Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Interview on experiences in World War II

Item Description Bookbag Share




INTERVIEWEE: Arnold ``Woody'' Arwood


DATE: December 29, 2006

LOCATION: Sterling, Kansas (Sterling Presbyterian Manor)

*Several Sterling Presbyterian Manor staff members are in and out of Mr. Arwood's room during the interview.

ARWOOD: Okay then. Okay [talking to staff member].

POE: This is Marian Poe, interviewer.

ARWOOD: You sure did help me fill out that card, didn't you? [talking to staff member].

POE: And I'm here at the residence of… your name?

ARWOOD: Arnold Arwood.

POE: Arnold Arwood. Here in Sterling, Kansas. Today is December the 29th, 2006.

ARWOOD: Now we're all set.

POE: Now you talk.

ARWOOD: Now I talk.

POE: Now you talk. When were you born?

ARWOOD: I was born September 10, 1916.

POE: And where were you born?

ARWOOD: In Lakin, Kansas.

POE: Lakin, where's that?

ARWOOD: L-A-K-I-N. Between Dodge City and Garden City. You know were they're at?

POE: Yeah. And tell me did…

ARWOOD: Please come a little closer to talk…

POE: Okay.

ARWOOD: …because I've got a bad - one ear don't ear and the other's bad.

POE: Okay. Am I tell me I'm not in the picture.


POE: Okay. Good. Okay, did you have brothers and sisters? Brothers and sisters, did you have some?

ARWOOD: Five sisters, two brothers.

POE: Oh…

ARWOOD: Now my brother, older than I am, just older, had a twin that - dead at birth.

POE: Oh.

ARWOOD: There's was twins after me, dead at birth. So I'm number nine.

POE: Wow.

ARWOOD: Back in those days that was a small family. Today, huh uh.

POE: What did your parents do? What did your father do?

ARWOOD: He was a paperhanger and painter.

POE: Okay. And when did you go into service?


POE: When?

ARWOOD: Now that I can't tell you.

POE: Okay.

ARWOOD: I'm no good on dates. Just my birthday is the only day that I [chuckling]… But it was probably two years after the war started…

POE: Okay.

ARWOOD: …that I found out that they'd pay my wife enough, for me being in the service and all, that she'd have a good living. And I had two children when I went in. But I volunteered because I hated the Japs.

POE: Okay.

ARWOOD: And I'm very glad whenever I knocked one down.

POE: What service, what branch of service were you in?

ARWOOD: In the Navy.

POE: Do you remember what ship you were on?

ARWOOD: Now, I was on a number of `em…

POE: Oh, okay.

ARWOOD: …and I remember none of them.

POE: Okay.

ARWOOD: But I was in the convoy that took MacArthur back to the Philippines. I was on a troop carrying ship that time. We had 500 troops in there and when we got into Lady, they told us to get them troops away from there. They didn't want them killed out there. So we went about 25 miles to a little island. And then we came back overnight and did you ever see a battlewagon?

POE: Uh uh.

ARWOOD: Now the Missouri, I don't see how they floated all that iron on the water. But that is a monstrous thing. And it has twelve or thirteen guns on one side, cannons you might say. And the same on the other side. Well, they can fire one at a time because if they fire all of `em, oh boy, the ship goes sideways. And they only fire once and let it rest because the barrel gets so hot if they fired it again it would fold up. And, well, when we got back the next morning they had really littered the Japs up there. I mean, everything was torn to pieces. That Missouri just had the firing power and they done the work. Well, they'd send a helicopter up and they'd tell `em where there shells are hitting. And they can change it down on the ship, boom, just like that. And that helicopter would tell `em where and they could, right on it. And they'd gut it. It's something that this country's - the things that they've made. Now, from the time I was born till now, boy, it's marvelous. We didn't have anything when I was a kid [chuckling]. But now look at what all you have, everything. And I'm glad of it. It's a wonderful thing. The only thing I don't like about this country right now is the President. Now you put that in if you want to or if you want put it out. But I think he's a scoundrel.

POE: Well, he won't be around too much longer.

ARWOOD: Well, no, he can't be. There's only Franklin D. was the only one that got to go more than twice.

