Sarah and Win Hindle

Interviewer: Michael and Carrie Kline
Date: May 11, 2015
Place of Interview: Board of Trustees Room, Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.
Transcriptionist: Adept Word Management

Click here for audio. Audio file is in .mp3 format.

Michael Kline: 00:00:01 This is Michael Kline, and we're here in the—what room is this?

Sarah Hindle: Trustees.

Michael Kline: Trustees Board Room, a very nice room. And it's a beautiful, beautiful morning outside.

Sarah Hindle: Gorgeous.

Michael Kline: We're here with the Hindles. And I'm going to ask you both to introduce yourself. Would you say "my name is" and tell us your name?

Sarah Hindle: My name is Sarah Hindle.

Michael Kline: And we don't ever ask a woman her age, but would you tell us your date of birth so we can—?

Sarah Hindle: I'm eighty—three.

Michael Kline: Just your date of birth.

Sarah Hindle: Nineteen thirty—one.

Michael Kline: Thirty—one. Well, my goodness.

Carrie Kline: You are so beautiful.

Michael Kline: I never would have guessed eighty—three, never, ever.

Carrie Kline: I mean, eighty—three's a beautiful age.

Sarah Hindle: I'm enjoying it.

Michael Kline: Yeah. And you are?

Win Hindle: I am Win Hindle, born in 1930.

Michael Kline: Wow. You are one extremely well—preserved couple, I have to say.

Sarah Hindle: Well, we feel fortunate to be here.

Michael Kline: Maybe you'd like to start off and tell us a little bit about your early years and your path to Concord.

Sarah Hindle: 00:01:08 Before Concord?

Michael Kline: Yeah, where you grew up and how you came to Concord.

Sarah Hindle: I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, and came east to school, went to Smith College. And my mother said, "You're going to love New England. I don't think you'll ever come back." And she was right. So after graduation, I came back and lived in Boston, and then I met a fellow named Win Hindle. And we got married in 1984.

Win Hindle: How about '54?

Sarah Hindle: How about '54. That sounds better, yeah. And we've lived in—after the Navy time down in Washington, DC, we've lived in Concord ever since—Lexington and then Concord, but I consider it Concord.

Carrie Kline: Ever since being—?

Sarah Hindle: What year was that? Nineteen—out of the Navy—?

Win Hindle: Sixty—well, we got out of the Navy in '50—no.

Sarah Hindle: We moved—

Win Hindle: Sixty—two, I think.

Sarah Hindle: Okay. Lived in Lexington for six years.

Win Hindle: Well, yeah, okay. We rented in Winchester for one year and then bought a house in Lexington.

Sarah Hindle: And then we both loved more rural areas, and we moved to Concord in 1965—'64 or '65—and have been here ever since—plan to stay.

Michael Kline: What was it about Concord that made you so determined to get here?

Sarah Hindle: Well, it's so—such a beautiful town. And then as you get to know it, it's got so much to offer with all of the history behind it with the transcendentalist writers, and the museum is such a fabulous place. But what first drew us here was it was more rural and beautiful, and I'm—I like—we lived on a pond, and I like beauty around me and pine trees and water and such.

Michael Kline: And you?

Win Hindle: 00:03:14 I was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and lived in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, all during my first eight years of life. Then I went away to boarding school at Deerfield Academy, where I stayed for four years as a boarder, then went on to Amherst College, where I stayed another four years, and then went on to MIT for two years and obtained a Master's degree in industrial management at the Sloan School. And right after that, because the draft was still on, I entered the Navy as an officer, went through Officer Candidate School. And that was the period in which Sarah and I were dating. And while I was at Officer Candidate School, we decided to get married. And I had—after Officer Candidate School, I had a two—week leave before I had to report for my next duty. So we ventured out to Oak Park, Illinois, and got married and took a very short honeymoon and drove down to Georgia, where I was in Supply Corps School. I was in the Navy, stationed in the Pentagon for three years. And we loved Washington. We enjoyed being in Washington. Our first daughter was born there at the Bethesda Naval Hospital—

Sarah Hindle: Eight dollars and seventy—five cents for my food. (laughs)

Win Hindle: And came back, went back into the administration at MIT, where I was a so—called industrial liaison officer, keeping MIT's research in front of large corporate research departments. And I stayed there for three years and then met a professor there who was on the board of a start—up company named Digital Equipment Corporation. And he introduced me to the cofounder, Ken Olsen. I went out and interviewed because I was about to leave MIT.

Sarah Hindle: You might mention that that person was Jay Forrester who lives here in Concord.

Win Hindle: Yes, that's right. Yeah. I hope you have a chance to interview Jay—wonderful, wonderful professor and human being. Anyway, I went to Digital and stayed there thirty—two years.

Michael Kline: It sounds like some specialized kind of PR, where you're laying out the research, or was it not that at all?

Win Hindle: No, mostly large corporations—at MIT—mostly large corporations who made a contribution to MIT's operating expenses every year as a privilege of joining this program. And we had four or five of us in the office whose job it was to introduce the researchers in industry to appropriate faculty at MIT. This program is still going. It's called the Industrial Liaison Program. And MIT still uses it to maintain its very good relationships with corporate America—and not only just America but corporate across the world.

Michael Kline: I was just trying to imagine the variety of skills you must have had to have to do that job well.

Win Hindle: Well, you basically had to be curious. You had to know what research was going on at MIT so you could put them—put the people from industry in touch with the right faculty members. So we had an interviewing program where the people from industry would come and interview various faculty and talk about their research. Then we had a written program where the faculty's written descriptions of their research would be sent out to those who we thought it was appropriate to receive that kind of research information. And we had a series of seminars where we would invite members of the corporate America to come and listen to a group of faculty talk about a particular subject. That was a—it was an information exchange program. I think probably industry learned a lot more than most faculty did. But the faculty was very helpful and cooperative. And it was a pleasure to be there.

