to listen to an audio file of this interview (90 minutes)
This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Winnifred Thompson Hockman (CN 200, #T1) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. Nothing recorded has been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. This is a transcription of spoken English, which of course follows a different rhythm and rule than written English. In a very few cases words were too unclear to be be distinguished or the transcriber was had no information on the correct spelling of a proper name. In these cases, [?] was inserted after the word in question. Grunts and verbal hesitiations such as "ah' or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was attempting to say.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
() Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
 Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcription was made by Kerry Cox and Robert Shuster, and completed in May 1992.
Collection 200, #T1. Interview of Winnifred Thompson Hockman by Galen Wilson, January 21, 1982.
WILSON: It is Thursday, January 21, 19 and 82. We are here at the Billy Graham Center Archives to interview Mrs. Robert Hockman who, with her husband, was a missionary in Ethiopia in the 1930's under the United Presbyterian Board of Missions. The first thing I'd like to ask you is a little bit about your own background: where you were born and when you were born, your parents, your schooling, your childhood, etc.
HOCKMAN: I was born in Cambridge, Ohio in 1906. My father was Charles Thompson and my mother was Jesse Barns. They...my mother lived out on the farm and my father was a pharmacist. My mother died when I was around three years old and a few years later my father married Arethea Hammond [?] who lived...and was a very close friend of my mother's.
WILSON: Did she grow up with your mother?
HOCKMAN: Yes, yes they...they were close friends, went to school together.
WILSON: Uh huh.
HOCKMAN: So my step-mother was just like my real mother to me because I never knew my own mother. She was a wonderful Christian woman, and we were brought up in Sunday school, and church, all the time, and in those days, we went to the United Presbyterian Church...First United Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, Ohio. And Reverend Ashwood[?] was the pastor at that time. When I...I was, I think around nine or ten when I had heard a missionary speak from India, and I went home and told my step-mother at that time that I was going to be a missionary when I grew...grew up, and that vision never left me. Went...went on through...I was graduated from Cambridge High School, and then when I went on to Muskingum College and was graduated from Muskingum in 1932, and that's where I met my husband. He was graduated in...in '28 and.... Did I say that I graduated in '32? I was married in '32! [laughs] I graduated in 1929. And he had gone on to Northwestern Medical School, and after my graduation, I went to Sebring, Ohio and taught English and speech for three years, and then we were married in 1932.
WILSON: Were you engaged all that time...that...?
HOCKMAN: I was engaged the year aft...er...during the year after I had graduated. We had gone together some and.... Before we went to Ethiopia, my husband's parents had been missionaries in China, so naturally he was thinking about China. While we were students at Muskingum we met Malaku Bayen, who was sent over by the Emperor, Haile Selassie, for graduation and....
WILSON: And they were related, were they not?
HOCKMAN: No, they were not related. He was...he was just a ward of the Emperor. And my husband and Malaku became very close friends. Malaku was planning to go on as a doctor and so was my husband, and they were on the track team together, and they were very close friends. And one time Malaku said to Bob, "Why don't you come over to Ethiopia? We need missionaries there just as much as China." And it was just like a Macedonian call to my husband, and he...he felt that that was the place for him then. Well, I was a little happier about going to Ethiopia than I was China. I don't know why. But when it was settled in my mind that I was going to be a missionary after all, I was quite happy to be going to Ethiopia. I knew it was a high country and I never liked heat, so I was grateful when we were finally assigned to...to Ethiopia. We went out after my husband's internship at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park (that was in '32, '33), we went...in the fall of '33 we went out to Ethiopia, and arrived in Addis, Adaba November 16th, 1933.
WILSON: Now I wanna back up a little bit here and find out a little capsule history of your husband's early childhood.
HOCKMAN: Bob was born in China in 1906, and attended Cheefoo School. His father and mother were missionaries there under the China Inland Mission. And as a little boy, he had decided that he wanted to be a missionary. 'Cause at one time he said to his mother, who was a nurse, he said, "What if you hadn't come to China and these people wouldn't have had your care." And she was very helpful to him in helping him understand why people go to mission fields, and he became a Christian in early, early years.
WILSON: Why had your mother and father-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Hockman, gone to the mission field?
HOCKMAN: Mother Hockman had gone under Hudson Taylor.
WILSON: Uh huh.
HOCKMAN: And in fact she nursed him in his last illness...
WILSON: In China?
HOCKMAN: ...in China. And she had...she was married before and...only six months and her husband died from pneumonia during the Boxing...Boxer Revolution. And then, a few years later, Father Hockman had come up-country and was shipwrecked, and while he was drying out boxes and things, it was on the station where Mother Hockman lived. And they met and were married there...
HOCKMAN: ...in China.
WILSON: ...your mother-in-law had gone out as a single woman.
HOCKMAN: Yes, she had gone out as a single woman.
WILSON: And married out there.
HOCKMAN: And married out there. And...they weren't married, as I said, longer than about six months. But they had five children. One, the oldest daughter, died from whooping cough when she was about three years old and....
WILSON: In China?
HOCKMAN: In China, and my husband was the next in line. And then there was Charles and Kathleen, (and Kathleen is the one who has written the book on my husband's life) and Donald...and Donald is Dr. Hockman here in Wheaton now.
WILSON: And Charles?
HOCKMAN: Charles is dead. Charles died in the army in England and I just don't remember what year it was, but he's been gone quite a long time.
WILSON: During one of the wars or...?
HOCKMAN: No, he made the army his career and was over there in England with...in the office, I understand. But Charlie was an unhappy person, and I think a lot of it was due to the fact that the children were separated from their parents so long at Cheefoo School, several years before they could see each other, and it was hard for the children and for the parents. And I think that's one of the difficult things for parents to have to go through as missionaries, separated from their children.
WILSON: I...I didn't know about Charlie because the picture in your sister-in-law, Mrs. Friederichsen's book [Dr. Bob Hockman: Surgeon of the Cross, by Kathleen Hockman Friederichsen and published in 1937] just has your husband and Don and herself as little children and it looks like the whole set.
HOCKMAN: Well, I think that it was Charles...I think it was Charles and Don wasn't in that picture yet. See, Don wasn't born yet.
WILSON: Oh, okay.
HOCKMAN: I think that's the way it was.
HOCKMAN: I'm just not sure which picture it is.
WILSON: Okay, I must have misread it.
HOCKMAN: Uh huh.
WILSON: Now your husband, after he graduated from Cheefoo School went to be with his parents for another year, didn't he?
HOCKMAN: Yes, yes, yes. And then Father Hockman's health failed and there was...there was so much fighting and things and they took over the...the school that he had built (he was in education in...in China), and the heartache of all of that was just too much for him and so they came to America. And at that time Dr. Kelsey was at Camp Diamond for a conference and met the Hockmans, and they just didn't know where they were going to be that year. It was just the time when, of course, they were under faith mission, so Dr. Kelsey said, "Well, why don't you come to New Concord and there's one of the missionary homes available this year. We don't have one of our own missionaries in it." So that's the way they got to New Concord.
WILSON: Now, there was a Dr. Kelsey associated with Muskingum....
HOCKMAN: Oh, yes, he was the head of the Bible Department.
WILSON: Oh, it was the same Dr. Kelsey.
HOCKMAN: Yes, the same Dr. Kelsey.
WILSON: Okay. [laughs]
HOCKMAN: And Dr. Kelsey, when I was a little girl in Cambridge, had been my pastor, so...and he was...he was just a...had a great influence on my life spiritually because he...he was just a wonderful person and Dr. Kelsey has always been my outstanding pastor as a...as a little girl.
WILSON: Uh huh.
WILSON: So the Hockman's lived in New Concord for....
HOCKMAN: They lived in New Concord for one year and Father recuperated and...and then they went...he was asked to go to Moody to head the missionary department there. So they moved to Wheaton, and that's the reason they came to Wheaton. They wanted to live in a place where...not in a big city, and Father commuted to...to Moody each day. But Bob had one more year at...at Muskingum, so he didn't want to come to Wheaton to go to Wheaton College, and there was quite a...quite a little anecdote connected with this. When...when Mother and Father were at Camp Diamond, someone had told them that...that there was so much hazing among the students at Wheaton. [laughs] And she says, "I'm not gonna let my children go to Wheaton College" [laughs], so they went...they went to Muskingum. Now Charlie, this other brother, was in my class in school...