POE: Yeah.

ARWOOD: And he earned it. He'd done a very good job when he was in but whether he needed to go the four terms, I don't know. But he was a great man. I'm a Democrat, you can tell that. But I've probably voted about as many Republicans as I have Democrat. Cause I like to pick the man that I think is best for the job. And I think that's what everybody should do. They shouldn't just vote one ticket.

POE: I agree.

ARWOOD: We'd have a better country if they done that. Now, I want to see Hilary win [chuckling]. Not the people I talk to, they don't think so. But I would like to see a woman in there as President. I know she's perfectly qualified, but she has a husband that could give her pointers if she needed something. But I don't think she would need any help. But he was a great president, but he wasn't a good fellow. All this is going on here, I hope he don't hear it [laughing].

POE: [Laughing] So while you were in service - okay, where did you, okay you went to training in the United States when you joined the Navy?

ARWOOD: Yeah. I went to Fairgate, Idaho.

POE: Okay. And then…

ARWOOD: And that's boot camp.

POE: Uh hum. And then were did you go?

ARWOOD: Then we, I was shipped to a camp down by San Francisco. I can't remember the name of it. But I could either go home, pay my way and then they would pay me back when I got back over to this camp. So I paid my way home and stayed there for a week and then went back. And they thought I was a big liar and they wouldn't pay me, so I didn't argue with `em.

POE: And then you shipped out and then you went to…?

ARWOOD: Yes, I shipped out. We went out on a ship that had made it's maiden run and everything was fine. We was on it and we got about half way to where we were going and all the engines went dead. And that was in the Pacific, which is the torpedo alley. I mean, oh you know, the submarines.

POE: Uh hum.

