Oral history interview with William F. Draper, 1977 May-1977 June

    This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and
    excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with William F. Draper, 1977 May-
    1977 June, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

    The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with William
    Draper on June 1, 3, 6, 24 & 28, 1977. The interview took place at his house on 160
    East 83rd Street in New York, NY, and was conducted by William McNaught for the
    Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Funding for the transcription of this
    interview provided by the Smithsoinian Institution's Women's Committee. The reader
    should bear in mind that he or she is reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written,


    WILLIAM MCNAUGHT: This is William McNaught talking to William Draper on June 1,
    1977 at Mr. Draper's house at 160 East 83rd Street in New York City. Mr. Draper, shall
    we begin the interview with your telling us when you were born and where, something
    about your childhood and growing up.
    WILLIAM DRAPER: Fine. Hello, Mr. McNaught. We have to have the formalities.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Yes.

    MR. DRAPER: Well, I was born in Hopedale, Massachusetts in 1912, December 24th, a
    Christmas baby or a Christmas Eve baby.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Christmas Eve.

    MR. DRAPER: And as a matter of fact I was a blue baby they said, that I had -- I don't
    know, I was -- I guess they always used to say William was a blue baby.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Huh.

    MR. DRAPER: But anyway, I grew up in Hopedale. My father was a manufacturer of
    textile machinery and we had a big house, as a matter of fact a tremendous house, a lot
    of servants. I hade five brothers and sisters and I was the next to the youngest. So when
    I grew up I had a younger brother Harry and an older sister Lilla and three older ones,
    George, and then Grace and Claire was the oldest, my oldest brother. We lived in this
    tremendous house and we were the Drapers in Hopedale. We were very well known, as
    the company was owned by the family. As a matter of fact --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Do you know the name?

    MR. DRAPER: Yes, it was called the Draper Corporation.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: In Hopedale?

    MR. DRAPER: In Hopedale. And father as a matter of fact was the head of the Hopedale
    Manufacturing Company too and then they all joined up. It was all -- I won't go into a
    family fight and this and that. But anyway when I was a little kid mother had an electric
    and we would drive over to Milford, Mass and go to church over there. When I was about
    three or four I wanted to dance. I danced naturally and I know -- and I was damn, I don't
    remember. I think I was three. At the Milford Golf Club they were having a quartet of
    people playing, I mean a little Chopin and Mozart, and I suddenly leapt out on the floor
    and danced around on my toes.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: At age three?

    MR. DRAPER: They said, "Where did William learn to dance?" I remember walking up
    and down -- we had moccasins on -- on my toes when I was a little child. When I was five
    I started playing the piano. I was just very artistic from the start. We went to a private
    school tutored by this lady, Mary C. Moore, and I never went to public school until I went
    off to [inaudible]. It was a very strange upbringing because I didn't know any of the other
    little kids in town. I only knew -- my best friends were the cook and the maid. It always
    sounds so pathetic, but it wasn't.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Except your brothers and sisters.

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah, the same, except my three year old -- my oldest brother and sister
    they went to public school.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: They went to public school.

    MR. DRAPER: And then they went on -- when I was around they were off at St. Mark's
    and Westover. I don't know, I just was not interested particularly in athletics, although I
    think I would have been a good athlete. I had scarlet fever when I was 12 or 13, which
    made me very near-sighted. My eyes got very near sighted. I couldn't play tennis very
    well. I couldn't see the ball. Then I was called four eyes and I was teased all through my
    childhood. I was really teased until I got to college, so it was a very unhappy childhood in
    a way. So I would go and practice the piano five hours, five or six hours a day.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: You played the piano the whole time?

    MR. DRAPER: Well, I started out -- we used to go to Sagamore Beach in the summer.
    When I was three or four I remember because we moved from Sagamore Beach when I
    was five years old to Hyannis Port and I remember the hotel very well in Sagamore
    Beach where there was a player piano and I tried to fit my fingers into the keys and
    pump. I was fascinated. So I started out just about five and they finally gave me lessons, I
    think probably --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Did you take lessons the whole time then?

    MR. DRAPER: From six years old --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: From six on?

    MR. DRAPER: I started out with my sister with a Ms. Harding and after about six months I
    was way ahead of Lilla, and then we had to have separate lessons. We couldn't have
    them at the same time.
    MR. MCNAUGHT: You took naturally to the piano?

    MR. DRAPER: Very naturally, and then suddenly I had shifted from Ms. Harding to Alex
    D'Antonio who was a much better teacher. And then finally when I went off to school I was
    sent really to Pomfret -- one reason was because of Mr. Hadley who was a very good
    piano teacher.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: At what age were you went off to Pomfret?

    MR. DRAPER: Thirteen.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Thirteen.

    MR. DRAPER: I went to [inaudible]. But I -- and I gave a concert when I was 12.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Really?

    MR. DRAPER: And everyone -- I think I played better at 12 then I ever did after that. But I
    was interested in music right up until I went to Harvard, and I studied my freshman year
    at Harvard and -- because the New England Conservatory of Music was in Boston. I
    didn't go to Yale because father had gone to Yale. I wanted to go to Harvard. Then I got
    -- well, I used to paint too. I painted -- I know a sculpted a little head of my sister. Mother
    said, "Oh, William, it's so good of your sister, Lilla. We'll have it cast." It used to sit on the
    mantelpiece, a little head done in clay, and it finally fell off the mantelpiece before mother
    could get it into have it cast. So I've never -- but I could sculpt and I used to paint. I went
    off to Provincetown when I was 16 to study there in the summer.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Oh, really? Was that at age 16 then the first formal art --

    MR. DRAPER: No. Well, there was a --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: -- lessons that you had?

    MR. DRAPER: Mr. Ernest E. Perry who was a great friend of father's and he used to
    come over from Milford to Hopedale and he would give me -- I would paint with him. I went
    to --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Would you say on the whole that you were more musically inclined in
    your early ages than artistically inclined?

    MR. DRAPER: I would say both, but --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Both.

    MR. DRAPER: -- I know that at about 12 I guess, 14, I went with my uncle to Nantucket
    and there I saw a painting by T. Vernon Bailey of a ship foundering at sea. And so I
    asked mother for some watercolors and I copied an envelope when I got back and then I
    asked her and I got some paints for Christmas. But it seems to me we had -- I had paints
    before that, but right after that I started in with oil paint and Mr. Perry painting. So I had
    been painting too since quite a time.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: I see.