WILSON: At Muskingum?
HOCKMAN: ...at Muskingum. He just went the one year, and that's all he went in college....
WILSON: Was that his senior year or...?
HOCKMAN: No, his freshman.
WILSON: Oh, freshman year, okay.
HOCKMAN: He was a freshman when I was a freshman.
WILSON: And then he what? Transferred to Wheaton, or did he just not finish?
HOCKMAN: Never went on. He never went on. So, they...Bob wanted to finish at Muskingum since he had started there and so he lived in...at Muskingum for his senior year.
WILSON: Where did he live then, with...with his parents gone?
HOCKMAN: He lived up on Montgomery Boulevard. I don't remember the name of the people.
WILSON: He roomed with a family?
HOCKMAN: Yeah...no, he was in...in a college...in one of the homes that kept college students.
WILSON: One of the forts, they called them?
HOCKMAN: I don't think it was a fort. No, because he went...he joined the Auburn Club, and ate at the Auburn House, but he lived in one of the other houses.
WILSON: The club is still going, you know.
HOCKMAN: Yes, I know it is. Well, he was one of the first...and he designed the...the emblem or the pin that they....
WILSON: How about that?
HOCKMAN: Uh huh. Well....
WILSON: Now, when you were at Muskingum, you...you lived at home.
HOCKMAN: I lived at home the last two years. The first two years my father was in Cambridge, and then he bought this drugstore in New Concord, and it's now where...I don't know whether it's a theater there now or what, down on that corner, it's right where the co-op was.
WILSON: Oh, the co-op's still there.
HOCKMAN: But the other...other side.
WILSON: Oh, the village hall...
WILSON: ...is there now.
HOCKMAN: ...that's...that's what's there now. That was where my father's drugstore was, in that building. And the grocery co-op was on the other side of the building.
WILSON: Oh, okay.
HOCKMAN: There were two businesses, and I think that Dr. Glenn [?], the dentist, was upstairs, had his office upstairs. So, those were rather close people. [both laugh]
WILSON: You gotta be close in a town...
HOCKMAN: You sure do!
WILSON: ...that only has a mile long Main Street.
HOCKMAN: Well, it was very.... I...I enjoyed living there very much.
WILSON: Now, when...when you were at Muskingum, do you remember Malaku?
HOCKMAN: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. See there was Malaku and Worku and Basoward[?]. Now, Basoward[?] was in my class, and Worku...Basoward[?] and Malaku both graduated but Worku didn't. He was...he was just taken with...with the States, and he was a dude if there ever was one. I think he's still living in Ethiopia and...and for a long, long time was the director...police director on the railroad that went from Addis Ababa to Djibuti.
WILSON: We had always been told that...that these fellows were nephews, quote unquote, of Haile Selassie, but I...I can see that that...
HOCKMAN: I think....
WILSON: ...could easily be a pretend....
HOCKMAN: Yes, I think so. My understanding was that they were just wards, and that Haile Selassie was anxious for...for many Ethiopians to get education and...and.... See, Dr. Wert [?] went over from Muskingum to aid in history...historical events in Ethiopia, and he was there for three years. That's why I was at Muskingum. And....
WILSON: And Dr. Wert [?] first name again?
WILSON: Ernest. Okay.
HOCKMAN: Ernest Wert [?]. And he taught history at Muskingum when he was back home. And he and Haile Selassie became very close friends and that's the reason they got Muskingum, allowed these boys to get to Muskingum. And the emperor paid for all their expenses and things, so that's the way we met the Ethiopian boys. And when we were out in Ethiopia, Basoward[?] became quite a high-up official in the government after he returned to Ethiopia, but he was one of the men that was killed during the uprising.
WILSON: The Italian....
HOCKMAN: Yes, during the Italian uprising.
WILSON: Now Malaku didn't survive that either, did he?
HOCKMAN: Malaku finished his med school and went out...
WILSON: In...in America?
HOCKMAN: Yes, yes he went to med school in America. Now I don't know just...don't remember where he went.
WILSON: It wasn't Northwestern, though.
HOCKMAN: I don't think so. I just don't remember where he went to school. But anyway, he married an American Negro, and the Ethiopians did not accept the Negroes. They were very hostile toward Negroes.
WILSON: Reason being?
HOCKMAN: They...they don't...they don't claim that they're blacks. They're Arian in descent. And so when he took his wife out there it was a very hard time for...for Malaku and his wife. And he went out during the war, and he was very upset about his country and he off...went off mentally for a time. And Bob had...one time had to just restrain him because he was so high strung (he was a very high strung person anyway). And he just thought the world of Bob. They did work together a little bit down at the front.
WILSON: Oh, in Ethiopia.
HOCKMAN: In Ethiopia. Uh huh. That was before the bombs had gone over and were dropped. But then Malaku came back up and then he fled the country, left and came back to the States. That was after Bob had...had been killed.
WILSON: Now he...then he died in the States?
HOCKMAN: Yes, he died in the States not long after he came back. He had pneumonia.
WILSON: About 1940 or so.
HOCKMAN: And he had pneumonia and died, and I have lost track of his wife. I don't know.... He had one little boy and they came to see me after they came back to the States, and it was so nice, but he was so broken up over it. So I tried to assure him that God has a real purpose in so many of these things that happen and we really don't have control over them but God does. And so I...I hope that I was a help to him because he...he was...he fluctuated, you know. He couldn't understand suffering and why people had to go through things like that.
WILSON: Now, he was a Christian, was he not?
HOCKMAN: As far as I know, he was.
WILSON: Of...of what strand? The Ethiopian Church is...is not, you know...
HOCKMAN: It's Coptic.
WILSON: ...Evangelical Protestantism.
HOCKMAN: No, it's Coptic, but I don't think he was a Copt. I think he was...he was a...let's say a nominal Christian, and he was learning. We can put it that way. I think that...I'm not sure about Bosoward[?]. I don't think Worku was. I think he was just of...just a person. [laughs]
WILSON: Oh really?
HOCKMAN: Yes, but I understand that he's still living in Ethiopia.
WILSON: Now, when you were at Muskingum, was there any...was there any effort at directing students towards the mission field. There certainly wasn't when I was at Muskingum....
HOCKMAN: Well, Dr. Montgomery was...I mean that we had missionary speakers a lot and....
WILSON: Now, this is J. Knox Montgomery.
HOCKMAN: Yes, J. Knox...the father.
HOCKMAN: He was...he was all for missions. And...and he had tried twice in his life to go to the mission field, and twice he was struck down by illness after he had been accepted for the field. And that...I remember his telling that one time and you know the monthly chapels they used to have in Brown Chapel?
WILSON: Uh huh.
HOCKMAN: Well, I remember his telling that story one time, that after that he felt the Lord would have him stay in this country and interest young people in going to the field. I can remember one time in chapel hearing Dr. Maxwell, who had been in Ethiopia.
WILSON: Now, who would...what would his first name be? Do you remember?
HOCKMAN: Joseph. And, in fact, after he retired from the field he went to Ethiopia and the Sudan both, and (under the United Presbyterian Church) and I remember a chapel service that he...he spoke at, spoke about going to the field and how the Lord had led him out. And made...it was a great impression on me because I was a sophomore, I think, when this happened, and so I had met Dr. Maxwell since coming home, and he and his wife used to live in Wheaton. In fact, he was Wheaton's college doctor for a few years while Dr. [Clarence] Wyngarden was in the service. And now he's retired and lives in Florida, but Mrs. Maxwell died, I think, about two years ago. They were a lovely couple and very zealous for the field. Well, missions was always kept before us. I mean, it was...we often had missionary speakers in chapel, and, in fact, I always felt after I came to Wheaton, other than when Wheaton did not have drama here, or movies, when they weren't allowed to go to those, that Muskingum and Wheaton were very similar. And, in fact, I saw very little difference because the Bible teachers there, Dr. Kelsey and Dr. Johnson, were very evangelical, and we attended chapel everyday, and there were...there was no card-playing or dancing or anything like that...no smoking. 'Course that's all changed at...at Muskingum now, I understand...
