INTERVIEWEE: Elizabeth "Chi" Pulley
INTERVIEWER: Jessica Roseberry
DATE: January 30, 2007
PLACE: Ms. Pulley's home in Durham, North Carolina
PULLEY INTERVIEW NO. 1
JESSICA ROSEBERRY: This is Jessica Roseberry. I'm here with Chi Pulley, and she's the daughter of Drs. Susan and John Dees. It's January 30, 2007 and we're here at her home in Durham, North Carolina. And I want to thank you very much for agreeing to be interviewed today. I appreciate it. It's a wonderful opportunity.
CHI PULLEY: You're very welcome.
ROSEBERRY: When we spoke on the phone about this interview you were telling me a little bit about how your parents met and came to Duke, and I wonder if you could tell me again a little bit more about that story.
PULLEY: Well, Mother and Daddy were both at Hopkins, and they-Mother was on call through the emergency room and Daddy was a urologist on call. And he was-he had a patient that came in, and she phoned him and said, "This is what I will do to treat him with this and-if that's all right-" and he said that was wonderful. The next day he came down to thank this woman that had let him get two hours of sleep. And they wound up getting married six weeks later.
ROSEBERRY: He must have been very impressed.
PULLEY: He was. (Roseberry laughs) And they lived-when they first married, they lived at Dr. [Barnes] Woodhall's-above, in-he had a house in Baltimore, and they lived on the second floor of the house. So that was one of their earlier connections, because then the Woodhalls came to Durham-so did a lot of people from Hopkins.
ROSEBERRY: So the Woodhall's lived on the first floor-?
PULLEY: They lived on the first floor, and Mother and Daddy rented the apartment above them. And they bor-actually they borrowed the bed from-when they first came back. And lo and behold it broke the first night. (laughter) But um-and consequently they later came to Duke. There were quite a few people that trained at Hopkins at that time: the Woodhalls, Mother and Daddy; Dr. Baker came. I think he came the next year. I don't remember; maybe he came the year before.
ROSEBERRY: Which Dr. Baker?
PULLEY: Lenox Baker, who was orthopedics. And um, there were several others. I don't remember all their names.
ROSEBERRY: Now, was your mother one of the few women at Hopkins practicing medicine at that time?
PULLEY: Probably, because I don't remember too much about that. I do know that-I asked her one time why she went into medicine. And evidently she was dating somebody who was a medical student. And so that's why she went into medicine. They broke up very shortly thereafter, and I think he continued; I think he did become a doctor, but I don't even remember what his name was, so-.
ROSEBERRY: So she did it to impress him or because she liked what he was-?
PULLEY: Well, I think she wanted to get to know him a little bit better. I don't know. (laughs) I didn't ask too many questions there.
ROSEBERRY: Well, how did they decide to come to Duke?
PULLEY: I don't know. I do know that Dr. [Wilburt] Davison interviewed both of them and that he offered mother fifty dollars a month because she didn't need any more money than that because she was married. I do not know how much they paid Daddy, but I do know that she was paid fifty dollars a month. And so, um-but they both came. Daddy came down in September of '39, and Mother came in December of '39.
ROSEBERRY: So she was probably paid less?
PULLEY: She was being paid a good deal less because she was a female and not a male. I think she always sort of resented that a little bit. (laughs)
ROSEBERRY: Well, you said they came in '39-
ROSEBERRY: Were there other women that you remember on faculty kind of in the early days, or early faculty?
PULLEY: As I recall there may have been-there were like four women doctors in Durham at the time. One of them was Mrs. [Frances] Fox, who never practiced. And I know that mother always felt like she should not have taken somebody else's place in medical school if she was not going to practice. But that's just pure hearsay. And I don't remember the others. Um (sighs). Dr. Easley-I think it was Easley-
ROSEBERRY: Eleanor Easley-
PULLEY: Eleanor Easley. I think she might have been here about that same time. And I know that Bailey Webb-but I think Bailey came a little bit later. And I don't remember who the others were.