    MR. DRAPER: I used to paint little -- play little people with Lilla. My sister Lilla and I would
    take clothespins and wrap them up with plaster and make little arms and dress them. So I
    was always making things and doing that kind of thing.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: What made you go to Provincetown at age 16?

    MR. DRAPER: Well, I wanted to paint and I had a car then. My brothers and sisters were
    all very social in Hyannis Port, all having friends their age, and I always felt -- and my
    sister Lilla was two years older, and then George, Claire and Grace were older and my
    younger brother Harry, and I always felt that none of -- being artistic, so I was told all the
    time, "You're artistic. You're not like my other sons." I was playing the piano. I didn't
    particularly like sailing, which Harry liked. So I always felt all these friends about my age
    and Lilla's and Harry's were all Harry's friends or Lilla's friends and felt sort of out of it
    because I was teased and called sissy all the time. So at 16 I had a chance to go up to
    Provincetown to study for two weeks and stay with Ennis Perry and his wife and study
    with Hawthorne.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Hawthorne?

    MR. DRAPER: Charles W. Hawthorne. So I went up there for two weeks. That's a very
    interesting story because I went up there to study painting, and mother had brought me
    up and mother was a grand dame. She was absolutely a beautiful Kentucky belle from
    Lexington, Kentucky and was -- until she was 72 she had a figure like a girl 18. She was
    just beautiful in every way. She went up you see and introduced to me Hawthorne's
    class, and you can imagine from Hyannis Port mother coming up and saying my son
    William here wants to study with you. I can just see the whole thing. Provincetown with all
    the people there, well -- and Hawthorne probably resented this little rich boy supposedly.
    I mean, that's obviously what it looked like, coming up with a chauffeur. Then I had my
    own car and so I started in the class. The first week I noticed everybody was -- you had
    little figures, little Portuguese children were posing against the light, so you would see
    them against the light and paint rich shadows. We used to call them nut heads. Well, I
    started out looking at what everyone else had been doing and they all looked very badly
    drawn, small heads, big shoulders. You had to use a palette knife to put the paint on and
    do one little, 20 x 24 inches, one in the afternoon. Mr. Campbell who was Hawthorne's
    brother-in-law owned the paint store. So we were shoveling on this paint. The first week I
    thought, well, they don't know how to draw. So I drew, sort of outlined the figure more or
    less the way it was, this little boy, and filled it in with color. I thought mine was brilliant. So
    criticism Saturday when mine came up, "Whose are these?" I raised my hand, blushed
    purple. I was 16 but I looked younger. All the others were about 19 up to 30, you know. I
    don't know. And so I blushed and said, "Mine, sir." And he said, "Mr. Draper, I don't
    believe you understand the point of this class. This is not a drawing class. This is a color
    class and I see that you have been drawing so I cannot criticize these. Next." So the next
    week I went out and I drew -- I looked around at the others and so I drew a little head, big
    shoulders, and filled that in one day with orange ears. Then the next day I would do a big
    head, small shoulders, and did the same thing, looking at the color. I think the color
    relations with the very light background, pink sand, were very good. Then criticism came
    around the next Saturday. "Whose are these?" I raised my hand. "Mine, sir." He looked
    at me and said, "Mr. Draper, I don't believe you caught the idea of this class. This is not
    a drawing class. This is a color class. I cannot criticize these. The only thing I can say is
    that your drawing certainly hasn't improved in the last week. Next."

    MR. DRAPER: And he was -- the Hawthorne method I mean as far as color spots went
    I've been using ever since.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Really? So you did learn from --

    MR. DRAPER: Oh, yes, and I've taught it. I've taught it to students. [Inaudible] I tell them
    to get Hawthorne's book. It's a very good system of painting I think.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So your study began at age 16? You were there for two --

    MR. DRAPER: Not at all. Then I went every summer.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: And did you go every summer and continue with Hawthorne?

    MR. DRAPER: Well, Hawthorne died that November.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: That very year.

    MR. DRAPER: Which I believe was November '29. Then I went back in '30 and '31 with
    Henry Henche who was Hawthorne's assistant and studied with him. One of those years I
    studied with John Frazier one of the summers and with Alfred Wilfrey. It would change. It
    would -- one month in one class and one in the other.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: I see.

    MR. DRAPER: But Henche was a big influence, I would say.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So you were very much exposed to all that was going on in

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah, and Huffman was there at the time. But I had told Huffman that I
    didn't want to go in his class because I didn't understand why they were painting this
    cryptic paper. I think today I might have. I knew old -- Frederick Wall was up there and he
    was a marvelous -marine-scapeist, the way the marine painted. I would say he and
    Winslow Homer are the only ones I know who really knew how to make a wave move
    without stopping. You see paintings of waves today and they're raised up and they're
    going to be there forever. They're never going to crash. But Winslow Homers' crash,
    Frederick Walls' crash. I think mine crash when I do them, some of them. But I think that
    they're so photographic and just -- now he would make them all up. He studied, he knew
    the anatomy of a wave. Well, there were lots of people and I studied with Richard Miller
    there too who painted beautiful nudes.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So you went there for a number of years?

    MR. DRAPER: I went there until about 1930 -- the summer of 1934 I guess.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So for about five years?

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Even while you were at Harvard --

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: -- you went in the summers to Provincetown and studied?

    MR. DRAPER: I made many friends and we raised hell up there too. I played the night -- I
    played the piano in a nightclub up there just because the pianist was an alcoholic and
    would get drunk.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Were you still taking piano lessons at this time or just playing for your

    MR. DRAPER: Well, I went to Harvard you see --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Yes.

    MR. DRAPER: -- from Pomfret and went to study. I ought to be -- still, I still wanted to be
    a concert pianist in my freshman year.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Oh, I see.

    MR. DRAPER: Through the freshman year -- I tried out for the Gold Coast Orchestra and
    the instrumental club. So I accompanied the instrumental club, the vocal club and I
    accompanied a violinist and also played in the Gold Coast Orchestra. I did that my
    freshman and sophomore year until I left Harvard to study painting seriously. So I could
    play the piano. When this -- at the place -- what was it called -- not the White Whale but
    the Ship, there was a pianist there that I learned an awful lot. I got to know him. So he
    taught me a lot of things from gaieties and all these old songs. Then when he was so
    drunk I would come over, be flashed on the screen if I would be in the movies. Would
    William Draper go to the Ship at once. I would -- all my friends would --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: You would take over for him?