ARWOOD: And we sat there, it's a good thing it was at night, we sat there for about three or four hours and they finally got the motors started again and then we went on. We went to a base in New Guinea. And I had, when I was in boot camp, why, I took a test and they said that I could take any of the courses that they give, that my test was that good. And they said, ``Even if you want to be an Officer, you can have Officer training.'' I said, ``I'm a Kansas boy. I've lived on guns. I want to be a gunners mate.'' And they said, ``Fine, you can do it.'' So from boot camp I went to Seattle for four months training on the guns. And we were on a building that was right on a highway there and I'd train that gun on a car going along that highway and follow him. [Chuckling] Boy, if they knew they had a gun following them. Course there wasn't any shells in it, but… Then when we, we would practice with artificial shells and we come up with forty-some a minute, which they said was a pretty good average. But when you're in an actual battle you don't shoot forty-some a minute on any gun cause they'd get too hot. Well, when going up to Lady, it was in the convoy, taking MacArthur back, he was on the Missouri. I know he was there because the Missouri took him. And that Tokyo Rose come in one day and told us where we were at and where we were gonna be met by planes. And we're glad she done it, cause we all were ready when that day came [chuckling]. We had our guns lined and ready to go. And fifteen planes come in and three left. Now, the worst thing I ever saw, this ship just off to the right of us, one of the Japs now, they tell you that they dive bomb - believe `em, they do. That man turned and he come right down on the forward gun and, course, his gasoline went over everything, caught `em all on fire and burned `em and… terrible. A destroyer come along one side and a destroyer escort got on the other side and they had water guns that were powerful and they blew the flames right on off. Bodies and everything went right on off with `em, but… But that was an awful site to see; that plane coming down. He went right on that forward gun too. And they were staying right in there and firing. Well, at the - before they got away I looked and here come one of `em down below where we couldn't fire. I didn't want to fire because that'd be firing toward the ship right beside me. But the fellow on the gun behind the bridge there, he had got a good shot. And about, oh, about 50-75 yards out, why, I saw a little pilot go like that and down he went. And if it hadn't been for that, there'd been 500 Army people badly hurt. Cause they'd put a torpedo in there. So, that was a good thing. But I wasn't thinking about that. I didn't fire at him because I was thinking about the people on the ship beside me. Which I suppose was the wrong thing to do in wartime. You take what you can get. But I knocked one of the planes down. And our ship was credited with three of `em. So we didn't do too bad, for being a troop transport. The service that I really enjoyed the most was on a destroyer, a submarine destroyer. We'd get a call that there was a submarine in a certain place and we'd beat it there. And, course, we had our department that'd take care of it. They'd get a location on `em, the depth and everything, and we'd fix two shells. One for the depth that they give us and one for 20 foot lower than that. Then we'd kick `em off and BOOM, out of there we'd go - the reason, if we didn't get that submarine he could float up and we'd be gone. So we had orders to get away to get away just as soon as we dropped the shells. And I enjoyed that and I was on that about a year. And, like I say, I don't remember names, dates or anything. So I can't give you the name of any ship. [Chuckling] But the thing I really wanted you to know is after I found out how my wife was - why, that was a bad thing; we got a divorce. Well, I met a nice woman, a wonderful women. And during the course of courtship, why, she said, ``I was in the Navy.'' I said, ``You were?'' ``Yeah,'' she said, ``but I was in the, welding on ships in the Navy.'' I said, ``Now, wait a minute!'' She said, ``I was!'' I said, ``Well, maybe I rode on one that…'' They said that whenever these people welded on the ships, they'd break up. But I never had one break up [chuckling]. But she welded on ships during the war. And, oh, she was a wonderful woman! And I… she fell and hurt her back. She just couldn't travel; it hurt. She could go a small distance, like going to church and that. But I followed my vocation and we were down in Texas and I wanted to see her and see the kids. They were, most of `em round Kansas here. So she said, ``Well, you go ahead.'' She said, ``I don't want to make that distance.'' Cause it was about 900 miles. And so I came up. And I stayed longer than I figured [chuckling], getting around to see all the kids. And my daughter thought, I wasn't feeling well one day, and my daughter thought that I ought to see her doctor. So she took me to the doctor that she went to. And he asked me if I could dress myself - I was 87. I said, ``I've done it for 80-some years.'' He said, ``How `bout your shirt?'' I said, ``Well I can probably beat you putting your shirt on.'' And he done a few more things and he turned to me and said, ``You're going into a nursing home.'' I said, ``You can go to, you know where.'' But he didn't want to go there, so he didn't [chuckling]. But anyhow, they came and got me and I just raved all the time. I was a bad boy. And after I was there about 10 days - I was 6 foot when I went in and weighed 160 pounds - after about 10 days, they weighed me and measured me. I was five foot seven and weighted 195 pounds. Now, when I told the doctor he didn't believe it. He said, ``People don't do that.'' Well, I hear on TV where they're planning a test now to see why some people do and others don't. And why those that do, why they do it. [Chuckling] So I'll be glad when they find out so I'll know. But I guess when you go, you pack in, why, that meat gets heavier. The only thing I can figure, because I went from 160 to 195. There's 35 pounds of weight in a week's time. [A buzzer starts going off in the background] But anyhow… That doctor, he didn't believe it. I don't know, if he'd just gone through these records he'd see that I was 6 foot when I went to see him. And when I went back the next time, why, I was 5'7'' he would know that something happened.

POE: There's a buzzer going. I'm going to turn the camera off for just a moment.

ARWOOD: That's the fire alarm.

POE: Oh.

ARWOOD: But it's probably just a test.

POE: Oh.

ARWOOD: You might open the… [the alarm stops] No, they've quit now.

POE: They've quit now. Okay.

ARWOOD: But they're supposed to come and if I go out they take that little fellow up there and put it on the outside.

POE: Oh, okay.

ARWOOD: So if there is an actual fire, fireman come through, they see it. They won't come in to see if there's anybody in here then. But if it isn't out there, they'll come in, get me and get me out. That's a very good thing there.

POE: Uh hum. So let's go back to, you were in the service and then you got out of service. When you got out of service…

ARWOOD: I was in St. Louis. We were supposed to come into San Diego. But…

[There is a knock on the door]

STAFF MEMBER: We're having a fire drill, so I'm just checking in on you, okay? So just… we'll open up your door and let you know when it's over.

POE: Thank you.

ARWOOD: When we were coming in, why, they'd radioed the Captain and said that San Diego was full, to go north to Seattle. So we - we had planned to go by the Hawaiian Islands and the Captain had said he'd let us have liberty for a day there. But that was cancelled, so we turned and went north. And that bay, coming into San Francisco, inland, that's the roughest water I was on in all the time I was in the Navy.

