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Legacies Project Oral History: Andrew Zweifler

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 11:02am

When: 2017

Oral history interviews conducted with Andrew Zweifler by students of Skyline High School in 2017.  Zweifler was Director of the Hypertension Clinic at the University Hospital, Emeritus Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, and co-founder of Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence.  

Transcript

  • [00:00:09.34] SPEAKER 1: So please say and spell your name.
  • [00:00:12.06] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Andrew-- A-N-D-R-E-W. Zweifler-- Z-W-E-I-F-L-E-R.
  • [00:00:20.24] SPEAKER 1: What is your birthday, including the year?
  • [00:00:22.52] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: February 2, 1930.
  • [00:00:25.61] SPEAKER 1: How would you describe your ethnic background?
  • [00:00:27.85] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I was brought up in a Jewish family, not very religious.
  • [00:00:36.96] SPEAKER 1: The next question is about your religious affiliation, so--
  • [00:00:39.44] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: You just got it.
  • [00:00:40.85] SPEAKER 1: Jewish, OK. What is the highest level of education you've completed?
  • [00:00:45.86] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: A medical degree.
  • [00:00:47.83] SPEAKER 1: And what is your martial status?
  • [00:00:50.90] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Married.
  • [00:00:52.55] SPEAKER 1: How many children do you have?
  • [00:00:54.26] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Six.
  • [00:00:55.16] SPEAKER 1: How many siblings do you have?
  • [00:00:57.62] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: One, but, well, one died. He died recently, so I don't have any alive.
  • [00:01:02.55] SPEAKER 1: Oh. How do you consider your primary occupation? What was your primary job?
  • [00:01:09.26] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I was a mixture-- a teacher and a doctor.
  • [00:01:16.95] SPEAKER 1: Now, these are, like, the longer answer questions. Do you know any stories about your family name?
  • [00:01:23.59] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No. I know how it translates in German. It means, someone who doubts. Zwifel means doubt in German, and I'm a Zeweifler.
  • [00:01:34.37] SPEAKER 1: Are there any naming traditions in your family? Was your dad named Andrew?
  • [00:01:40.29] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No, but my brother was-- his name was Nathan, and my father's name was Nathan. So, but I didn't have any. My name has no connection to anyone in the family.
  • [00:01:55.55] SPEAKER 1: Why did your ancestors leave to come to the United States?
  • [00:01:59.42] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Why did they come here?
  • [00:02:01.21] SPEAKER 1: Mm-hmm.
  • [00:02:03.83] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: They came because of programs and in Europe. They came-- my father's family, and I guess, primarily my father's family came from Romania. And they were Jewish, and they were persecuted. And basically, that was why they had to get out.
  • [00:02:28.31] SPEAKER 1: Do you know any stories about your family when they're coming United States?
  • [00:02:36.98] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Nothing really solid.
  • [00:02:41.00] SPEAKER 1: How did they make a living in the old country?
  • [00:02:43.70] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: In the old country?
  • [00:02:44.76] SPEAKER 1: Yeah, well, like before the United States.
  • [00:02:46.00] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I really don't know. I'd have to speculate about that; I don't know.
  • [00:02:52.97] SPEAKER 1: Describe any family migration once they arrived United States, and how they came to live in this area.
  • [00:02:59.27] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, they didn't come to live in this area. My father's family basically came to New Jersey, and that's where-- and Pennsylvania.
  • [00:03:12.86] SPEAKER 1: What was your father's occupation?
  • [00:03:14.57] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: My father was a doctor.
  • [00:03:16.40] SPEAKER 1: Oh, so you kind of followed in his footsteps.
  • [00:03:18.17] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yep.
  • [00:03:18.43] SPEAKER 1: Being a doctor. What was your mother's occupation?
  • [00:03:21.44] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: She was a housewife.
  • [00:03:25.22] SPEAKER 1: What possessions did they bring with them, and why? When your family--
  • [00:03:27.71] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Again, this is another generation back. My parents were not immigrants; they were the children of immigrants, so I don't know what the people-- the grandparents and great-grandparents, what they brought. Probably not a lot. But I can't speak to that.
  • [00:03:50.54] SPEAKER 1: Which family members came, and which ones stayed behind? Do you know that?
  • [00:03:54.06] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: That I don't know, either.
  • [00:03:56.00] SPEAKER 1: Oh, OK. To your knowledge, did they make any effort to preserve any traditions or customs that you may have had?
  • [00:04:03.14] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: In the family? Not to my knowledge.
  • [00:04:08.59] SPEAKER 1: Are there any traditions that your family has given up or changed?
  • [00:04:15.15] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No. Again, I don't think there were major traditions that were important enough to be incorporated in the family life. Well, let me back up and say there-- you know, there was a Jewish tradition. So we used to recognize the Jewish holidays. So that is something from way back.
  • [00:04:43.86] SPEAKER 1: So are you still Jewish?
  • [00:04:45.62] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No.
  • [00:04:46.26] SPEAKER 1: No. What strides have come down to you about your parents and grandparents?
  • [00:04:52.50] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, not any-- I guess I don't know. I never did know a lot about my grandparents. My grandparents-- we haven't talked about my mother's family, really, but her father-- I think I met him once or twice as a little kid and didn't hear much about them. My father's family, again, they died relatively young. And honestly, I didn't know too much about him.
  • [00:05:35.44] SPEAKER 1: Do you have any good memories?
  • [00:05:37.75] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Of them?
  • [00:05:38.18] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:05:40.71] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Again, the grandparents-- I guess the one grandparent I knew was a grandmother, my Grandma Mary. And she was-- she lived to a reasonably old age. The one story, the one thing that she did that was remarkable to me, she was alone. Her husband died probably in his 60s, and she lived a number of years after that.
  • [00:06:15.74] But what she did was, she just traveled around to her children's homes. She didn't have her own home. And she took-- she had a suitcase that she took, always. And ultimately, nobody got to see in it. But what she had done was, she packed the outfits she wanted to be buried in. It was a beautiful dress. And I actually never saw it, but that's one story that's stayed with me.
  • [00:06:50.08] Other than that, again, the-- these folks died relatively young. And I was, you know, I didn't have too much exposure to them.
  • [00:07:07.17] SPEAKER 1: Do you know about any courtship stories, like how your parents met, or how your grandparents?
  • [00:07:11.28] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: My parents-- not really, no. I don't know how they met. This was not shared with me.
  • [00:07:22.70] SPEAKER 1: Oh. Your parents-- who were you closer to, your mom or your dad?
  • [00:07:34.18] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, that's an Interesting question. You know, I'd say I was closest to my mother. But we didn't have a very warm relationship. My father-- I admired my father, but I didn't see him as much.
  • [00:07:54.00] SPEAKER 1: Oh, you didn't?
  • [00:07:54.82] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No.
  • [00:07:54.99] SPEAKER 1: Was he traveling a lot as a doctor?
  • [00:07:56.44] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No, he was just busy. Just busy. I know one thing. He used to-- he used to have a doctor's office in our home. And he saw patients in our house.
  • [00:08:20.72] SPEAKER 1: Oh, wow.
  • [00:08:21.86] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: And he had a little section of the house there. And he was an ear, nose, and throat doctor. So what he actually-- I never observed. But in our kitchen, he sometimes took tonsils out, which was a pretty quickie procedure. But I was told that that's what he did.
  • [00:08:52.04] But so anyway, that was something a little unusual. And also, he liked opera. So I recall that. And it-- on Saturday afternoons, when the Metropolitan Opera was on the air, he used to relax and sort on a couch in his office and listen to the opera. So that-- I remember that.
  • [00:09:23.78] SPEAKER 1: So in your early childhood days, what did you do for fun?
  • [00:09:28.55] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I liked sports. I was-- just depending on the season. We had a neighborhood group of kids. And yeah, we played football in the fall, and basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. Softball.
  • [00:09:47.92] SPEAKER 1: Oh, you played softball back then?
  • [00:09:49.25] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah, yeah.
  • [00:09:51.24] SPEAKER 1: So did you grow up in New Jersey?
  • [00:09:52.93] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah. Yeah, Newark.
  • [00:09:54.71] SPEAKER 1: Until? Like, what age did you come to Michigan?
  • [00:09:58.47] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I went-- after high school, I went to college in Pennsylvania, Haverford College, which is near Philadelphia, small school. And then medical school in Philadelphia, Jefferson Medical College. Internship for one year in New York City at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
  • [00:10:22.10] And then, I-- training was interrupted by service. They had a doctor's draft, and I didn't want to be drafted. The option was, you could enlist, because I understood-- and I think rightly-- that if you enlisted, you could choose the service you went into. Otherwise, you could be anywhere. And medically, I understood that the best service for a good medical experience was the Air Force.
  • [00:10:55.55] So I opted to-- I was in the Air Force for two years and ended up in Japan. So I spent two years in Japan as a doctor taking care of dependents of airmen, in Ashiya, Japan.
  • [00:11:11.98] SPEAKER 1: For what year?
  • [00:11:13.41] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Pardon?
  • [00:11:14.06] SPEAKER 1: What year were you in Japan?
  • [00:11:15.41] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: That would have been 19-- let's see. '50, '52 or right around in there. I'm a little vague on a years then. No, no, no. It would have been-- '55. '55 to '57.
  • [00:11:44.69] SPEAKER 1: Back to kind of your family. Do you have any stories about, as your childhood with your siblings?
