Curtis Cosmos Aller, Jr

Reflections on Father’s Day

Reflections on Father’s Day

Curtis Cosmos Aller, Jr
Curtis Cosmos Aller, Jr

Like many men, I had a difficult relationship with my father. Mostly because we had such different personalities. I admired him a lot, and as I get older, I become more like him. Part of the process of getting older, I suppose.

He was an accomplished man. Grew up in Yakima in their 20s and 30s, and was a student activist at the University of Washington where he led the successful integration of the University. He was a Rhoades scholar attending Oxford before going for a Ph.D. at Harvard. He served as under-secretary of labor for President Kennedy and Johnson. He taught at UC Berkeley, Michigan State, and Antioch University, before teaching at SF State where he taught for almost 30 years. He was politically active in the Bay Area, serving as the Berkeley Co-Op President. He was elected to serve as the President of the Peralta Board of colleges. He ran against Ron Dellums for Congress, but unfortunately lost. I miss him every day and regret that he died at age 65 in 1985 of cancer, and did not live long enough to see me become a foreign service officer.

For more see the following bios:
Curtis Cosmos Aller, Scholar

A native of Yakima, Curtis Aller received his bachelor of arts from the University of Washington in 1942. At the time he was awarded the Rhodes, Aller was doing graduate work at Harvard, where he earned an M.A. in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government. He taught at the University of California–Berkeley and Michigan State University, before joining the Department of Economics at San Francisco State University in 1959. While on the faculty, he held several posts in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. Aller was named Dean of San Francisco State School of Behavioral and Social Sciences in 1982.

Curtis Cosmos Aller
educator government official
Curtis Cosmos Aller, American educator, a government official
Aller, Curtis Cosmos was born on September 22, 1918, in Seattle, Washington, United States. Son of Curtis Cosmos and Inga Pauline (Olsen) Aller.
Bachelor of Arts Economics and Business magna cum laude, U. Washington, 1942. Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard, 1958. Bachelor of Letters, Oxford (England) University, 1950.
Professor of economics San Francisco State College, 1959-1985, dean School Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1982-1985. Staff director select subcommittee labor United States House of Representatives, 1963-1964. Director Office Manpower Policy, Evaluation, and Research, Manpower Administration, Department Labor, 1965-1985.

Arbitrator labor-manpower disputes, 1953-1985.
• Curtis Cosmos Aller has been listed as a noteworthy educator and government official by Marquis Who’s Who.
Member advisory council Bay View Federal Savings & Loan Association, 1960-1963. Member California Social Welfare Board, 1962-1985, also chairman Campaign manager 7th Congressional District California, 1956. Served with Army of the United States, 1946-1947.

Rhodes scholar from Washington State, 1948-1950.

Member American, Western economics associations, Industrial Relations Research Association, National Planning Association.
Married Mary Aldridge, on February 21, 1954. Children: Roger Curtis, John Cosmos, Thomas Arthur, Inga Maria.
Curtis Cosmos Aller
Inga Pauline (Olsen) Aller
Mary Aldridge
Roger Curtis Aller
Thomas Arthur Aller
John Cosmos Aller
Inga Maria Aller

Fighting in Paradise: Labor Unions, Racism, and Communists … › books

Gerald Horne · 2011
Curtis Cosmos Aller Jr., “The Evolution of Hawaiian Labor Relations: From Benevolent Paternalism to Mature Collective … oral history transcript, Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 265.

Sample correspondence  wished I had more

September 28, 1976
Mr. Herb Willsmore
1806 Berkeley Way
Apartment #2
Berkeley, CA 94703
Dear Herb:
If you are still in the area, please call me. I have recommended that you be appointed to the Advisory Committee for the “Montoya” committee for the Peralta Community College District. You would represent the handicapped on a committee consisting of 18. We expect the committee will meet fairly frequently, my guess is every other month, to review and make recommendations on the future spectrum of adult and occupational training courses offered by the secondary and community college schools in this area. It is an important activity and one I hope you will be able to accept.
Unfortunately, the legislature did not provide fees for council members. Travel expenses can be reimbursed. Let me know if this opportunity for public service intrigues you.
Very truly yours,
Curtis C. Aller
Employment Studies Program

Family History Revealed

The DNA results
Revealed some aspects
Of whom I am
Where I am from

But not everything
Was revealed
And much of my history
Remains hidden

My father was from Yakima
Ran away to the Bay Area
Where he became a college professor
Taught the dismal science of economics

Along the way
He met my mother
And after a whirlwind romance
had four children

My older brother,
Younger brother
And sister

She was a refugee
From the dust bowl
Fled Arkansas
In the late ’30s

Never looked back
Settled down
In the Bay Area
Yet the south lingered on

She trained herself
To speak without an accent
The only time the southern came out
Was when she was talking to her sisters