    MR. DRAPER: And I would go over there. Fitzday and [inaudible] and Kipsell [phonetic]
    were there who is a marine painter today, and Southbond [phonetic] is dead, but we
    would all go over to the Ship and I would get free drinks for my friends while I played the

    MR. MCNAUGHT: For your friends. You said now that you went to Provincetown while
    you were still at Harvard, but when you first started at Harvard you had the intention of
    being a concert pianist but then you left Harvard to study painting seriously. When did it
    change from being a concert pianist to being a painter?

    MR. DRAPER: I would say my freshman year.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: At Harvard?

    MR. DRAPER: At Harvard, and then the next year I went on to Harvard again and by the
    end of the sophomore year -- and I was taking these courses. Well, it was ridiculous at
    Harvard. It was fine for somebody who wants to be a museum director like Perry
    Rathbone and Joe -- I can't think of -- many of them, many people, Charles Cunningham,
    who are all the directors today.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Were they all there at the time?

    MR. DRAPER: They are all a little ahead of me, the class of '33, '34. But -- and Joe
    Philips I think was '36. But I was taking -- in Fine Arts 1A which was painting I got an A
    and it was simple. I didn't do any -- they had given me -- for instance there would be an
    exam of 30 people and there would be -- everyone to paint an orange. They had given
    me a glass of water and a book, an open book to paint instead. I felt that was very unfair
    because it would take me longer. Otherwise I could have painted the orange in 15
    minutes and left the class and had some fun. Then in the History of Art I got a D in Fine
    Arts 1D, a C in Fine Arts 1C, a B in Fine Arts 1B and an A in Fine Arts 1A. But B and C
    were history of Art and I would say what I thought instead of it being what the teacher
    would say. The teacher would say this is very -- this so and so is very good and note the
    active flowing line and this and that, the dynamics, the symmetry and all that stuff, and I
    wouldn't agree. So I wouldn't remember it in the first place, I never had a good memory,
    so I would write my own papers and get poor marks.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Who was teaching Fine Arts then?

    MR. DRAPER: Well, Mr. Pope was teaching Fine Arts and I can't remember what his
    name was. It didn't impress me.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Would the other people --

    MR. DRAPER: Oh, Mr. Fields was teaching there too. But I wasn't impressed by it and I --
    so I left Harvard to go down to the National Academy of Design.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Why did you choose to be a painter instead of a musician?

    MR. DRAPER: Well, I think that I realized -- all right I'll tell you exactly, I remember now. I
    was trying to learn the Winter Wind Etude by Chopin and it's a very difficult Etude and I
    found I could play it perfectly. I got to play it to perfection except for the fact that after
    every eight measures I would have to stop and rest my wrists. It wasn't because I couldn't
    remember it or couldn't do it because I could but --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: It was the physical action.

    MR. DRAPER: The physical thing, my wrists would cramp and I knew, realized then that I
    had to change my whole way of playing, more from the shoulders and I was moving my
    wrists too much when it should have been fingers and shoulders. So I told -- I was --
    there was a guy named Chiney [phonetic] in the class too who was very good and I was
    better than he was. I was really very good but I decided -- and then I was getting more
    interested in painting.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Yeah. And you were equally good at that.

    MR. DRAPER: And I think I was equally good. I just was born to sculpt or paint. I mean, I
    could do it. I've always been able to do it.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Well, before we finish up with your career at Harvard who was -- was
    Paul Sacks there at the time and any influence on you or did the art history side --

    MR. DRAPER: No, I think if I had stayed on Paul Sacks I would have known. He was -- I
    didn't get in any of his classes but I know in 1935 I went to study in Spain with Harry
    Zimmerman who was a protoge of Paul Sacks.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: I see.

    MR. DRAPER: Arthur Pope was the one I had and Paul Sacks was a great guy, but Harry
    Zimmerman -- well, that's another story which is very interesting and I'll tell you about it
    later on.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So in other words in this period of your life it was Provincetown much
    more than Harvard and the [inaudible] --

    MR. DRAPER: Yes.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: -- which were an influence?

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah, it was Provincetown for me and not the [inaudible]. Then I thought I
    might go to Yale Art School and then I thought, well, Savage is teaching there and I
    would look -- after being in Provincetown and seeing all this marvelous color and seeing
    Savage's brown gravy things to me -- I said, oh, I don't want to go to Yale.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So you decided against Yale. So you decided to go to New York --

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: -- and study where, at the National --

    MR. DRAPER: At the National Academy of Design which -- and I went down and at that
    time they were over at 109th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Beautiful studios, right
    between --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Right on -- no, opposite --

    MR. DRAPER: No.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: -- on Amsterdam.

    MR. DRAPER: Between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue on 109th, on the north side
    of the street. A tremendous building with beautiful studios. When I got down there I didn't
    know where to live. I knew nothing about New York. So I found -- the Old Explorers Club
    had just moved out of this building and moved down to, some odd place down further
    south and somebody had taken it over for apartments or rooms. It was on 110th Street
    between Broadway and Amsterdam, just a block away, and it was great. I had a room
    and a bath and I lived there the first year. Then the second year I went to the Academy I
    moved down to 67th Street and had a studio there. Then the next year --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: On to the West Side.

    MR. DRAPER: On the West Side, yes.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: The famous studios.

    MR. DRAPER: And then the next time, the next year I moved over to the Sherwood
    MR. MCNAUGHT: Sherwood Studios was 57th Street or --

    MR. DRAPER: 57th and 6th Avenue. Then I had a studio there for a year. I don't know
    when that was. It may have been much later, it may have been 1937 I guess. Then I had
    one on 48th Street right off 5th Avenue and then ended up about 1938 or 9 over at 430
    -- 534 East 52nd Street which is right across from the River House. It was a wonderful
    because it was people who drove into the River House that -- it was right opposite. So
    there was nothing in front and it was a beautiful studio. So that's where I ended up
    before the war came and I got out of New York.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: What about --

    MR. DRAPER: And you know how much I paid for that in 1940?

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Which, the one near River House?