  • [00:11:51.71] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, main thing is we, again, lived in a city, in Newark. And in the summers, we pretty regularly went to what-- I don't know if any of you are from the east coast. But we used to call the shore. And so we went to the ocean, and that was-- that was good. We used to ride in the waves and be on the beach. It's something we'd all look forward to.
  • [00:12:18.57] We used to go at least once in a summer. That's my biggest memory of what we did as a family. And we-- others in our larger family used to go, too.
  • [00:12:39.92] SPEAKER 1: So do you have any stories, just about with your parents? Like, when you were younger?
  • [00:12:46.15] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I'd say the main one would be going to the beach. I don't think-- I don't recall. That stands out to me.
  • [00:13:07.85] SPEAKER 1: So how-- what was your house like when you're young?
  • [00:13:12.32] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: When I was a kid?
  • [00:13:13.22] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:13:14.02] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: We lived in a middle class neighborhood. I had a nice house on a nice, quiet street. I went to high school, which was again, predominantly kids from that neighborhood, and was primarily Jewish kids. Actually, did you ever hear of the author Philip Roth?
  • [00:13:39.38] SPEAKER 1: No.
  • [00:13:40.06] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: You guys never heard of Philip Roth? OK. Anyway, he's a very, very well known author for two or three generations, but not yours. He went to that school.
  • [00:13:52.34] SPEAKER 1: Was English the only language spoken around your household?
  • [00:13:55.43] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yes.
  • [00:13:57.55] SPEAKER 1: So how many people lived in the house with you when you were younger?
  • [00:14:00.85] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: It was just the four of us-- mother, father, my brother and I. Very different from my house now.
  • [00:14:10.20] SPEAKER 1: Who lives in your house with you now?
  • [00:14:11.60] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh, well we-- that's a long story, but we, very often, have other people in our house besides my wife and myself. We have visitors, family, strays. We have a lot of people in our house. It depends on the week. But currently, it's basically my wife and myself. But three or four grandchildren are there pretty regularly.
  • [00:14:45.65] SPEAKER 1: What kind of languages are spoken in the neighborhood that you grew up? Was it just, mostly, English?
  • [00:14:49.31] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yes. English.
  • [00:14:53.33] SPEAKER 1: What sort of-- what was your earliest memory that you have?
  • [00:14:56.95] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Of the house?
  • [00:14:57.94] SPEAKER 1: No, just in your entire life, childhood.
  • [00:15:04.87] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Earliest memories-- well, really, nothing stands out. I can't-- that's a hard question for me. I just-- I don't, I can't, I don't have a good answer for that question.
  • [00:15:28.60] SPEAKER 1: What was a typical day like for you in your preschool years?
  • [00:15:32.53] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Preschool?
  • [00:15:34.07] SPEAKER 1: It's kind of far away.
  • [00:15:35.63] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Too far. I don't remember. I have no recall of that part of my life. So
  • [00:15:45.89] SPEAKER 1: You said you liked to play sports. What else did you like to do for fun in your younger years?
  • [00:15:53.00] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: That was my main-- we had a-- sort of a neighborhood gang. And I used to be glad to get out of school and just get together with people depending on what season it was. But we almost always did things as a group, and we played some games that you probably don't know about that didn't require organization.
  • [00:16:26.62] We used to play what we called stoop ball, where we'd throw a ball against a set of stairs and try to catch that. Or alley ball, where we would hit a ball against a wall in an alley, and like a handball game in very restricted space. So anyway, that's the kind of stuff that-- we always did something like that. Basketball-- we had a hoop in the driveway in our garage.
  • [00:17:04.38] SPEAKER 1: Did you have a favorite book you would read when you were younger?
  • [00:17:08.19] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I didn't. The first real book I read was by Dostoevsky, but the name of which I am blanking on, a very famous one. But I didn't read very, very much. And that would have been when I was in high school. I did-- well, I liked comic books. And particularly during the war, the Second World War, there were books about airmen-- people who flew planes and did kind of dangerous things.
  • [00:17:55.11] And one of them was the G8 and the Flying Aces, and I thought that was great. I actually, like, I thought I'd like to be a pilot and shoot down bad guys. But it turned out that my vision wasn't very good, so I was not eligible for-- and of course, I never did try to join the service at that. But during the war, that's something that is interesting.
  • [00:18:28.27] Some of my friends and I, we formed a club, which we called The Patriots. And we did what we could to support the war effort. We collected-- you'll probably find this surprising. We collected cigarette wrapping paper that had a little metal in it and actually rolled them up, ultimately in a big ball, and turned them in so they could be used to build airplanes.
  • [00:19:01.74] And we sold war bonds as kids mostly to, obviously, to family or family friends. So that's something that allowed-- that war was a part-- you know, a bit-- lot more of the romance of war, I'd say, because now I'm pretty much a pacifist. Anyway, that was a part of our lives.
  • [00:19:36.24] And there was rationing of food and gasoline during that time. So I know that there were certain foods we-- that were limited. We couldn't always get them. You know, we didn't suffer. And the car couldn't be used as much as we had been used to, so that was a part of my childhood.
  • [00:20:02.52] SPEAKER 1: How old were you during the Second World War?
  • [00:20:06.48] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, let's see. It was 1941, so I was 11 when it started. So it was ultimately during my high school years.
  • [00:20:22.87] SPEAKER 1: So do you think that had kind of an effect on the environment around you? Could you really sense, like, the gravity of the situation? Or do you think as 11--
  • [00:20:32.00] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: War was definitely romanticized, and that we were the good guys and they were the bad guys. That's what was clear. And there were some pretty bad guys at that time. Also, there was the sort of racial, ethnic, religious side of it, because part of the things that were-- Hitler was set on exterminating all the Jews in Europe and probably in the world. So that had some bearing on us, you know, as Jewish kids.
  • [00:21:11.80] SPEAKER 1: Do you have a favorite toy you when you were younger?
  • [00:21:18.91] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't recall a particular toy. Ultimately I liked-- I had a football or something like that, some kind of sport thing, but not something that I really went-- took to bed or something like that.
  • [00:21:38.13] SPEAKER 1: Were there any, like, special days you remember, like holidays that-- gathering with your family?
  • [00:21:43.05] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh, yeah. Well, that-- the High Holy Days in the Jewish religion. My father's sister lived nearby. She was kind of the leader of the family, and she used to have the family over and have meals. And the religious part of it I never really got. In fact, I felt like we were Jewish in name, but not in practice that much. So and that's probably the reason why I never ultimately felt like that was something I wanted to stay with. It was-- I didn't get it.
  • [00:22:34.63] SPEAKER 1: So what about other holidays, like Halloween? You guys used-- was Halloween, like, the same as it is?
  • [00:22:39.16] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: So yeah. We used to go from door to door and collect candy. We actually-- although Jewish, we had a small Christmas tree at my house, and there were gifts. But it wasn't a big holiday. I remember that. That's what I recall.
  • [00:23:08.95] SPEAKER 1: OK, thank you very much. I think that's all of my questions.
  • [00:23:10.58] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: OK, OK. You're welcome. When do I--
  • [00:23:15.53] SPEAKER 1: OK, so can you introduce yourself for us?
  • [00:23:17.95] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Sure. I'm Andrew's Zweifler, a longtime Ann Arbor resident. Believe it or not, been here for about 60 years.
  • [00:23:29.54] SPEAKER 1: So this first question is about your later childhood, or earlier childhood? Did you go to preschool? Where? And if so, what do you remember about it?
  • [00:23:38.89] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No preschool.
  • [00:23:40.21] SPEAKER 1: No preschool?
  • [00:23:40.93] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No.
  • [00:23:41.88] SPEAKER 1: Did you go to kindergarten?
  • [00:23:43.71] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yes. But that was a long time ago. There was-- I don't remember much about it. This was in New Jersey-- in Newark, New Jersey, and I honestly don't remember kindergarten. I remember the name of my grammar school, but that's it.
  • [00:24:07.28] SPEAKER 1: Do you remember any of your teachers?
  • [00:24:09.89] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Not really-- yeah. When I was in, you know, like, fourth or fifth grade or something, I had one teacher that I liked because she was pretty.
  • [00:24:26.20] SPEAKER 1: Did you go to elementary school?
  • [00:24:28.02] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah, yes.
  • [00:24:28.67] SPEAKER 1: In the same town in New Jersey?
  • [00:24:29.84] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Right, yeah. Maple Avenue School in Newark, New Jersey.
  • [00:24:35.16] SPEAKER 1: What do you remember about elementary School?
  • [00:24:41.59] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Nothing in particular. I was-- I don't remember much at all about school. I like sports. I used to do-- we had a gang that used to, depending on the season, play sports after school.
  • [00:25:01.55] SPEAKER 1: So did you go to high school in the same town in New Jersey as well?
  • [00:25:04.53] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Right. I lived in the same neighborhood and went to all the schools in that neighborhood. It was a pretty big high school. It was a city high school. It had probably over 1,000 students. I don't know how many are in this school.
  • [00:25:22.75] SPEAKER 1: Around, like, 1,600 I think.
  • [00:25:24.08] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah.
  • [00:25:24.90] SPEAKER 1: Pretty similar.
  • [00:25:25.18] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Probably similar size.
  • [00:25:28.81] SPEAKER 1: Do you remember any stories from your high school days?
  • [00:25:32.68] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, that would have been-- not school stories, but that was around the time, as I mentioned before, of the other World War, Second World War. And I may have discussed this before. Friends of mine and I started a club called The Patriots. And we sold war bonds to friends of my parents and my friends' parents.