Michael Kline: 00:08:48 What do you remember about those same years?

Sarah Hindle: Basically being busy with three children. But I loved those Digital years and felt it a privilege to go along with Win on a lot of trips and know the people and—it was a company where the board and their spouses were very dedicated to the company. And I was very dedicated to that. We had three children. As Win mentioned, Karen was born in Washington. And then we moved to Lexington for a few years and had two children there and then moved to Concord. And we lived out in Annursnac Hill on a pond because I love that water and the pine trees. And we were there sixteen years. The kids went through Concord schools.

Win Hindle: Yeah, I guess about that.

Sarah Hindle: I think it was sixteen. And then we built a house in Nashawtuc Hill thirty—five years ago.

Win Hindle: Yep, 1982 we moved in.

Sarah Hindle: Yeah, and there we are.

Michael Kline: Was your husband still with Digital when you moved to Concord?

Sarah Hindle: Yes, he went with Digital when we were living in Winchester—no, living in Lexington—and he thought the commute would be quite nice, twenty—five minutes—just over—door—to—door and into the office, which was great. And then I got myself involved with the Concord Museum. I hope you visited that while you're here. And that was in—probably in 1966—a friend of mine was very involved there—and went on to become a member of the Ladies Association, which did all the fundraising projects and—it was very small, kind of a seat—of—the—pants place at that point. And we used to go in, in March. It was closed during the winter. And we all would go in, in March, and do the cleaning of the rooms before it opened to the public. And then I went on to be the head of the Ladies Association, which I loved doing. And then later with the museum, I—oh, let's see, I was on the search committee twice for bringing in new directors. And that was a wonderful experience. And then after the second one, I went on—I was on the Board of Governors—and after the second one was brought in, I became head of the Board for three, four, five years—I don't know how long it was. And, again, that was a wonderful experience. And it was interesting because the one that was the director was Peggy Burke's husband.

Peggy is now head of our museum, and it was her husband who we took as the director back in those early days. And then he went on to go to Baltimore for several years and then came back. And he's now in Boston as head of the Historical Society. But Peggy, his wife, is head of our museum. And it is alive and well. But I told the Board when we were going through that, I said if—they asked me to be head of the Board—and I said, "Well, these are the terms: If you hire Dennis, I'll be head of the Board. If you hire one of the other two people, no, I don't think I want to be." So they hired Dennis, and I became head of the Board. And we worked well together. And then I—after that I kind of sat back for a while there, but then they brought—oh, I know one thing that was interesting there. I made a—what would you call that group?—the—an advisory group. And we asked about twenty people from Deerfield and 00:12:54 (???) (inaudible) and various other places to come on and be on an advisory committee for the museum. And I called these people. They asked me to do this, thinking that I would get a lot of nos. And I got no nos. Everybody said yes. And that was a wonderful experience of having them come together twice a year and pick their brains, and they would suggest to us. And it was a very fruitful few years. And then they started a Board of Trustees, which is sort of people who have been involved with the museum for years and people who are showing an interest—maybe come on in the Board of Trustees and then move on to something else working with the museum. So that's where I am now. Win's a trustee also, because you're honorary members. And that was my main working project, volunteering at the museum through those years.

Win Hindle: 00:13:54 You should also mention that the Board of Governors of the museum is still the operating Board there.

Sarah Hindle: Yeah, the trustees—

Win Hindle: It does the decision making.

Sarah Hindle: Correct.

Win Hindle: Along with the executive director.

Sarah Hindle: Um—hm.

Win Hindle: And the trustees are advisory and helpful to the museum but not in any way responsible for day—to—day operations.

Michael Kline: Yeah, that clarifies it. Well, your wife has just touched on one of the major themes of all these interviews we've done in Concord, and that's volunteerism, that's finding something to reach out and take a hold of, and make your own, become involved with it. And it distinguishes—certainly distinguishes Concord from many other places in that there's such an interest in participation in how things are run and shared and overseen—

Sarah Hindle: And the history that's here.

Michael Kline: And the history and everything. So you're a perfect example of this kind of thing. Did Digital consume all of your energies, or did you find—?

Win Hindle: It consumed 98 percent of my energies for sure.

Carrie Kline: What did?

Sarah Hindle: Digital.

Win Hindle: 00:15:18 Digital, the company that I was with for thirty—two years. It was fast—growing and became a leading company in the computer industry while the computer industry was still active in Massachusetts and hadn't yet moved to California where it of course is centered now. But we had a real ride for a while, and it was mindboggling to see how fast we grew and what a clever group of engineers we had to bring products onto the market. And then the founder and chief executive of Digital, Ken Olsen, had a very unique way of running a company. He believed in trusting the people that worked for him and not trying to over—manage them. So it gave us a lot of freedom to innovate and to work with one another. And it was just a heady, happy atmosphere, which was—I think of Ken Olsen as one of the real pioneers of modern management. Digital did very, very well up until the middle of the 1980s, and then for many, many reasons—which I won't try to go into because there's a lot of controversy about what happened and why it happened—but anyway the company started losing money in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The Board finally asked Ken Olsen to leave. I stayed on another couple of years with the new chief executive, Bob Palmer, and then I retired two years after that in 1994. During my digital years, the last two percent was taken up by being on the Board of Trustees at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, which is a wonderful school that started out as an all—women's college, and then the applications started diminishing while I was on the Board. And the president there and Chairman of the Board brought to the trustees the opportunity to go coed, which was very controversial with many of the alumni—very controversial. But we went ahead and voted for it anyway, and Wheaton has done well since then as a coed institution. I became Chair of the Board and was the Chair for ten years. I retired from there in early 2000. And I still have very fond memories of working with senior people at Wheaton College. But that was the only outside activity that really I had.