ROSEBERRY: And you said that Dr. Webb was-
PULLEY: Dr. Webb was a pediatrician, and she is in some of these pictures here. She was very closely associated with Duke. As a matter of fact, she was my pediatrician.
ROSEBERRY: Oh really? But she was not necessarily employed by Duke?
PULLEY: No, uh-uh.
ROSEBERRY: She was-okay. Do you remember-I mean, did any of these women socialize together or were they-?
PULLEY: Not really. Um, I don't remember mother socializing that much other than when she was at the hospital she was Dr. Dees, but when she came home, she was Mrs. Dees. And so there was a very distinct, um, division there. I mean, she was always Dr. Dees at the hospital and Mrs. Dees at home, and you answered the telephone accordingly. The other thing mother always did was she wore lots of bracelets. Like-well, the bangle kind of bracelets. Because the children loved to chew on them or make noise, and she could jiggle them and get their attention. So she was-and also, she was very proud of her legs. She had very good-looking legs. And so many times-I think she was known for her pretty legs, so-. (laughs)
ROSEBERRY: Well, good for her.
ROSEBERRY: (laughs) So um-well, I know that she-well, let's go back a little bit. You were talking about her interactions with her patients. I wonder if there were-did she-?
PULLEY: Well, now, I go back because I keep jumping back and forth.
PULLEY: I know that-I don't know that much about the early ones. I do remember, um, later on and I guess maybe I was in-I don't know whether I was in my early teens or before that. But I remember-I believe it was [patient name deleted] grandson that came. And she treated him, and then he gave her a wonderful gold necklace with beads on it. It was the kind of thing that you added a bead-a gold bead-to the chain. Well, this was a full chain. And um-.
ROSEBERRY: Did she talk about her interactions? I mean, some of those-.
PULLEY: Well, the bracelets? I know that she-
ROSEBERRY: Stories about the bracelets and-
PULLEY: -had the worst time trying to convince her patients that a Chihuahua was not good for allergy. At that point I think people thought that they-that was a good luck charm to keep allergy-and it wasn't, because of the dog dander. She had-I don't know; she had many, oh, different ones that came to her, and to this day I run into people that say that, Your mother treated me or treated my child or something, from all over. She had a lot of patients from down east, around Chocowinity area, east of Greenville, in that section. And uh, I know that one time they had to fly her up to take care of the [patient name deleted] son, and I think that was in West Virginia; she had to go up there. But um, generally, I mean, her patients loved her. And one of the things Mother and Daddy both did was they had a wonderful relationship with their house staff. They always later-after they bought a place down on the coast called Belhaven, which is east of Washington, they used to always take the residents down for the weekend. They'd take two couples down with their children for the weekend. And um-so it gave them a free vacation. Um, but as far as-Mom didn't talk about her patients, per se. I mean, that was private.
ROSEBERRY: Did she talk about her work?
PULLEY: Not a whole lot, because she was Mrs. when she came home. There were four of us so, she spent private time with each one of us every night.
ROSEBERRY: Well, how would you describe her? What was she-?
PULLEY: Mother was-she was brilliant. She was very energetic. She was interested in people, interested in everything going around. She would-I mean, even in her later years. I remember back in the eighties-and I guess she was in the late-well, she was born in 1909, and this was probably '83. And I can't do my math that well, but she was not a young whippersnapper. She decided that she wanted a computer because she was being forced to retire from Duke, and I've forgotten whether this was the first time or the second time that she was retiring. But at any rate, she decided to go take a word processing course, and this was at-I think it was Crofts (Business School)-I'm not sure it was Crofts, but it was up at the old-it used to be the old A&P at the corner of Duke and Chapel Hill Street, and now I think it's Duke Power Company. Well, in order to get in the class she had to have her birth certificate [high school diploma]. Well, it turned out that the high school where she graduated at the age of sixteen had burned, and so she didn't have her birth certificate. She had her college, she had her medical, she had her everything else, but no high school diploma. And they finally said she could audit the class. So she audited the computer class. And I think at the end, she probably was teaching it, so-. (laughing) But no, she stayed involved with everything. She was just very inquisitive, and, um, she was very gracious. She could be a-um-she could entertain. She could-she was good cook. When they were in Louisiana, she would go fishing with Daddy in the morning and then go out to the tea with my grandmother in the afternoon, and my grandmother made her always wear white gloves, because her hands were always sunburned from fishing. (laughs) But um-I don't know exactly how else to describe her.