    MR. DRAPER: The one across from River House. It had -- it had a bedroom. Well, you
    added -- you added this room, which was three windows. Well, I had one wall -- three
    windows. I had one partition made between one window, making a kitchen out of that part
    of it. Then I had the two windows, which were studio. Then there were five steps up to a
    little bedroom and bathroom. It was $110 a month. In that area, 534 --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Incredible.

    MR. DRAPER: -- and today I understand its 6 or $700 for just the one room or more.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Easily. Certainly. Well, did you find the National Academy of Design to
    your liking when you came down after Harvard? Did you --

    MR. DRAPER: Well, as a matter of fact --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: -- learn there as much as you had learned at Provincetown? Did it suit

    MR. DRAPER: I thought I was much better than anyone thought I was.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: At the National Academy of Design?

    MR. DRAPER: Because they were painting in sort of brown gravy and I thought my
    paintings were much better than theirs in color. I mean, because I would -- the face was a
    different color than the hands and I did that. I never got any prizes in painting at all. The
    first year I was there -- well, it's very interesting. I went -- the first month I was put into
    antique in full. There were four classes -- antique and probation, antique in full, life in
    probation and life in full. I understand you did one or the other and antique in probation
    was drawing with charcoal from the head, from the classic head of sculpture. Then
    antique in full was doing the winged Venus or this and that. Then life on probation was
    drawing from the mood model and then the top class was painting life in full. Well, some
    people stay a year in one, a year in the other. Well, I went and I was put into antique in
    full, drawing the full thing. I remember Mr. Hinton was teaching there and I was doing the
    winged Victory all day, tickling with charcoal. You would spend about two weeks on it.
    The first week I had it all blocked in and Mr. Hinton came around and said, "Mr. Draper,
    this is very good. I think you've got the spirit of the thing completely. But your proportion
    is wrong. You've got it too fat. It's too wide for its height and you must start again." Well, I
    didn't change a single line on it. Then he came back the next week and it was finished
    and he said, "That's excellent and I'm so glad to see you started over because this -- but
    now I feel it's a little bit too thin for its height." And I said, "Oh, but Mr. Hinton, this is the
    same drawing and I haven't changed a single line." Well, he was furious. Then Tom
    Fogerty -- there were eight promoted to life on probation and Tom Fogerty and myself
    were promoted but we had little stars by our name which I understood meant that if you
    didn't do well you would go back.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Uh-huh

    MR. DRAPER: Then the next month we were in drawing for life and Tom Fogerty and
    myself were the only two promoted to life in full which is the top class. So in two months I
    was in the top class, which I stayed there for two years painting the nude.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Do you feel those were productive years?

    MR. DRAPER: Not particularly. Yes, I was painting but now I went in a sculpture class the
    last six weeks of the first year there and never sculpted at all except that head of Lilla
    that crashed off and got squashed. I got -- one model was posing for six weeks and Kay
    Trip who was a sculptress who is a good friend of mine persuaded me to come into that
    class. Well, we were there -- I got -- she got first prize for the year but she had been
    studying there all year. I got second prize and it was the first thing I had ever done, and
    of course it made the sculpture class furious because I hadn't even been in it. It was the
    first -- the model posed for six weeks and I did it and yet nothing in painting when I
    thought my painting deserved something. Nothing.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: No prize.

    MR. DRAPER: No prize at all because I don't think they particularly cared for Henche and
    Hawthorne. Oh, and I must tell you that I had done a still life that --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: In the class?

    MR. DRAPER: No, in class in Provincetown.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Uh-huh [affirmative].

    MR. DRAPER: I think it was in John Frazier's class in one month. It was a still life that I
    had done. I showed that -- that's one of the pictures that got me into the National
    Academy School because it's a free school and you're accepted. You have to have the
    talent supposedly to get in. So I was going to put something in the National Academy
    show and my teacher said, "How much are you going to charge?" And I said, "$75." He
    said, "Add another zero," which I did. There were only three pictures in the National
    Academy show of 1933 that sold and mine was one of them which was a great feather in
    my cap of course.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: You must have been thrilled to see that you could make money by

    MR. DRAPER: And it started me off. From that on, that painting introduced me to a guy
    named Bill Fen [phonetic] who had bought my painting -- it's all fate -- who was a broker,
    who was a friend of George Merck, a friend of a lot of people. I met him through the
    painting and then he introduced me to George Merck who asked me to paint his two
    children, Bambi and Judy Merck, who were about, only about six years younger than
    [inaudible]. Then I painted Bill Fen's mother and father. He was a minister in Berlin. From
    that I started right in making money and selling, doing pastels, I think $75.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: And this was from portraiture?

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Well, now what was the very first portrait in painting that you had
    done? You had done this sculpture of your sister.

    MR. DRAPER: Well, you mean --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Had you been interested in portraiture right along?

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah. Yeah, I had.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: You had.

    MR. DRAPER: Well, it was because at Pomfret School Dr. Olmsted who had been
    painted by Ellen McGrant [phonetic] and when I was a student there I was just amazed.
    He had had cataracts removed and he was enrolled with his eyes, glasses with the
    cataracts. They looked -- and he looked just like Dr. Olmsted. That inspired me to want
    to be a portrait painter. I thought Lewis was magic, marvelous. It looks just like him and
    look at those glasses. You could see him and his eyes because he had -- you know how
    cataracts make you wear these great thick lenses. Well, it was fantastic to me. So really I
    would say that Ellen McGrant's portrait of Dr. Olmsted was the thing.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: It was a real inspiration.

    MR. DRAPER: It was an inspiration.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So during the time at Provincetown and the time at the National
    Academy of Design were you doing portraits all along?

    MR. DRAPER: Well, I did a portrait of my sister when she came out. So I was younger -- I
    must have been a freshman at Harvard or -- and that -- she still has it. I think that was
    very successful. Then I did a wedding present for my brother's wife, and mother, et
    cetera. I was doing portraits.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: What was your first portrait commission? Was it --

    MR. DRAPER: That was -- I came to New York to paint Mr. -- and it's so funny. I painted
    Mitten DeCesaro Verdi [phonetic], Mitten DeCesaro Verdi, who was a cousin of the
    LaSalles who lived very near us in Hopedale. They were in Whitensville. I came down to
    New York and stayed across from the Harvard Club and rented a studio which was a
    dance studio. It had mirrors all around it. I used to leap around and have a great time. I
    lived there and painted Mitten DeCesaro Verdi. The strange thing is it was the first one I
    had done. Years later I painted his ex-wife and then she commissioned me to paint her
    new husband, General Young, and she was first married to Mitten DeCesaro Verdi. I
    think it's so funny because I got to her quite differently, with no connection at all because
    she hated Verdi. But it turned out -- and I was painting her and she was first married to
    this guy, my first commission. That was I would say about 1935 or 6, something like that.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: And then --

    MR. DRAPER: Maybe -- I think that was the first. Then I think that --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: The first real commission?