  • [00:26:11.27] That was the main event. The other that actually, I guess, should be mentioned-- there was-- actually, I-- there's a quite famous author, Philip Roth, who went to went to that school. And he recently wrote a book about that time. And one of the things that I remember was the polio epidemic, which was very scary.
  • [00:26:37.53] You probably don't know much about it. But it was a condition which was spread. We weren't sure exactly how it was spread, but it was very serious. It would cause paralysis of limbs, permanent paralysis, and sometimes kill you if it affected the nerves to your breathing centers. So there was a lot of anxiety about it in the community.
  • [00:27:04.20] And one of the theories at the time was that it might be spread in water. And I remember in the summer, we couldn't go into the swimming pool because of a fear of polio. It's no longer a problem due to immunization.
  • [00:27:25.90] SPEAKER 1: So, what about your school experience is different from how school is today?
  • [00:27:36.47] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't think there was a major difference. I have a number of children and they all went to Ann Arbor schools. And I don't think there is a big difference in the schools and adolescents.
  • [00:27:56.38] SPEAKER 1: Did you have to spend a lot more time, like, in the library, because you guys didn't have the computers back then? How did you study?
  • [00:28:04.37] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: In high school, I didn't-- there was very little occasion where I had to go to a library that I recall. We used to study at home. And we had books that we were able to bring home. Nothing unusual, really-- similar, I'm sure, to what you experience now. But we got along without computers.
  • [00:28:40.31] SPEAKER 1: So how did you get to school? Did you walk?
  • [00:28:42.98] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah. I was able to walk to school. It was probably less than a half hour walk on, sort of, on city streets. That's what I remember.
  • [00:29:03.48] SPEAKER 1: Do you remember any of the popular music around the time when you were in high school?
  • [00:29:07.88] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah. I know the bands that were popular at that time. Glenn Miller was a big one, and Dorsey Brothers-- Tommy Dorsey. Yeah, I liked music. I actually played the piano, learned to-- wanted to be a popular pianist, and I had-- my mother got me into playing classical piano, but I wanted to play popular piano.
  • [00:29:47.25] So eventually I did. Not very well, but I liked it.
  • [00:29:55.98] Do you remember any particular dances that people would do to the music?
  • [00:30:00.19] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, we didn't-- there was what they called the Lindy Hop, which was very popular at the time. I didn't-- I wasn't able to do it very well.
  • [00:30:14.09] SPEAKER 1: What's the Lindy Hop?
  • [00:30:16.10] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I'd have to demonstrate, but I'm not able.
  • [00:30:18.65] SPEAKER 1: Oh.
  • [00:30:18.74] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: It just was very, very-- people-- the women would literally slide through on the floor, and get thrown around, and it was very lively.
  • [00:30:36.04] SPEAKER 1: What were the popular, like, clothing or hairstyles?
  • [00:30:38.80] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: The what?
  • [00:30:39.49] SPEAKER 1: Popular clothing or hairstyles?
  • [00:30:43.88] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't think there was-- I think we all were pretty-- wore, the men wore our hair in pretty traditional way, the way our parents did. I'm not sure if the women had a particular style, so I guess I really can't speak to that very well.
  • [00:31:14.20] SPEAKER 1: Were they able to wear, like, shorts like this, or did they have to be covered all the way?
  • [00:31:18.35] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh yeah, definitely a little more conservative dress than now. Yeah. I'd say people didn't wear shorts to school, or-- the guys would wear long pants. Yeah.
  • [00:31:44.21] SPEAKER 1: Can you describe any other fads or styles from this era?
  • [00:31:56.37] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I guess I can't. I can't come up with an answer to that.
  • [00:32:02.82] SPEAKER 1: Were there any, like, slang terms or phrases, like words that were used that we don't really use today?
  • [00:32:12.01] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Nothing that comes to my mind. I'm sure there were.
  • [00:32:16.50] SPEAKER 1: What was a typical day like for you like in high school?
  • [00:32:21.44] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I used to-- I'd say I lived about-- going, walking, about a half hour from school. But when I got home, almost-- usually, as I mentioned earlier, I'd be going and do some sports activity with friends. And depending on the season, we had a basketball net in the driveway. So it just depended on the season, but I definitely-- no. Of course, in the winter, we weren't able to do very much outdoor stuff other than snow things, and go sledding, and ice skating sometimes. There was a pond not too far away from where I lived.
  • [00:33:25.76] SPEAKER 1: What was your favorite class in high school?
  • [00:33:28.03] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Favorite class? I don't think I had a favorite class in high school. And I don't remember any particular teacher from high school. I was serious about school. I definitely did my homework and attended, but you know, social life was important.
  • [00:34:01.70] SPEAKER 1: Were you drawn to science as you--
  • [00:34:07.23] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Not particularly in high school. As I mentioned earlier, my father was a doctor. My parents' social world had doctors in it, and I kind of thought-- I guess I got the idea that was what you did. But I didn't think broadly about it, really, but I kind of assumed that I was probably going to go into medicine. But I didn't focus on science and school.
  • [00:34:50.65] SPEAKER 1: What was your least favorite class in high school?
  • [00:34:52.50] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Least favorite? I don't know. I don't think-- believe it or not, I liked books and learning. So I don't recall any one-- any area that I wasn't interested in.
  • [00:35:12.47] SPEAKER 1: Now high schoolers have to take standardized tests like the SAT and the ACT. Did you have to take a standardized test?
  • [00:35:21.62] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't recall. We may have, but I-- certainly it doesn't stand out in my mind.
  • [00:35:32.97] SPEAKER 1: Were there any special days, or events, or family traditions you remember during high school?
  • [00:35:37.77] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Family?
  • [00:35:39.18] SPEAKER 1: Or any, like, special, like, events at your high school?
  • [00:35:41.17] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh, high school events. Well, we used to go to the games of the sporting teams, football. Our high school had a terrible football team.
  • [00:35:53.28] SPEAKER 1: You had a terrible football team?
  • [00:35:56.55] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: So we never expected them to win, but we went to the games. And we had a good basketball team, so that was the00 kind of trade off. So yeah, I used to go to the games.
  • [00:36:13.50] SPEAKER 1: Where'd you and your friends go to hang out during high school?
  • [00:36:19.42] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Nothing. Mostly, it was sports. No. I mentioned that, of course, we eventually did this club, The Patriots club. That was outside of normal stuff, but that was an important activity for us, for me.
  • [00:36:44.33] SPEAKER 1: Did you guys ever get to go to the movies?
  • [00:36:46.52] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Definitely went to the movies every Saturday, Saturday afternoons pretty regularly. There was a movie theater not far from my home, and used to walk there. What were pretty popular at that time? The Western movies, cowboy movies. I used to go and see them on Saturday afternoons.
  • [00:37:12.18] SPEAKER 1: That's fun. Do you remember much it cost to go to the movies?
  • [00:37:15.53] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: A quarter-- $0.25 or 50 cents, something like that.
  • [00:37:23.25] SPEAKER 1: Did you and your family have any special sayings or expressions during high school?
  • [00:37:33.92] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't remember anything.
  • [00:37:37.98] SPEAKER 2: OK. Sorry.
  • [00:37:38.84] SPEAKER 1: So were there any changes in your family life during your school years?
  • [00:37:44.89] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No, nothing significant that I can recall.
  • [00:37:49.10] SPEAKER 1: How much younger was your brother?
  • [00:37:51.74] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: My brother was older.
  • [00:37:53.07] SPEAKER 1: Oh he was older?
  • [00:37:53.69] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah, a couple of years older.
  • [00:37:55.88] SPEAKER 1: So were you guys in high school together?
  • [00:37:58.56] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: We were, but you know, he was a couple of years ahead of me. We went to the same school.
  • [00:38:03.83] SPEAKER 1: So were you guys pretty close in high school?
  • [00:38:05.93] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Not really. We kind of had our own worlds. So I mean, you know, we saw each other every day for meals, but not much beyond that.
  • [00:38:23.28] SPEAKER 1: Was your family very supportive of you during school? Were they, like, really strict? Your parents?
  • [00:38:28.47] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah. We-- I think things were pretty controlled. And we were-- I certainly was.
  • [00:38:38.00] SPEAKER 1: It seems like high schoolers now can get away with more stuff in school. What were, like, the punishments for people misbehaving in high school back when you went?
  • [00:38:47.08] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I think-- I guess withholding allowance. I think limiting your social activities. I don't think too much different than now. That's what I recall.
  • [00:39:11.31] SPEAKER 1: Would teachers make students wear, like, dunce caps, or would they hit the students?
  • [00:39:14.81] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No. No, no, that was years before. No, nothing like that.
  • [00:39:22.58] SPEAKER 1: Were you ever grounded in high school?
  • [00:39:24.38] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Pardon?
  • [00:39:24.89] SPEAKER 1: Were you were grounded in high school?
  • [00:39:27.20] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No, I was I was a good boy.
  • [00:39:32.18] SPEAKER 1: Which holidays that your family celebrate?
  • [00:39:35.21] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, we were Jewish. So we celebrated the Jewish holidays and Christmas, and not very seriously any of them.
  • [00:39:48.00] SPEAKER 1: So how did you celebrate on, like--
  • [00:39:49.55] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Pardon?
  • [00:39:50.48] SPEAKER 1: How did you celebrate these holidays?
  • [00:39:53.03] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, the Jewish holidays pretty much-- they usually are partly celebrated in the home. And the one that I remember that was-- which was a broad holiday was Passover, where all the family gets together and you have a meal. There's kind of a little service that we go through. So that was the most memorable for me because I would see my aunts, and uncles, and cousins.