POE: You're kidding?!

ARWOOD: They still allowed me to be topside. Why, water'd be up over here. And then you'd go down and water'd be up above you over here. And that ship just, boom, boom, boom. [Chuckling] That's the roughest water in the three years that I was in the Navy that I was ever in. And the Pacific was supposed to be a rough body of water.

POE: Yeah.

ARWOOD: But I didn't know it, I was in the Navy three years [chuckling]. I don't know when I entered, the date, and I don't know the date that I've got papers that show it, but… I don't pay attention to that. But I did go to, well, they was full at Seattle so they shipped us back to St. Louis. [Chuckling] And boy, riding in that troop train, it was just like this [motioning with hands]. Just like that ship was going. And you'd think that car was gonna turn over, but it'd always right back up. But it just rocked something awful. They evidently got those fixed to where they don't do that now [chuckling]. But anyhow, I spent, oh, a good time at the camp. Boy, they served good food there and I was there about a week. And you have to go through all the tests and see if you're mad at anybody. And I wasn't mad at nobody. I was just proud that I got to be in the service. I had - ear, being under those guns, it put it out. And got this one where it's hard to hear. And I think that the smoke from the guns started my eyes going bad. And then the work I was on didn't help `em any. So they're bad right now. I can barely see across the hall. But I see enough to get around. And people always said, ``Well, how much did you get from the Navy ford?'' I said, ``Listen, I was proud to be in that Navy. And I made just as much money as I did before. And I'm not asking them for one penny.'' I get my Social Security, which everybody does, but I did not ask for anything for injuries. And I think there's a lot of people that shouldn't. But there's a lot people, maybe, like me that should've but didn't. But I was proud to be there. [Chuckling] And I suppose if I could and they needed it again, I'd go right with `em. But oh, I forgot to tell you. My daughter come over, after I was being a bad boy for two weeks, and she said, ``Dad, your body's not making isoproprin and that's why that doctor sent you here.'' Well, I said, ``Why didn't he tell me instead of you?'' I've been down here insulting all these people and I had to go around apologizing to each and every one of `em. And I've been a good boy ever since then. And I'm very glad to be here because I need to be here. Now, they all play this lottery and all of `em say, ``Now, dad if we win it's your money. You can buy a nurse and just go wherever you want to and take that nurse with you'' [chuckling]. So, I'm looking forward. But, it'd be one in every so many million before anyone wins, doesn't it…

POE: Yeah, you're insulin dependent, right? You have insulin shots?

ARWOOD: Yes. I get one before each meal and one at bedtime. Now, every once in a while, well, you know you have to have your finger checked.

POE: Yeah.

ARWOOD: They've got one now that you hold in your hand. But these nurses here, they, for some reason, they won't ask the doctor because, he would get `em one. But they still punch the fingers. But the doctor told `em, ``Well, quit getting on him cause he'll know whenever he feels bad. And he can tell ya and then you can check it.'' Well, one day I wasn't feeling too good and I said, ``Well, why don't you check my blood sugar?'' They did and it was over 500.

POE: Oh!

ARWOOD: So, my body evidently kicked in. And when they do that, I would think that they would hold up on the shot, but they're not sure what's causing that and they still give me the shot. Which didn't ever seem to affect me any. So, I know my body makes it sometimes but not enough for me to want to get out of here. You know normal on that blood sugar is between 94 and 114. [Chuckling] And that was 500, or I said 500. I think it was 300-and-something.

POE: [Laughing] That's still too high.

ARWOOD: Cause 500, why, now at 30 is bye-bye.

POE: [Chuckling] Uh huh.

ARWOOD: Well, I've been there twice, to 40. And I have a sister-in-law, a nurse in the hospital, and she was, she's telling me how people died with this. That they would just scream and holler and one thing and another. Well, when I got down to 40, I was happy. And the nurses was working on me to keep me to bring it back up. And I said, ``Please just let me die while I'm happy. So, if I don't die sometime later in a bad wreck or something.'' They said, ``We're not here to let you die, we're here to let you live.'' So I help `em now and I eat what I can to keep this blood sugar up.