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah. Then I think that the Berlin, I call it -- whatever that --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: The Fens did you say?

    MR. DRAPER: The Fens. They looked like -- what was the one that -- American Gothic.
    He looked very much like it. He was in a high collar and it was done very detailed. She
    was in a black lace dress with glasses with a pinched face. I had never painted lace
    before and it worked out fine. Then I went on --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So things naturally led one to another, one --

    MR. DRAPER: From one portrait to another. Then I had a one-man show at Portraits

    MR. MCNAUGHT: What year was that?

    MR. DRAPER: That was 1940.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So this was --

    MR. DRAPER: It was called -- it was called 460 Park Avenue Gallery then.


    MR. DRAPER: That was I think very amazing to have had. Then I had another one in
    1950 of portraits and landscapes. But that first one to have in 1940 --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: That was a fairly short while after you had come to New York.

    MR. DRAPER: Oh, no, I had come to New York in 1933.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: In 1933.

    MR. DRAPER: Then I had moved back to Boston in 1938. I don't know. But I was mostly
    in New York you see.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Well, what -- now you came to New York in 1933 and went to the
    National Academy of Design and you stayed there for two years.

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Then what did you do?

    MR. DRAPER: Then I went to Paris.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: You went to Paris in 1935?

    MR. DRAPER: Thirty-five, yes, for a year.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: For a year.

    MR. DRAPER: I studied, went over there to study at the Grand Cahumiere and I couldn't
    understand a single word the teacher said. So I got bored with that. Oh, and then this I
    said I would say later about Mr. Zimmerman. Now Jack Stevens who is a friend of mine
    who I knew in Provincetown I ran across in Paris at some -- was it the Dome or

    MR. MCNAUGHT: [Inaudible.]

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah. And he said, "Bill, for heavens sake what are you doing here?" And
    I said, "Oh, I'm here studying at the Grande Cahumiere." And he said, "Oh, well come
    with me. I'm going to be studying with Harold Zimmerman down in Torremolinos
    [phonetic]." And so I said, "Okay, I would love to." I had an aunt, Princess Vunkenpatty
    [phonetic] who was living in Paris at the time and she met Harold Zimmerman and she
    advised -- she and this man, Mr. Glenn -- Mr. Glenn had -- they said, advised me not to
    go. Well, I should have taken their advice because he -- it was a very disagreeable time.
    Well, I went down with Jack Stevens who was Mr. Zimmerman's favorite artist. I mean, he
    thought he was fine. Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman and Jack had planned to be there. Well, I
    came along then too. I don't think I was wanted, particularly by Mr. Zimmerman because
    he -- I did two watercolors. I have them in the kitchen and I'll show them to you. I did --
    the first two watercolors I did and I thought they were pretty good. Zimmerman told me
    they were lousy, that I should cut my paper in fourths and do them only six by eight
    inches. So I was doing that, not even being able to make a wash. I mean, it wasn't -- I like
    to work broadly and this was tying me up. Then he would criticize me all the time and say
    how good Jack's paintings were and how lousy mine were. I would look at Jack's and I
    would think, well, mine is better than Jack's.

    MR. DRAPER: This sounds like a rather silly, conceited thing to say but I did really
    seriously at the time think that mine were much better than Jack's and I didn't see that
    Jack's were so much better than mine because I didn't understand. Harold Zimmerman
    had studied with Paul Sacks and he never painted one picture the whole time I was in
    Spain. He would criticize and drink. This poor man is dead. I can tell you it was
    unfortunate. He would sit there and I remember one meal when Jack and his wife and I,
    the four of us sitting around. He dropped a fork on the floor and he asked his wife to pick
    it up and she said, "No, Harold, you pick it up." "I'm not going to eat until you pick it up."
    So here we all were sitting around the table and he wouldn't pick it up and it was the
    most dismal meal while we all ate and he refused to eat because his wife wouldn't pick it
    up. I was cheering for her. I said, "Now don't give in," and she didn't give in. It was very --
    he was just very neurotic.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Now how long did you stay down --

    MR. DRAPER: Well, finally we couldn't stand it. We stayed -- I stayed about four months.
    Then we went over to Seville. Jack and I decided to leave and we went over to Seville
    during Holy Week. At the time I think Franco was coming in. He was -- there was a lot of
    people running --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Was this -- this was 1935, '36?

    MR. DRAPER: Thirty-six, the spring of '36 I would say. And then I got out and all the
    things I painted I left. I remember one time -- I remember having this gypsy model that
    looked just like Katherine Hepburn with her child. I was doing this picture and I would say
    it's for the autumn salon. Then these friends of mine, Bert Wilkinson who was at
    Cambridge and Ben Kaiser and George Haskins came down at Christmas. This was at
    Christmastime. They were going to go to Nice and I -- they said now if you can make it
    why don't you come over and meet us in Nice and we'll go down to Italy on their
    Christmas vacation. Oh, no, they were -- no, they were in -- they were in Torremolinos at
    Christmas. This was the Easter vacation when I was to do this and meet them in Nice.
    Well, I remember I decided I wanted to finish this picture of this gypsy lady, beautiful
    gypsy with bones like Katherine Hepburn really. So I told them I couldn't meet them and
    hadn't planned to. But then the gypsy -- I paid her an extra peseta because I didn't have
    change, which was about a quarter in our money, and the next day she never came
    back. That payment just -- she decided to -- I gave her an extra one for -- I mean, I lent
    her or gave her something so that she never wanted to come back. She ran off with the
    peseta. Then it was too late for me to go to Nice of course then and I hadn't had the --
    and I could have and then I didn't know how to get a hold of them. Then I finally got back
    to Paris.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: How long did you stay in Paris?

