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SAM SCHRAGER: I think you said lavish garden parties and social gatherings. What arethey talking about?
IONE ADAIR: Over at the mansion, museum, you'll find two photographs and those photo graphs are pictures of a garden party that we had down in underneath here. At that time this was a low plot in here and a high sidewalk went along that side. And the garden party was'in here and we put a long table out- just outside of the basement door and from that we served the people. There were- oh, must have been some where near a hundred of the people that were there. And the picture shows the pic ture of the people sitting around in the garden and on the sidewalk. We wanted decorations with flowers for it and we had no idea where to get them, and my sister and I got in the carriage and drove down to wards Whelan, and along the banks of this little stream along between here and Whelan we saw bouquets of flowers ..,...: = in bloom and we got out and got them. Nowdays you wouldn't think of getting them, but they were great big heads of yellow flowers of some kind. Do you remember what tansy ft like? Well, the flower is somewhat like tansy. But we gathered these great, big armsful of these flowers and brought them back and put them in umbrellastands around in dif ferent places in the yard so we had decorations any way.
BERNADINE ADAIR CORNELISON: Did our garden have any flowers in—
BC: Weren't our beds in bloom?
IA: Yes, Mother had a big round bed down here that she had cannas in andgeraniums. And I was teaching at the Whitworth- what was the Whitworth School at that time. It was the old school that was down where the that new building has been put on down there. And I took the geraniums down and kept them in the school windows during the winter and Mother put them out in the spring, around the cannas in the flower bed. But Father was very interested in snapdragons. And he had a long bed, oh, it was ' ten, fifteen feet long along the edge of the sidewalk that came from the upper yard down across, and that was his snapdragon bed. And anything happened to those snapdragons you were in for an awful mess! (Chuckles)
BC: Well that was a little graveled path.
IA: That was the only we did have. We had a couple of those bigparties in there. And many of the people that attended were the wives of professors and teachers themselves at the University that Mother knew. And, as I told you at one time, that the people on one side of town had a certain day for calling, and the people on this side of town had another day for calling; and you called on those days. And you always left a calling card to show that you'd been there. And that little brass table up here is the calling card table that belonged to the wife of the head of the engineering department, a Mr. Little at that time.
SS: Well, does that mean that the people from this side of town went overto the other side of town on that day, from the other side of town?
IA: On that day they did their calling.
SS: So it would be one side of town calling on the other side of town?
IA: One had Wednesday and the other had either Tuesday or Friday or oneday they picked. Each side of town chose the day that they would be at home.
SS: So that side of town would be University wives, and this side wouldbe the business men's wives.
IA: This was the business and the resident section for this side of town.
SS: Well, that seems like quite a division in the town in those days.Really like two different towns.
BC: They crossed back and forth then. They don't now. We don't know anyof the people up there now, but at that time the school was smaller and there were fewer people- teachers and professors in it than there are now- and they mingled with the people on this side of town. They were a part of the town.
What if a woman on this side of town wanted to visit your mother onthat day?
Well, I suppose they'd have to call and ask to see whether it was permissible to come over on that day or not.
IA: But they had certain days by which they would be at home. And everyone on that side stayed on their side of town for callers on a certain day.
BC: lone tell him what Mother served at one of those noon tea things.
BC: What Mother served.
BC: Do you remember what Mother served?
IA: What we served was something special. They had just brought in canned pineapple. That was something most unusual. Up until that time people didn t have anything like that. Pineapple was something they didn't know a thing about. And when they the table outside this base ment door here- they put their long table, had it all decorated and fixed up pretty- and when they brought them out, on each little serving dish was a piece of lettuce and a slice of pineapple and on top of that a slice of banana and a salad dressing on the top of that. And that was their dessert for that day. Pineapple! No one had had pineapple before.
Didn't know what they were eating.
It was the first time they'd ever had it?
First time we'd ever had pineapple! nd the first time we ever sawpineapple- my father was always eager to get something different, so one day he came home with this wild looking thing, and we didn't knotj what it was; it was a fresh pineapple and we didn't know how to at tack it, because there was all those thorns and leaves and things. So I think Miss Sweet knew how to approach it with a but cher knife.
IA: Miss Sweet-
Miss Sweet knew how to approach it with a butcher knife.
Miss Sweet was the librarian and she was living in the southeast- southwest, corner bedroom upstairs. And she came down to see if she could tell us what to do with pineapple. She had seen it somewhere, I don't know where, but she said you had to slice it down this way and cut down deep enough you get down under the peeling. What is that little parta core that goes in that you had to slice it down this way, then turn it over and cut it in small slices the other way. And that's the way you served your pineapple.
We've learned long since a much easier way of doing pineapple than that.But we did the pineapple, we got the pineapple, and we served the pine apple.
SS: Iwant to ask you- what was the purpose of having such alarge gathering all at one time like that? Was it a special occasion?
IA: No special occasion excepting that Mother was indebted to lots of thesepeople on the other side and lots of people in town. And Mrs. Hanna that lived inSchultz house, just across the driveway in that slate colored house up here, was also indebted to the people so they decided that they would go together andserve an afternoon tea in the garden.
BC: It was pretty, too.
IA: So that's what they did.
BC: Our flower beds were star shape and crescent shape and little graveledpaths that went down and around. That fascinated me, the little paths.
SS: So it was really a garden- a real large garden?
IA: Yes, this whole thing was. It's hard to believe now that at one timethere was a double row of trees along this side between what would be the building now and the street. There was a double row of box elder trees along there. There was a row across on the north and the two large walnut trees out there which were a part of that, at that time. And on the south side of the house was another double row of box elder trees. So the place was very cool in here during the summertime. And that's where my father had his snapdragons; my mother
SS: Did you spend much time out of doors in the summer?
SS: Did you spend much time when you were here out of doors? In the garden?
IA: When we were home we spent a great deal of time around in the yard.
BC: Mother always had sweet peas. A long row of sweet peas. lone tookcare of the roses, she has since she was a child.
BC: Isay, you took care of the rosebeds.
IA: I had a rosebed, I think now that they had dug up the south- the upperportion of the south yard, in what is the backyard, and I think Mr. Comier built a big garden in through there and had all kinds of plants in it and then back across. Well, I hired a man from Genesee to come over and plot the ground for me and my father bought rose bushes and put them in the upper side next to the street and I bought tulips and daffodils and put them along the edge of the wall. And the gardener brought in from the woods wild bleeding hearts, wild ferns and other small plants that he could get, and we had a wall that was possibly, oh, close to two feet high at the edge of the rosebed as it came into the under part of the garden.
BC: Daddy got us a swing; one of those that it's up on standards and twoseats, and you swing back and forth. That was out in that garden, too.
IA: Around that maple tree that's out there now, the gardener built a little fence and a seat around the maple tree and about the center of the garden outside, I had a birdbath and it was Willard pottery- if you know the Willard pottery, I don't know whether you know anything about Willard pottery or not-
BC: Very rare now.
IA: But the birdbath stood high and on top of the birdbath was a statue ofa little goose boy with a goose in his arms- you've seen pictures of him, I'm sure. Well, that was my birdbath out there. My mother every night madea special trip down into the garden to pick up the goose boy and bing him up on the back porch for fear someone would walk off with him in the night. (Chuckles) I still have the goose boy. And the bottom part, the standard of the birdbath, but our neighbor had a great big dog and he got thirsty one night and came down and raised up on the edge of it; knocked the goose boy off and also the birdbath, and broke the birdbath into many, many, pieces.
SS: Did you have many birds using it?
IA: Yes we did. We always watched an old woodpecker ever since we've beenin that house and since we moved over here, he's always had a nest in this first poplar tree out here, the tall one that stood up by itself, the last one. He always nested in that tree and you could hear him calling every morning bright and early, and hear him give that call to the other woodpeckers around. There was one woodpecker that had a nest in the- what was the belltower of the Lutheran Church, which is now the Senior Citizens' building, and he had a nest in that- in the tower of that and used to call back and forth; these two old woodpeckers.
BC: Tell him about what chased the woodpecker off.
IA: The woodpecker came back early one spring and started his building outthere, the robins came a little later, and they started building, but they built in the poplar tree to the south of the row of trees. The woodpecker had the one to the north. The robins didn't like the wood pecker, and so every time the woodpecker appeared out here the robins would tackle him. And they would just go for him, made it very uncom fortable for him. One day we heard quite a racket outside and we went out to look, and the robins were chasing the woodpecker, and the wood pecker flew off. He was gone for quite a little while and finally back he came and he had reinforcements. This time he had four or five wood peckers with him, and what they did to the robins! He just went for those robins! Well, the robins finally decided that they would lower tree and the woodpecker could have the upper tree if he wanted it. And the woodpecker stayed.
BC: oh a big squirrel, that goes up and down the trees..
SS: You know, Iwanted to ask you about the porch. Did you use the porchvery much? The front porch?
IA: This little front porch?