WILSON: Yeah. [laughs]
HOCKMAN: ...which is kind of hard to take.
WILSON: The days of the Montgomeries are over, I'm afraid.
HOCKMAN: Yes, I'm sure that's true, although I...I think the new president is....
HOCKMAN: I think he's pretty strong.
WILSON: Yes, he is. So, well.... Oh, before we get too far away from your husband having grown up in China, [both laugh] do you remember any stories that your husband or your mother or father-in-law told about their time in China?
HOCKMAN: One of the stories, I think, that is outstanding is during this time when the children were small and they were having these revolutions all the time in China, and one story that mother told (and I think it's in this book) that she had gathered the children together under some stairs, and...because the children were frightened. There was shooting back and forth outside the compound. And she decided to get up for something from where she was sitting with the children, and just as she got up, a bullet came right through where she'd been sitting, and went right over the children's head, and that's how close it came to her, and, of course, there was just shooting and...and terror all around on the compound. I think that one...another story that I...that mother used to tell was when my husband was very small and they were going off to...to school. They had to go up these rapids of the river. It was a very treacherous journey for them. And Bob looked at his mother (he was just a little boy) and he said, "Mother, don't let your face change." And that was always very difficult for me because Bob and his mother were very, very close, and, in fact, the whole family was very close to Bob, and I always felt that maybe he was too much of a favorite among the family that I think maybe that was one of the difficulties with Charlie. There was a bit of jealousy there...
WILSON: Uh huh.
HOCKMAN: ...and.... But I know my...my other brother-in-law, Don, just practically worshipped his big brother. They're quite a few years difference. And they had a very close relationship. In fact, his becoming a doctor was a result of Bob's death. He had been interested in engineering very much, and after Bob's death, it was the spring that they had a revival here at Wheaton that he gave his life for missions service. He never got to the mission field because the war intervened and...and so he...he has been interested in spiritual things here and has been an influence, but he has always felt very, very close to his brother.
WILSON: Now, did your husband pick up his musical talents and abilities and all in China? Did he have the wherewithal to...?
HOCKMAN: It...he was self-trained. He...his father played the trumpet and so he got a trumpet and...and learned on that and...he played by ear. He had no medic...or musical training at all. It was just that he picked it up himself. In fact he carried it over into Ethiopia and trained four Ethiopian boys with trumpets.
WILSON: When we get into Ethiopia, I want to talk about that.
HOCKMAN: Yes, that was very thrilling.
WILSON: And one other...one other question I had about China was did... do you remember your mother-in-law telling anything specific about her nursing of Hudson Taylor or just the fact that she did it.
HOCKMAN: No, just the fact that she did it. She never said much about it.
WILSON: No parting words or anything.
HOCKMAN: No. [laughs]
WILSON: Okay. Now when your husband was at Northwestern, your sister-in-law's book mentioned that he helped found the Christian Medical Society. What was that all about?
HOCKMAN: That is a group of men ('course it still exists)...a group of young doctors who were interested in spiritual things. Dr. Ken Gieser is one of them. They were very close friends. And they...they felt the need of getting together for prayer and furthering Christian influence on...on other doctors and what...what a Christian doctor could mean, and they founded the Christian Medical Society.
WILSON: And that...now was that strictly at Northwestern or did it...?
HOCKMAN: Well, I think it...it...it grew then to other...other medical schools. Let's see. There was Rush Medical School and Illinois Medical School that had their medical school in Wheat...er, in Chicago. So I think that those, all of those, had some bearing on it.
WILSON: Alrighty. Now, you started to tell me about your being accepted for the mission field and all. Now you went out under the United Presbyterian.
HOCKMAN: United Presbyterian Church and I could remember one.... I had never met Dr. W.B. Anderson. Bob had and...and talked with him about going out.
WILSON: Now who was he?
HOCKMAN: He was head of the mission department, of the foreign board at that time. And I can remember, we were to meet him in Chicago, and it was during the time of a American Legion group that had come to Chicago, and we were to meet in one of the hotels. I don't remember which one now but I didn't know him, and Bob had gone to park the car and so I was waiting on the...in the lounge and I saw this tall, kindly face coming through the crowd that was milling about with all these other American Legion people in there. And I thought to myself, "That looks like [how] Dr. Anderson might look." And sure enough, that's who it was. And we had...we were having a...a conference with him about our going to the field and what to expect. See, at that time we had...we had gotten word to go directly to the field. In those days they used to send the doctors for six months in England for training in tropical medicine. But because Dr. [J. Alvin] Orr [Jr.] had died of typhus fever in Addis Addaba who was at the hospital where we were to go, they wanted us to go directly to the field. We were to have two weeks in Egypt with Dr. [W. T.] Moore in Tanta [Egypt] and (let's see, who else was in Tanta, oh, I can't think of his name right now). And then we went on up to Assuit and there's Dr. Giffen and another doctor there. But anyway, we observed some of the work that they were doing in those and...in those two stations at the time. Then we went on to Ethiopia.
WILSON: When you had your interview with Dr. Anderson, what...what sort of things were said back and forth?
HOCKMAN: He asked about our interest and why we were going...wanted to go to the field and if we would be willing to give up a lot of the things that we had in the States and just a number of things on spiritual matters and how...how we believed different things. That's just about what it was and...a friendly visit...
WILSON: Did...you were married at that time?
HOCKMAN: Yes, we'd been married a year.
WILSON: Were...did the mission board hire you also?
HOCKMAN: Yes, I had to be accepted as well as...as my husband.
WILSON: So you were on...on the board's payroll...
HOCKMAN: Well, it was a family. See, they had...the Foreign Board was...was married people and the Woman's Board was for single women.
WILSON: So, that meeting was here in Chicago.
HOCKMAN: Yes, uh huh.
WILSON: And that was when...?
HOCKMAN: That was...
WILSON: Nineteen thirty...
HOCKMAN: I think it was in August.
WILSON: And then you went to the New Wilmington Missionary Conference at one point, didn't you?
HOCKMAN: We went to the.... Yes, I was just going to tell you about that because that was very thrilling in.... Bob had accumulated a debt...a medical debt and the board didn't want us to go until that debt was paid, and that was another thing that we discussed with Dr. Anderson. There were five hundred dollars...no, let's see, fifteen...about two thosand dollars that he had. And one was...fifteen hundred was at.... One of the men that Bob had known and had gone each summer to his camp, out in Wyoming, a dude ranch, this man owned it, and he had loaned Bob the fifteen hundred dollars for his medical work. The other five hundred.... [pauses] Well, I think it was two thousand he had loaned, and at the conference, we both spoke and told that we had hoped to go a...as long as we could...as his medical work would be paid. And Dr. McCleery (I don't know whether you knew him or not), he was...he was doctor in New Concord.
WILSON: Oh, McCleery.
HOCKMAN: Uh huh. You remember him?
HOCKMAN: Well, he was...he was a backer of us. He...he was...he was just a marvelous friend to us and was so anxious for us to go out. 'Cause he was...he was retired from the mission field because of ill health, but he...he lived quite a long time there at New Concord.
WILSON: The...the health center at Muskingum is McCleery Health Center.
HOCKMAN: Is that what they call it?
WILSON: The one my mother is head nurse of.
HOCKMAN: Is that so?
WILSON: And there's a painting of Dr. McCleery...
WILSON: ...hanging in the waiting room.
HOCKMAN: Well, they were very close friends of ours. And he...he said that he was going to supply five hundred dollars for Bob's medical debt. And the when we got home from the conference, there was a telegram on our door and it said, "Praise the Lord! Fifteen hundred dollars can be supplied." And that was from the McCrory family.
HOCKMAN: McCrory who had McCrory Five and Ten [store].