ROSEBERRY: Do you think she felt that contradiction between Dr. and Mrs.?
PULLEY: Yes, I think she probably did. Um-the-well-. She never really let me know that, I don't think. I mean, she used to do things like we used to ride together, horseback ride together. And she would do the carpools for school. She was always late. And um, we were the only ones that sometimes had a chauffer come pick us up. But she tried. And um-but she was always late, always. (laughs) So-
ROSEBERRY: What did the other mothers do?
PULLEY: They were stay-at-home mothers. She was the only one that worked. I mean, this was up until, oh, probably in my-I guess until when I was in high school; then I think other mothers were working then, but not that many, because mothers stayed at home during the-. For example, in the fifties, we were trained to go to college and get an M-r-s and stay at home. (laughs) Things changed.
ROSEBERRY: So did you feel different that your mother worked and other mothers didn't, or was that-?
PULLEY: Well, probably. I guess maybe mother compensated for it in ways that probably spoiled me more. Because for example, I was given my own checking account when I was twelve, and I was given a clothing allowance. Well, I spent it on the outside clothing; I didn't bother to spend it on the inside clothing. And uh-but I mean, I-you know, if I didn't have the money to buy something then I didn't get it. So-and I think all the girls were envious of me because I had my own clothing allowance. But I don't know that I had any more clothes than anybody else had.
ROSEBERRY: Did you go with either of your parents to Duke?
PULLEY: You mean to the hospital? Oh, yes. Mother took me on-when I was little she'd have to take me over on Saturday and so Carl [Rogers] or-I think her name was Esther- would babysit me. And so I mean, Duke was so small then-I mean, it was just [Duke Hospital] South-that I pretty much had the run of it. I mean, I knew all the orderlies and the nurses. I could go up on Howland [Ward] and visit. Can't remember the other nurse's name-Miss [Mildred] Sherwood, and I cannot remember the other one right now. And I would run errands for her. I'd go down to the post office and get the mail, or I would do things like that.
ROSEBERRY: Were there other kids or you were-?
PULLEY: Well, I had brothers and sisters, so I mean I was the oldest of four. But generally at that point-my brother was four years younger, so he may have been around. I don't remember his going; I just remember playing with the nurses and the, you know, the maids. But Duke was so much smaller then. You knew everybody. I mean, there weren't that many. You could sort of name them all. And I can't think of any other females, though. I'm sure there were, but I don't remember any other female doctors.
ROSEBERRY: Did you know, uh-I think maybe Dr. [Mary] Poston, was she-and Dr. Bernheim, Mary Bernheim?
PULLEY: I know the name, but I don't remember what department she was in.
ROSEBERRY: Biology or Biochemistry or something like that. So probably not a lot of interaction.
PULLEY: I mean, because of doctors socialized-I mean, for example, Daddy had a poker club, and they all played poker once a month, but that was all men. But I don't remember Mother socializing like that. I mean, she didn't do any volunteer work until after she retired for the third time. She'd always either had a secretary or she'd had a maid at home with us. And mother couldn't stand to be by herself. She had to have people around her. And so when she went to The Forest at Duke, we had a companion for her, because she was so used to having a secretary or Celestine (Cozart, maid-raised us) or somebody. And The Forest didn't like it, but we finally said, Well she's her secretary; she's writing her memoirs. (laughs) What else could she do? (laughs)
ROSEBERRY: Well, tell me about when you were playing on those wards with the maids and Carl and-
PULLEY: I just remember being down-basically down in the basement. Mother's room was on the, um-well, it overlooked the Gardens, the Duke Gardens where the-it used to be the ambulance entrance was there, and they've changed it now. But it was in the-on the back side. And you went down, and I think that was the ground floor maybe. In other words, the post office as I recall was down in the basement at the other end. I just remember, you know, there were certain places that we could go, and I would push the wheelchairs and-.