IA: The front porch was much narrower then than it is now and we had roomtor a seat or a couple of chairs out on the porch useds At this end of the porch was the- what Mrs. Mc Connell called her birdhouse. It was enclosed and had a door that came in from theTporch into it, and they could also go in through the bedroom window into this enclosed porch. It was glassed and she had geraniums-
BC: I thought she called it her conservatory.
IA: and birds. She called it her birdhouse.
SS: Have birds right inside there?
IA: Had birds, but I think it was a parrot, but I'm not sure. I'm notsure, but she had birds or at least one bird that I knew of, that she had a house there for the birds in that enclosed porch. So when Mr.- took it over from the Jacksons, when they moved to Colfax, and he de cided the porch wasn't wide enough, so he hired a carpenter to widen the porch and put it out to the width that it is now and had the steps come up as they do now, which they didn't come up that way when we were there.
SS: How did they come when you were there?
IA: They came up, but it was straight, old-fashioned steps and now it'san enclosed, pretty nearly enclosed. So much so, that you had to shovel the snow before you could get up and down the steps in the win tertime.
SS: What did you do with that space that Mrs. Mc Connell used for the birdhouse?
IA: We just used it to put flowers or things that we had or plants in it,and just used it as a storage for plants and other things.
BC: But it was the end of this porch. Then Dr. Church had it fixed. Hehad the carpenters duplicate the kind of fancy- what do you call 'em? Supports the railing.
IA: Didn't hear you, Bernadine.Dr. Church had this carpenter duplicate those- what do you call those things that come from the railing down to the porch?
Yeah, I know what you're talking about.
He had it all duplicated. They had to do special work on it, but hehad the railing duplicated, the one that was on before, so it would match the small porch to the south of it. And at that time, there was arailing all the way around the upstairs porch, the top of the porch. A tall railing of the same- what do I mean?
Style porch. Railing.
IA: Duplicated the ones down below.
BC: We used to climb out the bedroom window
IA: There was a little one then to the south.Really? You'd sleep on the upper porch? Yes, we used to sleep out there. Worried Mother, but we loved it.
I was always scared to death for fear I'd get up and walk off thatporch some night.1 stayed up there. We put our blankets outside there and sleep in the summertime.
SS: Nice and cool?
Yes, although we were usually out by Bovill in the summerThat's nice. That must have been really nice. It was pretty good. We enjoyed it and we'd slip out there whenever it got hot in the house. We never suffered from the heat in the house because the ceilings were so tall that the house just never got hot. You'd open the front doors Neither the front door orhe little porch and the front door to this porch on this side and a door on the other side, and you open up all the windows and the doors and your house would cool off very quickly.
BC: Did lone ever tell you what kind of trees are planted in that lawn?
BC: Tell him of the kinds of trees that were planted over in front of thebig house. The kinds of trees.
IA: The kind of tree, what?
BC: That were planted in the yard over there.
IA: Oh, when we took over the place from the bank there were- I told youthere: poplar trees around the south side of there.
SS: And the north side.
IA: Uh-huh. Well, before I had my garden made in the outside- had theman working on it; there was a mulberry tree and-
BC: Mountain ash.
IA: Mountain ash tree and another small tree of some kind and in the frontyard was an elm tree and a catalpa tree and a mulberry tree in this front yard here and one or two other trees and along the top of the wall was a whole row of lilacs- I'm trying to think of the state- syringa along the top of the wall.
SS: Like what about the trees that are there now? Those big trees in front?
IA: Like what?
SS: The big trees that are in front now? Were they there when you first-
BC: When we took it over.
SS: Were they small at that time?Yes, they were. I was trying to think, I have pictures of different places around in the yard that show the size of the trees at that time. The catalpa tree, Sam, I saw you kind of raise an eyebrow. It has the most beautiful foliage. It has leaves, oh, that large. Just velvety, big green leaves and then the flowers came out on a long stem, little flowers kind of like a locust blossom. And my favorite pasttime when I was real small was to get one of those leaves and make a hat and trim it with the different flowers from the garden. I always looked forward to those catalpa trees.
IA: A catalpa tree, do you know what it is? You know, the snapdragons, notthe snapdragons, but the foxglove blossom? You know the fox glove blossom? Well, they're oh, about that long. The catalpa's are at least that long. And they were spotted inside like a foxglove. And you'd put one inside of the other and you could make a wreath out of them. Out of those. And Marjorie used to make wreaths and hats out of the catalpa trees And the little maple tree that is south of the house now is a large tree, a very large tree, but when we had the bear, fl little pet bear, he got loose one night and climbed the tree. My father wasn't good at climbing and he couldn't figure out how to get that bear down out of that tree.
BC: Chain caught on a branch.
IA: Yeah. He went way up into the top and then he got his chain caughton the branches. And Dad knew he never could get up that high to get it. So what did he do but call the firemen and the fire brigade came up and the men went up the tree and cut the bear loose, and brought him down. But that was a very small tree at that time.
SS: Did your folks look at the house as avery special place when theylived in it?
IA: Did our people?
SS: Yes. Did they think of it as a very
IA: We thought it as a home. Nothing historical or anything like that,because we knew that my father had turned his timber claim over to the bank in order to take possession.
BC: Mother wanted more room.
IA: And Mother had so much room then that she couldn't use all of it andso it anyone wanted a room she very graciously upstairs. We had Dr. Cogswell of the University music department. He was the first professor in music; for piano only, he had no voice. Piano only. And Miss Sweet who was one of the first librarians, also had a room up stairs. Dr. Gurney took the room after Miss Sweet left and then another room upstairs was rented out to Pierson, the man that made the bargain between my father and the bank for thetimber claim for the house, and he wanted- He said he wouldn't bargain with my father unless my father would promise him that he could have a room in the house, that he was staying at the hotel and he didn't like hotel life. And he wanted a room where he would have a private room of his own and so forth.
SS: Bernadine, when you say that your mother was particular; what were herstandards?
BC: Well, someone came along like Professor Cogswell or Gurney or MissSweet that she liked, they would come and ask her. If she liked them she would take them, but she didn't take just somebody that came along. They had to have some special
IA: This old music professor, Dr. Isaac Cogswell, was quite a character.He loved to give teas and he had a little plate upstairs that he'd heat tea water on. And he always would buy some little cookies or cakes downstairs- downtown- and serve tea when they came in. And many a Sun day evening he'd come down and say, "I have cakes and tea, come on up." And we'd all go up and sit around the floor in Dr. Cogswell's room and drink tea and eat cookies.
BC: He composed a piece and dedicated it to remember now.
SS: Do you remember the piece?
IA: He was quite a character. We never thought it being anything unusualas far as the house was concerned.
BC: It was the largest house in town, however.
IA: With the exception of the old house down herenow. That house and this house were the largest houses that there were in town. And we never objected to mother having roomers, because we always got the choice of anyone that was in town that wanted a room. We had this music professor and he had his big piano, in that room.
IA: And took it up the stairway to his room. And he had in his roomup there. And the other was Dr. Gurney in the physics department. And he was with us for oh, ten years, at any rate. And Miss Sweet was with us for at least ten years.
BC: At different times, these different people.
SS: But in other words there was great demand to have a room in the house?You could have rented a room easily.
IA: Any time at all. But she ' rent,fit to anyone, but she always gotsomeone that was recommended.
BC: When Marjorie and me were kind of youngsters, we learned a lot fromthem. From this piano instructor, he created a great desire for music. Mr. Gurney was an avid victrola player. He had all the operatic re cords. I heard all these lovely operas and things from him when he was here. And Miss Sweet then, got me so interested in books that when I was in college I worked in the library one year. Wh ich was very interesting.
Does that mean that you would trace your interest in music to theinfluence?
Probably. My mother was very musical. She never was a performer,but she was very musical; naturally musical. I was brought up with the atmosphere of music and books.
Was there much- was there quite a bit of interacting between you girlsin the family and the boarders. Was it very social?
Yes there was that type of— I mean. They would stop and chat or comedown if they had something new or a new record or something. They were nice people.
You know, when we were talking about the party a while ago that shehad; I was wondering if you could give me an idea of what they would talk about. What the source of topics of conversation would be at a social gathering like that.
IA: I couldn't really tell you that.
BC: I can tell you one, because I startled them all. I was about sevenI guess or eight and very much of a believer in what was said to me. And the doorbell rang and I was to answer the door and see that people got to the party. And there was a circus in town and this man came to the door with this big brass spear-like thing and he said, "I have a dandy lion killer. Would you be interested in buying one?" Boy, it just startled the life, I tore down to the party, "Mother there's a man here wants to sell us a dandy lion killer." Dandelion, I called it a dandy lion killer. That was the topic of conversation for w hile. (Chuckles)
SS: What was he doing with a long spear?