WILSON: Oh yes. I...I guess I'm not familiar with....
HOCKMAN: Well, I guess they've been out for a number of years but there used to be a McCrory Five and Ten in Cambridge and...and they were...they were quite wealthy people.
WILSON: I was going to ask you who, in 1933, could afford fifteen hundred dollars?
HOCKMAN: Fifteen...well, it was back.... It was a family. There were three...three girls in the family, and all three contributed toward that. One of the girls I had known here at Wheaton, who had come to Wheaton to college, and...
WILSON: Oh, you knew her in that year that you were living here?
HOCKMAN: ...that.... We were living here, yes, uh huh. Dorothy. And she...she married Frank Butler, who died very early on the field. They went to Central America or some place in the south as missionaries, and he died very suddenly. But anyway, she's still living in...somewhere....
WILSON: In Wheaton?
HOCKMAN: No, she...I think she lives in Florida. I've lost...
WILSON: That's a better bet. [laughs]
HOCKMAN: ...I've lost...I've lost track of her. I saw her a few years ago, but we've just not corresponded since then. Anyway, the other two sisters, I've lost track of them because you know you can just keep up correspondence with so many people, and I think they felt the same way so...[laughs] we haven't...I haven't heard from them for a number of years. But anyway...so our money was available, and we let the board know that it had come in, so then they told us that we would be going in October. Well, it gave us very short time for any preparation for taking things, and it was all so quickly done, within three weeks we were on our way.
WILSON: Now, did you belong to the United Presbyterian Church at that time?
HOCKMAN: Oh, yes, yes. I...I was a member.
WILSON: And your husband?
HOCKMAN: No, he didn't. He wasn't a member of the United Presbyterian Church, and his father and mother were a little against their going out under a...a board like that, because they were...they were all for faith missions.
WILSON: Faith missions. Sure.
HOCKMAN: But I....
WILSON: They were out under China Inland Mission...
WILSON: ...weren't they?
HOCKMAN: But I've always contended that a board mission is a faith mission too because [laughs] they certainly have to raise the money for their going. And so...but they finally...when they sa...after they saw how the board took care of me after Bob's going, they...I think they've changed their minds quite a bit toward boards. Of course, they were always so afraid of any liberalism that would creep into denominations.
WILSON: Which it has in the U.P. Church.
HOCKMAN: Yes, it...it has in the U.P. Church, but there are still...I'm...I'm just confident that there are still very fine evangelical people, and I think that has been brought out pretty much from the New Wilmington Conference, that each year I know.... I haven't been able to go very many times, but Ruth Nichol, who is a very evangelical person and one of the missionaries in Ethiopia, has felt very keenly that it's still quite evangelical.
WILSON: Now, is she here in Wheaton also?
HOCKMAN: No, she lives in Pennsylvania, and we...we keep in touch with each other. But she's the one that Ruth, my Ruth, is named for.
WILSON: Oh, okay.
HOCKMAN: Yeah, she was...we were very close. They...we...they were on the field at the same time, she and Marjorie Faught. But Bob was never a member of the United Presbyterian Church, but I was.
WILSON: So now how did you happen to choose the U.P. Church then?
HOCKMAN: Well, I think it was because of Malaku and Bob's wor...Bob's being a student at...at Muskingum, and he was...he had gotten interested in the United Presbyterian Church there in...in New Concord. But....
WILSON: Did...did you both attend College Drive Church while you were there?
HOCKMAN: Uh huh. In fact I remember one time, this was...Bob was always, always doing things that...out of the ordinary. He could sit down and play a piano just by ear, as well as his trumpet. And while we were there, oftentimes he...he would take his trumpet and go out on the hill after I had to be in the dorm or at home. I...'cause my parents kept strict hours the same as [laughs]...as the dormitory. And he would take his trumpet and play "Redwing." I don't know whether you even know that song. Well, it's...it was an old song that we used to know then. And then he would always close with "Abide with Me" and then "Taps." And so we had that played at our wedding. That was one of our favorite hymns. And also at his memorial service I had...had that sung.
WILSON: Now that was a service in...in Egypt?
HOCKMAN: Egypt. Egypt. They had a memorial service there.
WILSON: Well, before we get to the memorial service, we have quite a career to cover. [Hockman laughs]
HOCKMAN: We certainly do. [both laugh]
WILSON: So you...you had yourself three weeks to get ready. What all did you have to do in that period of time.
HOCKMAN: Well, we had...we had dishes to buy...
WILSON: Oh, you had been living in Wheaton with your in-laws.
HOCKMAN: We lived with his father and mother while...while he was interning. And I went to Moody [Bible Institute in Chicago] one term to take missionary courses and...and then...then we were...we lived with his father and mother there in Wheaton. And we didn't have...we had kitchen utensils and...and things like that, and materials because I knew I'd have to make my own drapes and things on the field, and one of the things that father used to teach in Missionary Principles and Practices was to make your home as attractive as possible and yet not overly attractive so that the nationals would not feel out of order coming into your home.
WILSON: How do you strike a delicate balance like that?
HOCKMAN: It's very difficult. You know, we had...had our furniture made by the people out there. There were a lot of Indian carpenters and they were very good. Of course, we didn't have any upholstered furniture. We had our beds made. Bob made the headboard and...and the foundation of the beds and then the mattresses were made by the native people. And...
WILSON: What would they be stuffed with?
HOCKMAN: Just cotton and they weren't very comfortable. But a lot of missionaries would take their own mattresses with them, but we didn't...we didn't have the money to do it. We had...we just did with what we had and...
WILSON: Would you consider it bad form to have taken your own mattress, even if you could have afforded it?
HOCKMAN: No, no I think that's...that's a very good idea to take a good bed with you.
WILSON: Having slept on the cotton mattress.
HOCKMAN: Yeah. [laugh] Well, I think that was one thing in...in Father Hockman's course that he advised that they take good mattresses and things. Now, there's some other missionaries that had a lot of extra lovely things. Now, for instance, a good stove and everything like that, but I had the...the...a...a native coal...wood stove and cooked on that smoke most of the time, which is very discouraging to me, but it worked out okay. But I never felt that I had given up that much when I went to the field because I had lived on a farm in my early days part of the time, and we didn't have electricity, and...but we had electricity on the field. And we couldn't use irons or heating things. We...we had lights, but we had our own motor [generator], you know, in the hospital for x-rays and things, so that could...we could use that in the evening. We had our own electric lights so I could use my lamps that I had taken along. And...[clears throat] and one of...one of the things...we had one box crated with...with good wood, and then Bob used those crates to...to make me a tea table. He...he loved carpenter work. That was his hobby when...when he couldn't play tennis [laughs], he would work on his.... And his work bench was the first thing he made when he went out there, and that was kept on our porch so that he could work on it. And when he wasn't in the hospital, that's what he would do. He made our beds, he made me a table for my sewing machine, and...and a desk for me...was all hand done.
HOCKMAN: And he made some desks for the other girls on the compound and he just kept busy that way as...for a hobby.
WILSON: ...now were you able to bring any of that back with you?
HOCKMAN: I brought the table he had made for my sewing machine, but it was all splintered by the time I got here, so it didn't...wasn't any good.
WILSON: Did you...well, you never did go back to Addis Ababa, did you?
HOCKMAN: No, because I...the Board felt that since the.... When I was in Egypt with the baby, the Board felt it was unwise for me to go into the country, and it was at that time...because by that time the Italians had gotten into Addis Ababa, and our compound people had to flee for their lives. But they...they never fully left the whole country. They finally got back, but by that time the hospital was taken over by the Italians, and they located just across the street from...from where they had been before. That's where the school is now which is run by an Ethiopian who was educated here in this country. And I think there are a few people still there in Addis Ababa living in that compound across the street.
WILSON: Now, you then sailed from New York?
HOCKMAN: Uh huh. And I remember Bob standing at the back of the boat, and as long as he could see the Statue of Liberty, he said, "I wonder how long it'll be before we get back to see that." But he never saw it again.
WILSON: [pauses] And then you were at sea for what, four weeks?
