After growing up in Cleveland's east side Hungarian neighborhood, Richard Fleischman went off to college and returned to the city in 1955 to begin his architecture career, eventually starting the firm of Conrad and Fleischman. In this 2006 interview, Fleischman shares his thoughts on Cleveland's post-war development, commenting on what he sees as the city's successes and failures. He praises the Gateway area redevelopment, singling out for praise the mayoral leadership that helped accomplish that project. Fleischman also talks about some of the buildings on Euclid Avenue, particularly its churches, as well as the Euclid Corridor Transportation project. More generally, the architecture of Cleveland is discussed in the context of the changes taking place in post-war America, which Fleischman sees as having decidedly mixed results on the city.
Fleischman, Richard (interviewee)
Gibans, Nina (interviewer); Yanoshik-Wing, Emma (participant)
American Institute of Architects
"Richard Fleischman Interview, September 29 2006" (2006). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 951017.
Transcription sponsored by Leonard & Betty Boesger
Nina Gibans [00:00:00] Exactly that.
Richard Fleischman [00:00:01] Why?
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:00:02] Okay.
Nina Gibans [00:00:02] No. We've had a lot of discussion about it, but the architects love it.
Richard Fleischman [00:00:09] He's one of the few architects in this town that I admire. And he is a... I'm sorry. Ready? Are you going?
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:00:15] Yes.
Richard Fleischman [00:00:16] Good. And I think that's a great building. I know there was a lot of controversy. He had a partner with Ray Febo. And I know there was a lot, a lot of friction, a lot of problems. But out of it came, I thought, a great building. And Michael Schwartz and I fight about this. He thinks it's very ugly and he doesn't, he doesn't understand it. He likes Shaker Heights. I said your problem... You can make all kinds of definitions and discoveries in education, but you should spend some time and understand art. You know, if you could take the same amount of time and understand what that building is all about. He says it's a waste of space. I said, No, it isn't. It's a statement. It's a statement that we should never give up. It represents the '80s or '70s, whenever that was. Was it the'70s? I forget that. I said, it's was one of Don Hisaka's better buildings.
Nina Gibans [00:01:09] Okay, go into an articulation even more about why.
Richard Fleischman [00:01:16] Because he took the idea of what is this? What, I don't know. It may be a bad word. What is this? This ciborium or whatever you want to call this chalice of emptiness that the students feel that the collection and the meaningful person of of what does it mean to be educated as a community? I thought this big glass box was what a great way to take and magnify what is going on with the intellectual growth. I find that that emptiness did nothing more than say, like the Crusades or like any, any moment in time. And we had thousands of people working together. There were thousands of young students learning. What a better way to tell the world. It's like the Ford Foundation building in Manhattan; this big glass box that says there's a richness here. It is not in money, it's in ideas. You can't put everything in terms of money. Why do you do that? That's scary that, you know, that's called the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. You know, we have to live. You know, Caesar had a great idea. It was a great vision. He created great, great society. And all of this sounded... It would destroy itself. We have to be very careful, we could destroy ourselves. Not understanding all the great things were built. Now Breuer's building was not in that same era. He didn't like it.
Nina Gibans [00:02:42] Okay. Three things. Energy. The resonance of this space so that you can't really have speakers there, that kind of thing. And what was it? Oh, that it does not open up to the avenue, which at that time...
Richard Fleischman [00:02:56] Why does it have to? Why, I don't understand it. You know, why do we have to be here by the lake, you know? I mean, the lake is there. It's wonderful. The river's there. Do we live by the river? The river's there. Cuyahoga is a very unique river. It's a baroque kind of thing, you know, just rolls around, you know? And the lake is all there. And I said, You know what you should know, you probably won't do this, my [inaudible]. The best time I loved the lake was in December when you had five, ten days when the lake froze and then it at 2 o'clock in the morning, you'd hear the lake like you're on the moon. It would just grumble. Mmmm. Mmmm. And it kind of growled. But, yes, there was that big, shallow Lake Erie freezing and groaning. You know? What?
Nina Gibans [00:03:44] Okay. Back to the building, though. The Hisaka building.
Richard Fleischman [00:03:48] Yes.
Nina Gibans [00:03:48] I mean, we need as much articulation, I think, as you can give it.