BC: He was probably with the circus, but we had seen the circus and Ithought he meant to kill lions and he meant to dig down in the ground and get the dandelions! (Chuckles) And another time, a man came to the door- Mother had taught us never take the most available one instead of pawing down through to get some thing underneath. So that was firmly implanted in my code of ethics. And a man came with a box of pins, fancy pins, turtles and grasshoppers and all kinds of things. And the thing I really wanted was a turtle, I just loved turles, but it was way down underneath so I didn't dare to go down through that to get the turtle. I took the grasshopper. But I had it for years and years and he's a cute little turtle, too. Oh, yeah. Very cute. Really nice
SS: When people were socializing, say the women, would they talk about theirchildren or talk about the weather or what would the topics of the topics at a party such as this be?
IA: How can you tell what a hundred women are going to talk about when theyget in groups? A group there and a group over here somewhere. 'Each group would have something different to talk about. Either the differ ence in the size of the town and the roads and maybe everything else like that. I couldn't tell you what they talked about.
SS: I didn't mean just then, really more in general when they were socializing.
IA: Would it be just the social things that we have or contacts that wehave withKpeople. Always talking about so-and-so and how they behaved or why they behaved that way.
BC: Of course, there were not local things like television and radio, sothere'd be lots of readings and town plays, I always did dramatic readings.
SS: And dramatic?
BC: Readings. Reciting poetry and things.
SS: On what kind of occasions did you give them? Dramatic readings?IA: Dramatic readings? Oh, everything. I can't tell you all. One of the old GARs used to have a hall up over Hodgins' Drugstore.
BC: You know what a GAR is?
IA: And they always had their big bean feeds up in this hall, and alwayshad a program of some kind in the hall, and I gave recitations ,many, many times, I can't tell you all. Once I do remember giving the re citation from the book of the Ben Hur's Chariot Race. One of those. And we were very fond of Eugene Fields and.Riley poems and so forth. And we had those and recited from those.
BC: What was that one you were doing., of that Chambered Nautilis? A gorgeous of poetry. I think it's amazing.
IA: That's why I get so angry when I can't think of what- Go tell AuntRhody then- Used to be able to tell these.
BC: We had what we called Egen's Hall- It was a skating rink part of thetime, roller skating. And then other times it had a stage and other times entertainments were given there. We used to be the stopping place between Spokane and Lewiston for shows. And then in between locally people would give shows. And one night, whatwas going on, I don't remember, but lone gave a reading and she had tremdous applause. And I was about seven years old, Daddy had taken me and I was so pleased just so pleased that people applauded so. I decided right then I was
IA: He wasinstructor up here at the University and instructor in Lewistonfor a number of years.
SS: But you were only seven years old then?
BC: That was when I made my mind up, that I was going to do somethingthat people would applaud for me.
SS: It was really then?
SS: It was really then?
BC: Yes, it was. I didn't know what I was going to do, but I was going todo something- I wanted to be like lone. (Chuckles) Get applause! didn't think it was that important, but a woman sitting next to me always was very well dressed. - I was just thinking- I want to finish this. Go ahead.
BC: She was yawning about something, and I saw her take out this lace handkerchief out from her cuff, she wore a long sleeved dress, and go- (makes sound like a yawn) and I decided I must have a handkerchief like that. I don't think I ever had it. I just longed for a handkerchief like that. Now I use kleenex] (Chuckles)
IA: More funny things.
BC: I want you to tell him- if you don't have another special question-
SS: What were you thinking of?
BC: Well, the other day I heard her telling a story that I'd never heardbefore. It's very interesting, about the Mc Connels- would that inte rest you?
SS: Yes. Very much.
BC: Well tell about when they lived at Yamhill and Bend. Tell him aboutwhen the Mc Connels lived at Yamhill, that's before they came to Mos cow.
IA: About Mc Connels?
IA: In the early days here, I haven't seen anything where anyone tellsabout it, but Mc Connell came from Yamhill down to Boise during the Gold Rush days and he started in as a gardener there; raising vegecame table gardens in Boise and then from that on up- he up to this part of the country and then was sent as governor.
BC: No, honey,I don't think you're on the right track.
IA: They lived in Yamhill, Oregon, and at that time Oregon was not settledwith the early pioneers, and the Indians used to come back and forth through there and they were always on a rampage when they went through. And Mc Connells had one son at that time, and young Ben had an Indian and he and this little Indian boy played together all the time. Well, the little youngster knew that the Indians were coming through that part of the country on a rampage, so he stowed Ben and took him off into the woods and hid him and stayed with him until after the In dians had gone through and then he brought him out and brought him back to his mother.
BC: I thought that was very interesting.
IA: That was young Ben's experience with Indians in the beginning. Andthen from YamhilljMcConnell went as a young man down into the Boise country. And when he first went in he was a gardener raised vegeta bles for those young mining people that were in that part of the coun try.
SS: Did you ever hear about his vigilante work down there? Because I'veheard he did quite a bit to clean up the country.
IA: Yes, I just put my books back yesterday, I was reading about the vigilantes- he was at the head of the Vigilantes for, I don't know how long But they formed the Vigilantes down there in order to counteract a lot of these bootleggers that were coming through and bothering the miners and all. It's in the Idaho history. Have you seen his Idaho History?
SS: I've never read it but I've seen it. It tells about it.
IA: You'll find a paragraph or two on the Vigilantes in that book.
SS: Did he used to talk about that in the old days?
IA: Up here?
IA: No. No, he always had too many other things to talk about up here.About and Mr. Borah and the family and all. They used to live in a small house that an attorney, a Mr. Pickett built on the lot where the Methodist Church is now; it was just behind the Methodist Church. When they built the parsonage in there for the church and the extension on the church, they took out that house that was there, the one that Pickett built and moved it at the corner of Third and- not Polk- Van Buren. Third and Van Buren. It sets up on a slight bank there now.
Well, that was after they moved out of the big house wasn't it?
BC: That's after they moved out-They first moved- when they first moved, they moved to a small house right across the street here. This little Felton house and that wasn't large enough for them. And when Mr. Pickett- something happened that Mr. Pickett sold the house down by the Methodist Church and Mc Connells moved into that. Then they moved over onto First Street. And the house- huh- it was the- I can't think of the name of the man that owned the house then, but at any rate, the house stood where the- this new attorney built an apartment there afterwards, and they tore down the old house that Mc Connells had lived in. And Mc Connells moved up on to the corner up here- when the house was moved Mc Connells moved with it, the one that they moved from behind the church. They moved with it up onto the
He was a jolly younger man. When I was small enough to be bounced onhis foot- you heard the song, "Ride the cock horse to Bamberry Cross." And bounced me up and down.
SS: What was the song?
BC: "Ride a cock horse to Bamberry Cross to see a fine lady upon a fine horse,Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, she shall make music whereever she goes."
SS: What was the first line of that again?
BC: "Ride a white horse to Bamberry Cross, to see a fine lady upon a whitehorse." Do you remember it?
SS: No, but it sounds familiar to me.
IA: So many people never learned their nursery rhymes. They didn't haveyounger sisters.
BC: lone taught me most of mine.
IA: I was brought up on nursery rhymes! (Chuckles)
SS: Was he ? Jolly. He was a young man, you see when I was young.Do you think that having to go into bankruptcy went hard with him?
SS: Do you think that going bankrupt was very hard on him, personally?
IA: I don't think so. I don't think it bothered him very much. They ownedwe called it the Mo tter-Wheeler Building it's the He and Mr. Mc Guire built that building out here on the corner of First and Main.
BC: Did he lose that, too?
BC: Did he lose that?
IA: Yes, he lost that, too. I think Hoopers- a company by the name ofMottern-Wheeler and they were the Hoopers of Walla Walla that moved up and took over the old building at that time. And I think of every time I think of it. We used to live in the second house-
SS: I think you told me aboutPostum.
IA: Postum deal. Postum. Well, when Davids had that little grocerystore down there, the back part of the store, and they had th e grocery store and I was acquainted with the groceryman, and I got started in on Postum at that time.
BC: She's still drinking it.I think about the governor and leaving the house and all; they left their shortly after 1893? When they moved out? Or how long did they-*
IA: No.Well, it was vacant, It was vacant, no one living in it after that? There was no one living in it at that time. I don't know what arrange ments they had for living there. But Mrs. Mc Connell filed a homestead right on it, and that gave them a certain length of time for taking care of it, I think. It is listed in the abstract as Mrs. Mc Connell- Louise-filing a homestead right on the old place. That house was built in '86. And Daddy bought it in 1900, and they'd been out of that house several years, so they must not have lived there very long.
SS: Do you know why he went bankrupt in 1893?
IA: Huh?Do you know why he went bankrupt during that depression?