  • [00:40:33.61] SPEAKER 1: It's almost Halloween now. Do you remember anything you dressed up as for Halloween?
  • [00:40:39.04] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: We used to-- Halloween was not big. Actually, I don't think in my kind of group we did much about Halloween. It's very different, because I do a lot with my grandchildren. So it wasn't-- it wasn't a big holiday for me.
  • [00:41:09.74] SPEAKER 2: What do you do with your grandchildren?
  • [00:41:11.65] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: We go. They get dressed up, and I go. My wife and I-- well, one of us will go with the kids when they go around, and another one will stay at their house and hand out the candy to people who come to the door. So you know, we're involved in Halloween.
  • [00:41:33.56] SPEAKER 2: Do your grandchildren know what they're going to be this year? Any ideas?
  • [00:41:36.44] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Pardon?
  • [00:41:37.30] SPEAKER 2: Of what your grandchildren are going to be this year? Do you know what they want to be for Halloween?
  • [00:41:42.45] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No. I have no idea. Well, I have, excuse me. I have a lot of grandchildren. So the older ones are-- you know, they're doing their thing at this point. Younger ones, the ones I see more frequently, are too young to have any kind of aspirations.
  • [00:42:11.05] SPEAKER 1: Was there any special, like, what was your favorite food in high school?
  • [00:42:13.83] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Food?
  • [00:42:14.53] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [00:42:20.08] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I liked delicatessen food. It was kind of part of our culture, and like corned beef sandwiches, I can recall. Pickles-- I really liked sour things. Mm-hmm.
  • [00:42:36.40] SPEAKER 1: So did you go to high school before, like, the fast food age? Were there any McDonald's or anything like that?
  • [00:42:43.15] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: There was a place-- one place not far from the high school that sold hot dogs, which were very popular. And I liked them. That's about it; there weren't chain fast food places. But this place-- what was it called? Sid's-- was very-- a lot of students wanted to go there. I liked their stuff.
  • [00:43:15.14] SPEAKER 1: Were there any recipes are passed out from your family, like famous dishes that your mom would make you?
  • [00:43:21.93] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: My mother was not a great cook. She didn't particularly like cooking, but one of my aunts was a really good cook. She lived nearby. What was it she-- I remember soups. She made very good, like, barley soup, which I liked.
  • [00:43:50.01] SPEAKER 1: So when thinking back in your high school years, obviously there was World War II. What other historical events were taking place when you were in high school?
  • [00:44:01.77] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, the one kind of traumatic event that happened in, near us in New Jersey, was the-- there was a tragedy in a gas-filled dirigible called the Hindenburg exploded and with people on it. They all died. And it was not far from-- it was at the Jersey Shore, which was maybe 60, 70 miles from where I lived. And it was international news, so that was a dramatic event.
  • [00:44:44.54] SPEAKER 1: In, like, your high school years, had you ever taken an airplane at that point?
  • [00:44:48.66] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No.
  • [00:44:49.83] SPEAKER 1: When was the first time you ever rode in an airplane?
  • [00:44:53.13] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Probably not until I was-- I don't think I went on a plane when I was in college. Maybe when I was in medical school. But you know, traveling to see family-- when our family became more spread out, particularly my family then, you know. And ultimately, I did it a lot.
  • [00:45:29.01] SPEAKER 1: So when looking back, did you guys have a television set at your house?
  • [00:45:32.61] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: That's a funny story, because we didn't then at all. And we didn't have one in my family until we came to Ann Arbor. And even then, we kind of inherited one when we bought a house. And we were a little slow to get into television.
  • [00:45:58.29] SPEAKER 1: Was it a color television?
  • [00:45:59.97] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No. And my wife's father would remember him coming when-- really chastising us for being not very advanced. Anyway, so we didn't-- we didn't get a television set, as I said, until relatively late.
  • [00:46:25.08] I did see, looking back, when I remember-- when I was in high school, one of my friends had a TV set. And I remember going and watching a basketball game on it. But that was special.
  • [00:46:43.95] SPEAKER 1: That's interesting. I didn't know that they broadcast sports, like, that early
  • [00:46:47.01] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: They did. I didn't see-- there may have been other stuff on there, but there definitely were sports. Only-- but I think just basketball.
  • [00:47:03.31] SPEAKER 1: After you finished high school, where did you live?
  • [00:47:07.42] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I went to college. My family base was the same in Newark. And I was in a college residence at Haverford, Pennsylvania.
  • [00:47:24.92] SPEAKER 1: Did you go straight into college after high school?
  • [00:47:27.78] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yes. In fact, early, I was-- it was unusual. I was in a class of three at a small college. And I graduated in mid-year from high school because I had taken some extra courses and I was really young. I was 16 years old when I-- I mean, I was almost-- I was just-- before. My 17th birthday was in February and I started in college in January, so I was really immature.
  • [00:48:03.55] SPEAKER 1: Did you have a job when you're in high school?
  • [00:48:10.81] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't think so, no. Well, maybe-- no, I think-- no, I didn't. No.
  • [00:48:20.21] SPEAKER 1: When was your first job?
  • [00:48:24.96] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: When I was in high school-- I was just thinking. I did have a job at Christmastime. A friend of mine, his father ran a clothing store. And I worked in a clothing store as a clerk, selling shirts, and ties, and stuff like that. I did that for at least two Christmas seasons. So I was-- I did do that. That was not a regular job. It was seasonal, but that was it.
  • [00:49:02.45] SPEAKER 1: So when you went to Haverford, what made you decide to choose that college? Was it just because it was close?
  • [00:49:07.88] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, it was-- actually, my brother was there. And my father had looked into it, and Haverford had a good reputation for pre-medical. And that was really, that was the main reason I went there.
  • [00:49:27.12] SPEAKER 1: So it seems like your family were really into the medical field. Did your brother became a doctor, as well?
  • [00:49:31.44] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah.
  • [00:49:32.88] SPEAKER 2: And did you know before, when graduating high school, that you wanted to go pre-med? Did you already know that, or did you just go because of reputation?
  • [00:49:40.07] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yes. I don't believe it in any way influenced by curriculum or anything I did, and I don't even know whether there was such a thing as a pre-medical focus available in high school. I think we really didn't have much opportunity to elect to what we did in high school. It was pretty much-- everybody did the same thing. That's what I recall.
  • [00:50:18.40] SPEAKER 1: So when you moved around for your work, how many times have you moved in your life?
  • [00:50:24.38] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, let me-- I can run through it quickly. When I finished-- I personally went to college in Haverford, which is near Philadelphia. And then I went to medical school in Philadelphia at Jefferson Medical College. And then I did an internship in New York City at Mount Sinai Hospital. Then, I went to Japan in the Air Force, then came to Ann Arbor after that.
  • [00:51:08.92] SPEAKER 1: Can you tell us more about when you were in Japan?
  • [00:51:11.47] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Pardon?
  • [00:51:11.82] SPEAKER 1: Can you tell us more about when you were in Japan?
  • [00:51:13.87] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh yeah. Well, there's a lot to tell about that. That was a very broadening experience for my wife and myself. Neither of us had ever really traveled very, very far. And this was like dropping us into a whole new world, and it was very interesting.
  • [00:51:42.99] What we did, and my wife-- I attribute it to her. She's a little more adventuresome than I am. And she insisted when she-- I went to Japan before she did. And she joined me probably two or three months after I was there. And we had to decide where we were going to live. And I was going to-- the usual thing for-- I was an officer as a doctor. And the usual thing that officers did was to live on the base in the base housing.
  • [00:52:27.53] But there also was an opportunity to live in the village. The base was in a very-- I wouldn't say remote, but you know, it was right near a major fishing village in Japan. Anyway, to make a long story short, Ruth really wanted to live in the community. And so we were able to-- there were a few of the officers who did live off the base, but it was an area that, I guess, the administration there felt was acceptable.
  • [00:53:13.61] Anyway, we lived in a Japanese home. And we were very close to what was going on in the village itself. So we had an immediate experience with the culture, particularly in a rural culture. This is not a city. The main occupation there was fishing.
  • [00:53:42.45] But we had a chance to see things like the-- you know, when a Japanese young woman gets engaged and plans her marriage, in that village-- I don't know if they still do it. First of all, she-- the family rents her wedding gown. They're very elaborate kimonos, very beautiful, very expensive. And again, and this is relatively low-income community, they rent the dress. And then she wears it and walks through the streets in her dress on a few occasions.
  • [00:54:22.40] And it's remarkable to see that. The Japanese women, when they dress up like that in a kimono, they literally do look like dolls, and beautiful dolls. So anyway, you know, we saw that in the village there. They didn't have movies-- oh, excuse me. There was a movie, but that was not a major-- the other kind of entertainment, which was meaningful, was what's called kabuki theater.
  • [00:55:06.00] And this is drama where-- there was a central stage in the village where different things would happen, that Kabuki performers would come for a couple of days and do the Kabuki plays. And again, very stylized and really very interesting, that Kabuki theater. It's more-- a little bit like Shakespeare, in that everybody in the village knows the play. What they're observing is how the different parts are performed by the particular actors. And anyway, so we saw a Kabuki theater and there were movies. I was just recalling.
  • [00:56:05.49] I still remember we went to a movie. We never knew what we were going to see. We didn't see too many movies. We went to a movie and got about a third of the way through it. It was all in Japanese, and it began to look familiar. And it turned out, and it was-- we finally figured out, it was actually Shakespeare. And I'm forgetting which particular Shakespearean play it was. But anyway, so we experienced the cultural life and ultimately got to know some of the people in the village.
