Ellen Weir, Interviewed by Michelle Paulus, November 14, 2012
Location of Interview: Cooperstown, New York
Ellen Weir was born in 1951 and grew up in Cooperstown, New York. She has been passionate about environmental issues from an early age. After receiving a master’s degree in clinical psychology from John F. Kennedy University in California, Ellen returned to Cooperstown and ran two small businesses, a boutique and a store selling health and beauty products. In this clip, she talks about her early environmental activism.
EW: Growing up in town in the woods in the water in the lake, fishing, you know I just had a natural love for everything that was out there. And swimming and water. I remember when I was eighteen or seventeen or maybe sixteen, I had a bikini on and I was down at the end of the lake. I had seen these huge boats on the lake. And I don’t know if I heard about it from someone, how they were polluting the water because they were too big. So I stood down at the end of the lake and I wrote “Don’t Pollute” on my stomach [Laughs] It’s just an image I have. I don’t know. I just knew what wasn’t good for the planet. My father was a staunch Republican and over the years we fought tooth and nails about coal and drilling and chemicals and this and that. I don’t think he ever… I think he was sort of surprised at where did I come from? “Where did this kid come from?” I’m not really sure. It must just be an accumulation of everything.