BC: Spread himself too thin. He had an apartment—
IA: We didn't know Mc Connells. But my father came out to Moscow in thefall of '93 or the spring of '94. I think it was the fall of '93. And he lived in a small house just back of Creighton's store down here on Jackson Street. And we lived in there for a year, and then he knew the county commissioners- he had business with one of the county com missioners- and this county commissioner asked him if he wouldn't like to have a larger place than that and on a better street than Jackson Street at that time. And so,my father said he would and the man said, "Well, we are taking possession of a small house on Third Street on account of the taxes. For a tax deed." And, he said, "The commissioners will be glad to have someone move in and take care of the house." So my father then moved from Jackson Street up to Third Street.
BC: And then into the big house. I think you didn't understand Sam's question. He wanted to know if you had any idea why Mr, Mc Connell had to go bankrupt.
IA: Had to go bankrupt?
IA: Well, this is not for publication, because I can't prove it one way orthe other, but he was called Old Poker Bill through this part of th e country and he had a good many gambling debts, and besides he had this building down here and he had the home here and this whole block was his at that time. He gave permission and deeded enough property for the Lutheran Church to build a small church there on the corner and he deeded the property for that. That's in the abstract, likewise he deeded it to them. And they built a church there. Then they wanted to enlarge the church and didn't have property enough, so my father then deed them so many feet this side so they could enlarge their church. That's where the Pioneers are now, the Pioneer Association. Then af ter that, Dad sold what at that time was the old livery barn. Mc Con nell was also interested in the livery-
BC: Mortuary.Yeah, that was part of his funer al hall. And so my father sold them the old barn up there so that they could build a parsonage. And they built a parsonage on the other end of the lot from the church. Did you ever hear about how they happened to decide to pick him to be governor?
IA: As governor?
BC: He was appointed.
IA: No, he followed- was it Shoup?
BC: Shoup was the first actual governor. Mc Connell I believe was-
SS: Was the third.
BC: Yes, elected governor.
Before that he had been elected as a representative from Idaho backto Washington. And I think that's where he got the influence probably that put him in as governor.
Did he have a lot of respect around here after he came back as an exgovernor?How was he treated by local people at that time? Did they look up to him at all? Just treat him like anybody else?
BC: He was just likeable.No, he was just one of the citizens, that was all. They didn't pay any particular attention to him. They respected him and all, but noone paid any particular attention to him afterwards.
Seems to me he was a very outgoing person. And Mrs. Mc Connell was avery retiring person, and she was very quiet and not social minded at all.
SS: She stayed up here when he was down there as governor. Was that justbecause she was so shy and retiring? Or did she really have to stay up here to take care of the business?
BC: Not not of the business. The children were not young then.But Mamie went down as his secretary.
IA: Mamie, I think was about sixteen, seventeen years old at the time shewent down to Boise. When he went down as governor.
BC: L called me the other day wanting to know if we knew when McConnells were married. Well, we looked through what we had, well, there was no dates, but we figured it out pretty accurately. Because when they came over here in '86 their youngest child was old enough to be running around the house, and they had five children. So that places it in 1870's.
IA: Mrs. Hanna's father gave her a lot, and the lot was right- was at thecorner of the school yard out here now, where the big tree is. There's a big pine tree up there now, and that was planted there when she was- and she remembered very well, they had only been married a short time and the father had given her this house and lot as a wedding present. And she said she remembers Carrie Bush as Carrie Mc Connell as a youngster about four years old running around in the yard. She re membered her. Well, there you see there was Carrie and then there was a young man by the name of Will- Will Mc Connell- and then there was Ollie and Mamie and Ben. And Ben was the boy that the Indian boy took care of until the Indian raid was over. And so, they had to be a difference there of quite a few years to what it was that some re porter asked us the other day about. And all I can tell them is that there were the five children and that Carrie was the youngest and she was about four years old in 1886, when they moved into the house here.
SS: Do you have an idea yourself, lone, about why Mrs. Mc Connell didn'tgo down to Boise when he was governor?
IA: Mrs. Mc Connell was a very retiring, timid person. And she didn't likesocial life. She liked friends, but she didn't like social life. And to leave her home here and go down to Boise and take care of the par ties and the work that was there was just too much for her, she could n't take it. And she wouldn't accept it. So they just sent Mamie down as a representative of the family. And she went down and took over for Mc Connell when he was down in that section of the country. And that was as near as I can tell you, that Mrs. Mc Connell was very- a very timid, retiring person.
SS: But Mamie wasn't at all, she was-
SS: More willing -
IA: and outgoing. She was more like her father. And Carrie was quite well,she was social. She had her own little society, that we all knew here, but to go out or try to be up in the social life, did n't appeal to her at all. And Ollie was like her father again. V ery outgoing and outspoken and all. Young Will was, well, I can't say that he was timid, but he was a man that had his own idea of the world and of doing it. Both Ben and Will graduated from medical school, I think it was Rush College, but I'm not sure. I can't say for sure what col lege it was. But those two boys graduated from the medical school there The Governor sent them back to the school. But neither one of them proceeded with the profession. Ben, after graduation came West and became a forest ranger out in Montana, in one of the forests in Montana. And while he was there as a Forest Ranger, one night he was riding a round on the trail on his horse-
SS: You told me about
IA: Did I tell you about that? Then I won't repeat it. And young Willinstead of following the doctor's profession, went up into the mines in the Coeur d'Alene country and became a miner. And he knew more about mining than most anybody else, thought he did, anyway, and he was in a fire at some roominghouse at one time and jumped from the window in the second story of the old building and injured hi s back and after that Bill left the mines and just went here and there.
BC: I think you told him that lone.
IA: Became a vagabond.
SS: I didn't know that that's how that happened, that he hurt his back.
IA: And then Ollie married a Mr. Luderman, who run a big pear orchard downin the Portland country, down there somewhere. And they had two child ren and one is Mamie Borah Eccles and the other I can't give you the name of, I don't remember the name.
SS: Well, do you know how Mamie met Borah?
IA: How she met him?
IA: She met him at Boise when he came in there for law work, he had thelaw office in Boise. And I don't know whether it was during- I think it was after the vigilante days because he wasn't governor until after the vigilante days. But she met Mr. Borah in Boise.
SS: While she was down with her father?
IA: While she was with her father's secretary in Boise, while he was governor.
BC: And she was older than sixteen, lone, because Carrie was probably fouror five, and there was those five children, and it was after that that she went to Boise with her father. So she would have to be more than sixteen to hold that position.
Well, do you think that she was much of a- marrying him helped hervery much to become a senator?
IA: Probably.Because I had the idea that the Governor's reputation was such that it was very helpful in his own career.
I imagine it had quite a bit to do with it because Borah soon wentback to Washington and became quite prominent in the the Washing ton affairs. It was after their marriage and I imagine the fact that he was- that she was the daughter of the Governor, and this was the Governor's son-in-law would have considerable to do with placing him in a position and giving him a chance that he did have, but he was equal to it when the opportunity came. That's as near as I can say. What happened to Governor Mc Connell after he came back? What did he do tor a living in the subsequent years?
Washington. He was in a position to help his father-in-law out agreat deal. And he had his father-in-law appointed immigrant inspec tor for this section of the oountry. And all aliens had to report to Mr. Mc Connell as they came in and all, he was inspector for the aliens in this section of the country. That how I got to be- well, what do you say?- not in it, but familiar with it, because I was working in the post office- I went into the post office as a substitute clerk in the post office after I left the courthouse; then I went down to the post office as a substitute clerk. And Ihad time off in the mornings and Mc Connell had his office on the third floor of the old post of fice building, and Iwould go up and Mc Connell got to the point where his eyesight was very poor and he couldn't fill out the forms for the immigrants and I used to go up and fill out his papers for him and get them all ready to mail for him so that he could take care of the rest of it. But I did the clerical work for him for quite a while. Then I went up to the post office on the hill in 1926. They opened up a lit tle post office on the hill and Mr. Jones and I went- took over the of fice up there.
So during that period of time before he got that job, though, he wasliving on a pittance, really. Didsi't have much money. I don't know what he was living on. They moved around a great deal. As I say, they moved into the little house here and they moved into the house down behind the church and they moved into- not the Pickett, I can't think of the house- the name of the house on First and Jeffer son. When they left the mansion, when they had to leave the house there, did they leave behind most of their possessions, too?
IA: I don't know what they did with their possessions. They got rid of agood many of them.
SS: Like that lovely mirror- Oh, they took that with them?
IA: That was one of his at the time, and I did the work for him at the office and Mr. Mc Connell told Mrs. Mc Connell, he said, "If anything ever happens to me, I would like to have lone have the mirror." So when they moved from Van Buren, when they moved up onto- after Carrie's marriage, they moved up onto B Street, and they had no place for the mirror, so she turned the mirror over to me at that time. That's how I happened to have the mirror.
BC: ,Were you working on his records in 1913? This book is dedicated to youin 1913.
BC: You weren't working on his records in 1913, were you?
IA: In 1913?
BC: Couldn't have been. But the book is dedicated in 1913.
BC: Maybe you were very good friends before that.
IA: I went up to the University station in 1926.
BC: Well, this says right on the flyleaf, 1913.