Michael Kline: Is that near here? I can't remember.

Win Hindle: Norton, Massachusetts, is south of Boston by about thirty miles. Norton is a small town dominated by the college.

Sarah Hindle: It's near Providence.

Win Hindle: Yeah, halfway between Boston and Providence. It's often confused with the Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, which is a very different kind of a college. Anyway, that was my diversion from full time at Digital. Then when I retired from Digital, I became a member of the Board of Directors of Emerson Hospital, which is our local hospital here in Concord. And I am still on the Board of Emerson Hospital, which of course is going through all the changes that healthcare is going through, and so it's been a very interesting—

Michael Kline: Talk about just a couple of those.

Win Hindle: Well, the emphasis on cost controls has dominated the conversation in hospitals for the last, oh, I would say six or seven years because the costs have been going up much faster than inflation. So we've had to work very diligently on getting our costs down but not at the sacrifice of quality. The other emphasis is in the other direction, which is the improvement in the quality of patient care. And that's—we've been able to do both, increase quality and decrease costs. And fortunately we have a CEO at the hospital who is very good at all of this, and she has done a superb job of making both of those things happen, reducing costs and improving quality.

Michael Kline: 00:21:09 And her name?

Win Hindle: Her name is Chris Schuster. And she's still the CEO of the hospital.

Carrie Kline: Schuster is spelled—?

Win Hindle: Chris Schuster, S—C—H—

Sarah Hindle: U—

Win Hindle: S—C—H—U—S—T—E—R. Chris Schuster. Yeah. But we have a very fine medical staff and a very—a wonderful group of volunteers. Talk about volunteerism in Concord, I think the volunteers at Emerson Hospital contribute—free of charge of course, they don't get paid—something like a million dollars' worth of labor hours per year.

Michael Kline: I imagine.

Win Hindle: So the Concord citizenship is very generous in terms of their time, and we're of course very, very thankful for that.

Michael Kline: Was this the case, do you think, when you all first came, or has that volunteerism increased any in your observation?

Sarah Hindle: What I observed when I was head of the Ladies Association, typically everybody kind of had a committee job. And I used to have the meetings at one o'clock, bring a sandwich, and I'd have coffee and cookies or whatever. And it was a wonderful time, getting to know what each other person was doing. Then as time went on, after I had finished my tour of duty, it began to change. They changed the name to Museum Guild so that men could be included and such. And people would say, "Yes, I'd be happy to do that, but I don't want to go to meetings." And so they'd still volunteer, but I was disappointed because they didn't have that camaraderie of the Board, which we had when we had meetings. But they'd get a lot done, and I think it's growing stronger and stronger—at the museum anyway. I can only speak for the museum. Well, I can also speak for the hospital, because I know how large that auxiliary is there. So I think there's a lot of volunteerism once people get to this town and they realize what it is. People who are transient and come in and go out sometimes don't get involved. But, yes, I would say that volunteerism has grown.

Michael Kline: Tell me what else has changed about Concord? And what has sort of stayed the same in your estimation?

Sarah Hindle: 00:23:50 Well, the town has changed a bit in that some of the stores are different, and they've got sort of those—more real estate offices. And where the old dime store was on Walden Street, a bank was going to come in there. And the town just rose up and said, "No, we don't need another bank." And they listened, and the bank didn't come in. So it's more family—owned and smaller stores. The people—one of the things I don't like is the tearing down of little houses and putting up McMansions. That's happened a lot in our neighborhood. And sometimes the houses that go up are just out of proportion and change the character of the street and the neighborhood. And I'm a great fan of having small, unobtrusive—they don't have to be too small—but, I mean, unobtrusive houses to keep the character and not be showy. I belong to two garden clubs. One is the Concord Garden Club, which is large and very active. I'm an associate now, but it's much more active in doing things in the town than we did when I first started with that—with the club. And they do a wonderful job. I really admire how it's grown and their participation. And the other one is just—it does—it's small. There are only thirty of us. And it's called Seeds and Weeds. So we have a lot of fun. We have speakers and things. And we take care of various areas in the town throughout the summer, the growing season, like the library is one of them.

Michael Kline: The grounds of the library?

Sarah Hindle: No, just the flower pots in front and the trough in the center of town and a triangle down on Lexington Road. So they are our responsibility for planting and tending.

The other main thing that both Win and I have been involved in is the West Concord Union Church, and it belongs to United Church of Christ. We went there our first—well, we rode in, in July, and we said to the kids, "We're going to the church, the big white church next to the Post Office, the TriCon, the Trinitarian Congregational." And neighbors of ours said, "Oh, come to West Concord Union Church." So we did the first September Sunday. And we shook the hand of the minister and said, "We're coming." We never went to another church to try it out. So we've been there since 1965 and have been very involved through those years.

Michael Kline: Was there something special about that church or—?

Sarah Hindle: Yes, it's very low—key, very friendly. People continually, when we went—of course we knew a couple of our neighbors who went there—but people come up to you and say, "Are you new here?" And that is something that still goes on, and it's very homey. We seem to get very inspired young ministers when we change ministers. The unfortunate thing is that they're young and getting a lot of experience. They're wonderful. And sometimes they only stay between seven and ten years. But I think that's one of the exciting things to have had probably five ministers in our time that we've been there. Every one of them we have connected with and still hold on to a couple of them as dear friends.

Michael Kline: And you? What have you seen change in this town in the years you've been here?

