Baseball, Childhood, Friends, Maine gubernatorial campaign (1974), U.S. Senate appointment (1980), Waterville (Me.)
Alfred “Al” Joseph was born on March 23, 1933, in Waterville, Maine, where he grew up and attended Colby College. He worked his way through college, paying the $500 tuition by working at the municipal pool during the summer and teaching swimming at the Boys Club during the school year. He and Ruth married while he was still in college, and their first child was born right before Al’s graduation. After college, he went into the military for two years and took a job at Hathaway Shirt, where he worked for thirty-seven years. He served as the chair of the School Board in Calais, Maine, when they lived there briefly, and upon returning to Waterville he also served as School Board chairman in Waterville for a time.
Ruth Ann (Donovan) Joseph was born on October 9, 1933, in Melrose, Massachusetts. She was raised in Waterville, Maine, married Al Joseph, and took classes at Colby College. Governor Joseph Brennan appointed her to chair the Maine Commission for Women, and she also served seven terms as a state representative and two terms as mayor of Waterville. She also works with the Arab American Institute.
Interview includes discussion of: growing up in Waterville, Maine, and being friends with George Mitchell; the Joseph family’s military service; attending school and playing sports with Mitchell; Al working his way through college; selling shirts to Mitchell and Cohen at Hathaway Shirt company; Ruth’s uncle Wally Donovan’s gatherings at his home in Waterville; Ruth Joseph’s experience growing up in Waterville; seeing George Mitchell due to her presence in the political world; her political career; U.S. Senate appointment (1980); calling Mitchell about Muskie’s Senate seat vacancy and sending her recommendation to Governor Brennan; staying in contact with Mitchell’s staff; Ruth Joseph Waterville HS basketball team press pictures; Mitchell’s experience of losing the governor’s race in 1974 and his campaigning style; Mitchell’s high school English teacher, Mrs. Whitten; get-togethers with Colby College alumni; Mitchell’s being well liked; Mitchell’s office helping them get Red Sox tickets for Al and their youngest son; and seeing Mitchell after the game.
This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.