Oral history interview with Ann T., 1982


T., Ann (Interviewee)
Joseph, Herman, 1931- (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Ann T., 1982
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Ann T., 1982; Oral history of Ann T., 1982
Ann T. discusses her life in New York City and abroad, with a focus on her drug use. She recalls being introduced to opium through her husband, Freddy "Snake Hips" Taylor, in the 1940s, and discusses how she gradually became addicted. She describes in depth many facets of opium: how to prepare a brick of raw opium for smoking, how to treat the ashes of smoked opium (called yen-shee) so that they co uld be re-smoked, equipment required for opium smoking, and how to fashion a makeshift opium pipe out of a glass bottle. She explains how she transitioned from using opium to heroin in 1952. She discusses her personal life at length, and how her drug use affected her relationships, especially with her husband. She discusses her travels to Europe and Asia with her husband, who worked as an entertainer. She discusses noteworthy jazz musicians whom she met. Ann describes the various cliques of opium smokers that existed in New York City in the mid 1940s, her drug connections in New York City, and how she was able to obtain drugs while traveling abroad. She recalls modeling with True Confessions and Harper's Bazaar in the 1950s, as well as engaging in sex work with a clientele of elite figures, including members of former President Harry Truman's cabinet. Ann discusses how she sought out Dolophine prescriptions from doctors when heroin became scarce in the 1960s. She describes detoxing at Bernstein Hospital and joining the methadone program in 1970. She discusses her opinion of the counseling she receives at the methadone clinic. Ann compares the effects of opium, heroin, and methadone
Collection Name
Addicts Who Survived oral history collection
Drug addicts--United States; Drug abuse--History--20th century.--United States; Opium abuse--History--20th century.--United States; Heroin abuse--History--20th century.--United States; Drug addicts--Rehabilitation--United States; Drugs--Prescribing; Jazz musicians; T., Ann
oral histories
Physical Description
217 pages
Note (Biographical)
Ann T. married famous entertainer, Freddy "Snake Hips" Taylor in 1948. Through him, she was introduced to opium, and began using it in the 1940s. Due to Taylor's career as a performer, the pair traveled back and forth between their permanent residence in New York City and various cities in Europe and Asia throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Destinations included Paris, London, and Hong Kong. In 1952, Ann and her husband began using heroin. In the early 1950s, Ann modeled with True Confessions and Harper's Bazaar. Later on that decade, she became a sex worker, with clientele comprised of elite figures, including members of former President Harry Truman's cabinet. In the 1960s, when heroin became difficult to obtain, Ann began seeking out Dolophine prescriptions from doctors. Eventually she detoxed at Bernstein Hospital, and joined the methadone program in 1970. Ann T. was interviewed for the project that led to the book Addicts Who Survived. The name is likely a pseudonym for the project. In the book, Ann T. was referred to by the pseudonym "Ann"
Interviewed by Herman Joseph on November 23, November 27, and December 4, 1981, and June 28, 1982
Note (Provenance)
David Courtwright, Herman Joseph, and Don Des Jarlais, Gift, 1988
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
Persistent URL
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Available digital content for this interview.