Win Hindle: Well, I'd reiterate what Sarah said about some—some of the homes that have been built in some parts of Concord are, from my perspective, much larger than they need to be and too showy. That's changed, because when we first got here, that wasn't happening. But of course it is happening in more towns than Concord. It's happening all over the country, which I think is unfortunate. That's the change on the reverse side, but in terms of the spirit of the town, I don't think that's changed. I think people love the historic aspects of living in a town where American history was—not begun—but was carried out. Every April 19, we celebrate so—called Patriots' Day. We have a ragtag parade. We name a Citizen of the Year each year, somebody that's contributed a great deal to the town of Concord. And it's just a pleasant patriotic attitude about—and there's a little bit of a rivalry with Lexington, because we say, "Well, the British marched all the way through Lexington and killed a few people, but they came to Concord and we stopped them." That was back in April of 1775. But we still live with that history, and of course we have a tremendous number of visitors that come to Concord in the summer to appreciate that history. And being involved with the museum, of course we're very involved with that. But there are a number of other historic houses here. Ralph Waldo Emerson's house is here and available to look through, along with a number of the other poets of the 1800s.

Sarah Hindle: 00:30:05 Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Win Hindle: The Hawthorne home and—

Sarah Hindle: The Alcott house.

Win Hindle: Yeah, Louisa May Alcott and Bronson Alcott's house.

Sarah Hindle: Just to speak about the spirit, the Bicentennial, it was celebrated by the country in '76. But Concord celebrated it in '75. So there's just a little stubbornness there and pride in keeping the history right.

Win Hindle: And the President of the United States, at that time, was Jimmy Carter—

Sarah Hindle: Gerry Ford.

Win Hindle: Gerry Ford, sorry—came and celebrated this event with us. And of course it's always exciting when a president honors your town.

Other changes—there are a number of schools here. Education is very important. But it always has been. We have a number of private schools, but we also have excellent public schools. And we're fortunate to have both. Our children all attended the public schools. Many of our friends' children attended the private schools and still do. But we are very happy with the education that our children got here through high school. Of course they went away to college after that because there's no college nearby.

Carrie Kline: Can you talk about that choice? That sounds like an interesting choice, to choose public education for your children.

Michael Kline: Over private.

Carrie Kline: What were your first choices?

Win Hindle: Of—?

Sarah Hindle: Why did we choose public school?

Win Hindle: 00:32:13 We chose it because—particularly I, having gone through public school—

Sarah Hindle: Private school.

Win Hindle: —private school, as a high school student, thought that the opportunity to—for being with all sorts—all kinds of people. In other words, private school kind of separates people because they have to have a family with a fair amount of wealth in order to afford the private schools, whereas at public school, it's a public education, and everybody in town is eligible to go. And I liked that aspect of it at the time. We had a lot of discussions about that.

Sarah Hindle: Yes, we did. (laughs)

Michael Kline: How'd those go?

Sarah Hindle: Well, you know who won. (laughs) No, I would like to have seen our son go to Fenn. He wasn't what you'd call terribly motivated, but he went through. And after four years of high school, he went for one postgraduate year at Deerfield where Win had gone to school. So we had a difference of opinion.

Michael Kline: Well, that's healthy.

Sarah Hindle: Oh yes. Oh yes. We've stayed together.

Win Hindle: We just celebrated our sixtieth wedding anniversary.

Michael Kline: Oh, goodness. You did stay together, didn't you? (all laugh)

Sarah Hindle: Yeah, right, right. We're going to stay together. We aren't going to break up now.

Michael Kline: It's too late now.

Sarah Hindle: What I did after—I guess after the museum, because I'd been involved with that for the turn of the century I think—I'd been working with the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, which is in Harvard, Massachusetts, about twenty—five minutes west. And my only complaint about it is that it's not in Concord, because my—the people that I work with now are not Concord. They're out farther. But it's a wonderful institution, which started out as a healing center for breast cancer people. And then about five years ago, we changed to all cancers. And we do integrative complementary therapies like art and music and massage, acupuncture, support groups—I think we have eight support groups, all at different stages people are in. And it has grown. And it's a nonprofit. And our basis is no financial barriers, so we run by the seat of our pants a lot of the time and are out, holding our hands out with a little tin cup and shaking it. But it's been very successful. We added an addition to the original cottage, and we're working on the medical world to understand us better and what we're doing. So that's taken me out of Concord, but it's been very rewarding. I was head of the board for about ten years. And it's very rewarding, heartwarming—

Michael Kline: Did I hear you say something about gardening?

Sarah Hindle: 00:35:49 Well, it's called the healing garden because it's—

Michael Kline: Oh, okay.

Carrie Kline: What's the whole name?

Sarah Hindle: The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden. Bill Thurston was head of GenRad here—General Radio—here in West Concord for years. And they lived in Harvard. His wife got cancer, and after she died—well, while she had it—her therapist was at Nashoba Hospital, Betsy Tyson—Smith. She used to live in Concord years ago. And after she died, he said to Betsy, "If I give you two acres of land at the little cottage where my mother lived, would you start a healing center?" And because they have these eight acres of gardens, which they did themselves—she was a master gardener and went to Radcliffe horticulture—I forget what it's called at Radcliffe, but the horticultural school degree—and they had done all the gardens and ponds and things like that there. So that's why it's called the healing garden. Plus we find that using the environment and beauty of the environment is very soothing and helpful for healing. So if you have a spare day, I recommend you go out and take a peek.

Carrie Kline: Where did you say it is?

Sarah Hindle: It's out in Harvard. It's about twenty or twenty—five minutes west of here. But you walk in, and there's just a healing feeling about the whole place. It's been a very heartwarming experience for me.

Win Hindle: I'd like to mention the fact that—we have three children, as I think we said earlier, two daughters and a son. And our two daughters just recently moved back to Concord, and both live here.

Sarah Hindle: Yea.

Michael Kline: Amen.