    MR. DRAPER: Well, I started -- I want back to the Grand Cahumiere. Now here is my -- at
    this point with Zimmerman my -- which he probably was trying to destroy my ego. I don't
    know what he -- I heard from Bert Wilkinson later that he said, "Bill paints too easily." I
    was -- "He paints too easily. I was trying to discourage him." Well, he had me so
    discouraged that I was ready to stop painting. Then when I went back to Paris, I went
    back to the Grand Cahumiere, went in another class, and I remember going in the first
    day and started painting this nude. The first -- this sounds awfully conceited but I guess
    you have to have some conceit maybe -- at least this is what happened. I started in
    painting this nude at 9:00. The class was 9:00 to 12:00. About 9:30, 9:45 this girl next to
    me came over and said, "Where did you study?" And then a couple of other people
    stopped and came over and watched me. By around 11:45 the whole class had stopped
    and they're all watching me paint. My confidence came right back, all wondering how --
    they all thought it was very good you see. But this was what -- Zimmerman had gotten me
    so discouraged I wasn't doing anything. I was doing terrible. All of that, all of the
    paintings I did there were lost anyway because they were given to this woman to bring
    back, I mean to send, and then Franco came in and all -- the house was burned with all
    my stuff and they escaped to Gibraltar and came over.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Back in Paris at the art school who were the other students? Were
    there lots of Americans, or were they mainly French, or were they all sorts?

    MR. DRAPER: Mainly French and I would have never gotten -- I knew one girl, I can't
    remember her name, Virginia somebody, a pretty blonde, and they were very few
    Americans that I remember.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Well, how long did you stay then the second time at the school?

    MR. DRAPER: I think probably a couple of months. I came back that summer anyway.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Back to --

    MR. DRAPER: Back to the States.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: -- back to New York?

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: And then?

    MR. DRAPER: And I'll tell you a very interesting thing. When I left -- this has nothing to
    do with painting but I think it's funny. My brother and I, Harry, used to play last touch you
    see, last touch and then you have to touch. I said last touch to Harry and rolled the
    windows up to the car when I left Hyannis Port to go on this trip and he couldn't touch
    me. So when the boat came in, the Queen Mary, as soon as I landed Harry ran up and
    said last touch a year later. But I think that was great.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Did you come back to live in New York or go back to the National
    Academy of Design or what?

    MR. DRAPER: No, I decided -- no, I went up, I studied with Corbino, John Corbino.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Where?

    MR. DRAPER: John Corbino up in Rockport one summer about 1937 and that's all the
    studying. Then I decided to just paint by myself.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: When you came back from Paris did you come back to New York or
    what city did you decide to settle in?

    MR. DRAPER: I came -- I think I went home for a little while, but then I came to New York.
    Then about 1940 I moved from New York to Boston until the war started. For two years I
    was in Boston doing portraits. I had a studio, the Fenway Studios, and painted up there. I
    went into the Navy there, entered the Navy.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Entered the Navy in Boston?

    MR. DRAPER: In Boston, yeah.
    MR. MCNAUGHT: Now do you want to begin the story of your career in the Navy?

    MR. DRAPER: Is there time now?

    MR. DRAPER: Well here we are in Boston. I've moved back and doing portraits there of
    different people until then I wanted to -- then the war -- I remember the war started
    December 7th you see in 1941. I was having an exhibition of my portraits in March or
    April or maybe February of '42.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: In Boston?

    MR. DRAPER: In Boston at the Grace Horn Gallery. No, I guess this was going to be at
    Fosse's [phonetic]. I'm not sure. I can't remember. I think this was the Grace Horn Gallery
    because I had one at Fosse's later. The Margaret Brown Gallery I had a show there
    later. This was the Grace Horn and I remember being in the Speed Club and talking to a
    stuffy cousin of mine who was father's first cousin, old Eben Draper who ran for the
    United States senator. This was at a Speed Club dinner. He was so insulting to me. He
    came up -- this was -- and I said, "Cousin Eben or just Eben, have you gotten an
    invitation to my show?" This was probably the winter, mid-winter dinner probably in the
    beginning of February. War had been declared in December and my show was going to
    be the next couple of weeks. I said, "Have you gotten an invitation to my show?" He said,
    "What do you mean an invitation to your show?" I said, "I'm having an exhibition at the
    Grace Horn Gallery." "What do you mean you're having an exhibition at the Grace Horn
    Gallery? Here the country is at war and you mean to say you're having an art exhibition
    when the country is at war. You should be in the Army. You should be -- look at your
    brother Harry. He came to me trying to get out of the draft. Look at your cousin Tommy
    Gannett. What has he done? Look at -- I'm the lieutenant or I'm a lieutenant colonel in
    the" -- what is it that you are, oh I should know -- "I'm in the National Guard. I'm a
    lieutenant colonel in the National Guard." Well, I got so mad I wanted to hit him except he
    was much older and they had to take me out of the club. The next morning, that Sunday,
    there was a brunch there and I went in. I went up and said, "Eben, you owe me an
    apology," and I was going to hit him if he didn't. He said, "I apologize," and said nothing
    more. He was a dreadful man I think.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: He was a cousin?

    MR. DRAPER: He was a cousin. Well, I just didn't like him because he was so rude to my
    family and my brother Harry. My brother Harry wanted to really get into -- he was a pilot
    and didn't want to be drafted because he could be a pilot. That's what he was trying to

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Well, when did you decide -- how did you end up --

    MR. DRAPER: Oh, I tried as soon as the war started, December 7th. I tried as hard as I
    could to get in, into something where I could use my painting. So I went to 150 causeway,
    street, and volunteered my services as an artist and also tried to get in as a combat
    artist because I had heard about it in Washington. So having volunteered my services I
    was doing things for the Navy, painting, doing drawings of anti-submarine. They asked
    me if I could do it and I said sure I would, donating my time to draw these -- the wakes of
    submarines, as the submarine went down what the wake looked like at certain depths so
    the planes coming along could tell where the submarine was by the shape of the wake
    you see. So I was doing this and then I got permission to go, I could go in the Navy Yard.
    So I went in the Navy Yard and I painted destroyers --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: You would do this as a civilian?