ROSEBERRY: So would you help with the work some or-?
PULLEY: I doubt very seriously if I did that. (laughs) But Mother always had-it seems like there always a box of toys or something there for the kids to play with. I know one summer I worked over there as an assistant, and I helped when they gave the skin tests. And I worked as a-oh, for the Women's Auxiliary another summer. But that was a long time ago. We really didn't-we knew all the doctors, and, um, for example, Dr. [Wilburt] Davison would always have-the group would go out to Turnage's for barbeque and Brunswick stew and you know; I mean, you knew everybody through that. And I think that must have been all the different heads of the departments and their families then, because I remember the Andersons were always there. And he would have been ophthalmology. And I remember that, you know, the other-the Reeves and all the other different sort of heads of the departments, their families would be there. Then I don't know how often they did that. I just remember going a good deal, because I like Brunswick stew. (laughs)
ROSEBERRY: Well, it does sound like a little bit of an unusual circumstance for a woman to bring her kids to work. It sounds like the other doctors would have maybe their wives to take care of the kids, so your mom had to compromise a little bit-
ROSEBERRY: -or make a different arrangement.
ROSEBERRY: That's interesting.
PULLEY: And I'm sure there were a lot of others, but it never seemed to be-I mean, for example, we always had a maid-the one that-my nickname, my name-my nickname came from Mary (Cozart, Celestine's mother, raised us), who was our maid, and she couldn't remember my name and called me child, so I've been called Chi or Chi-Chi all my life. And so if Mother had to go out of town, then she would have somebody come and stay at the house with us. A lot of times it would be some of the residents. (coughing). Sister Gilmore (Maryknoll nun, taught in Korea for fifty years, did her residency with Mother) used to stay with us a lot, and she was Eileen Simmons, and then she became a Maryknoll nun, and she was probably in the class of the fifties, something like that. And there were different others. Once otherwise, she'd get-one of the secretaries would come and stay with us. Totsy O'Shea (secretary) used to stay with us. There were a variety of them, because, you know, she needed somebody at the house and particularly if she and Daddy were going to meetings together. And then during-later on there was a couple that-I mean, we had somebody that lived in. And um-Charlie did the cooking and Mary (Charlie and Mary, a couple who worked for Mother and lived in) did the cleaning, took care of us. And he also drove us. And this was back when I was probably in junior high school, before I had a driver's license. And so my-my youngest sister's eight years younger than I am so-you know, there was a pretty good spread there. I don't know what else-
ROSEBERRY: Do you remember, um, Margaret Sherwood? Mildred Sherwood? Is it Mildred Sherwood? Miss Sherwood.
PULLEY: Miss Sherwood the-yes, the nurse.
ROSEBERRY: Tell me a little bit about her. What do you remember about her?
PULLEY: I just remember she was always so dear and so starched. I mean, she was just-but she always had a smile, and it seems like she always gave us a piece of candy. And I can't remember who the other nurse was, Miss-. That's the other one I've been trying to remember her name. But um, I know you know about the train. You've seen the picture of the-
ROSEBERRY: Tell me more.
PULLEY: The train that's on the wall, the painting. It's on the-I guess-they've moved it. It used to be on Howland-on the wall at Howland. And they've-when they've done this new reconstruction or remodeling or what-I know it's up there now, but there's a train and Carl is on there; he's he caboose. Mother is the woman on there. Dean Davison's on there. There's a whole picture of the different doctors. Dr. [Angus] McBryde is on there. But-
ROSEBERRY: Which one was your mother? What was she-?
PULLEY: She was-she's the only female on the train.
ROSEBERRY: Was she-was she doing-I mean, was she in the back? I can't remember what she was doing on the-.
PULLEY: I think she's just sort of-
ROSEBERRY: Just kind of waving out-
PULLEY: -yes, waving, uh-huh. I can't remember.