Win Hindle: And one daughter, our oldest, has three boys who live in the Boston area, so we get to see our three—those three grandchildren quite a bit. And our son moved to California, where he is a contractor. And they have three children, and every March we emigrate from Concord to the San Diego area and rent a condo out there so we can be near our west coast family. And that's a great experience too, to get to know our west coast group, not quite as well as we do the east coast group, but pretty well.

Michael Kline: Good for you.

Sarah Hindle: And then the second daughter is not married, lives right around the corner from Karen. And she's involved with Save a Dog in Sudbury. And they bring dogs up from the south and then find homes for them. She loves animals. She's certified in small animal massage and has made quite a little life for herself doing this and very happy with it. And she's a great gardener. Karen, the oldest—Karen Donahue—works at the Middlesex West Chamber of Commerce. So she puts on events, probably three a month, and gets to know all the merchants in both Acton and Concord, and is a great people person.

Win Hindle: 00:39:28 We leave Concord in the summer and have for forty years because we purchased a home in Nantucket. So we generally are there for most of July and August. And it's a place where our children and grandchildren like to gather in the summer. So we have a good time in Nantucket.

Sarah Hindle: Really the last four or five years, we've had one of our grandsons living with us during the summer and working on the island.

Michael Kline: Nice.

Sarah Hindle: That's the way to get to know a grandchild.

Michael Kline: What could be better than that?

Sarah Hindle: Yeah.

Michael Kline: Well, with regard to Concord, are you optimistic about Concord? How do you see it?

Win Hindle: I'm very optimistic about Concord. I think it's a well—run town. There's always competition for the board that manages the town, the Select Board. We have an excellent Town Manager who's there full time. And then we have a number of volunteer committees who also help to run the various aspects of the town. There is a town meeting every year, which of course has been a Massachusetts tradition for a long, long time. And it still is active, very active, here in Concord. Are you optimistic?

Sarah Hindle: Yes, I am. I am. And people are willing to stand up and say, "Hey, I don't agree." So the town meeting can be very lively. So I think it shows that the people care about the town and like to be heard and represented. I think it's a very healthy town.

Michael Kline: Is there anything else we should pick up?

Sarah Hindle: I think that kind of covers us and our lives here in Concord.

Michael Kline: How about you? Do you have any—?

Carrie Kline: Oh, I would just—I'm so interested in the depth of your volunteerism and also just raising children—

Sarah Hindle: The death of my—?

Carrie Kline: The depth.

Sarah Hindle: Oh, depth. I'm sorry.

Carrie Kline: 00:41:56 Yeah. Just the opposite.

Sarah Hindle: I got it.

Carrie Kline: Yeah, ten years here and ten years there. I wonder why. Why did you devote all this time outside your own home? Three children is a lot to raise.

Sarah Hindle: But if you stay at home completely and get involved—

Michael Kline: Start that again, please.

Sarah Hindle: If you stay home completely and just get involved in your children and their lives, that's how you meet a lot of people, going to sports and things, but you aren't giving back to the town and you aren't broadening your own life. One of the other things I did when I was in Junior League for a while, I worked out in the State House. And I was just blown away because I didn't understand anything. So I did this wonderful chart of the history of Concord and how things happened, because we had all these things in the museum at the State House.

Michael Kline: A time line sort of?

Sarah Hindle: Time line, exactly. Exactly. That was a long time ago, but it was a—it got me out of the house. The kids were quite small at that point. But I thought it was important for me to have something besides just three children. So I managed to do that.

Michael Kline: What are the seeds of this idea of—this ethic of giving back? Where does that come from?

Sarah Hindle: It came from Oak Park, Illinois, with my parents I think, because they were involved in—my father was at one point head of the town. Mother was always involved with various things. So I was used to family participating.

Win Hindle: Yeah, I think I'd say very much the same thing. I grew up in a family that was generous and caring about the town we lived in. And so it came naturally to me to want to give back. And hopefully we've continued to do that all our lives and will continue in the future.

Sarah Hindle: I think one of the things that really impressed me when we moved here: You've got the Concord Players. You've got the Concord Band. You've got the Concord Orchestra. You've got—

Win Hindle: The Concord Chorus.

Sarah Hindle: The Concord Chorus. And you've got all these historic homes, which have volunteers and such and things to offer. And it was just such—it's such a culture in this town that's unusual, and you can't help but absorb it. And I'm always very proud when I say, "I live in Concord, Massachusetts."

Carrie Kline: And why?

Sarah Hindle: Hmm?

Carrie Kline: 00:44:36 And why?

Sarah Hindle: For those reasons. For the people—and who it is. You can't say that to—oh, you know, you live in Concord. Oh, they're wonderful people there. But it's the culture and the beauty. I mean, the three rivers and the fields—I like that. I had a lot of ruralness in my upgrowing with going north to northern Michigan in the summer, and we had a farm west of Chicago, so I was out in the land quite a bit.

Carrie Kline: What sorts of changes have you seen in terms of the social life around here? You mentioned the McMansions, but what about the social networks?

Win Hindle: In the early days when we were younger, we had a group that would get together regularly and put on dances, and we had a great time doing that. That hasn't happened in the more recent years.

Carrie Kline: Dances?

Win Hindle: Dances.

Sarah Hindle: The auxiliary at the hospital used to put on a wonderful Mayflower Ball, and then it got that—I don't know if the people who were running it got older or what, but some of us weren't in for the ballroom anymore. But that doesn't happen anymore.

Carrie Kline: Would you describe those dances? I'd love to hear what you were dancing to—

Sarah Hindle: Oh, they were in the armory, which is an ugly old building over here on Everett Street. And the gals would just decorate it to the nines, whatever the theme was for the time. It was always spring oriented. And if there was a centennial or something like that, we had to go in red, white, and blue or some—it was just very festive and gay. Now, the Emerson Hospital every eighteen months, they put on a gala. And that is just done beautifully, and they make a lot of money. They choose an organization of the hospital, like the pediatrics or the oncology area or cardiac, and the money goes to that particular area to support them. And they're very well attended.