IA: Uh-huh. And he gave me that book in 1913. So it was before that time.
SS: Did you go to the University here in Moscow?
IA: I spent one year at the University here. And then I went- my sister,Lula had been taken to the Sisters' school in Lewiston. She didn't get along very well in school here and they decided that if they'd put her in the Sisters' school, she possibly would do better. So they took her down to the Sisters' school in Lewiston and I was at the University up here, and she decided that she didn't want to stay down there alone. She had to have company down there, so I left the University here and went to Lewiston and registered in the college at Lewiston and managed to take work in the college in Lewiston and stay at the Sister's school and also have a few studies there, enough to keep me as a resident of the school. And I had the double duty there for a while.
BC: She was always taking care of some of us! (Chuckles)
SS: The Sisters' school, was that connected with the convent there?
IA: It was just called the Sisters' School.
SS: It wasn't religious?
BC: A private school.
IA: Yes, it was a Catholic school.And that was quite an event for a Methodist- Father was a strong Metho dist- to send his daughter to a Catholic school. But she refused to to go to school. She'd start and
SS: Why didn't she want to go?
BC: The rest of us just loved school, but she didn't want to go to school.
SS: Did she get along okay with the sisters?
BC: Well, she wanted lone to come live with her.
IA: As long as I was there. (Chuckles)
SS: How old would she have been at the time, Lula?
IA: I don't know.
BC: About how old was Lu then? You had been in college- but she must havebeen sixteen or seventeen.
IA: I don't know how old she was.
SS: Well, let me ask you something else about this.
IA: She'd be about three years younger than I was.
BC: And you were in college.
SS: What did you think of the difference between— what did you think ofthe differences between the school up here and the school in Lewiston? The college.
IA: You mean, what did I think of the character of the school up here andthe school in Lewiston? Well, I had two good friends down there, Min nie Rawson and Nell Asbury Rich and I roomed with them there. We did our work together, and as far as I could see, the two compared very well at that time, because I hadn't been in the University long enough to be saturated with it, and I couldn't see very much difference in them- the work I was taking-
BC: They were each very small schools then, weren't they?
IA: Yes, very small schools at that time.
BC: The first graduating class was something like eight or nine pupils.
IA: In telling about reciting pieces and you asked me what I recited andall- at that time there was a young woman by the name of Aurelia Hen ry that was in charge of the physical culture and elecution and all in the college. So it was a very small college. And not only for speaking and for reciting and for reading and all, and we took lessons from her. She also gave us lessons in standing and walking and in dumbbells and Indian clubs and we took all of this was combined into one teacher. WhicK reminds me, I never did tell you about haying this program in 1899. Bernadine has a friend in Seattle that used to be a young girl here in Moscow and her cousin- yes, it was her cousin-was Olive Mc Gregor who sang very well- let's see, how can I get that con densed to you? Ollie Mc Gregor was a classmate of mine in 1899, and she sang, and a young girl by the name of Coolhank. Old Mr. Coolhank used to run a shoe repair shop down where Sterner's Art Gallery is now. I've forgotten what it is now, but it was Sterner's at that time, when I knew it, and Coolhank had this there and she played the piano beau tifully. There was one thing the old gentleman did; his daughter had to learn to play, so he bought a piano and she took lessons and learned to play. And Carl Howard, her father, was an assistant at the court house- he was an assistant at the courthouse and his daughter was a friend of mine, and the two of us took work from Kiss Henry. And on this graduation certificate, Olive Mc Gregor sang, Marie Coolhank played, Minnie Rawson and her cousin Mable gave a demonstration of dumbbells and lone Adair and Cora Howard gave a demonstration of In dian clubs. And we stood up before the graduation class with these Indian clubs and showed what you could do with Indian clubs.
SS: What were Indian clubs?
BC: Dumbbells- not dumbbells- No, dumbbells are a ball of wood at each end, you knowthose. Indian clubs are shaped like that-
BC: Like a bowling pin.
IA: Club at the end, shaped off; they're hardwood.Would they be like a bowling pin? Bowling pins, yes. Something on the order of bowling pins, yes.
BC: Larger at the bottom.
IA: They have a small ball at one end of it that you hold in your hand,and you turn them this way around your head, or you turn them- Throw them in the air and catch 'em. Was this a required course that she taught? Or was it just something that people could take if they wanted? No. You had to take it, if you took at the University. Physical cul ture work went with the other because she taught you grace and able to get around and how to walk. Physical culture was something that all women took? All the girl stu dents?
SS: Did you really have to learn how to walk? Didn't you know how to stand?
BC: Posture, you know.
IA: Sure, Iused to walk over all the trails in the country, but she- youdon't know anything about the kangaroos- Oh, the Gibson Girls, that walk, the Gibson Girls- they had to walk- Very straight and your hips had to be back, so your stomach wasn't pro truding. Your hips had to be back. You had a curved back, like this. And there used to an old cartoon in the papers that one kangaroo was walking along the street and he saw awoman walking with a kangaroo style and he said, "if I looked like that, for God's sake, put me back in the Ark!" (Chuckles) that posture similar to the Gibson Girls? Small waist and protruding hips.
SS: The Gibson Girl?
She said, was it similar to the Gibson Girl?
Well, yes, your Gibson Girls - your waist was small and your stomachwas small, and your hips stood out behind. Do you know what a bust ruffle is? They wanted to be real busty, so they made ruffles and starched them very stiff, and tied that around here to make them have a bigger bosom. I remember that from lone.
IA: But at any rate this cartoon- I don't mean this cartoon- but this program from this old school- Ollie Mc Gregor had saved it for years and years, and this friend of Bernadine's, after Olive's death, took over a lot of old papers and things to look at and among them she found this graduation program where Cora Howard and I were demonstrating Indian clubs and all the rest of them were singing- I've always wanted to know what reading lone gave on that program. "Reading- lone Adair."
IA: And she knew that Ollie Mc Gregor had been a classmate of mine in schooland she sent this program over to Bernadine, printed in 1899.
BC: It was on green paper. all quite formal looking, youknow. But it was printed.
SS: What were you studying there at the University?
IA: What was I standing on?
IA: 0h Just the eighth grade- finishing the eighth grade.
BC: Oh, you went to prep school then?
BC: 'Trep school. They called that prep school in those days, didn't they?
IA: Well, I remember that.
BC: Eighth grade wasn't going to college.
SS: But the year you spent at the University here: The year you spenthere in Moscow at the University; that was the eighth grade?
IA: No. That followed the eighth grade. That's why I finished the eighthgrade here, then I went to high school.
BC: Well, you had to go to high school
IA: The preparation grade first. I think they're going back to that oldpreparation grade now, aren't they? Making the high school students take certain branches and examinations to see if they are far enough advanced to do university work. Well, they had the same thing at that time, only they called it the prep school.
SS: Was Miss French, Dean French, was she there when you were there?
BC: She was there when I was there.
SS: What was she like?
IA: What was she like? Huh.
BC: I thought she was ,
IA: Do you know a woman in town by the name of Mabel Gano Ward?
SS: Yes, I know.
IA: Do you know her?
IA: I don't know whether she still is large as she used to be or not, butshe was a woman about the size of Mable at one time. And she was at that time. And she had charge of French Hall and all the students that were- all the girls were in French Hall. And one part of the building was partitioned off for the home economics department, and that's where they had all their testing of recipies and things like that. She used to have a class in the evening of boys that were not quite up to the social elite, and she had them come in and she gave them table manners and all sorts of manners.
BC: She was a very charming person. But on campus she was the head of theMiss girls' department. You did whatFrench told you.
IA: And she said the girls were to be in at eleven-thirty or twelve o'clock,the girls were all in their rooms at eleven-thirty or twelve o'clock! Or they heard from Miss French immediately.
BC: Doors locked and you couldn't get in.
SS: Were the standards that the girls were expected to live by differentthan the ones the boys were?
IA: They were very strict and the girl was in the house, she lived up tothe house rules.
BC: So did the boys in the fraternities, too. They were very strict.
IA: They were very, very strict. There was none of this-
BC: No smoking. No drinking.
IA: -what do you call it? Cohabitation! (Chuckles)
BC: I think that's what you call it.
IA: No drinking allowed in the rooms.
BC: When I was in college, they wouldn't allow a boy in the ballroom if hehad a drink, and he wasn't allowed to smoke on campus. )ck) hd -fo Q'i
SS: Do you think many of them had never heard a phonograph before?
SS: Many of them had never heard a phonograph?
IA: Didn't know anything about a phonograph. We explained it to them asbest we could, so they could tell their parents about hearing the music come out of this little round cylinder.
SS: So you were just stopping in the woods for a picnic lunch?
IA: They heard the music and they just followed down until they found outwhere it was and when we looked up from where we were having our lunch here were these youngsters lined up on the fence; an old rail fence there listening to it.
SS: I was going to ask you if either one of you belonged to a sorority,at the university.