Richard Fleischman [00:03:51] But I think, you could deal with that sound, there was not a problem. We can come back and we can create banners. We can create furniture, we create people. Sound is energy. All you have to do is break up the energy. So right now it's reflective. Don't, don't let it be reflective. It is a... Solve the problem, you know, it's the problem to be solved, not to be, you know, criticized. It's easy to criticize. No, don't don't tell me what's wrong, okay? Tell me how you solve... We're bright people, you know, we go to the moon. Come on. You know? We created the station. People live on the moon. You can't solve the problems of a big, beautiful glass box? [laughs]
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:04:35] Some people call it "The Cage."
Richard Fleischman [00:04:37] So what? Is that a bad word?
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:04:39] Well, I mean. It's just...
Richard Fleischman [00:04:40] The students?
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:04:41] Yeah. In terms of the students. In terms of, like, the box. I was just giving you that other...
Richard Fleischman [00:04:47] If I have a population of 15,000, what do you have at CSU now?
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:04:52] I have no idea.
Richard Fleischman [00:04:53] 15,000? 16,000? I think you probably have... What? 10,000 different personalities. I keep telling people in education, you know, you can't make every, every classroom in the fifth grade, every student the same. Every... If I'm in the fifth grade and I have 25 people, they're all different. They have different needs. I found when I was at Columbia and I was a teaching assistant, I saw kids had latent talent and I was so surprised. When I began the fourth year at Columbia going to graduate school, I said, well, this kid needs the scholarship. Look how he's developed in the fourth, the third and fourth year, and became a star. But his grades for four years are not that good. And I said, I don't care about the student that goes first year, second year, third year, fourth year, the same. I care about this, this student who's going. I said...
Nina Gibans [00:05:49] So you think they will grow into...
Richard Fleischman [00:05:50] Yes. I said, how do you catapult? How do you provide... There's a phrase. There was a pianist in New York City. He was a Hungarian. And because I come from that background, I got to know a Zsa Zsa Gabor came in this one, he was a pianist. And he would always ask Zsa Zsa, because he had been wanting... Zsa Zsa, what do you give a man who has everything? And Zsa Zsa, without hesitating said, Steve, of course, you got [a Hungarian saying], you know. Steve, he is Hungarian. Encouragement. If you don't have encouragement, what do you have?
Nina Gibans [00:06:31] I remember when Noguchi sculptures were put on the Justice Center building and the city was in an uproar.
Richard Fleischman [00:06:39] I know.
Nina Gibans [00:06:40] Do you remember the articles that you know the museum had wrote? And we did surveys because people were in an uproar and we found that the more they passed by, the more they liked it.
Richard Fleischman [00:07:00] I know.
Nina Gibans [00:07:00] Because we did them six months apart and so forth and so on. So what you're saying is that if you really take time to think about what the space means.
Richard Fleischman [00:07:10] I tell people—Nina, you would enjoy this—I say, you're so critical of it and you think it's too simple, it's a piece of pipe. Draw it for me. If it's so simple and has no art form, just... Do you know how, do you know how it goes together? If it's so nothing, you should be able to draw the right. Just make a diagram. I don't know how. I said you don't understand the real beauty of that piece. No, I was not. I was very supportive. I was on the review committee that... Think about how I was disappointed you know we did the red one. You know, there are two pieces. It was a black one. It was a maxi and a mini. You saw that? There's a little red one. I, that was disappointing. That would have even been more dynamite. But then, what I... I don't get as excited about it is, I don't, I have a hard time with Tony Smith's sculpture in front of the Federal Building. But that's me. The Richard Hunt that's behind on the other side of the Justice Center is kind of, but there was the limitations because they had to be in the, in that, in that area. But that was... That.... Those are three pieces of my time. Richard Hunt, the Noguchi, and then the Tony Smith.
Nina Gibans [00:08:23] The Segal.
Richard Fleischman [00:08:23] Segal?
Nina Gibans [00:08:24] Segal.
Richard Fleischman [00:08:24] What Segal? What Segal?
Nina Gibans [00:08:24] George Segal.
Richard Fleischman [00:08:24] Well, it was out of the people. Yeah that. That was very nice.
Nina Gibans [00:08:28] I sit on the bench when I am in jury duty.
Richard Fleischman [00:08:30] Right. Oh, that's great.
Nina Gibans [00:08:32] I always end up on that bench.
Richard Fleischman [00:08:32] That's very nice. Okay. I'm sorry.
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:08:38] Great.
Richard Fleischman [00:08:38] The Cage. The Cage. Emma!
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:08:44] Well, as I was saying earlier, I have definitely kind of acquired a new appreciation for the building. Then, since we started talking to all these architects, but it is very much understanding and having, you know. Sometimes people have to explain how they see it too so that you can learn to see it differently.