Carrie Kline: What sort of dancing were we talking about, though? I'm trying to picture.

Michael Kline: Was it live music, for example?

Sarah Hindle: Oh, yeah. Oh, of course.

Michael Kline: 00:47:02 Of course.

Carrie Kline: It had music. Can you tell us what went on or—?

Sarah Hindle: Well, of course back in the early days, it was the kind of music that we loved to dance to in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and maybe early ‘80s. But I suppose like at a wedding, they probably sung calm and quiet music during the food, and then they'd have fun—

Michael Kline: Big band stuff or—

Sarah Hindle: Yeah, big band kind of music. Yeah.

Win Hindle: We couldn't afford a huge big band, a national brand.

Sarah Hindle: No.

Win Hindle: But there were some orchestras that—you know, probably twenty pieces—and they would play lively—lively dance music.

Sarah Hindle: The Emerson Hospital has the same kind of music type of thing. After dinner and dessert and a little bit, the music begins to get livelier, and most of the gray hairs walk out the door. (laughs)

Michael Kline: Time to go home.

Sarah Hindle: Yeah. But they're attended by young and old, so it's a wonderful thing.

Michael Kline: Of course you have regular contra dances in Concord.

Win Hindle: That's right.

Michael Kline: Now, the—at the church?

Carrie Kline: Scout House.

Michael Kline: Scout House?

Win Hindle: Yeah, Scout House has regular—yeah.

Sarah Hindle: They used have square dancing all the time there.

Win Hindle: I think they still do.

Michael Kline: Well, square dancing and contra dancing, which is—

Sarah Hindle: Is that still there now?

Win Hindle: Yeah, I think they still—

Michael Kline: New England style of dancing.

Win Hindle: 00:48:25 I think they still do.

Michael Kline: Yeah.

Carrie Kline: They used to have square dancing all the time, did you say?

Sarah Hindle: There was a group, a fairly large—sized group, that would do Saturday nights a couple of times a month at the Girl Scout House.

Michael Kline: What's the Girl Scout House? I haven't heard of the Girl Scout House.

Sarah Hindle: You haven't heard of the Girl Scout House?

Michael Kline: No. Tell me about it, please.

Sarah Hindle: Well, it's right down Walden Street, which is just over—right in the center of town. It's on the right, past the church. And it's used a lot for big meetings, and I guess it used to be used for the square dancing and contra dancing—I guess. I don't know where that takes place. But it's just a wonderful old building. And then we have 51 Walden. The Concord Players is doing a wonderful "Kiss Me, Kate" right now. We went the other night. And it's an old armory. It was the first armory.

Michael Kline: And it's really ugly, right?

Sarah Hindle: Well—

Michael Kline: Or too old to be ugly?

Sarah Hindle: It's too old to be ugly. Yeah. No, it's wonderful. And they had a renovation of it. It's called 51 Walden. And one of the cute things they did was you bought a chair as a way of earning money—making money for it. I can remember they had chairs out in front, and you'd buy a chair to support the 51 Walden and the Players.

Michael Kline: Now we're getting into the real meat and depth of this culture.

Carrie Kline: The social scene.

Sarah Hindle: Yeah. The other interesting thing about our church, the West Concord Union Church, it's across Route 2 on the other side, which is West Concord. And when we moved to West Concord, they had a separate zip code. And I suppose maybe five years after we were here, they all became one, and so it's 01742 now for everything. But it was a church started—1893?

Win Hindle: In '91.

Sarah Hindle: 00:50:23 In 1891. And it was started by the guards at the prison. You've heard about the prison?

Michael Kline: Um—hm. Not much, but I have heard of it.

Sarah Hindle: Not much. Well, there's another big group who's very good volunteers that go there to the prison. In fact, every Christmastime the various churches have bags that they fill, and they give you things that you can buy. And then the dime store of course gets those things in so you go one place and get them all. And they fill bags and take them to the prison. And you put Christmas cards on them, but you don't sign your name—or you can say Sarah—but a very active volunteer group up there. But our church was started by the guards, and it started up on the second floor of one of the little—it used to be the Post Office, which is no longer. We have a new Post Office. And it's a community church. And people come from towns outside of here, Maynard, Sudbury, Acton.

Michael Kline: And this is the church you chose when you first came—

Sarah Hindle: This is the church we chose.

Win Hindle: But there were a lot of—

Michael Kline: As much for its social activism, I'm starting to guess, as—

Sarah Hindle: Yeah, we became a—what do we call that?—when we went—not coed—but with gays and lesbians—we did that—

Win Hindle: Oh, when we were open and affirming.

Sarah Hindle: Open and affirming.

Win Hindle: So we were open and affirming to any and all people who wish to join and conducted weddings of anybody who came to—wanted a wedding.

Sarah Hindle: It has been very successful.

Win Hindle: But there are a number of active churches in Concord. We're not the only ones.

Sarah Hindle: And I think some of them are open and affirming too. I think Trinitarian is.

Carrie Kline: Can you talk about that process? That sounds complicated, becoming—

Sarah Hindle: It was. It was. And there were people in our church who were very much for it. And what's wonderful about that church is just a lot of the older people—I'm afraid that we're that now (laughs)—but anyway, there have been wonderful, wonderful older people who have been active in the church. And our church started growing. And we became sensitive to the fact that we don't want to come in and walk on their footsteps—step them down. We want to consider them so that they can come along, and you have to bring them along with you. And that was—we had a bit of a struggle. We had a congregational load, and it was voted. And so it has been very successful.

Michael Kline: 00:53:04 Did you lose any members at that point?