  • [00:56:48.32] My wife is-- before we left, so I won't go on too much about this. But there is a tradition in Japan of what they call a tea ceremony, which is a special event. And one of the village women that Ruth got to know wanted to do a tea ceremony for her, and came to our house. And we, she, they did this tea ceremony, which is, again, very-- it probably goes back hundreds of years. It's always done the same way, just sort of-- pour the water, you know, it's all done. It's like you're watching ancient history, so that was interesting.
  • [00:57:44.12] We were in Japanese homes. Again, simple homes where the-- there is, in all Japanese houses, at least the ones we were in, there is one area in the house that they call a tokonoma, and it's a place where there's always something beautiful. And it's changed-- it depends on it. It could be a little statue, or a flower display, or a scroll.
  • [00:58:19.97] But it's a changing part of what goes on in that particular area. And I was very impressed with that, that there was-- it was an important part of that-- what went on in that house. It's also true that they have festivals in Japan where they basically build a festival around a particular time of year-- special event.
  • [00:58:53.74] But one that probably doesn't sound too unfamiliar is the Cherry Blossom Festival, where-- and just about every town has a little park that has cherry trees in it. So when, at that season, when the cherry trees are in blossom, pretty much everything stops for a day or two. What was it? A friend of mine said, it's like deer hunting season in Michigan.
  • [00:59:22.78] But the men, they go to the park. And they sit all day drinking sake. But you know, in the midst of these beautiful, blossoming trees.
  • [00:59:38.73] SPEAKER 1: So what kind of work did you do in Japan?
  • [00:59:40.80] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: What?
  • [00:59:41.35] SPEAKER 1: What was your average day on the job in Japan like?
  • [00:59:45.34] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I had-- I was in a small hospital with maybe six doctors, and we had different-- we all had to sort of do certain things. For instance, there was an emergency room where we staffed that, depending on the day. But we were-- most of us had a specialty.
  • [01:00:18.06] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I specialized in-- you have to realize I went to Japan right after my internship. And the way that works is, at that time I had-- after you finish medical school, you have a year's internship, or that's the way it was. And I chose to do what's called a rotating internship, because I wanted to have a taste of all the different specialties. So in the course of the year, I had experienced surgery, and pediatrics, and obstetrics, et cetera.
  • [01:00:54.91] So anyway, when I was in Japan, it turned out that I had a chance to practice some of those things. The first role I had was as a pediatrician. And we were-- our community that we cared for was the dependents of the non-flying, what are called airmen. There were special doctors who only took care of the flight-- what do they call them? I forget.
  • [01:01:27.18] Anyway the point is-- I was taking-- it was like being a doctor for a village in the United States. So there were children and women. And at that time, there were no women in the military. So my first role was as a pediatrician, so I was basically taking care of sick kids. Ultimately, I was a psychiatrist, the venereal disease officer, the obstetrician. So I delivered babies at first.
  • [01:02:12.74] I was very nervous about it because my experience with that as an intern was, like, I was there for two births or something. So I got some experience in the Air Force. And then ultimately, I did what I really wanted-- knew I wanted to do, which was internal medicine. And that was sort of medical diseases of adults. And so I was an internist through the base for a while.
  • [01:02:47.00] SPEAKER 1: How long were you there, do you remember?
  • [01:02:49.83] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Maybe 18 months or a little bit more than that.
  • [01:02:55.23] SPEAKER 1: So, what did you do when you came back to the States?
  • [01:02:58.47] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, came back to-- actually, to Ann Arbor, to specialize and get my training in internal medicine. That's why I came to Michigan.
  • [01:03:13.04] SPEAKER 1: We're going to go back a little bit and talk about when you met your spouse. So I'd like you tell me a little bit about your married life and your family life.
  • [01:03:23.12] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I met Ruth in college. She went to Bryn Mawr College, which is like a sister school, and I went to Haverford. These are both Quaker schools. And I first met her when she was out on a date with a friend of mine. Subsequently, we-- you know, we got together. And I was-- it wasn't an exclusive relationship at first for neither of us. But ultimately, over a few years, we decided to get married.
  • [01:04:11.05] We have-- our first child was born-- let's see, not long before we went to Japan. So when we went to Japan, we had my oldest son was with my wife. And then subsequently, we just-- we had four more kids, and we adopted a daughter, and that's a whole other story. But that was a few years after my-- I'd say at least five years after our last biologic child was born. So that was our family.
  • [01:05:11.41] SPEAKER 1: What was it like dating in those days?
  • [01:05:14.59] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, you know, the-- I don't think it would be much different than it is now, really. Maybe what, you know, what activities you would-- really, it's kind of an awkward time. And we'd go out and have something to eat, or go to a show, or something of that sort. Not-- at least for us, nothing much beyond that. Maybe go to hear some music. But I don't-- anyway, that that's kind of what I recall.
  • [01:06:03.58] SPEAKER 1: Nowadays, a lot of people, like, text a lot; did you guys talk on the phone a lot?
  • [01:06:07.69] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No. No that's entirely new. We'd occasionally have a conversation, but not, you know, every minute. It's very different.
  • [01:06:20.55] SPEAKER 1: Tell me about your children.
  • [01:06:23.28] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, as I said, we have a bunch of them. Now, my oldest son is a doctor. He lives in California and he's a general practitioner, but he's gotten into administration. He's doing a lot of public health type work.
  • [01:06:53.50] My oldest daughter was an actress. She was-- not, you know, in Hollywood. But she did local acting and ultimately got involved with-- she's been on commercials. You may have seen on TV. And she does what's called voiceover work. So that was her.
  • [01:07:24.55] And then my younger son is-- works actually in-- a little hard to explain, but he's involved with-- he's actually under contract to the US Forest Service and involved in identifying forests that are deteriorating with satellite imaging and stuff like that. But he does computer work on that.
  • [01:08:04.38] Let's see. My next daughter is a headhunter. She is involved in finding middle-level executives for nonprofit organizations. And my youngest biologic daughter is a nurse-- operating room nurse. And my adopted daughter is studying to be a social worker.
  • [01:08:38.43] SPEAKER 1: Where did you adopt your daughter from?
  • [01:08:40.36] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: What?
  • [01:08:40.93] SPEAKER 1: Where did you adopt your daughter from?
  • [01:08:43.24] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Where? She was-- that is a very long story. Her mother, we knew her mother. And her mother as a teenager got pregnant and asked us if she could come and live with us. And she did, and she brought the baby. And then, ultimately, mom moved on and left the baby with us. Not permanently, but anyway-- and so, Yolanda, the child, was-- we had her in our family since she was a baby.
  • [01:09:25.93] And then over the years, she became a part of our family. And then when she was a teenager, we formally adopted her. It's a very elaborate-- It's a long story, but that that's how it happened.
  • [01:09:44.36] SPEAKER 1: What were your kids like when they were younger?
  • [01:09:46.09] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Pardon?
  • [01:09:46.63] SPEAKER 1: What were your kids like when they were younger?
  • [01:09:48.84] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: They were pretty close, really. You know, but it's-- what can I say? We did a lot together, and I think they're still tight. Just this past weekend, I was in Chicago for my oldest daughter's 60th birthday. And most of her siblings were there, and a number of the grandchildren. So you know, they're pretty close, and we did we did things together.
  • [01:10:27.31] SPEAKER 1: Did most of them grow up in Ann Arbor?
  • [01:10:29.71] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yes, they all grew up in Ann Arbor. And then they moved on, went to college, not in Ann Arbor.
  • [01:10:44.70] SPEAKER 1: So, like, what kind of things did families used to do in Ann Arbor for fun?
  • [01:10:49.02] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I'd say-- as a family?
  • [01:10:51.90] SPEAKER 1: Mm-hmm.
  • [01:10:57.16] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I think the main thing that I recall is that we used to have summer vacations together. Ultimately, we bought a cottage up in Canada. And every summer we would go there. Also got-- there's a property that we got for the family in-- not far from here in Jackson. And my son established a family there, and that has a little lake on it. And so we spent time out there.
  • [01:11:33.32] SPEAKER 1: Do you have any stories about events that your kids participated in when they were younger?
  • [01:11:39.49] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Events with the family?
  • [01:11:42.11] SPEAKER 1: Yes.
  • [01:11:45.75] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't know there was anything particularly remarkable. Well, we-- I'd say summer. Well, yeah. Excuse me, there's one major one. I had a-- that was like a sabbatical leave-- where I went to work at Harry Medical College, which is in Nashville. It's a historically black medical school. And I went to work there and teach.
  • [01:12:19.73] And the whole family went to Nashville. And we chose to live in a predominately black community, and the kids went to a local high school. And that was a very-- it was a pretty exciting year. It also turned out to be, politically, a very dramatic year. It was the-- you wouldn't recall it, but Martin Luther King was assassinated in that year.
  • [01:12:54.42] And it was politically a very active time. So that was, I think for the family, a formative experience for all of us.
  • [01:13:12.59] SPEAKER 2: Were you there before the assassination took place? Or after?
  • [01:13:16.18] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yes. We were there while it happened-- before, and, let's see. Anyway, we had been there for a number of months.
  • [01:13:28.41] SPEAKER 1: How did that affect the community?
  • [01:13:30.71] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, the black community was up in arms-- more-- I wouldn't even put it that way-- very upset. You know, are any of you from the south?
  • [01:13:47.99] SPEAKER 1: No.