BC: My pins are in my trunk. I was a Phi Beta Kappa up here and I wasSigma Alpha in musical in Boston. And I was a Phi Beta Kappa.
SS: What about the social sororities that they had?
BC: Phi Beta Kappa social.
SS: But then it's academic, too, isn't it, too? I mean it's because you'rean outstanding student.
BC: Well, no, I wasn't. £1 think they're just about the same, but they werestrict then. The girls were very disciplined and the girls that lived out- I lived here when I was a Phi Beta Kappa. 1+ ° School'
SS: Well, I heard that some girls- that there was a lot of stress put ongetting into a sorority for a lot and that made it hard for girls that had a harder time. Is that true?
BC: Yes, that is true. I've always in my heart have been against sororities, because they're so selective. They lost some very fine students and girls, and girls that turned out to be very fine students because they didn't have a good family background, they probably weren't ini tiated or invited to join, and I didn't feel that was fair, and I still don't think it is. And one girl was asked to one of the houses up there, came with her sister and the girl that was invited to join the sorority was a very beautiful blonde, just lovely, her sister was not very fine student and a pretty girl; she was dark and not imposing physically, but they wouldn't ask her. So they left school.
SS: Both of them?
BC: Yeah. That was a fact. That kind of thing- the sisters loyalty toeach other, the one wouldn't join because the other wasn't invited.
SS: But to leave the school, it must have been pretty serious.
BC: I suppose it was. And in my heart I never approved of sororities.They did a lot of good for a lot of those girls that come from small towns and not have any social life and we had big balls and parties. But I still think it's a mistake. If I had a daughter going to school I'd urge her not to join a sorority. I wouldn't urge her, I wouldn't say that, I mean, I would give her my opinion. Do you think that the differences in the way that women were expected to behave and men at the college were fair at the time? What do you mean, the difference? Well, it seems to me that the young women were really expected to be very disciplined- self-disciplined and toe the line. They were. Yes they were. Seems like to me that I've heard the men had considerably more freedom.
BC: Men always do.
SS: Well, maybe that's changing some now.
BC: Yes, it has. Which right. Inever questioned the reason forthis difference in treatment. Were girls limited in what they could study at that time at the Univer sity?
Well, we studied what the University had on their program for aBS orBA or BM degree, then you had afew electives, not many.I think they had one.
SS: But saym like if a girl wanted to- she couldn't have gone to engineeringat that time, could she?
BC: I don't think so. No. I don't know that a woman ever tried, it was sofar out.
SS: What was the program like for you when you went? You went to studymusic at the time?
BC: No, I went to take a graduate in BA- Bachelor of Art, I liked science and didn'thave any math at col lege. I had to take math in high school. Which I liked. I can't do my bank account now! (Chuckles) But I think probably the requirements— I just loved to study, I never had to be pushed to study. I to study. I liked school from the time I started in grade school. And I think lone did, too.
BC: We just loved going to school. We liked school.
IA: Oh, yes. I liked school.
BC: The thing is, this sister who would not go on to school- I think inmy heart, this is my opinion, that lone got there firstest with the mostest, she was such a good student, and had all this publicity and did all these readings that the sister thought she never could make it. Now my younger sister was a natural musician she had a beautiful singing voice, but she would never study, she just played for fun and she had, I think, a better mind than I did.. But Marjorie made lots of friends. Well, I was too busy reading books to make very many friends.
SS: When did you decide to study music?
BC: I think when I was in high school. I was primarily interested in voiceeven then. I was taking piano. I told you about the mandolin. I took mandolin lessons from, didn't I?
SS: I don't know if you did or not.
BC: Well when I was about nine, I expect, maybe ten, a man came throughfrom Spokane to form a mandolin club. That was the first musical club that had ever been formed here. And Daddy knowing that I liked music got me a mandolin, gave me lessons with this man, the man formed a club Didn't last long. I didn't like the mandolin. But he had a thumbnail that was like a bone, stuckAabout that . , and he played the man dolin with his thumbnail. And what I yearned to have was a thumbnail long enough to play that mandolin! (Chuckles) Just strove for that. Tried to grow a long one.
Yeah. One teacher's. But the club didn't lastvery long. I guess mandolins weren't very popular, wasn't with me. I am curious to know how you went about pursuing your interest in music. Partly from this Professor Cogswell who lived at the house, we listened to it every day. And then I started piano, then Daddy had me join the mandolin club and when I . old enough to take voice lessons, which was when I was- I think I had a few when I was a senior in high school. I sang a great deal.
SS: Did you get much training at the University here or was it mostly afteryou left?
I had a very fine teacher here, a Mr. Storr, And then I went toBoston to the conservatory. Had fine teachers there,and I studied in Chicago. And I went to San Francisco; had a very fine teacher from New York that was there from master class. And I went to Portland for master classy. I really had quite a bit of fine instruction. But the first teacher I had at the University; as I think back I think h was about the best.
SS: Right here?
Yeah.I paid twenty dollars alesson, Up here but thathad nothing to do with that, it was just that he knew fundamentals; knew music. He was avery Soulful man. An unhappy person, he kind of poured out his heart in his ability to talented students. I guess he thought I was talented. I must have been. So what did the training that you got permit you to do? Lots of public work. Public singing. I think that when I came back here to teach, I think that the reason they hired me at the university was a come-on because had been East and I had been doing lots of singing and they were sending people out to small towns to give concerts. And I think that they thought I was go pd advertising. I really do. This is my own opinion.
SS: What did you sing?
BC: 0n anything from opera to ballads. Never detird : to be an operasinger. Oh, I sang arias. It was great fun. I loved it. Another thing I decided as I got older, always before I was to do a recital someplace I'd think I was taking cold. I'd get kind of hoarse, and Daddy would dose me up with some cold medicine. But now I know it was nerves. Because the minute I'd step on the stage Iwas just like Iwas flying through the air. I just loved it and I was never nervous after I got onto the stage. So I think this was a prenerve attack that I would have before hand.
SS: What kind of appearances did you make? What was the sorts of recitalsthat you were giving?
BC: What do you mean, recitals? Of ue.
SS: Were they at large halls or how were they set up? Ware they paid forby subscription or who did you tour with?
BC: I can't tell you. I didn't tour. In Boston I sang at the Conservatoryrecitals and concerts, and in Chicago it was the same.
BC: — professionally. KRound face, pink cheeks with a beautiful head ofhair and with him was this Simala from Russia, who was a very fine teacher. Simala offered vocal teaching and did coaching. That was an interesting combination in San Francisco. Pershosky.
SS: Pershosky,It was all great fun, I loved it and I am sorry that it ended so soon some of these men but a woman's voice goes faster than a man's. I see here now on television that probably are in their fifties, late fifties still singing well. But you don't see women that old singing. Did you have to work besides that- did your folks have the money to support you then?
No. I worked in the library at the university because I wanted to helppay my expenses. I worked in the zoology department at the university one year.A I kept that money to help pay my expenses. And Daddy gave me money. And I had never had money to handle. We had charge accounts in town, anything we wanted it charged to Daddy. So I got back to Boston, Daddy had given me enough money he thought would last the first semester. It was gone by I was so embarrassed, so I went down to a community concerl|r deal, I think they called it lyceum then and tried out for a church position and I got it and got twentyfive dollars a Sunday for singing in church, so that helped a great deal. Daddy was so pleased. Then in Boston then we went to the and something auxilary and to different were always well paid for that. I was making probably more money than if I had had a I was job out here just by doing things that offered. This placed me in different positions. That's the way I happened to be working in the library, because I decided I wasn't going to let Daddy pay for that! And he was so amazed and so pleased and I was amazed. I didn't have any idea that you could get twenty-five dollars a Sunday for singing a song. And I loved to sing the songs.
SS: What did you think of being in the big cities after growing up in asmall town like Moscow?
SS: It wasn't anything special to you?
BC: I don't believe so. I know my first experience in going to a symphony.And I'd never heard a real first-class symphony, living out here. I got symphony tickets for the year, I guess that's where some of the money went to. And listened to fourteen operas in two weeks. When I went to the symphony concert and I came out with a roaring headache. It was just too much sound, I didn't know how to listen to a symphony. Well, the second one was not much better, and then someone said, "Well, Bernadine go and listen just the melody or the- the instruments that are playing the melody." And I began then to enjoy it. But the first couple, I didn't. I didn't enjoy them. I had these very keen ears. There was just too much Now it would be different I know how to approach it, I think. I listened to Bernstein last night. Oh, that was a wonderful program, ninety minutes of it. He's ninety years old. And the mastery that man has, at the piano. He says he plays with his soul and his emotions. They asked him what he thought about God, if he believed in God. He said, well, he couldn't say that he believed in God, in calling him God, but did believerv there was a guardian and guiding power. I thought that was very. Oh, they intersperced questions between numbers that he played. He talks so- and the most beautiful hands;ftbeautiful hands. They are still so muscular and so active and so gentle and so powerful. I just was carried away with it. Mostlyon television, I don't enjoy it.