Richard Fleischman [00:09:08] Do you know how the steel frame, the only you could save on the... We did an analysis. The only thing you can save on the Breuer building is the steel frame. I know I find that I cannot handle, nor do I accept Steve Litt. I tell him, I said, I would like you to be a critic, but don't be an antagonist. There is a difference, Steve.
Nina Gibans [00:09:31] Oh, listen. Don't... I'll tell you a little story. You know, Mike Boar?
Emma Yanoshik-Wing [00:09:36] Should... Do you want me to stop this?
Nina Gibans [00:09:37] Yeah, yeah you can. [recording paused and resumes] Okay. This is Richard Fleischman and Nina Gibans. So you are a Clevelander way, way back? Yes?
Richard Fleischman [00:09:53] Yes. Born and raised in the city.
Nina Gibans [00:09:56] Where and how? What neighborhood?
Richard Fleischman [00:09:59] Well, we... I've come from a strong Hungarian background. My grandparents were from Budapest in Hungary. They obviously moved into the inner city along Buckeye Road and which was the heart of the, at least on the East Side, the Hungarian community. My parents lived at that time on Continental Avenue off East 116th Street. And, and we grew up there. And later on, my parents moved into another neighborhood along Woodhill Road by which is now called the Luke Easter Park. And went to Audubon Junior High School. We grew up there. And so I'm really part of the inner city.
Nina Gibans [00:10:47] Did you go to Rice Elementary?
Richard Fleischman [00:10:48] Yes, went to Rice Elementary School and I found out that to my pleasant surprise, Jenny, the famous lady in Cleveland. Brown? Jenny Brown? She, she and I were in class, in kindergarten together, at Harvey Rice.
Nina Gibans [00:11:04] That's always fun.
Richard Fleischman [00:11:06] [laughs] It's amazing. It's totally amazing.
Nina Gibans [00:11:08] Harvey Rice has a, has a, you know, real niche. It had the Victory Gardens during the...
Richard Fleischman [00:11:14] Oh, yes.
Nina Gibans [00:11:15] Yes?
Richard Fleischman [00:11:16] How wonderful.
Nina Gibans [00:11:16] And it was special.
Richard Fleischman [00:11:19] It had a... Down at the street, closer to Shaker Boulevard, it has the most marvelous ice cream parlor there. I forget because at that time it was a chain, but they made the best ice cream cones anywhere in the world, at least in my world. [laughs]
Nina Gibans [00:11:34] What about the donuts?
Richard Fleischman [00:11:35] I don't remember the donuts. I just remember the ice cream.
Nina Gibans [00:11:40] [crosstalk] Ice cream is more about your childhood anyway, right? So what kinds of things happened there that would have influenced you to become an architect and so forth?
Richard Fleischman [00:11:52] Well, I had a... Like many of us who have, even though our parents are born here and our grandparents were from Europe, there was a great sense of pride in accomplishing. And I can't, I can remember from the very beginning, both my father and my uncle, as I was in Audubon Junior High School taking drawing classes, they said, well, drawing isn't limited to drawing gears. You could draw a variety of things. You could draw buildings, you could draw streets, you could draw cities. Although my parents were of a background that they owned a little tool shop, both my uncle and my father, they, and had very humble beginnings. They had great visions. And they tried to intoxicate me with these ideas of what could be.
Nina Gibans [00:12:43] Did you have sisters and brothers?
Richard Fleischman [00:12:45] I had a brother, a younger brother.
Nina Gibans [00:12:47] So there were the two of you?
Richard Fleischman [00:12:48] Two of us.
Nina Gibans [00:12:49] And what does he do?
Richard Fleischman [00:12:50] He's passed away. He's no longer.
Nina Gibans [00:12:53] What did he do?
Richard Fleischman [00:12:53] He was a bookkeeper. He didn't quite have the same engine that I had. The muscle didn't move as fast with him, and therefore he was content to be a bookkeeper.
Nina Gibans [00:13:08] Right.
Richard Fleischman [00:13:08] And in fact for a while was a bookkeeper in my office.
Nina Gibans [00:13:14] Mm hmm. So after Audubon, what happened with your architecture?