PULLEY: The-at one point we had the original sketches, and then I think Mother gave them to uh-oh, what's her name-Abernathy-Rosalind Abernathy (trained at Duke), I think is the one who has some of the original sketches now. At least I haven't found them. Because I was going to put them up in my grandchild's room, and Mom said no. (laughs) But no, I don't, um-it was pretty separate. Most of my memories of mother are, you know, not so much the hospital, but there are other places, like fishing or picking crabs or when she was working in the garden or doing other things like that.
ROSEBERRY: Do you know how she was treated there, if she was treated any differently? I mean, you mentioned the pay.
PULLEY: Oh, I'm sure she was. Because it was a male-I mean, most of the doctors were pretty much male chauvinists. They all had pretty big egos, I think. But I think they all liked her, and they respected her. And the people that she trained certainly did. I'm sure she had to fight a little bit harder to get what she wanted, but I suspect she did it in a very ladylike manner and that they probably didn't realize that she was manipulating them; because she was very good at that. But I don't know that there was any-I do remember when she was really upset when there was, um-a resident came from New York. And his wife had been a highly trained teacher in New York. And for some reason-I think it was because of her religion-she could not get a job teaching in North Carolina in the public school system. So mother went to Mary Semans, and they went to Miss Biddle and got the Duke school started for the children that were in the hospital.
ROSEBERRY: What? Tell me more about that.
PULLEY: For the teaching in-for the children that were hospitalized, then she started teaching the kids that were in hospital so that they wouldn't be so far behind when they got out. But that came from a grant, I believe, from Mrs. Biddle. But I know that mother talked to Mary about that. And um, I think it was Mother's idea. I'd heard someplace-and this could be wrong-that she was one that suggested that Miss Biddle make the donation for the garden. But Mary would know about that. Mother and Daddy introduced them, the Semanses, so that was something that they always had a good, very close relationship.
ROSEBERRY: So then you all socialize as families together?
PULLEY: Yes. My younger sisters did. They did a lot more overnights and staying there, because I was a little bit older. So Mary's I think-young Mary is I think maybe four years younger than I am, so I mean, there was enough age difference so we didn't really socialize that much, but my sisters did, so-. But Mom and Dad didn't do a whole lot of socializing. I mean, they did it more medical or-my father was a big hunter and fisherman, and so they went out-later on they went out of town almost every weekend when, you know, when we were older. They went down to the coast. But as far as-
They didn't-they didn't do a lot of party scene, that type of thing.
ROSEBERRY: Was there a party scene to be had?
PULLEY: I don't know; I doubt it. I don't think so, then, because I think they were all pretty busy. I know that they did a fair amount of traveling, but it was all medically related; I mean, for meetings and things of that sort.
ROSEBERRY: Well, I wanted to ask um-if-I wanted to ask about your mom being a division chief and if there was any, um, anything that you-that she said about that or that you know about.
PULLEY: (laughing) No.
ROSEBERRY: That's fine. That's fine if not.
PULLEY: I remember when she got an award, the Bret Ratner award. But I honestly don't remember what it was for. (Roseberry laughs) There's another award here that I don't quite know what that was. I think this may have just been-
ROSEBERRY: So was it-?
PULLEY: No, it never-certainly didn't ever hear anything from Daddy about it, but my father was a very soft-spoken man, and he never would have said, Oh, your mother did something that I didn't do. I have no earthly idea what this is.
PULLEY: It's one of the other many things that I found.
ROSEBERRY: (laughs). It's from Portugal, and it's a scroll from Portugal, and it looks like it's in Portuguese (laughs) and it's to-it's a certificate to Susan Coons Dees. And I don't know-
(both speaking at once)
ROSEBERRY: -what it says but there's something-the president of something.
PULLEY: And I don't know whether she gave a speech or-
ROSEBERRY: Cabo da Roca-
PULLEY: No earthly idea.
ROSEBERRY: Something in Portuguese.
PULLEY: No, but I mean, they-I mean here-
ROSEBERRY: Oh, it looks like this is just certifying that she stopped at this place.