She was the 10th of 11th children
My father was a moonshiner
A Cherokee medicine man to boot
Lived life in the Ozark mountains

She had two sons
From a prior relationship
That went south
We never really knew them

My father was an atheist
And a morning person
And a man with a plan
For everything

My mother
More make it up
As she went along
And a night owl

How and why
They met and stayed together
Is beyond me
They had a stormy relationship

My mother always said
Germans and Irish
Don’t mix
And never should marry

She also said
The world is divided into morning people
And night owls
And they are doomed to marry each other

Yet I suppose
There was real love
Beneath all the drama
And bluster

Father’s Son

I am my Father’s Son
I lived all my life
Fighting against turning
into a carbon copy
Of my father,

And I failed
as my father emerged
From the darkness of my soul.

The full German personality
And Scandinavian background
becoming clear
And peered out

and liked what he saw
As I became him
step by inexorable step.

Turning into my father
As he had turned his father
And his father into his father.

Since the dawn of time
We played this game.

Sons turning into their fathers
And watching grandsons
Start the dance all over again

Reflections on My Dad for Father’s Day

My father and I had a difficult relationship
We just had very different personalities
And growing up while I admired my father
I did not like him that much.

My father grew up
In German and Norwegian American families
And did not have much of a sense of humor
He was a dour, serious man.

He had a difficult relationship
With his father as well
And a difficult relationship
With his children.

He was not an easy man
To live with
Always getting us up
At dawn on the weekends
To deal with the endless household chores.

But as I get older
I find myself
Becoming my father
But I have maintained
My mother’s sense of humor.

Last month, we wrote a mom poem for Mother’s Day; so this month, with Father’s Day upon us…

Let’s write a dad poem. While not everyone gets (or even wants) to be a dad, everyone has a dad. On gift card holidays like this coming Sunday, the father is celebrated. That said, not everyone knows their dad, and some wish they did not. For many, whether they get along or not, the relationship can be very complicated. So explore that experience today.

Traveling with My Father to Wagontire, Oregon


In 1973, I went on a road trip with my father during our summer vacation. We left Berkeley to go to Yakima, Washington, where my father had a summer cabin in the mountains near Mt. Rainer. He was a college professor and had July and August off. We spent the summers, every summer from 1968 to 1977, in the cabin and visiting my aunt and uncle, who had inherited the family fruit business in Yakima. Our whole dysfunctional family, my father, my mother, my brothers, and my sisters, went there every summer. Our annual road trip to hell and back as we did not get along at all.

We decided to drive through Eastern Oregon, just my father and me, just for the hell of it. My father had driven everyone to Yakima already and had to go back for a meeting and picked me up then. I had gone off to a debate camp earlier in the summer.

My father and I shared a travel lust, one of the few things we shared.  We drove up from Berkeley and spent the night in Klamath Falls. We left Klamath Falls, a real nothing burg in those days around 9 am. And hit the road.

And headed east along highway 395, often called the loneliness highway in the U.S. As we entered the desert of eastern Oregon, we entered a different world. High mountain desert, almost no one on the road, very small towns with just a gas station, motel, bar, church, and school, and not much else.

Then we saw the sign, Wagontire, Oregon, 100 miles ahead. We counted down the miles every mile posted along with the Burma shave cowboy poetry. An hour and a half later about 7 pm we pulled into the town. We had been expecting a giant truck stop with a Denny’s, motel six, and grocery store but we found there was Nothing there but a gas station, motel, and café.

We decided to stop, “Last gas for 100 miles” according to the sign and we were low on gas, and tired from driving all day.

We chatted with the owner, he was the sheriff, the fire chief, the owner of the motel, and gas station, and a sheep, pig, and cattle farmer. The only business in town, and the only place open for one hundred miles.

I noticed a highway sign outside,

“Welcome to Wagontire, Oregon
Population 2 ½ humans 50.000 sheep, 10,000 cows, 2,000 pigs, ten dogs and lots of feral cats.”

I asked the Sherriff,

“Say, who is the ½ human? “

My idiot son! “

And we left, 200 miles later we finally left Eastern Oregon

I did not know it at the time, but this was my last big solo road trip with my father. We drove to and from the cabin a few more times, last time in 1984, but this trip was special and one I will always remember. Mainly because my dad and I finally became “friends” during this trip, and got along great. Unfortunately, that moment did not last and we soon re-entered our difficult relationship, but during that trip, we got along famously.

A Special Time for My Dad and Me

This could be an outing with your dad and family or a memory of him that was special to you. This is a topic-based contest. Write a story based on the topic provided in the announcement.

The End

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 20

Thanks so much for visiting my site. Your comments are welcome but please play nice.... Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.