  • [01:13:49.77] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Nashville is not deep south, but it's south. And the main thing I recall was-- and Ruth and I, we still talk about it, was the mayor of Nashville came-- did a public appearance on the, I think, on the steps of a courthouse or whatever, and was talking to the community. And basically telling everybody, now, you folks, you just be quiet. And we remember.
  • [01:14:25.16] He was there. He had a gun on his hip, and it was symbolic in a lot of ways to us. Anyway, that's what I remember about King's death-- you people keep calm.
  • [01:14:45.88] SPEAKER 1: So tell me about your work in Nashville.
  • [01:14:48.44] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Pardon?
  • [01:14:49.13] SPEAKER 1: Tell me about your sabbatical in Nashville.
  • [01:14:51.73] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I was teaching in the medical school. I was-- my sort of sub-specialty, ultimately, was high blood pressure care. And high blood pressure is a big problem in the black community, so I worked with a cardiologist at Harry at Hubbard Hospital there. I worked in a clinic taking care of people with high blood pressure with John Thomas. He was the head of cardiology.
  • [01:15:24.79] I wrote a paper about an aspect of high blood pressure in African-Americans. And I set up a-- don't know if it still existed, but I used to-- one of the other things I did in a medical school here was I was very interested in teaching clinical skills-- how you do a physical exam, take a history. And I set up something like that at Harry. So I was taking care of patients and doing teaching.
  • [01:16:02.76] SPEAKER 1: What were your kids' favorite things to do when they were younger?
  • [01:16:05.54] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: When they were younger?
  • [01:16:06.86] SPEAKER 1: Mm-hmm.
  • [01:16:08.80] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I think that, again, pretty typical. The boys liked sports. Trying to think if there's any particular activity for the girls.
  • [01:16:28.08] SPEAKER 1: OK. Sorry, I think we're almost out of time.
  • [01:16:30.89] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: OK.
  • [01:16:31.55] SPEAKER 2: We can fit in, I think, one more
  • [01:16:32.29] SPEAKER 1: Yeah. You can--
  • [01:16:34.23] SPEAKER 2: We were going to ask you about-- last interview, you talked about you and your family keeping strays.
  • [01:16:39.36] SPEAKER 1: I think we were going to get to that next time.
  • [01:16:40.58] SPEAKER 2: Do you wanna get to that next time?
  • [01:16:41.29] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [01:16:41.51] SPEAKER 2: Oh, OK. Never mind.
  • [01:16:43.00] SPEAKER 1: OK.
  • [01:16:43.50] SPEAKER 2: We can probably fit in one more.
  • [01:16:45.00] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [01:16:45.21] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: And I just want to be careful of the time.
  • [01:16:45.95] SPEAKER 1: You can just finish this-- yeah, you can just continue with your kids.
  • [01:16:51.15] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't have-- I don't think there was a particular activity that the girls had. But they liked to do things together, and they still do.
  • [01:17:06.62] SPEAKER 1: Well, thank you very much for coming in.
  • [01:17:08.09] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: OK, see you again.
  • [01:17:10.57] SPEAKER 1: We're going to now talk about your work and retirement part of life. What was your primary field of employment, and how did you get started with this particular tradition?
  • [01:17:20.04] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I worked for the University of Michigan, ultimately going up the professorial rank in the medical school. I think I mentioned last time, the specialty I got into and was interested in was internal medicine. And within internal medicine, I-- when I was still in my residency, I developed an interest in thrombosis, clotting, and blood vessels, and vascular disease.
  • [01:17:53.03] And when I finished my residency, I talked to the chairman of the Department of Medicine and told him I was interested in academics, and that I was particularly interested in teaching. And he said, that's a good idea. I like you. But you know, if you're going to do this, you have to do research.
  • [01:18:14.75] So he placed me in-- under the supervision of one of the professors in internal medicine who was interested in high blood pressure and vascular disease. And I sort of continued in that, doing research related to thrombosis and clinical work-- vascular disease and hypertension, high blood pressure. And ultimately became the chief of the high blood pressure clinic at the hospital, which I continued with for many years.
  • [01:18:51.44] And I got very involved with student teaching and the medical school. I used to begin with running the course in what was called physical diagnosis, how you examine patients. And ultimately, I did a lot of work-- modified the whole program to some extent. One little bypath there was-- did you ever hear of the Inteflex program?
  • [01:19:19.75] SPEAKER 1: No.
  • [01:19:20.84] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh. Well, they've gone. This is history. It was-- Michigan decided as a university that they were going to offer a track, combined, straight from high school, into a combined bachelors degree and medical degree. And that was the Inteflex program. And I was one of the faculty that got involved in designing that. And I ran the clinical part of the Inteflex program. So that was-- and then. From there on, I'd say I continued with these, really, three kinds of things.
  • [01:20:08.18] Teaching-- I'd say a significant percentage of my time was devoted to developing curriculum, and actually teaching, and running clinical skills program. Another dimension was research. And I was doing some research related to a couple of different things-- again, thrombosis and high blood pressure as a separate clinical thing. And running the high blood pressure clinic.
  • [01:20:45.57] So those are the three kind of things that I was doing, so that was my professional life. Personally I was very-- I've been involved over the years and a number of different social concerns, probably looking back on at the-- in the '60s, I was a faculty advisor for a small group here of students that were part of the Student Health Organization, which was kind of a lefty effort. I remember being involved with that and helping that get off the ground.
  • [01:21:32.24] I think the next thing that probably is worth mentioning was I, with some others in the community, we put together what was called a Nicaraguan Medical Aid Project. There was a revolution in Nicaragua, which was sort of a socially concerned group there. And we put together an effort to take medical supplies to Nicaragua.
  • [01:22:02.94] And in fact, I went to Nicaragua at least one time myself and gave some talks there related to my clinical interests. So there was the Nicaragua Medical Aid Project. I think I've mentioned that-- sort of a link to this. I and my family went to Nashville in the '80s. It was mostly a concern about health care for the African-American community. And Harry Medical College is a historically black medical school in Nashville, and I spent a year there with my family.
  • [01:22:57.24] I did some joint research. We published a paper related to hypertension in blacks. And then-- let's see. I guess I got involved with-- there were a couple of national organizations. The initial one was Physicians for Social Responsibility, which was an anti-nuclear war effort. And I was active in that group-- not, I wouldn't say a lot of my time, but anyway, I was certainly concerned about that issue, still am. Interesting to hear the kind of vague discussion about nuclear warfare in our presidential debates.
  • [01:23:56.43] To me-- it's an aside, but I don't how anybody can talk about dropping atom bombs on people. It's-- anyway, so I was involved in PSR. Ultimately, one of the-- a similar organization next decade or two was Physicians for a National Health Program, and I became the Michigan State coordinator for PNHP, which was, still is, at an effort to get a single-payer-- a national health insurance program in America. And we're still pressing for that.
  • [01:24:47.84] I'm not particularly active. That group has slowed down. But anyway, so that was a social concern I got involved with. And then, I guess most recently, as I mentioned, we put together friends-- an organization, Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence. And that was really the outgrowth of-- at that point, I was retired. And what retired people do is get together, and have coffee, and talk.
  • [01:25:29.78] One of my friends, who was a really good guy and very active socially, actually, we-- after there was-- I don't know how familiar you are, but there was a massacre at Virginia Tech University. And 30-some-odd students and teachers were killed. And it was a real massacre. It was terrible.
  • [01:25:53.33] And we-- I remember still, we were sitting, a few of us. And said, you know, well, what-- shouldn't physicians express their concern about this issue? You know, as a profession. So out of that, we started putting together this local-- it's a state organization, not national. Physicians-- we call ourselves Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence.
  • [01:26:22.86] From the beginning, we've done-- basically, I think our initial concern was have physicians having a voice about prevention of gun violence publicly. We, in our original-- I'd say when we put together our purpose on paper, we, I guess, put an emphasis both on education of physicians and activism of physicians-- politically, socially speaking out about what might be done.
  • [01:27:03.59] And we've worked on both sides of that. Currently, for instance, in the medical school, recently with a couple of others, talking to-- I'm retired. And I know about the curriculum and how it's put together, so I've been trying to get some inroads into the current medical school curriculum, so that students would at least be exposed to some of the epidemiology, the data, and get some idea but ultimately, when they become practitioners, what they might be able to do about prevention of gun violence. We also have been active politically. We-- some of us-- by the way, now we have over 400 people on our email list statewide.
  • [01:28:03.10] We've been, and I haven't done as much of that, because I'm getting older. I'm not very good at presentations, but others-- we've got a group now. And we've gone out and given talks at hospitals around the state. I'm getting invitations to do that, and really, again, talking about the statistics and where doctors can intervene. And there-- I could talk to you at length about that. But that-- so that's something I'm currently active. And actually later today I'm going to be giving a short talk to a group of medical students who are entering in a psychiatry clerkship.
  • [01:28:50.35] And the focus there will be on suicide prevention. Just a fact. You may not be aware, but there are more people killed every year with guns by suicide than by homicide. Suicide is a bigger issue in terms of numbers. And so anyway, I'm still doing some of that.
  • [01:29:17.64] I have to say I'm kind of retiring. So that's a quickie capsule of some of the social things I've been concerned with.
  • [01:29:31.17] SPEAKER 1: What specific training or skills were required for your job?
  • [01:29:35.58] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, you know, being a physician, and ultimately being a practitioner, and being an academic physician, there are different angles to it. It goes back to what the job is, really, in academics. And it is research and teaching.