BC: Bernstein. Here's a picture of him.Have you asked all the questions? I keep interfering.
SS: Oh, no, no, not at all. I wanted to ask you those things.
BC: Here he is. Ninety years old.
SS: Oh, Rubensteinl
BC: Oh, I was thinking Bernstein, I meant Rubenstein. And he said my musicnew, is an emotional and soul music, And that's what you feel when you listen to him. What's the difference between Oh, I think the words soul music now is not soul music- I can't explain that. I think emotional probably it better. Now, what else were you going to ask I got you oH the track. You didn't. I wanted to know a little about the music that you did. Well, I had great fun when we lived in the big house, because even as a young adolescent, maybe before that- see those bay windows had draperies that hung down and I would put on shows. I'd go behind those draperies and draw them together and open them up and bow.
SS: Your father and mother—?
Father wasn't musical, he appreciated it-
But they were very supportive? Of you doing this?
Oh, yes. They'd come in and listen. Mother used to come in and sitand listen when I was practicing. Then I got through with then I'd go down to Daddy's office and read his medical journals., And I've learned sincethat many people that are doctors are very musical people, are very interested in medicine. One of the finest voices I ever worked with teaching- his voice was oh, gorgeous-and he became a doctor, but he still- he's in the Seattle Mason Hospital, very successful cardiologist. But when I was in the hospital in Seattle he used to come in every day to see me. And he said, "Bernadine, I still wonder if Imade the right decision, because I still I had my heart's wish Iwould That desire, but he's very successful.
SS: Did you enjoy the teaching that you did here very much?
BC: Yes. Had astudent,Rhad a beautiful voice, she's been in New York aboulten years and she's now married and living; someplace along the coast. And she wrote me a card, asking me how I taught and did I get tired. That just irritated me, as if Icould tell taught, it's something that's different that comes out every individ ual. And getting tired- that would be stupid. Of course you get tired if you taught several house. But it was a rutt tiredness. You were creating something. PleasurecUok
SS: Did you teach through lessons with each individual student?
BC: That's how I did.
I'd like to ask you about that just out of curiosity. Was the paythat you got for teaching at the university a great deal less than it should have been? Less than the men were getting at that time? I suppose so. Because I wasn't a professor up there. Instructor. And I think I got 125 a month up here. That was in 1919. 1920. And when I taught I charged two and a half a lesson for aforty-five minute lesson.NI never raised my prices because Ijust enjoyed it that much, but I paid twentyfor an hour's appointment. Ipaid twenty to and to So Ihad to teach to make money enough to do all that. But I enjoyed it.
SS: Did you go back traveling once you had taught here?
SS: That was after.
BC: Then I got married and ft moved to Lewiston and I taught in the collegedown there. Also, I didn't want to continue with college work. Bck up here-
We were living in California for six months out of each year. So whenI came back I was director of the Episcopal choir for twelve years. So then I decided I didn't want to tie myself down to church work and to school work, so a private studio, and then I taught just privately. Couldn't think of anything else I wanted to do. And that was great fun. I think I had the cream of the crop. And that wasn't true in an institution, because there you had to take anyone that wants to study. But anyone that wanted to study that had no talent, I just Kindly after two or three hours convinced them that they should be doing something else. charging
SS: And that's when you were two-fifty?
IA: You must have exceptional ears, I can't hear a word she says.
SS: You have listened to each other for a long time. (Chuckles)
BC: Did I tell you when I found out that I had such keen ears? Well, wewere living in Berkeley, that was at the time of the Golden Gate Expo sition, and I didn't know people in Berkeley, and so I'd go across. Oh, at the Fair, the Exposition- Golden Gate Exposition,had all these different buildings from General Telephone and RCA. So, one day I saw the telephone building and I decided to go in and see how the telephones were doing, see what they were doing in that building, and they were giving hearing tests. He said, "Would n't you like to have a hearing test?" Well, I knew I heard very well, and so I took the hearing test, and he looked at me and he said, "Just a minute." And they drew everybody in that building in to see- I was one in f0,000 that could hear the highest tones on the hearing test. And it's still that way. I hear too much. My hearing is so good that a noise that would please you perhaps would just be banging in my ears. And when she turns the evening paper it's like fire crackers -- off in my ears. It really is.
SS: What was your voice like as a singing voice?
BC: Mezzo-soprano. Very wide and very resonanant. Partly because of mynose. I once complained to my teacher, "Wish I was pretty and had a smaller nose." He said, "Bernie, half of the quality of your voice comes out because you have a big nose!" (Chuckles) So I stopped wor rying about my nose. That was the first teacher I had at college. .That's the reason I just loved him.
But I was going to tell you; this house and the one down here- whobuilt that house? It was Carruthers- who built this big house at the end of the street that was the hospital?
BC: Who built the big house at the end of the street that was the hospital?Not Carruthers.
IA: Dr. Carruthers had a hospital there.
BC: Yes, but he didn't build it.
IA: Before Dr. Carruthers had a hospital, Dr. Perkins had a business schoolthere.
BC: But any way, when we were little girls, my youngest sister and I- there'squite a jump between my two older sisters and Marjorie and I- and we came home from school one day just puffing our feathers and Daddy says, what's going on or something that way, and Marjorie spoke up and she said, "We're the richest people in town. We live in the biggest house." And Daddy sat us down on the dayenport? it was, a then, and ex plained to us that we were not rich because we lived in the biggest house and there were other kids of riches besides money. To be rich inside and beautiful inside regardless of the kind of place we lived, and on the mantle we had two little figureines that were just beautibisque my younger sister took this so seriously she picked that little statue off the mantle and said, "You naughty little rich girl." Broke it in to a thousand pieces. And now we just have the little boy.
IA: We still have the little boy.
SS: Did your father get mad at her?
BC: Oh, no, because he had just been telling us that there was a difference.No, my father never got angry. He could correct you kindly and make you never want to do something again, but he never got angry. I had a cousin that lived out in the country, an only child at that time, and when they came to town they'd get him some of these certain kinds of candy an American flag or an alligator or something like that. And he put those in quart fruit jars and never offer you a piece. Well, when they came to our house Mother made us share what we had and g ive some to Gilbert. Well, it was about my sixth birthday, birthday and Daddy and Mother had gotten me a little child's knife and fork and spoon, which I was very proud of. And Gilbert stayed at the house for dinner that day, so they gave him my little knife an d fork and spoon. And Father was asking the blessing and I looked up and Gilbert was VnIMi* ndL fork and spoon, and I picked up my big knife and fork and spoon and threw them at him.K Nothing was said at the table but afterwards Dad took me on the back porch and he told me how impolite I had been to the and he picked up a straw that had a head of wheat ful, about this high, figures of a little boy and a little girl. on it and he turned my little dress up and spanked me with it. That was as cross as he ever got. The only time I was ever punished I think. I deserved it but he didn't make a fuss at the table. He just waited until afterwards and told me how impolite I'd been to guest.
SS: When your little sister broke that figureine- why was she breaking itdo you think?
BC: Because she thought that was a little rich girl, she was carrying alittle muff, a little white muff and a little fancy hat, and Marj just took it so seriously, she thought that little girl thought that so she was a she was rich too. k naughty little rich girl!
IA: It's too bad because they were darling little figures.Little Dresden bcp that we'd carried all the way from Kansas to Idaho when they moved out here. But we lost the little girl.
SS: One thing that this reminds me of that I've been quite interestedbetter about the early days, is the putting on airs. I have the feeling that some people-
BC: They did. And I thinkthat's what Daddy was trying to stop with usright then. Just explaining to us that there was more than living in a big house and having money, there was an inner richness, and to be beautiful inside. And that we were not rich because we lived in a big house; we weren't. And Daddy's first few years here people couldn't pay their bills, it was after a winter like this one, kind of. The wheat sprouted in the fields and then didn't have money to pay their bills, so they brought produce, a pig or half a cow or cabbages- we used to store/( there. And watermelons. We used to cover a watermelon with leaves and they'd be good at Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, there were some people that did put on airs, there's no question about that.
SS: Is that something that your folks tried to avoid?
BC: I think. I expect so.
SS: Because I remember the story that you told me lone, about M. J. ShieldsThere was a man that was putting on airs. Who was very impressed with his own importance. And I just was curious.
BC: I told you before- the lady that had the lace handkerchief. I remember she had a plume on her hat that jiggled whenever she moved, and she pulled out this lace handkerchief. I thought, how lovely, I'd like to do that.
SS: But you know, my impression of living in the early days around herewas that people didn't try to- I don't know whether it's true or notsometimes I think people didn't try to set themselves above other peo ple. People considered themselves to be just folks.
BC: I can't say- I don't think that's right.
SS: You think that's wrong? So people did try?
BC: I think they did do it, or thought they did.
SS: Well, that's probably more realistic.