HOCKMAN: Just a week. We went out on the maiden voyage of the Rex, Italian ship.
WILSON: An Italian ship?
HOCKMAN: Uh huh. And that's...that's...
WILSON: How ironic!
HOCKMAN: Yeah, that...that's what I say. It was...it...it was ironic, but it was their maiden voyage, and we went....
WILSON: And you sailed to where?
HOCKMAN: We sailed to Naples, and then we transshipped to Alexandria, and we were met there by some missionaries and we spent two weeks in...in Egypt. Then we went on to Tanta and...and to Assuit. And...
WILSON: The purpose of those...
HOCKMAN: ...that was....
WILSON: ...visits was just to get acclaimated to....
HOCKMAN: ...acclaimated to...to mission work and...and Bob observed some of the tropical diseases that they saw there because he didn't have the opportunity....
WILSON: Crash course.
HOCKMAN: Yes, it was.
WILSON: Uh huh.
HOCKMAN: And the missionary doctors were so helpful. They were just...'course then they were friends of mine when I got back down there...
HOCKMAN: ...just a few years afterwards.
WILSON: Now, were they all United Presbyterians?
HOCKMAN: They were all United Presbyterians, yes. It was Uni..they were...Assuit and Tanta were both United Presbyterian hospitals.
WILSON: Now, were...were you part of a larger missionary delegation that went out at that time, or was it just the two of you?
HOCKMAN: Just the two of us. Ruth Nichol and Marjorie Faught had gone out...I think they went out a few months ahead of us. They were already assigned by the Women's Board, and Marjorie was a nurse, and Ruth was head of...to head the school.
WILSON: Now this is the school for the missionary children or...
HOCKMAN: No, it was...
WILSON: ...for native children?
HOCKMAN: ...native children, and the school was right on the compound.
WILSON: And was it a...was it a free school or did they charge tuition?
HOCKMAN: I think it was a free school. I...I...now I'm not sure about that. It may be that they had to pay a little bit but it wasn't...wasn't a lot. It was a Boarding school, and they had their...had a dormitory for the girls. And...and they had a...a national...native to be the housemother in the dormitory. And...and the girls had.... And Marge and Ruth lived together in a little house, and then they had a...had the school there too.
WILSON: Did...what sort of things did they teach in school? Were...were there any secular standards set down by some committee...
HOCKMAN: Not then.
WILSON: ...in the Ethiopian government?
HOCKMAN: Now...no, not then.
WILSON: Uh huh.
HOCKMAN: They...they taught reading, and a little history, and mathematics. I really just don't know what all the courses they had there, but it...I think the school went up to...oh, probably grade eight by the time...course, the school had been going on for several years. Miss Kimmel was head of it. She was coming home on furlough, and that's the reason Ruth Nichol took over.
WILSON: What kind of evangelizing work was done through the school?
HOCKMAN: I think they had...they had morning prayers and...and reading, a scripture reading, and then there was always Sunday with Sunday school and...and I had a group of...on Sunday afternoon a group of children that I worked with, sort of like.... See, in...you are probably familiar with the Junior Missionary Society in...in the United Presbyterian Church, and that was always a wonderful experience as far as I was concerned, and the lady that was head of it in...in Cambridge, when I lived in Cambridge, she was always very much interested in missions, and we...we were sort of brought up...in...in missions in...in the church. Dr. Kelsey was...was very active as far as missions were concerned, and...and I think that it was just always that And then when...when I went to the field, this Mrs. Montgomery, who was...McBirney [?] was still very active as far as interest in missions and wrote to me and then, after this book was written, she had her son, who...who was in bookbinding, had some books bound for me in...in...in...in the binding that her son had done. But, little Mrs. McBirney[?], she was an artist. Very lovely person, and she corresponded with me until her death.
WILSON: Now, how long did it take you to get from, let's say, when you left the stations in Egypt that you visited and traveled...what, down the Nile?
WILSON: Is that how you'd get to Addis Ababa?
hOCKMAN: No, we went to Djibuti. We went to...we got on the boat at.... Well, we went through the canal.
WILSON: Oh, the Suez Canal.
hOCKMAN: Yeah, the Suez Canal and to Djibuti. And it took us two...two nights and three days, I think, to go up by the train. We slept right on the train and....
WILSON: How many miles inland is that, then?
hOCKMAN: It's about three hundred miles in. It was right in the center. Addis Ababa's right in the center of Ethiopia, and the train...you go up the mountainside. And the train went so slowly, Bob used to get out and run along the side of the train. [laughs] He was always doing something crazy, and it was really funny. We went...we went...second class, I think it was, and the seats were very wide, and then at night they made up these beds, just big Boards...they put Boards between it, and you were with another couple. So this...this other woman's husband was up by the window, and she was next to him and I was next and then Bob was on the outside [laughs] and that's the way we slept for three nights.
WILSON: That keeps everything aboveboard. [both laugh]
HOCKMAN: It was. Oh, dear! And...I...if...I...when I laugh about it now I think, "Oh, I wonder" and this poor other women...English woman she was, they were English. They were...I don't know what they were going out for but...it was quite an experience.
WILSON: But it wasn't missions?
HOCKMAN: No, it wasn't. They weren't going as missionaries. Quite an experience.
WILSON: I'll bet. Well, what...what do you remember thinking and feeling and reacting to when you first got to Addis Ababa?
HOCKMAN: I remember the first day we were there. We arrived on a Thursday morning, and there were several missionaries at the train to meet us and I was so excited. I was...it was just such a thrill to me to think that we'd finally reached our destination. And then that afternoon, we went to...over to the Sudan Interior Mission headquarters leprosarium where the...the Swedish mission that was in Ethiopia and our mission and Sudan Interior Mission all met on Thursday afternoons for a prayer meeting each week, and we'd go to different places, different homes, and it was about a ten-mile trip, and for that time, they took.... Dr. and Mrs. [Alexander W.] Pollock, who were on the field with us, had a car, and they would use the car once in a while for prayer meeting or something like that. And so they took us over. And I remember we were at the home of Dr. and Mrs. [E. R.] Hooper. And he was a retired doctor who had gone out when he was sixty years old to this leprosarium under the Sudan Interior Mission, and he....
WILSON: And how old was he then? I mean, when...
HOCKMAN: Well, he'd been out just about a year or so.
WILSON: Oh, okay.
HOCKMAN: And he was quite a tennis player, and he and Bob played tennis nearly every Saturday. Dr. Hooper would come over to our tennis courts or Bob would go over to their tennis courts. And of course, in an altitude of nearly nine thousand feet, that was really something. [Wilson laughs] And that first Saturday that we were out there, Bob played ten sets of tennis that Saturday afternoon. And his...he had always kept his body in such excellent shape, and this Dr. Hooper had too. So they just had wonderful times together in tennis. But I remember Mrs. Hooper. They were...they were under the Sudan Interior Mission, and she was so anxious to know why I had come, if I had just come as the wife of a...and I said, "I've come to tell the people about the Lord Jesus. And soon as I can get to it, I'm...that's what I'm going to be doing." So she was my friend right off the bat 'cause she was quite evangelical. And so we...we set up a very close friendship...now...and their daughter was with them too...had come out, Helen. Helen is still living in Canada. She came home during all those years of stress there and...and married in...in Canada, and I have visited them quite often in Canada. But that was.... And...and Mrs. Hooper and Bob would...they just could carry on the cleverest conversations that you ever [pauses] could experience. They were just always at each other on something, you know, and would do some crazy thing, but Bob was a very happy-go-lucky person and...and could keep everybody in stitches most of the time. [laughs] We had...had decided that when we went to the field that we were not just going to let ourselves go down and we wanted to keep up what interests we had. And so once a month we had a formal dinner on the compound. We dressed up in formal clothes and...and had speeches, and I used to play the violin and I'd play some violin music and Bob would play the cornet and we'd have after-dinner speeches and we kept that up as long as we were there.
WILSON: Well now, was that an...an innovation on your part or was the mission already doing it?
HOCKMAN: It was ours. It was something that we...we decided that we wanted to...to keep up.