Sarah Hindle: We lost some members.

Win Hindle: Yes, we did.

Sarah Hindle: And we gained some members too. And the other thing at that church which is wonderful is we do a ministry to—Minute Man ARC—people who are mentally disabled, physically disabled. And that's been going on now for almost thirty years. One of our—

Michael Kline: That's so good.

Sarah Hindle: Yeah. And we have—there's one man every Sunday at the sharing time, he puts up his hand, and he goes, "Mama, Papa" and such. He's praying for his—Charles is praying for his family, asking for prayers for his family. It can bring a tear to your eye. I mean, and it—the Christmas pageant, they will dress up as the sheep and the goats and things. And they're allowed to carry a scepter—well, not a scepter really—a cane or—

Michael Kline: Staff?

Sarah Hindle: Staff. Thank you. So it's a beautiful ministry within that church. I think there are about—when they're all there, I think there may be up to thirty if they all come.

Carrie Kline: Was this West Concord versus Concord thing a big deal then when you first attended the church? What sort of a different feel was there?

Sarah Hindle: It wasn't—you can say. I've been talking.

Win Hindle: It certainly wasn't a big issue. I think it used to be before we ever came to Concord. We have of course a very busy Route 2 that divides Concord in half. And I think there used to be a lot of—a feeling that the West Concord was kind of off limits for the people in Concord. But that's changed in recent times, and there's been some new communities built, a new series of houses built in West Concord, which has changed the character of West Concord, although the downtown shopping area is still a joy. We have—

Sarah Hindle: And the streets around it where our kids have gone—the young people are loving to move to West Concord now because the houses are smaller and more affordable for them. And there's quite a community of young people active.

Michael Kline: And a new library I guess.

Sarah Hindle: 00:55:36 I was on that committee for building that library. I was on the—a trustee here at this library for years and was on the building committee when we put the addition on to the small library. And then they decided to do a big renovation here at this library, and I thought, I think it's time for me to get off, bring some new young blood in, and so I resigned at that time.

Michael Kline: Not in protest of the—

Sarah Hindle: Oh no. No, not at all. No.

Win Hindle: No.

Carrie Kline: What were some of the issues at stake when you were on the Board of Trustees in the library? Do you recall? I know it's a while ago.

Sarah Hindle: Oh, it was just keeping it going I think.

Carrie Kline: Sorry?

Sarah Hindle: It was just keeping it going. It's an unusual situation of—it's now owned by the town. We own—the trustees own the building and are responsible for the maintenance and the hiring of the people. And then the town I think owns the—

Win Hindle: The Friends. The Friends of the—

Sarah Hindle: The Friends of the Library are another volunteer group that supports the library, puts on the book sales. But it's a very unusual—the Concord Free Public Library it's called.

Carrie Kline: So the Friends are owned by the town, but the Board itself is not?

Sarah Hindle: The Friends are just a volunteer group within the library.

Win Hindle: But the library is partially funded by the town. At town meeting, it's part of the budget that comes to the library. And then the rest of the income has to come from donations.

Sarah Hindle: And we're in charge of the upkeep—the trustees.

Win Hindle: Yeah. But when they had a campaign to redo this building, they were very successful in raising the amount of money that they needed in order to—in order to do all the things that they felt were necessary to do for the library. So it's a very up—to—date library now, and I think the information systems that have been implemented here are a great addition. I can get copies of things through the Internet now from the town—from the library. I don't need to come to the building anymore to get information.

Sarah Hindle: And that's for your—economic—?

Win Hindle: Well, it's a lot of my business dealings.

Sarah Hindle: 00:58:17 The investment club.

Win Hindle: Yeah.

Sarah Hindle: Another thing, going back to the museum, I was also on the—both building committees for the—what we call the barn—and for the Gund Building, which is the big new building at the library.

Win Hindle: No, at the museum.

Sarah Hindle: At the museum. I'm sorry. I'm getting my institutions mixed up. And that was a wonderful experience. The second one was with Graham Gund, and we worked with that company, so a good experience.

Michael Kline: You must be a real hotshot at this—at these building issues.

Sarah Hindle: Oh, I love building. I love building. We built our house.

Win Hindle: She's a frustrated architect. She would have made a marvelous architect because she has a wonderful sense of space and proportion, which I don't have. But when we built our house, she worked with the architect, and I guess he did half and she did half.

Sarah Hindle: As I said to him one day—or you asked him—and said, "Are we more involved than some people who build houses?" And he said, "Well, Sarah certainly is attentive." (laughs) I made out pages of things that I wanted, and we got all but about three things on it. So I love it.

Win Hindle: Of course we lived in Concord at the time, so—and I was working diligently at the time—so Sarah would go to the site for the new house and consult with the builder and the architect almost every day.

Michael Kline: I bet they loved to see you coming, didn't they?

Sarah Hindle: Well, they acted like they did. They may have thought, oh, yeah, there she comes again.

Win Hindle: We got along—she got along very, very well with both the architect and the builder—

Michael Kline: That's incredible.

Win Hindle: Both of whom did a great job for us.

Carrie Kline: And then you went on to use those skills, or perhaps already were using them, in your volunteer work with the museum and the library.

Sarah Hindle: And the healing garden. We put a building—an addition to the building on there.

Carrie Kline: 01:00:36 Which garden?

Sarah Hindle: At the healing garden. We put an addition on that—

Win Hindle: I was just—excuse me.

Sarah Hindle: I was just going to say, I was on the capital campaign for that, raising the money for it.

Carrie Kline: How do you raise all this money? It's really incredible.

