”
I called my father and told him my
dilemma. On his own, he called the Denver
Law School. I happened to have had a very
high LSAT score. It was only the second year
they gave the LSAT, and 500 was the highest
score you could get. I had a 496. I don’t
remember anything about the test. I was
unaware that my score was very remarkable
at all. But Dean Johnson of the Denver Law
School said, “Hell, tell him to come here. If he
wants to work, that’s fine. We don’t care, as
long as he does his work in the school.”
where did that come from?
A: My mother spoke a number of
languages. My daughter is very, very adept
at languages. She’s trilingual in English,
French and Russian, and she’s proficient in
Mandarin Chinese and Ukrainian.
Q: Is this an adopted daughter?
A: No. When we got back to the United
States in 1970, we started to look around
at adoptions and to get on the lists. In
October, my wife was not feeling well and
went to the doctor and came back and
said, “Guess what? I’m pregnant.” She’d
had so many miscarriages that we thought,
“Oh well, we’re not going to say a word
to our parents.” And then after the first
trimester, the doctor said, “If you’d like a
trampoline, you can play on one of those.
You’re not going to lose this one.”
And that was our daughter. She was
born in May of ’ 71.
This interview was edited and condensed.
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