WILSON: Oh, and...and you hosted these dinners?
HOCKMAN: Not necessarily. We'd all get together, probably in...in one of the homes or in the...in the hospital dining room. And we often got together and had...I think once a week we got together and had native food in the hospital dining room, had them cook it for us. But we had a lot of times together. We had one evening of...it was a prayer group and Bible study, and another group we played...played Rook [a card game] a lot until we found out that one man was...would...got so mad if he would lose that we decided that was not the thing to do anymore. [laughs] We...I just never felt that I had given up one thing to come to the mission field.
WILSON: Did you...you mention native food. When...when you were in your own home in Addis Ababa....
HOCKMAN: We had our own...we cooked our own food.
WILSON: You...you cooked your own style?
HOCKMAN: Yes, we had...I had a cook and I had to train him what to do and...but he had...he understood a little English, which was great, but our houseboy didn't and we didn't want him to understand English because it's much better if you...if they don't understand what you're talking about.
HOCKMAN: Yeah, that's...that's one of the rules of...of....
WILSON: Can...can you...flesh that out a little more? I've never heard that. It's very intriguing.
HOCKMAN: I don't...I don't know how it is now, but we felt it very keenly that if...if they understood what you were talking about, it could go all over the compound, you know. So you could keep your own individuality by having them...you would speak to them in their language when you wanted something done, but it was much better if they didn't understand you. And I was very grateful that...that my cook...'cause he didn't serve. He cooked the food in another building. But he didn't serve us. And that was a hard thing for me, to have to have servants. It was really difficult, but you...you have to on the field because they wouldn't understand it if you didn't.
WILSON: Oh, now go into that a little more. That's...I...I have always wondered in my own mind, "Why is it that...that missionaries have so many..."
HOCKMAN: ...that's it, because now th.... It's different in different countries, what they do. Some countries they have just one person. But now, in Ethiopia, our houseboy wouldn't go into the kitchen to cook. He...he wouldn't do that. Nor...nor would you have a...a fella who tended the garden or took care of the horses in your house as a houseboy or in your kitchen. They...they...they...they felt kind of a caste. It wasn't caste, but one per...they just wouldn't do it, for somebody else.
WILSON: They didn't cross over into other jobs.
HOCKMAN: No, no, huh uh. Now the cook had learned...he had been a cook for...for other people and he was very good at rolls, made the best bread, but I had to teach him how to make pies, so I'd have to go into the kitchen and show him. And I...he would understand a little bit, and I'd have him talk to me so I could understand a bit of Amharic 'cause it was...we had to go right out and start right in. We didn't have any schooling so you just had to pick it up as you could.
WILSON: You...you never did have any formal schooling.
HOCKMAN: No, no. I...I had a...finally got a...a fella that would help us a bit. But sometimes he'd come and sometimes he wouldn't. And I had to teach him how to teach. Really. And so I never got so that I could, you know, give a message in the language. I always had to have an interpreter. But as far as the cooking was concerned, the boy understood something if he wanted to. And...
WILSON: And how often was that [laughs]?
HOCKMAN: Well, one of the things that nearly drove me out of my mind was...another thing they had...they had...had customs that you had to entertain...you had to call on the American ambassador (we had an ambassador). One of the first calls you would make was to be the ambassador...to the ambassador's home, and then to the consul, and the consul lived right down across the street and he was a bachelor. But...and then there was another American couple there that he was the...financial adviser to the Emperor, and they were all very much interested in...in missions. And they were really friends of...of the mission. And then the next thing was that you had to invite them into your home within six months of the time that you were there.
WILSON: This is all protocol.
HOCKMAN: This is all protocol and so it was my first formal dinner. I was going to have.... And they had certain courses that you had to go through, and one of the first courses was a soup course. And I was going to have just plain soup with a tiny bit of noodles, you know, in the bottom. When I went out to the kitchen, just before the guests arrived (it had to be the American minister and then this financial minister) and they...he had put so many noodles in that it was just "goo."
HOCKMAN: Fortunately, I had some cans of tomato soup there and we quickly heated that up. [laughs] And that took care of that, but...
WILSON: Well now, was that just a mistake on his part or was it malicious or...?
HOCKMAN: No, it...I guess he just didn't understand what I wanted and it was hard, you know, to explain everything, and...but that was a...it was a disaster. But anyway, they didn't know it in the...in the.... So we had to dress formally, you know, and have them served, and I had to...to.... And another thing that...one time some of the...the...Sudan Interior Mission people had come over to our compound for something and I was going to have them for lunch. And I had a...Bob always liked apple pie so much, but he wanted it in a deep dish so he could put milk over it. So this particular day we were having apple pie. Well, I hadn't explained anything further, and, of course, I had mine just plain, in a plain dish...plate. And so, to my horror, [laughs] all the men were served their apple pie in deep dishes and [laughs] all the women were served on regular pie plates.
WILSON: "'Cause we always do it that way." [both laugh]
HOCKMAN: Yeah, so we...we had lots of laughs over different things, you know. Another thing that happened that was so much fun was one time Bob was going in...in...to town and he had borrowed this car that was the only car on the compound, and so in order to save gas he often had...had one of the boys push the car down the incline and start it that way. So we looked down and here...he wondered why it was...wasn't going and the fella was standing up on the...on the back of it, pushing that way and it wasn't going at all.
WILSON: Oh, standing on the car....
WILSON: ...pushing on the car. Alrighty.
HOCKMAN: Oh, yeah. We...we would have lots of laughs.
WILSON: Now, with your servants: how...for someone like yourself who had always been used to doing things for herself, how did you keep your servants busy?
HOCKMAN: We had...one of the...one of the pests that we had so much of in...in Ethiopia was...fleas. So in order to overcome that we...we would clear things out of our living room at least once a week. Rugs, take everything out, you know. And...and we used...and they would wax the floors with bees wax and kerosene, and that would get rid of fleas. So there was quite a bit of cleaning that had to be done. We didn't have any large rugs. It was always just throw rugs. And so they...their cleaning...and they were slow at it, you know, so I kept them pretty busy at that. They always.... I made my own beds because I felt that that was...that was wise, but they would do the cleaning. And, of course, there was...there was washing and ironing and that would take a long time and.... I usually kept them pretty busy except they had time off in the afternoon. Of course they weren't paid very much.
WILSON: I was gonna ask you how much you paid them.
HOCKMAN: I just forget what..what it was but I think it was about four thalers a week and that would amount to about a dollar and a half in our money. It seems to me...I just really forget what...what we did pay them, but it was...it was the...the regular wage that most of them were paid.
WILSON: Now when you said that if you didn't have servants, people wouldn't understand....
HOCKMAN: They wouldn't understand and you wouldn't have any time for.... See, they had to...they had to do the buying, too. They had to go to market because...
WILSON: So you didn't do any of the marketing.
HOCKMAN: No, no. Even when some of the things were brought...vegetables and things were brought to the door, they were the ones who...who did it for us.
WILSON: Now, was that in your best interest because they knew how to dicker.
HOCKMAN: It was in our be.... Yes, that's right. We wouldn't have known how to...how to take care of that. Nor would it have been wise for us to be working down in the market.
HOCKMAN: Well, they just wouldn't understand it.
WILSON: Uh huh. The natives wouldn't understand.
HOCKMAN: The natives wouldn't...just wouldn't understand it.
WILSON: What...what would they have thought if you had...?
HOCKMAN: I think that they would have thought that we were too much above them, for one thing.
WILSON: Too much above them...
WILSON: ...for...for coming down to their level.
HOCKMAN: Yeah, uh huh.
WILSON: Oh, they...they.... I thought you were saying that they would have thought that you were trying to act too much above.
HOCKMAN: Yeah, uh huh. They...they just expected as...as part of their living.... Any of the missions had...had servants. Any of white people had...had servants, whether they're out in government or what...what they were doing.
WILSON: Now your servants...you had what? A cook and a houseboy?