    MR. DRAPER: A civilian. I went in and I would draw -- I went in -- in the foundry, did
    things with the men working in the foundry. Then I did one of a destroyer at night. I did a
    couple of a cruiser and then I painted a lot of bar scenes around with people in the Dan
    Scully Square [phonetic] and sailors and girls rushing around. I didn't [inaudible] portraits
    and sent them all into Washington. I was one of the five picked to be a combat artist
    because of my work. It was so funny. I will tell you while I was doing this one picture in the
    Boston Navy Yard there's a shift that all of the people moving -- I mean all the people
    who were working in the Navy Yard had a shift and a new shift would come in. Just at that
    time, at 12:00, I was sketching or doing this painting. I had my easel up painting the
    destroyed. I think this was not the destroyer, this was a cruiser. I needed -- these two
    sailors came up and started making fun of me and started saying, oh, you know, teasing
    and what are you doing painting this ship you see. And so -- and I have crowds of people
    behind me because this was the shift of the -- but I was painting anyway. I didn't give a
    damn. I was embarrassed but I wanted to get my things for Washington. These two came
    up and I said, "Oh, I need two sailors in the foreground about 20 feet in. Would you two
    like to stand out there because I need a model?" And it was the most miraculous thing.
    They disappeared into the crowd. They stopped bothering me completely, because
    everybody looked at them expecting them to go out and stand. Well, they didn't. They
    got embarrassed and I found all through my Navy career that if anybody bothered me I
    would ask them if they would go out and pose for me.
    MR. MCNAUGHT: They always disappeared?

    MR. DRAPER: They always disappeared. Well, anyway, that was part of it. Well, then I
    worked doing that that spring. I had orders -- well, I had my show of course at Grace
    Horn. Then I was -- I went in the Navy and on July 1st I was supposed to be at Harvard
    College for the 60-day wonder course, July and August. I was commissioned as a
    lieutenant JG and I want to Harvard on a Friday and was given my books and blankets,
    Saturday something else, Sunday, and classes started on Monday. My roommate was
    going to be Eddie Duchin [phonetic].

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Really?

    MR. DRAPER: Draper Duchin you see, right, next. And he was three or four days late, so
    I never met him because on that Monday there were three classes, two in the morning
    and then there was going to be the third class after lunch at 1:00 and then marching with
    your platoon in soldiers field, which I was looking forward to doing that. They told me --
    Perry Rathbone told me it was the end, that he was there and they couldn't stand that
    marching or any of that. But anyway I was -- in the third class, 1:00, and suddenly this
    officer came in and said, "Is student officer Draper present?" I raised my hand and they
    said, "Oh, you're being withdrawn from school. You're wanted in the front office at once."
    Well, I didn't know what was -- why I was being withdrawn from school but, my God, what
    have I done. Isn't this terrible. They wanted me back at 150 Causeway Street to do -- to
    make cartoons for this cartoon manual, for the manual of anti-submarine warfare, to
    draw cartoons of the same thing with the wakes of the submarines and that I had to have
    submarines thumbing at planes and this and that. I'm not a cartoonist and it was very
    difficult, but I spent the next two months instead of learning how to be an officer drawing
    these cartoons at 150 Causeway and then at the -- and when I was supposed to be --
    having had supposedly two months training at Harvard I had orders to go to Washington.
    Well, I didn't have the training at Harvard. So I got down to Washington to the combat
    ops section and within two weeks I was sent out to the Aleutians.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: So you never in other words went through the officers' training

    MR. DRAPER: I had none. So I didn't --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Did you ever have to go through the basic training?

    MR. DRAPER: I had no training. I would call --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: You had none whatsoever?

    MR. DRAPER: -- I would call the deck the floor. The walls -- I didn't know a thing. I didn't
    even know how to go aboard and salute and say permission to come aboard, sir, and
    salute the quarterdeck and all of that and I was a deck officer. I got up in the Aleutians
    and I didn't know a single thing. It was pathetic. I tried to get -- I mean, it was so
    ridiculous. Now as soon as I arrived in Kodiak my first experience, I hadn't reported in to
    Admiral Reeves yet, I was so anxious to start painting I took out my easel and I looked up
    and I saw this glass structure with a lot of things turning. I though, oh, how pretty. I
    started and I was arrested by two Marines. I was evidently painting the radar base, the
    heart of the Kodiak air place and then I was -- I had a hard time trying to explain to them
    that I was a combat artist. They all thought I was a spy.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: A spy.

    MR. DRAPER: And then of course I did explain it. And I found it very difficult to get
    around. Nobody would pay any attention to me. To get a jeep to go anywhere to paint I
    would have to wait two or three days for the transportation office to deign to give me one,
    you know. So the Aleutians was very interesting. It was a terribly interesting period and it
    was -- I got there in October and I was there all through November, January. I went,
    landed at Amchitka on the -- I think it was the 12th of January.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Did you have specific duties as a combat artist then?

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah, I had to send in --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: I mean, specific assignments?

    MR. DRAPER: So many pictures.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: But could they be of your choosing?

    MR. DRAPER: Of my choosing, yeah.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Oh, I see.

    MR. DRAPER: Just go around and paint what I saw and then if there was --

    MR. MCNAUGHT: Did you have other duties as well? I mean, you've said you were a
    deck officer.

    MR. DRAPER: Well, no, they tried to -- they put me on watch and went on this transport
    going up. I remember I saw this red and green light flashing up in the sky and I thought it
    was a plane and I wanted to sound general quarters. I thought I better first talk to the
    second and said -- and he said, "Oh, that's a" -- and I'm nearsighted anyway, terribly
    nearsighted -- and he said, "Of course it's not a plane. A plane wouldn't have its lights on
    anyway, an enemy plane. No planes would have lights on." It was a star flashing red and
    green. It was so bright I really -- I was ready to sound general quarters, a plane coming
    in. Well, I learned a little bit more than that. Then we had to fly from Kodiak to Cold
    Harbor. The worst -- in November we tried five different days to fly and we turned back.
    You know, PBY had to go back again and then finally the fifth day it stormed. We had a
    forced landing at Cold Bay and we finally reached Dutch Harbor seven days later. It was
    really dangerous flying up in the Aleutians. I just -- there were clouds and fog. Then I
    took a boat from Dutch Harbor to Umnak trying to get out to Adak. I got out Adak a month
    before -- no, I guess in December for the landing in Amchitka. I went on that with Sam
    Hammill who was the second officer of the base. He happened to be a first -- married to
    Johnny LeFarge's [phonetic] sister, Peggy. When I came in he said -- I think he thought I
    looked sort of like my brother Clare who knew him. So I moved in with the executive
    officer, into his Quonset hut until we both left to go on the landing there at Amchitka. I
    roomed with him there with six others in Amchitka. That was the most dreadful landing.
    We landed -- we were on the George Kline. No, George Kline was later on in the South
    Pacific. This was the Arthur Middleton, a big transport. We came in on D-Day in the worst
    storm you ever could imagine. A destroyer off to the right suddenly went on the rocks
    and broke in half. I was trying to paint -- I was painting, taking something -- a jeep -
    MR. MCNAUGHT: Painting in the middle of all of this?