BC: I know people at the university thought they were just a no tch higherthan the people in the town, because they were at the university. I really think that, I have no particular reason. Do you think that, lone?
BC: Do you think that people in the early days, some of them felt- whatwas your expression? Put on airs. Some people tried to make you think that they were better than other people?
IA: At the university?
IA: Anyplace? I didn't think of them as that. I think it was just because we knew them.
BC: Well, I think that's true. And because we were not brought up to feelthat. Old Jim Chinaman a very interesting little fellow. We just adored him. Mammy Crissman that used help Mother with the She was a Negress. And I wouldn't the bread because I thought he color would come off her hands into the dough because her palms were pink. And I had all these funny little ideas. But they were all friends with us. I think that's what Mother and Daddy taught us
SS: Was she the daughter of the Crissman that ran a store in town?
BC: I don't think so. Mammy Crissman was the only black woman here, wasn't she?
BC: Mammy Crissman.
IA: Yes, the Crissmans were the only Negroes.
BC: They didn't have a store did they?
IA: Have a what?
BC: A store.
IA: No. That wasn't the same Crissmans. No, he worked for someone, I don'tknow it was. Let's see, it wasn't West. Mr. Crissman worked for some one here in town.
BC: Was he a Negro?
IA: Yes he was a Negro.
BC: Oh, he was, oh.
IA: She was the first Negro ever to enroll at the university and she wasalso took the prize at the declamation contest between the university and other universities at that time.
SS: Was that their daughter?
IA: That was the daughter.
BC: Was that Mary- No, that was the Wells.
IA: No, Mary Anna was the Wells.
SS: But this Crissman girl, did she graduate from the university?
IA: I think she did. They came here and I think they came because of theWests- Bob West, and his wife and someone else and they had known them back in the Carolinas and came out West here because these people were in the West. And there was another family by the Wells family that lived out the other side of Deary. But they came in after the Criss mans did here.
SS: What were the Crissmans like? The husband and wife.
IA: Oh, he was just a short, stubby, old Negro, and she was a short, fat,mammy.
BC: Have you been watching the show "Roots"?
No. Oh, you should have.
It wasn't pleasant it was very—
IA: They used to have church conferences down here at the Methodist Church.And we being so close, they always wanted to have someone stay at our house, because they'd be so close to the church. So one day Mother had— and Daddy told 'em they could send someone up from the church and they sent up two or three of the ministers and the rooms were va cant upstairs, so Mother let them use the rooms upstairs. Then they had no means of serving them, so Mother served them a meal and in or der to take care of the family and the extras Daddy had old Mrs. Cris sman come up and do the cooking.
BC: Called her Mammy Crissman.
IA: And one night when we were all at the table, sitting around, and thelights went off and we heard the kitchen door open and old Mrs. Criss man stuck her head in the door and she said, "I'm just as good looking as the rest of you folks now!" (Chuckles) And Bernadine wouldn't eat biscuits because Mrs. Crissman's hands were pink on the inside but they were black on the outside, and she didn't like the fact that the black hands were probably on the biscuits so she ate bread instead of biscuits!
SS: Did you think it was coming off her hands on the biscuits?
BC: Yes. See, I have a reason g".think back on my early days.
IA: You weren't used to black people.
BC: I was brought up with this idea of cleanliness. Never use anythingthat Mother had used utensils and things- germ conscious, really- and when I saw Mammy Crissman's pink hands and the backs were black, I thought that was not clean.
SS: Did Mammy Crissman help out much? Did she work at the house?
BC: Yes, while these ministers were here.
SS: Just for a short time? Wasn't regularly employed?
BC: No, but we always had help though.
IA: She was just there while the ministers were there.
SS: Was she a likeable person, do you think? Do you remember?
BC: She was delightful /ery likeable.
IA: Old Mr. Crissman- Daddy used to hire him to take us out on the homestead out by Collins. And he would send him out to get the family and bring them in or have him take them out so we wouldn't have to do all the driving and handling of all the luggage and everything that went with it. He did a good deal of work for Daddy; just little odd jobs.
BC: I wanted to tell you- just because we lived in this big house, and atthat time lots of trains came through here, and lots of tramps and they hit right for our house. I've heard later that they mark houses where they would get good service. . Come to the back door and want to know if they could " .a handoU. Mother never refused anyone. But one time a man came and he wanted to do something for his meal and Mother fed them on the back porch. But he took out a little whisk broom out of his pocket and he whisked his suit all off and his troudinr' sers and his shoes before he sat down to eat hisi on the porch. Daddy was very interested in those people, he would go out and talk with them, find out where they came from, what they'd done.
IA: What are you talking about?
BC: About the tramps we fed over here.
IA: The what?
BC: The hobos. Tramps. We had several.
SS: He would talk to them about themselves?
BC: Oh, yes, he was very interested in everybody.
IA: Did you tell him about the time the man with the\whisk broom}wantedsome socks and Dad took him out on the back porch and a hobo came by and Mother was serving him on the backporch and Dad went out and the man looked up at him and he says, "Do you have any socks that I could wear?" And Dad had had these hunting socks and Mother had washed them and hung them on the line out there by the side of him, and Dad reached over and he took down the hunting socks and he said, "These are all I have. Can you use these?" And the man looked at him in surprise and he says, "What, those things?"
BC: He did? I don't recall that.
IA: He didn't want hunting socks.
BC: Those heavy socks.
IA: He wanted better socks than that.(Chuckles)
SS: So he didnlt take them?
IA: Dad said, "You don't need socks very bad."Iknew aman in Lewiston. His name was fycu,'"? . And he stu died to be a doctor. Smart: I don't know of any person I've ever was smarter. But he'd got tuberculosis and didn't go on and finish his medicine, but became a hobo for twenty years he just kmA ifand he never went back to his business- He was just ahobo* You never could tell about the fellows. They come by wanting work sometimes and (sometimes they would work) So Dad would say, "There's the woodshed. If you want work very bad, you go down and chop up some of
BC: I was telling him about the one that brushed himself all off before
SS: So they would work?
BC: Some of 'em.
IA: Yes, he went to work, but Dad had to go out and stop him. He had kindling enough that we never would have used it all up. He was just ma king kindling out of all of our wood!
SS: But you would give them something to eat whether or not they were willing to work?
IA: Yes.Some of them just wanted to eat, they weren't willing to work. Some of them. Some of them had pretty interesting backgrounds. Some of them had really fallen. talking to them, I don't know.
SS: Like this fellow-
BC: Well, this one in Lewiston that I knew,
BC: He was a very .man. He was a railroader when he was in Lewiston.
IA: Talking about that little sister of mine that was always getting m,Marjorie, was always getting in trouble, and all. When she was grown she played the pipe organ down at the Methodist Church- did I tell you about that? She played the Ragtime Band. She said that she could play the Ragtime Band as an offeratory in the church down here on the organ and no one would realize what she was playing. And she did it.
SS: During the service?
IA: Yes. We all knew what she was playing, but the main audience didn'tknow. Hadn't any idea what she was playing. Alexander's Ragtime Band for them.
SS: She just played in such a way-
IA: Changed the rhythm of it, you see!
BC: She was an amazing person, she was like lone, she could do anything.During the war she taught electricity at Walla Walla Base there. She was very fine doing college photography til her eyes gave out. And she was a wonderful student and a natural musician. Just anything she heard once she could sit down and play it beautifully without any music. Some people have that natural— I never could play by ear. But she could just sit down and ripple it off. And a beautiful voice.
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Segment Synopsis: A large garden party at the Mansion given by Mrs. Adair. Adair flowers at the Mansion. Calling on people on the other side of town. Serving a special salad with pineapple. Cutting their first pineapple. Reason for parties. Mansion grounds; the birdbath, a woodpecker. Use of front porch; Mrs. McConnell, "bird house" enclosure. Sleeping on the upper porch in summer.
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Segment Synopsis: An Indian friend hid Ben McConnell's son, during an Indian raid at Yamhill, Oregon. Homes the McConnells lived in. The rhyme McConnell told Bernadine. McConnell's bankruptcy. His business interests. He wasn't given special attention after her return. Mrs. McConnell didn't go to Boise because she was so retiring. McConnell children. Mamie McConnell met Borah in Boise.
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64:00 - College in Lewiston; High School Commencement; Exclusiveness of sororities; Subjects of Study for Women
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Segment Synopsis: Ione went to Lewiston college so she could live with her younger sister, who needed her. Learning physical culture from Amelia Henry; demonstration at the high school commencement. Dean French and her strictness. Exclusiveness of sororities was bad. Subjects of study for women were limited.
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Segment Synopsis: Earning money to support her musical training. Her first, painful exposure to symphonies. Enjoyment of Rubenstein's recent concert on TV. Her performances as a girl for her parents in the mansion. Enjoyment of teaching; advantage of teaching privately. Her exceptional hearing. Her nose contributes to her mezzo-soprano.
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