POE: What kind of work did you do?

ARWOOD: I was, in construction work road and bridge. And one of the best. I learned to run every piece of equipment they use on the… dragline, scrappers, bulldozers, even the blades, oh, like maintaining the road. But I considered that I was just about as good as anybody and I received about as much pay as they ever paid. But that was something that hadn't been brought up. What did I make when I first started? Twenty-five cents an hour. [Chuckling] Not too many people believe that, but that 25 cents was probably like $15-$20 an hour now. I could buy a loaf of bread for a nickel, three pounds of hamburger for a quarter and everything else the same way. So…

[A staff member sticks her head in Mr. Arwood's door]

STAFF MEMBER: The drills over. Did you want this open or shut?

POE: Shut.


ARWOOD: So then that quarter wasn't all that bad. It was actually a pretty good wage. But I didn't stay there very long cause, well - I was good in school, in math. And it helped me in my road and bridge work. I could figure out things real easy. And I even helped make plans once in a while. These senators and governors get their names on the road and the bridge, but I had my name on the plans that made them [chuckling]. So that doesn't bother me a bit that they got their name on it. I know where I was. It takes everybody to make a good world. And I just wish everybody could to be like I try to be. And I think we'd have a wonderful world. Now just the other day I was reading where they shot a prime minister and killed him. Boy, that's terrible when they - people that are willing to get in and work in the government and then somebody will come along and shoot `em. Now, I'm this way - on Husane, they had his trial and the Judge says, ``Death by hanging.'' I'm not in favor of that. Cause that death by hanging, it breaks your neck, you choke to death, you're hanging there kicking and one thing or another. He'd rather go up by a firing squad and I think that they should let him. But they, he was so mean that they want death by hanging. And I think it's mean of them. It's a good thing that the state's got away from it. [Chuckling] There was a well, at one place we lived there was a mechanic that I'd go by his place and I'd stop in and talk to him. And this was down in Texas. And they hung people there for a while. When they built a jail they'd put a hanging chamber in there. He said that while he was a kid they had a fellow in that they were gonna hang. He said, ``Dad took me in. I wanted to see it.'' He said, ``I thought that fellow never was gonna get through talking.'' So, I wouldn't want to see it. No, that's a terrible death. I don't care how mean - I think you should have a death penalty, but not by hanging. I think this one they have now, where they inject it in, is probably about as easy a way as they ever dreamed up. [Chuckling] And I heard on TV that this, some fellow said he's too sick to get that. He'd been sentenced to have the injection and he wanted out of that. He said, ``I'm too sick to take that injection.'' I can't see that.

POE: Okay… do you, what was your highest rank? What rank were you?

ARWOOD: Oh, I was a Second Class Seaman. I could've gone on to, oh, First Class… well, had a uniform under the officers, but the top rank on the gunners mates - But when we went into the Philippines, for some reason, they left me - they were putting a deal in that they could run a small ship in on and they could raise it out of the water and work on the bottom where it'd been injured. And so they left me there to help on that. Well, after I got that done I got acquainted with a Lieutenant J.G. that was in transportation in the Army. And they were hauling stuff away from the ships and unloading `em and then loading others to go. I said, ``Hey! I was a truck driver when I was a young fellow. How `bout me working with you?'' Said, ``Well, I'll go see `em.'' So he went, met with the officers. They looked at him and said, ``Do you know what it cost to put him through school?'' Said, ``Just get on out of here.'' He come back and he said, ``No way!'' So I kept on just sitting around doing nothing. But about a month passed and they called him in and… he had asked for more help. They said, ``Well, this fellow that you wanted to get on to drive truck.'' Said, ``If he don't want to get advanced any, take him.'' So he come back to me and he said, ``Do you want to get advanced?'' I said, ``No, I'm happy right were I'm at.'' He said, ``Well then, you're a truck driver.'' [Chuckling] So I finished out the Navy over there, working as an Army truck driver. But, oh, I had a lot of good life in that Navy. We'd go into a port - now I'm gonna get nasty here we'd to into a port to get supplies and they always picked me to go in to get something. All those girls that worked those ammunition dumps and the grocery's and everything, boy, they were beautiful girls. But they'd try to get you to go back in to a room with `em, get your name, they'd get pregnant and then they'd get a trip to the United States. And I just had to tell `em, ``I've got a wife. You go on and do what you do. Let me have my stuff and leave.'' And that's the way that was. But I can understand why some of the young men would go. But, boy, they got a lot of people, a lot of good-looking women in the United States that way [chuckling]. And that was strictly why they were working there, was to get that. Now, that wasn't very nice to be on there, but if you can erase it, why, you do it.

