Much to his mother’s chagrin, Jim Woolsey says he’s an Okie.
Question: Where are you from and how has that shaped you?
Jim Woolsey: I had a very happy childhood. I was an only child. My father was a lawyer, my mother a housewife. My grandmother lived with us, so I had three adults basically in one way or another helping me get through life. Tulsa had an excellent public school system at the time. Opportunities for women in the 1950s were not so substantial outside being a secretary, a nurse, or a teacher. And a lot of very bright and able woman who would be in other jobs today were teachers in the United States during that era. And the grade school, and junior high school, and high school I went to had a marvelous cadre of teachers. High school English teachers well versed in the classics, that sort of thing. And Tulsa was a lovely place to grow up. I still call myself an Okie. My mother told me when I was about 15 . . . I had just read “Grapes of Wrath”, and I said something about really proud to be an Okie. And she said, “Well Jim the Okie’s were the really poor folks who migrated to California.” I said, “I know, but Tom Jones was one. If he’s an Okie I’m an Okie.”
Recorded on: 7/2/07