  • [01:30:04.23] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: What prepares you for that? I think you have to be-- you have to be curious and disciplined. And particularly, I mean, to be a good physician, I think you really have to be a broad person. I value very much my liberal arts education.
  • [01:30:34.32] I was very interested in literature, and I did the requisite science stuff. But I found I liked poetry. And I think that, for-- that background is quite important, ultimately, in how you function as a physician. You're not just a scientist. You need to be.
  • [01:31:08.32] So I think those, you know, those are the kind of the important aspects of preparing. In my case, not just being a doctor, but being a teacher, and an investigator, and all that.
  • [01:31:27.01] SPEAKER 1: You were a teacher and a doctor for many years. How did the technology change over the course of the time that you were working? What was it like when you started, then how did it transition to--
  • [01:31:36.43] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh, well that's a-- there's a lot of-- that's a big question, in that there have been huge changes. I mean, an example would be, as a professor and teacher in medical school, we used to basically give lectures to a whole group of students in the classroom. And then recently, in talking to folks, and including residents-- younger docs-- about how students are learning in medical school now. And he said, well, you know, everything's online.
  • [01:32:20.80] And you know, this whole idea of being a professor and talking at people in a classroom while they're sitting around getting bored. That's pretty old hat. That's an example of a change. And it's technology-related, but it's-- the other kind of parallel thing is in the practice of medicine. Particularly, again, I function primarily as a consultant, you know, a specialist in a particular area, but working in a big referral hospital.
  • [01:33:08.73] One of the things that's happened, which is understandable, is the requirement to document a lot of what you're doing. And that means, in the course of an interaction with a patient, you have to be entering data into a computer. My basic interest in teaching was teaching clinical skills, how doctors interact with patients, how they talk to patients, how they touch patients. And what's happened, and I find it-- one of my main doctors was a student of mine years ago.
  • [01:33:51.23] And when I visit him, he doesn't really look at me too much. He's very concerned with entering data, which he has to do. There are requirements in terms of getting reimbursed and all that stuff. And he very rarely touches me. It's a routine visit; I'm not-- but the point is that these clinical skills have become kind of secondary. And to me, that's a big problem, one I still tell everybody, that patients expect to be touched by doctors.
  • [01:34:37.56] There's this sort of-- almost a mystique, a magic, of the doctor putting hands on people. And I think-- anyway, that's a big change to me. Those are the first things that come to my mind.
  • [01:34:56.96] SPEAKER 1: How do you judge excellence within your field?
  • [01:34:59.87] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Excellence?
  • [01:35:01.17] SPEAKER 1: Mm-hmm.
  • [01:35:04.40] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Again, I, personally, I think the doctors who are good in what we used to call bedside manner. Those are the docs I really appreciate. I still do, I have-- I have had a heart problem in the past. And I have a cardiologist that I see once a year, just to follow up. And he-- again, I knew him when, as a resident, and did some training of him-- not a major part of his education.
  • [01:35:40.87] But the point is, he is-- he still does a physical exam. I mean, not an extensive one, but he knows how to do it. In fact, the last time I was in to see him, and he was examining me. And I kidded him a little bit. I said, I think he's one of the last doctors in the university that knows how to do this well.
  • [01:36:11.53] So I value that aspect of medical practice. And I think there are a lot of factors that are kind of working to downgrade the importance of that. But anyway, that's where I'm coming from.
  • [01:36:29.45] SPEAKER 1: Was there any doctor, professor, that specifically impacted you the most over your career? Or patient for that matter?
  • [01:36:37.79] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No. Not more-- not one person. Probably, I grew up-- it was more of a romantic image of what a doctor is. That I got from reading books or whatever. My father was a doctor, but he was a surgeon specialist. I never sort of modeled myself after my dad. He made it possible for me to go into medicine, and I'm sure it made me think about it.
  • [01:37:16.02] But he was not a role model for me. And again, it was the idea of a physician that I had in my head. No, no particular individual.
  • [01:37:34.24] SPEAKER 1: What is the biggest difference now? We kind of touched on, like, how doctors interact with patients. Was there any other way in practice that is widely different from maybe in the 1960s?
  • [01:37:47.66] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh yeah. I think, again, I touched-- apart, it's got a lot to do with time and money, really. I think doctors don't have the time to practice medicine the way I think it ideally is done. And I guess, and that translates ultimately into skills. You know, why know how to determine the size of the heart by percussing the chest? It's possible. But, you know, if you're not going to really do that very often.
  • [01:38:28.75] And meantime, you've got 10 patients waiting, and your-- there's a person up there who is looking at how many patients you're seeing and what kind of income you're generating. And so those pressures are, I think, making it hard. Anyway, I don't think medicine can be practiced, certainly the way I used to imagine it being practiced, and doing the best to do it that way myself, and teaching about it. But I think that there were big changes.
  • [01:39:02.92] And many-- one of the things that's happened, we're getting a loss of mature physicians from practice, because-- these are people who remember what it was like to practice without some of these pressures. And they're getting a lot of pressure, and they're saying, well, this is not what I bargained for. This is not what I really wanted to do or how I wanted to do it. I'm talking more about general medicine. I mean, specialists-- well, I'd say specialists also feel these pressures.
  • [01:39:44.26] But surgeons for instance, they don't spend a lot of time in an office with patients. They do, and some of them are very good at that. But they still are sort of doing their thing in the operating room.
  • [01:40:00.10] SPEAKER 1: This may be a kind of personal question, but what did you value most about your entire time as a doctor?
  • [01:40:06.99] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Oh, that-- working directly with patients. Absolutely. I mean, that's a privilege. Actually, I wrote a short article a few years ago, which was published in one of our specialty journals about-- what did I call it? I wish I could remember his name. I had a-- he learned from me. I had a patient that I learned a lot from. And I can't tell you the whole story.
  • [01:40:42.02] But anyway, I really-- that was what was kind of motivating for me and enjoyable. Secondly, I liked internal-- I liked problem solving. I liked the intellectual side of it personally. Figuring out what's going on. And that was exciting intellectually.
  • [01:41:20.50] SPEAKER 1: How did your life change for you, when you and your spouse retired and all the children left your house?
  • [01:41:27.41] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, it didn't change a lot, because we have a very big family. And we have people-- people joke about it. We have young people, all kinds of people, in our house all the time. So I'd say, you know, there's a bit of a difference. But we're not sitting there trying to decide what to do.
  • [01:41:53.81] And we're very much in touch with our children and our grandchildren. And I don't think-- anyway, it hasn't been for us any kind of a problem. If anything, it's just, can we-- how much can we do?
  • [01:42:15.55] SPEAKER 1: You mentioned that there's a lot of younger people in your house. What you mean by this?
  • [01:42:20.63] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, we have, I'd say almost-- over the last few years, we've almost always had a grandchild sort of hanging out there for a few months. The-- or, other people we've had. We sort of semi-adopted. Example-- the most recent one was a young woman from Palestine, from Gaza, who my wife has been very interested in Israel-Palestine issues.
  • [01:42:55.19] She was in school at Eastern on a fellowship from Palestine. Anyway, ultimately, she lived with us for a couple of years. And not-- beyond that, she finally-- she married one of her fellow Fulbright people. And he's from Senegal. And we still, we see them periodically. She lived with us for a long time.
  • [01:43:23.96] When they got married, they stayed at our house for a while. Now they have a baby, and we-- so anyway, over the years, we we've often had something like that going on.
  • [01:43:37.97] SPEAKER 1: What is a typical day in your life like, currently?
  • [01:43:40.99] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Currently?
  • [01:43:41.39] SPEAKER 1: Mm-hmm.
  • [01:43:43.08] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, very busy. Let me put it that way. It's changed over the years, because I'm now definitely slowing down, physically and mentally. And some stuff I can't do like I used to. But I'm still involved, as you as you've heard. Socially, I've been putting together-- well, let's say, just last week I went to Kalamazoo with some other people to meet with a dean of a new medical school in Western Michigan and talked to them about how to introduce information about prevention of gun violence in a curriculum.
  • [01:44:40.37] I'm the treasurer of Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence. I have to keep the books. All I know is I don't have much time to sit around and watch television.
  • [01:44:57.15] SPEAKER 1: You said you talk about your organization. What do you think is the most important and effective way that the United Sates can end gun violence?
  • [01:45:05.45] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, the-- I think there are certain laws that can be passed that would make a difference at the national level. For instance, what are called universal background checks. It's currently people-- there are two ways, well three ways, you can get a gun if you want.
  • [01:45:29.72] One of them, you go to a licensed gun dealer and they'll-- you can go to Cabela's, which is a sporting goods store or wherever. They have guns. If you want to buy a gun there, they are licensed dealers. They can't sell you a gun without doing what's called an instant background check. They go to a database to see if you are a criminal or something like that.
  • [01:45:57.77] A lot of guns are not sold that way. A lot of them are sold online and no background checks, or at what are called gun shows. So many guns are sold without background checks, and there are checks and balances built into that. Anyway, that's an example of legislation.
  • [01:46:27.12] US Congress has been incapable of passing a law that requires background-- universal background checks-- for purchase of guns. And that's a huge political issue. It's due to the influence of the gun rights people who are-- and it's unfortunate because they're not-- we say the NRA. It's not all. There are people who are members of the NRA who think it's a great idea to have universal background checks.
  • [01:46:55.75] But politically, they are a very powerful influence in Congress. They're probably the most effective lobby in the United States. They have money and committed people. So anyway, those laws-- I'm pessimistic about them being enacted in Congress. There are now laws being established at the state level that try to do that, but that's inadequate.