Richard Fleischman [00:13:18] Well, I went to East Tech High School. Spent the 10th grade taking general courses at that time. This was in 1942, 40, yes, '43? And then went into architecture in the 10th, and 11th grade, and 12th grade. Audubon was the ninth grade. East Tech was 10, 11, and 12. I started drawing in the 10th grade, became excited, enthusiastic about what I could do. It was a sense of accomplishment, a sense of discovery, you know, and a sense of pride. Wow, I could do this apartment house. I could do this. I started and went on the street and found places to work in architects' offices. There was a very fine architect named Moses Halperin, who did a lot of houses in the University Heights area back in the '40s and '50s and worked on a couple of temples. And I had the luxury of working in his office, which gave me a sense of direction in terms of the quality to take a pencil and make a special line. As a result of that, I was asked to do a portfolio when I was in the 12th grade and in the scholastic design, which is very popular at that time, I was able to not least make the cut and in terms of local jury and was allowed to go national. Even though I didn't win in the local jury, I won the big prize nationally. I won a scholarship to Carnegie... Carnegie Institute of Technology, the only one in the country. It was amazing. I guess my work appealed to a jury but may have been more sophisticated. I'm not sure. [laughs] But that happens many times where you don't, don't appeal to one group, and have a great appeal to another. So I was able to go away. And here is a young man at 17 years old, never out of Cleveland, you know, very simple. My dad took me to the Penn Station at 55th and Euclid Avenue and said, Good luck, son. [laughs] With a big box I had over my shoulder, I took the train into Pittsburgh, came in downtown. I didn't know how to get to campus, found a way to get to the campus, found my dormitory room wasn't prepared, had a... I met these guys from the service that came back. I said, well, we'll find a place for you to shack up for the night, you know? [laughs] So I was able to find a place to live for a week till my dorm was ready. But it was a nice orientation. But being an architect and learning to, you know that the blank piece of paper is an exciting thing, you always discover and you never connect the dots. You always look for the opportunity to find something new and different. Helped me discover Pittsburgh. Helped me discover a whole new world. Helped me discover that, you know, that there is a world out there that's magnificent, is full of jewels, not so much riches in money, but richness in ideas.
Nina Gibans [00:16:23] Anyone at East Tech that you can name?
Richard Fleischman [00:16:27] Oh, yes. Yes. Paul Scherer. Paul Scherer. Two people. Paul Scherer took me aside and said, you can make it. I said, you sure? He says, draw. He said, go home. Draw at night. I used to draw in summers between 11th and 12th grade. I would sit on the porch and draw and draw and being from, again, I hope you don't mind, not... There's no television, no radio. I didn't have the ability to see a lot of good English diction. I didn't have enough... An opportunity to understand composition. So when I found out it was just on the weekend of Easter vacation, we got the telegram that I won the scholarship to Carnegie Mellon. So Paul Scherer brings in the English Department and said Dick is a neat guy, very talented. He doesn't know how to write. So all of a sudden, two teachers, I came two nights a week, spent an hour and a half writing compositions. They were tutoring me at no cost. They said, you are a star. Mr. Scherer thinks we got to prepare you to take the exam, otherwise you can't get into Carnegie. So I took that whole month, two nights a week, writing English composition. And I passed the exam. I became a freshman at Carnegie, Carnegie Tech.
Nina Gibans [00:17:42] That's a wonderful story.
Richard Fleischman [00:17:44] But I love people. You know, the horizontal need to complement one's concerns or one's vision. That is very... I said, where is our educational, you know, culture today? Why are people going out and, you know, saying, hey, come on, not on the football field, but in the classroom? I can see letting the guy make a touched down and pat him on the back. But what about the English composition? What about the English poetry? What about other things where we have to recognize accomplishments, you know?
Nina Gibans [00:18:14] Couldn't agree more. So. You were talking about the major influences.
Richard Fleischman [00:18:22] Yes.
Nina Gibans [00:18:22] Not just one.
Richard Fleischman [00:18:24] For my father, my father, my uncle, my uncle in particularly. He was, he was a dynamite guy. And he was always pushing me. I had a cousin who also went to Case a couple years older than myself. He said, Dick you can do it. You know, it's a matter of focus. I was taught by nuns in parochial school and German nuns, and I think I tell my daughters that the thing about learning from first grade to eighth grade is do you know what it means to focus, not be concerned with any distraction? I think in our society today, people look for distractions, not to accomplish what they hope to do. We didn't have those distractions and I learned these are the goals, these are the focus. And you don't stop until you get it accomplished. You must make it happen. I have a phrase now. You know, I must tell you, if you don't mind, you know, the innovation is applauded. Execution is worshiped. Make it happen.