PULLEY: Oh (laughs).
ROSEBERRY: So "where the land ends and the sea begins."
PULLEY: Oh, okay (laughs).
ROSEBERRY: Oops. Here's-
PULLEY: Now, I don't know where they were go-. Okay, this-I think this is the necklace I was telling you about that she has on in this picture.
ROSEBERRY: Oh sure; sure.
PULLEY: (laughs) I think that's it.
ROSEBERRY: That's a neat picture; picture of both of your parents-
ROSEBERRY: -a later picture.
PULLEY: That's down at the coast, uh-huh. But I mean, you know, they were-
ROSEBERRY: Well you had-did she, um-did she have a private practice outside of Duke or did she-
PULLEY: Um-um, no. No, she always was at Duke. (coughs)
ROSEBERRY: You had mentioned that she was writing a column.
PULLEY: Yes, and I don't know anything about the column except that, um, what I've found here from Reflections from the uh-is it academy-North Carolina Academy? And I don't know how long she'd written them. But there were a couple of them. And I think one-I think this particular one-she was very good about keeping copies of everything. (Roseberry laughs)
PULLEY: But this is referencing-it was right after Christmas.
ROSEBERRY: So she wrote a letter-she wrote an article about gifts-about people giving-patients giving gifts and that being the good old days when patients would give gifts. And a photograph-
PULLEY: This-all right, this is a photograph of-in Florida. And this is Eileen Simmons. Um-(sighs). Oh, I can't remember all of these people, but I know that there was-and that's Mother there. There was a meeting down there in Florida, and it would have been on my twelfth birth, January the nineteenth. And they rang the bells. And I thought it was for my birthday; and it wasn't, it was for Robert E. Lee. (laughs) But I don't remember; this would have been back in the fifties but um-and I don't know what meeting that was. But I mean, there were a lot of times if she went to-. (pause; sound of papers rustling) I was just-. I don't see any others.
ROSEBERRY: Do you remember Dr. [Rebecca] Buckley at all?
PULLEY: Oh yes, um-hmm.
ROSEBERRY: Can you tell me a little bit about her?
PULLEY: Well, I know one story was when I think Becky had never flown before, and she and mother went to New York to a meeting. And I think mother gave her a couple martinis. (laughs) But also while they were up there, they went shoe shopping. And evidently they both-their feet were both so swollen from all the flying and everything that (laughs) their feet hurt after all the-they bought all sorts of new shoes. But Becky is an absolute dear, so um she's, um, a very special person. But no I have lots of good-I mean, Becky's another one. She certainly followed after Mom in many ways, what with having four children and a husband that's a doctor, equally successful. There are quite a few women that followed in her footsteps.
ROSEBERRY: Do you know any others?
PULLEY: Oh, gosh; I mean, there are a lot of them. I don't know them that well, because I was gone for a long time and then I had my own life so-believe it or not. (laughter)
ROSEBERRY: Well, I wanted to ask-you had mentioned that your mom retired three times?
ROSEBERRY: Tell me a little about that.
PULLEY: I think she had to retire when she was sixty-five. I think that was right. Well, then she moved over to Baker House, and the next time she retired, she was seventy-five. And then I think she finally retired when she was eighty. (Roseberry chuckles) But um, I know that she had to give up her office one point there, and I think that was when she was-I don't remember the dates so much, but I just remember that-I mean, she wasn't ready to retire when they thought she should because of her age and so they sort of moved her around a little bit. But I think they did that to everybody. I assume they still are. (laughs)
ROSEBERRY: Yes, I think so. Let me see if I have any other questions.
PULLEY: She had a very good relationship with Bailey Webb-Dr. Webb, who was a local pediatrician, and, um, then Bailey was a wonderful woman. She was short, she wore her hair in braids wrapped around her head, and she never married. And she used to always have Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner with us. She would come because she, uh- . And she was always on call, so she would come to our house and, uh-I mean, as far back as I can remember she was always part of-she was always there for Christmas. And when I was a little girl and then when my kids were coming along, she gave them their first flashlights. And when she retired years later, she gave me my card. She used to keep her notes from patients on index cards. And I'd forgotten when she first saw me but she described me as a obese little girl. (laughing) So I never forgave her for calling me obese. (laughs) But um, Bailey was-Bailey and mother used to travel to a lot of the meetings together and they would room together.