Sarah Hindle: Oh, I hate asking for money. I told Dennis, when he came to be head of the museum, I said, "I don't like to raise money, so don't ask me to go out and ask for money with you." He said, "Okay." So I kind of broke him into it. Anne Brooke followed me, and she loves to raise money, so it was just perfect. They put on a campaign when Anne came on. Have you interviewed her? She lives in Boston. You should. Anne and Peter are very involved in this town for years.

Michael Kline: They may have been interviewed before we came.

Sarah Hindle: Maybe. I would think they probably were.

Carrie Kline: Anne Brooke?

Sarah Hindle: Brooke, B—R—O—O—K—E, Peter.

Michael Kline: And you were saying?

Win Hindle: I was saying that her building experience has carried over. We just have a new building committee at our church, and she's a member—appropriately.

Michael Kline: Well, that's a very special set of skills and abilities to be able to—to match design with budget and those kinds of—I'm sure you've dealt with all of those—

Sarah Hindle: Don't ask me to go with budget. (laughs)

Michael Kline: No? I thought sure that you would have been there.

Sarah Hindle: No, I don't like that part. I like the concepts.

Michael Kline: The concepts.

Carrie Kline: Have you been involved in some of that in terms of—talk about that in terms of the library. What sort of designs came into your mind then?

Sarah Hindle: 01:02:19 Oh, I liked when—I wasn't involved with this one, but with Fowler, I very much liked the architect. And he—just typically we—down in the basement, we made room where they could in the future put an elevator, but we didn't have the funds to do that at the time. So when they just redid it again and they put the elevator in, I said, "We were right. We were right."

Michael Kline: Nailed it.

Sarah Hindle: Yeah. I may not have the concept to start with, but once somebody gives me something to work with, I can see things better. I love it.

Michael Kline: Well, this has been a terrific look at the town through your eyes, I have to say.

Sarah Hindle: Well, it's probably a different town than somebody else mentioned.

Carrie Kline: It's different with every person.

Sarah Hindle: Yeah. That's what would be fun to read and hear what other people say and the way they look at it.

Carrie Kline: We have the best job in town maybe. (all laugh)

Win Hindle: I think you do.

Sarah Hindle: Well, then there's a—downstairs there are volumes—I don't know if Leslie showed them to you—of the Social Circle, the men who started it back in the old times and all the volumes they have.

Michael Kline: We've looked through some of those.

Carrie Kline: Talk about that some.

Sarah Hindle: Well, I don't know much about the Social Circle except it started out being a lot of the men who were involved with running the town. That's older than your—

Win Hindle: Oh, much older than—yeah. I belong to a men's dining club in the evening too, but that—we don't have the history that the Social Circle has in Concord.

Carrie Kline: Does it have a name too?

Win Hindle: Yes, it does. It's called Boys Friendly.

Sarah Hindle: That's just what they are.

Carrie Kline: Does it have rituals too?

Win Hindle: No. No rituals.

Sarah Hindle: Just wear the bow tie that's given to them.

Win Hindle: 01:04:19 We all have a tie that we wear for dinner.

Michael Kline: But no rituals.

Win Hindle: No rituals. None.

Carrie Kline: Nobody thinks they have rituals. (all laugh)

Win Hindle: No. No.

Michael Kline: That's that other bunch.

Sarah Hindle: Yeah. Then the women of the—well, both Boys Friendly and Social Circle—got a little annoyed because they met in the evening, and the men would all go out. So the ladies decided they would start one, called Ladies' Tuesday Club. And that started—well, they used to meet Tuesday afternoons, though. And they would have a cup of tea and two bites—two little finger sandwiches. And that has carried on, and it's I think about 126 years old now. They don't have a president. They have a secretary and a treasurer. And the role—well, I guess of the—what would you say?—the modus operandi is to gather and have fun. So we do.

Michael Kline: And what constitutes fun?

Sarah Hindle: We may share books that we've read. We may share poems that we've read. We may put pictures of us on the table when we were maybe twenty—one, and you have to go around and see who you think was—who the picture is of and tell why you came to Concord and just—just anything that comes up. A lot of times we have a speaker, usually connected with what goes on in Concord.

Win Hindle: One organization in town that we have not become very involved in, but it's also an important one, is the Concord Art Association.

Sarah Hindle: Oh yeah.

Win Hindle: Many of our friends are very much involved with it, and it's—they put on of course art exhibits and do courses. It's a very active and successful art association.

Sarah Hindle: It's really blossomed in the last few years—last ten years I'd say.

Michael Kline: And those exhibits are mounted where?

Win Hindle: They have a building. The Concord Art Association has a building on Lexington Road.

Sarah Hindle: Kind of across from the Emerson House, just a little bit farther across the street.

Win Hindle: 01:06:49 And they do a good job of attracting somewhat—reasonably well—known artists. But it's mostly local. It's—I mean, they concentrate on local artists. It doesn't have to be Concord but in the vicinity of Concord.

Michael Kline: It sounds like it's primarily visual arts rather than performance arts?

Sarah Hindle: No—oh, not performing. That's the Players that do that. But it's with their hands. Some people do clay.

Win Hindle: Yeah, I think we'd call them visual arts. I mean, it's sculpture and paintings.

Sarah Hindle: And paintings.

Michael Kline: But not music.

Win Hindle: Not music. Oh, but then we have the Concord Chamber Music Club—Society, I guess it's called. And they have—one of the members of the first violin section of the Boston Symphony has organized the Concord Chamber Music Society. And we have three concerts a year I guess. Usually they're held across the street here at Concord Academy in their performing center. And they get wonderful musicians and have a very good turnout. It's very successful.

Michael Kline: What a town.

Sarah Hindle: What a town. Yes, it's a great town.

Michael Kline: Thank you for telling us. Wasn't that a good interview?

01:08:14 (end of audio)

Sarah and Win Hindle

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Text, image and audio mounted 30 September 2015 -- rcwh.