    MR. DRAPER: Yes, I was trying to. Well, I had to do something. I had my canvas up and
    this jeep, it was swinging back and forth and moving the stuff out. Well, I was trying to
    paint and all of this is going on and they're bringing in these men who were -- in the
    water five minutes you would die. It was in January up there. You would freeze. I mean,
    you just couldn't -- Well, they brought -- we finally -- we went in closer and we saw the
    destroyer break apart and then the Arthur Middleton went aground.
    MR. MCNAUGHT: The ship you were on?

    MR. DRAPER: The ship I was on. Everybody was told to abandon ship except for the
    gunners and the crew that were absolutely necessary. So we all had to get off the Arthur
    Middleton and I had my paint box and they had ropes going down to the landing boats to
    go in. This colonel in the Army said, "What's that?" I said, "It's a paint box. I'm an official
    combat artist." He went running down the deck saying, "My God, what next," because
    everything was -- most of the landing boats broke apart too and then they had to bring a
    little sub chaser up to work because all the electricity went out. The whole Arthur
    Middleton was flooded so they couldn't work the winches to -- and then they got, finally
    did get a lot of wood they had brought with them to build a dock. Well, the tide went out
    and they threw all the wood into the Bering Sea. Then we left -- then we got in and I was
    in a tent with the head of the Seabees, Sam Hammill and a couple of others on this
    tundra. There's no wood except for a few Russian graves, which were soon burnt up.
    You start -- we had a tent and you would start the fire in the tent, I mean start the stove,
    and it would sink. The whole inside of the tent would become mud. The stove would sink
    further and further down as the ground melted. It was the most awful mess there for the
    first two or three weeks. Then they flew over all this meat to feed the Army. Then it was
    warm, it was above freezing for three days in a row, and all the meat spoiled. The stink, it
    was just like dead bodies you know. And the landing boats broke apart and they found
    money all around the beach because the paymaster's boat broke up. It was a fascinating
    experience. I was there for a month. They were trying to build this airfield. They drained
    a lake and built an airfield there. Every night we would come, we would be bombed by
    the Japanese from Amchitka and -- not Amchitka, from Kiska and Attu [phonetic]. They
    would come over to Amchitka, which was the next island. Is it time to stop? Well, I was
    painting this and it's quite interesting. One of the pictures in the National Geographic that
    came out later, I was painting one day and the people -- it got very dark, very dark, and I
    was wondering, well, this is very strange. It got dark, almost black, and I had painted this
    picture and then it got light again. Then the next day somebody said, oh, there's going to
    be an eclipse. Well, there was no eclipse. Then I suddenly realized that the eclipse was
    the day before because we were over the 180th meridian. So we were into another day.
    So they had the timing wrong. I don't know how it worked but I painted the eclipse at that
    time at Amchitka.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: The whole time you were painting?

    MR. DRAPER: Yeah, well, I had to -- mostly painting. And then -- well, of course then
    they had to move things. But this meat, we had to bring the meat and get rid of it. I
    chipped in and -- at times, but the main thing that was later on in Guam you had to really
    stop everything and bury the dead. That was in Guam because it was becoming a health
    hazard. I stayed there on Amchitka a month and you see the planes would come over
    and drop a bomb and it would go right in the tundra. It would go and nothing would
    happen unless it hit a foxhole. I will tell you, I had a foxhole that was the latest foxhole.
    These enlisted men seemed to like me, you know, and thought I was helpless running
    around. They all tried to help. I said, "Well, how do you do the foxhole?" "Well, let me
    show you, lieutenant." So they would dig it and then another one would come up and I
    would say -- I said, "But I've got to have a place to sit down, to look out to see." So they
    dug the most beautiful foxhole. It was just like Tom Sawyer painting the fence. They
    made a little seat, a seat in it. It was the most magnificent foxhole on the island. They
    were all very nice. They were very understanding. Everybody was understanding of me I
    would say except for the pilots, the Marines, the submarine men. And the PT guys who
    were the most adventuresome who were the ones who really like me and realized why I
    was there and everything else. The destroyer men, some of those they would just -- they
    wouldn't even -- in the South Pacific they wouldn't even want to go to see a native
    village. They would want to just sit on their duffs. They had no imagination. They couldn't
    imagine what I was doing. But I remember up there in the Aleutians this guy wanted to --
    Sam Hammill at Adak went with me to Amchitka and a new executive officer came in who
    was a nasty little man with pig eyes who got drunk the first night and never gave anybody
    a drink. The next day in the head he was sitting next to me on the john and he said to
    me, "Are you in the Navy, Draper," in the most insulting tone. Not just a question, "But
    why are you in the Navy? I can't understand an artist being in the Navy. You ought to be
    a correspondent. Let me see, are those really -- are you really in the Navy?" And he was
    a lieutenant commander and I just disliked the man terribly. Then somebody else --

    MR. DRAPER: Now we've turned over the reel. I'm continuing with the story about the
    lieutenant commander. Well, as I said, we were sitting in the head and he had said are
    you in the Navy and all of this. Then I -- somebody must have overheard our
    conversation because the next -- when I was walking around the base after about an
    hour or so, I may have even walked longer, a couple of enlisted men would come along
    and sort of smile at me and wink and say, "Are you in the Navy, Lieutenant," in sort of
    comforting, sort of a nice way. It went all over the base, what this lieutenant commander
    had said to me. Then of course I went off to Amchitka, which I've told you about, but
    when I was on Amchitka I just thought, well, I can go on with Amchitka later. I'll stop now
    and continue. This is a good place.

    MR. MCNAUGHT: The end of session one.

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