  • [01:47:27.40] I mean, if you-- the guns that are used in-- by the way, there is another way of getting guns I didn't mention, and that's on the street. In many cities, you can buy a gun on the street. You just have to have the money. And anyway, most of the guns-- many of the guns that are on the street in big cities, in states where there are laws that, for instance, have been passed that prevent the sale of guns without background checks-- they don't come from that state.
  • [01:48:11.54] They come from the next state that doesn't have those laws. And there are people who purchase those guns. There are people-- there's what's called straw purchasing, where people who don't have background checks that will serve as agents for people who are getting those guns. And then they're taking them across borders and selling them. And there's a lot of money involved in that.
  • [01:48:40.59] So the point is, nationally, we need to have universal background checks. It's good that states are able to do some of this, but-- so anyway, that to me, that's an example of a very specific thing which could be done. We shouldn't, there shouldn't be these what are called military-style assault weapons. You can buy them. You can buy them legally in certain states; some states not. Or the ammunition for them-- these magazines that have, you know, 100 rounds in them.
  • [01:49:23.10] I'm smiling because there's-- really, I marvel. And you know Chris Rock, the comic?
  • [01:49:29.20] SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
  • [01:49:29.97] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Go to Chris Rock gun-- guns-- on YouTube. He's got a wonderful bit about how, if we just-- if bullets cost $500 apiece, you wouldn't-- and the way he handles it is beautiful. The point is, there are things that could be done. You could-- but politically, it is a very complex issue in the United States.
  • [01:50:02.22] And another piece to it, I think-- I could talk to you forever about this-- but is, there are plenty of people in the United States who walk around scared. They are pretty sure that there's going to be somebody, usually with a darker skin than them, that's going to enter their house, and steal their stuff, and kill their family and them. You may think that's overwrought, but I've been in-- there's a-- it feeds into the whole kind of dynamic of the national-- the election, the big divide in the country.
  • [01:50:53.51] But anyway, there are a lot of people who are scared, and racism is part of it. But also economics, and they want to have a gun. They want to have a gun in the house. They want to be on the street with a gun. So it's-- anyway, that's my perspective on it.
  • [01:51:26.14] SPEAKER 1: So when thinking about your life after retirement, or your kids left home up to the present, what important social or historical events were taking place, like, now, and how do they presently affect you? Obviously, gun violence.
  • [01:51:38.78] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah. I think that-- well, that's dominated my concerns recently. I mean, it's obviously not the only problem out there. My wife has been an important influence on me. She's always been more socially active than I am. And she's been very concerned about public education.
  • [01:52:07.49] And I hear a lot about it, about how kids get-- early on, get labeled, get pushed out of school when they, quote "misbehave." And anyway, I know a lot about that, and I hear a lot about it from her. And she's been very active-- started a whole non-profit agency that tries to deal with that.
  • [01:52:36.26] SPEAKER 1: When thinking back on your entire life, what historical event has had that this impact on you? Which single historical event?
  • [01:52:50.50] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I guess-- you know, that's a hard question to answer. But I guess I'd say the Vietnam War had certainly-- it made me more active socially. I got involved in things with people that I respected. And it certainly made me to be more of an activist. I think that that's probably the case.
  • [01:53:17.96] SPEAKER 1: How old were you during the Vietnam War?
  • [01:53:20.52] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I would be in my 30s. Let's see. Anyway, yeah.
  • [01:53:28.70] SPEAKER 1: OK. So you did not have to get drafted. So you're took more of, like, a social stance. Were you're in, like, some of the protests and the marches?
  • [01:53:35.28] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah. Well, I was involved a little bit. In Michigan, we had what was called this sit-in. I don't know if you're familiar with that, but it was one of the first-- I think maybe the first university where there was a faculty and student protest, but a teaching protest. I, again, the medical school was not very much involved in that. LS&A were. The literary school was much more involved, students and faculty. But anyway, I was somewhat involved in some of the activities during the teach-in.
  • [01:54:20.74] SPEAKER 1: Did the Vietnam War make you lose trust in the American government?
  • [01:54:26.86] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't think I felt that way. I think that-- I think we were-- I would-- ultimately, I'm struggling with how to phrase this. I think there are problems in the United States, which have not so much to do with the government, but our image of ourself as the first nation in the world; we're number one. And we were-- we're strong socially and economically, and somehow that gets translated into actions that are not a good idea. Vietnam was a bad idea.
  • [01:55:20.45] SPEAKER 1: Do you need some water?
  • [01:55:21.61] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No, that's all right.
  • [01:55:24.62] SPEAKER 1: What would you say has changed most from when you were a teenager to now, like the biggest social change?
  • [01:55:32.46] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well. The biggest? Well, it's-- it's not a single thing. I think I can't answer that directly. There's just so much that's changed. I mean, some of the issues like, you know, concerns about gay marriage, or I don't know. Anyway, I think there have just been massive social changes, such that-- I was a pretty conservative kid, and I still am at a personal level.
  • [01:56:31.85] But I think the diversification of the country has basically been huge and important. That's the best answer I can give you.
  • [01:56:49.10] SPEAKER 1: This may be kind of a hard question, but I think we'd all like to know. What advice would you like to give to our generation?
  • [01:56:55.85] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Wow. Well, I think the-- I guess there are a couple of issues. I think it's important that you pay attention to what's going on in your country and in society. I think things happen that ultimately will affect you a lot. And I think it's important too-- not just-- I don't know what your view is on how you spend your time or what you read.
  • [01:57:43.54] But it's important to keep up with what's happening, and that would be politically or around the world. And to be involved-- you know, recognize that there are issues. There's a lot that needs to happen, and ultimately it's going to affect you.
  • [01:58:09.18] And I don't know that you feel it at this stage in your lives. But I don't know. I guess when I look back on it, I in my own experience-- well, you've heard it. But I guess we did mention when I was a kid, I actually was involved in activities in support of the country during a war. And there were a few kids who were doing, that but not a lot.
  • [01:58:43.92] Anyway, that's my feeling. You need to be aware. And I would urge to be active in social, political issues. It's the way I see it.
  • [01:59:00.91] SPEAKER 1: Then, what was the best moment of your life, and the worst moment of your life?
  • [01:59:05.53] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: The best moment? Oh, that's-- I don't know. I had-- I think about-- that's an impossible question, I'd say. You know, there's-- in my personal life, having children and-- that was, that's really big. Ultimately, I feel like, in the long run, being able to have a family and experience the love and togetherness. That is a very big thing.
  • [02:00:23.09] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: It's not a single event, but that's big. You know? And rewards or recognition for your professional life-- that's nice. At a personal level, I still-- I had one event. I told you it was in Nashville.
  • [02:00:51.80] And we lived in a predominately black neighborhood. And when my neighbor took my wife, myself, and one of my sons-- we went to the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. And we went to some parties, and most of the parties were-- my neighbor was a black woman, African-American, and we went to parties that were-- all of the people there were, didn't look like me.
  • [02:01:18.92] And in the course of one evening, I remember I was with a group of men. And we were all drinking a little beer. And in the middle of all this, this one guy said to me, he said, I love you, man, because you're a man. And I was blown away by that. I still remember it. It was a high, high point. Mm-hm.
  • [02:01:52.31] SPEAKER 1: What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
  • [02:01:56.11] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: I don't have too many years left. I still feel-- I wouldn't-- I want to see all the Michigan medical schools have something in their curriculum about prevention of gun violence. That would be one.
  • [02:02:15.08] I want to be a great-grandparent. I don't have any great-grandchildren, and being an elderly person in the older circles, it's a status symbol. It's not having grandchildren. You've got to have great-grandchildren. And I don't think I will, unfortunately. The persons in my family who could make that happen, doesn't look like they're working on it. Yeah, I'd like to see that.
  • [02:02:50.89] SPEAKER 1: Is there anything else that you'd like to add that I haven't asked about?
  • [02:02:54.33] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: No. I think this is a hopefully useful project for you, you guys. I'd be interested to see. What goes on from now? You have to-- you look at all this tape?
  • [02:03:10.99] SPEAKER 2: And then we get to choose. We have a final interview in the spring, which is where we're going to focus on one specific topic only, so not a general history. We'll focus on one thing and you'll tell us almost everything about that. And that will be the primary subject of our tape of you.
  • [02:03:30.31] So do you have anything that you think you would be able to speak highly of, and would like your video to be, like, specified on? Or do you think we should just go through the tapes? Do you have anything specifically that you want to talk about, or don't want to talk about--
  • [02:03:44.54] SPEAKER 1: That will make, like, a feature video on that topic.
  • [02:03:47.41] SPEAKER 2: We need a specific video topic. So if you have any personal suggestions you would like to do or not do for this pilot.
  • [02:04:03.28] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Well, I think-- I have-- in my life, and professionally, I've been very involved in interracial concerns. I've adopted a daughter who is African-American. And her biologic family we know-- in other words, so, and I taught in a historically black school. So we've had a lot of-- anyway, that's an area that I've been involved in. And I have lots of thoughts about it and experience.
  • [02:04:50.15] SPEAKER 1: All right. So we might make that video about how you helped in the civil rights movement and how you have been affected by race in the country.
  • [02:04:58.83] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: Yeah, something like that. Yeah.
  • [02:05:01.42] SPEAKER 1: Well, thank you.
  • [02:05:02.60] ANDREW ZWEIFLER: You're welcome. I understand, to say you're going to-- you guys
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2017

Length: 02:05:47

Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)

Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library

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Subjects
Oral Histories
Legacies Project
Andrew Zweifler