Nina Gibans [00:19:31] There's one that I use, which is called an idea is only an idea until it gets done.
Richard Fleischman [00:19:37] Thank you. Thank you. Same. See. Same idea. I want to see that product. [laughs]
Nina Gibans [00:19:45] All right. Well, let's move from that point to your early career, and where you were located, and maybe your experiences with downtown or Euclid Avenue? Let's just put it that way.
Richard Fleischman [00:19:59] I, you know, when I finished at Columbia, they sent me... You should know that the biggest influence in my life was the year I spent in Europe. I finished my master's at Columbia University. They liked what I did. I was working with and teasing these ideas about space. I was... Even though I was working with the dean in the history program, I said, but these, these images and these changes in the surface are in a cycle of 500 years, but what's so special about them is the emptiness they create, whether it be a a basilica early on or a Baroque church or an opera house or Saint Peter's in Rome. The thing that's so significant in regards of who you are and how big that space is, when it has that quality of emptiness, you walk in and say, Wow. It's not the cosmetic part of it. It is the proportion and the quality of that emptiness that really excites you, makes you feel that you're... The architect, was a creator, was an artist.
Nina Gibans [00:21:05] And who first articulated that at Columbia?
Richard Fleischman [00:21:09] Talbot Hamlin. Talbot Hamlin, who won a Pulitzer Prize, was in that program of philosophy. And he taught me. I worked and I spent a lot of time with Schopenhauer, Kant and Schopenhauer, dealing with the philosophy of space, architecture, music. And I began to realize that architecture is not brick and mortar, but it's vision, concept, and image. You know, you have to understand this holistic approach. What happens, you know, what is that magnificent process that allows you to be creative?
Nina Gibans [00:21:41] Wonderful. Okay, next steps. Just follow.
Richard Fleischman [00:21:46] Just... When I came, when I came back from Europe, they wanted me to teach at Columbia, but they're living in New York City. They offered me $6,000 a year. I said, I can't live in New York City for $6,000 a year. You can't. So I came back to Cleveland and I said, maybe I should build buildings.
Nina Gibans [00:22:02] What year is this?
Richard Fleischman [00:22:02] I came back in '55. In 1955. And I worked in a firm for one year because I was supposed to go into service with Ward and Conrad. I came back and I said, here I am. You, you gave me this deference. Five years at Carnegie, two years at Columbia. I'm ready to be in the service. And just a week before Eisenhower, as president said, I am throwing the draft program out. So, Mr. Fleischman, you certainly want to enlist. I said, why would I do that? I said, well, I had my education, I want to use it. Why would I postpone what I've set out to do, build buildings? So I chose not to go in the service and then start working. And that's how I worked with Outcalt and Guenther at Shaker Square. Dick Outcalt became a good friend, became now another sponsor, even though we fought with one another all the time. You know, if you knew, you knew about Richard Outcalt, right? Did you know about Dick Outcalt? Do you know him at all? His, his character?
Nina Gibans [00:23:05] You need to go into that.
Richard Fleischman [00:23:07] Okay. Richard Outcalt was a dynamo in Cleveland. He had a great firm called Outcalt and Guenther. Did things for the Convention Center, did the airport, was very much involved in the quality of work. His partner, Guenther, was also a Paris Prize winner. He told me all kinds of things about what happens. In fact, when I was at Columbia, I worked also with Percy Goodman, who was a Paris or Rome Prize winner. And, and those are people who taught me about how you get, you know, you, you have to go up to the next level. You're never satisfied. The ladder is endless. The vision is unlimited, you know. So. So these people, we worked there for three years. Fred Toguchi was in there becoming a part and Fred and I, we worked on a lot of projects together. And Fred became a partner. And then I began to realize that they had six partners. And here I was making, becoming an associate. And I said to Dick, I said, I'm not going anywhere. So he said, well, yeah, be patient. I said, I'm not patient. You know, there's a phrase I learned in Rome, it's, you know, domani, tomorrow. [laughs] So I went back to work with Ward and Conrad. They made me associate partner, and I worked there for one year. And Bill Conrad said to me, Richard, I don't. Bill Conrad And I are not... I mean, Bill Ward and I are not getting along. I think I'm going to have to leave. Would you mind being my partner? So we created in 1961 the firm Conrad and Fleischman. So I came back in '55, worked for Ward and Conrad for a year. Worked for Conrad... Well, Outcalt Guenther for three years. Went back to Ward and Conrad for one year, then started the firm Conrad and Fleischman.