HOCKMAN: I had a cook and a houseboy and...and a gardener. And the gardener helped with the horses, too. 'Cause we eventually got horses. That was our transportation. I rode horseback.
WILSON: Now they were...you bought them.
WILSON: They were your own.
HOCKMAN: Yes. They were our own. And my horse had been poorly trained because he always shied at...at a car. And I went off the front end one time very quickly.
WILSON: Oh, dear.
HOCKMAN: And I had to watch when I went in...in town to be very careful 'cause they would shy...he would shy at cars.
WILSON: Now, what would you yourself go into town for if you weren't doing marketing?
HOCKMAN: We went in to...sometimes...Indian shops or Muhammed Ali had a grocery shop there for canned goods and things like that. We...we bought things like that, but we didn't go too often because they were so expensive. And then we had...I remember one time.... Of course, we sometimes had to go through town to get to the other place...other places that had our prayer meetings on Thursdays, we'd have to come through town.
WILSON: Were your...were your servants Christians?
HOCKMAN: I don't think so. I...my...my cook...I...I had talked to him some, and he...he talked about the Good Samaritan and the stories that he had...he had heard someplace. Of course we all...we had morning prayers with all our people...in the chapel. That was...
WILSON: In the compound?
HOCKMAN: ...on the compound. They were all required to go so they all were there for a little while and...but I never...I wasn't able to talk to...to them on spiritual things, you know. I hadn't gotten to that place where I could do it.
WILSON: Oh, because you couldn't talk to them on anything.
HOCKMAN: No, no. And the...the little group that I had on Sunday afternoon of...of children, I...I had tracts and I had an interpreter, all the time, and he was very good. And we would go out on Sunday afternoons and take tracts to the people around, and I had the children do it, and speak to them.
WILSON: The...the interpreters. Would they be Christians?
HOCKMAN: Yes. Our interpreter was a Christian man.
WILSON: Now, this...this brings me to a question that has long intrigued me. If the interpreter was a Christian...well, I don't want to say "Who needs you?" but I...I think that's where I'm going. Would the natives pay more attention to you as a foreigner than they would have to an interpreter who was of their own race?
HOCKMAN: I don't know. I think that they needed the...the guidance of...of how to go about things. And...and we had...we had a...a hospital evangelist that worked in the hospital all the time with the patients, a native, and...and I remember that our cook, the hospital cook, was a Christian, and they were always working with people, but a lot of it was lack of education to know how to go about it, and they were learning to read even there. Of course I don't...I don't know.... 'Course that's...that's the difference in when we were missionaries and what missionaries are now, cause most of them now are under government restrictions, and yet they're there for advice more than actual doing the work, I think, if I'm correct in this. I'm just not too sure about some of the Third...Third World activities. But when we were there, they depended a lot on the missionaries in how they would go about things.
WILSON: So, were you ever able, in the short time that you were there, with the language barrier being what it was and all, were you ever able to lead anyone personally to the Lord?
HOCKMAN: Not that I know of. I...I...I remember one time, with just a little bit, going into the wards and speaking to the people as much as I could, and just in a loving way, you know, going from bed to bed, and I had learned to say that Jesus loves you, and I remember I was doing this one time, and one of the older missionaries from another station came in, "What's...what's she doing in there?" And this woman had been sort of a barrier with...with a lot of evangelistic work that we wanted to do. And my husband just came out and said, "She's trying to...to speak to people about the Lord." And that...I didn't have an interpreter or anything with me, you know, I just tried to show the people that I loved them, and...and wanted them to know why. But at...to have led someone to the Lord, I don't think I ever did, that I'm aware of.
WILSON: Well, you...you don't know what seeds were planted.
HOCKMAN: No, you don't, and now we have this...this worker, Gru Tama[?], who's been such a won...marvelous worker with...and he has founded...well, in fact, he has a school named for Bob, and he was one of the fellows that Bob trained and...to play the cornet. And I just don't know. Only the Lord knows what influence it was able to have upon the people.
WILSON: Did your husband know more of the language?
HOCKMAN: He...he was studying Galla, and I was studying Amharic, and he...
WILSON: And the difference...?
HOCKMAN: The Amharic is the high class, and the Galla was the next, and we had a lot...most of our servants were Galla. The Amharas would not act as servants. But most of our servants were Galla and a lot of the people who came to the hospital were Gallas.
WILSON: What...how different were the languages from each other?
HOCKMAN: Not too different, but...but they were different enough as far as the alphabet and so on was concerned. And I had gotten so that I could read some, but to speak in the language, I...I couldn't do that. And we all had to take our turns on...on morning prayers. Each week we'd have a week that we would be speaking. And I.... Bob had gotten so that he could give a short message in...in Galla, but I had never gotten to the place that I could do it in Amharic without an interpreter.
WILSON: Now, morning prayers were done in...in the native languages then.
HOCKMAN: Yes, they were all done in the native languages.
WILSON: So, in essence, morning prayer was almost more for the benefit of the native people...
WILSON: ...rather than....
HOCKMAN: It was with...with all the servants that were around and...and the schoolchildren and...and all of that together.
WILSON: Did you have private family devotions?
WILSON: And were your servants invited to that?
HOCKMAN: No, no it was just our own private ones. We...if we had been in a placve where we didn't have a compound...where we had the...we felt it was...that that was enough.
WILSON: Uh huh. Yeah.
HOCKMAN: Some of the places we knew that...that had their morning prayers. Now I know in Egypt where there...where they were so divided in different places that they had their servants come in for morning prayers. And...but they didn't have a...a...a get together with all the missionaries on.... For instance, in...in Cairo, the different buildings were so far apart, different organizations were so far apart, they couldn't have done it. But...so the girls that we knew that had the school had their...had their servants right there. And the same way with the ministers that were in a different building, had...had their own servants.
WILSON: Now, did your servants sleep at your place or were they then...?
HOCKMAN: No, no they went to their own homes.
WILSON: Another thing I wanted to ask you was relations among missionaries in...within the compound.
HOCKMAN: We had a very happy relationship. Most of the time. I think there was..there was a difference as far as...when we first went there was a difference as far as doctors were concerned. And...and some nurses, but on the whole, we had a very happy relationship.
WILSON: Now, you said a difference between the doctors.
HOCKMAN: I think it...I think it was a matter of...of practicing different types of medicine.
WILSON: How many doctors...?
HOCKMAN: There were three of us for a time, three doctors for a time. Dr. Pollock was the eldest doctor and he and Bob got along fine, but the other doctor was practicing...(oh, what is it that they call it?) a theory of.... And he couldn't do surgery. He thought he could, but he'd bungle it every time and it was just a headache to Bob. I mean, he...he just felt that he should take care of only the...the medical part of things and leave the surgery to him. In fact, it had to come to that. And this...this doctor's mother came out one time and she couldn't understand why everbody was against her son.
HOCKMAN: And Bob confronted her and he said...he told her how he felt. He said, "I have nothing against your son, but it...but it's his medicine." And he had....
WILSON: Well, was he a chiropractor? Is that what you're trying to say?
HOCKMAN: No. No.
WILSON: Or an osteopath or...?
HOCKMAN: No, he was neither one of those. It was...(oh, what is it they call that?). They just give a person a pill and think it's gonna be okay. Is it homeopathy?
HOCKMAN: I can't think of the name of the...of it now, but anyway, that's what he was practicing. And it was very much against Bob's theory of medicine, and so he told him. He said, "Now, you take care of...of...of the medical end of things, and it...it's alright if you want to do that," but as far as...as...as surgery is concerned, he...he just could not assist in surgery. Just was not a.... And for that reason, Bob took out my appendix on his...on hi...on his own, because he said, "I could not...I could not allow it..."
HOCKMAN: ...'cause he just didn't know that much about surgery.
WILSON: Well, now, had...
HOCKMAN: And he has....
WILSON: ...Dr. Pollock died by the time you went to have your appendix out? He died, didn't he?
HOCKMAN: Yes, he died... [Dr. Pollock died in 1935] no, he was still living when that happened, but he hadn't done any surgery for a long time and he didn't...he didn't pretend to.... He was more just a...a figurehead for...for people that would come who had known him all these years until his retirement, but the day he handed over his keys is the day he died.