ROSEBERRY: Did you go to those meetings?
PULLEY: Oh, once in a while I went. I went more when I was sort of in my early teens probably. And I think she took the girl-I know she took the girls-my sisters-to some of them. And she's took some of my children to some of them. I don't remember whether she ever took my brother or not. I know that she took my brother to Europe once, but um-. And another person that she had a very close relationship with was Barbara Evans (they went to Hopkins together and returned to England), who is a doctor in England, in London. And they had trained together at Hopkins. And Barbara was also married to a doctor. Her husband was a physician to the queen, and he was like third down. So if he-when the queen needed a pediatrician then she called Dr. Philip Evans (He was the third pediatrician to the Queen). And I think Barbara was in hematology, I think that was her field. But she and mother kept lots of correspondence back and forth over the years. To the point that when during the war they thought her children-that Barbara's children were going to come, they were going to send them to the states, and so Mother and Daddy added on an addition to the house so that they could take care of four more kids. But they didn't come, but any rate-. But they were very close friends forever.
ROSEBERRY: Well, what would you say was your mom's impact on medicine?
PULLEY: I think the fact that she trained so many different doctors to be good, caring physicians. I mean, just the ones that she's trained-I mean, men and women-have done an awful lot of remarkable things. I mean, Hugh Sampson (worked with peanut allergies), Wesley Burks (at Duke), Becky Buckley, Eileen Simmons (all trained under mother and became good friends), who was a Maryknoll sister who spent, I think, fifty years in Korea helping in the orphanages over there. You know, just many, many different ones that she kept up with and they all came back. Ben Johnson (good friend of Mother's), who is down in Florida. Just-I mean, when you look at the number of people that came back for her symposium over the years. I mean, people that came because of her, just out of respect for her, then I think that was it. And I know that when she took a year sabbatical and went to take a course in chemistry, and at that point in her life she was getting arthritis in her hands and she just had the worst time with the Bunsen burner. But also she decided (laughs) to remodel the kitchen that same year, and she put in all stainless steel countertops in the kitchen, and nobody else had ever heard of stainless steel countertops in the kitchen and this was back in the-oh gosh, sixties when she did that (laughs). I don't know if that answered (laughs) your question.
ROSEBERRY: Well, what else-medicine or not-should we know about her, you know? People looking back on her life, what should we-what's important to remember?
PULLEY: Oh, gosh. I don't know. My kids all-the kids and even the grandchildren. My eight-year-old granddaughter just wrote a paper about her for her class, and she was three when mother died. They called her grampy. And it was-I guess one of the things mother sort of instilled in all of us was to try and always do your best. And um, she just made a major impact. And people loved her. I mean, Mama was just down to earth. I mean, down on the coast she would pick out-the guys loved her because she would sit there and pick out crabmeat-fresh crabmeat-for hours and then pass the bowl over to them. She would paddle them fishing. She taught lots of them how to fly-fish and how to tie a fly. She was a wonderful cook. The worst thing is-usually the Fourth of July weekend was hot as the blazes, and she would decide that she had to can tomatoes or something, and so I think that was a way of her working her frustrations out because there were so many of us around that she probably had to (laughs) do something like that. But (inhales) gosh, that kitchen would get hot (laughs). The uh-I don't know, there's just so many things that people to this day will say, Oh I wish Grampy could see that or I wish Mama could do that or-I mean, we all miss her. Um-I don't know that she ever met a stranger. I don't know what else to tell you about her. (laughs)
ROSEBERRY: Well, also I didn't want to neglect asking you a little bit about your dad, too. I know that he was important at Duke and I just wanted to ask if you-you mentioned that he was soft spoken.