Nina Gibans [00:24:56] When did Jim and you work together?
Richard Fleischman [00:25:00] I'm not sure. I think it was Ward and Conrad. I'm not sure it was.
Nina Gibans [00:25:05] You know, I think it was. I think it's just about when you came back.
Richard Fleischman [00:25:05] Back. Right.
Nina Gibans [00:25:08] Okay. So. So back to Toguchi for a minute.
Richard Fleischman [00:25:12] Yes.
Nina Gibans [00:25:13] Did you remain friends with him?
Richard Fleischman [00:25:15] Oh, yes.
Nina Gibans [00:25:15] Throughout...
Richard Fleischman [00:25:16] Always. We were very... We could, we could fight. We see, people at that time understood conflict was a, was a quality that it was necessary to bond. Today, people are worried about conflict because they think conflict is undermining. I said you, there's two kinds of conflict. You get conflict and bond to have a better marriage. You get conflict, bond, and have a better partnership. How do you create respect if you don't understand what the other person's talking about? There's nothing wrong with good conflict.
Nina Gibans [00:25:45] What is the special thing that Toguchi had to contribute to this?
Richard Fleischman [00:25:51] He was a very talented man, very talented. He had a great sense of the future. He was ahead of, he was a visionary. He knew how to see talent. He could pick out architects. He could bring individuals in and make them realize they're part of the process. He was just a great human being.
Nina Gibans [00:26:10] What about his design work?
Richard Fleischman [00:26:13] His design work was a part of a collaborative. He had his patience would allow him to pursue that. You know, I think he, he, the best example of Corbusier's comment design is a patient process. Fred [Toguchi] was that way. He would keep working, and working, and working. It was never good enough. He was always searching for something better and he had that knowledge to know that it wasn't good enough. A lot of us don't understand that. You know, a lot of us have. Well, it's a task. It's done. So let's get on with the next one. But it's not it's not the goal. You've got to make a difference, make a distinction between what is a task and what is a goal.
Nina Gibans [00:26:51] Very good.
Richard Fleischman [00:26:53] And Fred knew that. I think in Cleveland at that time, he was one of the few people to stand there, and I think it was also one of our contemporaries. John Terence Kelly had that capability also and still does. Jack is a tremendous human being.
Nina Gibans [00:27:08] Right.
Richard Fleischman [00:27:09] And Fred was that way too.
Nina Gibans [00:27:12] Fred's statements about his homes that I'm dealing with in Cleveland Goes Modern exhibit are extraordinary.
Richard Fleischman [00:27:22] Good.
Nina Gibans [00:27:22] And the remembrances of the people he worked with.
Richard Fleischman [00:27:26] Oh, yes.
Nina Gibans [00:27:26] The whole families that he took journals from.
Richard Fleischman [00:27:29] You're right.
Nina Gibans [00:27:30] Are, is extraordinary. Such rich material.
Richard Fleischman [00:27:31] That's brilliant, brialliant. Right.
Nina Gibans [00:27:33] But it's also unique. There aren't too many people that did that, that did the exploring.
Richard Fleischman [00:27:39] You know that he was in internment during the war. You knew that?
Nina Gibans [00:27:41] Yes. Yes. Do you know a lot about that story?
Richard Fleischman [00:27:45] Well, I know he shares a lot of that with me. It's something that I didn't understand at the time. I couldn't believe why anyone who was American-born should be put in internment because of association, being a Japanese, you know?
Nina Gibans [00:28:01] Right. But he broke out of that by being and becoming educated.
Richard Fleischman [00:28:05] Right.
Nina Gibans [00:28:06] Yes and...
Richard Fleischman [00:28:07] Went to a great school, Washington University. He went to Washington University in Saint Louis.
Nina Gibans [00:28:12] And then came to Cleveland?
Richard Fleischman [00:28:14] Cleveland. Right.
Nina Gibans [00:28:15] Right. He had relatives here, correct?
Richard Fleischman [00:28:17] That was... I don't know that.
Nina Gibans [00:28:18] I think so.
Richard Fleischman [00:28:20] Because I know that he taught me... He showed me where I could buy these magnificent, you know, I want to have these beautiful white dishes. And I could go down to his family store and get, you know, white cups and white saucers and a very simple, very elegant, you know, nothing. You know, the world was not glitzy. The world wasn't, you know, the Cadillac fins, you know, life was very, very nice. And, you know, well, you're making me now remember those are some special days in my life.
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