D. M. Ellett is a mechanical engineer who joined the Manhattan Project after the end of World War II. He was a member of Z Division, which was assigned to Sandia Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1945.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Tuesday, October 17, 2017. I am in Santa Fe with Mary Brennan. My first question for Mary is to say her full name and spell it.
Mary Brennan: I’m Mary Brennan, that’s B-R-E-N-N-A-N.
Kelly: Great, do you have a middle name?
Brennan: I use Godschalx, G-O-D-S-C-H-A-L-X. Mary Godschalx Brennan.
Mary Brennan lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She and her husband, Curtiss, moved next door to Dorothy McKibbin, “the Gatekeeper to Los Alamos.” In this interview, Mary discusses her memories of Dorothy, how Dorothy ended up in New Mexico, and Dorothy’s relationship to J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. In addition, she explains the specificities of the house and how it was a social destination for members of the project.
Kelly: This is Tuesday, February 6, 2018 and I’m in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida. I have with me Mary Whittlesey Kennedy. My first question to her is to tell us your name and spell it.
Kennedy: My present name is Mary Kennedy, K-E-N-N-E-D-Y, but my maiden name was Whittlesey, W-H-I-T-T-L-E-S-E-Y, when I went to Oak Ridge.
Kelly: Great. Talk about who your mother was, and how you found yourself in Oak Ridge, and what year that was that you found yourself there.
Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is December 7, 2017, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I am with Jim Eckles. I would like to start by asking him to say his full name and spelling it.
Jim Eckles: Jim Eckles, E-C-K-L-E-S.
Kelly: Terrific. Jim, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about your background and how you became so familiar with the Trinity site?
Cindy Kelly: Tell us about your work and what you’ve learned about the African Americans who worked here in Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project.
Valeria Steele Roberson: I became interested in this project when I was a little girl. My grandmother used to tell us stories about the ‘40s, how they came here and left their children back in Alabama with their grandmother. She would always talk about giving one day to the bomb, and about the rats, and the plank sidewalks, and all those kinds of things.
Nancy Bartlit: My name is Nancy R. Bartlit, B-A-R-T-L-I-T.
Cindy Kelly: Thank you. Why don’t we start with you telling us what is your role?
Bartlit: I’m president of the Los Alamos Historical Society, and I formerly was on the County Council. I have been in Los Alamos for more than forty years as a volunteer activist and environmentalist. I also was on the National Lung Association, so I’m kind of interested in many things.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. This is Atomic Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. and it is Wednesday, November 15, 2017. I have with me Suzanne Langsdorf. My first question is for her to tell us her full name and spell it.
Suzanne Langsdorf: My name is Suzanne Martyl Langsdorf. That is spelled S-U-Z-A-N-N-E, Martyl is M-A-R-T-Y-L, and Langsdorf is L-A-N-G-S-D-O-R-F.
Kelly: Very good.
Langsdorf: I have to spell it a lot in real life.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. It is Tuesday, October 17, 2017 and I am in Santa Fe. I have with me Curtiss Thomas Brennan. My first question is to please, say your name and spell it.
Curtiss Brennan: Okay. My name is Curtiss Thomas Brennan and it’s Curtiss, C-U-R-T-I-S-S and Brennan, B-R-E-N-N-A-N.
Kelly: Perfect. Now we’re sitting in Dorothy McKibbin’s former house. I hope you can enlighten us to something about why she built this house and why she built it the way she did.
Nate Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg, and I’m here with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Thursday, October 12, 2017, and I am here with Mr. Al Zeltmann at his home in Los Alamos. My first question for you is if you could please say your name and spell it.