LEE GRAHAM INTERVIEW - AUGUST 17th, 2010 - PART 1 - MVI_0630.mov

L: i started thinking about what has been prominent in my life since i was a little kid. i keep coming up with the same answer for everything - it has to do with how do things look. and uh for example my most important adjective is beautiful. i thought i might as well throw in what is my least - and that would be cool and i've never used that expression and everyone else has.

i'm guilty

i know.

that's perfect.

i think actually what it comes down to is talent.

what do yo mean by talent?

well i have no talent for athletics, but i do for drawing.

[phone goes off]

c: you do have a propensity for drawing.

that seems to be a talent. as far back as i can remember, people kept saying - oh you have so much talent. my uh modesty wouldn't allow me to dwell on that - except i learned that praise can become ah happiness. you would know.

yeah it kind of feeds you.

it does and uh there is no reason to be ashamed of praise if it's honest. so uh… so where do we go from there.

god, i love you. i miss you so much.

[fixes phone; turns off ringer]


talking about dinner: ribs. that suits me, as long as my fingers get out of the way.

yeah, i've eaten off two or three. its not as tasty you'd be surprised.

well, looks can fool you.

good advice for life - 100 words, no grammar: most important part of my life - my family, starting with my mother - my father was a wonderfull man. he uh had a great feeling for feelings of other people. as a matter of fact it was from him that i really was installed with an aim in my life. that is to treat people as you would like to be treated. we've heard that one before.

sometimes, i think they call it the golden rule.

anyway, i don't know where to go from here.

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PART 2 - MVI_0631.mov

so uh what is the greatest thing man can do?

this sounds like a question for miss america

well i mean we're having the swimsuit competition next, so you're ready for that right?

ready - uh well once again i would say working seriously toward creating some sort of peace throughout the world. chances are it will never happen. it hasn't in my lifetime. it hasn't in the thousands of years behind me, but you can't give up. you must keep trying.

that is beautiful. it is so precise and perfect. you hit the nail not he head.

[leslie comes in and talks about handwriting from sheet] - 1:30

what always makes you smile?

seeing my little seeds germinate happens to been an important one. and uh oh there are so many things in this life that are a reason to smile. it would be pretty sad if that weren't true. i uh am so lucky at this stage in my life to have the situation where leslie my daughter has come to live with me. every time i look at her it makes me believe that we were right in having a family - children especially, one like here. if i would have known they were going to be like her, we would have had many more.

what are your three favorite adjectives?

well uh i'm afraid to said because it might come out sounding like an adverb. i don't know, i cant really think of many favorites.

beautiful, you've got one.


beautiful takes the cake huh?

takes the cake


when did it occur to you that something decorative was important?[his question]

i couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 years old when the family decided to put tile in the bathroom. this is in a town where very few people didn't have a bathroom, they certainly didn't have any tile. when the job was finished, and i got my first glimpse of it i was very disappointed. the reason is the tile turned out to be that small style that is used in uh

high school?



no, uh drug stores. anyhow, i've since learned that was very childish but it did tell me that i was more interested in how the thing looked then how it was meant to be.

it was more architectural than agricultural.

how did this story come about?

in the same as my worrying about the tile in the bathroom, that i was always worried about how my garden was going to look. now necessarily how it was going to grow. i always had wooden or brick separating the tomatoes, the beans.

it had to look real nice.

going right back to how to do things look. same applied to how i dressed. the way the car looked. whether it needed a bath or not.

you can tell by the pink that. you have to look extra dapper.

anyways, no, the thought of how do things look is all wrapped up in the same package of talent. its embarrassing sometimes to have people saying oh what talent you have, but i'll live with a little embarrassment and be thankful for the praise.

it is always worth risking.

- i was going to add like you cole.

[cole goes on long rant]

have you ever met everett?

i have. he is a nice guy.

he is a typical ozarkian.

yeah the good kind.

i showed him a copy of the unicorn.

i was very curious to know what the reaction would be. he has some sense of humor. i never expected him to say that.

[cole goes on rant about how people enjoy unicorn and how cole is able to judge on that]

a favorite decade?

i'm trying to figure out. i wouldn't know what to base it on.

you had a lot of good ones?

right and some overlap. one decade to another. but uh i can't point to any one saying i would never want to live that again. maybe getting blown up in the segfreg/sigfriend [??? ww2?] line did not spoil my happiness with living.

what makes good parents?

[refer to written notes by leslie]

when you were a child what did you want to be?

an architect. even though i didn't know what an architect was. this was interesting though cole really in canton illinois they had a course in mechanical drawing. i don't thin they have that anymore. the instructor mr king was his name.and he was curious to know what my plans were after graduation. i said i am going to the university of illinois to enroll in the school of architecture. well they didn't have a school of architecture in canton high school but he set up a special drawing table for me. there was a stool and big paper and all that and just let me do whatever i wanted to.

[cole talks about similar experience and relation with trust. how it benefitted him.]

how did you make your marriage work?

the main ingredient is having complete respect for the feelings of your spouse. which is the truth. that is where a lot of marriages fall apart. there is no real understand between the two. selfishness interferes with a lot of marriages. so i think basically that is what it is - having complete respect for the feeling of your spouse.

[cole mentions notes on laughter]

true, and you gotta laugh.

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