PULLEY: He was very soft spoken. He was very shy. I think he had a wonderful bedside manner. I mean, people loved him. He was s a very gentle man. We called him Bwana, which meant the great white hunter. He went to Africa in the sixties on a safari, and that was the highlight of his life. And he came back-he always wanted to go back again, not on a hunting safari but on a photographic one. And he never did go back the second time, but, oh, that was literally the highlight of his life. And there again he was- I remember when Daddy discovered the cure for um-oh, gosh, I don't know enough about medicine. (sighs) I can't remember the term. But any rate, what it was, we were sitting at the dining room table and we were having Jell-O, and it was cherry or strawberry Jell-O with fruit cocktail in it, and he looked at it and he said, "That's it." And he went-got up from the table. He left, he went to the hospital, and what he did with it was to-evidently using that principle of Jell-O to get the different parts of stones when they were passing. I can't think of the term of it, but that's how that came about. Um- coagulate-I don't know. Something or other. Um, they were just very different in their-but I've been told my many, many people that what a wonderful bedside manner Daddy had, not only with the patients but with the families. And I think he would have, because he was very patient. He would sit and listen. He didn't always agree with you but um-. And I think there were several other things that-I mean, I know that he was responsible for part of the cure of gonorrhea way back before the second world war, during the second world war. And um, I think he was in a profession that-I mean, both of them actually-I mean, that people were in so much pain when they came to see him that I mean, they were greatly relieved, and people were so stressed when they brought their children to see Mom that they were so grateful for taking care of the children so-. But they were very well matched. They complemented each other. Daddy kept Mama sort of under control, and Mama did beautifully with Daddy, so-. (laughs)
ROSEBERRY: Was there anything that I should have asked you today that I didn't ask?
PULLEY: No. I don't know. Not that-you know-. Because there again I don't know exactly what all y'all are trying to-. There's so many people that know so much more about her medical part than I do, because I wasn't-. That wasn't part of our everyday life. I can tell you about when we went on the cruise down the Mississippi, and she was the one that held the alligator, I mean, you know, things like that.
ROSEBERRY: So was she pretty-I mean, was she kind of a go-getter type?
PULLEY: Well, she was always willing to participate. I mean, if it was playing bridge or playing a card game or whatever. I mean, she was always part of it. I mean, always, up until two weeks- Well, I guess two weeks before she died we had gone down to the coast down to Belhaven. And she didn't like the way I was cleaning the house, so she was telling me how to do it. But um-and so we're-. (laughs) And things didn't change. And I know that she had a hard time getting used to living over at The Forest, but it was good for her, because she had never been forced to get out and mingle with, you know, and socialize with people. I mean, it'd always-she'd always been busy. She'd always had a secretary or she'd had meetings or clients or patients. And she had never done the things like playing bridge or going to teas and coffees and things like that or doing volunteer work that so many women had done. So she had to learn how to do all of that, which was-. Because, for example, she used to want me to come over and eat dinner with her, and I refused to go over and have dinner with her at night. I'd go by and have-see her at lunchtime or- I mean, I'd see her almost every day, but I would not go over and eat dinner with her because I felt like she had to reach out and get her own group, and so she finally did. She started-not only did she start inviting people over for a drink before dinner and then they'd go up or she-on Sundays when they didn't serve an evening meal, she would have people over to the apartment. So I mean, she just was, just part of life, she enjoyed it. And I think she got a lot of that from my grandfather; he was a sugar beet expert with the Department of Agriculture. And they went-she went back with him and my aunt to go back to Turkey to see the sugar beets that he had planted fifty years before. He did a follow-up study on them. So um-.
ROSEBERRY: Do you know how they did?
PULLEY: Oh, they did great (laughs). I don't know of anything else.
ROSEBERRY: Well, that's wonderful; I appreciate it.
PULLEY: But there's so many people that still- that know so much more about her medical part-and Becky Buckley in particular.
ROSEBERRY: Okay. Well, I'll be sure and see if I can talk to her. Thank you so much.
PULLEY: You're so welcome.