POE: Well, I can't do that, but it's okay. Because you didn't say anything that most people don't know, so… I mean, people that were there, they all know that, so… Well, what else would you like to say?


POE: What else would you like to say about your Navy days?

ARWOOD: That I was very proud to be in it. It's a good place to be. Well, there's a difference between officers and men. The officers, they had better quarters and they had better food. [Chuckling] And in the Navy, every Wednesday morning I had beans for breakfast. That was their policy and who am I to complain? So I never complained about `em. I like beans. But, no, I just loved being in the Navy. And I'm glad I know that I knocked one of them down. And I fired at a lot of `em and I didn't see whether they went you know, they can get hit and go on for a ways. Well, when we were in that camp on the Philippines, why they, the natives come up one day and said there was a Japanese down close there, that he's built him a bunk bed and all. And so the Captain give a fellow a submachine gun and told him to take a crew and go down and get `em. Well, they got down there and he says, ordering him to come out with his hands up. No answer. Said he repeated it. No answer. So he just took the machinegun and went across the bunk and the body come falling out then. But they, when they come in now this is one thing I didn't like they had his feet around their, on their shoulders and dragging him, head on the ground. Now, they could've put him on a pole and tied his hands and his feet. They drug him, I don't know, it was about a mile. But when they got in there, the guy that had shot him took his boot and ground his teeth out, his gold teeth. Now, that he didn't need to do. So, I… there's things that people do that they don't need to do. But, I know that I felt bad. I still wouldn't buy anything from Japan, but to treat somebody that way, why, I just wouldn't do it. Now, he was dead but there's no need. They could've got those teeth out, that gold out, without doing that. But everything else I was real happy with it, the crews I had, they - everyone one of `em was good people. And whenever we were in trouble, I was a gunner's mate, so I got to stay on top and see what was going on [chuckling]. Just like when we went to the Philippines and there was 500 Army troops down there. They didn't allow them to come up out of that base and… [chuckling] I couldn't stand that. And there was one night that they served some bad food. Well, being on watch, I didn't eat at the table. They served that bad food and everybody that ate was sick and vomiting and, oh, it was terrible. [Chuckling] And when I got off duty, why, they'd fixed up some good food for me then. So I didn't get that. But it happens. And when the war was over I was still in the Philippines - when they'd load ships and bring `em up and put `em on land - the steaks, the carcasses and everything, and haul `em out and dump `em in the bay. Well, I can't see that, but - and I know that maybe they would spoil by the time they get `em someplace else, so… They really dumped a lot in the ocean. But…

POE: [Pointing at a picture in the room] Is that you?

ARWOOD: That's my uniform right there. And then that's my oldest daughter, the next, and the third. And then the two boys was after the war. And one of them was in the Marines and he served four years in Vietnam. And he has no feelings for the United States, because the way they done there. That was a very unpopular thing.

POE: [Pointing at another picture in the room] Now, this is you right here, right?

ARWOOD: That's me.

POE: And you're a very young Woody!


POE: A very young Woody.

ARWOOD: Well, no…

POE: You were what? 20…?

ARWOOD: I was close to thirty then.

POE: Were you?


POE: Young-looking.

ARWOOD: Well, I had two daughters. So you know that…

POE: That's true.

ARWOOD: I was married after I was 20, so I had to be 24 or 25, maybe, when I went in the Navy. And this was, well, about 24 maybe.

POE: I'm just going to focus up there on your picture here for just a moment. There we go. There you are. There's a picture of you and then there's a picture of your family. And then there's a pictures of some solders and some girls…

ARWOOD: That daughter next to me has bone cancer.