WILSON: Good land!
HOCKMAN: Yeah, he had a massive stroke and died that night. And I...I think for him it was wonderful because he loved Ethiopia and he didn't want to go home to America. It was hard on his wife, but she did go...but she went back out and...and worked out there after furlough time.
WILSON: Who was theoretically in charge of the hospital?
HOCKMAN: Well, Dr. Pollock was until.... And then...then he asked that...that Bob would have charge, and they transferred this other doctor to the West, and then Dr. [John] Cremer came out, and he and Bob just got along beautifully together. He was a real surgeon, too. They were just like brothers, just.... And I've had...I...I keep in touch with them all the time, and visit them up in Michigan. He's retired now.
WILSON: Now there name was "Kramer."
HOCKMAN: Cremer. Dr. Cremer. John Cremer.
WILSON: K-R....[starts to spell name]
HOCKMAN: C-R-E-M-E-R.[spells name]
WILSON: Oh, okay.
HOCKMAN: Uh huh. He's a Reformed Church man, but then they went back out after they had come home and stayed several years when their children were in high school. Then they went back out to the field for a term. And then he's also visited Ethiopia since then. But...they had hoped to go last year but then they didn't let them in the country. But he has...he's practically blind now. But they're wonderful, wonderful people.
WILSON: Now, was anyone in...in charge of the mission compound? Was there a head missionary, if you will?
HOCKMAN: Oh, Dr. Fred Russell [Rusell was not, in fact, a doctor.] was at the time when we were there and he has...is not living now.
WILSON: What were his duties? I mean....
HOCKMAN: Well, he did the financial part, and he did evangelistic work and his wife was in this country with their children in school at the time. It was a very hard situation for him because he was alone. He lived in a little native house right on the compound. But he was...he was very active evangelically on the compound.
HOCKMAN: And they've had...most of the time they've had someone.... Since I've come home I don't know all the different ones who have served in that capacity, but there's a lot to be done because they do the buying and see that things are brought into the country, and it's a big job.
WILSON: If you had it to do over again, would you choose to live in a compound, or would you choose to live out among...?
HOCKMAN: Among the people?
HOCKMAN: I...I...I don't think I could live out, personally, just...just among native people all the time. I think I would, knowing my own make-up, I think I...I'd be much happier on a compound with other people.
WILSON: Do you find it difficult to...you've...you've already made the point that...that you decided you weren't going to surrender a lot of your traditions and...and your customs and all, but just by being in Ethiopia, you're...you're forced into a whole different setup. Is it difficult to adjust to a whole new social structure and new society? What kind of adjustments are necessary?
HOCKMAN: I didn't feel that I had a lot of adjustments to make, myself. I got into a sort of a routine of...of daily activities and...and I kept busy all the time, it seemed. I think one of the things, I kept almost too busy because the altitude was so high, and most of the missionaries took at least a couple of...a...a couple of hours in the afternoon to absolutely rest. But I couldn't do that. I was so keyed up all the time that...but then I gave out under it. That...I found that it...I broke down under it. And that's the reason that they sent me to a lower altitude for...for my child's birth because I...I had just gotten so keyed up that I...they were...they were afraid of what might happen. And...[pauses] I...I had gotten so that I just couldn't sleep. I was just active all the time.[laughs]
WILSON: Well, now, what did you do, in all this activity, other than your...your Sabbath school kids, in all?
HOCKMAN: I did a lot of sewing for the school. I...I kept my sewing machine going all the time. Of course, I had...I had my classes that I was trying to...to learn something. I was studying.
WILSON: Oh, classes that you were taking, as well as teaching.
HOCKMAN: Yeah, yeah. And...and I would go up and help out in the pharmacy in the hospital. I did a lot of work right with my husband...
WILSON: Stocking bottles and...?
HOCKMAN: Yeah, and I did some cooking up in the hospital when the...when the nurse...er the cook went on vacation. And....
WILSON: Now was that native food or American cooking?
HOCKMAN: It was native food.
WILSON: And so you learned to cook...
WILSON: ...in the native fashion.
HOCKMAN: And wi...with the help of this...this assistant cook...and...'course, I had been in my Dad's drug store so I knew a little bit about some medicine, so I worked a month down in the pharmacy when...when the lady who had...had charge of that was away. And I did a lot of sewing. I did my own sewing. I mean, that's...that's the only way I could get anything done. And I did...I took on fixing up a couple of rooms in the hospital for missionaries that would come in. We had...we had missionaries coming in all the time, too. Bob took care of those. And I made pretty spreads and...and drapes and things like that, fixed up those rooms so that it would be a little bit more attractive than...than what the native quarters were. So it...it seems as if I was finding things to do most of the time. [laughs]
WILSON: Now, your husband was what? At George Memorial Hospital. And that was run by the UP Church on...as part of the compound. How many other missions in Addis Ababa did you have contact with?
HOCKMAN: Well, we had contacts with the Swedish Mission, and they had a hospital. It was a Swedish hospital which was very good.
WILSON: Now that...that is, from Sweden.
HOCKMAN: And the Sudan Interior Mission had a leprosarium. And I used to go over sometimes on Sundays and teach over there. I would have to go on horseback, and had a Sunday school class with...with the...lepers. And that didn't seem to bother me a bit. I mean, I didn't have any...
WILSON: I was just going to ask you....
HOCKMAN: ...I didn't have any contact with the people, close contact, but they were all together in a room and I taught through an interpreter.
WILSON: Were you in the same room?
WILSON: Did you run a risk of catching leprosy then?
HOCKMAN: No, leprosy's very hard to...to catch. You have to have direct contact with...you have to have...
WILSON: Oh, with...with the garments or....
HOCKMAN: ...or even an open...if you have an open sore, and you would contact their garments or their person, that's the way it's contacted, but I understand that leprosy's very hard to....
WILSON: It doesn't go by air?
WILSON: The...the lepers in the...in the sanitarium there, would they be evangelized?
WILSON: A lot of them?
HOCKMAN: Yes, yes. They had their own.... Of course, this Dr. Hooper that was out there that I spoke about was...was a minister as well. He...he was a good Bible teacher and did a lot of writing as well.
WILSON: So, pretty much the lepers that were there were there 'til they died?
WILSON: And that was right in the city?
HOCKMAN: No, that was over...it was out.... The Sudan Interior Mission headquarters were out quite a distance from the city, and then they had their separate leprosarium on the compound.
WILSON: No cure for it?
HOCKMAN: I think now...I...I think there's a cure for leprosy now if they get it in time.
WILSON: But there wasn't then?
HOCKMAN: I don't think so. I think they were given what...what.... Of course, a lot of them didn't come in until they were so far gone there was not much you could do for them.
HOCKMAN: I think they...they did have shots of some kind that they gave to them that would stop the progress of it.
WILSON: What were your relations with the other missions like?
HOCKMAN: We had excellent...
WILSON: Were they relatively good?
HOCKMAN: ...excellent relationship. Now, we had a very...there was also a Seventh Day Adventist hospital, and there was an excellent doctor there and nurse, but we did not invite them in because we felt it was unwise, you know, because we did not agree with their theology that.... We did not have contact with them, so to speak, but I understand that after we had left.... That was...that was Bob's idea greatly, but as far as that's concerned, we...we knew them as people but we did not associate with them because of difference in theology. We felt it would be...that the native people wouldn't understand.
WILSON: Wouldn't understand the difference?
HOCKMAN: The difference in theology because.... Now this...the doctor that was there and I can't remember his name now but he was...he was a very fine...physician as far as that's concerned. But they're very...they...they're very great at proselyting.[laughs]
WILSON: I'll bet.
HOCKMAN: Yeah. Yes, they really are.
WILSON: This tape is about to run out and we haven't even started on...on your husband's career over there. I'd like to set up another interview...
WILSON: ...with you.
HOCKMAN: Okay, okay. Fine.
WILSON: So I'm gonna turn this off now. [she laughs]
END OF TAPE