POE: Oh…

ARWOOD: But she has two wonderful doctors and they said, ``We'll keep you alive for ten years.'' But it's like serving a life sentence though when you know that in ten years maybe you're gone. But I tell her that they're finding so many cures on cancer that maybe they'll have the bone cancer by then. And she keeps in good spirits. Couldn't tell by looking at her that she had ever been sick a minute. But they take her blood out and treat it, that chemotherapy. Then they put it back and it doesn't make her as sick as it does when they treat it in.

POE: Hum…

ARWOOD: So, she's very lucky that she has those doctors. No, I guess that I didn't have any troubles. But I think my doctor, since he knew she had it and I had a brother die with it, that maybe I ought to be tested. So he sent me in to have my legs tested. And boy, they run over them [indicating his legs] and they poked me here and it went clear to my backbone. And, oh, we went two weeks and he made an appointment, he wanted to see me. Went in and he never said a word about my test. We got through and he said, ``Well, see ya in six months.'' I said, ``Now, wait a minute! I know that you ordered that test for me to take for bone cancer.'' He said, ``Oh yeah.'' Said, ``That doctor said you had beautiful legs.'' [Laughing] So, I knew then that I didn't have anything wrong with me.

POE: Well, I need your permission slip here.


POE: Now, you said you couldn't see across the hall. Can you see okay to read?

ARWOOD: I can't read.

POE: Okay. Then I'll read this to you.


POE: This is a release of information saying that it's okay for us to do this interview. And I'll need your signature right here. Okay?


POE: And then it says that this recording will go to the Rice County Historical Society, over in Lyons, the museum over there.


POE: And the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka.

ARWOOD: Now, they'll get a copy?

POE: They'll get a copy. And you can have a copy, too.

ARWOOD: Oh… I never did say it - I'm the last of the, that family of Arwood's.

POE: Are you?

ARWOOD: All my brothers and sisters are gone.

POE: Oh…

ARWOOD: So, I'm the…

POE: You're the last of the Arwood's?

ARWOOD: … the last of the Mohicans [chuckling].

POE: Then the Kansas State Historical Society will offer it to the Library of Congress, will offer a copy of it. But they can't guarantee that it will be accepted.


POE: Now, the Kansas State Historical Society might want to put this on their website. Do you, would you give your permission for them to do that?

ARWOOD: Now, I'm gonna be cremated…

POE: Okay.

ARWOOD: And I imagine my daughter will bury me, but maybe she'll keep me in the house for a while [chuckling]. Her husband has got, had five dogs and two of them have died and he's had them cremated. And he's got the bones or the remains in his cabinet there in the house. Now, that's how much he thinks of those animals.

POE: Oh…

ARWOOD: And… So, yes. If I'm buried someplace they can put that on there.

POE: Okay. And if a researcher wishes to use the information - if somebody wants to use the information from this, should they ask you first? Or can they just use it?

ARWOOD: I've said nothing that I wouldn't let…

POE: And if I want to get if we want to put something about you in the local newspapers, would that be okay? If I want to quote you?

ARWOOD: [Chuckling] Well, that would be embarrassing.

POE: Okay. You want not to?

ARWOOD: Not to.

POE: Okay, that's fine. Then if you would sign your name here.

ARWOOD: Is this it?

POE: No. Down here, where - see my finger?


POE: Okay. Right there below my finger.

ARWOOD: Well, is my finger on there?

POE: Yep. Okay. Okay, is there anything else you'd like to add?


POE: You…

ARWOOD: No, that's…[chuckling]. I think I've said about everything that ever happened.

POE: Well, I…

ARWOOD: I'm proud to be a citizen of this country. But I'm not proud of our President.

POE: [Chuckling] Okay.

ARWOOD: And you can say that. I just don't like the man.

POE: Okay, but we appreciate you allowing us to come here. Thank you very much for the interview.


POE: This is Marian Poe, interviewer, interviewing Woody Arwood. Here in Sterling, Kansas; December the 29th, 2006.

[Marian turns the digital camcorder off and the interview is concluded at this point]

Item Description

Copyright © 2007-2022 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.